An America We Can All Agree On

One of our commenters has suggested that Liberals should embrace the vast swaths of common ground that unite us with the struggling Tea Party proletariat. At first, I found the idea preposterous. Then I stumbled on this spirited rendition of an old common-sense, grassroots anthem, as performed (apparently) by David Axelrod, Liam Neeson and Jack Black. And, dadgummit, if those three Screaming Lefties can bridge the chasm, I’m willing to give it a shot.

Posted by StrangeAppar8us on 12/08/10 at 07:17 PM • Permalink

Categories: PoliticsNuttersTeabaggeryYouTubidity

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Amherst is so precious.  He talks to us as if we dazzling urban sophisticates have never encountered homo theafollis in the wild, when all of us know our share.

It’s not as if any of us who comment here couldn’t throw a rock and hit our nearest Teabagging neighbor or co-worker.

Not that I’ve tried.

Lessee. Tea Proles and me.  Well, we both like jabots….journaling….The Tea Party Journal has been reduced from twenty bucks to 13.95, so even on unemployment, I could maybe afford one if Tucker Carlson doesn’t mind…and who can resist this tagline?

You will own an important part of history by securing the only Tea Party Journal that exist

Unfortunately, now that the Census is over, and I am for the present on UI, my discretionary income does not permit me leeway enough to attend Tea Party events in the manner to which Tea Partiers are accustomed, much less fly the proud banner of the yellow snake.

That’s I suppose why I have to remain Creative Class. Sadly, unlike Daily Caller writers, I don’t go for swordfish blowouts with foodstamps, so there’s another avenue of commonality cut off.

Okay, I’ll give Amherst a nod, here.  CONTRARIANISM, I HAZ IT!

Down in the bowels of two days ago, I offered up this piece of snark:

Never been hunting, but aren’t you supposed to track the critter and finish it off?

Director: Annnnnd, CUT! PRINT IT!

Sarah: Finally. Tahd, where’s my call sheet?  Piper, get Mommy that present Uncle Rush sent me, willya?  My shoulder is killing me.

On my way out the office door for a bite, I encountered my three Tea Party co-workers (and friends: despite their politics, they are quite lovely people), in a fine and sassy mood.  In the course of good-naturedly busting each others’ balls, the subject of Sarah Palin’s mighty hunting prowess was raised.  I shared the aforementioned comment, and a laugh was shared by all.  To which, on cue, one responded:  “Lucky her.  Rush was just saying that was the bottle he copped off of his Mexican hooker.”

I hold out a shred of mad hope that Magical Unicorn Kumbaya may be achieved.

Comment by Lowkey on 12/08/10 at 09:22 PM

One problem with the Tea Party is that they’re all over the map on a number of issues.  Code Pink,* of all organizations, did some good journalism during an April Tax Day TP protest, exposing the fractures within that bunch on the topic of international relations and military policy.

Such disparities are found on other policy topics as well.  I’ve heard and read news accounts where one interviewed TP leader says ‘yes, we TPers are social conservatives in the Judeo-Christian tradition’ or similar, while another TP leader, interviewed in the same piece, denied that they had a social agenda, but were rather exclusively concerned with economic policy matters.

I’m sure they had more commonly shared beliefs in their early days, when they were largely Ron Paul-type libertarians, before being discovered by Bush Republicans who wanted an image makeover.  Whom to talk to, whom to talk to…

Damn, now that I think about it, they are all over the map, kinda like Democratic voters.  Let us unite under the banner of Random Motion and Shouting at Clouds!  [And that banner is gonna have to be really, really stretchy, since the two folks holding it will probably move in opposite directions.]

*Regarding Code Pink, this story was new to me, and amused me muchly.  I don’t always see eye-to-eye with them, but they are definitely a creative bunch.

Comment by meepmeep09 on 12/08/10 at 09:31 PM

LOL I like it! However, if it’s supposed to represent my baby pictures, everybody would have to be a member of SDS or the Weathermen or the SCLC.

Look, what you do is get a Democratic Congressman or Senator who wants to begin to move.  And you get him to forcefully come out and champion the two issues I mentioned in my earlier post.  He starts talking about this on TV face time.

