Tea is the new black

This rings true:

In a recent interview, Wolf said of the Tea Partiers, “They were stepping up to the plate, when my own liberal privileged fellow demographic habituates were lying around whining.” Liberals, she says, in words that sound like they belong on Sarah Palin’s Facebook page, have “a cultural problem with self-righteousness and elitism … We look down on people we don’t agree with. It doesn’t serve us well.”

Part of it is “authenticity, ” an idea with a weird appeal in recent American politics, especially for liberals. Many admired and trusted John McCain in 2000 and later, not because they agreed with him but because he seemed real, and his fits of ill temper made him even more appealing, until suddenly one day he just seemed like a tired Republican hack. Jesse Ventura, Arnold Schwarzenegger and briefly even Mike Huckabee had a similar appeal, while Mitt Romney suffers as their opposite. And there’s no doubt about the Tea Party movement on this point — they do say what’s on their minds. The appeal is also probably related to the inevitable let-down after the high energy of the 2008 presidential campaign. As we settle into the dreary compromised reality of actual governance, we need a hit of the intensity and passion of 2008 — there’s only one place to find it, even if that place is a wholly owned subsidiary of a Republican lobbying operation.

And finally, it may be that, now that even the New York Times has recognized that “identity politics” is not a liberal vice, but today involves the special claims of white American identity against the complex and diverse actual country (a point this magazine made two years ago), finding allies among Tea Partiers is the equivalent of what finding a black friend was to liberals in the 1960s. It’s a way to get in touch with the real America, to feel a little superior, a little less elitist or isolated, less wimpy, less conformist.

I am so fucking sick of the authenticity thing. What exactly makes a welfare-supported retiree with a misspelled sign about “exremism” more authentic than a union worker calling his Congressmen to support health care reform?

But you already know the answer: being well-informed and reasonable is a sign that you are out of touch, regardless of your income, educational level, age, gender, or race.

124 replies
  1. 1
    Violet says:

    I am so fucking sick of the authenticity thing. What exactly makes a welfare-supported retiree with a misspelled sign about “exremism” more authentic than a union worker calling his Congressmen to support health care reform?

    Just a guess, but skin color?

  2. 2
    Ash says:

    finding allies among Tea Partiers is the equivalent of what finding a black friend was to liberals in the 1960s

    My brain just exploded trying to figure out how the author of this piece managed to relate those.

  3. 3

    DougJ:
    Why are you harshing our NCAA Championship buzz?

  4. 4
    Phoebe says:

    What exactly makes a welfare-supported retiree with a misspelled sign about “exremism” more authentic than a union worker calling his Congressmen to support health care reform?

    Self awareness. They are Adam and Eve before they ate from the tree and realized they were naked. You shall know them by their misspelled signs! “This authenticity thing” is old hat to me. My generation of hipster has always been somewhat in thrall to the authentic, which is why we love old diners, but not fake old diners, dive bars, but not fake dive bars. The beauty part? Authentic people don’t see the difference between the old diners and the fake old diners, but probably like the latter better because all the stuff is newer.

    And the hipsters of my generation also hate going into the authentic places and seeing nothing but other hipsters. At that point it’s “ruined”. Also.

  5. 5
    scav says:

    “fellow demographic habituates”?? Interesting crowd that. . .

    & arguing? That was about basketball? I thought it was about the weatherguy and I was rather enjoying it.

  6. 6
    batgirl says:

    Wolf: “We look down on people that we disagree with.”

    They call those they disagree with Hitler-loving, communist, fascist, sociaIist, treasonous enemies who are not real Americans?

    Which is worse, Wolf?

    Fuck her.

  7. 7
    Sakura-hime says:

    I’m ashamed by Naomi Wolf’s behavior lately. And to think that if it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t even be involved in politics at all…. ::shudder::

  8. 8
    El Cid says:

    It’s not about “authenticity”, it’s about ‘authentisticism’, or whatever, to the same degree that Disney’s International Village represents the countries it’s depicting.

  9. 9
    beltane says:

    Perhaps “authentic” means that someone is more in touch with his/her roots. For example, our distant ancestors were all illiterate and often engaged in human sacrifice so it could be argued that those of us who remain illiterate and make death threats against others are somehow more authentic.

    The real answer is that our sheltered, upper class media personalities labor under the assumption that the average American is a fat, greasy, stupid redneck. Anyone who does not fit that stereotype is therefore not “authentic” in their minds. Admiration of teabaggers is the mark of a true elitist.

  10. 10
    MattR says:

    More importantly, how is repeating talking points they heard on the radio or TV without a clue about the actual issue at hand somehow “authentic”?

  11. 11
    Undercover FBI Agent DougJ says:

    My brain just exploded trying to figure out how the author of this piece managed to relate those.

    I think it’s a good comparison.

  12. 12
    El Cid says:

    Would these jackholes please imitate our early Colonial ancestors and starve to death before figuring out being taught by the locals (‘Indians’) how to farm? I mean, seeing as how they want to be authentic and all.

    Or imitate the white sharecropper, starving to produce a limited crop which was mostly taken by the landholder.

    Or imitate the early 20th century Southern millworker and work so much for so little pay and company store credit that you literally don’t have enough to buy enough calories of food to replace what you expended during the day.

    Go for your ‘authenticism’ if you want, but, by god, be serious about it.

  13. 13
    asiangrrlMN says:

    I look down on people who willfully remain ignorant, racist, idiots, act against their own best interests, yes, it’s true. I will give Wolf that much. Oh, wait. That’s not what she’s saying? Then, fuck her.

  14. 14
    gwangung says:

    My brain just exploded trying to figure out how the author of this piece managed to relate those.

    I think it’s a good comparison.

    What’s the default color in both instances?

