Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Tea Parties Forever.

Paul Krugman tells us that, "Republicans have become embarrassing to watch. And it doesn’t feel right to make fun of crazy people", and then goes on to point out how these "crazy people" have used their insane tactics to seize power before and how they could do so again if the Democrats stumble.

As Krugman points out, the Republicans have been saying crazy shit for years, their trick is that what they say is sooo crazy that people think it must have a germ of truth; it's the big lie theory all over again. The larger the lie, they easier it is for the public to buy it, as they reckon no-one would be dumb enough to tell such corkers without good reason.

Crazy stuff — but nowhere near as crazy as the claims, during the last Democratic administration, that the Clintons were murderers, claims that were supported by a campaign of innuendo on the part of big-league conservative media outlets and figures, especially Rush Limbaugh.
So we should not be surprised at the tea parties and the other crazy shit that the right wing are currently indulging in. This is simply what these batshit crazy loons do every time they lose an election. But it would be a mistake to underestimate them. They have become very good at presenting themselves as ordinary Americans outraged at what is being done to "their country".

That's the irony here. We have a group of people who have spent eight years calling anyone who did not support Bush's actions "unpatriotic". Back then it was the duty of every citizen to support the actions of the president or, if they found this impossible, "to shut up."

Now, that logic has turned 180 degrees. Now, they oppose the president because, "I love my country". Where it used to be a patriotic duty to support the president, it is now a patriotic duty to do the opposite. Now the cry is, "I want my country back!" And, when confronted with this U-turn in their argument, they will respond, "I will treat your president with the same respect as you treated mine!"

A mere six months into the Obama presidency these nutbags are acting as if he has turned the US into a Soviet Gulag.

They have taken to the streets in small numbers, such is their outrage at what is being done. But, as Krugman points out, all is not what it seems:

Last but not least: it turns out that the tea parties don’t represent a spontaneous outpouring of public sentiment. They’re AstroTurf (fake grass roots) events, manufactured by the usual suspects. In particular, a key role is being played by FreedomWorks, an organization run by Richard Armey, the former House majority leader, and supported by the usual group of right-wing billionaires. And the parties are, of course, being promoted heavily by Fox News.

But that’s nothing new, and AstroTurf has worked well for Republicans in the past. The most notable example was the “spontaneous” riot back in 2000 — actually orchestrated by G.O.P. strategists — that shut down the presidential vote recount in Florida’s Miami-Dade County.

So what’s the implication of the fact that Republicans are refusing to grow up, the fact that they are still behaving the same way they did when history seemed to be on their side? I’d say that it’s good for Democrats, at least in the short run — but it’s bad for the country.

For now, the Obama administration gains a substantial advantage from the fact that it has no credible opposition, especially on economic policy, where the Republicans seem particularly clueless.

But as I said, the G.O.P. remains one of America’s great parties, and events could still put that party back in power. We can only hope that Republicans have moved on by the time that happens.
The present day Republican party are not coming back to power for a long time. But, these fake freakouts do have an effect as the Republican Broadcasting Company will report on these things as if they are real.

However, where the Republicans are woefully out of synch with the populace is over healthcare. The public do want a public option.

This fake outrage might make people fear that they are never going to manage to pass universal healthcare, but it does not diminish the public desire to get it.

This is political theatre, and it's what the Republithugs do best. But more Americans want this than do not. The people taking part in this organised thuggery are fighting for corporate interests over the interests of ordinary Americans.

But they should not be underestimated. Everything they do will be portrayed as if it is genuine outrage by the corporate masters whose interests they represent.

People need to be as loud as these thugs are in denouncing this hypocritical bullshit as what it is.

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