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It's often difficult to understand why people behave the way they do, even people we know well.   It's often far more difficult to understand why people who are very different from us act in ways that we consider inexplicable, particularly when those actions threaten harm to large numbers of people, including themselves.  Of course, I am speaking about the current situation where a certain faction of Republicans in the House of Representatives is threatening a second global financial meltdown by shutting down the US government over raising the debt ceiling, despite warnings from economists, Wall Street CEO's, their own leaders in the House and anyone other than their own small closed off circle of friends and allies.

This is often because we make the logical fallacy of assuming that most people think and reason like we do, or to put it another way, that they will acknowledge what we consider to be objective facts about reality as true and valid.  Unfortunately, with people who are fanatics, dogmatic ideologists or whose minds are ruled more by their emotions (especially the negative emotions of fear and anger) than by rationality, this isn't the case. Your standard "Tea Party" Republican Representative in Congress usually combines all three of these traits.  

In these cases, I find it helpful to make up a list of what people who deviate so far from the norm believe to be true versus what the consensus opinion accepts as true.  Consider this a thought experiment, though one informed by what we have all heard and seen from these folks over the past year and a half:

Tea Party Member's Belief                          Consensus View

1.  Why I was elected

I was elected to stop Obama                     While there is some truth that a few
& Democrats from destroying                     people voted out of fear of the              
the country.                                           President's "Big Government"            
                                                           agenda," most people voted for the
                                                           Tea Party candidate because the  
                                                           economy was bad, unemployment
                                                           was high, and the GOP candidate was
                                                           voters only alternative to express
                                                           their unhappiness with the perceived
                                                           performance of the President and Dems
                                                           re: the economy.

2.  Biggest Problem

The Socialist Policies of Obama                  Jobs.
which have added to the deficit
and burdened business.

3.  Solution to problem

Cut more taxes on Corporations                   There is no clear consensus view
& the rich; Cut Soc. Sec., Medicare              but most neutral observers agree that
and Medicaid; Deregulation; &                      increasing gov't revenue needs to be
Cut Deficits by cutting spending -                 a big part of the solution, i.e., raising.
lots of spending (except Military)                  taxes.

4.  How big a problem would
a failure to raise Debt Ceiling

Not that big a deal.                                   Not raising the debt ceiling is insanity                                                  

* * *

So why do the Tea Party faction in Congress hold these beliefs?  First, they include a large number of fundamentalist Christians who view the world in terms of black and white, good or evil.

This caucus is more evangelical than the rest of the House. About 45 percent of the caucus attend an evangelical church, compared to 13 percent of others in the House. Another 30 percent are mainline Protestants, mostly of a largely Southern variety. Several Mormons are also part of the caucus.

Many of them come from rural communities, small towns or reside in the exurbs.  A large number owned farms and ranches, or small businesses.

A quick examination of the 60 official Members of the Tea Party Congress clears that up: most from very rural and exurban states like Alabama, Texas, Indiana, Kentucky, South Carolina, Missouri, Kansas, etc. These are the folks currently setting the tone and direction of debate on a number of critical policy issues. [...]

These are folks coming from states or locations where only 16 percent of the population resides – telling the other 84 percent of us, mostly from cities, what to do.

They are antagonistic to gay rights, more than Republicans in general, and more than past Republicans in Congress:

Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's leading gay-rights advocacy organization, has studied the records of the members of the 112th Congress and it finds that the House of Representatives has flipped from a pro- to anti-gay-rights majority. (HRC uses the acronym LGBT, which stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender.) [...]

But this new Republican majority is definitely anti–gay rights, according to HRC. The report ranks 225 members of the new House as "anti-LGBT," up 53 from 172 in the 111th House.

Their ideology is informed by Ayn Rand, and her dogma that government can only harm the elite individuals whose intelligence, creativity and ambition make society possible.  This makes them not small government Republicans but anti-government Republicans:

When she died almost two decades ago, Ayn Rand was considered a fringe figure whose philosophy was derided by both Left and Right. But in the “Greed is good” era and the ascension of her disciple Alan Greenspan to chairman of the Fed, Rand became an inspiration for those who needed justification for extreme selfishness to look down at the rest of humanity as “looters” and “moochers.” Money, according to the Rand scripture in the turgid 1200-page novel, “Atlas Shrugged,” is the root of all good. [...]

[H]er ghost has migrated to Washington as a prophet for Tea Party members and will hover over the attempted demolition of Obama health care reform and other social measures of the past two years.

Even George W. Bush’s “Axis of Evil” speechwriter Michael Gerson is a bit nervous, complaining that “Paul and other libertarians are not merely advocates of limited government; they are anti-government. Their objective is not the correction of error but the cultivation of contempt for government itself.”

For that reason, they don't view their own leadership (who are after all long term members of Big Guvmint) as radical enough or tough enough, and they have demonstrated open defiance of their Speaker, John Boehner.  They believe political "chaos" is a good thing.  He said as much himself on Wednesday during an appearance on Laura Ingraham's radio talk show:

The caucus, Boehner says, has been infiltrated by a cabal that hopes to take the US economy hostage in order to force political concessions from President Obama and Congressional Democrats. [...]

So “why,” Ingraham asked, were House Republicans resisting the deal that President Obama has offered—a deal that is ridiculously deferent to Republican demands for cuts to needed domestic programs and for tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy.

“Well,” Boehner said of the most belligerent members of his caucus, “first they want more. And my goodness, I want more too. And secondly, a lot of them believe that if we get passed August the second and we have enough chaos, we could force the Senate and the White House to accept a balanced budget amendment.”

In short, they come from a very different background than you or I.  Not only are they predominantly white, but they come from rural or small town communities that were either not very diverse, or where racism was an acceptable viewpoint and an "accepted fact of life."  They dislike their own leaders nearly as much as they hate the President.  They trust no one who has any experience with making government work because they don't believe in government.  Their life experience has led them to adopt an ideology of radical individualism, though they are certainly willing to help themselves to federal largesse when its been made available to them.

Shocker: Anti-government activists are all welfare queens! But they accept the "wealthy white person" version of welfare, which is "farm subsidies." (The "wealthy white person" version of welfare is also lots of other subsidies and tax credits and government spending.)

According to ABC, "at least 23 current members of congress or their families have received government money for their farms."

They will not compromise: certainly not with the President (despite his many attempts to find "common ground), not with Democrats and not even with the other Republicans in the House and Senate who, while extremely conservative by past standards, are not extreme enough by Tea Party standards.  These are people who have usually gotten their way before in life, have little if any experience with people whose life experience or political views differ from there own and who view government, in all its forms, as evil.

I imagine they identify most strongly with as Samson in the Temple of the Philistines, destroying his enemies in a bloody mass murder in order to save his own "people."  They don't look at liberals, Democrats, African Americans, Hispanics, the disabled or members of the LGBT community as part of America, part of the people who need saving.  They imagine that government is rigged to benefit these groups and harm their own followers, the "Real Americans" as Sarah Palin so unabashedly called them: overwhelming small town, white, Fundamentalist Christian, "hard-working" and most of all not city dwelling liberals.

Have the Tea Party Caucus members engaged in "Magical Thinking"  and "confirmation bias"based on bigotry, ignorance, fear, anger and loathing during the debt ceiling negotiations?  Yes.

Perhaps, then, a more nuanced definition of magical thinking would be believing in things more strongly than either evidence or experience justifies. Though I can't prove the sun will rise in the East tomorrow, because it has every day since I've been alive, such a belief couldn't then be said to represent magical thinking. But because every person who's ever jumped off a building or a bridge has gone down and not up, believing that flapping my arms hard enough would enable me to float into the sky certainly would. [...]

Clear and sophisticated thinkers remain consistently wary of the influences that put them at risk for magical thinking, always cognizant that why they believe what they do is influenced by so many things besides their reasoning minds:

    What their parents taught them from an early age.
    What they want to believe is true.
    What their experience suggests should be true.

The Tea Party Caucus knows what it knows, and refuses to accept any and all evidence to the contrary, no matter what the source.  They are not clear and consistent thinkers.  They believe economic chaos is better than making government better and more effective.  Indeed, they don't accept the legitimacy of government at all.  And "believing" that you can change their minds about what they believe, is also magical thinking.

Originally posted to Steven D on Fri Jul 29, 2011 at 09:42 AM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (246+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    penguins4peace, limpidglass, cassandracarolina, semiot, bythesea, Curt Matlock, JTinDC, whaddaya, Lorinda Pike, recentdemocrat, echo still, ladypockt, Sandino, Maggie Pax, Eric Nelson, vcmvo2, behan, cocinero, xaxnar, chmood, fixxit, zadarum, Above the Clouds, isewquilts2, wasatch, deeproots, collardgreens, dharmafarmer, weinerschnauzer, Angela Quattrano, revsue, jfromga, ninkasi23, Shockwave, codobus, TN yellow dog, jeanette0605, Ckntfld, native, statsone, mithra, arlene, sawgrass727, Shahryar, rmonroe, JanetT in MD, mrsgoo, YucatanMan, Neon Vincent, Mimikatz, fumie, BarackStarObama, yawnimawke, mumtaznepal, fgentile, Time Waits for no Woman, dotsright, LynChi, Joieau, valadon, mungley, Trial Lawyer Richard, greycat, Black Max, wishingwell, cybersaur, TBug, Tam in CA, XNeeOhCon, yowsta, coolbreeze, Alice Venturi, WheninRome, SoCalJayhawk, oldcrow, LibbyLuLu, JVolvo, science nerd, dewtx, skywriter, OLinda, citisven, Jim P, nomandates, Anthony Page aka SecondComing, jadt65, surfermom, cherish0708, Gemina13, xynz, winter outhouse, GMFORD, clutch1, strangedemocracy, lynneinfla, dadadata, glitterscale, blue in NC, Kimball Cross, Dobber, The Raven, FrY10cK, LHB, MartyM, BlueStateRedhead, No one gets out alive, stlsophos, SteelerGrrl, JimWilson, snackdoodle, createpeace, Flyfish100, ER Doc, HylasBrook, Hear Our Voices, fidel, dwayne, marleycat, Cenobyte, NYC Sophia, AndyT, brae70, sydneyluv, blue jersey mom, Dixiedemocrat, Only Needs a Beat, ChemBob, SeaTurtle, Matt Z, I have the nuts, tonyahky, techiechick, zinger99, zerelda, glattonfolly, bunsk, Vetwife, Crashing Vor, Mighty Ike, fiddlingnero, midnight lurker, HCKAD, OldDragon, radarlady, terabthia2, deha, ohmyheck, jessical, stratocasterman, dagnome, Gustogirl, Rashaverak, cyncynical, roses, Habitat Vic, Timaeus, SkylarkingTomFoolery, TexasTom, splashy, pengiep, houyhnhnm, Bruce Webb, Haf2Read, NNadir, gwilson, DefendOurConstitution, angry marmot, high uintas, peagreen, equinespecter, bibble, marykk, ItsSimpleSimon, kartski, bnasley, alnep, Involuntary Exile, antirove, arizonablue, J M F, TheGeneral, TexasDan, Vega, tin woodswoman, TexDem, deepsouthdoug, The Hindsight Times, verso2, kurious, maggiejean, Mislead, trustno1, LokiMom, lol chikinburd, pamelabrown, missLotus, sostos, shaharazade, DaveS002, koseighty, smileycreek, yaque, paradise50, mookins, ricky57, pat bunny, alyosha, sphealey, jay23, cybrestrike, hyperstation, wdrath, Brooke In Seattle, leftywright, teknofyl, arpear, eru, cinnamon68, lcrp, Neon Mama, WarrenS, Observerinvancouver, JanF, ColoTim, asterlil, googie, bwintx, mcgee85, Themistoclea, KayCeSF, DawnN, Jim R, tacet, jennyp, 3goldens, Catte Nappe, CA ridebalanced, sockpuppet, in2mixin, LNK, jck, eXtina, Land of Enchantment, terabytes, damfino, elengul

    "If you tell the truth, you'll eventually be found out." Mark Twain

    by Steven D on Fri Jul 29, 2011 at 09:42:32 AM PDT

    •  Excellent but very depressing diary. (24+ / 0-)

      Truly we are heading to lunarchracy or lunaticarchracy.

