Malice In Blunderland

Mad Hatters at The Tea Party

It's not about conservatives, or conservative ideology. It's about the Tea Party.

And therein ... is a distinction.

If you ever wondered what happened to the sociologically shunned children no one wanted to sit with in the school cafeteria, enter the search term, 'Tea Party Patriots' into Google – and behold ...

Seemingly no longer embarrassed, as they once were, when milk would involuntarily spray from their nostrils during lunchtime – or much phased by the haunting remembrances of their humiliating rejection as kickball team members, these sniveling panty-waisters – now adults – would more recently find a safe-harbor home they could finally call their own. And, with this, now they'd show them. Yeah ... really show them. They'd take America by collective storm – armed with a bullhorn from the Sports Authority, two indelible ink markers, and a piece of semi-matte poster board obtained from a local Walgreens pharmacy, with anticipatory glee, as they stood by the register, clutching a coupon. So ….. who's laughing now at the ones who were previously escorted to the prom by a first cousin, in protested attendance by way of the insistent coercion associated with parental authority?

I am.

And, indeed, perhaps my laughter is cruel as I recognize the Tea Party patriots as once being those unfortunate, blemish-laden victims who never quite got over the crack-ablating wedgies they received in 7th Grade homeroom.

But still, credit where credit is due … The Tea Party, with its curiously fetish-like propensity for political self-mutilation, would rapturously throw their enthusiastic support behind two victorious primary contenders: The anti-self-gratification candidate, Christine O'Donnell – enjoying her second historic win, having previously been voted 'Most Likely To Have Been Sexually Abused As A Child' in her high school yearbook … and Carl Paladino – the long-suspected, ‘Uncle Carl’ abuser, if his string of mass-broadcasted bestiality email correspondence is any indication. This, not to be in any way confused with the candidate’s circulated visual vulgarities that would depict the Obamas vis a vis pimp wardrobes and tribal dances.

Bravo, Tea Party. Well played.

"... for those who have long followed my previous writings, I may be one of the few liberals left (no pun) who has supported the dissemination of (legitimate) conservative voices – those that the Tea Party now belittle and denigrate as being the members of ‘The Establishment’, as if they had just come down from an acid trip in Haight-Ashbury, in an interesting and paradoxical twist. But to propose that the Tea Party movement is comprised of genuine conservatives – no less ‘patriots’ – is to suggest that Castro was a Community Organizer. No, these are the fakes. The pretenders. The Nut-Jobs."

… And there they would be, en masse – well, three of them – as I was walking into the Post Office in Milton, Massachusetts … The Tea Party trio, holding a placard of Barack Obama with a Hitler mustache drawn upon his face as the same witty and time-honored defacement cleverly executed by every emotionally troubled 12 year old with a Social Studies book in their childhood possession. Unrelenting angst, seeking relief, channeled through the frantic scribbles of a Paper Mate pen. What next, in their vast repertoire of graphic arts savvy … Satan horns?

There would be no confrontation with the locals passing by – not from either side. For while the Tea Party devotees are surely The Moonies of American politics – naturally, in this instance they would be summarily ignored with the same eye-diverting avoidance as a group of Krishnas at the airport would once receive. Arms extended with tri-fold brochures in their earnest little hands, the trio would simply be … dismissed – even by me. After all, when a pathetically farcical moment is so self-evident in its impotency, one simply lets it be.

Six weeks later, I would encounter a similar Tea Party quartet – now victorious in its expansion – while driving through the decidedly Jewish community of Newton. Standing on a corner, they had strategically commandeered a lamppost to prop up the very same Obama-cum-Hitler graphic, now indicating a franchise operation of some sort. This, with little regard for the remembrances of those who were murdered – in the millions – by a genuine Hitler, true and actual. But for the Tea Party movement, the psychopathic leader of the Third Reich had become little more than a serviceable ‘icon’ to be freely used at will – to their end, while cheapening the very lives of those who were lost, along with their memory, without a moment of intellectual or human consideration.

Bravo, Tea Party. Well done. Yeah, you’re drinking that tea – iced – and of the Long Island variety.

Now, with my anecdotal local observations, I don’t mean to diminish the numerical head-count of those who joyfully count themselves among the cult-like movement. After all, tens of thousands of the sect would enthusiastically convene upon one city, once they had received their marching orders: “Aim the bulldog hood ornament towards Washington, D.C. – and go”.

Nationwide, the Tea Party proudly claims a membership of 17 million unlucky-in-love, unlucky-in-life, embittered malcontents. Or, said another way, 5.66 percent of the entire American population – with a little over 94% of the populace abstaining. Or … expressed yet another way, the Tea Party – in its self-purported entirety – represents the numerical equivalency of about 1/3rd of America’s minority black population … dare I say. These numbers – the ones of their very own choosing – would mathematically define the Tea Party as being among the most minor of minorities, nevertheless endeavoring to speak for all ‘true Americans’, as claimed.

Thanks for the numbers, Tea Party. Nicely advanced as a point of comparative reference. You’ve successfully managed to overtake the longer-lived and more official inception of the White Supremacist movement. Well done.

But the Tea Party, truly more akin to a poor man’s John Birch Society, not requiring the $87 membership fee, is comprised of notably small ‘chapters’, much like the Sleeper Cells – yes, but without oversight or a centralized core. These chapters, in isolation, are inherently low-budget operations with a heavy reliance on that Sports Authority bullhorn covering a 75-foot radius at impromptu outdoor venues – all because they couldn’t afford the Banquet Room at The Elks Lodge, despite their best collection efforts.

