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A terrific summation. I'd like to see more of these "everyone's a crook or a fool" curmudgeons be forced to explain why that means that their preferred fools and crooks should run things. It wouldn't be pretty.

Ken Muldrew

'The Tea Party’s rallying cry, “We want to take our country back” is based on the selfish certainty that to share the country and its benefits with people they don’t like is to have lost it.'

Very well said. The tea party reminds me of nothing so much as the European powers in 1914; oblivious to the carnage they were toying with because they were so certain of their superiority over people they didn't like. The tea partiers brandish their violent and racist subtexts as if there had never been a lynching in the U.S.; as if a civil war hadn't nearly destroyed the nation over slavery; as if there was honor and redemption for those who fought to the death over the right to own another human being. And why not? The same nation now embraces torture and indefinite detention without charge (a slave by any other name would long for freedom just as deliberately). It is not mere rhetoric and word play when the tea partiers send out their dog whistles, for words and the actions they stand for are separated by mere whispers. These people are pouring gasoline on the nation and every single one of them is thrilled with the prospect of setting a light to it.

In The Guns of August, Barbara Tuchman quotes D.H. Lawrence, "All the great words were cancelled out for that generation", but such thoughts do not give pause to the tea partier who must win at any cost. Like the Germans of WWI who sacked and burned the medieval library at Leuven, they see no moment to that which they carelessly jeopardize. Those weren't mere lumps of lifeless paper in that library, they were the sum total of the lives of millions. The only memories of generations who were erased from history by the barbaric act of thoughtless hooligans. The tea party plays with undoing America in the same spirit of nonchalance. They trivialize the intellectual affluence that has grown out of the struggle for democracy in America as if it is somehow worth less for the richness of its form. They are so worried about paying for public goods that they cannot seem to see that there is more to lose than just cash.


The Rally for Sanity and/or Fear website has a gallery of photos from the day. I think my favorite sign is the one, "You want to take the country back? I want to take it forward."

Bill Hicks

In the Randian world view (Adam Smith dipped in candy apple hard sugar red), governments as well as labor unions are unnecessary and redundant appendages to capitalist perfection. That's why amateurs can be the government--they don't have anything to do, because all the "doing" is occurring by business, with the top business leaders being in charge. Everyone else should just shut up and do their assigned "job." Eventually, the amateur "government" will just evaporate away, as citizens realize that members of the government are just a waste of good money. And what does that idea sound like?

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