      The North Carolina comment is really scary.

      "Are you bluish? You don't look bluish," attributed to poet Roger Joseph McGough, for the Beatles' Yellow Submarine (1968).

      by BlueStateRedhead on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 05:15:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You stole my lede n/t (4+ / 0-)

        Please visit, follow or join our Group: Social Security Defenders

        by Bruce Webb on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 08:46:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'd give back happily, if I knew where I .... (0+ / 0-)

          stole it from. Search produces no diaries that I could have unintentionally plagiarized. I have spent  so much time these past 12 hours in the company of the Murdochracy. Did I hack your phone?

          So great minds think alike. take it and lede away.

          "Are you bluish? You don't look bluish," attributed to poet Roger Joseph McGough, for the Beatles' Yellow Submarine (1968).

          by BlueStateRedhead on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 10:20:59 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  There is NO EXCUSE for intracable ignorance... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sockpuppet, mumtaznepal

          These newbie pieces of yak dung now even have our SOLDIERS, fighting for us, worried..But of course the , repubs have kept the pay low for decades in the military..

          Disgusting  ...they are not ideologues..they are domestic terrorists that are morally and intellectually destitute!  Ideologues have a base for their premise of beliefs..these yak dungs have only delusion and lies!

          •  Not cultural. (7+ / 0-)

            I don't think cultural trends such as fundamentalism should be identified as the cause.  Rather, I think individual personal proclivities lead some people to identify with fundamentalist religions because they find some comfort there.
            The Tea Party caucus is made up of people who perceive that the conservative commitment towards "personal responsibility" hasn't been fully realized.  And that's because conservatives are actually authoritarians and hitch their wagon to personal responsibility as a vehicle for getting them out of being accountable for their social obligations and commitments, while the Tea Party people perceive "personal responsibility" as meaning that they are accountable to no-one, but themselves.  And, since the self is an unknown quantity, they're simply not accountable --entirely free.  Nobody can tell them what to do and nobody can blame them for not doing what they're told.
            The reason this is important to these people is because experience has shown that they are incapable of doing what they are told.  Which is why they hate it.


            by hannah on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 01:00:31 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I find something very different about these people (0+ / 0-)

              We like to get into mind-games results when it comes to people, but with them they have a definite motive: Racism and hate. We have witnessed more racism in the last three years plus (opened up to the public as OK by Hilary) than we've seen since the seventies.

               These TP people don't really care about the debt crisis or ceiling or anything else, just shrinking govt. to the size of a "bath-tub" because Govt. became the great equalizer for minorities in the country. Dating back to allowing blacks  to fight in the Civil War. Having African-American Generals is just unbearable to them. Black million and billionaires have gone to far.

               They believe the Govt. education system opportunities and other like programs they are looking to shut down will effect blacks and stymie their progress.
               Take a look at the wide divide that has happened between whites and blacks since this crisis.

              •  Victims participate, to a certain extent, (0+ / 0-)

                in their deprivation because thinking that the insult was intended is "better" than thinking that they're just convenient targets.  If there is intent, there's the hope of changing it.  Also, there's more importance/significance in being an intentional target of antagonism and everybody prefers to be significant to being insignificant.
                Nevertheless, I'd argue that the deprivators are driven by an impulse to gain significance for themselves by putting someone else, anyone else, down. If there are no blacks or other minorities handy, they'll pick on their own relatives.  Indeed, they probably pick on their most vulnerable, least likely to resist relatives, anyway.  Whatever they can get away with. Because these people are basically cowards.


                by hannah on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 03:02:02 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  Steven, an outstanding, thoughtful diary (11+ / 0-)

      which has prompted many very interesting and thoughtful comments.  

      Thanks for all your work here and hope you will continue to write....  We need to understand these folks, so that we can protect ourselves from them.

      I think one of the most underestimated social critics of the evangelicals is Frank Schaeffer.  I think he has a very insightful analysis of this crowd (having been one himself,) and helps others understand them.  (I find him a little abrasive at times, but that doesn't take away from the brilliance of his analysis.)

      If one of us is denied civil rights, all of us are denied civil rights.

      by SeaTurtle on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 07:09:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There's a statement up there that claims some of (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Steven D, LokiMom, arpear, terabytes

      the Teabaggers are "informed" by Ayn Rand. It's not possible that anyone would ever be "informed" by such an evil psychopathic harridan.

  •  Pretty good (47+ / 0-)

    I think most people really don't get the End Times or Armageddon fascination.  

    Perhaps one could liken it to the fascination at the top of a tall building where some part of the brain feels a pull to jump off, and the reaction is to get away from the edge.

    They want Armageddon.

    I don't think you could really understand this without having grown up around this culture.  Not a qualification anybody really needs.

    Voters who elected these members of Congress ought to be contacted and really given chapter and verse repeatedly on why you should not send someone to Congress like this.  

    I would tend to think that precincts where the highest percentage of people who voted for these clowns could be identified.  By targeting these precincts, the probability that these people would be re-elected might be reduced.

    hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

    by Stuart Heady on Fri Jul 29, 2011 at 10:01:21 AM PDT

  •  The Tea Party are Republicans, not a separate (69+ / 0-)

    group. The are extremist Republicans and it's important that independents know that a vote for any Republican is a vote for extremism.

    I mention this because I've run into people in real life and on this site that are making a distinction between the two and that is not only inaccurate it is unhelpful.

    Radical extremists have taken over the GOP. They may call themselves whatever they like, but they are the GOP.

    Ds see human suffering and wonder what they can do to relieve it. Rs see human suffering and wonder how they can profit from it.

    by JTinDC on Fri Jul 29, 2011 at 10:40:46 AM PDT

    •  You're right of course, (22+ / 0-)

      but perhaps understanding why the Republican Party sold itself out to the lunatic fringe would help.

      Truth is, GW and Darth Cheney so trashed the Republican brand for lifelong (but arguably sane) conservative voters that I firmly believed it would fade into irrelevance like the Whigs. Dems would move to the right to pick up the left-behinds, and a progressive and/or labor party would arise to represent the left side of the political spectrum.

      But the 'pukes just won't let go, so they traded their hard right fundy creds for the teabaggers. They are still essentially irrelevant, yet teabaggers are positively dangerous to the nation and most all sane people know it. Meanwhile, Obama has moved the Dems farther right (they were headed there anyway, see previous paragraph). And the entire left side of the political spectrum - where a majority of Americans stand - has no effective representation at all apart from the progressive caucus in the House. Which can't get anything done because the party wigs and Obama are positioned to the right of Richard Nixon.

      The conservatives in D.C. have a "D" after their names. The "R" folks have jumped shark and will inevitably fade from power now that voters know they're dangerous.

      •  Pretty sound analysis there, I think (7+ / 0-)
      •  One can only hope (15+ / 0-)

        that the Repubs "will inevitably fade from power now that voters know they're dangerous."

        (In that regard, Dylan Lowe's Permanently Blue:  How Democrats Can End the Republican Party and Rule the Next Generation, published in September, 2010, was premature and overly optimistic).

        One can also hope that the now long-suffering majority on Main Street, many of whom are struggling to find a job or hoping that their present job doesn't disappear, have time to see what's going on not only in D.C., but also in WI, MI, NJ, TX, and a number of other Repub-controlled states.

        The DNC under Tim Kaine saw their mission as limited to getting Barack Obama reelected in 2012 and took their eyes off the ball in 2010, apparently sharing Rahm Emanuel's dis-belief in Howard Dean's 50-state strategy.  As a result, the "shellacking" in November, 2010, should have been no surprise.

        So for the next 16 months or so, Americans will have to suffer under a dysfunctional government in D.C. tied up in knots by a cabal.

        The DNC, DSCC, and DCCC as well as Organizing for America had better get their act together, effectively messaging and firing up the base or they'll be in for an even bigger shellacking in November, 2012.

        And they should not lose sight of the "enthusiasm gap" of 2010, which is still there.  Dems may go out and vote, but unless they're fired up, they won't be volunteering for phone banking, canvassing, enlisting their families and friends who may be among the "independents," etc.

        •  It is hard to be enthusiastic (13+ / 0-)

          for a bunch of folks who seem to be selling us out to the tea party, isn't it? You almost wonder if they've been bought by the Koch Brothers too.

          While I understand why the super rich don't want Medicare and Social Security (after all, they don't need it!), I don't understand why they are willing to let the stock market go into freefall in response to the government actions or inactions as the case may be. Do they have so much money socked away under the mattress that they view themselves as untouchable by economic problems? And how can people who have so much money that they will never have to worry about food or medical care or housing be so greedy that they want more, more, more at the expense of those who are getting less, less, less?

          "The word bipartisan usually means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out." George Carlin

          by lynneinfla on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 04:29:37 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  They don't care about the stock market because you (12+ / 0-)

            can readily chose your position, and bet against stocks rising, bet against the US.  One famously makes money two ways:  building a society or during the destruction of one.

            •  The semi-submerged premise of the Mellon Doctrine (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Joieau, antirove, J M F, bwintx, googie

              "liquidate labor, liquidate stocks, liquidate farmers, liquidate real estate… it will purge the rottenness out of the system. High costs of living and high living will come down. People will work harder, live a more moral life. Values will be adjusted, and enterprising people will pick up from less competent people."

              I sincerely doubt he meant that that the strictures against "high living" would actually apply to his personal life-style or that of his particular class, instead this then as now is a prescription of a Shock Doctrine that would put the lower 98% in their place and let the top 2% (in Tea Party/Mellon World "enterprising" by definition) scoop up all the chips after everyone else was all-in.

              The really rich, and certainly Mellon was that in private life, know that they will always have the resources to ride out the storm and be around to pick up the pieces of what they often see as a zero-sum game, the less for the lower 98% the more for them. They just never bought into Henry Ford's premise that the key to getting rich selling cars was to make sure that most workers, including your own, could afford them.

              So quite apart from actual hedging strategies that allow them to directly profit from the crash, the really rich know they will be the only ones standing at the asset fire-sale after everyone else is forced into liquidation.

              (Though I may have to work on that metaphor of "liquidation" leading to a "fire sale"-hmm)

              Please visit, follow or join our Group: Social Security Defenders

              by Bruce Webb on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 09:22:09 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well done. The perfect summation of today's (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                yann, Joieau

                political parties and their financial policies, Bruce.   This is the credo of everything they do.

                 The Tea Party, unfortunately, and with encouragement from the wealthy,  thinks that someday they could be a Mellon, too.   Never gonna happen.  They aren't allowed enough money to afford the Ford.   And they don't see their pocket is being picked by the very people who are using them, enticing them to support the wealthy.

                Bruce wrote: "The really rich, and certainly Mellon was that in private life, know that they will always have the resources to ride out the storm and be around to pick up the pieces of what they often see as a zero-sum game, the less for the lower 98% the more for them.  

                They just never bought into Henry Ford's premise that the key to getting rich selling cars was to make sure that most workers, including your own, could afford them."

              •  Andrew W. Mellon (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                More information on Mellon can be found in wikipedia.

                Interesting that he and then Pres. Hoover were almost impeached back in 1932.

          •  lynn, they want chaos, so they can take over (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sinclairtx, Steven D, googie, forester, Joieau

            "Shock Doctrine"

            If one of us is denied civil rights, all of us are denied civil rights.

            by SeaTurtle on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 06:47:25 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I think it's a form of insanity (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            yann, forester, Joieau, JTinDC

            "And how can people who have so much money that they will never have to worry about food or medical care or housing be so greedy that they want more, more, more at the expense of those who are getting less, less, less?"

            and remember, it's also at the expense of the capacity of this planet to sustain human life.

            that's what I beat my head against:  if you have billions of dollars, is it really so important to add a few more billions that you go out of your way to destroy--oh, say, the American middle class, the principle of representative government, the ecological underpinnings of the world--all of which sustained you in your ability to make those billions in the first place?

