The populist Tea Party movement in one year has evolved from a loose, scattered group of protesters to a considerable, grass-roots movement with a key talent for getting attention.
Of course, having an entire fucking news network plugging your bullshit sure does fucking help with the "getting attention" thing, no matter how "talented" you might be otherwise, and I think we all know what that means. Shit.
I wax fucking nostalgic.
Back in Ought-Two & Ought-Three, I went to antiwar protests in NYC and DC. And there were lots of people there -- six times as many as ever bothered with any fucking Tea Party bullshit. These protests were sponsored by ANSWER, a group I still know nothing and give less of a shit about, as did/do 99% of the people who showed up at that shit.
At the risk of generalizing, and fuck you for giving me shit about generalizing, the 99% of us who went to those antiwar protests knew two things, namely, (1) the Iraq war was a fucking stupid idea, and (2) protesting it by marching wouldn't fucking stop it or even fucking slow it down.
But what the hell else was there to do? Or, to be more precise, where the hell else was there the public space to say that the war was fucked?
Entertainingly, I'd been reading Bourdieu's On Television at the time, and I recall being amused by the bit where he says something like it don't mean shit if the whole country marches if it doesn't show up on the teevee. So, yeah....
It will take quite a lot for me to consider any other contenders for the most abjectly miserable moment in American history besides the "run-up" to the Iraq war, largely because every instrument of American public-opinion mongering back then was working impressively smoothly in the service of asinine jingoism.
And that's what kills me about the Tea Baggers. They have a major news network behind them. They drive the agenda of one of the major American political parties. They have the infrastructure of, well, this sort of shit:
Specifically in Washington, FreedomWorks.org, the group founded by former House Speaker Dick Armey (R-Texas), is holding a 9 a.m. “Liberty Summit” at the Ronald Reagan Building ampitheatre and a 6 p.m. rally at the Washington Monument. In between, the group plans to lobby members of Congress. A promotional bus tour called the Tea Party Express also plans an event on Boston on April 14 — featuring former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) — and is scheduled to be in Washington the next day.
Grass-roots my taut n' perky ass. Say what you want about ANSWER, and again, who the fuck are they, come on, there is balance here?
And even with all that PR, all that Fox News flogging, all those Wingnut Celebrity Endorsements, they still can't draw more than a sixth of what we got, Ordinary Americans Who Were Fed Up, only in regards to a pointless and bloody war, and were, you know, proved fucking right.
It's a shite situation.