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« Blogging in the new decade | Main | Feeling better all the time »

Thursday, March 25, 2010

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Agricola

Which brings us back to a recurring theme: The Teabagger rage about health care reform was never more than a proxy issue for the generalized anxieties and racial fears of roughly a third of the white population. These are people who have not done well in the modern world, whose adult lives have failed to track the trajectories of their parents' experiences. In the grand nativist tradition, they feel betrayed and beset and martyred, "true American" heirs to a country they are now forced to share with people they consider to be less worthy of it: immigrants, minorities, homosexuals, non-Christians, etc.

Wow. Turn off David, Rachel, and the rest of the crew at MSNBC and get out a little bit. This kind of ad hominem stuff doesn't become you.

Here's another quote: Like it or not, between 2001 and 2008, the “progressive” community redefined what is acceptable and not acceptable in political and public discourse about their elected officials. Slurs like “Nazi” and “fascist” and “I hate” were no longer the old street-theater derangement of the 1960s, but were elevated to high-society novels, films, political journalism, and vein-bulging outbursts of our elites. If one were to take the word "Bush" and replace it with "Obama" in the work of a Nicholson Baker, or director Gabriel Range, or Garrison Keillor or Jonathan Chait, or in the rhetoic of a Gore or Moore, we would be presently in a national crisis, witnessing summits on the epidemic of "hate speech."

You write: Until the GOP shows signs of owning up to its mistakes and rejoining the two-party system as willing partners, Democrats would be wise to go it alone. The post-partisan future Obama desires cannot arrive until Republicans across America confront the damage they have done to their party and their country.

Which sounds suspiciously like the kind of advice we offered you a few years ago. Hindsight being 20-20 and all.....

Agricola

And, Happy Birthday!

Rumblelizard

Calling something a duck that looks, walks and quacks like a duck isn't an ad hominem last I checked, Agricola.

Agricola

Last I checked, Rumblelizard, the term teabagger is used intentionally as a pejorative. It does not express the views of the TeaParty types anymore than the DU folks represent the views of "progressives"....oh wait. And, it's typical of the discourse that neither side wants to give credence to our "right" to disagree. Ducks......quack.

Rumblelizard

Speaking of ducks and quacking, Agricola, you might want to avoid saying things like "Turn off David, Rachel, and the rest of the crew at MSNBC and get out a little bit" when accusing someone else of making an ad hominem argument. Unless you're deliberately trying to be ironic, in which case, well done!

Agricola

The point I was making, Rumblelizard, is that the hyperbolic utterances from the Left are tiresome, not ironic. A quick review of recent history ought to reveal the provenance of the Tea Party as an organic group of citizens outraged by the massive spending of our elected leaders. Here'sthe Wikipedia link. It's apparently okay to say that they get their marching orders from Beck and Limbaugh, but when someone points out that your talking points come your side's wing-nuts, well, embrace the indignation. Calling Tea Partiers moronic, Christian bigots with low iqs...well, if it quacks, it must be a duck.

Agricola

Let's try the linking again...

The point I was making, Rumblelizard, is that the hyperbolic utterances from the Left are tiresome, not ironic. A quick review of recent history ought to reveal the provenance of the Tea Party as an organic group of citizens outraged by the massive spending of our elected leaders.

Dan

I kinda regretted writing this post as soon as I published it, not because I don't believe the things that I said, but because I'm not sure it really expresses anything of value or originality. Agricola is right -- there is an awful lot of MSNBC tone and narrative here (though please, PLEASE don't compare me to Ed Schultz). But as a liberal, I'm not surprised that I sound like those guys.

And I will admit that I used "Teabagger" as a disdainful term. Seeing the Boston tea party used as a symbol for much of what gets expressed at their rallies makes me almost physically ill. I just couldn't bring myself to call them what they call themselves.

This is not to say that there aren't some people who are motivated by the size of government, but the skeptic in me will always wonder why the enormous expansions of debt and government influence under Reagan and GWB didn't bring out similar expressions of rage.

And I know there's an argument to be made that the left's rhetoric during the GWB era is the rough equivalent of the right's rhetoric in the Obama era. I just don't find it compelling. Nor do I think one can make a convincing argument that the Democratic position toward Bush in his first administration was substantively parallel to the GOP approach to Obama.

And as for calling what was essentially Mitt Romney's health care program "Armageddon," well, we'll see.

For the record, I think of Agricola as the soul of what was good about the old GOP and classic conservatism. Agricola would no more slur or spit on someone than he would slap his mother, and you can take that to the bank.

As for the validity of the "Teaparty Movement," a couple of points. No. 1, there is no doubt in my mind that this group has been inflated by partisan media. No. 2, the "astroturf" term is used by movement leaders to describe other members and segments of the "movement," which I suspect is not nearly as coherent as it is portrayed to be.

There were great people on the Left who were unfairly tarred with a broad brush 40 years ago, and the same is no-doubt true with the Right today. The left had to go through a long wandering in the wilderness to begin to find its way back to relevance. I'm inclined to believe this is the path that lies ahead for the Right, and I wish y'all would get on with it, because we need you back in the game.

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