Friday, December 3, 2010

Tea Party President Wants to Repeal the 17th Amendment: Of Factions, The Tea Party GOP, and the Jacksonian Mob

So Judson Phillips, the president of the Tea Party Nation, believes that those who do not own land ought not be allowed to vote. Is this the 21st or the 19th century?

I have used a few catch phrases with which to capture my disdain for the Vox Populi and the tea party GOP New Right. I have suggested that "the masses are asses," "stupid people don't know that they are stupid," and that the Right wing populists "hate government but want more government benefits" for themselves. In total, these turns of phrase have been ways of signaling to the long held finding that the American public is largely non-ideological (except in regards to race). Here: they get the big picture more or less. But, the American people are not consistent in their viewpoints. Nor, does the mass public possess a keen and detailed understanding of public policy. Nevertheless, somehow we seem to get it more right than not.

Enter a complication: Let it be transparent that I do sincerely try to give my ideological opposites a fair hearing. To point: Since the election of Barack Obama and the emergent plague that is the birther/Socialist/outside of the tradition of American exceptionalism anti-Obama derangement syndrome, I have found maintaining a fair respect for those on the other side of the political aisle increasingly difficult.

Consider just some of the policies put forth by the Tea Party Republican Party and its representatives:
This week the Tea Party New Right topped themselves when their president suggested that the 17th Amendment should be repealed. Collectively, this is more than a moment where voters and their leadership evidence a lack of expert knowledge on issues of public concern. No, this is stupid put on blast.

Doubly problematic, there is a deep irony at work here that titillates the senses and provokes the mind (how can you not love that Oscar Wilde wordplay? Is it not like wiping your behind with silk?).

The tea baggers worship and fetishize the past. The colonial era of the founding is the tea baggers' political ecstasy, where instead of engaging in group hugs, cuddle parties, and rubbing off the tips of their fingers on concrete or laying prostrate in showers while they orgasm time and time again as their neurons fire uncontrollably, the Tea Party instead chooses to wear Tricorner hats and recite misunderstood passages from Jefferson, Adams, John Jay, and Washington.

How funny that the Tea Party brigands are the very groups that Madison warned us against in The Federalist Papers where: "By a faction, I understand a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or a minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adversed to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community."

Hysterical too, that by extension the Tea Party and its leaders call for repealing such laws that ban literacy tests, provide for the direct election of Senators, and remove the property clause for voting that ushered in the all white male franchise. In total, the Tea Party GOP is the Jacksonian mob--all the while this same group supports a return to the very policies that were designed to restrain the excesses of people like them at the time of the founding.

The entitled white working and middle classes are the base of the Tea Party GOP. Fate is not without a sense of humor as this same group of people pursue laws that in spirit could write them out of the polity.

I am always weary of simple, one variable explanations for complex social and political phenomena. But given the data points available, one compelling explanation for the "cut off our nose to spite our face" politics that are intoxicating for the AstroTurf New Right is the following--race still matters.

The detritus of the not aptly named "Greatest Generation" (those same returning veterans which perpetuated Jim Crow segregation and racial violence) that is the New Right, want to turn back the clock in the service of their nostalgic Leave it Beaver Dreams. But, their views on public policy remain profoundly inconsistent...unless one looks at the bigger picture.

Balance the budget, but do not cut our benefits. Keep the goodies for "us" but certainly cut those same benefits for "them." These are the freedom dreams of the herrenvolk masses--the chosen people where the State works for people like us, coloured like me, and who share my beliefs. But the State had best not serve those people over there, because they are "liberals," "immigrants," "gays," "minorities," or somehow "unamerican." These Tea Party AstroTurf patriots pursue policies that are against their immediate and long term economic interests because they sincerely believe that one day they too will be part of the (supposed) meritocratic elite.

History's echoes are indeed deep: The philosophical and political ancestors of the Tea Party GOP are the same secessionist ilk that ran head-forth into the canister rounds of Union guns at hallowed ground battlefields such as Gettysburg. One hundred plus years later, how much things change and yet remain the same...all in the pursuit of the inestimable psychic wages of whiteness.


Big Man said...

Just because it's a simple explanation doesn't mean it isn't astute.

It's obvious what the driving force behind the movmeent is, and it's actually stupid to try to find other explanations for the obvious.

Oh Crap said...

"Balance the budget, but do not cut our benefits. Keep the goodies for "us" but certainly cut those same benefits for "them." These are the freedom dreams of the herrenvolk masses--"

I been writing a lot about this v-v the tea party.

They're small government except when it means government gets to repress anyone not like them. They think they are being oppressed because their precious tax dollars are no longer going to hold others back via state-forced segregation so they can thrive.

White conservatives are national socialists. There's no better description of them.

chaunceydevega said...

@Big man--always so reasonable. You are gonna hurt folks' feelings with that you know!

@Ohcrap--again, be nice. white tea baggers are very sensitive. Be respectful!