  15. 15
    El Cid says:

    By the way, I don’t denigrate the impulse to figure out ways where — just as was actually done in earlier periods of U.S. political activism — liberal and left elements reach out to ordinary people expressing ill-focused dissatisfaction.

    The problem is in identifying and working with those people (a) with whom you truly, and not in a bullshit tourism fashion, can act in solidarity, and (b) would respect your actual goals.

    Yes, there are a number of individuals in these various TeaTard movements who ordinarily might have has some degree of openness to more liberal-left reforms with a ‘populist’ note, but they would be at a real ordinary level, the real ‘grassroots’, not the neo-Confederate tri-cornered hat assholes at the middling levels or the bullshit Republican spin organizations funding and organizing so many.

  16. 16
    Fr33d0m says:

    “Many admired and trusted John McCain in 2000 and later, not because they agreed with him but because he seemed real, and his fits of ill temper made him even more appealing, until suddenly one day he just seemed like a tired Republican hack.”

    Lets just forget how the world changed between then and now and how Senator/Maverick McCain comported himself over that time.

    In 2000 McCain positioned himself in stark contrast to Bush and made many of us hope the party could take even a short, slight step away from their religious overlords. In the time since them he kissed-up to and eventually tried to out-Bush Bush. To the republican base he ended up in 2008 the least repulsive candidate of a field of repulsive candidates in large part because of his race (or at least one speech) in the 2000 race. As for those center-minded folks who look to the man and not the party, he looked like and older, bushier Bush.. He didn’t look like a tired Republican hack, he represented one. Not to mention Sarah Palin.

  17. 17
    scav says:

    alliance of those requiring drama, spotlights and center stage? I mean, actual politics, more importantly, actual governance is dull dull dull and very often slow.

    and just when in the hell did I lose my authenticity? Was there a line I forgot to stand in?

  18. 18
    Undercover FBI Agent DougJ says:

    By the way, I don’t denigrate the impulse to figure out ways where—just as was actually done in earlier periods of U.S. political activism—liberal and left elements reach out to ordinary people expressing ill-focused dissatisfaction.

    I agree completely. But that’s not what Naomi Wolf is doing.

  19. 19
    2th&nayle says:

    DougJ, Undercover G-Man, When, when, when, are you going to stop trying to make sense out of non-sense? Can’t be done! Give it up! You’ll live a lot longer.
    Butler hangin tough! Givin’ Dookie all they want!
    Hopin’ for a miracle!!

  20. 20
    WereBear says:

    It’s a two-edged sword for them; by embracing people they would pay to not encounter; they can be secure that they are at least better than average, and not snobbish about it.

  21. 21
    Phoebe says:

    beltane:

    Admiration of teabaggers is the mark of a true elitist.

    Exactly! The authenticity-based admiration, that is. Totally patronizing. Which appears to be Wolf, not Hamsher. Hamsher just likes the anger and theatrics, it seems to me.

    And Wolf should change her first name to “Hulga”. Also.

  22. 22

    I just read the Naomi Wolf article that was linked to and I have completely lost any respect for Wolf. She’s every bit as much of a fucking moronic drama queen as Jane Hamsher is. I’m sure it won’t be long before she’s comparing the tea partiers to the civil rights movement. God she’s stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid. Anyone who thinks that she has anything of value to say needs to read this article to realize how incredibly goddamned stupid she is.

  23. 23
    Caoimhe says:

    …finding allies among Tea Partiers is the equivalent of what finding a black friend was to liberals in the 1960s.

    “Liberals” here seems to mean “white liberals” — the “white” is silent. In the 1960s, surely most black liberals didn’t have to work all that hard to come up with black friends.

    So it’s a comparison that is pretty much rooted in the idea that people are, by default, white people unless specified otherwise.

    It’s a crappy analogy too.

  24. 24
    The Truffle says:

    Wolf is just as stupid as the teabaggers. I’m not surprised she thinks she has something in common with them.

  25. 25
    Triassic Sands says:

    What exactly makes a welfare-supported retiree with a misspelled sign about “exremism” more authentic than a union worker calling his Congressmen to support health care reform?

    Nothing, and I mean nothing, is more authentically American than a big-mouthed moron who is thoroughly ignorant about the content of something — in this case the HCR legislation — he (or she) violently opposes.

    Passion is the All-American substitute for knowledge.

  26. 26
    kay says:

    “They were stepping up to the plate, when my own liberal privileged fellow demographic habituates were lying around whining.”

    Speak for yourself. I worked pretty hard on health care, and so did millions of other people. Our job was made more difficult because tea partiers and people like Wolf were really really busy misrepresenting each and every provision of the proposed legislation.

  27. 27
    Undercover FBI Agent DougJ says:

    So it’s a comparison that is pretty much rooted in the idea that people are, by default, white people unless specified otherwise.

    Yes, that’s a good point. When I skimmed it over, I thought it said “white liberals”. I also hadn’t noticed that it said ’60s.

    But I do think there’s a sameness in terms of treating other people as mascots for your own tolerance rather than as human beings.

  28. 28
    Citizen_X says:

    You know what always bugged me? Those goddam Abecrombie & Fitch t-shirts/sweats a few years back that said, “AUTHENTIC.” “Authentic what,” I always wondered. Authentic copies of ’50s/’60s style summer-camp sweatshirts? Sure, but who cares?

    Like El Cid said, it’s ‘authenticism.’ It’s a cult of authenticity.

  29. 29
    Redshift says:

    The press’ obsession with “authenticity” (and I have never seen any evidence that anyone but the press cares about this) should have died with George W. Bush, who was repeatedly described as “more authentic” than his opponents, despite the fact that his entire public persona was completely manufactured, from the fake or deliberately learned Texas accent that no one else in his family had, to the MBA and “business experience” that was handed to him by backers who expect a handsome return, no matter how badly he screwed up, to his being a Good Christian despite the fact that he never went to church or engaged in any other religious activity except using occasional references to Jesus to glorify himself.

