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It took me until I was actually walking through the people gathered for a tea party event to realize that I've seen all this before. Walking around the knots of people and reading the mismatched signs, the groups I saw -- disaffected teens who were too timid to be actual skinheads but who had been working on their defiant scowl, elderly couples waving American flags who had a vague sense that the country had run off and left them, flat out weirdos with braided beards and muttonchops who looked as if they were dressed in the discards from an Army thrift store -- it all seemed eerily familiar.

And it was.  It was 1992.  All that was missing was a big eared guy and some flip charts.

This wasn't a tax protest or a conservative movement, it was the semi-regular Gathering of the Disaffected. Were they following a script first proposed by Rick Santelli with edits by Glenn Beck? Mostly. Were they shouting slogans from the Constitution Party? Yes. With a sprinkling of talking points for the Chamber of Commerce. They read any script put in front of them, cheered every speaker to take the stage. They swallowed up Campaign for Liberty and the John Birch Society with equal relish. Anyone who told them that The World is Not Right, Damn It and You're Not Getting A Fair Shake was welcome.

They were willing to believe that Obama had just passed the largest tax increase in history. That the president had put the nation at risk of attack. That he had managed to put the economy in a tailspin months ahead of taking office.

On the other hand, if you tried to tell them that they'd just been the recipients of the biggest tax cut in history, or reminded them of the successful conclusion to the drama off the African coast, you'd have been hustled off the stage. After all, Obama is the real pirate -- there were a number of signs that said so. Inform them that they were simply on the losing side of an election won by the most lop-sided margin in a decade, and you might have gotten a very close look at some of those hand-lettered signs. That wasn't why they were there. They didn't want to believe that the country is sound and that democracy works. They're upset, and they want nothing more than to believe everyone else is upset, too. The GOP sees that as a win. They shouldn't.

Yes, the idea that this was a bipartisan affair is about as funny as an evening at the Improv with Neil Cavuto. For every Republican name that made it onto a hate sign, there were a hundred insults for Harry Reid, two hundred for Nancy Pelosi, and five hundred for President Obama. Make no mistake about it: the folks who milled about aimlessly at their various locations across America hates them some liberals.

That doesn't mean they'll do one lick of good for the GOP.

If Republicans are thinking these are the guys who are going to be manning their phone banks in 2010, the ones who are going to be knocking on doors, or coughing up checks for the RNC -- they better think again. These folks are gone. They've left the reservation -- a lot of them left it back in 1992 -- and they're not going to come back.  

This was a Ron Paul crowd. This was a Constitution Party crowd. This was a third party all the way crowd. Campaign for Liberty wasn't just helping out with the show -- this was their show, and any GOP candidate who thought guys waving "Pelosi Sux" signs were an automatic win, missed the zeitgeist of this group by a Bob Barr Country mile.

In the crowd I mingled with, there were a lot of guys either wearing or carrying signs saying "look out, I'm one of those dangerous extremists!" It was meant as a joke -- but it hits very close to the bone. These folks are certainly extremist, you only have to look at the polls to see that, and they are dangerous, though only the tiniest fraction of one percent are dangerous in the sense of being the kind of fruit loop who uses a bomb or gun to get their way. No, these folks are potentially dangerous in the same way as those folks back in 1992.

In the 1992 race, Rose Perot took 18% of the vote, but that was after Perot had withdrawn from the race, then reentered, revealing himself as more than a little flaky. Just prior to that early exit, Perot had actually been been ahead in national polls at 39%, while Bush followed at 31% and Clinton trailed the pack at 25%. The mantra of the Clinton campaign, "it's the economy, stupid," was already the theme of the Perot campaign. Had Ross Perot not publicly indulged in fantasies about his daughter's wedding and picked a vice-presidential nominee who was the most unthinkable candidate imaginable pre-Sarah Palin, he might well have won.

Like the folks who backed Perot, the baggies are not Republicans. The signs there were a mixture of libertarian and populist, corporatist and anarchist, simply unhappy and deeply disturbed. Taxes were far from the only concern -- they weren't even the primary concern. They were simply upset, and momentarily excited to share that unhappiness with others, even if those others didn't care one whit about the cause of their unhappiness.

What started on April 15th might actually be the beginning of a movement. And just because third parties haven't be successful in the last 150 years is no guarantee that they'll continue to be unsuccessful for the next 150, or even the next five. One of these days, candidates with letters other then (D) and (R) after their names will take their seats in Congress. One of these days we'll have a president from some party you've never heard of.

That said, there's little reason to think what we saw last week was the start of such a movement. One thing that people rarely remember now that Perot has been reduced to a quick imitation that includes "opening up the hood" and a few pie charts is -- he was good. He was a natural on stage who, according to the polls, bested both Bush and Clinton in the first debate. His spiel wasn't just a populist mix of budget numbers and term limits. Though his solutions tended to generalities, he was willing to grab all the "third rails" all at once, including talking about revising the Constitution.

Keep in mind our Constitution predates the Industrial Revolution. Our founders did not know about electricity, the train, telephones, radio, television, automobiles, airplanes, rockets, nuclear weapons, satellites, or space exploration. There's a lot they didn't know about. It would be interesting to see what kind of document they'd draft today. Just keeping it frozen in time won't hack it.

There are two big problems for the baggies (and the lobbyists who put together the tax day events) if they hope to match what Perot did in 1992. If they want to turn a one time outing into a political movement, they need acceptable, inspiring leadership. Ron Paul is not that guy. Neither is Bob Barr or Rick Perry.

They also need a coherent message. One that's not a mix of "I'm paying too much tax," "cap and trade is evil," "secession is legal," and "Obama is a fascist/socialist/communist wussy."

With no strong leader and no consistent message, the baggies won't have to worry about their numbers in 2012. They'll still be sitting at home, and still be convinced something is wrong -- even if they can't quite put their finger on what it is.

Then sooner or later someone will draw the same crowd to gather for some new cause. Sure as frak, this will all happen again.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 08:02 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I say replace Tom Friedman in NY TImes with... (32+ / 0-)

    a weekly column by Devilstower! I will even subscribe to the print edition for that!!

    Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

    by Suvro on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 08:08:10 AM PDT

    •  print edition (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Can anyone confirm the rumor that the NYTimes is going Kindle?

      •  Awesome short editorial on modern finance (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        melvynny, physicsmom

        One of the best I have read in some time. We Try Harder (but What’s the Point?)

        -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)!

        by dopper0189 on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 08:23:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  These People Might volunteer for the GOP, if... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bleeding blue, Sleepwalkr

          If Republicans are thinking these are the guys who are going to be manning their phone banks in 2010, the ones who are going to be knocking on doors, or coughing up checks for the RNC -- they better think again. These folks are gone.

          I went to the Tea parties too, and I was told again and again "just wait for the next election"  I think a lot of the T baggers do plan to volunteer if, and this is a big if, the Republicans put a Ron Paul type on the ticket.

          Its true that these type of people are not automatically Republicans, but if the R's court them just right, then they can get them to vote Republican.

          If the Republicans take them for granted and spend all their time trying to court religious conservatives, then these people could well split off into a third party.

          This situation does deserve monitoring though.  I would not dismiss out of hand the idea that these protesters will affect the next election. there is some threat that the Republicans may activate an army of volunteers, which would be bad for the next election.  

          The Ron Paul supporters are still a small army of angry donors and volunteers, I think the Tea Parties were mostly about the Republicans trying to get control of them.

          It's crazy NOT to complain to the Dems when they surrender. Why are we on this site, if not to influence policy? (202-456-1111 White House)

          by WanderMan on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 09:54:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Check this out. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            The Ron Paul supporters are still a small army of angry donors and volunteers, I think the Tea Parties were mostly about the Republicans trying to get control of them.

            I think this video shows that the Republicans weren't very successful.

            The people in the crowd knew that Barrett voted for the banker bailout so they booed him off the stage.

            Republicans/Democrats Same Shit, Different Piles

            by wingnuttroll on Mon Apr 20, 2009 at 12:34:59 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks for the link (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          to the NYT editorial.  Very well done example of how the finance system perverts (subverts?) the value of corporations.  When did it become not enough to provide service and value for money?  I usually blame the dot com boom, but clearly the Avis example shows it predates the tech sector by decades.

      •  O.K., I'll subscribe. Today. Now. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Take "The Weekender" subscription for a year.

        God and Country -- indeed, folks.

        I pay a donation/fee to dkos. Why not da Times ???

        Droogie is as Droogie does....

        by vets74 on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 08:27:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The NYT has gone Kindle. Confirmed. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        melvynny, ItsSimpleSimon

        $13.99 a month, including free delivery by whispernet.

        Ignorance isn't exactly bliss but some things are better known when they are unknown to start with and pieced together on the way. - WineRev

        by Clem Yeobright on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 08:42:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  May I make a little plea for a cause (8+ / 0-)

        I joined on Facebook?

        MAKE A NEWSPAPER YOUR HOMEPAGE.  Your clicks can do good.

        Why should your clicks go to Google or some other new-media behemoth when, with a few clicks of your mouse, you can set your browsers to open on the homepage of the newspaper of your choice.

        If everyone in America who likes to read news drawn from newspaper (on portals like AOL, Google News, Yahoo, etc) had their homepages pointed to the source newspapers, that would mean many thousands in ad revenues that might actually help save a newspaper reporter's job.

        I am really enjoying my stimulus package.

        by Kevvboy on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 08:44:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I applaud the sentiment, but . . . (0+ / 0-)

          I hit the Seattle Post-Intelligencer home page daily for years and it didn't save them. They have gone web-only, but as a shadow of their former selves and with a bunch of the content I liked either gone or replaced by reprints from other Hearst properties (e.g. Marie Claire).

          I still hit the site at least once a day but it's not the same any more.

          They only call it class warfare when we fight back.

          by Omir the Storyteller on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 06:00:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Has been available on Kindle (4+ / 0-)

        It has been available on Kindle for quite a while. It is how I can read the day's current NYT before rolling out of bed each morning here in Kansas. Best purchase I have EVER made, not only for the newspapers and magazines (Time, Newsweek, The Nation, etc) but also because I can adjust the font size for these old eyes.

      •  Weird (3+ / 0-)

        I was just thinking about that not two minutes ago.  The newspapers should have banded together, subsidized some sort of kindle-like device with wi-fi access that they would sell for a low price, at cost or even at a small loss, then charge subscription fees.  The device would auto-download your subscriptions whenever it had wi-fi access.  But i'm afraid the newspapers may have missed the boat.  It looks as if they are going the way of the proverbial do-do.  

        "When Fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." - Sinclair Lewis

        by Dedalus2k on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 09:19:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I believe this is a win-win situation (20+ / 0-)

    for Democrats.  Many of these people, as you point out, blame Republicans as much as Democrats for "taxing them to death" and "taking away their freedom."  Many of them have abandoned the GOP and may convince their neighbors to so so as well.

    But the GOP's efforts to orchestrate or co-opt this "movement" have given it a partisan brand and teh stoopid is reflecting back onto the elephants, further weakening their brand.

    I'm satisfied with the week.

    Finally, new songs up at da web site! Also. . . grumble grumble mutter mutter

    by Crashing Vor on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 08:09:09 AM PDT

    •  Don't lose sight of the 'other' Republicans... (4+ / 0-)

      Look for a group of more moderate Republicans to emerge over the next several months.  Let's call it the intelligent wing.

      Look for them to develop a 2, 4, 6 and 8 year plans to reestablish the party as a major player.

      I expect their plans to be along the lines of crafting a message that will appeal to the center right and much of the center.  Probably a message of fiscal responsibility, security and, gosh darn, just good middle American values.   And that value position will be largely race- and sexual orientation-free.

      I think the Delays and Roves will be tossed aside.  

      Look at Meghan McCain's speech to the Log Cabin Republicans.  As she says, the old guys are probably scared shitless because they are starting to realize that there is no role for them in the upcoming rebirth.

      And when it comes election time, all these chronically angry folks will either vote for the New Republican Party or stay at home.  Extremely unlikely they will turn up and vote Democratic.

      Might be best if we were to spend less time on the baggers and more time on delivering the goods now that we have the power.

      That, and making sure our noses - the noses of Democratic office holders - are as clean as possible.

      15 to 6. Pulled ahead as soon as the gate opened and never looked back....

      by BobTrips on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 10:32:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think the time for that to work.... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        In her own Voice

        has passed.

        Look.....there is a relative universe of folks with GOP leanings and you can cut that swath across an area running from Nelson Rockefeller and Jacob Javits (and even Christie Todd Whitman) to Rush Limbaugh, James Dobson and Tom DeLay.

        The hard right wing of the party still maintains control.  It is where the money flows in and the zealots hold sway.  The think tanks, the foundation, the still comes from the Kochs, Freedom's Watches, Scaifes, Heritage Institutes, etc.

        Let's suppose there is a cadre of moderate Republicans.....I know there are some out there, but if they were going to coalesce and form a concerted effort to retake the party, they have two problems:

        1- if the party is divided between whack job and moderate, neither wing has enough numbers to win elections.  The Whack jobs have been a source of money and organization, but their ideas (if they had any) are discredited.  The moderates have lots of thoughts on how to appeal to the traditional middle (that land beloved by David Broder) but they haven't got (at least right now) the same kinds of money and organization the nut jobs do and if they try and get organized, they will face virulent hatred, charges that they hate America and threats of all sorts.

        2- To get enough voters to win an election, they have to appeal to moderate independents and yet more and more of those have been swinging over to the Democratic side in terms of their voting.  (Look at the GOP absentee ballot numbers in NY 20 Tedisco/Murphy which have gone for Murphy and not the GOP candidate -- that is disaffection)  Sure, many of them tend to be more in the Blue Dog or Yellow Dog range of political opinion as Democrats, but at the same time, they have departed the GOP and there isn't much of anything they see right now that would lure them back.  Some might go back to an effective moderate GOP wing, but not all of them I suspect, and surely not enough to allow the creation of a new moderate GOP majority right now.

        Historically we have gone through long cycles in America of moving from left to right and back again in reaction to historic and economic influences and the appeal of ideas and politicians at the time, and undoubtedly we will do so again eventually.

        But right now, I don't see any near-to-mid-term circumstances which give the present Republican Party any reason for optimism.  Their ideology has been proven disastrous, you can't name me a potential Presidential candidate which appears to have a ghost of a chance right now, and their prospects for the mid-terms, overall are grim with a viable possibility that they may even lose their final remaining power of filibuster threats in the Senate.  They are isolated geographically, and ideologically.

        They are a party divided and increasingly neither wing trusts or will support the other.  Not a pretty picture....for them, but just fine with me.

        Free markets would be a great idea, if markets were actually free.

        by dweb8231 on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 03:01:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Try to be more creative... (0+ / 0-)

          Two year plan - don't help the really awful Republicans get reelected.  Put all available resources into campaigns of people who can be attractive to the middle in years to come.  Even if the 2010 people aren't likely to win, create some name recognition.

          The near term goal is to 'retire' the old guard.  Kick the Gingrich generation to the curb.

          Four year plan - depending on how things are going, repeat.  Try to start building numbers in Congress and give promising young candidates some experience in large scale campaigns.

          Six year plan - if things are going well, work to regain as many seats as possible and get the 2014 presidential possibilities in front of the public.

          Eight year plan - especially if Obama has not finished strong, mount a full on campaign for the White House.  If chances don't look good then use the campaign to give the 2018 candidates some seasoning.

          Remember, the goal is to carve a new 51% majority be reaching into the slightly left side of the center.  Set the target cutoff left of center.

          The baggers will either add to the victory or stay at home.  

          Also remember that the Republican Party has disregarded the most racist.  Powell, Rice, Steele, Jindal, ....  

          It ain't their daddy's party.

          15 to 6. Pulled ahead as soon as the gate opened and never looked back....

          by BobTrips on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 04:40:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It won't make one helluva lot of difference (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Faeya Wingmother

            whether "new" Republicans, "old" Republicans or "old" or "new" Democrats are elected as long as Corporations have the money to buy whoever is elected.  Agribusiness has bought Democratic Congress members just last month; Wall Street will always have enough money to buy whomever they need, and defense contractors have facilities (employing tens of thousands of workers) in every state and still spend millions on lobbyists.

            Corporations' political rights have to be taken away including their right to "petition their government for a redress of greivences."

            Attention states that are passing Sovereignty Acts - the 10th Amendment doesn't mention corporations.

            "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

            by SueDe on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 08:19:18 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  I don't know about that. (4+ / 0-)

      The hypocrisy of most of these people who attended is clear: many still support Republicans - the one clear meme is that almost everyone who attended was against Democrats.

      The damage would become more readily if the extreme rhetoric of violence and racism are tied directly to Republicans.

      Unlike McCain/Palin rallies, these cannot be tied directly to the Republican Party. I agree it tends to weaken the brand, but I'm not sure how sustainable that impression is.

    •  Clear signs of disaffection.... (0+ / 0-)

      can be seen in the absentee ballot counts in the recent Murphy/Tedisco NY 20 Congressional election.

      It seems increasingly clear that when all the absentees are counted, Murphy (D) will be the outright winner in a district which normally has a +12 Republican margin.  

      The real eye opener in the results of absentee counts so far is that while the number of registered GOP voters returning absentees is significantly higher than Democrats (no surprise in a normally GOP district), the count is showing that they and independents are giving more votes than would normally be expected, to the democratic side.  In other words...they are defecting.  They have bailed, they are gone, they are disgusted, they see a party which no longer reflects their interests, has no program but anger and opposition, which believes strictly in ideological, religious and anti-scientific slogans and which, bottom line, doesn't have a budget with any numbers or a platform with any planks.

      Keep it up Republicans....we love what you're doing with the place.

      Free markets would be a great idea, if markets were actually free.

      by dweb8231 on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 02:46:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Lindsay Graham summarizes the Idiocy! (27+ / 0-)

    Lindsay Graham concludes his comments on Fox News Sunday, saying that President Obama triples the federal debt in 8 years.  Graham should compare the fact that his darling W Bush came in with a budget surplus, scheduled to retire the federal debt, took two wars off budget, enriched all of his friends, and retired - leaving the United States facing a financial disaster unseen since the Great Depression.

    Now that's a comparison we should emphasize.  President Obama is simply trying to restore some form of financial discipline and sanity.