“This is the United States. We do not discard good employees here as if they were a piece of used tissue! We do not throw loyal Americans onto the street who have been performing their tasks with dispatch and how have children to feed and to raise…”  yada yada yada.

Or “Chris, these primitive and thinly disguised, salacious attempts to conceal government inadequacy behind a facade of procedures that would be regarded as criminal on the street. In the US if you want to see naked women you should pay good yankee dollars…” yada yada yada :-)

Next thing you know you start having Tea Party members saying things like, “you know, Senator Blowhard may be a Democrat, but he’s a principled Democrat. Republicans are not trying to protect us from being thrown out on the street.  Besides, my sister is a nun and they tried to feel her up at the airport,” and he could even throw in, “You know, Chris, some of these patriotic Tea Party members are not wrong about everything.”

Next thing you know you start having Tea Party member wanting to know where to send money and ergo you now have some of that grassroots momentum going your way. Or it could be some other issues that would resonate with the broad cross section of working people.

Allan, I was going to give you the Funniest Award, but Mrs. Polly won, I’m afraid, with her Democratic wedgie retort.

In the US if you want to see naked women you should pay good yankee dollars…

You just lost the south for another generation.

Well, Amherst, the airport scanner hoopla is a poor example.  Look how it’s already fallen off the media map.  The overhyped day of resistance resulted in single-digit counts of opt-outs at major airports nationwide.  There’s one obvious danger in building populist movements around what your television is telling you to freak out over.

But if you’ll look at the other one, protecting and growing American jobs, why, the Democrats already have someone who’s pretty popular with the American public and he’s saying pretty much what you’re saying he should, so you must love him.

@Lowkey:

On my way out the office door for a bite, I encountered my three Tea Party co-workers (and friends: despite their politics, they are quite lovely people), in a fine and sassy mood.

And there you have it: I have teatardian acquaintances and relatives who are lovely people—they’ll winch your truck out of a ditch, lend you five bucks, share a gumbo recipe, help you solve a difficult crossword puzzle, etc.

This is what Jon Stewart was talking about at the sanity rally when he said red and blue America work together every damn day. And it’s true—we do. But that fact doesn’t translate into an ability to find common ground politically.

We don’t share (as Brit put it in another thread) a consensus reality. We cannot reconcile opposing world views.

if it’s supposed to represent my baby pictures, everybody would have to be a member of SDS or the Weathermen or the SCLC.

Wow! Those are just the sort of heroic, America-hating terrorist groups we Liberals idolize! It seems we have much in common, Comrade Amherst!

Worst. Attempt. At. Infiltration. Ever.

It’s not as if any of us who comment here couldn’t throw a rock and hit our nearest Teabagging neighbor or co-worker.

You know, I couldn’t. Or at least, if there are any baggers in my vicinity they keep their mouths shut.

if it’s supposed to represent my baby pictures, everybody would have to be a member of SDS or the Weathermen or the SCLC.

Oh Amherst, your subtlety is a thing of wonder and beauty. To borrow from one of B.C.‘s comments yesterday:

“One of these things is not like the others ...”

...if there are any baggers in my vicinity they keep their mouths shut.

You probably live in some elite liberal enclave. And I bet you have entertainment options that exceed those available at the Red Rose Ballroom too. Lucky bastard.

Any conversation about the Tea Party that doesn’t include the blatant astroturfing carried out by Dick Armey’s squad and Fox and the cooption of no doubt genuine fear and anger to the extent that those the Tea Party so jubilantly voted into office are already selling them out with a vengeance is disingenuous.

How’s that holding those “good employees” hostage against the opportunity for the ultra-rich to buy themselves a few more chattels or salt away even more of their wealth working out for you, Amherst?

You probably live in some elite liberal enclave.

The elitiest and liberalest enclaviest place in America, you betcha.

And I bet you have entertainment options that exceed those available at the Red Rose Ballroom too.

Um. Wow. I am so very, very, sorry.

I don’t know any teabaggers personally but I know someone who knows one. 

What makes this newsworthy is she’s that one Democrat that allows the TP to say they’re non-partisan.  If you met her you’d just think, “That woman’s got a screw loose somewhere.”

I’ve only ever met one actual Tea Party type. He was a local attorney I encountered pounding down J&B at a city bar about a week before the election. The TV was tuned to CNN, and he made a point of announcing to the patrons that Obama was a Communist and that he and his people were going to “take the country back.” Then he disappeared back into his drink.

