Yes, I know, it’s been my general belief that the Tea Crustaceans are largely a rag-tag motley crew of uninformed, uneducated, old, white men who are angry at not being able to retire to a tropical island with the requisite trophy wife half his age, and who
choose, are directed to blame all that on government, Negroes, Muslims, and various illegals of the brown complexion.
They want “government out of their lives and pocketbooks” all the while demanding that government keep it’s hands off their medicare, but incongruity aside, peering up women’s lady parts to determine the state of her pregnancy and then explaining in patient and slow detail what is going on up there that she is of course quite incapable (because of her sex) to understand fully and competently.
That they are led around by the nose by the likes of very important and wealthy Republicans, aka Koch brothers, who have a most different agenda, is well-known too. Since they have gone to some lengths to allow the lemmings to believe it was all their idea, aided and abetted by Foxy Noise, they have successfully pushed their real agenda of low taxes, no regulation, all the while allowing the mob to rant about all manner of things social that the powers that be care nothing about by and large. They are also allowed to rant long and hard on any “safety net” program that they themselves don’t partake in, i.e. NOT social security and not medicare, all the while not having a clue that in fact their handlers do verily intend to destroy those too once they are in the ascendency.
This has all been my general belief.
Until I read this. Michael Lind’s contention is that the Tea Party is anything but “new” but really just the latest manifestation of a really old Right. He argues that the true base of the fringe group is decidedly Southern and upscale. Once these white town leaders had driven the Reconstructionists out of the South, they put in play a variety mechanisms that gave them control such as segregation, disenfranchisement, bloc voting, and federally the filibuster, to maintain control of local affairs. This state of affairs was upset by the civil rights movement of the 60′s driving a lot of white working class into the arms of the Republicans. They managed because of this, to gain control of the federal government and basically through 2008, had their way.
With the growing Latino presence, and Blacks now firmly in the Democratic camp, they are looking at a very different demographic in the future. Since they don’t really want Latinos and African-Americans in their wheelhouse, the best solution for them is to dismantle as best they can, the federal government in the hopes of regaining/retaining local control. Their new methodology is to use the filibuster to prevent any more “liberal” and federal control, disenfranchisement of as many Democrats as possible, and the continuing call to privatize federal programs to obtain local control over them once again.
Lind argues that all this is rational and goal-oriented.
This argument is essentially echoed by Zack Beauchamp at Think Progress. He strikes the epicenter of the shift closer to the New Deal, but essentially ends at the same place, these people have always been around in one guise or another and their aim is to maintain power and control over their region and over their lives without federal (read non-white at this point) interference.
Beauchamp takes us on a long and rich history ride to make his point, and though long, this article is a really lesson to us all.
If you think that his government shut down or debt ceiling issue has “just come up” and the GOP through its champion Ted Cruz, “just came up with this unique strategy”, think again. In reality, these uber conservative Republicans met literally within days of Obama’s re-election mapping out the strategy for shutting down the government and holding the debt ceiling hostage to destroy Obamacare. It was not done because they think the program is “damaging to the economy” or any other such nonsense, but because it will work and work all too well. It will become put another nail in the coffin of local control of people and economies.
It should be noted that the Democratic budget bill was scrapped and the House (sequestration level budget) was accepted precisely because Boehner, said that if the Democrats did so, he could pass a clean bill. The minute Democrats acceded to that, the goal post was moved and we got into the “defund Obamacare too” and all that has followed. So the negotiations have gone on and it was the GOP who refused up until the “crisis” occurred to meet and discuss differences. More than 20 times Republicans refused to attend a conference between the House and Senate bills to reconcile differences.
This is where we are, and this is how we got there I believe. There are lots of opinions out there as to what comes next. Some say that Boehner has promised that he will put a clean bill on the floor at the last minute. Some say he was very pissed when the media outed this position, and this caused him to backtrack to his hardline position of demanding a concession of some sort. Some say he will still put the bill on the floor at the last minute. Others think he is so in love with his gavel that he will see the country go down before giving it up.
We are all waiting to find out. Because one thing we know.
We are not in control.
Unless we decide that enough is enough and throw these idiots out.
Anybody’s guess if we are there yet.