    •  Lindsay Graham is a smarmy suck-up (6+ / 0-)

      Graham is perhaps the most predictable talking head in Congress.  Point him to a mike and he is in full spittle-spewing mode.  Never mind that there is little content or logic, Graham will be out there slinging those adjectives and verbs with the best of them.

      Only thing is, not much of it makes any sense.

      But let's not get all negative here!  Who cares?  Moving one's lips is a sufficient skill to permit one to serve as a US Senator, right?  If you can talk, you can serve.  Faaagh.  Graham is the Eddie Haskell of the Senate.

      •  More like the Smithers of the Senate. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bythesea, Munchkn

        Although not responsible for him or Jim Demint being there, I apologize for my state.

      •  Ew! Eddie Haskell had more charm (even if it was (0+ / 0-)


        I think we libs/Dems/Progressives/Independents always scratch our heads when we hear the Republicans wretching up outright lies and fabrications and think they are either complete idiots or have lost their minds altogether. While that may be true - a look at who shows up at those tea parties tells you who the Republicans are talking to.

        The Republicans are speaking to the so-called "Americans" (with a traitorous streak) - who are immune to education and new ideas, stuck in ideas, prejudiced and dominated by fear and with NO IDEA what the Boston tea party really was about - and basically tells them what they want to hear.

    •  SC Tea Parties were anti-Graham (5+ / 0-)

      The tea party I dropped by while I was out of town was in South Carolina.  The speakers were wildly anti-Graham because he voted for TARP and voted for the Bush budgets.  It was an interesting twist.

    •  Financial discipline? Oh please.. spare me.. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Obama is spending on everything he can get his hads on.. This is throwing shit at the wall and hoping.. just hoping.. it will stick.

      Yes.. we should remind people what Bush did.. But Obama takes spending to a whole new dimension.

      So spare me the financial discipline BS.

      "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

      by Skeptical Bastard on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 09:49:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Try cutting the pile... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        In her own Voice, Sleepwalkr

        Put that "everything he can get his hands on" into three stacks.

        1. What is being spent/loaned to avoid a total economic meltdown.  

        Obama was given two choices, pump a lot of money into the very damaged economy or take a significant risk of a world-wide Great Depression.

        1. What is being spent on the Iraq War that was not being reported by the Bush administration.

        Remember that there were (at least) two budgets during Bush's years, the official one and the "boy plays war" one.

        3)The budget for everything else.

        I'll bet you'll find the financial discipline you seek in that budget.

        15 to 6. Pulled ahead as soon as the gate opened and never looked back....

        by BobTrips on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 10:43:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Have a solution, or do you just whine? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        •  Yeah. Let the banks fail (0+ / 0-)

          because the "bailouts" haven't done a helluva lot of good except allow the fat cats to keep their multi-million dollar homes.  The laws on the books mandated the regulators do exactly that.  They did nothing.

          That's #1.

          #2 - Tighten the federal budget.  Extra spending should only be for infrastructure projects.  And yes, this means holding off on massive spending programs like health care.  That will have to be done on the cheap.

          #3 - Tax credits for new businesses started in, but not limited to, targeted industries like green energy.  People are sitting on investment money right now.  They do not  want to put it back into the stock market.  Let's make it easier to start new businesses and allow that money to work for our economy instead of sitting in money market accounts.  This will invite foreign investment as well and people will get back to work on real long-term jobs rather than make work projects.

          #4 - Tax credit incentives for buying a new American made car, in the neighborhood of $3,000 - 4,000... more on higher fuel efficiency cars.  Only do this if the cars companies agree to greatly accelerated CAFE standards over the next 5 years.  In other words, we (the govt) will help them sell off their gas guzzlers now (and save their asses in the interim), but only in exchange for them moving all product lines to more fuel efficient ones.

          "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

          by Skeptical Bastard on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 02:09:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Points 2 and 3 are total BS (0+ / 0-)

            So to you, deficits are so important that guaranteeing health care for all should be left out? What kind of value system is this? So in your opinion, if our deficit were big enough should we also get rid of the fire department?

            With regard to tax cuts for businesses: been there, done that. That approach has failed miserably in improving the condition of the vast majority of Americans, instead enriching just a few. The problem is that people are NOT "sitting on investment money" right now. The wellspring of money has dried up due to a lack of DEMAND, and the only institution that has enough money to stimulate DEMAND through investment is the government. Besides, the last time we tried out "work projects" on a massive scale, the unemployment rate dropped from 25% to 10% in 4 years, and furthermore led to sustained economic prosperity in 13 years that would last for decades to come.

            If you want to spread right-wing views, this is not the place for you. I would like to suggest a website that would suit you:


          •  Good points and bad points. (0+ / 0-)
            1.  Set up another RTC-type structure for the really problematic banks, break them up and restructure them.  Reinstitute Glass-Steagall to break apart commercial and investment banks and keep insurance companies from creating financial services entities.
            1.  Pass health care reform asap and bring down the overall cost of health care, at the same time decoupling it from employers - otherwise #3 is dead in the water.
            1.  Give long-term tax credits (10 years or more, rather than iffy two-year extensions) ONLY to green industries.
            1.  Pray to your favorite Omnipotent Being that we can get out of our current wars without being convinced we need to get into any others.

            "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

            by SueDe on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 08:38:11 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  By the numbers (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:


      •  Ok - Obama has good intentions for the country. (0+ / 0-)

        Bush had intentions for his crony friends, corporations and his overlord Dick Cheney.

        Don't even try to compare Obama and Bush. Obama is this nations best hope right now.

        And Bush? Bush is and will always be a incompetent thug.

  •  Ross Perot also had the funds for his campaign. (11+ / 0-)

    The person that most closely ressembles this mold of a candidate is Mitt Romney.  And he has one huge negative that he may be able to overcome within the next 4 years and that is his Mormanism.  The next would be perhaps his personal wealth.

    Nonetheless, were he to start now following Perot and Reagan strategies, he could be a formidable opponent in '12.

    ..most profound moments of my life...the last few -- And, for Global COOLING, if it's man-made and doesn't move, paint it WHITE!

    by tristan57 on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 08:10:44 AM PDT

  •  Fascism Overlaps With Conspiracy Theories (13+ / 0-)
    Remember, Hitler was claiming to protect the Germans from the genocidal Jews.

    And any time there is a movement based on conspiracy buffs (like the nirthers or 9-11 crowd), you're going to see an overlap with white supremacists.

  •  Leadership......message......coherence...... (5+ / 0-)

    ...the 'movement' is definitely lacking.

  •  "One of these days we'll have a president... (5+ / 0-)

    ...from some party you've never heard of."

    It will differ only in name. An electorally successful third party is a virtual impossibility. That's not to say the issues around which a third party coalesces will never achieve salience.

    Unlike Europe, where you fight the election, build the coalition and govern, we build the coalition, fight the election, and govern.

    Any third party big enough to win would alread have been absorbed -- co-opted, more likely -- by one of the existing parties because they were unable to succeed without adding the new faction's votes to their coalition.

    "The country we carry in our hearts is waiting." Bruce Springsteen

    by Davis X Machina on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 08:14:34 AM PDT

    •  Why is that? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WestWind, newfie53523, lightfoot

      It seems to be true that
      Unlike Europe, where you fight the election, build the coalition and govern, we build the coalition, fight the election, and govern.

      What about our system causes the process to run in the opposite direction from the European parlimentary democracies?  Is it the winner-take-all race for the White House, with four year terms no matter how little support the President has in the legislative branch?

      We're all pretty strange one way or another; some of us just hide it better. "Normal" is a dryer setting.

      by david78209 on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 08:22:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Vote of Confidence (8+ / 0-)

        Parliamentarian systems have the concept of "Vote Of Confidence."  If we had such a system, I think GWB would have had a vote of no-confidence after Katrina and his government would have fallen.

        The only courage that matters is the kind that gets you from one moment to the next. --Mignon McLaughlin

        by WestWind on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 08:25:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Winner-take-all at all levels (7+ / 0-)

        The U.S. is one of a handful of countries that still operate on the winner-take-all (or first-past-the-post) system at the federal and state level.

        There are also serious barriers to entry for third parties, including ballot-access laws that force those parties to concentrate on the top of the ticket (president or statewide office), which makes it very difficult to grow from the grass-roots level upward.

        The only semblance of an exception to this policy is the Democratic Party's delegate-selection process, which awards delegates to candidates who get 15 percent of the vote.

        "Whenever I can, I always watch the Detroit Tigers on the radio."--President Gerald Ford.

        by Dump Terry McAuliffe on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 08:32:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Even when we practice nation building... (10+ / 0-)

          I find it interesting that we rarely model any of the states that we have a hand in creating after our own system.

          •  I'll take this opportunity to commend (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            david78209, Munchkn

            your essay writing skills. It ain't for nothing that you are a front pager. Many thought provoking insights contained up there. Keep them coming, sport.

            "Words ought to be a little wild for they are the assault of thought on the unthinking." - J M Keynes

            by Fuzzy Dais on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 08:53:35 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Devilstower - FOX has been promoting John Birch (4+ / 0-)

            stuff - albeit, I am not sure they know what they've been doing.  I have only seen it referenced a couple of times on the internets, too.  Glenn Beck is behind it. Crooks and Liars in Flying under the Radar with the John Birch Society had a great post the other day about it.  I think we on the internets are probably going to have to be the ones that need to air this more, since the MSM, as usual, seems to be totally missing it.  

            That 912 project Beck's been weeping about flogging? I've been reading his site and a number of message boards - he has a reading list, and top of the charts is this: The 5000 Year Leap, a book written by a supporter of the John Birch Society, W. Cleon Skousen, like Beck, a Mormom.  Interesting - the Christian Fundamentalists are rather wary of Mormonism.

            There are also some books that offer a look at "The REAL" George Washington, Thomas Jefferson etc. As you can imagine, they seem to highlight only what the authors want you to know.

            I haven't had a chance to read any of these yet, but the people on the Beck message boards are eating this stuff up.

            I think FOX is fomenting an upheaval, but I do not think the GOP will be happy with it - the boards are full of talk of the need to start a new party, very anti-politician, anti-Washington, anti-liberal/progressive (there is a book about the evils of everything progressive on the list too, btw)...I was wondering where Beck was getting his bizarre ideas....starting with the Beckian reading list gives us a good idea.

            He does describe himself as "a libertarian".  As long as he is anti-Obama, anti-Liberal, it seems OK with FOX....but I am not sure the GOP is going to like what Beck is stirring up. It's like they've happily stirred up a hornets nest without realizing they are the guys that stand to get stung the most in the end.

        •  Winner take all is not necessarily a bad thing (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          david78209, Naniboujou, Wisewood

          The U.S. is one of a handful of countries that still operate on the winner-take-all (or first-past-the-post) system at the federal and state level.

          There are disadvantages to the parliamentary system that tend not to get talked about in conversations like this.

          Multiple small parties can lead to a situation where a minority candidate with a very active constituency becomes the head of state. When that happens, often the winner just can't govern, leading to paralysis.

          Examples might include places like Italy or Israel. Even Canada over the last couple of years is suffering under this, where Harper's conservative government remains in power even though it won only a minority of the votes and ridings, because the opposition is divided into multiple competing parties. (Yes, the recent attempt at creating a grand coalition may yet work, but it hasn't so far.)

          And occasionally, we've seen even more dramatic examples where the minority exerts shall we say "extralegal" force, leading to dictatorship. Not to be overly dramatic but an opposition fractured into multiple parties is also how Hitler rose to power. Just sayin'.

          Agreed, winner take all has its problems. But so does everything else.

          •  The Coalition is dead. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            david78209, some other george

            Even Canada over the last couple of years is suffering under this, where Harper's conservative government remains in power even though it won only a minority of the votes and ridings, because the opposition is divided into multiple competing parties. (Yes, the recent attempt at creating a grand coalition may yet work, but it hasn't so far.)

            The Coalition between the NDP and Liberals was abandoned after Harper adjusted his "economic update" to include some stimulus money.  It was too little, too late, but it was enough to persuade the skittish Liberals to prop up the Conservative government.

            That was probably the point.  A number of people - myself included - did predict that Harper was likely to construct an economic plan that would split the coalition partners and cause further animosity between the two parties.  It was one case where I hated being right.  

            Now that it's all happened, the NDP uses its time and scarce resources gunning for the Liberals and their leader, Ignatieff, rather than going after Harper and the Conservatives - who are the real menace.  If there's any lesson to be learned, it's maybe that Conservatives -- right down to the rank-and-file members -- were pretty much driven to hysterics at the idea of the NDP and Liberals working together.  I think that speaks to the potential of working together....

            ... Where is Baldwin?
            ... Où est Lafontaine?

            by Wisewood on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 02:25:15 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  It depends how you define success (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      If you can only be successful by winning the presidency, then you're probably right.  But if you're talking about local success, then you're dead wrong.  Just look at the Vermont Progresive Party - they're the most successful third party in the country right now but they're limited to Vermont.  They've got mayors, state legislators, a Senator (kind of in Bernie Sanders, even though he's not officially affiliated).

  •  Well before long the videos (18+ / 0-)

    of Republicans getting booed off the stage by Republicans will never go out of style:

    Live by Rush and Hannity? Die by Rush and Hannity.

    CNN's Kiran Chetry uses the term "pro-abortion" to describe pro-choice. 3-31-2009

    by plok on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 08:14:47 AM PDT

  •  "This has all happened before ... (9+ / 0-)

    ... it will all happen again."

    So say we all!

    Isn't it nice to have a SMART President?

    by ibonewits on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 08:15:20 AM PDT

  •  I think the GOP fantasy is to turn the (10+ / 0-)

    disaffected crowd into a "throw the bums out" crowd and come back in 2010 the way the GOP had their 1994 revolution following the 1992 election with Ross Perot.  They don't have a coherent galvanizing message or leadership this time.  And the democrats haven't been running the House for decades so they aren't prime targets for the 'throw the bums out that got us into this mess' shtick.  2006 and 2008 were 'throw the bums out' elections for independents.  Most independents are now in 'wait and see' mode, which is why they were turned off by the fringe tea party crowds they watched on TV.  

    I like Michelle more than Barack.

    by duha on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 08:15:47 AM PDT

  •  I associated with this quote from the diary: (4+ / 0-)

    It took me until I was actually walking through the people gathered for a tea party event to realize that I've seen all this before. Walking around the knots of people and reading the mismatched signs, the groups I saw -- disaffected teens who were too timid to be actual skinheads but who had been working on their defiant scowl, elderly couples waving American flags who had a vague sense that the country had run off and left them, flat out weirdos with braided beards and muttonchops who looked as if they were dressed in the discards from an Army thrift store -- it all seemed eerily familiar.

    So I was right, I did remember seeing news reports of these types of protests in my youth.  I was only 10 in 1992 but I KNEW I've seen lame protests like these before.

    It just all seemed too familar

    GOP supported their standard bearer and all they got was this lousy minority status.

    by AfroPonix on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 08:16:05 AM PDT

  •  Maybe Perot wasn't indulging in fantasies? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WestWind, Eddie L

    Had Ross Perot not publicly indulged in fantasies about his daughter's wedding...

    Knowing what we know now, would you be surprised to hear that someone in George H.W. Bush's campaign (like perhaps somebody George W. Bush hired) purposely spied on the Perot daughter's wedding, and left obvious 'tracks'?  Maybe they did it hoping to get exactly the result that happened -- Ross Perot got spooked, and said some things that sounded crazy.

    We're all pretty strange one way or another; some of us just hide it better. "Normal" is a dryer setting.

    by david78209 on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 08:17:26 AM PDT

  •  Who'll capitalize on this pseudo-movement & mount (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    a third-party candidacy in 012?


    Evan Bayh?

  •  When you either have - (12+ / 0-)

     A.  Everything "going right" for you, but you have some kind of diagnosable mental health issues (e.g., narcissistic personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, sociopathy...) then you're going to lash out at somebody, something, most any thing but yourself.  You're likely not going to critically self-reflect, but, rather, create demons, gin-up an "Other" at which you you can be pissed-off and focus your anger upon.

    . . . or,

     B.  Everything's "going wrong" for you (job, debt, the general stressers in life) and you're just a rather simple-minded person (and I don't mean like Zen Master "Simple", I mean like my former father-in-law simple), then, by damn, it's always somebody else's fault:  the blacks, the liberals, the foreigners, the gays, etc.  


     Now we've got a couple of political parties, as well as an amorphous, formless, but organic "Libertarian" thing in our society.  One Party (Blue Dog exceptions notwithstanding) seeks to get to the heart of our nation's challenges and work through them, the other Party -- along with their "Libertarian" allies -- seeks to use and exploit the sad, twisted and even dangerous proclivities of those who fit generally in either Catagory A or B above.  

     And mind you:  there's billions upon billions of dollars to be made in keeping either A- or B-people (noting that there's often no bright line separating the two) all stirred-up and frothing at the mouth.  Murdoch, Ailes and all the Hate Radio people know this.


    "Unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing-glove." -- P.G. Wodehouse (via Bertie Wooster)

    by BenGoshi on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 08:17:56 AM PDT

  •  ridicule (9+ / 0-)

    We're talking about and analyzing an event with minuscule turnout--it deserves dismissive ridicule--not constant discussion.  The idiots are protesting the raising of tax rates for the very rich, yet none of the rich are dumping tea.

  •  Correction... (5+ / 0-)

    Yes, the idea that this was a bipartisan affair is about as funny as an evening at the Improv with Neil Cavuto Glenn Beck.

    Glenn Beck is the one about to embark on a comedy tour.

    "Say baby, put down that pipe and get my pipe up." - World-renowned author, Bill O'Reilly

    by wyvern on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 08:19:25 AM PDT

  •  Nailed it (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WestWind, Munchkn, Melissa J, Subo03

    Great analysis

  •  Solidarity, not Protest (14+ / 0-)

    That was my impression...this was a solidarity movement, not a protest movement. This was a chance for the disaffected of the Right to gather together and commiserate.

    The Tea Bag movement is focussed inward, on themelves, and not outward, on changing public opinion.

    The best outcome for us all is for the Tea Baggers to finish rationalizing their grief over losing an election, and set themselves to the task of recruiting good, talented politicians to run under their banner in 2010 and 2012.

    (I don't necessarily want the GOP to start winning elections, mind you, but America is too great a country to be represented by the current crop of GOP fools in Washington. They need to be replaced by serious, sober politicians who will engage in a healthy public debate.)

