Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The End of That Which Never Was

(UPDATE: Welcome Crooks and Liars readers!)

Once there was a dream called Teabaggistan...

It was a fertile land at the confluence of the mighty rivers Styx (the River of Hate), Lethe (the River of Forgetfulness)  and Mississippi (circa 1840) whose mingled, healing waters were said to be able to wash away the most persistently adhesive "Bush/Cheney 04" bumper-stickers while leaving your paranoia, rage and sense of aggrieved, racial entitlement miraculously intact. 

And these miracles were not just one-time dealies!  The Tea Party guaranteed its followers that they could say amazingly fucked up things up over and over again as many times as it suited them, secure in the knowledge that they could hop right back into Sylvester "Dick Armey" McBean's "Fabulous, Tea-Baggulous Bush-Off Machine" for quick re-re-redemption:

For the price of their souls and a couple of bucks
The Bush-Bellies could now buy some nips and some tucks.
From the Bush-Off Machine they tumbled like fresh laundered sheets
Screaming about deficits! Taxes! And those awful elites!

They had never liked Bush, no not even a little...
...they shrieked from mouths flecked with Patriot Spittle.
They'd never voted for him, nor swallowed his dirt.
You don't believe me? Just look at my shirt!
But the midwife of the dream that was Teabaggistan pulled off their steering wheel as they flew too close to the sun and crashed its political Lexus into the olive branch of its value proposition.

Or so might Tom Friedman have written of the end of the Tea Party Caucus.

But he did not.

Instead, Dave Weigel wrote this:

The Tea Party Caucus is Dead and That's Okay

By David Weigel | Posted Wednesday, March 20, 2013, at 9:44 AM

Two-odd months ago, I asked a Republican Hill staffer what had happened to the Tea Party Caucus. Launched with great fanfare in 2011, it was often cited in Michele Bachmann's introductions on the presidential campaign trail -- "she's the founder of the Tea Party Caucus!" -- and it brought luminaries like Antonin Scalia in to educate Republicans. At its height, the caucus had 60 members, but 10 of them lost their 2012 elections.

So how many members remained in the caucus?

"We are actually in the process of re-filing the caucus," said the staffer.

Today, the membership page for the caucus is defunct. The caucus hasn't met since July 2012; it has posted no news since July 2012. In the press, "Tea Party caucus" has become an offhand way to refer to conservatives. In her speech to CPAC, which included a typically Bachmann-ian error about how much TANF money is wasted on administration, Bachmann didn't mention "the Tea Party." But the new relaunch date for the Tea Party Caucus is April 15, and according to Bachmann's spokesman, "the main purpose of the Tea Party Caucus is to listen to Tea Party leaders and activists, not be a mouthpiece for the Tea Party."

There's no way to un-spin this. Nationally, the Tea Party flag is so tattered that it's not in a Republican's interest to maintain it...
Longtime readers of this blog know that if I were a "motto" person, one of my many mottoes would have been "There.  Is.  No.  Tea. Party" which I now habitually (OK, pedantically) follow up with --
"Like German soldiers after the fall of Berlin, they have stopped running away from the catastrophe they created only long enough to burn their uniforms and pretend they'd been in Switzerland the whole time."
-- almost since I began writing about the Party of Personal Responsibility trying to skip out on the tab for 30 years of Conservative catastrophe.   For example, in 2009 when they were busy using their pet media dolts to help quickly re-brand themselves as "independents":
And based on simple observation, guess who appears to be the largest group of late-blooming independents?

Those fucknozzles who, after giving Dubya the longest tongue bath in modern political history while calling everyone else a traitor, started gagging on the sheer tonnage of bullshit their creepy idolatry of George W. Bush was requiring them to swallow and obediently regurgitate every fucking day, that's who.

Most newly minted “independents” seem to be little more than Republicans who are fleeing the scene of their crime, but at the same time still desperately want believe in the inerrant wisdom of Rush Limbaugh. They are completely incapable of facing the horrifying reality that that they have gotten every single major political opinion and decision of their adult lives completely wrong, so instead they double-down on their hatred of women and/or gays and/or brown people and/or Liberals, and blame them for the miserable fuckpit their leaders and their policies have made of their live and futures.

On in 2010 when the same goofs began using the same credulous media enablers to help re-re-brand themselves as the Tea Party:
Last night our rapidly mildewing local PBS affiliate -- WTTW Channel 11 -- plummeted to genuinely new lows when it basically turned over 12 minutes of prime airtime to three generations of cranky, white male teabaggers. 

Sure, those of us who are occasional watchers of “Chicago Tonight” -- the nightly local PBS news offering -– have noticed that, for the last several years, the starch in his suits and the lacquer in his hair have been all that's kept Chicago Tonight's Host Phil Ponce from collapsing into a puddle of chipper, obsequious goo, but as with the piece that directly preceded last night’s embarrassment (CTA Management debating Labor over who is going to take it in the shorts first), WTTW still seems to have enough recessive journalism DNA knocking around the place to usually put both sides of controversial subjects at the table -- side-by-side -- with the on-air talent acting as interlocutor. 

But instead, last night Ponce basically fluffed the four white, male teabaggers as if they were some local-band-made-good; as if they were “REO Speedwagon”, and did they think they were a one-hit-wonder, or did they have some staying power? 