            Remember that if you have billions, you can always find a way to make those billions make more money for you.  You don't have to be a bastard and destroy the structure of your society and endanger its survival.  

            I think it's a form of narcissistic, possibly sociopathic insanity.

            The heart is a bloom, shoots up through stony ground/But there's no room, no space to rent in this town

            by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 11:42:26 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Surely the fossil fuels (0+ / 0-)

              /Big Energy situation - combined intimately with the auto/trucking infrastructure - informs us in no uncertain terms that these people have no qualms about destroying the quality of life on this planet in exchange for more billions today.

              We could have firmly altered course back in the mid '70s, and "be there" by now. King Coal is flattening the Appalachians for the last of the coal as we speak, utterly destroying entire vital watersheds, and they want the EPA/regulators to go away entirely. They are fracking gas with god only knows what kind of horrific poisons, causing tap water and toilets to literally ignite, and they want the EPA/regulators to go away entirely. Even as 8 reactors and overpacked fuel pools have melted and are spewing enough radioactive contamination to make a dead zone of nearly a third of the nation of Japan, nukes are in line for an extra $36 billion in loan guarantees in Obama's 2012 budget so they can build more filthy nukes nobody wants or needs.

              Meanwhile, the oil companies and Wall Street speculators run up the price of oil every time it looks like we might be coming out of the depression, drop it drastically every time we start talking seriously about biofuels. And, like the rest of the multinational corporate cabal, sit tight on trillions NOT pumped into the economy to help dig us out.

              They destroy because that's the "easy way" to win the game they're playing. Doesn't matter how they get it or how much damage getting it causes. It's called "Capitalism," run amuck. People that rich (and powerful, that's a perk) don't view life the same way the rest of us do. Their concerns and priorities are nothing like ours.

              •  Oh, you noticed this: (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                "Meanwhile, the oil companies and Wall Street speculators run up the price of oil every time it looks like we might be coming out of the depression, drop it drastically every time we start talking seriously about biofuels. And, like the rest of the multinational corporate cabal, sit tight on trillions NOT pumped into the economy to help dig us out."

                The heart is a bloom, shoots up through stony ground/But there's no room, no space to rent in this town

                by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 07:34:18 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Much like they believe (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Steven D

          that Muslims put their all their devotion to their religion above the law  and Govt and all else....So do these folks

          Most of those who hold these beliefs are simply hiding racism behind the guise of religion. This happens because most of their Southern Baptist churches are still mostly segregated. So they think "others" are not included in their religion. So religion justifies this ridiculous belief system that they are protecting "real Americans".

        •  still there? it's worse (0+ / 0-)

          even though Americans blame the Repubs more for this crisis (rightfully so) than the Dems.

          But there's little to be enthusiastic about in this scenario.  the very President they elected to fight for them is advocating cutting their social security and Medicare--just at a slower and lower rate than the Paul Ryans of the world.

          The heart is a bloom, shoots up through stony ground/But there's no room, no space to rent in this town

          by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 11:38:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  My biggest concern is: I wonder if they (28+ / 0-)

        really will "fade from power". I worry about this because of the massive and fraudulent redistricting that the Repuke (and now, Teabagger) legislatures in many states - where at least 26 are in full Republican control - have undertaken.

        Here in North Carolina, for example, the 'Pukies have redrawn the congressional districts to make ten of our thirteen districts "safe" Rethug districts. That means that our congressional delegation will shift from 7D - 6R now to 3D - 10R in the 113th congress. They did this via gerrymandering at a level we've never before seen, "packing" of African-American voters into just a few districts, and "double bunking" Democratic incumbents.

        Their calculus has been based on huge datasets, using computer software that is probably provided to the 'Thuggies by ALEC. Not only do they utilize voter registratuon data, they also use election results on a precinct-by-precinct basis going as far back as the Bush-Kerry election. They endeavor to maximize the placement of the red-red-red precincts - those that went for Bush, McCain, and the Repuker congressional candidate as well as Repulsive state legislative candidates.

        The upshot of this, at least in North Carolina, is that in 2012 we will end up with ten Republicans in our congressional delegation and a further increase in Republicans in both chambers of our legislature - in a state where Repukes make up less than 45% of the registered voters.


        I fear that this has been repeated nationally, and that both the US House and the state legislatures will see increased Repugnant dominance.

        So nauseating has the Repuker kegislature been in North Carolina that they have reached out into Democratic-majority Boards of County Commissioners and seized control of their local redistricting. Last week, they did this in Mecklenburg, Guilford, and Buncombe Counties, where the legislature has taken the unprecedented step of forcing their distrcit maps on those county governments in order to gain Rethug majorities.

        The only bright spot in North Carolina so far is that our Democratic governor's veto of the Repukers' Voter Suppression Act has held, so no poll taxes and specialized ID's and voter disenfranchisement yet...but these criminals are calling special sessions where they will now attempt to ram through separate Voter Disenfranchisement Acts for each county via the "Local Act" process - which is not subject to veto.

        So, the level of fraud has been breathtaking, and I don't think that North Carolina is alone. Against this backdrop, I'm just not all that sure that the "R's" will fade from power quite yet, even if a lot of voters are "on to them".

        "Bernie Madoff's mistake was stealing from the rich. If he'd stolen from the poor he'd have a cabinet position." -OPOL

        by blue in NC on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 05:09:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Please diarize this. It's totally frightening. n/t (14+ / 0-)

          "Are you bluish? You don't look bluish," attributed to poet Roger Joseph McGough, for the Beatles' Yellow Submarine (1968).

          by BlueStateRedhead on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 05:17:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  We can't just talk about this among ourselves. (9+ / 0-)

          We have to ensure this becomes well-known to all voters.   Diarying will help, if you feel like it, we can refer others to it :-)

          •  Diarying will help? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            blue in NC

            Most Americans unfortunately are struggling to survive.  They don't have the time to scan and keep up with the diaries appearing daily on Daily Kos.

            What is desperately needed is spreading the word and also getting the DNC to wake up to this developing threat to American democracy.  They may not even see this oh-so-clever Repub scheme as a "clear and present danger."

            It also remains to be seen whether new DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz supports a 50-state strategy or restricting efforts to battleground states strategy.

            •  I would actually like to take the suggestion (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              to diarize this, although I believe that I must add a lot of background and links, so a diary will not be easy or quick to compose.

              However, I don't think that, for such diaries to be effective, it would be necessary for "[m]ost scan and keep up with the diaries appearing daily on Daily Kos". Since we here at dKos are a bit of a "specialized" audience, we should serve as more of a clearinghouse for information; "Kossacks" should read informational diaries, hopefully even action diaries, and then spread the word themselves outside the Daily Kos universe.

              You are right about the DNC; theirs was a failure to recognize the "clear and present danger" of the midterms, and as a result of that failure we have lost more state legislatures than we should have. We must do what we can - with and without the DNC - to avoid this failure in 2012, especially since state-level redistricting has drastically increased the steepness of our uphill climb.

              "Bernie Madoff's mistake was stealing from the rich. If he'd stolen from the poor he'd have a cabinet position." -OPOL

              by blue in NC on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 02:33:42 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  We need to see how dangerous a Republican (12+ / 0-)

          majority state legislature can be.  First, redistricting to increase the number of safe Republican districts.  Not only does that mean more Republicans in Congress, it also means more hard-line conservative Republicans.  

          We've also discovered the problem with 'safe' districts is that the representative is more worried about being primaried than winning the November election.  Thus they stake out more extreme positions, refuse to negotiate with Dems, etc.

          Worse, once the majority Republican state houses finish with that, then it's on to breaking unions, passing voter id laws, etc.

          In other words - they get to double dip - more conservative Congressional Delegations, and a more conservative state legislature as well.


          If you can, please do a diary on this.

          HylasBrook @62 - fiesty, fiery, and fierce

          by HylasBrook on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 06:31:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Florida voters passed a referendum requiring (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Joieau, pat bunny, Brooke In Seattle

          that congressional districts be contiguous.  Can anybody here update?  Last I heard, Gov. Rick Scott (the Republican who looks like Voldemorte) was trying to obstruct.

          Wouldn't it be great if voters in every state passed a referendum requiring contiguous districts?

          "We don't pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes..." Leona Helmsley, and GOP in House, Senate, and States.

          by Mayfly on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 08:11:54 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I'm in the 11th. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          blue in NC, rsie, mumtaznepal

          Which, so far in the redistricting game, went from Dem to Republican (by excluding Buncomb), back to Dem (by including Buncomb) and then back and forth another time just for good measure. I do not know why people in my county vote Republican, as everyone I talk to is appalled by the D.C. fiasco and are furious for the statehouse switch. Most think it's election fraud, and I've seen enough in my time here voting to suspect the same myself.

          After the 2000 horror when 1 out of every 3 registered Dem voters got "purged" for no apparent reason, and 2004 when vote-switching on the glorified Etch-a-Sketch Diebold machines threw state races into complete turmoil it took months to unravel, we got extended early voting, no-excuse absentee, and paper ballots. There's not a single precinct in this nation that couldn't count votes on paper ballots. Oh, and Diebold got escorted to the border, booted out unceremoniously, and told never to come back.

          The state went for Obama in 2008, so yet another crooked electronic voting outfit came in to do the very same thing in 2010. We do have our fair share of nutty Teabaggers, but they are nowhere near a majority in a state that has for a hundred years maintained strong Democratic state governance (until last year). We need to take back our voting systems and guard them carefully. In fair elections, those 'republican' districts might not be so republican after all.

          Meanwhile, all of us suspicious of the election day voting system vote early/absentee. To the point where most Democrats and Independents (the fastest growing party) vote early on paper ballots.

      •  the Democratic party drifts right, (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Steven D, mumtaznepal, Joieau, terabytes

        so what do the small "d" democrats do then? The contingency planning for this outcome should be starting up now.

        Do we attempt to maintain the Democratic brand, and shift the party back to the left? This will mean a contraction in numbers, or smaller tent, as the conservative Democrats jump ship and form a replacement for the Republican party.

        Do we give up the Democratic brand, and let it drift to the right? That means that the Democratic party transforms to become the "new" conservative party. As the left flank refuses to drift any further right, it splits off and forms a new progressive party.

        What other constructive solutions do you see? "We're all doooomed!" is not constructive!

        Less "WAAAAH!", more progress.

        by IndyGlenn on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 06:59:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think there is plenty of room for a Democratic (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Party to pick up all those "independents" that were former Republicans or are currently disinfranchised GOP.  

          I call them the "thinking" GOP (Colin Powell, etc)  - and they voted for Obama quite proudly and willingly.

          We need a true "left wing" of the Democratic Party to drag it far to the left, but then we also need a welcoming "big tent" approach so that disenfranchised Republicans can find a welcome home.  

          Remember the Tea Bagger nuts are only about 1/5 of the voting population.  

          And that people identify with Democratic Party platform ideals - they just don't know that to actually get that stuff, you have to pull the lever for "Democratic".

          In other words, they vote Republican, but their morals and ethics are Democratic.   We have to both educate them, and make them comfortable with the Democratic Party.  

          And that means allowing them to be in the party without being intimidated by the necessary but more progressive far left wing.

          •  Naw. I understand (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Neon Mama

            the political wisdom of moving the party to the right to pick up the left-behinds who used to be in the Republican fold, but as we have seen by having what were once firm Democratic platform planks and constituencies thrown under the bus in that pursuit, the vacuum on the left can't be well represented by the new center-right Democratic Party.

            And with the Republican Party marginalized all the way to the fringes where Libertarians, Socialists, Greens and Nazis are, that would leave us a single-party system entirely inimical to small-d democracy.