    •  Good points to go along with Devilstowers' (8+ / 0-)

      good analysis.  These people are Perot people.  

      I would add one psychoanalytical point: These people can't accept responsibility for their own actions.  It's always somebody else's fault.  The black guy who got promoted above them, the Mexicans ruining their schools, the East Asians ruining their kids' GPAs, the Chinese taking their's never because they're just not quite as good as the other guy.  They can't accept that.

      Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies, discussing outdoor adventures Tuesdays at 5 PM PDT

      by indigoblueskies on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 08:33:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well, another way to view this is as flypaper (0+ / 0-)

      for crazy people. As long as they find each other and start getting busy with their little permanent hate-fest hissy fitting, the Republican party can try to resurrect itself with more sane folks.

  •  Dems have to shape and grow populism (15+ / 0-)

    If the kind of populism we saw at the teabag parties isn't channeled, it will metastasize, probably dangerously.  Only some of the teabaggers are total loons.  Some of them are traditional, small "c" conservative Republicans who are frightened.  And a good many of them are people who by any reasonable standards ought to be Democrats, but won't be as long as they see the DC Democrats as corporatist.  Which, with people like Evan Bayh and even Larry Summers running around, isn't too difficult.  "Main Street not Wall Street" needs to be branded on the butt of every Beltway Democrat.

    Being "centrist" is no more than a crutch for the next press release or the next appearance on Meet The Press.  Not only is it not a strategy, it's not even a decent tactic.  Personally I'd rather be pulling the wool from the teabaggers' eyes like a Paul Wellstone, not poking them in the eyes like anyone who effectively endorses the status quo by calling themselves a "centrist".

  •  Why I went to a tea party (18+ / 3-)

    I went because I oppose TARP, the bailouts and the Federal Reserve.  I went because I am concerned about the massive debt the U.S. is taking on, the loss of community control, and the likelihood that the dollar will be devalued in the next 18 to 24 months.  I went because I am concerned about the increasing central power in the Executive Branch that began under Bush and hasn't stopped.  I went because I think it is insane to pass hundreds of pages of legislation that wasn't read before people voted "yes" on it.  I didn't go because I think my taxes have been raised in the past 3 months; I went because the U.S. is losing its republic.  And I cheered on the speakers with relish.

    •  I Think You'll Be Much Happier on the Other Side (17+ / 0-)

      as soon as they have recovered enough sanity.

      Whether you credit the new deal or only ww2, the fact is that the last major depression was ended by colossal government spending. Whether we're going about it properly this time is highly debatable of course, but the principle was proven a lifetime ago.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 08:29:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Uprated. (20+ / 0-)

      You may disagree with their attendance of the parties, but such is their right, and they laid out perfectly sane reasons for going.  I might not agree with those reasons, but they surely do not warrant an HR.

    •  Good for you! (9+ / 0-)

      Now did anybody at the rallies offer any realistic, viable solutions to resolving the concerns you expressed?

      We have a solutions-driven President in office.  The reason why neither the GOP nor the third parties is being taken seriously is that none of them are offering up solutions that are based in current real-life conditions.

      Ideology will only get a group of people so far.

      •  Yes, local community support (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bob Johnson, BenGoshi, offgrid, Prachar, Amayi

        I am fine with the big banks and the multi-nationals collapsing because I think this can help foster a local community culture.  When people shop locally, grow food locally, bank with local banks, and buy goods manufactured locally -- as much as they can -- then I think we will be able to have a more humane society. I am probably overly idealistic about this, but I'd rather try for it and fail then go along to get along.  

        •  Agree somewhat (2+ / 0-)

          There are too many corporate entities which have been allowed way too big.  I've said for a while now that if President Obama really want to stimulate the retail sector, he should but out Teddy Roosevelt's whuppin' stick and break Wal-Mart into fifty or so smaller companies.

          The question is whether or not smaller, local institutions are sustainable.  I haven't seen any evidence to support a notion that a city of five million could support itself with good and services that are created within a defined radius.

          •  Local communities still need to trade (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            offgrid, Prachar

            I certainly agree that a large city can't do it without trading.  In an ironic way, small, rural communities probably have an easier time.  Local communities would still need to trade with other communities, but they would have local control.  I agree with you on Wal-Mart.  Even if a local store sells things that are manufactured elsewhere, at least it is a local person who is invested in the local economy and community, and is responsive to the community.  

            We are lulled into thinking that a "national economy" the size of the U.S. is somehow set in stone or is a law of physics.  The U.S. borders are not natural, they are artificial constructs.  My concern is that the size and consumer homogenization of the U.S. on a continental level has weakened local economies so much vis a vis mega-chains and globalization that it is very difficult for local communities to help themselves out of this mess.  That weakens individual sense of the common good, because our sense of the common good is made stronger and more concrete through our immediate neighbors.

        •  I'm all for "local shopping" and supporting... (6+ / 0-)

          . . . local farmers, banks, small accounting firms, solo law firms (I'm one, btw), the locally-owned corner drug store (fewer and further between these days), etc.

          That's all well and fine and you'll find many (most) Democrats and Liberals 100% with you there.

          Do you think, though, that "local folks" can adequately plan and finance an interstate high-speed rail systems?  

          Do you think, though, that "local folks" can adequately regulate work-place safety, a la OSHA?  Do you think that there should be some standard work place safety regulations in place?

          Do you think, though, that "local folks" can provide an adequate framework for ensuring that employees can go about their day-to-day work without being subjected to sexual harassment, race discrimination or pay discrimination based on, say, gender or ethnicity; and provide a complaint and enforcement regime (the EEOC and Courts) for enforcing that framework, those standards?  Do you think that there should be such a framework in our nation, or that it's perfectly fine for a new boss to come onto the job site and say, "Fire that guy, I won't have niggers working for me," as he cops a long lingering feel from another employee's breast as he strolls down the factory floor?


          "Unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing-glove." -- P.G. Wodehouse (via Bertie Wooster)

          by BenGoshi on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 09:00:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Why do we need (0+ / 0-)

            an interstate high-speed rail system?  (that's a serious question).

            •  That's another discussion for another diary. (5+ / 0-)

               I believe we do.  I believe we could've used one 20+ years ago.  I believe that the United States' National Security is weakened (let alone our quality of life) when other countries, from France, to Spain, to Japan, to the U.K., to China, go forward with cutting-edge high speed rail technology and enhance their economies and overall societies while we wallow-about in the 19th-to-first-3/4-of-the-20th-Century.

               At any rate, what is your overall response?  You want every state, or every county, or every municipality to have their own workplace safety standards?  Anti-discrimination policies and enforcement regimes?  Auto-safety standards and regs?  Etc., etc.?  Do you want there to be a United States of America anymore, just an amorphous blob of thousands of different and competing laws, regs and standards held together only by a "Pledge of Allegiance" that, in effect, means nothing?

               Like the principalities of pre- and early-Renaissance Italy or 17th-through-mid-19th Century Germany (what we now call Germany, that is) or the City-state system (such as it was) of Hellenistic Greece, or the Warring States Period of BCE China?



              "Unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing-glove." -- P.G. Wodehouse (via Bertie Wooster)

              by BenGoshi on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 09:47:50 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Local politics... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BenGoshi, Munchkn

            If you think the major leaguers are bad wait until you get up close and personal with the minor league team.

            Local food, local goods, etc. is all well and good but it's mostly looking backwards for solutions. There's a way to have mass transportation available, to move goods across the globe, to grow tomatoes in South America and eat them in Minnesota without destroying the world and making large swaths of the Earth's population be peasants.  It's a bit like Ron Paul people clamoring for the return to the gold standard and early 20th century thinking. I don't mean that as inflammatory. I just have an incredible amount of hope and belief that we humans can figure out solutions to these problems through science and through our souls. Giving up on that and reverting to philosophies and policies that were in place at one time and didn't result in certain problems will only lead to restoring problems that originally led society to evolve away from those ideas.

            •  Oh, hell, I wouldn't want "locals" to touch... (5+ / 0-)

               . . . most standard-setting or regulations with a 10-foot podium!

               I mean, just as one example, look how effing sad it is when "locals" (i.e., State or County Boards of Education) who are averse to science have control over teaching evolution in the Middle and High Schools!  You've got kids who through no fault of their own graduating high school with huge disadvantages compared to others in other counties or states where those Boards are not unfriendly towards the 20th Century, let alone the degree to which these poor kids are being left behind in the natural sciences compared to their Chinese or Japanese or Korean or French or German or Swedish, etc. counterparts.

               No, sometimes I want, and we should all want, a disconnected, neutral, no-local-politics-bone-to-pick, dispassionate, "faceless bureaucrat" making decisions, rather than a local rube with a particular personal or religious axe to grind.


              "Unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing-glove." -- P.G. Wodehouse (via Bertie Wooster)

              by BenGoshi on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 10:01:48 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I mean, hell, goes back to that "States' Rights" (5+ / 0-)

                 bullshit, which said, in effect, states and counties are free to keep them niggers out of voting booth and away from the "Whites Only" restaurants and hotels and treated like virtual slaves in the workplace.  That was letting "local decision-makers" have their way.  

                 Ironic (eh?) that someone who uses a moniker invoking "Civil Liberties" seems to think that such "liberties" means only the liberty of the powerful to stomp the easily-exploited.  Some liberty.


                "Unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing-glove." -- P.G. Wodehouse (via Bertie Wooster)

                by BenGoshi on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 10:05:23 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  Republican ideology right now... (3+ / 0-)

        ...conflicts directly with real life solutions.

        In the Real World, we need more Socialism in our hybrid system and we need support programs to stabilize the economy.  We need to stop giving money to the rich and stop trampling the poor.

        These are things that are in direct juxtaposition with modern Republican ideology... and so the Rs will wander in the desert, repeating the same tired lines, and they're going to leak constituents as they further toe the line with the extreme right-wing.

    •  How many bills are read all the way through? (4+ / 0-)

      Ever heard of the Patriot Act?

      I think this commenter's points play into the author's message: if you have any specific problem with how things have been run in Washington then there is a lot of mental dissonance vis-a-vis supporting Republicans.

      •  Not many (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        And that's a big problem with respect to justice.  

        Of course I've heard of the Patriot Act! I opposed it.  I opposed FISA.  I opposed the war in Iraq and the current surge in Afghanistan.  Wait....why am I reciting what I believe in?  LOL  I think keeping the powers that be on their toes is a good thing! I support building up local community. And yes, I support the Vermonters.

    •  What were your observations... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Buckeye BattleCry, shpilk

      ... regarding the number of attendees at your location who seemed to be there because they are having trouble with the idea of having a black man as their president?

      When does summer start?

      by Bob Johnson on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 08:47:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Guess what? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shpilk, BenGoshi, raf

      I don't give a fuck why you went.

      People like you don't concern me at all.  In fact, I"m sick of hearing from you and about you.

      "But your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore"--Prine 4270+ dead Americans. Bring them home.

      by Miss Blue on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 08:48:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This was not the Comment of a "troll". (13+ / 0-)

       It was substantive and has lead to discourse.  Therefore I'm rec'ing it.

       Of course, lashing out at "The Other" is hardly the basis for a coherent, let alone effective, political movement.  Being a pawn of Fox News or allying with bigots and racists and sociopaths is not exactly the best path, either.  Please note that I don't accuse you of any of these things, just that you willingly stood with them, cheering along with them "with relish".  No onions?  No mustard?


      "Unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing-glove." -- P.G. Wodehouse (via Bertie Wooster)

      by BenGoshi on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 08:50:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for the rec (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BenGoshi, Prachar

        See my comments to other people above.  There certainly were a lot of speeches "against" -- just like the anti-war rallies I've been too where there isn't much other than ranting.  But there was a lot of speeches "for" something at the one I went to (which happened to be an out of town one because I wasn't home). That "for" was almost always local community control and spirit.  I doubt there were any officers of Wal-Mart at the one I went to!  There was encouragement to shop locally and support local business and the need for people to help their neighbor rather than beg to DC.

        •  I look forward to your response to mine above re: (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rockhound, lightfoot, Munchkn

           . . . "I'm all for 'local shopping'...".  In that comment I cite 3 examples of a need for state and federal (Ooooo . . . here're those scary words!) regulations/administration/planning/oversight.  Had I the time or inclination I could provide dozens more, but I think the three cited make the point well enough.  I hope they do.


          "Unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing-glove." -- P.G. Wodehouse (via Bertie Wooster)

          by BenGoshi on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 09:22:26 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  It sounds as if (5+ / 0-)

          a lot of the points put forward mimic the buy-local movement that's been supported by progressives for more than a decade. Buying local not only strengthens communities, it cuts down on transport costs, returns more of the income to the person doing the work, encourages working in a way that's friendly to the community... endless benefits.

          When it comes to the bailout, etc. the point is no one likes it. No one thinks it's a great idea -- or even a good idea. The only question is it a necessary idea, and politicians as far apart as Dick Cheney and Barack Obama thought it was a bullet we all had to bite. Are they right? Honestly, I don't know. But the alternative was letting Wall Street fall and betting that the black hole that resulted wouldn't suck in the rest of the country. I'm not sure I would make that bet.

          Sorry to be terse in reply. Only have a phone for typing this morning.

    •  Why I didn't go to a tea party,slightly different (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      1. I also oppose TARP etc. in its current form - the business transaction flows need to be kept alive so that our money can flow back to our pocket, but the same people do not need to be at the top management slots. It's time for the "individuals are expendable" trait of a corporation to run roughshod over the people who have been abusing it for so long.
      1. I've been concerned about the debt for years, but when the engine of the economy is in danger of stalling under the strain then you spray some ether into the carburator even though it isn't long term healthy. Because to stop is to get stuck in the mud and die.
      1. I still wonder how people can be upset about HR #1 finishing conference a mere couple days after passing both houses. It is NUMBER ONE fer cryin out loud - FIRST BILL INTRODUCED 2 1/2 weeks BEFORE OBAMA'S FIRST DAY, meaning it was CHURNING THROUGH CONGRESS FOR A MONTH AND A HALF GET A GRIP!
      1. Most of all, I didn't go specifically because the US is getting its fill of republicanism - I mean as a structure. It is time to set aside a big chunk of the idea that potus is the leader of anything, because the potus is not more powerful than the congress and is not more powerful than the scotus. We've seen what happens when potus ghostwrites laws for congress to introduce and approve, and we've seen what happens when scotus doesn't protect the blind lady justice by letting potus customize the laws to his liking.

      It's time for some good old fashioned governance that doesn't involve the typical Republic-ish "Person on top is to be obeyed, even if only until next election, because that's how a hierarchy works."

    •  I agree with many of your concerns (3+ / 0-)

      In many ways, the die has already been cast. The problems you discuss have their roots in Reagan-based insanity that swept this nation, and is only now being re-examined.

      It is important to speak for what you believe. I am also a civil liberties supporter and a member of the ACLU.

      I don't think your comment should have been down-rated, so I gave it a recommendation.

      "Everyone in this room is wearing a uniform, so don't kid yourself." - Frank Zappa

      by brione on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 09:42:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Rec'd to counter the hides (3+ / 0-)

      I don't know if we'd agree on everything but those are worthy considerations and you've a right to state your perspective... and it certainly doesn't hurt the party or the site so the troll rec'ing is inappropriate.

      The problem with the tea parties is not that everyone who went to one went with the wrong idea... the problem is that they're an organized Republican action meant to restrain Obama in moving forward with what are essentially good and necessary plans.  Plans that are necessary because the Bush administration's economic policies were extremely poor.

      Restraint in general is good... restraint right now would probably destroy the country.

      Consider that we're one of the only Western nations without a truly functional safety net system.  That has hurt us... quite demonstrably.  And it will continue to hurt us as we lag behind the rest of the Western world for idealogical reasons.  It's going to take some sweeping motions to undo what 8 years of Republicanism has done...

      ...and that's the problem with the tea parties.  They're directed at the wrong people.  

    •  Then you were in a minority... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lightfoot, skohayes

      I didn't go because I think my taxes have been raised in the past 3 months...

      Judging by all the signs bitching about raised taxes, you were in a small minority that didn't show up pissed off about a  fictitious tax hike.

      "Say baby, put down that pipe and get my pipe up." - World-renowned author, Bill O'Reilly

      by wyvern on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 09:50:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The hide-rates on this comment are purists . . . (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Support Civil Liberty

      and undeserved.

      •  So are the recommends. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Munchkn, raf

        The poster is lashing out and has no answers. He/she chose to consort with 'the enemy' to make a point about how frustrated he/she is to satisfy an emotional craving.

        I read the responses down thread, and see no responsible plan of action to correct the course we are on, other than to prop up the institutions that provide the core of framework needed to make the economy work. The government must increase spending to offset the weakened economy. Every other nation on the planet is doing what we are doing to try to cope with this massive downturn.

        Yes, there is corruption in the financial industry, but this is nothing new, and people who think they can fix these problems while in the midst of an economic depression are delusional. Once the economy is back on a solid footing again, I have no doubt there will be prosecutions.

        Very few people at these protests are capable of remembering their names or tying their shoes. They are incoherent fools. The poster should be ashamed of letting his/her emotions run away and giving these mindless fools any succor or support.

    •  I believe we Dems ridicule you... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Support Civil Liberty, Munchkn our own cost. Your ideas are intelligent, and being "disaffected: is as American as it gets -- it described us for the past 8 years.

      I think the far right of the Republican party -- those who want power and don't care how they get it -- are working hard to turn ideas such as yours into "Hate Obama," and they might well succeed. (Well, apparently they have succeeded with some of the people who showed up for these rallies.)

      But sensible questioners of Obama's actions are still entitled to their say, and should be welcomed by people on our side. If Dems continue to ridicule and dismiss such questions, they'll lose not only potential voters, but some good ideas.

      Didn't we Dems learn anything about being frozen out of decisions, in the past eight years? Are we just going to gloat and snicker, like the worst of the Republicans?

    •  Recycle much? (0+ / 0-)

      Haven't you posted this same thing in another diary?  It was bullshit then, and it's bullshit now.

  •  Excellent (5+ / 0-)

    post - and it beats the hell out of a Sunday morning sermon.  Thanks.