    The concept of “authenticity” for politicians is best illustrated by the old joke about how to impress women: “They really love sincerity. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made!”

  30. 30
    The Other Steve says:

    I want to post something that was written over in another forum that really hit home. This come from advrider.com which is a motorcycling forum dedicated to people who just ride their bikes all over for the sheer joy of it. I’m am amateur rider who only dreams of maybe one day following Ewan MacGregor and Charlie Boorman out across Siberia, but I really love the politics forum because it still has a diverse group of people.

    so without further adieu… ‘…who are you better than?’ by Jinx

    ——————————-
    Quote:
    “You know when I was a little boy, there was an old negro farmer that lived down the road from us, named Monroe. He was … (subtle laugh), I guess he was just a little more luckier than my daddy was. He bought himself a mule.

    It was a big deal in round that town. Now my daddy hated that mule. Cause, his friends were always kidding him about, “They saw Monroe out plowing with his new mule and Monroe is going to rent another field now he had a mule.”

    One morning that mule showed up dead. They poisoned the water. After that, there wasn’t any mention about that mule around my daddy. It just never came up. One time we were driving down that road and we passed Monroe’s place and we saw it was empty. He just packed up and left, I guess, he must of went up north or something.

    I looked over at my daddy’s face, I knew he done it. He saw that I knew. He was ashamed. I guess he was ashamed. He looked at me and said, “If you ain’t better than a nigger son, who are you better than?”” – Agent Anderson, Mississippi Burning

    And welcome to the Tea-hadist mindset. With Barack Obama in charge…who are you going to be better than?

    And don't think some of us recognize the symptom because we are a pack of condescending know-it-all asshats. We are…but that has fuck-all to do with the observation.

    It's just that we have seen this before. Up North…in our so-called "enlightened" neck of the woods.

    Want to know the difference between North and South? Well, a man once told me that up North, it is OK to have a Black as your boss, but you will be damned if you will have one for a neighbor. Down South, it is OK to have a Black neighbor…but you will damned if you will have one as a boss.

    So we went through all this Tea Party nonsense up North, about 20-30 years ago. And the reaction was just as vehement, inarticulate, and dumb as what is being spewed now. If you want to see hate and spittle, you should have seen how South Boston reacted to school integration.

    But you would not have seen it 24/7 as you do today. It happened…but not in a perpetual echo chamber. And thank Christ for that.

    And if you think the enlightened liberal North embraced integrated housing with open hearts, think again, It was called "white flight" and it damn near emptied some cities. "Sure, we support integration…now excuse us while we move to the suburbs where those Zulus won't be able to spear us with their assegais."

    But white flight was a safety valve. It kept the pressure at reasonable levels. It also prolonged it and led to new levels of stupidity, but you could, after all, vote with your feet. Many did. Many still do.

    OK, the job front was a bit stickier. Northern Industry has always been (at least since the 1950's) largely integrated. Steel Mill owners don't give a fuck what your skin color is. Besides, you could only tell on the way into work, on the way out everybody pretty much looked the same.

    But you always knew what hand you were playing, because the cards were mostly dealt face up. Your boss was still white. Your union steward was still white. Your mayor and your chief of police were still white. And, as much as it pains me to tell you this, Michael Steele did not run the GOP. And even if he did, at least up north, you went home at the end of the day to your own private Idaho in the suburbs, and played golf on the weekends at a club where Michael Steele was never going to get in. Well, not the front door

    The workforce may have been integrated, but you still knew who you were better than. Nobody dared yell "You Lie!!" at a white boss.

    Over time, most of that has changed (but if you take a shot every time you can name a Black mayor of a predominantly white New England city…you are going to bed sober). But it took a very conscious effort to change it. Acceptance of diversity does not come easy when the question is: "who are you better than?"

    And now the way the cards were dealt 18 months ago has upset a huge segment of the population. They no longer know who they are better than. They are lashing out. And there is fuck-all for a safety valve and it does run 24/7 in a perpetual echo chamber.

    They say it is about "freedoms"…but they can point to no freedoms that have been lost over the last 14 months.

    They say the Constitution is being destroyed, but when you ask them what parts of The General Welfare Clause or Congresses' power to regulate Interstate Commerce are being violated…they stand mute with rage

    They say it is about taxes…but they can find no drastic tax increases in the last 14 months.

    Come to think of it, I don't really remember anyone getting speared with an assegai thirty years ago either. But that didn't stop people screaming about the danger.

    And they say they want their Country Back.

    Well, Bing-fucking-O.

    Now we have it. They want to return to a time and place where they at least knew who they were better than.

    And the fact that most of this spittle is flying from the mouths of the poor, the semi-educated, the low information voter, and from By-God Dixie…well, that is only because it is your turn. A lot of the rest of the Country has already gone through this exercise 20-30 years ago. And the same spittle flew from the same confused lips when it was our turn.

    So we don't look on Tea-hadists with scorn because they are alien and unfathomable. We do so because we recognize these very traits as ours and those of our neighbors."All in the Family" wasn't the most popular show in the Northeast because Archie Bunker was despised. It was popular because he was comfortably familiar. But at least he was a character. Nobody tried to run him for President.

    And it ain't just President Obama. It is a lot else: If your job can be done on the Indian sub-continent, who are you better than? If China can launch a spaceship, who are you better than? If the world looks at the mighty Dollar as little better than an American Peso, who are you better than? If an immigrant can work your ass into the ground, and do it smiling for a lot less money, who are you better than?

    A whole lot of life has been shaken and stirred the last couple of decades.

    This whole Tea-Party nonsense will eventually pass. Because there is no "going back". OK, you can move to Idaho, or Montana, and it will feel like you have found what was missing. And you might even be happy. As long as you never watch the POTUS on the national news while you are trying to answer the question: "Who am I better than?"