            Thus there needs to be a left progressive/labor party. Note, I am not risking my membership here to advocate for, I'm just outlining the political reality on an academic (poli-sci) level. Half or more of the populace is center-left to left. We have no appreciable representation at this point in time.

      •  Rupert Murdoch and Glenn beck put the propaganda (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Steven D, Joieau, Eric Nelson, bwintx

        war into overdrive by painting Obama as the most liberal, socialist, (insert demonizing name here) person that ever existed.

        I do not believe that any of this would be happening if not forthe influence of Rupert Murdoch and the right wing spin machine.

        Messaging (like rumours) seeps out through the public conciousness.  even my mom asked me what Nancy pelosi had done.  "Why does everyone hate her?" she asked me.  My mom never even watches news and certainly doesnt watch FOX but that didnt stop the propaganda from getting through.

        I thought the 'tax cuts pay for themselves' ideas would surely be put to rest but it seems they cant even be slain by their own creators.

        •  Dems are still terrible at big consistent (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Neon Mama, forester, Joieau, echo still

          messaging.  We have to fix that!

          •  Dem messaging? (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Neon Mama, mumtaznepal, Joieau

            How can you have "big consistent messaging" if there is seemingly little or no Dem messaging at all?

            The state Dem parties presumably have lists of party officers and members.

            If the DNC doesn't educate Dems nationally, then the state parties should step in.  Each state's congressional delegation should also join in as a matter of self-preservation and continuation of their "careers" in office.

            One of the things needed is a 50-state grassroots strategy to counter Citizens United money.  Also, unified state Dem campaigns to elect "more and better" Dems at all levels, up and down the ticket.

            As Benjamin Franklin put it, "We must all hang together or we assuredly will hang separately."  And isn't unity or "a more perfect union" what we are about?

      •  if they don't destroy the nation first, yes. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I agree with everything else you said.

        Unfortunately--you realize this means we're heading into third party territory.

        The heart is a bloom, shoots up through stony ground/But there's no room, no space to rent in this town

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 11:36:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I absolutely agree, JT, Teabaggers are radical (7+ / 0-)

      and far right Republicans.

  •  I work with several of these people. (34+ / 0-)

    About the only way I have dealt with these people is to have them question their version of reality but it is too much for them.  If you are not willing to learn and you stay with the same type of people you will believe you are right.

    •  Their truth is what they believe. Simple as (21+ / 0-)

      that.   They make up their minds, and completely lack all critical reasoning skill.   And the stronger their faith in the face of confrontation, the better person they are.

      So when the Treasury Secretary comes to Congress and factually tells the Tea Party freshmen that yes, default would be a catastrophe, they simply choose not to believe, and believe themselves stronger and better people for standing by their beliefs in the face of opposition.

      •  Choosing to "believe" in something is an excuse (10+ / 0-)

        for not wanting to put the work into critical reasoning. There is a reason why diehard conservatives "see" things in black and white.  Laziness, fear, lack of knowledge (sometimes willful ignorance sometimes not), self (or family; community; group) interest.

        •  True. Thinking must evolve. Thinking must keep (5+ / 0-)

          up with new information.  Thinking requires changing one's mind when new information shows that to be the proper course.

          Easier to be dumb.

          I watched some of these Tea Baggers on the news shows last night over the debt stuff, and they are no more than screeching robots spewing talking points.

          I seriously doubt some of them have two brain cells to rub together and spark an independent thought.

          But what is more upsetting to me is that American citizens thought these were good people to put into Congress.

        •  Their religions form their approach to reality - (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Steven D, mumtaznepal, Neon Mama

          one believes, one does not reason.  So reasoning about anything outside of religion is not something they have learned how to do.

          Most other mainline Protestant churches expect their communicants to think for themselves.  They generally agree with the idea that the Old testament is a combination of myths,  histories, etc.  Communicants are encouraged to think for themselves, and in some progressive religions it's OK to regard Jesus Christ as a great teacher, not a son of god.

          This idea that every word of the Bible is true is totally foreign to the majority of Protestants.  (Plus they understand that any book that is a translation of 2-3,000 year old text is not going to be a word for word match.)

          Ironically, early Protestant religions were a reaction against the 'church knows all' Catholocism in the 15th and 16th century.  The Protestant idea was to read the Bible and come to one's own conclusion about god & redemption.

          I think a lot of people are shaking their heads and wondering why such a fringe group of religions can come pretty close to running the entire country.

          HylasBrook @62 - fiesty, fiery, and fierce

          by HylasBrook on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 06:46:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  According to history the Protestant churches have (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            HylasBrook, Brooke In Seattle

            problems as well. Protestants carried out their own crusades. I don't think they are a shining example here.

            •  Yes, there have been too many 'confessional wars' (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              since the Protestant Reformation.  But I was referring to many present day Protestants sects, such as Quakers, Unitarians, Church of Christ, Episcopalians, etc. .

              These communicants and others that know the theory of evolution explains the diversity of life today, that the world is more than 6,000 years old, that it's OK to be gay, that women can be priests, ministers, and that the Bible is a collection of myths, histories, and lessons that can be learned.

              None of the above is something fundamentalists are open to accepting.

              HylasBrook @62 - fiesty, fiery, and fierce

              by HylasBrook on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 11:41:06 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  money is the root of all good???????? (22+ / 0-)

    it kinda flies in the face of
    You cannot worship both God and money
    the love of money is the root of all evil

    i seriously dont get how any of these people dont see
    how impossible it is to be saying your a Christian and then follow the teachings of a 'money is the root of all good' person.

  •  Thankyou. I'm convinced that "Chaos" as with most (35+ / 0-)

    ..other real life conditions are, in the minds of the teabags,  no more real than the movies & TV commercials they believe in and identify with.

    Every decision is reduced to a movie plot that was written and produced with no real bearing on truth, but rather a scheme based on the same principles & goals followed by the the corporations & their advertising industry (propagand) wing

    Big corporations aren't just in the busines of selling their products, they are equally invested in selling a world view; a way we should think. Just look at the huge number of Big Energy (Oil et al.)companies commercials - green, green, happy smiles, healthy people in pretty settings. When what they produce in our environmentare exactly the opposite.
    Tea-bags have totally bought this. Hook, Line, & Sinker:

    I imagine they identify most strongly with as Samson in the Temple of the Philistines, destroying his enemies in a bloody mass murder in order to save his own "people."  They don't look at liberals, Democrats, African Americans, Hispanics, the disabled or members of the LGBT community as part of America, part of the people who need saving.  They imagine that government is rigged to benefit these groups and harm their own followers, the "Real Americans" as Sarah Palin so unabashedly called them: overwhelming small town, white, Fundamentalist Christian, "hard-working" and most of all not city dwelling liberals.

    ..It's the non-real life movie that absolves them of all responsibility for the un-Christian things they do ( if they are Christians), just as one example.

    Here's another huge lie" Regulations = less personal freedom: what it really is amounts to is freedom to pollute and capture/steal our collectively owned natural resources for their own gain.
    There are too many examples of teabags believing in a fantasy rather than truth. To believe a lie that forgives their own wrongs and/or support of those wrongs.
    I'll shut-up now

    Thx Steven D

  •  And yet the Ryan plan they championed (15+ / 0-)

    requires raising the debt ceiling for the next 50 years.

  •  Thanks. That's an accurate description (14+ / 0-)

    of my rep, Steve King (IA-05). The only thing that doesn't quite fit is that he's a Roman Catholic, not an evangelical. However he gets a lot of support from evangelicals in his district and enthusiastically shares their view on LGBT issues, abortion, etc.

    •  Andy Harris, MD-01 (5+ / 0-)

      does not appear to be a bible thumper. He appears to be a sociopathic egotistical anti-tax millionaire doctor who spent time as a minority member of the Md senate voting no on everything.

      Called "Dr. No" for that and loathed by both parties. Quite an accomplishment.

      Therefore continuing to vote no is the true path.

      Andy got where he is by out-of-state right wing money which wanted to get rid of Wayne Gilchrest, a republican from MD-01 with an intellect. They buried Wayne in the primary by outspending him on the oreder of 10 to 1.

      Wayne is a wounded Vietnam veteran, unlike Andy, who belongs to the Naval Sailing Club or something.

      Thump! Bang. Whack-boing. It's dub!

      by dadadata on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 04:32:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Steve King... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Steven D, Brooke In Seattle absolutely stark raving freaking NUTS. He and Michele Bachmann occupy the top two of the House on sheer crazy lunacy. It is absolutely embarassing that these two loons are elected officials.

      Virginia Foxx comes in third, probably.

  •  It starts with religion (23+ / 0-)

    If a person can absolutely believe in all sorts of impossible things that are part of a religion such as miracles, virgin birth, resurrection from the dead and ascension into heaven, then almost anything can be possible.

    Belief systems do not have to grounded in reality.

    "The Tea Party Caucus knows what it knows, and refuses to accept any and all evidence to the contrary, no matter what the source."

    "Humankind cannot bear very much reality." - T.S. Eliot

    by fixxit on Fri Jul 29, 2011 at 07:28:26 PM PDT

    •  It isn't so much religious belief itself but (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Only Needs a Beat, Steven D

      an unwillingness to think of a solution, which leads to a reliance on miracles as the reward of faith.

      I once read a message board post where someone insisted that if we drop the settlement issue and let the Israelis do anything -- literally anything -- they want, God will reward us with new domestic supplies of energy, and we won't need "Arab oil." Who knows, maybe He'd show us how to do cold fusion!

      For relevant sci-fi and fantasy, go to

      by Kimball Cross on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 05:00:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  He better stop global warming or none of this (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kimball Cross, Steven D

        will matter.

        "Don't dream it, be it" - Brad, Janet and Frank

        by captainlaser on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 07:02:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  belief-based systems, not religious belief (8+ / 0-)

        The problem is not with religion specifically, it is with any belief-based system of 'thinking'. All of these systems replace rational, skeptical thinking with "faith", "belief", and "dogma". It is not necessary to examine facts and construct hypotheses, one merely picks the outcome that is desired and "believes" it so.

        Since there is no skepticism, there is no corrective mechanism for a faulty belief. The feedback is set up to reinforce the belief, and do nothing else! This is a recipe for disaster, as we can clearly see in the Tea Party's efforts to govern.

        We cannot eliminate faith-based thinking. No, really, we can't. It seems to be hard-wired into human brains, to put it simplistically. So proclaiming "No Belief-based Thinking!" is doomed to failure from the beginning.

        What we can do is supplement belief-based thinking with rational, skeptical thought as much as humanly possible. We need to teach this to individuals everywhere, as much as they can handle. We also need to make sure that rational, skeptical thinking is present in society, since we cannot guarantee each individual's abilities.

        The last point ties back into "dogma", or programming. If we can make sure that the "programming" is based on good data, and good facts, then we can at least point the "faithful" in a mostly useful direction.

        The reason that such programming or dogma survives is that it IS useful, and (mostly) works when the world around you isn't changing too fast. "Granddad always used to say....." is a valid strategy when you and Granddad live in the same situation.

        Less "WAAAAH!", more progress.

        by IndyGlenn on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 07:16:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You've put your finger on a valuable point, Glenn. (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bunsk, Steven D, antirove, mumtaznepal
          The reason that such programming or dogma survives is that it IS useful, and (mostly) works when the world around you isn't changing too fast. "Granddad always used to say....." is a valid strategy when you and Granddad live in the same situation.

          An inability to accept change in the world is at the root of the Tea Party brigade's problem. Hence the dogged insistence on turning back the clock.

          For relevant sci-fi and fantasy, go to

          by Kimball Cross on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 07:50:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yep. one of the signs of belief-based behavior (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Kimball Cross, mumtaznepal

            In my opinion, that is one of the best signs of belief-based behavior. Since programming, or dogma, is what replaces logic in their system, they have a tendency to live in the past, of the time at which they were programmed. They receive no updates, no revisions. They are 'stuck' with a mindset that cannot change.

