Friday, January 29, 2010
Pity for the Party
So, I'll be the first to admit, I've often used the phrase "teabaggers" to describe the populist, right-wing, semi-racist, and often ill-informed folks that make up the "tea party movement". It's funny and to be fair, they started it. That's just the tip of the iceberg as far as making fun of them goes. From the ridiculous signs, to the even more ridiculous slogans, to the fact that they don't really seem to understand or agree on what it is they are protesting - it's hard to take these people seriously. They stir up an uneasy combination of laughter and terror.
However, that's a mixture I've gotten used to in the last eight years. That is to say, thanks to a very comical man with a surprisingly iron fist, I've learned that there are some things about which I have to worry against my better judgement.
The "tea party movement" has fallen into this category. They are an assortment of right wing nutjobs, special interests, and genuinely bad people who seemed determined to tear down everything that means anything to me...and they genuinely seem to feel they're doing the right thing.
However, a story I heard in today's news is forcing me to reevaluate my feelings about the movement or at least the people involved. As I've said, these guys are largely nutjobs, fundamentalists, and all-American bigots...and that is why I pity them.
Hear me out.
These are not the sort of people who are generally involved in large scale politics, none the less protests. They're the people who've been making fun of hippies and sign wavers their entire lives. Since the sixties they and their parents and their grandparents have called liberal protesters "hippies" and yelled at them to "get a job". Now the berkinstock is on the other foot.
Imagine if you were told that only way for your liberal politics to succeed was to attend every event in the Nascar circuit. It's unsettling, I know. With the possible exception of Jeff Gordon's amazing hair,
there's nothing for you there. Now imagine that they make you pay hundreds of dollars for the pivilage of doing it.
Such is the case for the upcoming tea party convention. Not only is there an entry fee of $459 for anybody who wants to attend, but their nutjob in chief is charging them somewhere in the neighborhood of $100,000 to speak to her own flock. For some unknown reason, this is causing dissent within the flock.
Hate to tell you guys, but having a speaker that charges those numbers, paying excessive fees to get into the "protest", being sponsored by Fox News - that's not a grassroots movement. In fact, it's kind of the opposite.
That's why I can feel nothing but pity for the party. Sure, they're nutjobs and yokels, but they're being bled dry by their own leaders. These are angry, listless, and in many cases jobless people who picked what seemed like the honest choice to them. They don't know how to organize a protest. Worst of all, they've spent the last eight years being told that not only are they right, but that God is on their side. Falling from the heavens can be a real kick in the ass. Satan never got over it. Hopefully, they'll fare better.