    "There is little separating those that see cells as tiny machines from those that see the Virgin Mary on a grilled cheese sandwich". H. Humbert 2/6/08

    by JDog42 on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 08:24:33 AM PDT

  •  I'm sorry, its just hard to take them seriously. (11+ / 0-)

    Deep down, I can't help having a little respect for anyone who engages in the political process.

    But watching a bunch of people jump into their public-safety-regulated cars to drive across public roads to spill out at various public buildings and parks to decry the evils of socialism is a little hard to take. Where do they think all that stuff comes from?

    The goal is not to bring your adversaries to their knees but to their senses. -- Mahatma Gandhi

    by kingubu on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 08:25:20 AM PDT

  •  right-wing malcontents will never be viable (17+ / 0-)

    as the basis of a competitive third party.

    The key distinction between these people and a genuine political movement is that their unhappiness isn't ideological, it's pathological. They need the unseen threat and impending apocalypse to validate their sense of alienation and the delusional belief that they uniquely "get" something that the rest of society has overlooked. As others have pointed out recently, today's conservatism isn't an ideological movement so much as it is an entertainment industry that caters to the aesthetics of reactionary paranoia. These people need their fix, and they will seek it out regardless of who is in power.

    •  Bam. (5+ / 0-)

       The pathological nature of these people (many, perhaps most) is downplayed and underestimated.  But of course in polite company it's not nice to accuse them of being mentally ill.  Well to hell with "being polite", in the reality-based community we're supposed to tell it like it is.

       Yours in pretty much in line with my comment above.

       Thanks for this.


      "Unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing-glove." -- P.G. Wodehouse (via Bertie Wooster)

      by BenGoshi on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 08:44:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I see it as a social pathology (4+ / 0-)

        moreso than the sum of individual cases of mental illness. Riffing off of a 2003 editorial by Jon Margolis, while leaving behind his ridiculous and ahistorical definition of liberalism along with his presumption of economic class as natural law, we find some nuggets of truth:

        Ralph Henry Gabriel's 1940 classic, "The Course of American Democratic Thought" reflects on the 19th Century version of conflicting communicators: cerebral lecturers such as Ralph Waldo Emerson versus the "camp-meeting evangelist."

        "Emerson's lectures were full of subtleties," Gabriel writes. "Their intellectual level was high. ...By contrast, the preachers...dispensed a
        simple theology; they did not normally tax the minds of their hearers." the camp-meeting orator, Rush Limbaugh and his ilk owe their success less to rational content than to visceral appeal. The 19th Century evangelists did not describe a coherent theology as much as they attacked their enemies: Catholics ("Papists," at the time), Unitarians, science, the closest big city. They were catering to their audience's social resentments.

        So are the right-wing talk-show hosts. To listen to Limbaugh or to the latest talk-radio rage, the aptly named Michael Savage (formerly Michael A. Weiner), is to be struck by how little time they spend on political discourse. Instead, they assail their liberal enemies.

        The assaults are often colorful, sometimes funny and occasionally deserved but rarely analytical or logical. Like the hellfire and damnation preachers of yore, radio talkers cater to the audience's social resentments. It's niche marketing. The niche is disappointed people, mostly men. Andrew Kohut, the highly regarded pollster for Times-Mirror, has described "the typical Limbaugh listener" as a "white male, suburbanite, conservative [with a] better-than-average job but not really a great job. Frustrated with the system, with the way the world of Washington works. Frustrated by cultural change.
        Maybe threatened by women."

        Somebody, in short, who is not as rich, powerful or famous as he thinks he should be, and who wants to blame outside forces. The talk-show hosts help. They blame cultural (but rarely economic) elites and the government for the world's ills and regularly reinforce the listener's sense of being scorned and ridiculed.

        Among the privileged classes who have kept the talk-show listeners from their rightful status are immigrants ("You open the door to them, and the next thing you know, they are defecating on your country and breeding out of control," Savage once said), homosexuals, women and racial minorities, which explains the racial and sexual innuendo rarely far from the surface of talk radio.

        In Wilhelm Reich's 1933 book "The Mass Psychology of Fascism"(pdf), we may find some illumination on the role of sexuality alluded to above in Reich's Freudian analysis, which may help explain the growing gender gap between the parties that was also obvious at the "tea-bagger" demonstrations. For example, from his introduction to the 1945 Third Edition,

        At the time when this book was originally written, fascism was generally regarded a "political party" which, like any other "social group," was an organized representation of a "political idea." According to this concept, the fascist party "introduced" fascism by force or by "political manoeuvre."
         Contrary to this concept, my medical experience with individuals from all kinds of social strata, races, nationalities and religions showed me that "fascism" is only the politically organized expression of the average human character structure, a character structure which has nothing to do with this or that race, nation or party but
        which is general and international. In this characterological sense, "fascism" is the basic emotional attitude of man in authoritarian society, with its machine civilization and its mechanistic-mystical view of life.
         It is the mechanistic-mystical character of man in our times which creates fascist parties, and not vice versa.
        ...Since fascism, always and everywhere, appears as a movement which is supported by the masses of people, it also displays all the traits and contradictions present in the average character structure: Fascism is not, as is generally believed, a purely reactionary movement; rather, it is a mixture of rebellious emotions and reactionary social ideas.
         If, by being revolutionary, one means rational rebellion against intolerable social conditions, if, by being radical, one means "going to the root of things," the rational will to improve them, then fascism is never revolutionary. True, it may have the aspect of revolutionary emotions. But one would not call that physician revolutionary who proceeds against a disease with violent cursing but the other who quietly, courageously and conscientiously studies and fights the causes of the disease. Fascist rebelliousness always occurs where fear of the truth turns a revolutionary emotion into illusions.
         In its pure form, fascism is the sum total of all irrational reactions of the average human character. To the narrow-minded sociologist who lacks the courage to recognize the enormous role played by the irrational in human history, the fascist race theory appears as nothing but an imperialistic interest or even a mere "prejudice."
        The violence and the ubiquity of these "race prejudices" show their origin from the irrational part of the human character. The race theory is not a creation of fascism. No: fascism is a creation of race hatred and its politically organized expression. Correspondingly, there is a German, Italian, Spanish, Anglo-Saxon, Jewish and Arabian fascism. The race ideology is a true biopathic character symptom of the orgastically impotent individual.

        The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it's profitable to continue the illusion. -FZ

        by lightfoot on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 10:26:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The 5th Time. (4+ / 0-)

           This is the 5th time within a week that I've put this quote up in a Comment.  I'm thinking I'm going to also post it in SusanG's current Front Page piece.  Note, again:  this is from 1923!

           "The normal American of the 'pure-blooded' majority goes to rest every night with an uneasy feeling that there is a burglar under the bed, and he gets up every morning with a sickening fear that his underwear has been stolen.

           "This Anglo-Saxon of the great herd is, in many important respects, the least civilized of white men and the least capable of true civilization.  His political ideas are crude and shallow.  His is almost wholly devoid of esthetic feeling.  The most elementary facts about the visible universe alarm him, and incite him to put them down.  Educate him, make a professor of him, teach him how to express his soul, and he still remains palpably third-rate.  He fears ideas almost as much as he fears men. . . ."

              H.L. Mencken



          "Unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing-glove." -- P.G. Wodehouse (via Bertie Wooster)

          by BenGoshi on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 10:49:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Mencken was a master of written language, (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BenGoshi, Munchkn

            and while I do not always agree with what he said, that quote was an appropriate exclamation point for what I was trying to express in my original post. Thank you for that one.

            The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it's profitable to continue the illusion. -FZ

            by lightfoot on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 11:03:00 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Excellent post. Wingnut-in-a-nutshell. (0+ / 0-)
  •  The Emerald Bay (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WestWind, ms badger, Munchkn

    What was sort of scary about the documentary Network in '76 was in how everyone was ready to jump to the windows of their vast apartment buildings and scream they weren't gonna take it anymore and never was there any attempt to define either the anger or its abatement. The most accurate reading I have seen of this mob mood was given by Olbermann as an aside, something about the need of some for a toilet in which to dump all their frustrations at personal failure and insignificance. As Dylan Thomas sang, "How green would dance my deeds in an emerald bay!" It's all the fault of Blacks or Uppity Yankees or Liberals for not providing me with my own private and proper setting. This is why there is so much anger and illogic at Repugnant rallies, and in downhome coffee shops I remember from back home.

    "It's the you, stupid."

    "The fault, dear Cretin, is in yourself, and not in the stars, that you are such an abject loser."

    "When there's storms the sea'll be looking for your parlor." - Kerouac

    by Timus on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 08:26:05 AM PDT

  •  I Still Think th Christianists Are Way Ahead of (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WestWind, vets74

    the Republicans at this point.

    That would be some Christianists, but from what little I've seen, they're onto a track that's got more than enough coherenciness.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 08:26:30 AM PDT

  •  Who's afraid of 3rd party? (7+ / 0-)
    If the money spent on Nader in 2000 had been spent getting a dozen Greens elected to the House (very possible in the Northeast and Northwest) we'd have had a Democratic president, a Kyoto-like agreement on climate change, and probably no Iraq war.

    If the true fiscal libertarians of the Republican party were disassociated from the Fundies and the war/money chickenhawks, they'd have a wedge of votes to force reality into budgeting and we would probably have a more transparent process for the random expenditures called earmarks (many of which are valid, but none of which are properly vetted.)

    And if the prevailing Democrats always had to listen to others, it would be nothing but great for the Democratic party as a whole.

    Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.

    by MrMichaelMT on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 08:27:42 AM PDT

    •  Sane GOPers + Eisenhower policies = Doable. (4+ / 0-)

      Ike wrote up a middle-of-the-road platform for the GOP in 1956.

      Totally sane.

      And this was the guy who sent troops south in 1954 and 1955 and 1956.

      Stopped lynchings. Forced Hoover to do some law enforcement. Made integration start happening.

      Ike knew how to make the GOP a majority party. Spelled it out -- and it ain't like Nixon or Rove.

      But they won't do it. They're on demogogue-crack.

      They got lies to tell and millions of southern morans who'll believe them.

      Getting away with lying is the disease. Fatal disease.

      Droogie is as Droogie does....

      by vets74 on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 08:43:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It is very reminiscent of '92 (10+ / 0-)

    I can say this because I was 20 and a big 'ol Perot supporter.  I was one of those "same shit, different pile" types who thought the only way to reform Washington was to throw a monkey wrench in the machine.  I probably would have been a Ron Paul guy if I were seventeen years younger.

    That being said, I can look back and confirm that these tea bag rallies are attracting the exact same people:  Young people who naively think that everything will run better if we just let everyone be, and older folks who have been consistently marginalized for one reason or the other.

    Problem is, Perot was the most charismatic leader that this so-called movement has ever generated, and he turned out to be a nutty old man with a severe Napoleonic complex.

  •  The reason to worry (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bob Johnson, BenGoshi, harrije, Munchkn

    about this droll collection of disaffected post-Perotisti is that, if we experience massive economic dislocation, there will be many more of the suddenly disaffected, looking for quick solutions, or failing that, scapegoats.
    When crisis strikes, an opportunity exists for anyone providing an explanation of what has gone wrong to advance their ideology or agenda, whether it be revolutionary, reactionary or flat out crazy.
    The great thing about the Obama victory was that it was not just about him, but about restoring some rational discourse to political debates. For now, the crazies are marginalized, despite all the hype from Fox et al.
    But that could change quickly if things get really hairy, and we reality-based types had better be there with a more compelling explanation than the baggies.

    Plangentarchy: dictatorship of the whiners

    by Perry the Imp on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 08:28:01 AM PDT

  •  These people are being played...big time... (15+ / 0-)

    Your comments re: their affection for Ross Perot are spot on.  Your point about the fact he COULD have won had he not done...a/b/c... are also spot on.  And that raises a point they don't get:

    Ross Perot did not want to be president.  Ross Perot is no fool.  Ross Perot, at the time was the largest private holder of public debt (bonds).  Inflation was his nemesis.  Every uptick in inflation crushed his portfolio.  The election campaign was designed for one purpose:  portfolio insurance.

    Remember when he declared he would spend $60 Million and not a penny more?  Why that number?  Why not 50 Million, why not enough to win in key states?  Why not until he has 20 million votes?  Because he was looking at the numbers and inflation was the thing he wanted to hold in check.

    As a consequence of his candidacy, you are right, Clinton picked up his banner and ran with it.  Because his approach was going to tame inflation, Perot was happpy to let him win.

    The impact on Perot's portfolio?

    He made at least $250 Million.  That's a great return on investment.

  •  This is right on the mark (6+ / 0-)

    These are the "aginners"  they are against "stuff" because when you are unhappy it is easier to be "agin it" then for something that fixes "it." The only thing they have in common with each other is that they are unhappy and they need someone to blame and that someone is always the one in power.

    "Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed." General Buck Turgidson

    by muledriver on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 08:28:55 AM PDT

  •  a real Great Depression (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GenXWho, theal8r

    can make a third party run almost a sure thing. Liberalism and socialism gained strength during the last one. But so did racist populism. If this time liberals stick with Obama a rightwing movement could capitalize on the hardship and come to prominance. The worse the depression the better chance for a third party. Food riots, immigration riots and/or ghetto burning might change the whole dynamic in ways we can't foretell.

  •  A great blog in WV, "Hippie Killer," had a lively (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Inland, sherlyle, skohayes, Munchkn

    discussion of this and its implications.

    Worth checking out, most certainly including the 110 comments so far:

    Title: Someone Turned On the Bat Shit Signal

  •  tip of the hat for the sly battlestar reference! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eireknight, theal8r

    Ah, cut down just when it had returned to being good.

    •  Are you crazy? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It wasn't cut down. That was the natural conclusion!

      •  they could have done that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        over another season instead of having to rush through it in a dozen or so episodes.

        •  But Sci-Fi didn't bring down the hammer (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          It wasn't like they got canceled and had to rush through it. I just don't see how you support the narrative for another 20-22 episodes. The finale might have been a little rushed but I would say you could have done without the mutiny episodes and gone more for the cylon/human conflict.

          •  They needed the mutiny... (0+ / 0-)

   further show that the humans and cylons weren't all that different.  

            This is why the righties loved the show at the beginning and hated it after season 2... there was nuance about how the world isn't black and white.  

            It there all throughout the show, but the righties could look past it as long as the military theme was central.

            The joke on them was that they thought they were the Adamas in the series, when the right-wing is really the primary model for the Brother Cavils.

          •  you dont think (0+ / 0-)

            scifi let them know that they probably weren't going to fund BSG for another season? Or that they weren't going to fund both BSG AND Caprica?

            There were cancellation rumors well before they announced it was the final season.

            I think it unlikely that all of a sudden the makers said, I think season 4 will be the last. They certainly didn't go into season 3 saying there was only one more season after this.

            I thought the mutiny episodes were very compelling and were understandably because of time constraints cut off an episode or two before they needed to be.

            Just like finding Earth 2, the final battle, and what happened after were wrapped up too quickly, which is part why there will be at least another 30minutes to an hour on the DVD cut.

  •  Seemed like a lot of racism to me (8+ / 0-)

    I'm sure that there was a Libertarian aspect to those protests and I'm sure some of them were Republicans who only understood that their leaders were telling them to go but it seemed like an overrepresentation of racists to me. I don't think they were all racists but I'll bet it was well over 50 percent. The signs told the story: Whether they were questioning Obama's citizenship, his experience or his associations, real and otherwise, it all boiled down to one thing: They don't like him because he's black.

    •  many afraid to say it out loud (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MargaretPOA, Eryk, Munchkn

      so they wrap their voices around arguments that don't hold water.  they don't need to, they're just fig leaves.  It just galls them on a primeval level that the American body politic has passed them by.  these are 20th century malcontents in a 21st century world.

      Always grateful to wake up alive.

      by Subo03 on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 09:15:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The one thing that unites the teabaggers (14+ / 0-)

    is their fear and resentment of change: everything from economic change that renders certain jobs obsolete to cultural change that has dislodged white males from their traditional positions of authority. Their anger is visceral and unfocused, and downright dangerous in the hands of a charismatic leader.

    "Whenever I can, I always watch the Detroit Tigers on the radio."--President Gerald Ford.

    by Dump Terry McAuliffe on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 08:34:54 AM PDT

  •  Perot "fantasy" about his daughter ??? (4+ / 0-)


    The treat was to do a high-tech version of the Muskie's Wife attack.

    Portray Perot's daughter as a whore and a drunk.

    DIRTY TRICKS aimed at the candidate's family.

    Old Time Satan worship for the GOP. Right out of the Nixon/Atwater play book.

    Or have you forgotten Wille-fuck-yer-white-women-Horton ???

    Perot knew he was dealing with sociopaths in the crew around Bush41. No question about it.

    BTW: avoid them little private planes, hear ?!

    Droogie is as Droogie does....

    by vets74 on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 08:35:09 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for the sweet correlative memory (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bob Johnson, GenXWho

    of Phil Hartman as Adm. Stockdale.

    "Who am I?  What am I doing here?"

    I am really enjoying my stimulus package.

    by Kevvboy on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 08:36:38 AM PDT

    •  It was a smear job on an honorable man. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Munchkn, island in alabama

      I remember seeing that and laughing at the time, in my ignorance.

      Then, I saw the interview in 99 with Lehrer and read about who James Stockdale was, and was ashamed for my ignorance.

      Sometimes things we laugh at turn out to be wrong.

      •  Oh please. (0+ / 0-)

        Go back and look at the tape of Stockdale's awful debate performance, of which Hartman's performance was a near-perfect copy.

        Of course Stockdale was a very accomplished man, which is why Ross P picked him in the first place.  But he was one lousy candidate.

        I am really enjoying my stimulus package.

        by Kevvboy on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 01:33:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Twas the denial stage of the grieving process (0+ / 0-)

    for the out-of-luck, out-of-ideas, out-of-power right.

  •  My sons, and I attended the tea party in our town (8+ / 0-)

    of Bakersfield here in CA. After making some signs and remembering to bring my eldest son's US flag along for moral support, we all joined the crowd of a 1000 or so folks who more often than not rudely, irrationally, and angrily took issue with our presence and our point of view. The only people who were warmly received by this melange of the stubbornly ignorant, the mildly crackpot, and the simmeringly violent crazy were the local conservative radio talk show hosts who spouted their usual "us" against "them" factually inaccurate mantra. Our Congressman got roundly booed.