            OK, since even the most belief-based individual has some cognitive processes, change can happen. However, all of their feedback is to maintain the beliefs, to support the "dogma". Any change has to fight an almost overwhelming system inertia. Change for them is glacially slow, over generations.

            We almost have to "sneak in an update" using their own programming to make any kind of change in their thinking. Even then, the tremendous feedback and inertia work against us.

            Less "WAAAAH!", more progress.

            by IndyGlenn on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 09:12:49 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  A lesson from history (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Steven D, Kimball Cross, mumtaznepal

            Although he was excoriated for saying so publicly, Obama himself said this some time ago with his remark about confused and angry midwesterners clinging to their guns and bibles.  Many sociologists have written about the increasing uncertainty and complexity of modern life, and these factors have led to a great upswelling of "fundamentalist" beliefs both here and in the Islamic world. Although it is often considered trite to compare these things to the rise of the Nazi ideology, I believe a lot of the same forces are in play here, and that these things will only get worse as our economic situation continues to deteriorate, due in large part to the very policies that such "fundamentalists" have managed to enact. Does anybody here really believe that the Germans are  so different from us? What is it that made a cultured and relatively civilized people embrace a sort of cultish belief system that eventually led to their own destruction, as well as that of 100 million other human beings? Even after it was all over, many remained fervent Nazis to the end of their days. They could not be reasoned with. They could only be killed. So far the efforts of the so called Tea Party extremists have been largely confined to rearranging the social order here at home. If you think that is frightening, wait till they start setting the foreign policy agenda. Be afraid... be very afraid.

            •  the scary inhumanity that I see written on many (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Steven D, Kimball Cross, mumtaznepal

              websites in the comments section has made me think the same thing.

              Ive seen people saying that we should round up the mentally ill and externminate them and aslo that Hitler was a good guy.  Im one of those that Hitler would have rounded up.

              Its kinda like the comments about the Norway guy being right or good in any way.

              its disturbing.

              did you hear that the Norway guy got his clips through mail order from America?  I feel seriously sick about that.
              NBC nightly news had that last night (friday july 29 2011)

              Critical reasoning and faith in God are not mutually exclusive. - David - in Texas

              by echo still on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 09:43:29 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  I wouldn't mind turning back the clock (0+ / 0-)

            to things like a progressive income tax, a manufacturing base, strong unions and middle class, and non-profit news divisions.
            but this time without the discrimination and wars.

        •  Yes, IndyGlenn! But with Faux news, and the (0+ / 0-)

          attack on funding education, it's difficult to do this.  Again, that gets back to messaging.  

          The fatal flaw of most Democrats is that they think that educated, thinking people will rationally arrive at the logical and just conclusion.  

          The mistake is thinking everyone has the mental tools to do that.  They do not.   Unfortunately, we need bumper stickers.

          Well said, Glenn, and vitally important:

          "We also need to make sure that rational, skeptical thinking is present in society, since we cannot guarantee each individual's abilities." - IndyGlenn

          •  Do you know what happens when you assume? (0+ / 0-)

            If anything, Dem politicians and pundits think or assume that everyone else is like them.  After all, doesn't everyone have to put on their pants one leg at a time?

            We should be worried whenever someone (like The Nation's Ari Melber said last week on MSNBC, perhaps to Lawrence O'Donnell or Ed Schultz) "Everyone knows ..."

            No. They. Do. Not.

            That's like the long-time (and now retired) head of the National Federation of Independent Business in Hawaii used to say, "Everyone knows that small business creates most of the jobs."

            Yeah, she should have periodically reminded the 76 Trombones in the state senate and house of that -- that's why Hawaii supposedly has a reputation as an anti-business state.

          •  Effective messaging (0+ / 0-)

            Messages need to be targeted at a specific audience. The information to be conveyed is fundamentally the same, but the messaging, or how it is said, differs widely.

            I joke about brainiacs and cheerleaders as two different, but equally effective, mindsets. Brainiacs are heavily weighted towards the rational, skeptical mindset. A message that works for them will be dry, factual, and numbers-heavy. That same messaging will not work for other groups. Cheerleaders are heavily weighted towards the emotional, instinctual mindset. A message that works for them will use anecdotes, examples, and emotional appeals. Different groups, different messaging. You need both mindsets for an effective group, both will make up an effective movement.

            In this context, both brainiacs and cheerleaders are relatively open-minded. Many belief-based people are not. Now, we have to craft messaging that 'sneaks inside' the mindset. If it is a Christian sect, we need to 'speak the language' and wrap our information in their sect's specific 'language' before we have a chance of being heard.

            Less "WAAAAH!", more progress.

            by IndyGlenn on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 04:21:26 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  its called "total reliance on God" (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Steven D, mumtaznepal

        Some seem to believe that its a sin to not totally rely on God.

        They seem to feel that thinking for onself is not a good thing.  Doing for oneself is not a good thing.  (even though they preach personal responsibility).

        I think they are afraid to go boldly before the Throne of God and actually be their own person (which is what I belive God wants).

        In my beliefs, God wants individuals who think and act on their own (and can think and act on their own) and who choose to do whats right.  he wants children who choose mercy.

        Some just seem to be stuck in the fear of God.

        Its like the parable of the talents.  One guy says "I knew you were a hard man who reaps where he does not sow...".  why would anyone think that God was a hard man that was not fair and just and merciful and forgiving?

        People gotta think for themselves.  Otherwise they have not learned and they are not free.

  •  And Krugman nails the other part of this. (34+ / 0-)

    These people are insane - but you'll never hear it from the mainstream media or the pundit class or the villagers. The 'centrist cop-out' is the willful blindness that lets the tea partiers run loose.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Fri Jul 29, 2011 at 07:30:12 PM PDT

  •  very interesting (18+ / 0-)

    and thoughtful diary.  I have never understood the "tea party" philosophy (even though I have several siblings who buy it 100%), and your logical and well-written piece has given me valuable insight.
    I still think they're all crazy, but they certainly have succeeded in making all of us pay attention to them.  They are a minority that has truly forced political change, and in a bizzare sort of way, I kind of admire them for that.  But they can go away now!

  •  yeah, except the tea party was very upfront (7+ / 0-)

    About their beliefs.  They hid their agenda from no one and tended to cram it down anyone within ear shot.  Voters need to understand the difference between voting for someone and casting a spell.  Hint: the first enables someone to do what he says he'll do, the second doesn't work.  Quit apologizing for voters.

    •  I don't see where I apologized (4+ / 0-)

      for the voters.

      "If you tell the truth, you'll eventually be found out." Mark Twain

      by Steven D on Fri Jul 29, 2011 at 08:23:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  ok, making excuses. when you line up (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        What the tea party is against what "voter want" you implicitly reinforce voting "against" an incumbant or whatever, without acknowleging that people are voting for something.  If I think the democrats stink at jobs so I vote for the batshit crazy guy, at the end of the day I chose batshit crazy, not jobs.  There is no excuse for this.

        •  Most voters (9+ / 0-)

          Don't hang out at political websites all day.

          "If you tell the truth, you'll eventually be found out." Mark Twain

          by Steven D on Fri Jul 29, 2011 at 09:01:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  negligent homicide is still a crime (0+ / 0-)

            You can plead all you want that you didn't know what was going to happen or are too stupid to understand the consequences, but you still go to jail voters ARE responsible for this mess, and it won't go away until they face up to the consequences of their actions.

        •  The vast majority of voters - particularly (13+ / 0-)

          Independent voters - pay little attention to all the details, which I believe Steven D has outlined nicely here.

          They think to themselves, about a day or two before the election, "is my wallet feeling fatter or thinner today than before the last election?"  

          Fatter?  Vote for the same folks.
          Thinner?  Vote for different folks.

          I'm convinced that's pretty much the sum total of it.

          The real failure here is not the voters. It is the failure of Congressional and Presidential Democrats to advocates solidly and continuously for JOBS, JOBS, JOBS after the 2008 elections.  One too-small stimulus package didn't do enough good and by the time 2010 rolled around, the wallets were feeling thinner -- lots sadder -- so Democrats lost massively.

          Wallets are still feeling pretty damn thin, so it looks bad for Obama in 2012 also.  If he thinks otherwise, he truly is dreaming. He appears to be vastly over-estimating the depth of analysis that the Indy voters he desperately needs are going to do. Right now, two years in, this is his recession. This is his unemployment.

          Better wake up and smell the coffee!

          Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better. -- Harry S Truman

          by YucatanMan on Fri Jul 29, 2011 at 09:47:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Jobs, jobs, jobs. The Republicans steal the (5+ / 0-)

            narrative time after time, and no Dem, least of all the President, steals it back.  

            We've just spent weeks on a complete non-issue, non-crisis (debt ceiling).   It's absurd, and I'm sick of it.  Clinton wouldn't have stood for this bullshit hijacking of the narrative.

          •  that's kind of funny... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            You perfectly define the problem: " or two before the election..." and conclude that's the sum total, then in the next sentance say the failure is not the voters. It's up to us to know the score no matter how hard the rulers make it, then discuss it and vote accordingly. It's a Citizen's duty. The real failure is definately the voters. These nuts couldn't be in office without them.

    •  And yet, the "Independents"... (0+ / 0-)

      ...went and voted for these people. WHY???? Yes, we get that you were disappointed in Obama, but seriously...the alternative was to vote for THESE nutjobs??? Really?????

      •  I know a 65-year old lady who told me the other (0+ / 0-)

        day that she loves Michelle Bachmann for President.  This is an intelligent, concerned person.  She's no fanatic.

        I asked her why, and she said because she (Bachmann) is smart and loves her country.  She only sees the 6 o'clock news Bachmann.

  •  "the most hysterical member..." (16+ / 0-)

    I read this so long ago I don't remember much except the author was Alexander Cockburn. The point he was making was in any consensus-bulding situation, the most hysterical member of the "consensus builders" will set the parameters for the eventual "consensus"

    This is what the Teahadists have learned very well, and what seems to totally escape the White House, the entire Democratic Leadership, and even a substantail number of progressives.

  •  All right, you've diagnosed the problem. (4+ / 0-)

    Now what do we do about it, if talking or trying to reason with them simply won't work?

    •  Attack. (17+ / 0-)

      Attack their credibility.
      Attack their ideas.
      Attack their proposals.
      Attack their solutions.
      Attack their philosophy.
      Ridicule their disdain for working folks.
      Highlight their arrogance and hatefulness.
      Attack their nuttiness and their irresponsibility and their hypocrisy.

      Unfortunately, the self-appointed negotiator-in-chief doesn't have the weapon "attack" in his arsenal.

      Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better. -- Harry S Truman

      by YucatanMan on Fri Jul 29, 2011 at 09:49:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Bush was the king (9+ / 0-)

        of the attack.  He would set up a straw man and knock him down hard.  He would accuse his opponents of believing something outrageous and attack his opponents for believing it.

        Obama doesn't need to do that.   All he needs to do is attack his opponents for what the REALLY believe.  Yet he doesn't even do that.  It is frustrating as hell for those of us who want to see him succeed.

        Which is good news for John McCain.

        by AppleP on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 04:50:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Obama seems to have a total aversion to conflict. (4+ / 0-)

          That's why he was smart enough to bring Rahm on board initially, I think.  He was self-awares enough.

          Yet I think he still has this unbounded faith that "reasonable people" will "reflect" on what he has done, and arrive at the "logical conclusion" he's the one they should re-elect.

          He is too quick to discount the nasty lizard brain.  They are far more numerous than he believes.

          I, too, want to see him succeed, and he has indeed had much success already - but good grief, blow your own damn horn already, and use the bully pulpit, man!  Don't spend the next 40 years of your life reflecting upon how nice you were to everyone on each side.

    •  Going negative works. (12+ / 0-)

      And on-target ridicule, delivered with humor, has lasting impact.

      Unfortunately, we have a non-negative, post-partisan leader in the time of hyper-partisan battles.


      Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better. -- Harry S Truman

      by YucatanMan on Fri Jul 29, 2011 at 10:01:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think the "humor" part is key. (6+ / 0-)

        You can say all sorts of confrontational things that don't come across badly to other person if you can couch it in enough humor to take the sting out.  It's a fine line, and I'm not terribly good at it, but when I succeed I'm thrilled to see the results.  

        Often the best you can hope for is getting the ideas out there in a form they won't immediately reject (where the humor comes in) and then hope that they'll think about it more later.

        Constant repetition is also good.  Don't back down, and don't give up!

      •  Barney Frank is king at doing this... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Steven D, echo still, Neon Mama

        His zingers are absolutely brillant. And often hilarious. And dead on. Too bad Obama and more Democrats don't take his cue and learn from his method.

    •  BK, we need to peal off the remaining moderate (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Steven D, mumtaznepal

      Republicans.  We will not stay in power if we continue to alienate every Republican as a moron.   The reality is many people are genetic republicans.  Inherited from their fathers and mothers, learned because all their friends in the sorority are Republicans, learned because the minister at church is a republican.

      They have not been exposed to progressive ideals or thought.  This is why having a southern kid go to a northern University is helpful.  They may not understand what they are being exposed to right off the bat but they are exposed to the dialectic.   They need to hear opposing ideas without hearing them screamed at them on Fox News.

      We need to drive a wedge between these people and the Tea Party.  It almost happened in the Congress.  And then Boehner pushed the moderates over the edge.  They are not any more comfortable with those views than progressive democrats are with following the party line.  But you choose your side.  We need to make it possible for them to step over the line to our side.

      A revised bill from the Senate which can pass and get signed by Obama and presented to the house will get most Democrats in the House on board.  Then the wedge will be driven into the Republicans because Boehner will have to whip it through and then he won't need the Tea Party.

      "Don't dream it, be it" - Brad, Janet and Frank

      by captainlaser on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 07:09:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The wedge is made: "The Tea Fraggers" is an op-ed (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        written by conservative Kathleen Parker who calls out the Tea Party for killing all chances of bills that do meet 80% or more of GOP agenda as they hold out for getting it all, and redefining getting it all every time Bohner calls for consensus.

        The Tea Fragger Party

        When life gives you wingnuts, make wingnut butter!

        by antirove on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 10:07:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  so, basically, they are unbalanced "nutters" (8+ / 0-)

    as our BRIT friends call them - right-wing nut jobs who are SO incapable of rational thought and TOTALLY INCAPABLE of appreciating the chaos they are causing, or the impending crisis they are fomenting on this nation.

    We are going to need a lot of RATIONAL thinking to repair the damage done to the USA during the disastrous 8 year "reign"  of  the idiot boy king from Crawford, and his cabal of "Deficits Don't Manner" small thinkers... the GOP and Tea Party have shown they are NOT capable of governing this nation - EVER!

    If we get past this moment, and cooler heads prevent an economic meltdown of global proportions, let's make sure these NUT CASES are NEVER AGAIN allowed to infiltrate the halls of Government.

    It's time for the pendulum of elections to swing back AWAY from the GOP, and for major campaign finance reform to take right-wing (and corporate lobbyist) money OUT of the campaign equation once and for all. Repeal Citizen's United.

    If we manage to escape total economic meltdown, it will NOT be because the Tea Party suddenly "Came to their senses";   unless, of course, GOD somehow manages to speak to them all this weekend.

    Hey Mister Speaker: Preznit Bush cut taxes on an unprecedented basis, and we LOST JOBS! Q.E.D. So can your self-serving rhetoric about how we need to "not cut taxes on job creators", OK? We can smell the bullsh*t that you and Cantor are shoveling.

    by dagnome on Fri Jul 29, 2011 at 09:42:21 PM PDT

    •  You can't "repeal" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mumtaznepal, Steven D

      a Supreme Court decision.

      You need a better court, and the only way you'll get that is to keep a Democrat in the White House for the next 40 years.

      •  Unless we impeach Roberts... (0+ / 0-)

        Hope springs eternal

        Hey Mister Speaker: Preznit Bush cut taxes on an unprecedented basis, and we LOST JOBS! Q.E.D. So can your self-serving rhetoric about how we need to "not cut taxes on job creators", OK? We can smell the bullsh*t that you and Cantor are shoveling.

        by dagnome on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 07:50:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Overcoming Supreme Court decisions (0+ / 0-)

        You're right that a Supreme Court decision cannot be repealed.

        But it can be overruled by subsequent congressional legislation to the contrary.

        What that means is "more and better" Democrats must be elected to Congress 2012, 2014, etc. to get a veto-proof majority, regardless of which party has the White House.

  •  Great diary. I have been wondering if there is (5+ / 0-)

    more influential person or group behind the scenes in all of this.

    Most of the Tea Part Caucus could probably not explain where the debt came from or what a debt ceiling even is.

    Most of the monied people want to dollar to stay strong (or at least viable)

    I wonder if the Kochs or some other such people think that if they let the economy tank they can use their access to natural resources as a bludgeon to make the rest of us serve them.  (Sounds crazy though)

    Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn. - Poor Richard's Almanac 1755
    The government exists to protect us from the thugs who got rich ripping off our ancestors. - Mungley 2011

    by mungley on Fri Jul 29, 2011 at 10:24:50 PM PDT

    •  Wall Street. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mungley, Steven D

      Not particularly Goldman Sachs, but the "2%" who are not us?   They know how to hold together.  Koch Brothers just got caught.  There are a million of them and there are thousands of Karl Roves being paid by them.  

      And they get into Congress to influence them with money.

      You are right that most on the right don't understand any of this and believe that we can never go into debt.  They have been told that on talk radio in Omaha and Tucson.

      "Don't dream it, be it" - Brad, Janet and Frank

      by captainlaser on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 07:12:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  These people are about nothing more (7+ / 0-)

    Than making sure that default happens on Obamas watch. That is it.

  •  Original thinking (7+ / 0-)

    I'm sure the idea, back in 1789, was that communities would talk among themselves and choose the wisest sage in the village to send the Capitol on their behalf.  Somehow, it didn't work out that way.

    I saw an article or documentary or something about China recently.  For thousands of years villages would screen and educate their kids, with the brightest learning to write.  The ultimate reward was to be appointed to government positions.  The system was designed to have government run by the nation's best people.  It all fell apart during Mao, but the system worked for a long long time.

    Frankly, I blame everything on Nixon.

    by J Orygun on Fri Jul 29, 2011 at 10:43:19 PM PDT

    •  This too is myth. I was reading a book about (0+ / 0-)

      Noah Webster (of the Dictionary fame) who had to rally people in North Carolina to support President Franklin when he wanted to get the Constitution passed.

      Franklin said to Webster that this was not a perfect document but they need to get 9 states to support it or they wouldn't have had a government.  They were up against it and the Constitution was the "compromise" but not everyone was for it.

      The "wisest sage" turned out often to the most affluent gentleman farmer who had the time for such things.  The rest of the people would have starved in the winter if they too months off to "govern".

      "Don't dream it, be it" - Brad, Janet and Frank

      by captainlaser on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 07:15:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  They pine for a Federal Government from 1911 (6+ / 0-)

    not 2011.

    Plutocracy too long tolerated leaves democracy on the auction block, subject to the highest bidder ~ Bill Moyers

    by Lefty Coaster on Fri Jul 29, 2011 at 11:07:45 PM PDT

  •  Every revolutionary ever knows Chaos (9+ / 0-)

    is the time when a disciplined cadre can seize power. I'm sure this is part of their (quite mad) reasoning.

    And this will not change with them.

    Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

    by Jim P on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 12:15:41 AM PDT

  •  The tea party mentality goes back to Jefferson (7+ / 0-)

    He wasn't the only founder who thought this way, nor the most radical of them, but he was the most prominent and influential one over the centuries. He was one of the principle supporters of the idea that government should be small, weak and limited (except, of course, when he needed to make use of it, e.g. the Louisiana Purchase, Barbary Wars), and that there was no greater danger to liberty than a powerful central government. An argument not without merit, given history, but he failed to realize that a too-weak government would be powerless to prevent the gradual takeover of the country by rich and powerful elites.

    My point is that such radical libertarianism as we see teabaggers proclaim these days, be it sincere or opportunistic, simplistic or sophisticated, goes all the way back to the founding, and to such leading lights as Jefferson. Of course, his intentions in keeping government small have been completely inverted, and his small government beliefs exploited to justify a government that is too weak (by design) to rein in too-powerful individuals and corporations, but powerful enough to oppress us otherwise (e.g Patriot Act, voter ID laws). Most rank and file teabaggers are probably too stupid, ignorant, lazy or sheltered to see this, but their leaders know exactly what they're doing. They're not Jeffersonians, as they claim to be (nor are they Hamiltonians). They're Aaron Burr and Benedict Arnold.

    This isn't about principle. This is about power and money. Anyone says otherwise is either a liar or doesn't know what they're talking about.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 12:49:30 AM PDT

  •  Aha! I have something in common with the cretins (4+ / 0-)

    I'm "predominantly white" too.

    But that doesn't explain why I should have to live in the hellish Bizzaro-World that they are dead-set upon creating.

    Given the option I'd rather go on a groin kicking rampage in the Capitol Building.

    An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics - Plutarch

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 01:10:47 AM PDT

  •  Americans are so smart (3+ / 0-)

    Politicians and pundits are always compelled to say that Americans are smart--smarter than politicians, etc.  But today I saw a report in which those brilliant Americans said that our politicians are acting like children--tee-hee!  These clueless individuals do not understand that the stakes involved here are enormous:  Do we take government spending back to 1960s levels?  Do we end Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid as we have known them for decades?   Do we make tax cuts for the wealthy untouchable (2/3 majority vote) while making social program cut easy (simple majority)?  

    I have had it with the Dems and Obama.  They have no guts, no principles, no bully pulpit.   They are major league wimps....

  •  Best. DKos. Diary. Ever. (6+ / 0-)

    This diary sums up everything very nicely.

    "There's nothing courageous about asking for sacrifice from those who can least afford it and don't have any clout on Capitol Hill." Barack Obama, April 13, 2011.

    by surfermom on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 01:29:55 AM PDT

  •  Why in the world do we allow the minority (9+ / 0-)

    to dictate to and control us?

     Whether it's the Senate Republicans setting a record filibustering every single vote last session, or the loons in the House bringing this country to the brink of default through their evangelical worship of stupidity, when are we going to stand up and take this country back before it's destroyed?

    Why is there no strong Democratic voices directing the conversation and messaging?

    Why have we spent the past few weeks allowing the Republicans to generate a completely fake "crisis", to hijack the debt ceiling raise with all this unrelated nonsense about budgets and amendments and spending, that threatens to really do us harm?

    Where the hell is the damn strong "adult in the room", calling this nonsense out for what it is?


    Where are the sheep of the media, who allow this to happen?  (yeah, just answered this one)

    When we march on Washington next summer, out of sheer frustration, we the unemployed, the starving, the poor - are they simply going to ignore us as they seem to be doing now?

  •  There is no "objective reality" to some people (5+ / 0-)

    I have a sister and many friends like that.  There lack of reality is from the left, but still every bit as difficult to deal with.  When I try to discuss things with them I hear over and over again "I just believe differently".  It's all about "belief" not reasoning.

    There's a comment I've often seen on the web that really captures it for me -- "you can't reason a person out of a position they haven't reasoned themselves into".  This isn't about reason, it's about belief.

  •  I would go further...they don't care (4+ / 0-)

    I believe the members of the Christian/ evangelical community and their self-destructive tendencies will see the financial Armageddon as another step towards hastening the "End of Days."

    So while we are desperately trying to educate the self-deluded magical thinkers in the group of the dangerous consequences that will follow their actions, others in the group understand it, believe and actually want it to happen.

    People, not corporations. Democracy, not totalitarian capitalism.

    by democracy is coming on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 04:32:22 AM PDT

  •  They think a default would be like the government (6+ / 0-)

    shutdown of 1995. The offices would close for a few days, and the reopen again, and all will be well.

