This item in the New York Times came across my radar last week: Tea Party Lights Fuse for Rebellion on the Right (Feb 16, 2010).
The article describes the political awakening of a little grandma in Idaho named Pam Stout:
She was happily retired, and had never been active politically. But last April, she went to her first Tea Party rally, then to a meeting of the Sandpoint Tea Party Patriots. She did not know a soul, yet when they began electing board members, she stood up, swallowed hard, and nominated herself for president. “I was like, ‘Did I really just do that?’ ” she recalled.You could say that we all need to stand up and shout about the Bull Shit that passes for Political Reality in America - except that The Tea Party Rebellion is liable to get as ridiculous as it is potentially dangerous since these people tote firearms around as if they were as necessary to social interaction as breath mints.
Then she went even further.
Worried about hyperinflation, social unrest or even martial law, she and her Tea Party members joined a coalition, Friends for Liberty, that includes representatives from Glenn Beck's 9/12 Project, the John Birch Society, and Oath Keepers, a new player in a resurgent militia movement.
When Friends for Liberty held its first public event, Mrs. Stout listened as Richard Mack, a former Arizona sheriff, brought 1,400 people to their feet with a speech about confronting a despotic federal government. Mrs. Stout said she felt as if she had been handed a road map to rebellion. Members of her family, she said, think she has disappeared down a rabbit hole of conspiracy theories. But Mrs. Stout said she has never felt so engaged.
“I can’t go on being the shy, quiet me,” she said. “I need to stand up.”
What intrigued me most about this passage is the idea of Barack Obama calling for martial law to suppress the Rebellion on the Right, fueled by the John Birchers and Glenn Beck, et al. The photo illustration from the story provides a glimpse at the demographic profile of the Movement:
If I'm not mistaken, when the Hippies were protesting the Vietnam war years ago, Old White People insisted clothing like the patriotic shirt proudly worn by the Veteran above was as disrespectful to America as burning the flag. Now, maybe no actual American Flags were harmed in the making of that short sleeved button down, but it just goes to show you that Teabaggers are incapable of recognizing the contradictions inherent in their passionately stated positions. This inability is no surprise since a high percentage of Teabaggers are Conservative Christians, and Conservative Christians are notoriously obtuse when it comes to recognizing the inherent contradictions in their passionately held beliefs.
If the Teabaggers' dreams come true, their patriotic militia will storm Washington DC and make such a commotion that Barack Obama calls out the National Guard. Then we will be treated to the spectacle of a Black Man so educated, sophisticated and well groomed that he could have stepped out of an advertisement in GQ ordering hundreds of Guardsmen and women to toss tear gas and shoot fire hoses at a bunch of White People. While the Heritage Foundation insists that minorities and poor folks are not overrepresented in the military - I'm going to bet that at least half the National Guardsmen hosing down Honkies would be Dark Skinned.
Kind of like Bizarro Birmingham, Nixon's Silent Majority has taken to the streets to revolt against Negroes and Communists.
This is one national spectacle I'd like to see. In fact, if the Teabaggers storm DC, I'd most likely have to fix up the Menopausal Stoners Herb Tea cart and find a safe perch on the mall so that Hippies old and young can smoke out under a shade tree and watch this unfold like Saturday morning cartoons or an episode of Star Trek with a parallel universe.