Including Ponce, the Dramatis Personae were as follows: 

Steve Stevlic: Tea party coordinator.

John O’Hara, described merely as the author of “A New American Tea Party.”

And Ed Lasky and Steven Baehr whom we are told are the co-founders and the “News Editor” and the “Political Correspondent”, respectively, for “the Conservative website ‘American Thinker’” which draws “150,000 views per day”. They are described by Ponce as “covering” the tea party movement, and were apparently just invited on to the teevee to share their keen, reportorial insights.
That’s it. Three generations of cranky men running the melanin spectrum from "Ed Begley Junior White" to "Eyeball-Smiting Flashbulb White". 

And once the introductions were over, the bullshit began to rain so hard and fast that you’d have thought Belphegor’s own celestial outhouse 

was overflowing. 

According to Mr. O’Hara, the tea baggers are a “…broad, grass-roots uprising with folks that are concerned with the radical…” something something… 

According to Mr. Stevlic (the chyron just below his chinny-chin-chin reading “Fast-Growing Groups Gains Influence”) the tea party movement is “a group of people that have never been active in politics before, and they’re just tired of yelling at the teevee…” 

Host (to Stevlic): Are you one of those people? Not active in politics, yelling at the teevee? 

Stevlic dodges the question about his degree of political involvement and instead offers that he had been one of those town hall shouters last summer. 

Mr. Lasky and Mr. Baehr were then asked to weigh in on the topic, again explicitly as people who have been “covering” the movement. 

Baehr: "[This is a] movement of people who have not been particularly involved in politics, who are quite fearful of..." yadda yadda yadda trillion dollars yadda yadda 

To which he then ads the careful rage-caveat that he is only speaking about debts and deficits “Over the period of 2009, 2010 and 2011...

Baehr: The people you saw at the [Chicago tea party] "were the kind of people you’d see at a Little League game in the suburbs." 

Host: Give me an idea of the range of people who are involved in this movement? 

Lasky: “Well, I think it spans both parties.” A shocking – shocking! – study of Iowa Tea Baggers shows that 49% of them call themselves “independent”. 

Host: Is it true that your awesome fucking movement started right here…in Chicago!? 


Phil Ponce then mentions the following, just in passing y'know: "In doing research on this subject – which I admit I hadn’t done until today… 

Which is when I stopped listening and starting yelling at my teevee (Hey! Maybe I'm a teabagger too!) 

Look, Phil. I’m not a Highly Paid Chicago TeeVee News Host. I don’t have a research department. I don’t have staff. 

Not one lone administrative assistant to chase round my desk do I have, nor have I a single intern to get me my fucking latte. 

I’m just some poor, civilian goof who can recognize a plague when it's at his door, who is sick of watching paid teevee journalism die of spine-rot, and who does this in his spare time. And yet even I – with about 30 minutes of clicking a fucking mouse on my wheezing, old laptop – was able to find out all sorts of fascinating stuff about your skeevy guests and their mendacious claims that were, for some reason, utterly beyond the collective ability of the mighty WTTW to ferret out. 

So the Tea Party caucus is dead and the refugees of the dream that was Teabaggistan now once again find themselves refugees looking for homeland.

Does that mean they will finally stop looking for other places to hide and other people to scapegoat and come to terms with all that they have done?

Are you kidding me? 

Time for another motto.  From 2006:

In five years, having voted for Bush will have become the parachute pants of this decade.  
It will become the “Oh my GOD. What the fuck was I thinking?” shameful secret people will occasionally and elliptically allude to by piping up with, “well, he did good after 9/11” as schoolchildren are taught what a disaster on every front and by every measure he was, and as adults who now have to pay and pay dearly for the myriad lies and crimes and follies of George W. Bush recount his Top 100 Fuckups and bitterly laugh and laugh and laugh.
As long as enabling Conservative Denial Syndrome remains a good dollar, the Right will never lack for Emmanuel Goldsteins to blame:
Which is why the entire system depends on Hating Goldstein. Because the whole filthy enterprise would fall apart if these God Fearing Patriots of the Right were ever forced to stop for even a moment and submit to an honest accounting of who has been right and who as has been wrong for the last generation or two.

Neither the Right nor the Center could not survive such a Moment of Clarity, which is why so much of propaganda from both quarters is singularly devoted to Hating Liberals; why, especially in Conservative media outlets, such an enormous amount of energy is spent every single day ruthlessly and continuously marginalizing and demonizing opponents, using every name in the book from Commie to Terrorist-lover to Fifth Columnist.

Hating Goldstein has also proven to be an extraordinarily profitable business: a bottomless ATM machine for everyone from Andrew Sullivan and David Frum, to Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck, to a thousand other, lesser-lights who could never have made a living pulling an honest plow, but have managed to build very fine careers on punching hippies, pandering to swine and worshiping Reagan on cue.


Ginger said...

DG, luv yr work, and +20 points for the Belphegor reference (& graphic)!

mike westman said...

Could not have said it better...or with such wonderful flavor.

Fritz Strand said...

Great stuff! Man, you put so much work into this. Glad you are getting paid by the word.

Anonymous said...

Tea Party stupidity...The only way to not know is to not 'want' to know...they are all republican stupids with a Bachmann jumping at the bit to be spokesperson. Love your rants and the destruction of the 'both sides are to blame' meme. Yours is the real journalism. Thanks