As far as the video goes, I hate to perpetuate the “Hillbillies vs. Elites” stereotype, but I haven’t read a single word of Tea Party platform or policy that isn’t rooted in a romanticized notion of an Elsetimes America that engaged complex domestic and national issues by rolling up its sleeves and bombing them, ignoring them or blaming them on Phantom Menaces or powerless demographic groups.

To me, the Tea Party movement is a panicked retreat from the real world, a rebellion against complexity, and a yowl of anger at social and technological progress. I’m already convinced our visions of America don’t overlap beyond our shared appreciation of the Grand Canyon, and I’m beginning to doubt whether we think in the same categories at all.

Geez, bolsheviks, I thought the subject was whether it’s possible for the left to capture some of the grassroots fervency of the Tea Party, and if so, how does one do it.

I believe that it is possible, and I have outlined one method for going about it. I never suggested that the left and the Tea Party would love each other.

I’m not proud of my early political origins, but that was what was pervasive when I was in college.

I don’t identify people on the basis of their political views.  If someone were a Hell’s Angel, that would probably be at the top of my list of identification of them as a person. Democrat or Republican would be way down in importance on my scale of 1 to 10.

As far as I’m concerned, the election is over. We can all stop despising each other for a year or so. Now is the time we can lean back and discuss these matters without a “get out to vote” imperative.

By the way, neither of the two suggestions I brought up are inconsistent with conservative values. One of the things liberals don’t get about conservatives is that the principles (limited government, low taxes, strong defense, etc, etc) are the important elements. It doesn’t matter to a significant number of us what party champions these principles.

We see politicians as simply people who perform maintenance for a period and then are supposed to leave with the system remaining for the next guy. Naturally, politicians being what they are, we are constantly at loggerheads with their overriding concerns for their egos, their power, and their megalomania.

For years I had a Blue Dog congressman, and in our conservative district we all got along fine.

@Betty:

We cannot reconcile opposing world views.

But, but, my unicorn!  I said it was just a shred of hope.  First the President calls me a filthy fucking hippy, and now you try to take this from me, too?!

*collapses onto knees in front of machinegunned unicorn*

PRINCESS GIGGLERIBBONS!!!  NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

To me, the Tea Party movement is a panicked retreat from the real world, a rebellion against complexity, and a yowl of anger at social and technological progress.

This.

Our media, politicians and big business types base their individual and collective advancement on promising quick fixes to humongous problems, and delivering the illusions of same.  To anyone even half-seriously examining the situation, it was readily evident that this jig would be up when our advantage as the only big country left standing after WWII was sufficiently eroded by international competitors (who were going to get back on their feet sooner-or-later).  This was evident by the 70s to studious lay followers of events, and blindingly clear by the 80s to anyone not actively avoiding the truth.

Rather than take advantage of those years on top by better distribution of good classroom K-12 education and help with incubating local business/ag efforts, we grew a big Information/Education caste system, and those who now find themselves on the wrong side of that aren’t happy campers.  They are lashing out accordingly, and are putty in the hands of the Dick Armey and Glenn Beck types who are happy to weaponize such ignorance, and conveniently provide easy answers on whom to blame.

I don’t see an easy way out of this one, or for that matter, a difficult-but-achievable-and-nonchaotic pathway.  Save us, Magic Unicorn!

One of the things liberals don’t get about conservatives is that the principles (limited government, low taxes, strong defense, etc, etc) are the important elements.

Actually, we do get that. It’s just that “limited government, low taxes and strong defense” are content-free concepts on which all agreement evaporates as soon as you start talking about the mechanics of achieving them. Besides which, they are almost always code words for vastly less noble aspirations.

To me, the Tea Party movement is a panicked retreat from the real world, a rebellion against complexity, and a yowl of anger at social and technological progress.

SoCons in patriot drag.

SoCons in patriot drag.

Just when I didn’t think anyone could distill it down to its essence any more succinctly, you did.

One of the things liberals don’t get about conservatives is that the principles (limited government, low taxes, strong defense, etc, etc) are the important elements. It doesn’t matter to a significant number of us what party champions these principles.

