Dear Tea Party: You Will Now Get Yours

And now, hot on the heels of our recent letter to whiny young Democrats,
a loving shout-out to all those moderates and independents, confused
conservatives and hard-line Repubs who went just a little more than
slightly insane this past election.

To all of you who either flip-flopped your wishy-washy ideals and
switched your vote from bluish to reddish this past election because
Obama and the lukewarm Dems failed to solve all world problems in 700
days, or because you got yourself so emotionally riled up/mentally
watered down by the sexy caveman grunts of the Tea Party that you
actually bought the BS line about being "mad as hell" about nothing even
remotely coherent.

Here is your grand message: You are hereby wonderfully, thoroughly screwed.

Oh darling, it's so very true. The fun-filled news is, despite
all the bluster and rhetoric, thinly veiled racism and rampant
Islamophobia on display, the new army of jittery, anti-everything GOP
bobbleheads that you just voted into office doesn't care a single iota
about you, or your haphazard values, or what you sometimes occasionally
stand for. And what's more, deep down, you secretly know it.

Are you slightly offended? Are you scowling and mistrustful of
the notion? I'm delighted to hear it. Also: It doesn't really matter.

You don't have to believe me. Just wait until nothing at all is
done to service the Tea Party non-agenda, because it's ridiculous and
impossible to service. Just wait until you note how there is no actual
shrinking of government, no restoring some bogus sepia-toned idealism
that never existed, no saving of your job. There is, of course, but one
GOP agenda: furthering their personal stranglehold on all things
powermad and avaricious.

That's not to say they won't try to tackle some issues.
Boehner & Co care very much about nailing down enormous tax cuts for
wealthy people, preventing education reform, gridlocking Congress at
every turn, denying the fact that seven billion rapacious humans have an
effect on climate change, and blocking as much newly available health
care for 30 million Americans as possible. And so on.

But truly, the issues themselves don't matter. For what Boehner
& Co value most is not so much making any sort of significant change
in American culture, but rather, in keeping the anger, the dread, the
paranoia alive.

In other words, they care most about keeping you in the lower,
plebian castes all riled and blind as long as possible. This way, power
lies. This way we find war and military expenditure and all manner of
misprision, torture, environmental rape, WMD and homophobia, you name
it. Just ask Karl Rove. Hey, it's a platform. It worked for Dubya. Well,
sort of.

Perhaps you secretly agree with this assessment, understanding
that the Repubs are indeed mostly shmucks, but at least they're shmucks
fighting in your corner. Maybe you think the Dems are no better,
and it's all a matter of lesser-of-two-evils, a needful balancing of
power, that the nation's new rightward tilt serves Obama right for --
what was it again? "Overreaching"? For daring to accomplish in two short
years more than any president in six decades? Right.

One thing's certain: the populace remains angry and scared about,
well, what we've always been angry and scared about: jobs, a massive
deficit, war and terrorism, taxes and drugs, gangs and goons, evil bumps
in the night.

But these days, one source of anger trumps all others. We are
perhaps most furious about our dysfunctional political system, one that
cherishes acrimony over cohesion, backstabbing over unity, bickering
over a calm and respectful, unified vision. (Which is a little strange,
considering how much Pelosi and the Dems accomplished in two years. It
might have been acerbic, but the output was actually sort of stunning. But never mind that now).

Are both parties to blame for this hateful, acerbic tone? Are
they equally responsible for the ongoing divisiveness? Sure. To some
degree. Then again, no. Not really. Not by a long shot.

be perfectly clear: The modern Republican party has one masterful,
godlike skill unmatched by any other org in this century: Its leaders
are geniuses at deceit, at leading throngs of blind believers into
rabbit holes of war and fear and factual inaccuracy, often using an
aggressively dumbed-down form of Christianity as a trump card. Sexual
dread, mistrust of youth, of women, of gays, foreigners, of the
ever-changing cultural landscape? It's in the DNA. And the Tea Party
chugged it like Coors-flavored heroin.

And the Dems? The Dems wish they could be that masterful.
Progressives are just terribly weak in fearmongering. There is something
about the liberal spirit that values independent thought and
self-determination, that defies screaming eye-glazed megachurch
groupthink dread. This makes it tough to hold power for very long. It's
so much easier to rally around sameness, conformity, institution, fear
of the Other. Right, Karl?

Proof? Look no further than the GOP's leaders and mouthpieces:
Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, O'Reilly and Fox News and even newly minted
Senate demigod Mitch McConnell, et al. There are almost no liberal
equivalents to these professional liars, warmongers, kingmakers and
overlords. In the category of media and message manipulation, the libs
have proven disastrous.

I take it back. Not all red-leaning voters this election
are hereby screwed. If you're tremendously wealthy and/or run a very
large corporation, you're feeling damn good right about now. Wall Street
is giddy like Charlie Sheen in a Bangkok brothel, eager for more
deregulation, bigger bonuses, less oversight. The CEOs of every oil
company in the world are positively orgasmic knowing that their GOP
breathren will now asphyxiate all attempts at new environmental
legislation and regulation. And so on.

But if you are a lower to middle-class Republican, Tea Partier or
flip-flopping indie voter, you are now in the most delightfully ironic
position of all -- you think you just voted yourself more voice, when in
fact you voted for far less. You think yourself a lion; you're actually
the meat. You actually just voted yourself an even lower position on the food chain. Congratulations.

But don't worry. There is a bright spot ahead. 2012 is nigh, and a
dramatic new vote simmers and looms, as it always does. Soon enough, it
will shift and mutate all over again, and we can kickstart the eternal
debate once more. Something to look forward to, no?

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