And yet … as an entertaining floor show, the Tea Party movement is absolutely top-flight, with its continuously variable nods to history – referencing the days of the Revolutionary War … that’s curiously fighting Nazi Germany as its nemesis, while revisiting the McCarthy era as its tribunal … and wrapping it all in the stagecraft packaging of Civil War reenactments. Yes, conceptually discombobulated, I know – yet still oddly compelling as a piece of surreal and avant garde, free-association performance art. Don’t expect it to make sense. You’ll only frustrate yourself, looking for reason. It’s as if Yoko Ono had changed political alliances.


Tri-cornered, colonial hats – the ‘Tricornes’ – have been selected, yet again, chosen principally because of their easier navigation within the interior form when attempting to line with malleable aluminum foil as an effective means to screen and shield against secret, Governmental Gamma-Rays – or ‘GGRs’, according to Tea Party fashion consultants.

Moistened teabags affixed to the brim act as stabilizers when rallying in windy environments, assuring continued and unbreached protection.

But no, dear readers – I feel compelled to interject … this is not a hit-piece, penned to belittle conservatives and their ideology. It should be noted – and this is an important distinction – that the members of the Tea Party movement aren’t genuine conservatives, in any traditional sense. They’re pretender, wanna-be, faux-conservatives who were looking for an upgrade, relative to the previous confines of a Donut Shop that graciously tolerated the vacant lives of disaffected malcontents occupying a corner table in three-hour gulps, expressing their angst – and assigning their blame – over the course of seven coffee refills.

Point of fact, the Tea Party movement has done more harm to genuine conservative ideology than the most wicked of my liberal contemporaries could have ever wished upon it. I’ve personally cautioned my more reasoned conservative friends that the Tea Party may be dangerously close to redefining conservatism, itself, no matter how fringe the movement me be. These friends would plaintively nod their heads in regrettable agreement, to which they will attest. I further expressed no desire to ‘win’ under these terms or circumstances. For there could be no sense of gleeful satisfaction in trumping any adversarial domain sabotaged by seditious lunacy, propagated by the pathologically jaundiced who have seized someone else’s banner as their own. An unjust fate, at the hands of the sociologically deranged.

And I’m not the only one who has eluded to such … Karl Rove – in an unusually candid moment – cautioned, “It does conservatives little good to support candidates who, at the end of the day, while they may be conservative in their public statements, do not evince the characteristics of rectitude and truthfulness and sincerity and character …”.

Yes, the hard-right pundits – who had never actually worked a campaign in their lives – went ape-shit crazy. For Karl Rove – as ‘The Architect’ – took a sledge hammer to the building he came to recognize as not being his own. Or, perhaps, one that had been so trashed out by its “nutty” occupants, even he could no longer identify himself with it. And this was fucking Karl Rove … Sure, he receded within 24 hours, following the “nutty” backlash to his comments, but it’s often the case where one’s first visceral response is the most honest one. And, with that, often the most accurate.

As for me, for those who have long followed my previous writings, I may be one of the few liberals left (no pun) who has supported the dissemination of (legitimate) conservative voices – those that the Tea Party now belittle and denigrate as being the members of ‘The Establishment’, as if they had just come down from an acid trip in Haight-Ashbury, in an interesting and paradoxical twist. But to propose that the Tea Party movement is comprised of genuine conservatives – no less ‘patriots’ – is to suggest that Castro was a Community Organizer. No, these are the fakes. The pretenders. The Nut-Jobs.

For the Tea Party isn’t even a political movement, based on an ideology – no matter how they may endeavor to couch it as such – even to themselves, sadly. It’s a mass ensemble of internalized anger, commonly with oneself – turned outward – that’s merely being channeled through political discourse at the present time. As a practical matter, the Tea Party could be just as well served – perhaps better helped – with a liberating round of Primal Scream therapy. And, indeed – for those who have witnessed the rallies, either live or by way of video – the psychiatric treatment of this nature has been partially synthesized, if without remedial effect, alas.

But at least in that soundproof treatment room, they couldn’t be used – not by the empty-shell, intellectually vacant candidates who seize the anger, give it a little bit of structure, and play it back to the raging crowd who, in turn, believe they’ve been ‘connected with’. Not by radio talk hosts and television pundits who see the Frankenstein Villagers as ‘market share’. Not by the top ‘one-percenters’ – the true cultural elitists – who have the huddled torch-and-pitchfork crowd do their bidding for them. Soundproof and padded walls, indeed – if only for their own protection.

Despite the Tea Party seeing themselves as rebellious innovators, offering a ‘new vision’ for the country, their psyche has haunted America’s halls before. From a most radical and fringe subset of the Goldwater movement, to the ‘America First Committee’ who clung to the “patriotic” Neutrality Act of 1939, and vehemently fought our intervening involvement in World War II as Europe was being turned to ruin and millions were being slaughtered and exterminated. Think prototype to Pat Buchanan, say. Walt Disney was a member, among other recognized notables of ‘like-mind’. They, too, had ‘memberships’ … ‘chapters’ … widespread press coverage. Yet other political fringe groups with momentary spotlighting would abound, as well. No, you may not have read or heard much about them in more contemporary times, as they ultimately became small-print footnotes in history … and so much more to the point …

For while the Tea Party may celebrate limited successes in the short-term, they surely shall be doomed to dispersion and collapse in the long-term. As a repeatedly verifiable point of footnoted history … it has never gone any other way. Not once. Not ever.

Good riddance.

- Joseph -        

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