    "The perfect is the enemy of the good." Voltaire

    by Melissa J on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 08:38:52 AM PDT

    •  They'd like everybody to believe it's bipartisan. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skohayes, Melissa J

      Yet they proved it is not at your rally.

      Somebody voted for and likes your Congressman. If he was roundly booed, with nobody vocally supporting him in the same ratio as voted for him, then they proved themselves wrong and it wasn't bipartisan. Of course, they skipped classes on the days logic was taught.

      PALIN: I have a vast variety of sources where we get our news.

      by Big Nit Attack on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 09:28:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Kevin McCarthy is our (R)epresentative. He's (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Big Nit Attack, skohayes

        the former aide to Bill Thomas who was in Congress forever. Kevin ran unopposed in the last election! John Boehner was supposed to attend with McCarthy but didn't show. Our county in Central CA is pretty crimson politically and culturally (especially around the neck) so we weren't expecting a warm welcome but it got pretty ugly for us. I was very proud of the twenty-somethings I was with for maintaining their cool and respectful discourse when faced with the full-throated haters we encountered. We ended up standing right in front of some police officers who watched over us and kept the mean crazies from getting too hands-on.  

        "The perfect is the enemy of the good." Voltaire

        by Melissa J on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 10:30:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Bob Barr Isn't A Rube. He Is Playing The Odds (3+ / 0-)

    In much the same way Seward, Chase and Fremont and other founders of the Republican Party presciently gambled on the fact that the Whig Party couldn't survive the Kansas-Nebraska Act.

    If the Libertarians can't seize this moment, then they're never going to be anything but backbenchers.

    And like the drowning man, who, in despair, Doth clutch the frail and weakly straw --Thomas Horatius Delpho

    by terry2wa on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 08:39:07 AM PDT

  •  The US isn't like Israel, where even minor (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Munchkn, PurpleMyst, rossl, sethtriggs

    fringe parties can win seats in the Knesset if they poll a few percentage points of the vote. I don't see third parties taking seats in Congress any time soon. The most that I could conceivably see is a Green perhaps taking CA-8, CA-9, or one of the Manhattan districts. But even then it would require the incumbent Democrat to be so unacceptable--like hypothetically molesting children or engaging in incest--that the voters would have no other choice.

    The problem is that the US is not a proportional system. The electoral system here is winner-take-all, which means that it will be very hard for a third party to win a race. Third parties have been able to win races for county clerk, dog catcher, sherriff, state legislature, and state senate. But that's probably the highest that they'll go for the time being.

    Maybe some of the third parties will be limited regional forces. I could see the Greens (if they ever get their act together) being a regional forces in places like California (the Bay Area), Oregon, Washington, Montana, Colorado, New Mexico, college towns across the country (places like Berkeley, Boulder, Madison, Ann Arbor, Ithaca, Amherst, Cambridge), New York, and very big cities. I could see the Libertarians becoming a force in places like Alaska, Wyoming, Utah, the Rockies, and perhaps places like West Texas. But even both of those parties have very high obstacles to overcome.

  •  THE DISAFFECTED (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Big Nit Attack, theal8r


    "I'm starting to become pretty convinced at this point that 'socialist' is a new code word for 'nigger,'" "Jill Tubman"

    by Punkerpan on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 08:43:28 AM PDT

    •  Germany was in-and-out of starvation for years. (4+ / 0-)


      Five years of major survival problems after WW I.

      Educated people died of starvation, first three years of it.

      That is way beyond "disaffected."

      The Nazi leadership tended toward criminality and the paranoid and sociopathic disorders.

      BTW: the total body count for the Nazis was above 50,000,000.

      This was done by recruiting mainstream Germans, not by collecting up the societal losers.

      Droogie is as Droogie does....

      by vets74 on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 09:04:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  republican (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        vets74, island in alabama

        leadership tended toward criminality and the paranoid and sociopathic disorders.

        oops..............................sound familiar?

        "I'm starting to become pretty convinced at this point that 'socialist' is a new code word for 'nigger,'" "Jill Tubman"

        by Punkerpan on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 09:52:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Bingo ! (0+ / 0-)

          And their prey include the anti-abortion voters -- majority women -- who are as gentle and sane as you could ask for.

          The GOP is a con game.

          Run by criminals (DeLay, the lobbyists, the Gannon clique) and many with personality disorders (Vitter, Atwater, Rove, the Bushes, and Darth Cheney.)

          Droogie is as Droogie does....

          by vets74 on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 04:34:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Remember Perot's deficit solution? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BenGoshi, harrije, vets74

    All that year, I saw him on TV saying that the solution to the deficit was that people who "don't need it" would voluntary give up their Social Security.  It wasn't until the fall and Tim Russert confronted him that if everyone receiving Social Security who had other income of $40,000 or more didn't get their Social Security, it would only save $10 billion of $200+ billion deficits.  And Perot had some asinine explanation that if his figures were wrong, it was because someone told him something.  Someone told me that so I went around the country spouting it as the solution!  I have $3 billion dollars but I never had anyone check out whether the deficit could be eliminated by people voluntarily giving up Social Security if they "don't need it."

    But, yes, Perot was very entertaining.  I liked him as a character; you wondered how much he'd worked on developing that character the way an actor tries to fill in every aspect of their character.  Perot was a very filled in character.  

    •  Perot had dozens of changes... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      to go for deficit reduction.

      The SS ambush was misstated.

      Ending the top-cap on paying into SS was a major item, as well. He just didn't list everything making stump speeches.

      Bush deficits == a form of treason.

      Both Bushes.... All their crazy spending.

      And the Obama deficits have to end soon, too. This situation is not supportable.

      Borrowing is not a long-term solution.

      Droogie is as Droogie does....

      by vets74 on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 08:50:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Why not? We've always borrowed. (0+ / 0-)

        And we never pay back the borrowing!  The debt from WWII hasn't been paid back.

        Our economy is leveraged the same way you can live in a better house than you could afford to pay cash for.  Its not a bad thing and the result is a strong country.  

        •  Wrong-wrong-wrong. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          The house gets paid for over 25 or 30 years. When a 20% down payment was required and prices were stable, that system worked fine.

          The analogy to national macroeconomics doesn't hold up.

          Debt weakens the country. Takes revenue from taxes and dumps it on no-product debt service.

          Economics is dry and mathematical. Sorry about that.

          Droogie is as Droogie does....

          by vets74 on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 09:13:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Our mortgage will likely be paid off when we die; (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            the country is not going to die.  

            Debt gives the government the means to invest.  I remember when the NY State Thruway was being built when I was a kid and the state took on a big debt for it.  It was a great investment.  

            •  NY State balances its budget. (0+ / 0-)

              That's why the Thruway highways were moved to a separate legal entity.

              You are confusing project-oriented borrowing with generalized debt.

              Micreconomics in a public enerprise vs. macroeconomics at the level of national accounts.

              The Thruway has next to nothing to do with the $1,600,000,000,000 in bonds held in China. Generalized deficit spending can not be increased at large amounts forever.

              It is impossible -- the national currency collapses in value.

              Droogie is as Droogie does....

              by vets74 on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 09:30:39 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  What do you think is going to happen? (0+ / 0-)

                What is the dire consequence that you envision?  

                I'm not crazy about how high Defense spending is but recognize there is great value to us in being the strongest country on earth.  That is spending from the general budget, not a separate entity.  

                One of the reasons we cannot have a horror like the Great Depression again is government spending on Social Security payments that pumps money out to the public on a regular continuous basis.  People can always move in with the old folks.  Going back 30 years, I've been aware of a movement to cut back on Social Security because of a looming deficit.  I've heard it called a "Ponzi Scheme."  But Social Security is a broad asset to the economy and well-being of Americans.  

            •  Some of our debt... (0+ / 0-)

              Some of it is building roads and bridges and then paying for them as we use them.

              It would be nice if we could get out in front of the debt and pay cash, but that's not likely with our resistance to paying taxes.

              At least we get to borrow at federal bond rates and not charge card rates.

              15 to 6. Pulled ahead as soon as the gate opened and never looked back....

              by BobTrips on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 12:44:43 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  I rise in defense of Ross Perot. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vets74, jgtidd, PurpleMyst, rossl

    He did not pick those who followed him.  Long before there was a public clamor for him to run for president he often said that he did want the office, or any office, for that matter.  He said that his family was very important to him and to take time away from them was something he wanted to avoid at all costs.  He also often said that he would not make a good president because he was accustomed to action.  He said that the idiocy of Congress and the Judiciary would be very frustrating for him.

    But Ross Perot was, and is, a true patriot.  He first became known to the public when he was trying to get a plane load of Christmas presents to prisoners in Vietnam.  He spent a lot of money and a lot of time trying to make this happen.  In his company he made a deliberate effort to recruit and hire as many returning veterans as he could.  

    It was because of his patriotism, and because of his disdain for the officials in Washington, that Perot finally yielded to public pressure and agreed to run for president.  And, in typical fashion, he organized a plan that would do two things, (1) give him a chance to win, and (2) give the people, if they wanted it, a third party.  He gave of his time, he gave his money and he tried his best.

    At the time he was running I was asked by several people at a large gathering whether I thought they should support Perot.  I said that they should make up their own minds, but there was one thing that they could depend on.  If Perot said he was going to do something if he won the office, then you could bet that he would move heaven and earth to do it.  So, I told these people of differing political views, if you don't like what Perot says he will do then don't vote for him, but if he is saying what you like then vote for him, but remember he would do what he said.

    So, I say that Perot, in spite of his voice, his big ears, and his charts is a better man than all of the candidates he ran against and all the candidates since including the incumbent.

    America, and GM for that matter, would be better off if they had put Ross Perot in charge.

    Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning.

    by hestal on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 08:45:58 AM PDT

    •  I made a typo. Perot said he did not want (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      the office.  Sorry.

      Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning.

      by hestal on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 08:52:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Too early to judge Obama. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BenGoshi, jgtidd, PurpleMyst

      But yes, Perot made te Bushes look like Saudi-kissing fools.

      Droogie is as Droogie does....

      by vets74 on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 08:53:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Maybe not. He has already failed (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        in some cases to do what he said he would do during the campaign.

        It is impossible for me to imagine that Ross Perot would not investigate the possiblity of war crimes and if evidence showed that crimes were committed he would see that the offenders answered to justice.  For Perot, it would be the right thing to do.

        Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning.

        by hestal on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 08:57:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  We have no idea what he and Holder... (0+ / 0-)

          will do.

          So far there is no reason to go after the dozens of low-level torturers.

          No reason to replicate the Abu Ghraib blame-game tactics.

          Give it a year or two and Congressional action.

          Then we will see.

          There is no statute of limitation problem.

          Droogie is as Droogie does....

          by vets74 on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 09:08:59 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  There are two reasons to go after the (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            zinger99, vets74

            low-level torturers.  One is that they committed a war crime, and two they might give up the higher ups in exchange for leniency.

            Think how utterly preposterous are the words you wrote:

            So far there is no reason to go after the dozens of low-level torturers.

            That is one of the most ridiculous statements I have heard in a long time.

            Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning.

            by hestal on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 09:11:28 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You get 100% of what they know... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              while you do not go after them.

              They have no reason to "lawyer up."

              They can respect the deals offered by Holder & Co., so's the upper level part of he torture system gets thoroughly documented.

              The prime target has to be Cheney.

              Who else ???

              Sure, the AG's get attention. Disbarred, sure thing. But they are small fry compared to Cheney. And they were peripheral to the daily operation of the system. Cheney was in it up to his ears.

              Jail Cheney ==> stamp out torture, here, for 50 years.

              Till some other sociopath forgets....

              Droogie is as Droogie does....

              by vets74 on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 09:21:12 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Dream on. Those guys are not (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Faeya Wingmother

                going to give up anything if they know they are safe from prosecution.  Remember these are guys who tortured in the first place.  They are not of the highest moral character -- far from it.

                Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning.

                by hestal on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 09:26:39 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  "Obstruction of Justice." (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  Also, lying to the F.B.I.

                  It's not the crime, its the cover-up.

                  Holder is doing exactly what he should do. Using the right tools. Putting his targets at ease....

                  Stalking prey -- a game based on patience.

                  Droogie is as Droogie does....

                  by vets74 on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 09:34:24 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Well, I agree it would be nice to Cheney (0+ / 0-)

                in jail for his crimes and/or impeached [and yes, he can be impeached even though he is out of office now].

                I also think Obama's plan is to have the Court and Congress take action top make sure things like this will never happen again, by adjudicating these issues and setting stare decisis, and having Congress pass legislation clarifying the rules under which the military operates.  

                See my diary, in my tag line.

              •  It's not like we're still looking... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                for the smoking gun.

                We've got the goods on the higher ups.  We don't need to lean on the foot solders to find  out who gave the orders and what the orders were.

                15 to 6. Pulled ahead as soon as the gate opened and never looked back....

                by BobTrips on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 12:55:28 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yes, leaning on foot soldiers is still doable. (0+ / 0-)

                  Doing it subtly is the key.

                  We need participants in meetings with Cheney to testify.

                  When Cheney has been out of office for two years, maybe three, that gets to be a simple/easy task.

                  Now ?

                  That SOB is feared.

                  Droogie is as Droogie does....

                  by vets74 on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 04:18:15 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Yes, leaning on foot soldiers is still doable. (0+ / 0-)

                  Doing it subtly is the key.

                  We need participants in meetings with Cheney to testify.

                  When Cheney has been out of office for two years, maybe three, that gets to be a simple/easy task.

                  Now ?

                  That SOB is feared.

                  Droogie is as Droogie does....

                  by vets74 on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 04:35:17 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  If that's the case... (0+ / 0-)

          It is impossible for me to imagine that Ross Perot would not investigate the possiblity of war crimes....

          Then you have a limited imagination.

          When in office one has to chose their battles carefully or lose the war.

          Obama most likely won't deliver on all his campaign promises.  To even take his "promises" as "promises" is naive.  Campaign promises are indications of what a candidate would do/try to do in that moment's reality.

          By the time Obama got to office he had an immense economic problem that was not part of the campaign reality.

          Perot in todays political reality might well decide that uniting as much of the county as possible was more important than punishing evil doers from a few years back.

          He might even decide that the smart thing to do would be to let some little fish swim away and wait for public pressure to build for going after the big guys so that his actions wouldn't look so partisan.

          15 to 6. Pulled ahead as soon as the gate opened and never looked back....

          by BobTrips on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 12:53:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Gotta disagree (0+ / 0-)

      IMO, it was a disservice to offer himself as a candidate when he surely knew or should have known that there was no chance he might win.  In fact, he did not receive a single electoral vote!  19% of the popular vote but not one single electoral vote.  Because that is the way we elect presidents and Ross Perot should not have played on the naivete of some voters.  It was pure selfish narcissism on his part (the super patriot self-image is always narcissism) and a disservice to those voters who, IMO, later felt they had been fooled.  That was a factor in the 1994 Republican takeover of Congress, that the Perot voters who would have voted for Bush if it had been a 2 man race were very angry and motivated to vote.  The mid-term election turn-out percentage was something like 36%-37% (I think) as opposed to 50% who vote in presidential elections so that angry-Perot-voter factor made a big difference.

      And how we've all paid for the Republicans taking over Congress in 1994!

      •  No, Lois, you are dead wrong. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        You are looking at things after the fact, and that is  what most people do.  But there are some people who make something out of nothing and Perot is one of those.  

        Your argument from afar is insulting to Perot and anyone else for that matter who tries to make a difference.  

        Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning.

        by hestal on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 08:59:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Perot was irresponsible and it was a disservice (0+ / 0-)

          to the people who voted for him.  He was kind of a Pied Piper.  Remember the Pied Piper led the children off out of revenge for the town not paying him for ridding them of rats?  What was Perot taking revenge for?  BTW, he made his billions off the government, processing payments electronically.  

          He had personal issues that he wasn't appreciated enough for the great patriot and family man he was rather than a sincere plan for accomplishing anything.  "Make me president because I'm a great patriot and a great role model."  That did not elevate the debate.  Thats the worst of manipulative politics, IMO.  

          •  Okay, you have made your point. (0+ / 0-)

            I get it.  You hate Perot.  Now leave me alone.

            Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning.

            by hestal on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 09:12:35 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  he also destroyed Clinton's chance of a (0+ / 0-)

            mandate, by reducing him to 43% of the vote, as before his return to the race, Clinton was riding high against Bush, who was constantly stuck in the mid 30s. Clinton's % of the popular vote was the GOP excuse for everything, which was a large factor in why we didn't get health care. 1992 would have looked closer to 2008 (or worse for Bush given that there was no race factor in Appalachia) if not for Perot, and given that Bush I's approvals werent much higher than his son's by 1992, Clinton probably would have been able to steam roll the GOP as Obama is doing now. Perot was an attention whore who screwed our country, and I will never forgive him for it.

            •  Clinton a "transitional" president (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Do you remember that Clinton said that about himself in '93 as an explanation for the personal polarization for and against him?   That concept has a lot of dimension; how much of the Perot factor was people unsure of how the direction the country should head towards?  Knowing there had to be change but clinging to the past as defined by "patriotism" (laying claim to patriotism, actually, as everyone who runs for president is patriotic).  

              •  one thing Perot voters WERE sure about (0+ / 0-)

                is that they didn't like the direction of the country under Bush, or his Presidency. Just that alone illustrates that there was no inherent Bush bent the Perot voters ever would have had, or anywhere near enough to change the result of the election.

    •  Man of his word (0+ / 0-)

      He said he would run for President and then he dropped out. Then he dropped back in.

      Heaven and earth indeed.

      •  He said what he would do if elected. (0+ / 0-)

        But you are entitled to your opinion.  I am entitled to conclude that you have no idea what you are talking about and ignore it.

        Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning.

        by hestal on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 09:07:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  So? (0+ / 0-)

          Is he only someone who would do what he said if he gets elected? He said he would run for President, he got tons of people, a plurality, to support him. People volunteered time and invested heavily into him only to have him then decide half way through that he wasn't interested. Perot maybe a great guy but it's pretty obvious that your idea that he would move heaven and earth to do what he said he would do is directly contradicted by the fact that he said he would run for President and then dropped out.

          •  It was effective, though, wasn't it? (0+ / 0-)

            Perot's campaigns changed Clinton's agenda - they made "fiscal responsibility" much more important than it would have been.  A spoiler candidacy, if done right, has a lot of power.

