One of the few indulgences I allow myself is a monthly trip to the hair salon. I'm no slave to fashion, but I try to keep up basic appearances so as not to frighten the villagers and small children. It's a nice break, a chance to sit back, flip through some useless gossip magazines, and chill out as I wait for the color to permeate my otherwise largely gray hair. There's coffee and fresh-baked coffee cake, and everyone's relaxed and upbeat. The sun is shining after a dreary, rainy morning, and it's a Friday afternoon. It's all good.
This idyllic mood was broken when I noticed the re-appearance of the Teabag Lady. I use the term "lady" with some reservations, because someone harboring this much racism and hatred doesn't seem at all "lady-like". However, "Teabag bitch" seems a little harsh, even if apt.
I first encountered her last summer: a seething cauldron of Tea Party paranoia, and desperation. She's about my age (late 50s', maybe early 60's), her mouth set in a permanent grimace. I doubt that she's cracked a smile since the Bush administration, if ever.
In our first encounter, she was breathlessly recounting the paranoid admonitions of her hero du jour, Glenn Beck, and wondering why in the world people didn't take his warnings more seriously. Couldn't they see what's happening? How our country was being subverted by this Muslim/Kenyan/Socialist/black interloper? It was a call to arms - literally and figuratively. America's fate apparently rested in the hands of the Teabag Lady and other Faux News addicts on her e-mail contact list who were - thank God - attuned to the existential threat posed by Barack Hussein Obama.
Somehow, against all odds, we've survived the intervening 6 months, and America is still in business as a country. In fact, the economy's improving under Obama's steady leadership. Osama bin Laden's dead, along with a number of other bad guys. We've wrapped up the Iraq war debacle and facilitated Libya's revolution without spilling a drop of American blood. However, none of this impresses the Teabag Lady. As far as she's concerned, the Threat Level has been ratcheted up to "flashing red with loud sirens" status.
While I normally try to stick to my own business at the hair salon, when I overheard the words "and he is completely funded by George Soros, the most evil man on the planet", I knew right away: she's baaaack. Follow along below the closed mind for more...
Her latest concern is that Obama (who, by the way, is black) has access to limitless campaign money, and he absolutely must be stopped "this time", because he's out to destroy America. He's going to tax everybody to death, and then he's going to take control over everyone's lives. (I guess he's a pretty powerful guy, this Obama! Who knew?)
Oh, and he has no respect for the Constitution. Like all good wingnuts, the Teabag Lady is very concerned about the Constitution. Jobs, housing, education, health care, infrastructure, energy, the environment, global markets, trade, national security... not so much.
The trouble is, according to the Teabag Lady, the GOP is going to have a really rough time winning this election, in part because Obama has unlimited funding (so unfair!) and he's got no competition on the Democratic side. He also has all the time in the world to carry out his criminal campaign shenanigans. More importantly, the GOP can't seem to field a viable candidate, and they're wasting valuable time bickering among themselves in the midst of this national emergency. Evidently they did not get the memo from Glenn Beck.
She didn't like any of the candidates. Santorum seemed to be the best of the bunch but "he's got seven kids" and he "isn't a problem-solver", and her regard for him was lukewarm at best. Romney's a good problem-solver but he's not a conservative. Gingrich is a Washington insider so he's part of the problem. She didn't mention Ron Paul but I'm sure he'd have been weighed in the balance and found wanting. Still, he's enough of a racist that he should have garnered some street cred.
So what's an despondent wingnut to do?? According to the Teabag Lady, we need a candidate who's "really smart" to dig us out of all the problems that [the also admittedly very smart] Barack Hussein Obama's created. We also need someone strong and decisive, who'll "get rid of all the left-wing czars". She and her stylist (who may simply be humoring this perennially venomous client) amused themselves for a moment cackling about the term "czar" and its communist implications.
The Teabag Lady's black hole of negativity was illuminated with only one glimmer of hope: that "last time", Obama won only because "not enough white people voted". They stayed home, complacent. Surely they won't make that mistake again.
Yes. That's right. It's "white people's" fault. They're so lazy. No work ethic. All they want to do is sit on the couch eating pork rinds and watching reality TV.
Not even the titillating prospect of the McCain-Palin ticket was enough to get them off their asses and out to the polls. I'm sure that the prospect of a Romney/Fill-in-the-Blank ticket will energize these folks to exercise their Constitutional right to vote, and they'll turn out in unprecedented numbers... or not.
Listening to the desperation in the Teabag Lady's voice, I was filled with a mix of schadenfreude, pity, and contempt. I was tempted to say something snarky, if only to her know that there are Obama supporters right here in the hair salon. In the end, I said nothing, just walked out to my car, savoring the warm late afternoon sun on my shoulders, and drove home.
6:08 AM PT: Wow! Thanks to all of you for getting this onto the "Rec" list. I've said it before and I'll say it again: I have the smartest, wittiest, most literate, and best looking commenters on DKos!