    They don't seem to realize that the interest rate on US Bonds would go up, thereby making it harder to reduce the deficit.

    For relevant sci-fi and fantasy, go to

    by Kimball Cross on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 04:50:31 AM PDT

  •  Kickass Diary (6+ / 0-)

    This should be in print. Possibly the best analysis of Teabag thinking I've ever seen. Matt Taibbi has gotten close, but this diary nails it.

    To the Teabag mind, the goal is to most definitely default on our debt limit. They want a meltdown. They want to see government shown to be dysfunctional and broken.

    An efficient, well-run government is their idea of a nightmare.

    Every day's another chance to stick it to the man. - dls

    by The Raven on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 04:55:37 AM PDT

  •  Urgh! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    You and I often agree, but your sources are dealing bland generalities from the bottom of the deck.

    1. Tea Partier's are fundamentalists, and that makes them narrow minded and incapable of nuance.
    No. They are attracted to a type of Christianity founded on End Times and persecution and cults of personality because their personalities are already shaped that way and because such religion favors "ends justify the means" and heavy theocratic intervention. Their sincerity is quite frequently in question, and therefore the ability of this to be a real determinant must also be in question.

    2. TEA Party people are hicks. Your source is absolutely inexplicable, if not inexcusable. The whole middle of the nation is backward. The whole southeastern section is backward one way, the southwestern section backward another?
    These ideas are sloppy, and the concept that they could be true enough to apply to the politicians, much less their supporters, is absurd. What we saw was a fairly even sprinkling of crazy across the nation, but it appeared to be heaviest in demographic concentrations of gravest racism (the northeast and upper midwest, south Florida) rather than educational level.

    Oh, and I note that a default will lead to a rise in the price of Glenn Beck's swiss francs. (Maybe his Goldline conny's will make their original money back!)

    We do not flourish, but we persist.

    by The Geogre on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 04:57:56 AM PDT

  •  The tea party is the republican party. (0+ / 0-)

    It is their own created arm of agitation from within.  They stepped on the scene one day and were given credence forever it seems and right away.  They will disappear without a trace when their job is done.  

    God is good. If it isn't good. It isn't God.

    by publicv on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 05:37:32 AM PDT

    •  There is no method to the madness (3+ / 0-)

      They have quite literally hijacked the Christian faith and idealogy which I believe is in direct contradiction of the hijackers.  
      Look at the people who want chaos..
      The leaders of this so called Bring back the 10 Commandments in School are a generation of
      Omen series watchers.
      Damien does exist and is residing in the White House
      They moved on  to the The Left Behind Series.
      They were indoctrinated into Final Judgment and The Passion of their theological churches.
      They are of the persuasion that God Jehovah is ready to beat people in the head and is dogmatic rather than a God of Love. They believe that no matter how they behave they are secure in their own salvation thus you have the Sunday pew sitters with their predjudices and bigotry.  Do not forget many are also Masonic dwellers and they come right out of the Baptist conventions and the charasmatic movement from so many of the Oral Roberts crowd.  They do not study or reference scripture but take their beliefs and talking points from the Evangelical money machine on television and then teach it to the masses.  Fox sees the money in all of this and helps them out with spreading their message.

      These folks for the most part were as they like to say sinners but have been redeemed.  They see Jesus and God in a light that is dark and not at all comparable to what faith is all about.  They were at some time or other the biggest drug dealers, drunks, abusers of all manner of things and now believe with IMO damaged brain cells, their way the only way.  They must set up a series of catastrophic events to bring on Armageddon.  You cannot talk to these people.  You cannot sway them.  How do I know all of this?  I have seen it up close as the daughter of a Pastor who did not buy into the literal part of this but was a Master Mason.
        I have beein in churches where they handed out info on the End Times.
      I come from the South.  There are only a few of us who have not been indoctrinated in the south by comparison of those who have.  One of their favorite hymnals is I feel like Traveling on.  They believe and are looking for the red hefer and Jersuleum to be the centerpoint of the second coming, and there we find Neocons.   They will fight to the death for these beliefs.  They all love John Hagee and most despise Martin Luther King.

      These are people of which you speak.

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 06:13:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is a pretty typical DK view. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I generally like your diaries, Steven D, but this one is mired in the DK worldview where evil and ignorant crackers threaten to bring down our wonderful civilization.  Listen for 10 minutes to CNBC and you'll hear the same kind of silly crap passing as economics that underlies Tea Party madness.

    For 40 years (since the Powell Memo), the Right has blasted economic idiocy from the airwaves and print media.  "Free markets," "trickle down," "job creators," and on and on.  The people pumping out this garbage were generally too smart to believe it, but they hoped their listeners and readers would buy it, and we see that many did.

    Along comes the '08 collapse that completely disproved all that bullshit about the wonders of Capitalism, but the Capitalists and their hired guns can't admit they've been wrong all these years.  They double down.  Remember where the Tea Party phenomenon was born: Santelli from the floor of the Chicago Merc televised on CNBC.  This message was delivered to true believers whose faith had been badly shaken by a near-Apocalypse, and they began to cling ever more desperately not to guns and gods but "free market" dogma.

    The powers-that-be have created a monster they aren't sure they can handle.  The economy doesn't work the way the they've been selling all these years.  Capitalism survives through dozens of government props and aids.  That's the real purpose of government in our society.  Now these true believers have to be brought in for a "Jensen lecture" or they're going to blow the whole thing up.

    •  On CBS last night they interviewed four of the (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mumtaznepal, wave of change

      new Republican caucus who said that when they had to make their decision, got together and prayed on it and found the "word in the book" so they knew what to do.

      That sounds crackers to me.

      "Don't dream it, be it" - Brad, Janet and Frank

      by captainlaser on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 07:19:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I just (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wave of change, goinsouth

      reported the facts on where they came from.

      My district in NY is represented now by a member of the tea party caucus.  It's a very rural district with suburbs in Rochester and Syracuse added in.  Last rep was a Dem who lost by about 500 votes thanks to lots of late attack ads funded by conservative PACS.

      I don't disagree that we've seen the same economic message from crazy bond and commodities traders, though without the religious overlay.  But those people never run for office and if they did they wouldn't vote against raising the debt ceiling if their pals in Wall Street told them not to. They would have taken Obama's grand bargain the second he proposed it and then ran on him cutting entitlements and raising taxes.

      "If you tell the truth, you'll eventually be found out." Mark Twain

      by Steven D on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 09:25:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ah, I remember back in the good old days, (3+ / 0-)

    when one told fundamentalists, just to get them to try to see things in less B&W terms:

    * God is omnipotent
    * God is all-good
    * Bad things happen

    Pick two.

    Now, to try to get the Teahadis to evaluate their beliefs, it's down to one choice:

    1) Ayn Rand.
    2) God.

    Pick one.

    So he says to me, do you wanna be a BAD boy? And I say YEAH baby YEAH! Surf's up space ponies! I'm makin' gravy WITHOUT THE LUMPS! HAAA-ha-ha-ha!!!

    by Cenobyte on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 06:02:17 AM PDT

  •  No happy Tea campers (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    brae70, Steven D, mumtaznepal, forester

    Have you ever met a joyous Tea Partier? Serene? Content? Happy-go-lucky?  In  my own occasional conversations with self-described Tea Party folks, they always come across as very angry. When pressed to describe the future, they invariably imagine disaster and see their own efforts as ultimately futile in the face of enormous dark forces arrayed against them.

    And the majority of them, at least around my way, are retired people living off social security and spending way too much time following the news - while the rest are out of work and dependent on unemployment payments.

    If my soldiers were to begin to think, not one would remain in the ranks. -Frederick the Great

    by Valatius on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 06:05:11 AM PDT

  •  One word for Establisment GOP regarding the Tea (0+ / 0-)

    Party and the movie "The Town".....Trotsky!  

  •  I'm not much of a bible expert, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    but didn't Sampson slay the Philistines with the jawbone of an ass?

    "If you love your Uncle Sam, bring 'em home; bring 'em home." - Pete Seeger

    by brae70 on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 06:19:51 AM PDT

    •  He ended (0+ / 0-)

      as a slave of the Philistines after Delilah seduced him and cut his hair.  Then they chained him to the temple.  He prayed to God for one last time to have his old strength back so he could destroy the Israelite's enemies.  God of course, granted his wish.

      "If you tell the truth, you'll eventually be found out." Mark Twain

      by Steven D on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 09:28:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent diary and analysis of the fringe of (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steven D, mumtaznepal

    the Republican Party.   If you have energy for Part II and Part III, I request two discussions:

    The Tea Party is not some mutant fringe which metamorphosed in college by reading Ayn Rand.  There is a long tradition of such thinking in the Republican Party.  But why now? What brought them out of the woodwork?  The Debt? A black president?  Hispanic immigration?  The depression?

    Where have all the Republicans gone?   Why are they more willing to turn their party over to fringe thinking than to try to retain the middle?  Democrats never, ever run into the Progressive Caucus when they are confronted by failure.  The swing wildly to the right, so far that they even espouse non-Democratic principles.   Why is the Right Wing safer for a politician?

    "Don't dream it, be it" - Brad, Janet and Frank

    by captainlaser on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 06:57:54 AM PDT

    •  Because they believe this generation (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      captainlaser, Steven D

      is the generation for the real change the tea party seeks.  It is crazy thinking but  there is a lot of em.  They are out to destroy all who do not buy into the war machine and  or Theocracy that is already in play by way of bigotry and dumbing down and Ayn Rand even though not religious is required reading for these people.
      They admit they are the chosen and elite.

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 07:02:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The end times (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Steven D, forester

        Once they have finished destroying our economy it will be time to start the Great Crusade... a religious war of mass extinction in which billions will die. Yay! Better start stocking up on duct tape. If you don't think they are crazy enough to do this you are fooling yourself. Bomb bomb Iran....

    •  The right is safer for a politician because (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      captainlaser, brae70, Steven D

      the United States, unique among developed countries, has been brain-washed against things foreign, especially socialism, all this, powerfully and enduringly since Senator Joseph McCarthy held sway.

      I wonder how much about his intimidating hearings, that drove some to suicide, caused many to lose their jobs, is included in our history books.

      Anybody care to check this out?

      Otherjones. Insights and Ironies.

      by Deena Stryker on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 07:11:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Don't have to check McCarthy out. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OldDragon, brae70, Vetwife, Steven D

        He is in school history books (if any really get past 1950 before the kids hit the beach in June) as an anomaly, an aberration.

        They forget Richard Nixon was his lawyer.

        But your point is made.  Kids are never taught a progressive view of America.  And Americans are amongst the most insular races on the planet (I'm sure there are still tribes in New Guinea who know less).

        Anything foreign (not just politics) is inferior.  As they drive their Honda to the prayer meetings and type on their Lenovo computers and eat their Mexican tomatoes .....

        "Don't dream it, be it" - Brad, Janet and Frank

        by captainlaser on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 07:24:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Don't forget Rush Limbaugh (5+ / 0-)

    and his ilk.  Talk radio fuels the beliefs of these people; listen to Rush on Thursday afternoon and then the comments and questions on CSpan on Friday morning on the "Republican line."  The talking points are delivered straight from Rush..  This is where their power (millions of misinformed voters) truly resides, and Rush is evilly brilliant at finding the arguments that will get people ready to call, write, vote, etc.

  •  Thank you for your coherence (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steven D

    about the Tea Party's incoherence. I try to tell myself "it is the best of times, it is the worst of times," but I am very afraid for the future.

  •  I am quite sad (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SkylarkingTomFoolery, Steven D find that I agree almost completely with this diary.  In Wisconsin and elsewhere, these folks are getting into power with very little interest in perpetuating the system they have lived in, benefited from, and been elected to participate in.   This has happened before I think but the players always get called back to order in some way by the economic or political interests which put them in power.  This time, something is different.  Probably only truly clear what that something is or was 30 years from now.  Part of it is what you describe here.  Maybe all of it.  But also...they have supporters with money who are also unmoored from the system, more interested in some ideological "reform" than simply holding the empire together a few more years.  