            •  But did it spoil Clinton healthcare intiative? (0+ / 0-)

              Ross Perot and his family had everything they could possibly need or want but a lot of Americans would have benefited from government investment, particularly affordable health insurance, back in the 90's.  

              •  I'm not talking about whether (0+ / 0-)

                I like the policy or not, just that Perot was effective at getting his agenda on the table.

                •  Interesting thing about Perot phenomenon (0+ / 0-)

                  I used to watch C-Span's "Washington Journal" program and I recall Brian Lamb saying in 1993 that Ross Perot speeches had ALWAYS (IOW, for years before he ran for president) gotten the most requests for transcripts of anything that C-SPAN aired.  

                  Now, I'd turn that around and wonder why C-SPAN was airing Ross Perot speeches.  There are a lot of people making speeches on public policy around the country all the time and since C-SPAN says it doesn't care about ratings, there is no justification saying they are responding to the public.  But thats going back almost 20 years and C-SPAN has broadened the number of voices it brings to the public since then.  I wonder if there was some introspection that they had promoted Ross Perot.  

                  •  Perot had great appeal (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    Governing is never a black and white issue. There are pros and cons to everything and a lot of dilemmas and hard choices are necessary. Perot's big thing was to take these hard choices and tough dilemmas and make them seem like easy, common sense, black and white issues. People love that.

            •  Perot had a huge effect that year (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              That wasn't my point. I was just refuting the ballwashing being given to him. Really without Perot I doubt Clinton gets elected. He really did speak to people and said what they wanted to hear. He probably saw things as too black and white to be effective as President but most of what he said made sense. It's hard as hell to ignore someone who gets a third of the country behind him.

              •  oh really? Another consequence of Perot (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                is espoused your post. Before Perot returned, Clinton was far ahead of Bush in every poll. Perot was pro-choice, pro-gay, anti-NAFTA, all liberal stances, or at least less Republican. While Clinton went down Perot increased while Bush stagnated. Bush's approvals were at levels in 1992 where no party wins the White House again. Your theory was the GOP excuse for obstructing our President Clinton, which is why health care didn't get passed, and the GOP was able to win 1994. 1996 was because Perot blitzed the airwaves at the end of the campaign with anti-Clinton ads, and Clinton was good enough to do Tom Daschle's bidding and camp for congressional candidates. Not to mention, Perot was all over the air in 1998-2000 hitting Clinton on Monica, which is why his supporters went Bush, and his more liberal supporters stayed home or went for Nader. Saying Bush would have won 1992 without Perot is like saying McCain would have won 2008. The reason thats even less probable is there wasn't a race factor in 1992 to hinder Clinton in Appalachia, which he largely won.

                •  HOLY SOURCES! (0+ / 0-)

                  Debating what would have happened without Perot is a fuzzy science at best. You've got a real point there with the "Clinton won because of Perot" being CW of the worst kind. Personally I think right leaning people were more infatuated with Perot than left leaners. That 14 percent that supported him at the end of the campaign were people that it's my personal opinion saw Clinton as an unacceptable solution and would have either stayed home or voted Bush. That same bloc then went on to fuel the '94 revolution. Without internal polling it's hard to say and even with I would say it's unreliable. It would have been a much closer election either way. They weren't happy with the status quo but were equally unhappy with Clinton.

                  Great post. Really learned a lot.

                  •  just consider mathematically (0+ / 0-)

                    that for Bush to have gotten > 50% of the popular vote, he'd have needed 12.6% more of the vote, and 12.6/18.9(Perot's vote)= 66.6% of Perot's vote, while Clinton only would need 7% more of the popular vote to get to 50% and 7/18.9=37%. And this assumes ALL PEROT VOTERS STILL VOTE. Clearly, many would have stayed home, which makes things even more impossible for Bush and easier for Clinton. Mathematically alone, Clinton had the election in a lock.

                    If you don't trust the 1992 polling, why should we trust the 1994 polling? But if we're gonna talk the 1994 "revolution," then why not include the fact that turnout was low, and yes Perot voters went with Republicans, but that was because the political pendulum had swung. It doesn't mean they would have went with Bush in 1992 sans Perot at all. I respect your right to an "opinion," but when the only somewhat reliable metric to measure this kind of thing says that your idea that "That 14 percent that supported him at the end of the campaign were people that it's my personal opinion saw Clinton as an unacceptable solution and would have either stayed home or voted Bush" is wrong, I'll take the metric. Not all of Perot's voters actually voted in 1994 too, because if they all had, the result may have not been as bad.

                    •  No you've convinced me... (0+ / 0-)

                      It wouldn't have been the absolute ass kicking that Bush received though.

                      The 14% was screwed or at least majority of it. They couldn't vote Republican because they hated Bush. They couldn't vote Clinton because he was a liberal so they had to vote Perot. The 1994 election was also about the south forgiving Republicans for reconstruction and voting for them again on a local level.

          •  Not so. (0+ / 0-)

            But you are entitled to sprinkle your hatred any where you wish, just please keep it away from me. Leave me alone.

            Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning.

            by hestal on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 09:28:35 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Nuh huh! (0+ / 0-)

              What kind of response is this? No you're wrong! Leave me alone!

              Grow up.

              •  Please leave me alone. (0+ / 0-)

                Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning.

                by hestal on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 10:02:20 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Get a grip... (0+ / 0-)

                  seriously it's just the internet. I'm not trying to e-bully you but your points just didn't make sense.

                  •  My points make sense. You are the (0+ / 0-)

                    one who is letting your hatred for Perot blind you.  He did run for president.  You don't like the way he ran his campaign, but he ran all the way through.  He stood before the tv cameras and debated his opponents.  But because he, not a professional politician, ran an imperfect campaign, you hate him and say that he is not a man of his word.  Furthermore, as I said in my original comment he warned everybody that he did not want the job and that his nature was not suited to campaigning or holding office, the People said that they wanted him to run anyway.

                    So he did exactly what he said he would do and he matched the warnings he gave beforehand.  He knew himself, but he also knew that People were asking him to run.  The appeal was large, long and he gave in to it.  So the worst I think you can say about him is that he shouldn't have tried so hard to please the People.

                    But this kind of rational analysis is of no value to a jerk like you who would rather bully and shoot from the lip.  

                    But, because I am a nice guy, and you are not, and because I know guys like you have to have the last word as you have proven by denying me the right to be left alone in spite of my repeated requests, I will let you have the last word.  Go ahead and take your best shot.  I promise to read it and not respond.  That way you can safely retreat back into your world of petty delusions.

                    Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning.

                    by hestal on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 10:52:05 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

  •  Perhaps I'm being either naive (8+ / 0-)

    or else I'm simply uniformed, but I think that much of this ignorance-as-outrage stuff can be lain at Sarah Palin's door.  She went around the country, hosting rallies where angry, racist boors could vent their outrage out loud in a group setting, and be encouraged.  It's one thing to spout ignorant hatred on a blog, or call into a radio show to vent, but to be gathered in a rally where anything goes is far more dangerous.  By not stopping this howling hatefest, she and her handlers judged that a few votes were worth the armed-and-dangerous rabble she was unleashing.  She lost, but they continued, and are plainly on view in these tea parties.  They know little, but hate a great deal, and they feel now that they are on the rise.  Their threats of violence cannot be ignored.  Scary.

    It's okay to love our country again.

    by SottoVoce on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 08:47:50 AM PDT

    •  That was my take on it (4+ / 0-)

      The teabaggers and the Palin rally people seem very closely aligned.

      Every day's another chance to stick it to The Man. - dls.

      by The Raven on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 08:53:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There's always some GOPer pol... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Munchkn, Surreal American

      more than willing to condone extremism.

      Happens every decade.

      That Perry-ass in Texas is another one.

      Since Perry can't lick himself after crapping, he's gonna talk about seceding.

      Same difference.

      Droogie is as Droogie does....

      by vets74 on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 08:56:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah, its the "great American" thing (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Surreal American

      They think they're the good Americans and they're not appreciated enough, as though the rest of us are all slouches or taking drugs or something.  Its is such an absurd nearsightedness.  

    •  Lain at Sarah Palin's door? (0+ / 0-)

      You act like Palin would be ashamed of this development.  I'd wager good money that Palin is looking for ways to exploit that crowd for 2012.  OK, that's not that big of a shock.  

      It's always dicey viewing Palin's actions through any logic filter.  However if there's a method to her recent madness of alienating both Alaskan Democrats and Republicans in her state because of her decisions, it's that she can channel that bipartisan dissatifaction to bolster her political outsider street cred.

      My theory is that she realizes her goose is cooked with the Republican Party establishment when it comes to endorsing her 2012 run.  Therefore she's going to attempt to circumvent the nomination process by either mounting a Ron Paul-type insurgency within the GOP or she will run as a third party candidate.  

      Nothing has informed me thus far that the tea bagger crowd doesn't love them some Sarah.  The tea bag movement is tailor made for Palin.  They don't actually care about administrative competency.  Tea baggers just want to be lied to again about smaller government and low taxes, but they can no longer believe the GOP bigwigs.

      Hey Birthers! Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

      by Surreal American on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 01:17:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well done! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PurpleMyst, theal8r

    I have had some "loose" thoughts about what happened last week, but you put it all together so well, I thank you.
    Sometimes I think the problem is psychological in nature. The world is changing, and some people just can't cope with it, psychologically.
    This problem is not just with those less educated, either. I think bishops and popes have this problem, too.
    Nonetheless, you offer an excellent analysis!

  •  Wait until you see the Obama = Torturer protests. (0+ / 0-)

    It will remind you of some other very familiar protests you've seen.

    The aging hippies will be there. The pot legalizers. The guys protesting the IMF and the World Bank. The book tables with the 9/11 conspiracy theorists. The anti-imperialism folks. The socialist party newspaper folks. Lenora Fulani. Somefolks doing political pantomimes. confrontation poetry. Code Pink.

    I thought we made progress with the Obama campaign. Democrats finally had large crowds of regular folks.
    But hey...who needs regular folks when youve got righteous outrage to do.

    Ah yes. The good old days having no power and plenty to complain about. Seems just like...four years ago.

  •  And all of this will happen again! (3+ / 0-)

    I blame Kara Thrace.

  •  yep (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ben masel


    1930s: Huey Long, Father Coughlin, Farmers Holiday Association, Union Party, EPIC, Townsendites, bunch of other stuff.

    1968, George Wallace and the American Independent Party, and libertarian breakaways from the new left and old right

    1980s: The "LaRouche Democrats", farm belt populism, etc.

    Early 1990s: the Wise Use movement

    1998, Jesse "The Body" Ventura and the Reform Party

    Key point here is these are not the Republican constituency.  We discredit ourselves by pretending these are just Republican astroturf - as far too many "tea party" diaries and front pager stories alike have done.  At most the Republicans try co-opting these movements with varying degrees of success.  They may have had their best success co-opting them in 1994 with the Contract On America.  At worst they can spin off into crypto-fascism, although that has not actually been near as big a threat as the far left wants us to believe.  At best they can build a base of support for broad new initiatives, like happened with FDR and Social Security, but again because there are so many loose cannons and perpetually-disgruntled involved, not all of them are going to be happy (the Townsendites were reduced to a smaller core of disgruntleds after Social Security was passed, while the majority got on board in favor of Social Security, for example.)

    Truth be told we've done a piss poor job of reaching out to these constituencies ourselves.  Every time it appears we are making inroads into appealing to populism - see the Jim Webb, Heath Schuler, Zach Space, Bob Casey, etc. campaigns in 2006 - we seem to revert right back to snooty dismissal of populist anger and moronic attacks on the people we just helped get elected.  Shame.

  •  You make some very good points, BUT (0+ / 0-)

    I got the definite impression from the news reports that even in major metropolitan areas, there weren't many more than a few hundred teabaggers at these events. That doesn't seem like the start of a movement to me.

    Of course, there are always disaffected people around, and they mostly come out during bad economic or social times, but I just don't see the teabaggers as any credible threat...

    I believe that in every country the people themselves are more peaceably and liberally inclined than their governments. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

    by Blue Knight on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 08:59:44 AM PDT

  •  Apparently Black people like paying taxes (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GenXWho, Munchkn, vcthree, raf

    Because from all the videos I saw, they didn't attend any of the tea parties.

    •  What, and give those jabrones... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ...another thing to bash black folks over the head with?  You bet your ass we like paying our taxes.  I make it a point to e-file every year.

      Then again...we're also among the many unemployed, so...forgive us if we had better things to do that day than march around yelling about other rich folks' taxes.

    •  There were two blacks at the St. Louis baggin (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      1. Some guy at the Liberty Party (?) booth
      1. The Master of Ceremonies (MC) of the event

      The MC told a heartwarming story about how his mother was poor.  How she got a job working for a rich, white family, and how they taught him that, with hard work and determination, he could make something of himself.  He went on to say that any of the white people there should feel free to call him "master" -- that he would enjoy that.

      This is how they kicked off the teabaggin in one of the most racially divided cities in the US.  By trotting out a blatant Uncle Tom character to mouth their racist talking points.  As he said this stuff, I looked around and people were totally agreeing (yells and nodding heads).  Like all we need to do is get every black person adopted by a nice, white, rich family and everything will be OK.  Unfuckingbelievable.

      (Clue: I was neither the guy at the booth, nor the MC)

      Omaha must now be referred to as Omama

      by GenXWho on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 09:44:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Obama is a Fascist-Communist according ....... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shpilk, BenGoshi, deaniac20

    to the idiots who worked up this collection of "real" people (there were a few - those were correctly irritated over over the way the banks have treated TARP funds), self-serving politicians (Perry comes to mind), curiosity-seekers, disaffected youth, skin-heads, senile elders and genuine nut cases who believe the government is still hiding alien spacecraft from Roswell.

    However they were "organized" by mostly ludicrous sore losers who, lacking any real ideas, came together to vent their anger about everything and anything, but especially about losing an election that they thought they were entitled to win.

    How can Obama be both a Fascist (right wing) and a Communist (left wing)? Stalin and Mussolini were natural allies? Yeah, right. Their main similarity was that they were so far left and right that they almost met. They both produced basically similar totalitarian governments, based on their own egocentric cult of personality. Walt Kelly pointed this out in regard to Nazism vrs. Russian Communism in "Pogo" years ago, but the basic (at least espoused) political philosophies were at core quite different. Don't these people ever read history books?  Beside it is a little odd to call Obama a Fascist when you have skin heads and Neo-Nazis in your own crowd.

  •  If Dems fail, I'll vote 3rd party (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vcthree, theal8r

    I voted Republican before, but that was pre-Bush.  I'm not going back there now.  But if the Dems (and Obama) fall to corruption and cronyism, if they prove innefective or incapable of running the country, then I will go 3rd party.  Because I can't vote GOP, and I won't vote for continued failure, if it were to come to that.

    I hope a viable 3rd party rises, because right now the Dems can be complacent the same way the GOP was, with a "where are they going to go?" attitude.
    A viable 3rd party will help keep our leader's feet to the fire and get us better governance.

    •  Will throwing your vote away on a third party (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      candidate improve anything?

      I believe that in every country the people themselves are more peaceably and liberally inclined than their governments. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

      by Blue Knight on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 09:06:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Only if that third party is viable. (0+ / 0-)

        And don't underestimate the possibility, either.  Find the right person with the right amount of money to invest in such an thing, with the right political skill, grassroots organization, netroots organization, and a field of candidates that can win first at the local level, then state, then's possible.  Not saying it's going to happen overnight--Unity08 was a failure--but I'm not counting it out, either.

        •  Think for a minute about the history of (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Desert Scientist

          third parties in this country. Then ask yourself how likely your scenario is.

          I'm not a Democrat because I believe the Democratic Party is the be-all and end-all of political wisdom and accomplishment. I see alot of things in the Democratic Party I don't like. But I'm commited, because, let's face it, no viable alternative is anywhere on the horizon. We need to work with what we've got if we're going to accomplish anything.

          I believe that in every country the people themselves are more peaceably and liberally inclined than their governments. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

          by Blue Knight on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 09:16:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Agreed on all counts... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Blue Knight, Desert Scientist

            ...and I've looked extensively into several third party efforts in American history; it's more likely a party out of the mainstream would have won in 1820 than 2010, but it's a lot different now than then.  I'm just saying that, if organized correctly, it could be pulled off, but it's going to take years, many election cycles and--this is key--favorable media coverage to make it all work.  The likelihood of favorable media coverage is almost zero, so by that standard, it's not gonna work unless they create their own source.

            Point taken, nonetheless.  

          •  Right. Perot did not get one electoral vote. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Blue Knight

            He got 19% of the popular vote but not one electoral vote.  'Nuff said.  

          •  But (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            If the Democratic Party won't listen to the people who worked hard to put them in office this go-round, then it makes as much sense to throw that hard work behind a Party that will listen.

            Granted, you run the risk of sounding like the Silent Majority people and the ones who ended up running the party during the Bush years (and are now confused and scared -- they have a party, but no guests).

            I voted for change -- not just in DC, but in the party and, while I'll put up with compromise for the sake of the greater good, I don't want to see it all become the same shit again.

            Teach, preach, reach!

            by theal8r on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 09:49:36 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Judging by history, it would seem (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          that right person would also have to have the initials RP. I wonder why that is.  

          Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under. -- H. L. Mencken

          by leftist vegetarian patriot on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 11:01:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I hate that term (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        vcthree, theal8r

        No one owns any vote - you can't steal it.  It is yours to do with it what you want - you can't throw it away.  Sometimes a vote for a spoiler candidate can even be a very powerful one.  Just look at the example of Perot - he spurred Clinton to be much more fiscally conservative (whether you like that or not) and put balancing the budget on the agenda.  His candidacy was effective, even if he didn't win, and that's something that most people don't realize about how some third parties work.

        •  And look at the 2000 candidacy of Nader, which (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lois, BenGoshi, theal8r

          almost certainly resulted in George W. Bush becoming POTUS...

          I believe that in every country the people themselves are more peaceably and liberally inclined than their governments. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

          by Blue Knight on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 09:17:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  So that was the decision of the Floridians (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            and the people in New Hampshire who voted Nader.

            Besides, however at fault Nader may be, it's been used to much as a scapegoat for the failure of congressional Democrats and our electoral system, which has seen surprisingly little reform since what should have been a wake up call in 2000.