Principles honored in the breach and used as advertising buzz-words.  “Limited government” means “siphon from actual people in order to funnel to corporations.”  “Low taxes” means “starve the public realm in favor of private wealth.”  “Strong defense” means “unlimited defense spending regardless of utility, efficiency, or the fact that it’s 2010 and not 1957.”

There is not one actual conservative in the Republican Party today, and if there is, he goes along to get along.  I didn’t hear a peep from “conservatives” when the Supremes disgraced themselves for a generation on Bush v. Gore.  Or when Bush lowered taxes during wartime and turned “the party of fiscal responsibility” into a punchline.  Or when Cheney et al wanted to negate the writ of habeas corpus, which many countries have managed to “conserve” since the Battle of Fucking Hastings.

The only thing correct about the Tea Parties is their anger.  They’re wrong about everything else, starting with whom it’s directed at.  They and their fellow “conservatives” are a Party of Suckers.  Any commonality between them and liberals will have to begin with the TP’s waking up from their dreamy religiosity and their dreamy, nostaligic “patriotism.”  Until then, they live in Imaginary America, where every day you get out of bed righteously indignant and pissed, but where nothing ever changes.

Spare me your “principles.”

StrangeAppar8us,
you know, it disturbs me to say this, but I actually agree with one of your points. You referred to the idea that we think in different categories.

In the real world, I’ve spent a lot of years studying the psychology of Carl Jung as well as some systems like the enneagram used by the CIA to evaluate foreign leaders.

Apparently it has been pretty empirically demonstrated that we actually process reality differently. I mean, there are categories, but the categories are different groups with entirely different processes of viewing reality and coming to understanding. Apparently my tree is not always the same tree as some other guy’s.

Of course, one of the things this perception brings to us is the fact that we cannot accurately assess the motives of another group, as they are involved in a different processing method from ours.

This is why your views about a reaction to a new, complex reality would be very foreign to the way conservatives process reality. When Christians are trying to understand Jews, I tell them not to sit around and think about it, go ask a Jew.

We constantly see Democrats trying to explain conservatives and conservatives trying to explain liberals, all with dismal failures.

If I might suggest something closer to the conservative processing model—for conservatives it would be a little like seeing the United States and its origins as a Platonic form. And the further away one gets from that form, the more chaos is included in the system. In the beginning, there’s not much deviation between the form and people’s apprehension of that form.

For conservatives the important thing is to try to achieve more conformity with the Platonic form of the US.

I am not trying to argue for Plato against Aristotle particularly. So all of my intellectual superiors on this site, please be so apprised. I’m simply trying to give you a better idea of how conservatives see this process.

Regrettably this only leaves us with elections to be the ultimate decision maker.

This is why your views about a reaction to a new, complex reality would be very foreign to the way conservatives process reality. When Christians are trying to understand Jews, I tell them not to sit around and think about it, go ask a Jew.

Really, I have to wonder what we did to deserve such an honor. When you have a moment could you favor us with your thoughts on heliocentrism?

I am not trying to argue for Plato against Aristotle particularly.

Thank God for that!  If there’s one thing that really pisses us off about conservatives, it’s the rejection of Contemporary Aristotlelianism.

Amherst, buddy, we have the lols, here.  Be conservative, fine, no problem, we’re big tenters.  Just be succinct, or tell some fart jokes.

for conservatives it would be a little like seeing the United States and its origins as a Platonic form.

Which I acknowledged as the romanticized Elsewhere America of their Howdy Doody dreams.

For conservatives the important thing is to try to achieve more conformity with the Platonic form of the US.

The one where only white land-owners vote, and there are no Black Presidents and lots fewer gays on TV.

I thought the subject was whether it’s possible for the left to capture some of the grassroots fervency of the Tea Party, and if so, how does one do it.

A

big

butterfly net! Unless someone has a tranquilizer gun.

For conservatives the important thing is to try to achieve more conformity with the Platonic form of the US.

The one where only white land-owners vote, and there are no Black Presidents and lots fewer gays on TV.

And pederasty, also too.

I thought the subject was whether it’s possible for the left to capture some of the grassroots fervency of the Tea Party

God forbid! Whenever we get our version of them, they set off the sprinklers, and then we have to dry out the linens, and it’s a whole big thing.

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