    I can't imagine a purely "bidness christian" prototypical american fascist candidate of even a few years ago advocating something that results in even a tenth point increase in the prime rate, much less a degradation on the scale we may face.  

    ...j'ai découvert que tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos dans une chambre.

    by jessical on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 07:58:23 AM PDT

  •  teabaggers live in a world of spin, not lies (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steven D, forester

    In arguing with them, they almost unfailingly accept the facts as I present them, but instead reach the exact opposite conclusion as I do.  

    Government services help people, especially the poor?  Teabaggers agree 100%, then turn around and argue that it's inefficient, or that these people are poor because government help allows them to be.  Black people are disproportionately poor and criminal?  Teabaggers agree 100%, but to them it's proof of black inferiority: "institutional racism" is a myth and Asians and Jews prove that.  Trains are more efficient than cars?  Teabaggers agree 100%, but that's irrelevant because cars aren't just transportation, but a symbol of American individualism and zest for life.  Capitalism doesn't give a shit about anyone's well-being?  Teabaggers agree 100%, but you're being selfish: get to work and "produce" and you'll be as happy as the worth of your work deserves.

    Pick any piece of the progressive worldview or policy platform, and you'll get one of two answers from a teabagger: true but bad, or possible but wrong.  That's how teabaggers think.

  •  You made some points but forget some others (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steven D, mumtaznepal

    People who yearn for simplistic solutions are people who are in pain. They are people who are unprepared, due to a deficient education, to entertain more than one possibility. I don't think it needs to be there or is inevitable but it is clearly, in my view, a direct result of an educational system that has failed this country in the most important way possible--by creating responsible citizens who are able to understand basic reason and understand the scientific method.

    The far right is in revolt against modernism and the 18th century enlightenment. They want to live in a feudal world where the Church tells them what to think and the Lord of the Manor tells him what to do and both set out a clear list of what is good and what is bad. All this talk of "liberty" and Ayn Rand is pure fantasy. Almost none of the people who are on the tea-party right would come close to believing any of what I just wrote but, in the end, that is what their policies will bring them. You can talk about freedom all you want but unless you have that freedom inside, unless you can think for yourself critically with all the tools that this culture has provided (and we have a stunningly rich inheritance) your talk of freedom is just the talk of chumps who will be cheated out of their money and their wealth by the firsts fast-talking con-man that comes around.

  •  They are the John Birch Society. (4+ / 0-)

    From Wikipedia: The John Birch Society is an American political advocacy group that supports anti-communism, limited government, a Constitutional Republic and personal freedom. It has been described as radical right-wing.

    Sound familiar?

  •  I get sick of... (0+ / 0-)

    ..reading fucked up biblical metaphors on this site.

    The Philistines had gouged out Samson's eyes & chained him to the labor of pushing a mill stone 24/7.  If somebody did that to you, what would be your response?  A request to engage peace talks?

    When Samson committed his "bloody mass murder," he was not only fucking blind, he was in the process of being rendered a clownish play thing by the Philistines.  

    But I get it:  The true victims here are the quiet & communal Philistines; the villian is the ancient version of a Hells Angel, Samson.

     For a website that loves to brag about how its hatred of religious context somehow magically renders it an expert on religious context,  I've seen some really batshit insane interpretation of biblical scripture here.

    When Fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in excess body fat and carrying a misspelled sign.

    by wyvern on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 09:04:31 AM PDT

    •  I think you're (0+ / 0-)

      taking my analogy too personally.

      I don't believe it was "fucked up" as you say.  The Tea Party are very much OT Christians, not NT ones.  I think they would identify with Samson.

      Samson greatest claim to fame btw in the bible was that he was very good at killing people.

      "If you tell the truth, you'll eventually be found out." Mark Twain

      by Steven D on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 09:59:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Actually... (0+ / 0-)

        ...Samson's greatest claim to fame was the fact the length of his hair dictated his physical strength.  That and his relationship with Delilah.

        And Samson was very good at killing his enemies...not random innocents as you seem to believe.

        When Fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in excess body fat and carrying a misspelled sign.

        by wyvern on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 10:17:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  They want him to fail (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steven D, mumtaznepal, jay23

    It all goes back to Rush Limbaugh's post-election declaration that "I hope he fails."

    Blind hatred and anger trump reason -- that's why we have to rid ourselves of it. These people haven't.

    "I want real loyalty. I want someone who will kiss my ass in Macy's window, and say it smells like roses." Lyndon Johnson

    by pkgoode on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 09:09:40 AM PDT

  •  Anyone who expresses anti-government views (and (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steven D

    I don't mean complaining about their performance or processes) that government should be seriously shrunk and society be deregulated should be required to have their mental health checked and have their background checked.  People elected to Congress should be required to meet specific education standards and background check.  Why should we have a bunch of nuts (evangelists) from these backward dinosaur states telling us what to do. States with small populations should maybe have one senator not two.  Bills that are not an amendment to the constitution should need only a majority vote.  There should be at least a third party
    for people to vote for.   When are they going to end all this nonsense in Washington.  It is the only entity I know of where it's customers (the people) generally rate their performance as dismal, yet they are totally unresponsive to such criticism.  It's a system which is dysfunctional.  It needs modifications.

  •  The Tea Party is a disgrace and people are much (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steven D, mumtaznepal

    tolerant and politically correct when speaking of them.  They are fanatics, irrational, stupid, the American Taliban.  They need to be eliminated from government.  What is it with the GOP?  They are always bringing (or trying to) bring in nut jobs and extremists into the government.

  •  As always, (0+ / 0-)

    It's helpful to know who we're up against.  Even though it's depressing.

    Want to know what makes you tick? All Things Human

    by trustno1 on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 10:35:05 AM PDT

  •  Ron Paul is NOT a tea party member (0+ / 0-)
    “Paul and other libertarians are not merely advocates of limited government; they are anti-government. Their objective is not the correction of error but the cultivation of contempt for government itself.”

    Although it is not clear whether that quote is referring to Rand or Ron.

    Ron Paul is also NOT anti-government.  He is a constitutionalist and believes the federal government's role is strictly limited by the constitution.  He runs as a GOP candidate and therefore has to choose his soundbytes carefully to appeal to the audience.  Thus he speaks of taxes, smaller government, etc.  

    He speaks of abolishing medicare, SS, and a lot of other liberal programs that I see as essential.  I have not heard what he envisions happening during the transition to all the people who depend on those programs for basic needs but I'm sure he has some thoughts on that.  I'm also sure he doesn't speak them openly because to do so would cost him GOP votes.  Because, most GOP and certainly all tea partiers, would like nothing more than for those people to starve to death.  I'm sure Ron Paul's ideas regarding social programs has to do with shifting power and responsiblity to the states and away from the federal level.  Again, I don't think we will hear much on that while he fights to gain political standing with the GOP.

    "All this marching up and down and cheering and waving flags is simply sex gone sour." -Julia, 1984

    by pullbackthecurtain on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 11:00:48 AM PDT

    •  He was speaking of the younger Paul (0+ / 0-)


      There is an even smaller subset of the tea party movement comprised of libertarian conservatives, representing a more developed intellectual tradition. Their goal is not just federalism but a minimal state at home and abroad. Their commitment to individual freedom -- defined as the absence of external constraint -- is nearly absolute. Taxation for the purpose of redistribution is theft. The national security state does not defend liberty; it threatens it. American global commitments are just another form of big government.

      The closest this sect has come to serious political influence is Rand Paul's victory
  •  Michael Gerson is a bit nervous now? (0+ / 0-)

    Extreme anti government rhetoric has been going on with Republican politicians, politicos and pundits for 31 years, since Reagan started it as mainstream GOP messaging in 1980.

    Now that it has evolved into its ugliest, most destructive form, why is any Republican surprised? An entire generation has heard anti government rhetoric 24/7. Did they think this wouldn't lead to extremism?

  •  So we're screwed. (0+ / 0-)

    Is there any legal way we can stop them from paralyzing the government and forcing us into default?

    Because obviously the ordinary tools of legislative process, including lobbying and strong-arming by their own Speaker, won't work.

    The heart is a bloom, shoots up through stony ground/But there's no room, no space to rent in this town

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 11:30:22 AM PDT

  •  And then we have (0+ / 0-)

    an enigma in Walsh--a guy who was elected by gaining the sympathy of people because he lost his home as many others have.

    He convinced people that he knew what they were experiencing, so that makes him acutely aware of other people's suffering and not ignorant at all of what he was doing.

    Maybe he's the exception to the rule...I wonder how many others are...

  •  Fundamentalist magical thinking... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    is the same mindset that caused witch hunts in Salem. The Alec crowd (Koch, Murdoch,Walmart) bankrolled these idiots into power. I wonder if they are having a bit of blow back and are realizing that they may not have full control over these wing nuts...

    •  The roots of the teaparty go back to the "Know- (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Nothing Party", the Confederacy, 19th century pseudo-science, and most importantly to the Great Awakening, the fundamentalist religious revivals of the end of the 19th century, and I am sure, a lot of other things.  Mad as hell at someone or something? a little paranoid ? join the teaparty!

  •  Commanding the other body to vote yes..... (0+ / 0-)

    is about as arrogant as you can get. That's why the Senate acted as it did.

  •  Stephen D, you are right on! Most of my (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vetwife, Catte Nappe

    relatives are teabaggers.  This includes brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews, and unlimited cousins! I have argued with them for years, sometimes vehemently.  They are not guided by reason, but by faith.  They are Crusaders retaking the Holy Land.

  •  This is the best analysis of the teaparty members (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I have ever read.  Thanks, Steven D.

  •  The End of the World (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    in some political sense, seems to be what they crave.

    Especially if they get to be in front of the cameras as it happens.  Any solution to the crisis would only rob them of their big moment.

    Appealing to reason with them, or anyone beholden to them, seems willfully obtuse.

  •  They'd better avoid group travel in small planes (0+ / 0-)

    if they're as intractable as their posturing suggests. Their corporate masters don't tolerate declines in profits very well.

    "They had fangs. They were biting people. They had this look in their eyes,totally cold, animal. I think they were young Republicans."

    by slouching on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 02:22:23 PM PDT

  •  Well done diary. (0+ / 0-)

    I, too, have been fascinated, disturbed and befuddled by the alternate universe inhabited by the Tea Party and the legitimacy that has been bestowed upon them by the media, pundits, other politicians, etc....

    One thing you did not mention about the suddenness of the rise of the Tea Party, and reasons it has happened so quickly, and the timing of this power grab. In the past, these fringe groups (like David Duke's followers) have been tamped down or absorbed or rebuked by the mainstream Republican party...The big difference now, is that they have a 24 hour cable news station cheerleading for them, and the true leader of the Republicans, Rush Limbaugh, cynically eggs them on, using their numbers and anger and loudness to try and get Republicans elected and keep his favorite corporate entities in power. Meanwhile, the monster they created grows out of control, and I imagine it won't be long before it turns on its masters.


  •  Liberals and Rural People (0+ / 0-)

    A major Democratic strategist told me a few years ago that one of the big failures of Liberals, esp. educated and urban = not understand rural people.

    I wonder what would happen if we spent more time building common ground with rural people. . . . .

  •  End times (0+ / 0-)

    A fair amount of them think we're in the End Times, and so chaos is something they yearn for as preface to being Raptured.  And if it's all gonna end soon, what does stuff like environmental protection or economic stability matter?

    I like Daniel Quinn's formulation of the Anti-Christ being someone who's concerned with matters of this world, rather than the afterlife.  He just might be onto something there.  His works offer some kind of a frame to understand these apparently irrational, nihilistic people.

    The river always wins. (Mark Twain)

    by Land of Enchantment on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 04:35:56 PM PDT

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