            •  And the country paid a huge price because those (0+ / 0-)

              people voted Nader. I knpow those voters thought they were doing what was right, but just look at the consequences.

              Before the last election, kos remarked that he wanted "more and better Democrats". I agree with that, with special emphasis on the "better". Yes, we have some Dems in office that aren't so hot. So, instead of voting for the Tooth Fairy Party, let's work to get better people running as our candidates.

              I believe that in every country the people themselves are more peaceably and liberally inclined than their governments. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

              by Blue Knight on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 09:26:10 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  That's not what I was talking about (0+ / 0-)

                I was saying that I hate having votes talked about like they are a commodity.

                And then I was saying that spoiler candidacies can be effective in getting an agenda implemented (another example - the Prohibition Party, which was never terribly successful but their potential success scared Republicans enough that their agenda got adopted), not that I agree with the practice.

                And then I was saying that Nader is too often a scapegoat, even if he probably should have dropped out of the race.

                Personally, I'm not even sure that third parties should run presidential candidates at this point in our history (although I do think they can be powerful local tools if managed correctly).  So I don't know why you're coming at me.

                •  First, I don't mean to "come at you" at all, (0+ / 0-)

                  and I'm sorry if it came off that way. I see third party candidacies as a definite danger, and so I'm trying to make the point that people should very carefully consider the consequences of them before they support them. That's all I'm trying to say.

                  I believe that in every country the people themselves are more peaceably and liberally inclined than their governments. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

                  by Blue Knight on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 09:38:06 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

    •  What if, like in '94, the "failure" (in the case (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lois, Blue Knight

         of '94, failure to pass substantive health care reform legislation) is primarily due to Republican propaganda, intransigence, bullying and lies?  Will it make Democrats more effective by putting more Republicans on Capitol Hill, or get more of what you want done done?


      "Unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing-glove." -- P.G. Wodehouse (via Bertie Wooster)

      by BenGoshi on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 09:32:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  <Insert 3rd Party Voting Debate Here> (0+ / 0-)

      Omaha must now be referred to as Omama

      by GenXWho on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 09:46:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  DT, I believe the anti-tax movement (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Support Civil Liberty, theal8r

    probably has legs.

    It's not taxes per se that are the perceived wrong.

    It's how tax revenue is spent.

    On this point, I think there is the possibility of the Left and Right coming together, over bailouts and maybe some other reckless spending.

    •  good luck (0+ / 0-)

      getting tea-baggers to support bank nationalization and more stimulus spending.

    •  BS (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shpilk, echatwa, Blue Knight

      Bush passes a tax cut and it's OMG TAX CUTS! The media can't fall over themselves fast enough to talk about how he cut taxes. Obama cuts taxes for 95% of America and they throw tea parties.

      These tea party people aren't pissed that government is wasting money. They're pissed that government is spending money. That the government exists at all. In their mind it would be better if we just stopped spending money. It's like Mark Sanford cloned himself and started a movement.

      Depending on your political stripes you see programs you don't support as wasteful spending. If you're a pacifist you see the DoD budget as completely wasteful. If you're a hard ass neocon you see every social program as wasteful spending. If you're a libertarian nut job you see everything other than the power bill for the government shack as wasteful spending.

      Right now are hard times so people look at the amount being taken out of their check more than they do during bad times but there is no fundamental underpinning to say that there's this groundswell of support for less spending. Better spending yes, but that's the Barack Obama movement.

    •  Agreed (0+ / 0-)

      The crowds weren't "I don't want to pay taxes" crowds, they were about how the $$ are spent far off.  The $$ are going out of the country, being spent on war, being focused on banks that should have been allowed to fail.  There were certainly people at the parties who don't like taxes at all, but most of what I heard was about how it was being spent it was very, very anti-big business.

  •  The crowd in SF was largly Republican (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BenGoshi, deaniac20, echatwa, theal8r

    I even had people yelling at me that "Bush kept us safe for 8 years, Obama is going to ruin the nation!" (They blamed 9/11 on Clinton when I reminded them that Bush was the president during the worst attack on the US in history)

    •  So anything bad that happens up through... (0+ / 0-)

       . . . September 11, 2009, is Bush's fault?  So to these cranks Obama gets a 7-and-a-1/2 month "mulligan" period?  Woo-hoo.


      "Unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing-glove." -- P.G. Wodehouse (via Bertie Wooster)

      by BenGoshi on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 09:29:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Cylon Party (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eireknight, TheChop, theal8r

    I swear I saw only about 12 different models in all the Tea Bag Coverage.

    Although none of them were as hot as Six.

  •  Teabaggin' in Johnstown PA yesterday... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bush Bites

    Fearing that America is headed down a road to socialism, Monika Mullen of Richland Township, a former postal worker and German immigrant, said, "It’s time to let the government know enough is enough. No more spending. Don’t sell us short; don’t apologize for us."

    Mullen said she came to America 30 years ago "with a suitcase and a lot of dreams."

    She said that she is a permanent resident and hopes to become a citizen soon.

    PALIN: I have a vast variety of sources where we get our news.

    by Big Nit Attack on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 09:09:24 AM PDT

  •  I'd much rather have Paul than Palin (0+ / 0-)

    and I hope that the "r3volution" crowd has some power in the Republican Party for years to come.  They're much more of a legitimate, thoughtful opposition - bona fide libertarians, that is - than the neocons we've had to deal with for so long now.

    •  frankly, I'd rather have neocons (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bush Bites

      than libertarians.

      I'll take Fukuyama over Ayn Rand any day of the week. If you think corruption and cronyism under the neocons was bad, just imagine what would happen if we gave the reins to people who think that selfishness is the highest virtue.

      With that said, I'd take libertarians over theocons...

      •  I don't know which is worse. (0+ / 0-)

         Unfocused sociopathy or focused sociopathy.  

         I'm thinking both are pretty damn dangerous.  Although I'll grant that the unfocused ones are less likely to ever be in charge.  The focused ones, well, you've got the Bush Admin as an example of when they're in charge.


        "Unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing-glove." -- P.G. Wodehouse (via Bertie Wooster)

        by BenGoshi on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 09:26:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Not me. Neocons like wars, and (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        there's no way for a democratic people to rein in a war once instituted, mainly because you need the agreement of the people attacked.  The libertarian government that suggested eliminating all gun control would probably get a gentle reminder that minors and incarcerated felons shouldn't have guns.

        Watch the video of Beck with the sound off. His grimaces, tics, shrugs, shit-eating grins and hand-waving convey his instability better than his words.

        by Inland on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 09:45:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Paul won't run, but Gary Johnson, ex NM Gov. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      will get his backing. Like RP, but without the baggage.

      If Obama doesn't deal with the failed DrugWar, Johnson will gain more traction on the left than Paul could hope for.

      At the Santa Fe Tea party:

      Attendees were much more in tune with former Gov. Gary Johnson, who was elected to two terms as a Republican but, as often was the case when he was in office, did not give a party-line talk Wednesday.

      Dressed in a gray T-shirt with a peace symbol, Johnson said, "I'm really disappointed in the Republican Party of the last eight years. We had the presidency and the Congress, and we rang up record deficits."

      He also criticized the war in Iraq. He said the U.S. shouldn't have gone to war if it had to resort to massive deficit spending.

      While those criticisms didn't win him big applause, the crowd ate it up when Johnson talked about government waste, high taxes and the possibility of runaway inflation.

      He criticized as wasteful the state's recently expanded Rail Runner commuter train operation and the state jet purchased by his Democratic successor, Gov. Bill Richardson.

      The Fear Machine has been turned up to eight.

      by ben masel on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 09:31:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It reminds me of what some fish just said on (0+ / 0-)

    Sponge Bob Square Pants.
    "who is this guy?" (in response to Squid-ward protesting his work conditions)

    "I don't know.  But, he has a megaphone."

  •  What is "Frak"? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    And is it sure?

    •  "Frak" is the... (0+ / 0-)

      ...on-television replacement for the word Fuck used in Battlestar Galactica, which is where Devilstower appropriately (and to the glee of many, apparently) grabbed the title of this diary.  (I presume, anyway... particularly by their use of Frak.)

      A central theme in the show is "All this has happened before, and all this will happen again."

  •  I'm going to hijack you and send you over to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    my last three diaries: most recent:

    and previously but in ascending chronological order

    early wednesday morning

    and later on Thursday after the tea parties went bust.

    it chills my blood - it actually makes me shivver - to see the indifference and the nonchalance on the Left just because the right is looking pretty stupid right now.

    Small minds who fear they are losing are the ones who are inspired to do unthinkably ugly things. They dream up the things we don't give thought to because what is not even in our wildest and strangest realm of possibilities is now no longer their last resort, because they think we are now at the time for last resorts. Their previous last resort is now their new - their next - action plan. .

    Democrats don't shoot people for their political beliefs. Admitted Republicans already have. Remember Bill Gwatney, head of the Arkansas Democratic party, and the Tennesse UUC church, when the shooter said he wanted specifically to kill liberals, but he couldn't reach the ones he'd preffer so anything nearby would have to be good enough.

    We aren't the party who thinks they love Lincoln because he won the Civil war and saved the union only so they can act like breaking up the union now is their next best new idea.

    We aren't the party that is openly declaring that Democrats are the equivalent to treasonous felons or islamic terrorists.

    Sure, laugh at the outcast. Make fun of them.

    And although the Binghamton shooting was not a political act, it was committed by a guy who said he was tired of being laughed at for his inadequacies. How many more humilated people with guns do you want to have floating around the neighborhood right now?

    Do we really need someone to show up at the protest bonfire with a gasoline truck and offer them a free refill?  

    Ignore these people - ridicule them - dismiss them - at our peril: and I say "our" not as  Democrat, as an American.

    This wretched misery is not funny any more. I don't care that their behavior is laughable because the consequences unfolding all around us now are not in the least bit funny.

    Americans are turning on one another like it's sport; and some of them are claiming that it's their patriotic duty.

    Nevermind Rick Perry in Texas - this clown has inspired OATH KEEPERS- who is a group claiming that if Obama calls out the military if there is mass violence and rioting that the military is obligated not to obey the call.

    Did you really grasp what this means?

    They thought going to Iraq after Bush and Cheney's lies was a noble act, but to arrive in a US city to squelch a riot is a legitimate reason to surrender their post and put the weapon down in direct controvention of an order - because they know when it's an unlawful one, and they think our current Commander in Chief was not duly installed.

    Are you grasping this?  

    People - we have US citizens who are now openly gathering protests to tell members of the military to enthusastically defy the Commander in Chief of the US military if he does call them to action as long as they claim they know he's wrong.

    What was treason to them under Bush, is the most patriotic act they can find (in their mind) under Obama.

    Are your really going to tell me to go back to watching TV and eat more Cheetos because this is nothing to bother with anymore?

    Every single day this week there has been a front page story about someone who shot themselves, their family, or someone else in an act of desperation.

    Take a good look at the ront page of my local newpaper and tell me this was a joke: The NRA crowd wants to protest a law that forbids guns in a public park (and they crowded out a Red Cross Walk for Life event to do it), and the next headline that takes up the rest of the page is about another crime that involved shots being fired.

    Could I make this shit up?

    People - look around you. This is NOT business as usual. This is your country fraying before your eyes.

    I believe in Obama - it's the citizens I'm not so sure about. Half of them are rallying to take up arms, the other half has their arms folded because we won the election and now our job is done.

    I'm not in the  mood to be laughing at people no matter how laughable they are.

    We have gone from a country that only a year ago thought Islamic terrorists were our biggest problem, to a country who's only headlines right now are filled with one group of Americans who are pointing all ten fingers at other Americans.

    Talk about Iraq? Bleh.

    Talk about Afghanistan? Why bother.

    Talk about Pakistan imploding? Who are they?

    But they'll talk all day and night about who took your job - now you've got a crowd. All the fingers are pointed at the people that used to be called "neighbor" or "brother" or "friend", not so much anymore at the "other" terrorists.

    My neighbor here isn't mad at Al Queda; he isn't mad at wall street bankers - he's sort of mad at politicians who passed laws that made it all possible (but convinced none of them are Republicans) -

    he's most furious at the people who got kicked out of their homes.

    Got that?

    He's frothing at the mouth at homeless people - because it's not only their fault they're homeless (and no one else's, thank you) but they're also to blame because his house is worth less and that his business is down (he runs a private business).

    All of that is soley the fault of poor people, he thinks "deadbeat" people; people on the dole taking his hard earned money and wasting it to become homeless people - all Democrats, by the way, because there's not a single person who defaulted on their mortgage who could possibly be a Republican.

    Because Republicans are patriotic Americans who love their country, and everyone else isn't.

    See where I'm going with this? People who believe only what they want to believe and who are now primed to act on that are not to be ignored.

    Not for long anyway. That's their current rallying cry if you've noticed.

    "Take our country back" they said, from other Americans. Thats me, that's you, that's me - that'sus here they are talking about 'taking the country back' from.

    Got that? It's not your country anymore, you commie librul scum, they're coming to take it 'back'.

    Sure - go ahead and say you've seen it all before.

    And then one day we're going to see the one thing we've never seen before and ask ourselves why we weren't doing more to see it coming.

    I'm sorry for my tone; I don't normally lash out at front-page diarists, especially ones with so much more credibility than me, and who garner so much more respect than I do, and I don't mean to make it personal.

    But we have NOT seen this before.

    We have not.

    And what we are seeing now is spiralling so wickedly out of control because both sides will never agree on what was done wrong, both sides want the other to take the blame, and the whole idea of "us" has been set on fire and pissed into the wind.

    This country is eating itself from the inside.

    Maybe we have seen all that before, but I wasn't there then. I'm here now, and I am pretty goddamn sure then when we did see anything like this before that it didn't lead to anything we're proud of or anything we would like to go through again.

    Last time I checked there were more Americans killed in the Civil War between North and South than there have been in every foreign conflict we've ever fought put together.

    I'm not enthusiastic about watching that movie again, except this time played out as a live act, on a stage with myself and all of you as the supporting cast.

    Can we please stop saying that we've seen this all before?


    George Orwell is banging on the lid of his coffin and screaming, "1984 was a cautionary tale, you dolts, not a motivational speech!"

    by snafubar on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 09:19:42 AM PDT

    •  What can you do? (0+ / 0-)

      When they want everything done their way or they'll threaten Civil War.

      Sorry, but you can only humor violent ignoramuses for so long.

      Eventually, you have to say, "OK do your worst, because you're ruining the country from the inside anyway."

      •  If Obama can be bold enough to open a dialogue (0+ / 0-)

        with Iran,

        why we can't get a reasonable conversation between Democrats and Republicans in this country that is any more productive than a Jerry Springer episode is just tragic.

        George Orwell is banging on the lid of his coffin and screaming, "1984 was a cautionary tale, you dolts, not a motivational speech!"

        by snafubar on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 12:07:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  My mom just expressed the same (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      to me -- a true blue dog Democrat, too.

      She's pissed off, luckily, at the credit card companies for raising her interest rates when she's never missed a payment ever.  People like me deserve it (or at least it makes sense) because I've gone through a bankruptcy and have bad credit.  

      That anger can definitely be harnessed in ways that won't be pretty.  Class warfare?  

      Teach, preach, reach!

      by theal8r on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 10:04:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Obama has pretty big ears ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "Fratboys like DL are never serious and should never be taken seriously or viewed as serious persons."

    by DemocraticLuntz on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 09:23:04 AM PDT

  •  Hey, I voted for Perot (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bush Bites

    as a lifelong Dem I was hinkey about Clinton and never warmed up to him. I can't describe my affiliation, other than Dem, but that's all water now, isn't it?

    Yep, there might be a third party soon, but I don't see many potential leaders, and no one on the disaffected side who can come up with anything remotely representing a new idea. I am a moderately happy Dem for the moment.

    Americans, while occasionally willing to be serfs, have always been obstinate about being peasantry. F. Scott Fitzgerald, the Great Gatsby

    by riverlover on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 09:23:18 AM PDT

  •  Much of the tax angst isn't about the rate, (0+ / 0-)

    but the time and effort to prepare the return.

    The Fear Machine has been turned up to eight.

    by ben masel on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 09:24:04 AM PDT

  •  Tricia Helfer & James Callis... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...are somewhere laughing.

  •  repubs fail to factor in generational cycles (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    In 1992, the radical Boomers were coming into political power. Game over.

    "I don't do cowering." - Barack Obama

    by NamelessGenXer on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 09:29:12 AM PDT

  •  You had me until the end (0+ / 0-)

    I went to observe the St Louis baggin' and got the very vibe that you describe.  It was creepy and non-threatening all at once.  I walked amongst them and snapped photos--I was like a ghost.  (It helps to be a veteran of large festival crowds.)

    So, you nailed it.  And then you had to go and use "frak" in the last sentence.  I can't make it through an episode of BG without LMAO at that crap.  Drives the girlfriend, a major fan, crazy.  Man, this cannot catch on.

    Peace out.

    Omaha must now be referred to as Omama

    by GenXWho on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 09:29:43 AM PDT

  •  The Baggies (0+ / 0-)

    Those Baggies wouldn't have the wherewithal to organize themselves if it weren't for FOX News.  That godawful TV network has done more to poison our political culture than any politician ever could.  I'm hoping that Obama's FCC is keeping a close eye on Murdoch's operation--  the first time Glenn Beck advocates armed revolution, they ought to pull the plug on his operating license.

    Regulate banks, not bedrooms

    by Eagleye on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 09:30:21 AM PDT

  •  My favorite phrases... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    1. as funny as an evening at the Improv with Neil Cavuto (or Glenn Beck, or BOR)
    1. Bob Barr Country mile - is that the same sentiment as a George W. Bush rodeo (or more aptly Presidency)?

    Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

    by Suvro on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 09:30:59 AM PDT

  •  Perot voters weren't ideologues. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    theal8r, rossl

    Heck, I voted for Perot.

    Clinton was sleazy and Bush was out of touch.

    To a lot of people, Perot was the "none of the above" candidate.

  •  A Perot may be the GOP's only chance in 2012 (0+ / 0-)

    just as he was their only chance to keep the race close in 1992. When Perot was not in the 1992 race, Bush was still headed for 37% of the vote.

  •  Nuts vote for other Nuts. (0+ / 0-)

    But that doesn't get anything useful accomplished.

