Mattering

The liberal NYT tries its hardest to take the Tea Party seriously:

At a recent meeting of the Sandpoint Tea Party, Mrs. Stout presided
with brisk efficiency until a member interrupted with urgent news.
Because of the stimulus bill, he insisted, private medical records were
being shipped to federal bureaucrats. A woman said her doctor had told
her the same thing. There were gasps of rage. Everyone already viewed
health reform as a ruse to control their medical choices and drive them
into the grip of insurance conglomerates. Debate erupted. Could state
medical authorities intervene? Should they call Congress?

As the meeting ended, Carolyn L. Whaley, 76, held up her copy of the
Constitution. She carries it everywhere, she explained, and she was
prepared to lay down her life to protect it from the likes of Mr.
Obama.

“I would not hesitate,” she said, perfectly calm.

Drama queens in general, drama queens freaked out by the economy, drama queens desperately searching for a way for their lives to matter. I swear to you all, some of these people have not ever been part of anything bigger than themselves and don’t think I’m knocking the experience. It is intoxicating, when you do that for the first time. It makes you feel ten feet tall. Too strong to war with mortals. It is what I imagine heroin must be like, heroin laced with dark chocolate and single malt scotch. You would do ANYTHING to keep feeling like that. You would sell your first born, and plenty of people do.

It is a sprawling rebellion, but running through it is a narrative
of impending tyranny. This narrative permeates Tea Party Web sites, Facebook pages, Twitter
feeds and YouTube videos. It is a prominent theme of their favored
media outlets and commentators, and it connects the disparate issues
that preoccupy many Tea Party supporters ā€” from the concern that the
community organizationAcorn is stealing elections to the belief that Mr. Obama is trying to control the Internet and restrict gun ownership.

WorldNetDaily.com
trumpets “exclusives” reporting that the Army is seeking
“Internment/Resettlement” specialists. On ResistNet.com, bloggers warn
that Mr. Obama is trying to convert Interpol, the international police
organization, into his personal police force. They call on “fellow
Patriots” to “grab their guns.”

And in part it just makes me really sad, because, harness your
powers for good, you know? If only these people had figured out you
don’t need a “narrative of impending tyranny” to matter. You don’t need a looming spectre of destruction. You don’t need a Democratic president and you certainly don’t need a New York Times article. All you need is the will to get off your ass. Food pantries right now are waiting for your calls.

But it also makes me realize just how completely BUGFUCK NUTBAG INSANE these people are, what egotistical fucksticks they really are. An ordinary way to matter wouldn’t be enough for them, you see. It has to be The Epic Struggle of Our Time That Defined a Generation.

And in Indiana, Richard Behney, a Republican Senate candidate, told Tea
Party supporters what he would do if the 2010 elections did not produce
results to his liking: “I’m cleaning my guns and getting ready for the
big show. And I’m serious about that, and I bet you are, too.”

I tend to look at this crazy shit as a crying need to matter, but then they say things like this, and it makes me realize that’s not all this is. It can’t just be teaching some poor schoolkid to read or do math. That wouldn’t satisfy these people. That’s not a deal big enough to match the potential they just KNOW they have. It
has to be an armed insurgent militia thing that lets you be a big showy
Action Hero delivering a Rousing Speech and Rallying the Troops.

I swear two thirds of the problem here is having watched movies and never considered you might not be playing the hero. Or the villain, for that matter. You might be the third guy from the back in the restaurant scene, so figure your shit out and either become okay with that, or get a better agent.

One local group represented at Liberty Lake was Arm in Arm, which
aims to organize neighborhoods for possible civil strife by stockpiling
food and survival gear, and forming armed neighborhood groups.

Also
represented was Oath Keepers, whose members call themselves “guardians
of the Republic.” Oath Keepers recruits military and law enforcement
officials who are asked to disobey orders the group deems
unconstitutional. These include orders to conduct warrantless searches,
arrest Americans as unlawful enemy combatants or force civilians into
“any form of detention camps.”

Or as Bush used to call them, his base.

Mrs. Stout said she has begun to contemplate the possibility of
“another civil war.” It is her deepest fear, she said. Yet she believes
the stakes are that high. Basic freedoms are threatened, she said.
Economic collapse, food shortages and civil unrest all seem imminent.

“I don’t see us being the ones to start it, but I would give up my life for my country,” Mrs. Stout said.

She paused, considering her next words.

“Peaceful means,” she continued, “are the best way of going about it. But sometimes you are not given a choice.”

Right. Like when ELECTIONS DONT GO YOUR WAY.

A.

13 thoughts on “Mattering

  1. whet moser says:

    In some ways, though, their main answer ā€” strict adherence to the Constitution ā€” would comfort every card-carrying A.C.L.U. member.
    condescension WIN

  2. Jude says:

    Oath Keepers recruits military and law enforcement officials who are asked to disobey orders the group deems unconstitutional. These include orders to conduct warrantless searches
    Except, you know, unless those warrantless searches are done on homes ’round the way. Then it’s okay, because those people (you know, those people) are probably guilty anyway, and if they didn’t want the cops runnin’ up in their shit, they wouldn’t live inthose neighborhoods, and anyway you know all those people commit more crimes.