    But Jesus wept, people are going to keep asking that damned question. Soccer may be watched for it's beauty…American Football is about who is better. We are more of a class society than people want to admit. There is still a very strong vein of Scotch-Irish pride that runs through this Country's character. Unfortunately that pride is seldom based, at least lately, on personal or collective achievement…just who you are better than. You can hear it every time a factory closes in this Country and people cheer. No, they really don't believe that closing the Auto Factories will make America stronger. But it adds a whole bunch of people to the list of those they are better than.

    Still…what the fuck. 600 years of violence and oppression was bound to warp the Scotch-Irish a bit. Hell, you can even consider them heroically well adjusted given their, and my, history. And history will eventually change us again once all the dogs adjust to the new Alpha Male reality and find their place again in the pack. Until then we live in the land of flying angry spittle.

    PS – I never wanted to be better than anyone else. Just faster. Cheers

  31. 31
    maus says:

    My brain just exploded trying to figure out how the author of this piece managed to relate those.

    everyone must befriend and idolize “true americans” who are not elitist or be considered “racists” i think. I don’t know, my head hurts.

  32. 32
    El Cid says:

    DougJ:

    I agree completely. But that’s not what Naomi Wolf is doing.

    I didn’t suggest she was.

  33. 33
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    As we settle into the dreary compromised reality of actual governance, we need a hit of the intensity and passion of 2008—

    I agree with that, but not the rest.

    there’s only one place to find it, even if that place is a wholly owned subsidiary of a Republican lobbying operation.

    I tried to read the article, I usually like Schmitt, but I’m in one of my worn-out with politics moods. Maybe we can get all excited about Stevens’ USSC replacement.

  34. 34
    Toast says:

    I actually have more respect for Tea Partiers than I do for people who claim to be liberals but who spend their time trashing liberals with right-wing tropes about “condescension” and “elitism”. And I have no respect for Tea Partiers.

  35. 35
    The Other Steve says:

    Formatting here is broken. ARGH! Everything after the dash was supposed to be blockquoted.

  36. 36
    Phoebe says:

    Caoimhe, he should have said “white liberals”, but it’s a perfect analogy.

    Because to white liberals of the elitist kind [and “of the elitist kind” is silent and assumed too], black people are authentic, so to have black friends makes you more authentic. If you really were authentic, though, you wouldn’t be grubbing [like Wolf] for authenticity points. Which is just out of control, ironywise.

  37. 37
    Redshift says:

    @The Other Steve: You have to put blockquotes around every paragraph. (Not standard HTML, but that’s how it works here.)

  38. 38
    Scamp Dog says:

    “Authenticity” is whatever the the MSM fops want it to be. Their rule of thumb is that Republicans have it and Democrats don’t. Since authenticity is pretty much content-free, they can make up anything they want to “prove” their point.

    And so it goes.

  39. 39
    russell says:

    Black people in this country have, in my lifetime, been shot, lynched, beaten, had dogs sicked on them, had fire hoses turned on them, have been denied access to schools and universities, been denied mortgages and rental leases.

    In 2001 the odds of young black male spending time in the criminal justice system at some point in their lives was something like 1 in 3.

    Tea baggers have been subject to what oppression, exactly?

    Naomi Wolf, Mark Schmitt, and any tea bagger who has the stones to compare their experience to that of black people in this country can kiss my ass. Seriously, they need to STFU.

  40. 40

    a cultural problem with self-righteousness and elitism … We look down on people we don’t agree with. It doesn’t serve us well.”

    Whereas the teabaggers want to look up to those they disagree with.

    As they twist gently in the wind.

    Feh. It really is all about attention with some people. Who ever is getting the most camera time must be right.

  41. 41
    Undercover FBI Agent DougJ says:

    I didn’t suggest she was.

    You’re right, you didn’t.

  42. 42
    Mark S. says:

    Wolf:

    I hope that the Republican establishment does not succeed in co-opting the Tea Party

    How can anyone be this naive? Wolf has probably given a lot of money to Nigerian heirs.

    ETA: I highly doubt Hamsher has such illusions about what the teabaggers are.

  43. 43
    Ahasuerus says:

    @El Cid

    It’s not about “authenticity”, it’s about ‘authentisticism’, or whatever, to the same degree that Disney’s International Village represents the countries it’s depicting.

    I believe it’s called authenticiness (apologies to Stephen Colbert).

  44. 44
    Mike in NC says:

    Wolf is just as stupid as the teabaggers.

    Anybody recall the bullshit that Camille Paglia was spewing on a daily basis back in 2008 about Sarah Palin being the new Joan of Arc? Fricking PUMA moron.

  45. 45
    Dannie22 says:

    @ the other Steve

    thanks for that post.

  46. 46
    El Cid says:

    On her worst day, and trying, Naomi Wolf would be an activist who made really bad arguments and choices, while Camille Paglia would still be an insane twit cruising off nothing but pompous attitude alone.

  47. 47
    2th&nayle says:

    The Other Steve,
    Thanks for the link. I don’t know who Jinx is and frankly I don’t care, but he certainly hits the nail on the head. I live in the South and it breaks my heart daily to see folks that I otherwise respect cling to very kind of stupidity that Jinks refers to. Jesus Wept? I know the feeling.

  48. 48

    Violet @ 1: BINGO!

    Meanwhile, I wish that somebody in the mainstream media would admit that the Tea Party is now officially an arm of the RNC. Tea Party candidates are allowed funding only if they promise to uphold the Republican Party platform.

  49. 49

    El Cid: The day Salon hired Paglia is the day I stopped reading them regularly. I’ve only recently started reading them again, and usually only for Glennzilla or Conason.

    Molly Ivins pegged Paglia back in 1991, and her word remains the definitive judgment on this collegiate grifter.

