Saturday, November 24, 2012

Tea Party Path to Victory: Go After Moderate Republicans in 2014

I say the Tea Partiers should go for it:

The tea-party movement is trying to regroup after taking some licks in this month's elections. Several groups already are setting their sights on 2014 congressional races, in which they plan to promote their preferred candidates and hope to weed out Republicans they consider insufficiently conservative.
Yeah, that's the ticket! You know, if we get enough Tea Partiers as the GOP nominees, as BooMan notes, Democrats may be able to take back the House and keep the Senate.

You know they make ideal opponents, because they have such a fine grasp of reality ... the reality on Planet Bizarro, that is:
Tea-party activist Greg Fettig, a founder of Hoosiers for a Conservative Senate and a backer of Mr. Mourdock, said the main lesson from the loss is that activists need to be sure the campaigns they support are well-run.
If by "well run" he means "not prone to saying insane things that make voters flee them in droves," he might have a point. But that would not describe any known or likely Tea Party candidate.

But of course it can't be them. It can't be that their gravitational pull forced every GOP candidate, including Mitt Romney, into such extreme far-right positions that they couldn't appeal to the broader American electorate. Heavens no. It was the fact that Romney tried to appear sane nonetheless:
In their post mortems of the 2012 election, activists put much of the blame for Mr. Romney's defeat squarely on the candidate.

"If we choose someone who runs a content-free campaign and is left of center, at least within the Republican Party, we will get our butts kicked," said Judson Phillips, founder of Tea Party Nation.
These folks deserve our encouragement.

Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Can We Help the Would-Be Secessionists Pack?

The Tea Party folks -- to no one's great surprise -- are not taking their electoral defeat at the hands of a black man lying down. They're threatening to pack up their soccer ball and take it home.

Of course, where they'll go once they're packed up is an open question. But by God, they are NOT gonna put up living around a bunch of libruls any longer. Matthew Feldman and Leonard Weinberg at TruthOut round up some of the far-right reaction.

It was particularly chortle-inducing to read the reaction in the Seattle Times of Keli Carender, the Seattle woman credited with providing the initial spark for the whole Tea Party shebang back in 2009:
"It's getting harder and harder for me. I was at Trader Joe's, and I was glaring at everyone around me," says Keli Carender, 33, co-organizer of the local group.

Carender's glaring took place at the Trader Joe's in the University District, a neighborhood that, for sure, is a bastion of libs.

"I kept thinking I was surrounded by people who are destroying freedom,"says Carender. "It's starting to make me angry, not wanting to be around these people."
Trust me, honey, no one wants to be around you, either. Especially as you glare psychotically at them for having the audacity to think differently than you and the voices in your head. Most of us, when we encounter folks like you, run the other direction before you can pull out your sniper rifle and begin firing.

But this was especially hilarious to read in Seattle of all places. Hello, Keli: The voters in Washington state had just voted to legalize marijuana and gay marriage both in the same election -- one of the most massive expansions in individual freedom in any election in recent memory.

The only "freedoms" they turned their backs on, as it were, by rejecting Republican rule were the "freedom" to not pay taxes and the "freedom" not to have a non-right-wing president. At least, those seem to be the freedoms that Tea Partiers are most focused upon. (Yes, we know they're extremely paranoid about their gun rights being taken away, based on their readings of vapor trails, as far as we can tell. Indeed, here in Seattle, we'd be delighted -- for obvious reasons -- if the Obama administration actually were to take up the problem of gun proliferation and its attendant violence. But we're not holding our breaths.)

Of course, if Keli really can't stand to be around those steenking libruls, all she really has to do is move across the lake to Bellevue, where Republicans are still mostly dominant. Though that is waning, too, as more and more people figure out that the GOP is controlled by nutbars.

Carender's reaction is fairly typical of the Tea Party crowd in general after the election. Indeed, a number of folks in red states are flocking to see if they can secede from the union.
Even as Americans flock to theaters to see a film about a revered historical figure that reunified the nation after a bloody Civil War, there’s a fresh movement among some political factions to have their states secede from the United States.

In the wake of President Obama’s re-election earlier this month, a flood of petitions has filled the White House’s “We The People” website, seeking federal permission for states to “peacefully” withdraw from the nation and “create [their] own new government.”

Although the petitions are largely a symbolic gesture meant to express some people’s dislike of election results, residents of all 50 states have now filed them. More than 675,000 digital signatures have been collected so far.

Of course, anyone can create a petition on the White House site; under the site’s guidelines, White House staff only will review a petition and issue a response if one garners at least 25,000 signatures.

(For context, other recent petitions have called for nationalizing the production of Twinkies, to ensure their continued existence; and pardoning the Ohio State Buckeyes from “unjust NCAA sanctions” that prevents the team’s “rightful access to a BCS bowl game.”)

Thus far, only secession petitions from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas have reached the 25,000-signature threshold. Not surprisingly, all of those states – except Florida – went for Republican Mitt Romney in the election.
This secession movement has been all the talk at Tea Party sites, though of course official Republican figures are trying to knock it down.

But as for me, I'm with Hunter at DKos:
This notion of conservative secession has its merits. Of course, as "True America" we'd want to attach some constraints to the separatists: no nuclear weapons, get your own damn military, and we'll be carving out territory for you that consists entirely of places close to sea level, so that you can ignore climate change from the best possible vantage point. But this sounds pretty doable, once the logistics get worked out. So what are you going to call yourselves? United Galts of America? New Jesusland? That's great, we'll send you a card.
Especially when you consider that dumping these morons from the union will save us not just headaches, but a buttload of the money with which we Blue staters subsidize them:
This gap between political perception and fiscal reality is also reflected in the distribution of tax dollars at the state level: Most politically "red" states are financially in the red when it comes to how much money they receive from Washington compared with what their residents pay in taxes.
Of course, most of these halfwits believe that their tax dollars actually subsidize the welfare parasites who live in the Blue states, when the reality is that it's the other way around.

FWIW, I just watched Lincoln the other night. And while contemplating the subsequent reality -- that the South effectively overturned all of Lincoln's careful work (not to mention the verdict of the war itself) in the years following, all under the bellicose banner of the Bloody Shirt -- I was struck by the thought that we all might have been better off if we had just let the South go fester in its own moral and economic rot. We might still be.

Because what's clear about these folks, beyond their delusions about a decline in our freedoms, is that they do not believe in democracy. That's clear not just in their threats but in their daily actions and their constant contempt for democratic institutions, not to mention their overwhelmingly clear preference for right-wing authoritarian rule and an oligarchical society. Well, mebbe we should let them have it.

Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.