Reading this Salon article on how progressives :rolling eyes: ‘need their own Tea Party‘ would make me feel sad, if only I was a better person. I admit it: I enjoyed watching the author poke and prod at the silent engine of populism like a Twelfth Century Yorkshire poacher might poke at a parked spaceship. The fellow knows that the thing is supposed to go zoom. He may have seen it go zoom. The poacher even has an explanation of how it goes zoom that makes sense to him. But… no zoom.
But I am magnanimous: I will deign to explain. You cannot ‘make’ a Tea Party; it makes itself. If people were as upset about ‘income inequality’ (as the Left defines it) as the Left thinks that people are, there’d be no need whatsoever for orgs or groups or coalitions or professional agitators to coax a movement into existence. The movement would spring up without them, and develop its own goals and causes. …Which is really the last thing that the Left wants – look how quickly they turned that pathetic slave’s flattery known as Occupy Wall Street into the usual laundry list of bad policy life choices – so I suppose that there’s actually no point in explaining, after all.
My friend and RedState colleague Dan McLaughlin has written an article for the Federalist on the myriad differences between the Ferguson riots and the Stamp Act protests/ original Boston Tea Party*. It is well-written, historically-aware, perfectly correct… and absolutely useless in terms of its original purpose, which was to try to educate writers like Ta-Nehisi Coates and/or Jamelle Bouie (both named in Dan’s essay). There’s a reason for that.
I see this happen a lot, actually: there’s a definite core goal mismatch between the Right’s writers and the Left’s here. OK, OK, to be fair: some of the Right’s writers and some of the Left’s. There have been a noteworthy number of people pushing back against their own side’s various narratives in the last few weeks. But in this case Dan ended up addressing and countering an ‘argument’ that Mr. Coates and Mr. Bouie don’t actually take seriously at all. You see, both of them are actually producers of what is frankly an extremely narrow and stylized form of political pornography: Coates and Bouie are not trying to really convince anybody of anything. They’re trying to disseminate pay copy that will make their largely white, affluent, and progressive audience feel good. That is not entirely why they have their jobs (both can write coherently in English**), but it is the primary reason that they’re making their mortgage/car payments.
Don’t get me wrong. I understand the need to engage the arguments of the Other Side. It’s just that, under the circumstances, I don’t see much point in doing so here. How do you engage somebody when the primary motivation of that somebody is to fully experience how wonderful their hand is feeling, shoved down there inside their pants?
Moe Lane (crosspost)
PS: I should probably note that I don’t particularly begrudge Ta-Nehisi Coates or JamelleBouie their gigs: I might if they were selling to the same audience as I was, but they’re not. In other words, I look upon their work the same way that I would look upon any other personally distasteful fetish pornography that nonetheless involves consenting adults: it’s all very furtive and sticky, but somebody has to peddle it, apparently. Just don’t expect me to take their work any more seriously in a public policy context than I would a clown porn video.
*Short version: Ha! Not even close. And anybody who tells you otherwise should wear a sign that said “Hi! I flunked all my classes in American history!”
**This particular quality can be surprisingly hard to find in this business. And don’t get me started on the people who think that they can write poetry…
…it always seems to come down to Advocate for the issues that I want you to advocate for, not the ones that you want to advocate for? In this particular case, Slate would like the Tea Party to – after, mind you, repeating every nasty thing ever said about it – go fight crony capitalism. As defined by Slate, whose definition notably does not include a single Democratic politician or heavy donor by name.
If you’re a Democrat who is reading this and you don’t understand why I’m making that point, congratulations: you know precisely nothing about the Tea Party. Better still, you probably think that you do.
PS: The Activist/Establishment Left simply doesn’t get populism, does it? – More accurately, they simply don’t get that the stuff you get on the Right is qualitatively different than the ersatz gunk you get on the Left.
Of course he did: Bruce Braley is, after all, a liberal lawyer-loving Democrat.
Four days after the head of the Internal Revenue Service denied the agency was targeting conservative social welfare organizations applying for tax exempt status, Rep. Bruce Braley signed a letter urging a probe into the political activities of social welfare organizations.
Braley was one of 30 Democratic members of Congress who signed the letter, dated March 26, 2012, to IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman urging him to investigate whether “any groups qualifying as social welfare organizations under section 501(c)(4) of the federal tax code are improperly engaged in political campaign activity.”
Braley later – as in, ‘after the 2012 election’ – called the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups ‘shameful.’ Which it certainly was: but they learned it from you, Bruce! They learned it from you.
Via the Washington Free Beacon.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
Why don’t you go ahead and make your play there, Chuck.
Sen. Charles Schumer (N.Y.), the Senate Democrats’ political guru, has a plan to poison the Tea Party by driving a wedge between its rich funders and its blue-collar rank and file.
Schumer, one of the Democrats’ most influential strategists, will argue in a major speech on Thursday that super-wealthy Tea Party donors have hijacked the grassroots movement that grew out of the economic anxiety of the 2008 financial collapse to suit their pro-big-business agenda.
Continue reading Chuck “Little, Porky Amendments” Schumer thinks that he can split up Tea Party.
It is a general indictment of our current system of academia that I can’t decide which of these passages will offend said academics more. First, this observation:
Yale Law professor Dan M. Kahan was conducting an analysis of the scientific comprehension of various political groups when he ran into a shocking discovery: tea party supporters are slightly more scientifically literate than the non-tea party population.
(Um. No, it’s not actually shocking*.) Anyway, here’s Professor Kahan’s reaction: Continue reading Yale professor finds hint of a suggestion that Tea Partiers aren’t scientific illiterates; *doesn’t* suppress it.
Worth it, just to see the screaming. From Constant Reader BigGator5:
I am going to go against the grain and agree with President Obama. Change the name…
President Barack Obama says that if he owned the Washington Redskins, he would “think about changing” the team name, wading into the controversy over a football nickname that many people deem offensive to Native Americans.
…To the “DC Tea Party”.
And oh, my, but there would be screaming.
No doubt leering at the staff, too:
Reid (D-Nev.) said Tea Party Republicans are preventing progress on an energy efficiency bill by offering amendments on ObamaCare and other unrelated issues.
“We’re diverted totally from what this bill is about. Why? Because the anarchists have taken over,” Reid said on the Senate floor. “They’ve taken over the House and now they’ve taken over the Senate.
“People who don’t believe in government — and that’s what the Tea Party is all about — are winning, and that’s a shame.”
Actually, what that is is a lie. On a variety of levels: Continue reading Harry Reid: “…ANARCHISTS! Anarchists roaming the halls!”
(H/T: Instapundit) Annnnnnd here we go. Two meaty bits from a Fox News poll:
Translation: people don’t particularly believe that the Executive Branch didn’t know about the IRS targeting Tea Party groups all along. Continue reading The IRS and Barack Obama: mission, as they say, accomplished.
And far too many in the Media live for the day that they can finally blame it all on the Tea Party.
Whether or not that will work is another question.