  50. 50
    kay says:

    Once again, a liberal advances a Right wing theme: that liberals are elitists and inauthentic. That’s helpful.
    But maybe that’s ungenerous: maybe she simply completely buys that smear, and always has. God knows she’s heard it enough.

  51. 51

    Mark S. @ 41: The tea party rank-and-filers may well still think of themselves as Republicans who’ve broken free, or Indies who never were part of the GOP herd. But their leaders cut a deal with the RNC months ago. Whether either side holds to it remains to be seen.

  52. 52
    Annie says:

    And there’s no doubt about the Tea Party movement on this point—they do say what’s on their minds

    Being “authentic” doesn’t mean you are right. The arrested Christian militia was being authentic, anti-semites are being authentic, racists are being authentic, but I certaintly am not going to applaud them or reward them for their authenticity…

    Which teabaggers is she referring to? The ones who are worried that their government-sponsored medicare will be taken away? The ones who are worried that their social security disability checks will stop? The ones who fear the loss of social security or the ones that want to kill social security? The ones that rally against entitlements, while applauding Republicans for speaking against entitlements, ignoring the fact that most of these Republicans have benefitted from entitlements?

    Sarah, Michelle and others are not being “authentic.” These are individuals who have received entitlements — in fact they would not even have a public forum without their entitlements, yet rally against the very policies that have allowed them to seek public office.

    Instead of ranting against liberals, she should be ranting against teabaggers and Republicans for the lack of authenticity.

  53. 53

    Formatting here is broken. ARGH! Everything after the dash was supposed to be blockquoted.

    It’s been like that here for months now. Personally I blame Tunch.

  54. 54
    gary says:

    I am so fucking sick of the authenticity thing. What exactly makes a welfare-supported retiree with a misspelled sign about “exremism” more authentic than a union worker calling his Congressmen to support health care reform?

    But you already know the answer: being well-informed and reasonable is a sign that you are out of touch, regardless of your income, educational level, age, gender, or race.

    tell me about it.

    i think it’s part of the legacy of white power. it’s yet another way to find white folks more traditional, realistic, genuine, ordinary, rational, well-meaning, caring, and patriotic than any other American. Now, they are a minority. So add that to the reasons that angry white folks should be paid attention.

    I’m not surprised in the least the Naomi Wolf would be defending Tea Party folks. It’s her attempt to be provocative. Rather typical.

  55. 55
    Fern says:

    @ the other Steve

    Thanks for that – rings true.

  56. 56
    2th&nayle says:

    Dammit!! Butler loses a heartbreaker! How many seniors do those guys have? Hope to see them again next year!

  57. 57

    Annie @ 51: A lot of otherwise-sensible lefties went for Jesse Ventura in 1998. (And a good thing, too, otherwise Norm Coleman would have been our governor.) He managed to keep his ego in check just long enough to let his brain function — and his brain, when he allows it to function, is a very good brain indeed; all he needs is a bit more empathy and he’d make a very good person.

    Jesse did a lot of messed-up things, but also one very good thing: He gave us light rail. For that I forgive him a lot.

  58. 58
    MattR says:

    It’s been like that here for months now. Personally I blame Tunch.

    Did he eat the reply button too? :)

  59. 59

    Dammit!! Butler loses a heartbreaker! How many seniors do those guys have? Hope to see them again next year!

    Awww shoot!

    On the bright side, does this mean that Coach K stops whining about how the media pays too much attention to Butler?

  60. 60

    Did he eat the reply button too? :)

    I think so. John will have to check for loose HTML fragments in his stool. (Tunch’s, that is.)

  61. 61
    gwangung says:

    Black people in this country have, in my lifetime, been shot, lynched, beaten, had dogs sicked on them, had fire hoses turned on them, have been denied access to schools and universities, been denied mortgages and rental leases.
    In 2001 the odds of young black male spending time in the criminal justice system at some point in their lives was something like 1 in 3. Tea baggers have been subject to what oppression, exactly? Naomi Wolf, Mark Schmitt, and any tea bagger who has the stones to compare their experience to that of black people in this country can kiss my ass. Seriously, they need to STFU.

    This. Doubled and tripled.

  62. 62
    gwangung says:

    Once again, a liberal advances a Right wing theme: that liberals are elitists and inauthentic.

    They’d have to have a lot of gall to pin that on ME. And a whole slew of other folks.

    Which goes back to the unspoken assumptions they have…

  63. 63
    AngusJackBootedThugOfMeat says:

    What exactly makes a welfare-supported retiree with a misspelled sign about “exremism” more authentic than a union worker calling his Congressmen to support health care reform?

    I haven’t read the thread, too short of time and too lazy, but I think the answer to this is obvious.

    What makes “authenticity” is what appears authentic on tv to people who are looking for dimestore authenticity.

    “I want my country” back sounds authentic to the choir that feels left out of the new way of things. To enough people out there to put FoxNews on top of the cable ratings by marshalling just a couple million viewers out of 300m-plus people. If you can hypnotize a couple of million not very bright people, you can own the medium. The smarter people don’t hang around their tv sets all day waiting to hear that somebody on tv agrees with them. The popularity of Limbaugh is really easy to figure out. Limbaugh himself figured out how to do it. Just say what the disaffected already think, and say it to them so that they feel good about thinking it. They will beat a path to your electronic door and make you rich. Limbaugh doesn’t lead anybody, he absoutely just follows his audience. He gives the audience a voice, he sings their song for them.

  64. 64
    Bobby Thomson says:

    DougJ, this is a horrible comparison, if only because the number of “liberals” trying to find token teabagger chums can probably fit in a Greyhound bus station.

    That post takes on a completely different meaning out of context.

  65. 65
    Bobby Thomson says:

    And what gwangung said. Also. Too.

