Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Two Brief Rants

Let's Have A Party

The Tea Party is generally at war with itself, but the members may not know it yet. Some of them are calling themselves strict Constitutionalists or Libertarians, and they simply want the two-party system to either go away or make way for more parties. I think they see the whole system as corrupted and unworkable, at least the way things are run now. They're not far wrong. However...

A large part of the "leadership" of the Tea Party is actually hard-core Conservative, self-proclaimed Christians (I'm not saying they're really Christians, that's just what they call themselves), who are hard-line immigrant haters, homophobes, and several of whom used to be part of the government they now claim to despise. Folks like Dick Armey, whose own marketing/lobbying firm is one of the groups that instigated the original Tea Party protests, caught a wave of anger in the populace and has ridden it to prominence. Or Michelle Bachmann, who talked about the Census being part of a conspiracy to round certain people into camps, until she found out that if people don't fill out the Census, her district might disappear, and she might be out of a job. Then - miraculously - the Census is just fine.

This is known as astroturf organizing - spend millions of corporate dollars and shape an easy-to-swallow message that will ultimately benefit the existing power structures. All while telling the folks they speak for "the little guy".

They talk about wanting to go back to "Constitutional" principles, but they claim that that would include prayer in public school, and even literacy tests for voting. Neither of those items were in the Constitution, but these folks claim to "know" the Founders' thinking.

Anyone who thinks they can mind-read the dead, yeah, that's who I'm going to follow...

Rove In Cuffs

One thing about Code Pink - they disapprove of the wars we're in, not the troops that are fighting them. The one thing that I keep coming back to: the difference between Iraq/Afghanistan and Vietnam is that back then the protesters went (mostly) after the troops coming home, as if being drafted was somehow their fault. We who are opposed to these wars are going after the architects, not the troops. If some of those troops commit crimes, then fine, punish them for their crimes, but I would also allow for mitigating circumstances, as well as incredibly unclear orders from the nut jobs at the top that started this whole mess.

I don't see the Tea Partiers getting angry with Bush for putting this country $4 trillion more in debt than when he started, nor leaving it with a $1.3 trillion deficit, nor for the millions of jobs lost. But yeah, let's take on Obama for trying (where no Republican has ever even bothered) to give more people access to health care.

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