  3. Jude says:

    And what the fuck is up with carrying a copy of the Constitution everywhere?
    On top of that, did you ever bother toread the fuckin’ thing?
    “The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;”
    Article I, section 8. It’s right fucking there.
    And, you know, I’d be more charitable to these pricks, but they didn’t say boo when Bush (not to mention St. Reagan) was bankrupting the country to kill brown folk and make rich assholes even richer.

  4. BlakNo1 says:

    What Jude said. These ‘people’ only care about The Constitution when a Democrat is in charge, especially if said Democrat is a black man. You won’t see them volunteering to help the poor or feed the hungry because they believe those people should just hurry up and die.

  5. BuggyQ says:

    They love their Constitution the way they love their Bible–it’s perfect to quote bits from out of context, interpret exactly how you want so as to justify your own bugfuck crazy notions (never mind that wayyy smarter people than they are have interpreted it quite well already, thenkeweverymuch), and, most important, beat up on others with.

  6. Scott says:

    I’m comforted somewhat by the knowledge that Mrs. Stout and Mrs. Whaley and the rest of them will be cowering under the bed when push comes to shove, just like the militias after the OKC bombing.

  7. hoppy says:

    Well, I stand ready to defend my country with my life too. All I ask is that the battles not interfere with a televised NBA game, or NFL game, or the World Series, or the WNBA televised games, or the College basketball championship games, and some of the PBS TV specials on my local PBS station. And, of course, I won’t arise from my bed any earlier than 8:00 am. Uh…you will load my gun for me won’t you?

  8. hoppy says:

    Oh, darn it! I do want to read the books I’m accumulating on my Nook too, so can this wait a few more weeks?

  9. montag says:

    If one dips into this stuff just a bit, at the back end of it is not Sarah Palin, but, Alex Jones. Jones has been on this tear of his ever since Waco, which, conveniently, was perpetrated by “liberal” Democrats, and the killings by the FBI in the Ruby Ridge incident just cemented it for him. Virtually everything mentioned by the Tea Partiers–including that Democrats are coming to take yer guns–is recycled Info Wars craziness that goes back to the days of David Koresh.
    These people have been marinating in this stew of disinformation created by Jones for, now, nearly two decades, and the World Wide Web of Conspiracy has helped Jones’ crackpot ideas spread virally. Bush and his cohort were given a pass, because they were conservative Republicans and they were “fightin’ the terrahrists.” Still, looming in the background, completely dissociated psychologically from the Bushies was the specter of a “big government” that is out of control and determined to trample on the citizens. It’s a neat trick, for eight years, to separate “big government” from the people running it, but, Jones was able to do it. So, when Halliburton/KBR got a no-bid contract for a new round of detention centers that were likely just a boondoggle, or, at worst, were just advance work in a plan to go after undocumented workers, those facilities became, via Jones’ Info Wars, internment camps for people protecting their Second Amendment rights, and he was able to always hearken back to Waco as proof.
    These people love Palin because she’s very good at playing the victim, and that’s a scab that Republicans and Xtians and gun nuts have been picking at for decades. But, this fringe looniness that manifests itself asfaux patriotism, that’s something qualitatively different, I think, because Jones, over the years, has redefined and transformed that perception of victimization into feelings of actual oppression. And that is where–though mostly unspoken–race figures into this phenomenon.
    Obama, a black man, is now the figurehead of that government, and he’s become, to these nutballs, a symbol of just how perverted government has become, because, to their minds, if the Democrats have managed to elevate the previously oppressed black man to this pinnacle–achieved such an inversion of normality by putting a black man in charge of all whites–then, ipso facto, the oppression of the white man by that perverted government must be in progress. That’s probably what accounts for the very quick adoption of the themes of totalitarianism one is seeing in Tea Party slogans and posters (set aside for the moment the fact that these people are being steered toward that view by reactionary fatcat money and GOP operatives, and consider the speed with which it happened).
    Waco pushed Timothy McVeigh over the edge, and Waco is still an undercurrent in this movement. My concern at the moment is that the reactionary fatcats behind the Tea Partiers are using them to foment a new Waco, some new civil insurrection that will create enough chaos for them to use for political advantage. What that might be, or where it might occur, I don’t have any good guesses, but, I see it as a definite possibility.

  10. MapleStreet says:

    So the Tea Baggers don’t know that everytime you see a doc, the Health Insurance company gets the details?
    Of course, conspiracy theories have been floating around for a while. John Birch Society was always in vogue (and weren’t they a sponsor of recent Repub events?) see the Majestic 12, MI5, etc.
    And Internment campus were fine as long as they were used for them slant-eyed folk. That’s why we shouldn’t apologize to them. (/sarcasm).

  11. pansypoo says:

    how come they didn’t care when georgee + dick were using the constitution like toilet paper?
    oh, the savoring is like fine fine gravee.

  12. Sandman says:

    My retarded brother-in-law is the self-appointed jefe of the local “Patriot Rally” movement (hold on, I just threw up in my mouth) in my home town. He’s unemployed and lives with his mother. Let me repeat that. He is unemployed, so he pays no taxes. He doesn’t draw unemployment, because he’s too proud to be on the public dole. Instead, he lives with his mother, who pays the bills thanks to her communist-inspired Social Security checks. I wondered if anyone on this site could loan me their irony meter because mine is fucking broken.

  13. Remind me when the New York Times devoted this much ink to the progressive uprising of Netroots Nation … oh wait, they didn’t.

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