  66. 66
    Annie says:

    @Phoenix Woman (i, too, miss the reply…)

    I don’t know a lot about Jesse when he governed, but I did hear him on an interview several months ago, and I thought he was very impressive — he took on the teabaggers and the Republicans. He sounded extremely “authentic” — or, at least to me, he spoke in terms that made sense.

  67. 67
    auntieeminaz says:

    asiangrllMN@12 I wholeheartedly agree. IOW this.

  68. 68
    2th&nayle says:

    Phoenix Women @58 (Tunch’s, that is.)
    You funnY!! hahahaha!

  69. 69
    auntieeminaz says:

    Maybe it is a good thing that the reply arrow is dysfunctional. I would be saying “This” over and over again.

  70. 70
    Eljai says:

    I used to be a fan of Naomi Wolf, but I read her article and now I wonder what the hell I was thinking. Has she always been this intellectually dishonest? Right off the bat she brazenly repeats the wingnut lie that Pelosi called teapartiers “Nazis”, when what Pelosi actually said was that people were “carrying swastikas and symbols like that” to townhall meetings, and in fairness to Pelosi I think she only said that because the tea party crowd was carrying swastikas and symbols like that into town hall meetings.

  71. 71
    Elie says:

    Like they say for your teenager, and ultimately we have to say for this country — our country: ” Its a phase”.

    We are hard pressed in the short term to understand what it takes to “grow up”. Clearly, many of us may not make it there. But if enough of us do, we can move forward and learn to be a national community. Not as perfect beings — but as an evolutionary and self learning group…

    I Do hope and am learning more and more to believe in US.

  72. 72
    mclaren says:

    @DougJ:

    I am so fucking sick of the authenticity thing. What exactly makes a welfare-supported retiree with a misspelled sign about “exremism” more authentic than a union worker calling his Congressmen to support health care reform?

    Here’s what makes the teabagger more authentic: The teabagger is willing to get up off his ass and march and demonstrate and get in people’s faces and create a huge scene until someone takes notice.

    The goddamn liberals just don’t get it. They think picking up a phone is “doing something.” They think logging onto some computer and signing an online poll is “doing something.” That’s not doing something, buckaroos, that’s sitting around on your fat lazy ass.

    To get the attention of the people in power you’ve got to cause trouble. You’ve got to get in their faces. You’ve got to gather in public in demonstrations so big, they shut down traffic. You’ve got to hassle the elected pols, scream at ’em when they walk out of their office buildings, create a great big huge goddamn problem that the pols can’t ignore.

    That’s authentic. That’s doing something.

    Michael Moore has it right. Those Republicans, they’re evil and corrupt and thuggish…but dammit, they’re willing to get up off their asses and create a furor about what they believe. When the Republicans pick a hill to die on, policy-wise, they die on it. They go all out. The liberals? They never pick a hill to die on, they stand firm until the opposition says, “No, we won’t go for that,” and then the liberals cave and whimper, “Welllll, ooooookayyyyyy,” and the liberals slink away and whine like whipped dogs.

    Where the hell were the tens of thousands of people carrying signs and agitating in public for health care reform? Where the hell were the millions of liberals at the town meetings, creating a fuss and getting media attention and shouting down the opposition?

    Nowhere. The goddamn liberals didn’t do jack. They sat around in their living rooms signing online polls. That’s not authentic. That’s bullshit. And everyone knows it.

  73. 73
    auntieeminaz says:

    The Other Steve @29 That is fucking brilliant.

  74. 74
    Luthe says:

    finding allies among Tea Partiers is the equivalent of what finding a black friend was to liberals in the 1960s. It’s a way to get in touch with the real America, to feel a little superior, a little less elitist or isolated, less wimpy, less conformist slumming.

    Fix’t!

  75. 75
    Nellcote says:

    The Other Steve @29
    Thanks for that piece. It’s the clearest explaination I’ve seen.

  76. 76
    JabbaTheHutaree says:

    And there’s no doubt about the Tea Party movement on this point—they do say what’s on their minds.

    On this one, I have to agree with that well known Communist, Edmund Burke:

    “A great empire and little minds go ill together.”
    (Speech on Conciliation with America (1775))

    But hey, what did he know about conservatism?

  77. 77
    Undercover FBI Agent DougJ says:

    The Other Steve @29 That is fucking brilliant.

    I agree.

  78. 78
    morzer says:

    The goddamn liberals just don’t get it. They think picking up a phone is “doing something.” They think logging onto some computer and signing an online poll is “doing something.” That’s not doing something, buckaroos, that’s sitting around on your fat lazy ass.
    To get the attention of the people in power you’ve got to cause trouble. You’ve got to get in their faces. You’ve got to gather in public in demonstrations so big, they shut down traffic. You’ve got to hassle the elected pols, scream at ‘em when they walk out of their office buildings, create a great big huge goddamn problem that the pols can’t ignore.
    That’s authentic. That’s doing something

    .

    The other day, there were hundreds of thousands of people marching for immigration reform. They dwarfed the teabaggers in every way. Guess how much reporting the media did on them? It’s too damn easy to blame the liberals every time. Start by looking at the media that coddles and sometimes coordinates the teabaggers.

  79. 79
    ds says:

    Where the hell were the tens of thousands of people carrying signs and agitating in public for health care reform? Where the hell were the millions of liberals at the town meetings, creating a fuss and getting media attention and shouting down the opposition?

    I call bullshit.

    Most of the people at the town hall meetings were supporters of health care reform. This was true throughout the process.

    In my area, there were many protests and rallies in favor of health care reform.

    The problem is, if you can get one conservative white guy yelling incoherently about something, it’s a trivial task to get 10 TV news helicopters, the entire NY Times reporting staff, David Broder, Bobo, and half the cast of Glee on the scene, to figure out every implication of what he’s saying.

    We just saw that if you have 200,000 immigrants and liberal supporters protesting for immigration reform, you’re lucky if you get a blurb in the “culture” section of the paper.