    Pootie fan? Me too! Check out my cat advice blog.
    The Way of Cats

    by WereBear on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 09:43:35 AM PDT

  •  Stockdale was great, he was no Palin (5+ / 0-)

    Admiral Stockdale was the single best thing in the Perot campaign -- a crotchety, grumpy old man who just wasn't going to play stupid games (except, apparently, the whole Perot campaign thing).

    I remember a fine moment in the Vice Presidential debate, before he turned off his hearing aid so he wouldn't have to listen to Gore and Quayle.

    The moderator asked "Do you support a woman's right to choose whether or not to carry an unborn child to term."

    Al Gore gave a long, carefully nuanced response that dragged on and on and on going over the time limit, desperately trying not to offend anyone and completely muddying the answer, which everyone already knew.

    Dan Quayle gave a long, carefully nuanced response that dragged on and on and on going over the time limit, desperately trying not to offend anyone and completely muddying the answer, which everyone already knew.

    Stockdale said "Yes". There was a long pause, the moderator asked "Is there anything you would like to add?", Stockdale briefly glanced at Gore and Quayle, and said something like "It was a yes or no question, not sure why they kept going on"

    It was at that moment that I realized, if only Perot wasn't completely insane, I would have voted for Stockdale. And when he turned off his hearing aid and ignored the other two on stage, it reaffirmed my great admiration for him.

    Did this make him qualified to be Vice President? No, probably not, but we could have done a lot worse. He was an admiral, so he had run a large organization, and from that respect he was more qualified than a Senator.

    (-7.38,-2.51) 76% of dKos readers think I'm a secret wing-nut operative!

    by Gustavo on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 09:43:55 AM PDT

    •  Kind of funny how Gore turned into such a hero. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      canyonrat, deaniac20, theal8r

      When, frankly, most of his campaign appearances and debates were very cringe-worthy.

      2000 was basically the Insufferable One against The Simpleton.

    •  Stockdale wrote a book on the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      philosophy of war and his war experiences, and was a real 'war hero', unlike McCain. Stockdale refused to be used a prop for propaganda by the NV. I don't agree with the actions he took part in as part of the Vietnam War, but at least Stockdale served with real honor. He was President of the Citadel; you don't get to there without serious respect from within the military community.

      This guy was railroaded to hell by both the left and right.

      •  Stockdale also, to his credit (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        resigned as president of the Citadel over objection to their culture of hazing, after trying unsuccessfully to change it.

        He wasn't cut out to be a vice presidential running mate in today's media-driven world of weasel wording and sound bites, but in many ways was the most thoughtful and qualified of any of the candidates.

  •  Time to replace the gop! (0+ / 0-)

    There is only one eternal political party in American politics and it is the Democrats! All other parties must pass! ;)

    There's something attractive about invincible ignorance... for the first 5 seconds.

    by MNPundit on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 09:46:10 AM PDT

  •  The disaffected can managed a protest, or riot, (0+ / 0-)

    but not win an election.

    They also need a coherent message. One that's not a mix of "I'm paying too much tax," "cap and trade is evil," "secession is legal," and "Obama is a fascist/socialist/communist wussy."

    If they want to accomplish anything positive.  

    Watch the video of Beck with the sound off. His grimaces, tics, shrugs, shit-eating grins and hand-waving convey his instability better than his words.

    by Inland on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 09:48:06 AM PDT

  •  well, as one started with protesting (0+ / 0-)

    viet nam, i have seen a lot of shit come and go. and to tell you the truth, i saw perot as just an opportunist with a lot of money.

    "I'm starting to become pretty convinced at this point that 'socialist' is a new code word for 'nigger,'" "Jill Tubman"

    by Punkerpan on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 09:49:44 AM PDT

  •  Whoa. Hold on a minute. (3+ / 0-)

    Vadm James Stockdale was not the caricature seen on SNL. I agree with a fair amount of what you posted MB, but Stockdale was an intelligent and honorable man.

    This guy was a real 'war hero', a guy who refused to be used for propaganda purposes by the North Vietnamese.

    The wikipedia does a fair job - here's part of it.

    He was held as a prisoner of war in the Hoa Lo prison for the next seven years. Locked in leg irons in a bath stall, he was routinely tortured and beaten. When told by his captors that he was to be paraded in public, Stockdale slit his scalp with a razor to purposely disfigure himself so that his captors could not use him as propaganda. When they covered his head with a hat, Stockdale beat himself with a stool until his face was swollen beyond recognition. He told them in no uncertain terms that they would never use him. When Stockdale heard that other prisoners were dying under the torture, he slit his wrists and told them that he preferred death to submission.

    Come on MB, this guy does not deserve the thrashing the media heaped upon him.

    I saw his 1999 interview with Lehrer, the man was intelligent and honorable. Comparing him in any way to Palin [or for that matter any of the Republican candidates for President this last cycle] is not fair; it's a false perception the mass media stuck to him like glue, and it should not be repeated.

    Here's the books he wrote.

       * Taiwan and the Sino-Soviet Dispute Stanford, California, 1962.
       * The Ethics of Citizenship University of Texas at Dallas, 1981, Andrew R. Cecil lectures on moral values in a free society featured Stockdale and other speakers.
       * James Bond Stockdale Speaks on the "Melting Experience: Grow or Die" Hoover Institution, Stanford, 1981 speech to the graduating class of John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio.
       * A Vietnam Experience: Ten Years of Reflection, Hoover Institution, Stanford, 1984, ISBN 0-8179-8151-9.
       * In Love and War: The Story of a Family's Ordeal and Sacrifice During the Vietnam Years Harper & Row, New York, 1984, ISBN 0-06-015318-0.
       * In Love and War: The Story of a Family's Ordeal and Sacrifice During the Vietnam Years Naval Institute Press, reprint 1990, Annapolis, Maryland, ISBN 0-87021-308-3.
       * Courage Under Fire: Testing Epictetus's Doctrines in a Laboratory of Human Behavior Hoover Institution, Stanford, 1993, ISBN 0-8179-3692-0.
       * Thoughts of a Philosophical Fighter Pilot, Hoover Institution, Stanford, 1995 ISBN 0-8179-9391-6.

  •  Couldn't agree more. (0+ / 0-)

    This is how I put it:

    What I saw was a bunch of voters...

    ...who hate Republicans and hate Democrats more. They're disenfranchised, non-metro despite where they live, white and, along with abortion voters, low hanging fruit for a third party. Hope they're just a small bunch of Coleman-sore-losers and we don't see them again (not usually a winning strategy)...

    As for the future, all it takes is a smart enough organization to select the right candidate and messaging for a strategy of minimum coupling and maximum cohesion.

    HR 676 - Health care reform we can believe in - national single-payer NOW.

    by kck on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 09:59:47 AM PDT

  •  Huckabee Is That Guy (0+ / 0-)
    Rev Huckabee is a natural on the stage. He didn't discredit himself one bit during primary campaign 2008. He's got a nationwide radio show now. His stated economics are closer to Jesus' word than any of these other Republicans, but he managed to run Arkansas like any other Republican, which shows his mastery of the word/deed form.

    Of Romney, 9iu11ani and Huckabee, all of whom are staying underground watching Palin burn out all other memories of who and what campaign 2008 was, it's Huckabee who's most likely to emerge victorious in the general. He's also least likely to raise money and beat Romney and 9iu11ani in the primaries. Democrats should make sure he loses that primary, because he could indeed win, in 2016 or possibly even in 2012. Reaganer things have happened.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 10:02:11 AM PDT

    •  Huckabee is a religious whack job (0+ / 0-)

      No way he could ever win in a national election.

      The interesting part is that all indications are the right wing evangelicals have dropped out of direct political action.  I think that leaves the relgious right types such as Huckabee and the social conservatives such as Palin in a real lurch for ground troops.  Mind you, the Dems aren't going to get many of these sort of voters but they will not be a formidable campaign force for the GOP.  That gives the Dems an advantage IF and ONLY IF they can keep the progressive liberals on the reservation!

      •  Wishful Thinking (0+ / 0-)

        All these theocrats are religious wack jobs. But America is full of religious wack jobs. The majority agree with Huckabee ('s public statements - all that counts) that evolution is mistaken, god rules, etc. Huckabee doesn't go around saying anything religious, except Creationism and only when asked. He ran through the primaries without any religious crazytalk coming up to bite him. And I don't think the christianists have at all gone away. They're just tired of the failures of the crop of preachers like Robertson, Haggard and Reed - who all milked the last cycle to the utmost, and can afford to retire.

        It's way too early to count these people out. Nothing short of a miracle can drain their swamp of millions of faithy idiots who got us into this mess. I wish it were true, but I guess I don't know how to pray right for it.

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 10:49:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The water infrastructure (0+ / 0-)

    Coincidentally, today my local paper carried a NYT article on the serious degradation/aging of the nation's pipelines supplying water to communities.
    The number of breaks/severe leaks grows each year. Now, thanks to our enlightened anti-tax protestors, I have the solution. Forget spending the required money to fix the problem, instead, whenever there's leak you can just plug it with tea bags.

  •  This is so easy. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Why does everyone keep trying to make it complicated? These are not populists, these are not libertarians, these are not 3rd party people. These are people who are bitter that their guy lost. PERIOD. Obama won, Obama is popular, the Rethugs lost in 2006 and 2008, the country is becoming less seduced by the politics of hate, and these folks can't stand it. The world is passing them by and instead of perhaps doing some soul-searching and asking why, they'd rather just rant and rave incoherently. They're LOSERS and they should be mocked, derided, then ignored. We've done a lot of mocking and it was totally fun. Can we move on to ignoring them now? That will make them even angrier. smirk

  •  Out in the sticks (0+ / 0-)

    We're out in Clallam County, population about 80,000, which is about as far west as you can get in the lower 48. Our claims to fame are the Hoh Rain Forest and Forks, the home of the Twilight books. In addition to rain and vampires, we have local Republicans who are definitely not in the old Nelson Rockefeller, Dwight Eisenhower mold. This is an isolated county. It's an hour or two hour drive to the Seattle suburbs, so our local Republicans are concerned with the UN plan for world domination, gun control, highway spending, outrageous taxes and the irresponsible liberals along I-5. Given that our area is heavily subsidized by the latter and the typical accident story ends with evacuated by helicopter to Harborview (in Seattle), you'd think they'd have more sense, but ...

    Needless to say, the Clallam Republicans held the local tea party in Port Angeles, the big city of 20,000, on a good day. Needless to say, the local paper, the Peninsula Daily News nailed it with their page one photo of protesters. There were two Clallam County Republican Party signs and one saying "We want our country back." I guess they found another brick wall to ram it into.

  •  Looked to me like incoherent babble (0+ / 0-)

    There was no message at all except that are pissed, don't like Obama, etc...  Definitely no movement here.

  •  DevilsTower hits the nail on the head (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    canyonrat, phillies

    My reading of the teaparties from different sources (NOT KOS FOX or CNN) indicated to me that there was definitely a Ron Paul / Libertarian presence (that got co-opted by the big media organizers). But the underlying movement definitely exists, and as DT says, it's definitely familiar.

    Listen up, guys! It turns out that if we don't hurry up and change the world, later it's the world that changes us. --Mafalda

    by forester on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 10:30:20 AM PDT

  •  On several hands (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    First, I should thank Devilstower for noting that the third party having tea was the Constitution Party, as opposed to saying it was the Libertarians.  At the Boston event, it was easy to tell the difference: the Boston tea event had the Massachusetts Family people speaking--homophobic bigots.  That's the opposite of Libertarian.

    (That's also why Ron Paul is no libertarian -- he'd be happy to support homophobia, abortion bans, and drug wars, just so long as it is done by individual states.)

    Second, several people raised the 'wasted vote' line.  We almost never see elections settled by one vote, Tedisco's and Coleman's efforts to turn their losses into one vote wins notwithstanding. I am reminded of a conversation I had, around 1997, with a Republican--a reactionary, authoritarian Republican.

    "I would never vote for a third party.  It's a wasted vote because third parties can't win."

    Now, we live in central Massachusetts.  

    "I hadn't guessed you voted for Clinton."

    "Of course I didn't vote for Clinton!"

    "Oh, really?  You understand the electoral college!  My candidate -- Harry Browne, Libertarian  -- had a better chance of carrying Massachusetts than Bobby Dole did.  If you voted for Dole in Massachusetts, you threw your vote away."

    Of course, my point was that his vote was not wasted.

    He did not like losing the argument.

  •  The Chamber of Commerce works to keep wages (0+ / 0-)

    The Chamber of Commerce works to keep wages low and to keep workers from organizing to negotiate for better wages. This behavior is bad for all wage-earning people. The Chamber of Commerce works to stop us from taxing businesses as it heaps their tax costs on wage earning people. For wage earning people the Chamber of Commerce seeks to remove regulations for the personal safety of workers and to reduce the freedom of workers to speak freely about their work environment. The Chamber of Commerce works against health care for everyone. The Chamber of Commerce works for the courts to give more rights to corporations while suppressing the rights of individual citizens. The Chamber of Commerce works to drive the cost of public education higher and higher.

    Add to the list of The Chamber of Commerce actions or behaviors that hurt, hinder and suppress working people and families.

    List your comments:

    Let’s tell the Chamber of Commerce to begin serving the common interest of our citizens or quit.

  •  Perot would have won (0+ / 0-)

    Had he not withdrawn and picked Jean Kirkpatrick (UN Ambassador for Reagan) as his running mate-- remember, Kirkpatrick OFFERED to be Perot's running mate and wanted to do it-- had he done those things it is highly likely either he would have won or we would have had a deadlocked electoral college.

    And I often wonder how things would have been different.  I like Bill Clinton fine, but, consider:

    1. The DLC goes down.  Probably opening up the party the way it was open in 2008.
    1. With Perot running in 1996 (and surely losing) there would be pressure for the Dems to nominate a traditional Dem-- Cuomo, John Kerry (interesting - what if he had been our nominee in 1996?)

    3)I almost the the R's would still have gone with Dole.

    Interesting to think about.

  •  Wow, way too simplistic. Obama rallies kooks (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stephen Dow

    turned out, as well  

    #1 Point: Devilstower would have you believe that the 1992 followers of Ross Perot were the same group.  Hogwash!  I attended a couple of Perot's events and first off, they numbered in the 1000's, not the hundreds.  Remember, this was way before FOX news and the internet was around to bring them to the hall.  Most of the people there were concerned about NAFTA, Perot's signature issue, which turned out to be a valid concern.  Were there other nuts there that were looking for a third party just because?  Sure.  Was Perot an imperfect vessell for this issue, of course.  

    He also scooped up every other group that felt were not being represented by the other two candidates.  Since he needed all of their numbers, he did not cleanly break from the liberatians who also came along for the ride.  Sound familiar?  Like Obama and single payer, gay marriage, stop both wars, reinstate 4th ammendment protections, etc.  He took the the votes, but has other ideas.  You have to look past the noise and see if their claimed issue, that raising the debt is dangerous, is a valid point.  And I think there are many (including even on this site!) that do have some concerns about this.  Painting this with a broadbrush, Devilstower, is intellectually dishonest.

    Point #2 - I think this is simply an example of the dismissive nature of this post. DT first says that everyone cheered every speaker in robotic fashion as they did not really care what was being stated so long as they were on the speaking agenda.  He then goes on to state how some were then booed off the stage for not towing the line.  Which is it, Devilstower?

    Point #3 - The kooks.  Come on.  When was the last time you went to one of our rallies and did not see code pink prancing around with childish costumes and embarassing signs.  Seems like every time I go to a Green Party event, I have to push past the NORMAL guys, the Veagans, the Communist party, the people that want all the power lines pulled down because of cancer, the people that want all the cellphones turned off for the same reason, the anarchists....need I go on?  Would you want to invite every person you saw at an Obama rally back home for dinner?

    So let's get off our high horse and have an honest debate about if raising the debt is going to be a problem.  Lets have the guts to say that taxes are indeed going to have to rise.  And lets start explaining why, now.  We all know that many of the services Obama wants to give us come at a price.  There is nothing wrong with that.  Just as I don't expect to walk out of the grocery store with free baskets, I expect to pay for what I get from the government in terms of service.  If we don't honestly start having that conversation - switching the argument from strictly against taxes to one of what do we get from our money, then we lose again when the taxes enivitably rise.  

    Just as Perot had many kooks in his followers as did Obama and Paul, there are still some valid issues under the surface that actually mobilize people to show up at an event.  Ignore those issues and dismiss them and you will look like you did not anticipate them for which we will be swept from office because the one thing people hate worse than taxes is dishonesty and imcompetance.

    "We freeze in the ice of our own conservatism, and the world congeals around us"

    by grettadog on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 10:46:30 AM PDT

  •  One of their signs said "Abolish the FED"! (0+ / 0-)

    And I thought, "howinel did these people show up on MY LEFT"??

    The road to hell has not YET been paved with Republicans, but it SHOULD be -- Corrected BumperSticker

    by ge0rge on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 10:50:53 AM PDT

  •  The only thing that can drive them into the GOP (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    canyonrat, HeatherLee

    is if "liberals" drive them into their hands by mocking them, etc.

    You strike the proper tone of trying to understand, rather than humiliate.

    Jaw Jaw is better than War War.

    by Paul Goodman on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 10:58:46 AM PDT

  •  No. (0+ / 0-)

    If they had been a new Perot bloc the "leaders" would have gone after the Republicans more. They did not, and even the individual participants seemed to not even have any appetite to do so. Because they were almost all Republicans.

    it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

    by Addison on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 11:08:07 AM PDT

  •  They will however vote in the GOP Primary (0+ / 0-)

    What seems likely is that these disaffected souls will continue to pull the GOP to the lunatic right.  The GOP of 1992 was still George Bush and Bob Dole.  Today it is just a bunch of nuts, the moderate and center-right have been driven out.  They will not rise again.  More likely a replacement party or a pulling of a portion of the Democratic party to center or slightly right of center, winning elections in the Red states.

    Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter - Martin Luther King

    by Do Something on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 11:55:40 AM PDT

  •  You should of said (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    IMHO at the end. It seems like you think you know what these people are thinking. And I am thinking you do not identify with any of them you just think you know what they are thinking. One thing is for sure. You've spent an awful lot of time explaining why these people are insignificant. So insignificant that you went tooling around with people that I think you do not identify with. Maybe you should go ahead and change sides, get it over with. Or you could start thinking for yourself, if you do not already. Then people could tell you what you are thinking.

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