Tuesday, October 22, 2013

My Insufferability Quotient Continues to Slowly Drop like Autumn Leaves

As I heed the advice which has come in from many quarters regarding the impolitic rudeness of continually whining that, "Yeah, but Liberals were saying this shit since before Alf was on teevee."  Which is why I am temporarily suspending the conceit that I am right about some things and other people are wrong or are so late to the party that they should at least wipe their feet before heading for the keg.

Apropos of nothing, Salon must once again be saluted for its bold willingness to challenge convention Liberal thinking and posit the theory (for several weeks in a row now!) that the so-called "Tea Party" may not, in fact, be some kind of spontaneous populist movement at all! Instead, Salon advances the startling notion that the "Tea Party" may in fact represent a much more organized project by the traditional forces and financiers of the GOP -- a project which has just been dolled up to look like a grass roots movement.

And the worst of it?

This scheme has completely bamboozled American Progressives!
Tea Party is an anti-populist elite tool. And it has progressives fooled

This is not some spontaneous uprising. It's the newest incarnation of a rich, elite, right-wing tradition 
Against progressives and pundits who insist on blaming the white working class for Tea Party radicalism, I have argued that the radical right agenda serves the interest of the economic elites of the South and some areas in the Midwest and other regions — particularly those whose business models are threatened by unions, high minimum wages and environmental regulations. 
Why, in the face of all of this evidence, are so many progressives and pundits convinced that the white working class, rather than affluent and educated conservative elites, are the driving force behind the right? Why do so many American progressives blame the masses for a movement of the classes?

If it wants to live up to its claim of being “the reality-based community,” the American center-left needs to dispense with the half-century-old anti-working-class mythology of Hofstadter and Adorno and look at real-world electoral and opinion data, for a change. By refusing to recognize that today’s right-wing radicalism serves the interests of elites — in particular, Southern elites — and blaming it erroneously on the non-Southern white working class, progressives only harm themselves, not least by confusing their enemies with their potential allies.
Great work, Salon!

(h/t reader Chucklenuts)


marindenver said...

They're just figuring this out? Talk about living in a bubble.

Anonymous said...

According to Zinn, I think, the original Tea Party was our first astroturf movement.

Regular people made their swill from whatever happened to be growing nearby and couldn't care less about tea tax.

The Armey of Dicks was just taking cues from our fatuous founders.

Chucklenuts said...

The article states this:

"Why, in the face of all of this evidence, are so many progressives and pundits convinced that the white working class, rather than affluent and educated conservative elites, are the driving force behind the right? Why do so many American progressives blame the masses for a movement of the classes? The answer is that the American center-left has been misled for half a century by the bad scholarship of the historian Richard Hoftstadter (1916-1970) and by German Marxist emigres of the Frankfurt School."

Here are my issues with the above...but I would love to hear your insight as well.

1. Who on the left thinks the republican party/tea party is not controlled by the wealthy?? Because the pundits repeat the BS about real america?? And it should state above "the driving force behind the Tea Party" not the right.

2. Then the "why do progressives blame the masses for the movement of classes???? WTF?? We do that?? Or do the pundits do that and is the author just not being honest?

3. He should take out the word progressives and leave it with just Pundits where ever he states the two or where ever the word progressive is stated by itself, then, the passage becomes a more honest take on the landscape we are forced to endure

4. The Tea Party has been labeled as the working man's platform by the media, and reason for this has been pontificated here with great style and prose for sometime by you (DG). If there are progressives out there who still actually believe the Tea Party is an offshoot of an electorate fed up with Washington and came out of some isolated movement, then I give up. But it appears (to me) this article is indicating that this is the norm...can I be that out of touch?? Or am I reading this all wrong

Listen, I am glad Salon began to take on the topic and I am especially grateful that your writing/ideas/observations are starting to rub off (even if there is no h/t to you) on those in the "bubble" as a read others (Hi Mr. Pierce!!).

Thanks DG for letting me spout off and thank you for the h/t!!

JerryB said...

The on-line progressive community figured that out right away. Beltway so-called Liberal pundits might have taken a little longer but not the important ones. Who is he talking about?

dinthebeast said...

If he hadn't pulled these "progressives" out of his ass, I'd say let's sign 'em up and set 'em straight about this.
But since he did... Ew. Just ew.

-Doug in Oakland

casimir said...

Agree with Chucklenuts about all of this. Part of being a leftist is being excluded by the establishment media because of the risk that you will insert something that is analytically true or revealing into the mainstream discourse. Part of being excluded by the establishment media is that the establishment media then can create whatever straw leftists will serve its purposes. What Lind says may be true of NPR liberals, but its an abject insult to the analytical left that is the left precisely because it has a grasp of how power is held and exercised in this world.

Wayne Dickson said...

I remember a Laurie Anderson documentary where she quoted a Zen koan she’d heard in Japan: “There’s the thing, and then the name for the thing. And that’s one thing too many.”

Fair enough. But think about “linguistic relativity” theory — “Sapir-Whorf Hyothesis,” “Whorfianism,” or whatever. I’m not a linguist, and I’m not pretending to expertise I don’t really have. But my understanding is that “cognitive mapping” determines or at least powerfully affects perception. The “linguistic relativity” theory is that language affects that mapping.

If you have a word for it, then you’re more likely to perceive it. You have the word “mauve” in your active vocabulary? Then you’re more capable of differentiating that color from its neighbors. For decades people scoffed at Franz Boaz for an off-hand assertion that “Eskimos” had 50 different words to distinguish 50 different types of snow. Turns out Boaz was right.

I have neither need nor desire to distinguish various types of snow. I’ve seen the stuff only 50-60 times in my life. My daughter and son-in-law like to ski, so distinguishing different types of snow means something to them – and they have words for those types.

The question here is whether it’s important to us to distinguish different types of Republicans. If the Chamber of Commerce guy pisses on Rafael Junior, that suggests it might indeed mean something. I can’t help being reminded of the trope about adopting a crocodile as a pet, nurturing it until it grows up, and then having it maim or kill you. I see the Teabaggers as the crocodile in the story, and the Wall Streeters as the ones who nurtured it.

Anonymous said...

What "progressives" are they referring to because I know of no one who ever thought the goobers who claim to be the mouth of the Tea Party were anything but the right wing plutocrat cons. Every since so called activists were bussed in to Washington to make a tea party crowd. Money, financial support always came from the top down to these radicals of idiocracy and their wealthy elected reps in the House.

Anonymous said...

I am the Zen diaper...and so are you...look inside to view all the crap that is my presence...my being. Focusing on breathing one cannot think but remains entirely present. The tea party never breathes and their reality is an illusion or rather a delusion and "grass" roots to them means golf course turf.