  80. 80
    Elie says:

    McLaren @ 70

    Shouting down the opposition may seem authentic in that it cleaves to the emotions of intensely believing in one’s values, but be careful. It can also be about fear — having to ram your views down the opposition — the will to power — can also be about believing in coercion versus the power of ideas and being able to convince others of those ideas without — power..

    Liberals may lag in the vehemence and coercion factor…but that corresponds with the values we admire. Analysis, values about independence and importance of diverse opinions and letting those opinions have free reign. Liberals do not easily march to one intense and compelling vision of reality. I personally like that. I am willing to live with the consequences of that — that we have to convince each other to take certain stands (and can fail)… that we know we have to advocate for positions and show what we understand to support the positions — not just spout off our views and emotions as FACT — like much of the right does..

    Now I fully understand that when the opponent seems so unified — so homegenous and symmetrical, our crazy patch, uneven and disorganized diversity seems like the recipe for defeat. But please know, liberty and individual freedom require tolerance for dissent and diversity. Preaching in unison may seem like a good thing to fascists. But is that what you truly want on the road to success for a progressive agenda?

  81. 81

    Annie @ 64: You caught him on a good day. Jesse on a good day verges on statesmanlike.

    The problem is that Jesse’s ego and temper all too often smother his brain and his empathic parts. He has a tough time with abstract empathizing — that is, being able to relate to people or issues who he hasn’t personally met in the flesh. He was a rigid anti-tax, anti-spender: Yet, because he’d personally been to DC and ridden the Metro, became a titanic advocate for light rail in the Twin Cities. He also became an advocate from childhood diseases because of the health problems of his daughter Jade.

  82. 82
    FlipYrWhig says:

    To get the attention of the people in power you’ve got to cause trouble.

    When liberals cause trouble people react by getting annoyed and/or bored. The media doesn’t care for it and people who watch the media don’t care for it either. What happens when a union goes on strike in the city nearest you? Does it get covered at all sympathetically? When I lived in Philadelphia it never was.

    You’re right that an armchair activist isn’t much of an activist. But I think liberal direct-action activism stopped achieving anything a long time ago. The last gasp was probably WTO Seattle.

    “Liberals causing trouble” doesn’t get results. It’s not fair, but that’s where we stand. I still think that if today’s viewing public saw black people being blasted with hoses, they would by and large root for the people with the hoses.

  83. 83
    Splitting Image says:

    I think the real revelation of the past couple of years is that the “progressiveness” of the feminist movement has been hiding the fact that a good many women are just mean little fucks.

    Others are just mealy-mouthed David Broders, but I think that the rise of Sarah Palin and the tea partiers really highlights the fact that 28% or so of the movement have always been grasping little assholes trying to soak it for everything they could get. Now they’ve segued into “I Got Mine, Fuck You!” Liberalism doesn’t have much to do with this.

  84. 84
    Polar Bear Squares says:

    Teabaggers = Very White Sore Losers Movement.

    (H/t Crooks & Liars)

  85. 85
    ds says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised at all if there were more pro-HCR protests than teabag rallies.

    What the media shows you isn’t a representation of reality. We saw that at the town halls. Their overriding focus is to figure out what conservative white people think about any given issue, and ignore whatever anyone else thinks.

    They’re the real Americans who live in the heartland after all. If these middle aged white folks wearing sweaters are so angry about health care reform, then clearly that is the consensus of the country.

    If minorities, immigrants, union workers, young people, or just liberals in general are in favor of something, they don’t matter at all. They’re not the Real Americans.

  86. 86
    morzer says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised at all if there were more pro-HCR protests than teabag rallies.
    What the media shows you isn’t a representation of reality. We saw that at the town halls. Their overriding focus is to figure out what conservative white people think about any given issue, and ignore whatever anyone else thinks.
    They’re the real Americans who live in the heartland after all. If these middle aged white folks wearing sweaters are so angry about health care reform, then clearly that is the consensus of the country.
    If minorities, immigrants, union workers, young people, or just liberals in general are in favor of something, they don’t matter at all. They’re not the Real Americans

    This is true, but only to a point. The fact is, people being reasonable and conciliatory are just not as shocking or scandalous, and thus not as good for ratings. The “liberal media” meme, and the tabloidization of news explain more than the deliberate search for what conservatives think. Note how reasonable conservatives just get frozen out as well. Instead, you get the frothing at the mouth brigade like Buchanan and Palin.

  87. 87
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Phoenix Woman #48: Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for the Molly Ivins piece on Camille Paglia. Brilliant. Funny. Right on. Jeeze, I miss Molly.

  88. 88
    Phoebe says:

    mcclaren @72,
    It’s backwards day. When the liberals were out of power, they/we did a shitload of marching and demonstrating, what you call getting up off your ass, mainly against the war, and what did it do? Exactly nothing. It’s done nothing for a very long time. When we got Obama elected, a lot of us registered a lot of voters, and made a ton of calls. That wasn’t very dramatic or theatrical, or photogenic, but it got the job done.

    This what they’re doing? How is it getting the job done? And what is the job, even?

  89. 89
    TenguPhule says:

    And there’s no doubt about the Tea Party movement on this point—they do say what’s on their minds.

    What minds?

  90. 90
    Mark S. says:

    @ morzer

    The other day, there were hundreds of thousands of people marching for immigration reform. They dwarfed the teabaggers in every way. Guess how much reporting the media did on them?

    When Rick Perlstein, Jr. writes Palinland, this will be his opening chapter.

  91. 91
    morzer says:

    @Mark S.

    I fear he will be safely locked away in a dark cell, being waterboarded to write the officially approved ” Usurperland: The Tyranny of Hope”.

  92. 92
    JabbaTheHutaree says:

    Wolf said of the Tea Partiers, “They were stepping up to the plate, when my own liberal privileged fellow demographic habituates were lying around whining”

    It is rare to find someone who speaks as pretentiously as she writes, but at this point Ms Wolf has to be a strong contender for the Oral Pomposity Bowl.

