Tea Party Envy

Posted on September 18, 2010 by

You don’t need my tea party critique.

There’s talk everywhere you look:

They’re crazy.  They’re not crazy.  They’ll shake everything up.  They’re the democrats’ last hope.

I have to admit, though, that I’m envious of that movement.  I wish it was our side shaping the public mind and rattling the political class.

Yes, I hope they lose and lose big.  I don’t like their goals.  But wouldn’t it be great if we were the target of such derision.  If our nutty ideas – such as a reunionized economy – were part of the “national conversation”?   Instead, we have to expend our energy defending social security and the department of education. 

Help me understand…

  • Why we think Obama is too moderate while our opponents think he’s an extremist?
  • Why right wing radicals can oust staunch conservatives but moderate progressives can’t gain traction against fence-strattling democrats?
  • Why American voters are about to return the keys to the thieves and scoundrels?

I know what you’re going to say:

Obama and the democrats lack principles or guts and are too allied with business elites.  That the political process is corrupted by money.  That corporations have brainwashed the nation.   (And here’s my favorite) That there’s no  Labor Party.

But I’m still not satisfied.

We want and deserve one more chance to influence public opinion.

We need the attention.

We’re just as crazy as they are.

I swear.

Comments (7)


  1. Jon Beaupre says:

    On the money, Lou. I agree with the TP’ers a little bit though. I don’t know what so great about Obama. He didn’t do anything special. Just because he presided over the largest overhaul of the health care industry in 8 decades, and kept American business from completely going down the drain (a lot of that money has been paid back with interest any how) during his first year, that’s not such a big deal, right? Just because he saw to the end of a very unpopular war, passed major business reform legislation, and delicately oversaw a massive environmental disaster in the gulf of Mexico, so what? He had a whole year to do it, right? …maybe two. Just because pernicious unemployment is starting to come down and the housing industry is being reformed, he’s only the president,right? Nominated two women for the Supreme Court, and has chipped away at ‘Don’t Ask…’ It is ‘we the (straight, white, rich, male, privileged) people’, who are committed (translation: ‘insane’) to the overthrow of a tyrannical (translation: ‘most of the educated people in the country’) national government.

    I’m with them all the way. I can look you in the face and tell you with absolute certainty that black is white, and that aluminum foil will keep the alien vapors from destroying civilization.

    …and so it goes.

  2. Goetz Wolff says:

    I think you are asking a question about the long-term failure of “progressive” education.
    While our teachers unions did a great job protecting their jobs (they should!), the ball was dropped w/r/t introducing young people to the basic history and principles that could serve to challenge capitalist exploitation and help peopke see through the bull sh*t promoted by Fox, right wing radio, and bone-heads like Sara Palin.
    How people “see”, interpret, and “understand” current events is critical to the political process.
    I have a satirical colorful poster of Obama fighting at the ramparts saying “Socialismo o Muerte” on my office door. And there are folks who go by my office who nod their head in acknowledgment–blind to the satire.
    It is we (our generation) that has failed to address the drumbeat of right wing ideological inculcation.

  3. Salvador Sanchez says:

    Those are great questions. I find it very interesting that these Tea Party nuts are just directing their anger to government while ignoring corporate influence. In addition, there are reports that argue that most of these people are middle class folks. It is tough to organize poor folks Lou.

  4. Larry says:

    Obama’s biggest problem comes from the old adage: you can’t prove a negative. He can’t show just how BAD things would have gotten by now if he and the Dem’s in congress had not acted to save the economy from utter destruction. Since we did not hit a Second Great Depression, people just don’t believe he did anything.

    The economy is recovering, but way too slow. Unemployment has stopped getting worse but that is not nearly enough progress. Conservatives are sitting on their money rather than investing in business and hiring workers. Is that a “conspiracy” or just their natural inclination? They all talk about “uncertainty” as though Obama is going to single-handedly change the country to Socialism (even though half of them don’t know what that is).

    Yes, it would be nice to have the attention garnered by the Tea Party like WE used to have back in the 60′s. It may take a real fan-hitting pile to get people motivated. That may happen if the Tea Party puts several people in the House and Senate this November. That will scare the crap out of people if it happens. And fear is a tremendous motivator.

  5. Stephen L says:

    The 700 Hundred Billion Dollar Stimulus was/is ready fuel for the Tea Party bonfire. The Obama administration missed a golden opportunity to do things differently, to make the case and explain each element of the package, to stop the pork barrel items that where slipped in to get the thing passed. I was astounded, at the time, at how quickly the legislation was put together and even now am still learning about elements of it that were quite good. On NPR the other day, someone raised the statistic of 2 million stimulus dollars for each job created. If that is true, and certainly the impression is out there that the Stimulus was one big, careless giveaway, then the Democrats lost the opportunity to educate as well as stimulate. They may not deserve what they get in November, but they did lose control of the agenda, so they are going to get got.

  6. Susan says:

    Very well said, Lou. It is about time that someone SANER speaks out !!!

    We have been too passive allowing the noise and the noisy to take over… Rage/Anger is a great motivator but when not tampered with reason and ONE GOOD idea of how to move the country forward, they are just pushing for power and control without any concrete ideas, other than, may be move us back to the “good ol days”.

    Obama who is sooooooooo articulate missed a few months of taking on and stirring the conversation. Being quite is only a fuel for the tea party to take over. They see it as weakness rather than ‘to insane to respond’…

    I agree with Larry that if they put a few people in, the rest of us are going to get off our chairs…

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