|Anatomy of a Teapublican|
This country is in trouble if the likes of Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, 999 or Eye of Newt gain access to the oval office.
I can take full credit — or blame — for this analysis. This thoery originated with the mid-term elections no sot long ago. This analysis troubles me for one simple reason: it makes sense.
So here is how it goes. The genteel, pragmatic Republicanism of the past has been supplanted by a pitchforks and torches mentality, a funhouse mirror distortion of traditional conservatism. Meaning, of course, the tea party, tea baggers or teapublicans.
These are the very same folks who don’t just support the death penalty; they cheer for executions. They don’t just oppose health care reform, they shout “Let him die” to the uninsured individual who faces life-threatening illness. They are the true believers: virulently anti-government, anti-Muslim, anti-gay, anti-science, anti-tax, anti-facts and, most of all, anti the coming demographic changes represented by a dark-skinned president with an African name. They are the people who want “their” country back.
The old guard of the GOP doesn’t much like them, but it likes winning so it keeps its mouth shut.
You might think Obama’s re-election would solve this, offering as it would stark repudiation of the politics of panic, paranoia and reactionary extremism this ideology represents. The problem is, these folks thrive on repudiation, on a free-floating conviction that they have been done wrong, cheated and mistreated by the tides of history and progress, change and demography. So there is every reason to believe, particularly given the weakness of the economy, that being repudiated in next year’s election would only make them redouble their intensity, confirming them as it would in their own victimhood.
And ask yourself: what form could that redoubling take? How do you up the ante from this? What is the logical next step after two years of screaming, rocks through windows, threats against legislators and rhetoric that could start a fire?
An awful, obvious answer suggests itself. You reject it instinctively. This is, after all, America is not some unstable fledgling democracy.
Then you realize it was not so long ago that a man blew up a federal building in Oklahoma City out of anti-government sentiment not so different from that espoused by the teapublicans. And you remember how that tragedy exposed an entire network of armed anti-government zealots gathering in the woods. And you read where the Southern Poverty Law Center says the number of radical anti-government groups spiked to 824 in 2010, a 61 percent increase over just the previous year.
And then you wonder.
This is not a prediction, only cogitation — and a suggestion that those of us who have regarded the craziness of recent years as an aberration, a temporary temper tantrum from people who feel threatened and dislocated, may have been entirely too sanguine. In less than 20 years, the locus of radical anti-government extremism has moved from remote woods to Capitol Hill and to Bill Looman's facebook page.
He is a sample of Looman's work:
http://www.facebook.com/bill.looman/posts/2575265668289 (if you want a sign like mine...)
http://www.facebook.com/bill.looman/posts/2575297789092 (westboro baptist church)
http://www.facebook.com/bill.looman/posts/2575200266654 (good morning patriots)
How should the rest of us respond? That’s a question we urgently need to answer. They say they’ve come to take “their” country back.
Maybe it’s time we took them at their word.