  93. 93
    Nellcote says:

    Naomi Wolf ever been seen in the same room as Lynn deRothchild?

  94. 94
    tensor says:

    The teabagger is willing to get up off his ass and march and demonstrate and get in people’s faces and create a huge scene until someone takes notice.

    As others have noted, we liberals swarmed into the streets by the millions, around the globe, to protest Cheney’s war of aggression against the people of Iraq. And in response, the American media repeated Cheney’s lies, and applauded his dismal banging on the drums of war.

    Remember how a gathering of six hundred teabaggers got national attention? As commenters on Sadly, No! mentioned, a gamer convention will draw tens of thousands, but is not feted by the corporate media as a legitimate political movement. (Luckily, Sarah, Patron Saint of Quitters, walked away laughing with most of the money; every dollar spent on her wardrobe was a dollar not sent to the Republicans.)

    The teabagger is white, male, and angry, and so our corporate media will lionize him (while ignoring how nonsensical are his rants). That alone describes the attention paid to these sagging losers.

  95. 95

    Jesus, with “liberals” or “progressives” like mclaren and Naomi Wolf who the fuck even needs ignorant, teabagging racists? Hey mclaren, why don’t you try pulling your head out of your ass? The teabaggers aren’t doing shit except throwing tantrums, the reason you and Wolf are so enamored of them is that you’re both think that tantrums are way cool and you’re also too dim to realize that the reason these idiots are drawing the attention they do isn’t because of the merits of their beliefs, it’s because there’s a major news network that is run by a former Nixon aide that’s going out of its way to give these idiots every bit of coverage it can and the other networks are following suit because they’re cowards and also because it’s easier than doing real news and informing the public.

    You and Wolf are also apparently too dim to remember the massive protests against the Iraq war seven years ago, probably because the two of you were too busy watching Fox News to actually see any of them. Shit, 50 years ago you and Wolf would have been ignoring the civil rights movement and the March on Washington and calling liberals lazy while praising the John Birch society for their passion and the KKK for the way they got all riled up for lynchings.

  96. 96

    I can’t wait for Naomi Wolf to write her next column where she praises Operation Rescue for their passionate picketing of Planned Parenthood and encouraging violence against abortion providers while condemning Planned Parenthood volunteers for being lazy whiners.

  97. 97
    bago says:

    Mclaren: You’ve been had by the dick Armey. He rented a bunch of buses and drove almost an hour south to pick up a bunch of old retirees from Virginia and Georgia, got some radio personalities to gin them up, fed em, and dropped them on the lawn. Used fox news to force news coverage, and played you like a harp from hell. Literally 2 weeks earlier, a much larger march happened on the Capitol lawn. It was called the National Equality March. It was the gays coming in from all across the country on their own dime. Fox gave it like 2 sentences all day, and therefore it wasn’t what the dc media was talking about. Liberals protesting isn’t news to them. And that’s why you think teabaggers are more politically active, when in fact they’re just bored retired people given a lunch and a bus ride to yell at people.

    The entire teabagger “movement” is just getting cranky old people to do something novel for the beltway media. A shiny new object, for the eyeballs.

    And you bought it, hook, line, and sinker. Just like the rest of the stenographers who are paid quite well to not ask the right sort of questions.

    Glenn Greenwald is quite correct when he identifies crowd-sourcing of news as the best way to bypass the gatekeepers of information.

  98. 98
    Sly says:

    What exactly makes a welfare-supported retiree with a misspelled sign about “exremism” more authentic than a union worker calling his Congressmen to support health care reform?

    Because “authentic” only applies to anything or anyone outside an urban complex. It’s a backhanded appeal to all the manifestations of anti-urban sentiment. Some of that sentiment is fair (mistrust of urban financiers, etc) while some of it isn’t (mistrust of minorities, etc). But authenticity doesn’t make any distinctions between the good and the bad. If you don’t like city folk, regardless of the reason, you are authentic.

    The only reason why the NY/DC complex has glommed onto it is because the notion has received a fair amount of cultural and political capital. Why? I’m not exactly sure. But once an idea becomes part of the consensus, it is difficult to pry out. Largely because the people in that complex are unimaginative and lazy.

    The funny thing is that, in at least local NY politics, its almost the exact opposite: if you aren’t from the NYC metro area, you aren’t a real New Yorker from the standpoint of TPTB. I think you can make similar judgement in places like Boston and Chicago, and other major cities, but I’m not sure if it reaches the same heights as it does here.

  99. 99
    kay says:

    The only reason why the NY/DC complex has glommed onto it is because the notion has received a fair amount of cultural and political capital. Why? I’m not exactly sure. But once an idea becomes part of the consensus, it is difficult to pry out. Largely because the people in that complex are unimaginative and lazy.

    True, and the most amazing part of the whole thing is this: the people who promote this idea and buy this idea (like Wolf and media figures and pundits and “influential” bloggers) are in DC and NY.

    “real America” is appealing because it’s a fiction. They don’t live here, and would never live here.

  100. 100
    Ash Can says:

    “Authenticity,” my happy ass. There’s no analogy between the colored mascots of whites in the 60s and liberals’ teabagger friends of today unless it’s on the basis of racism. The Hamshers and Wolfs are cozying up to teabaggers why? Not as a desperate attempt to prove their ideological open-mindedness, as was the case with whites trying too hard to overcome racial prejudice, but to join forces to defeat the current president’s agenda. And why defeat his agenda? Fill in your favorite excuse here. Anything from “government overspending” to “doesn’t go far enough.” Any excuse will do. It doesn’t matter. None of them make sense. And the reason they don’t make sense is that all they are is a cover for what these disingenuous twits are really thinking and how they really feel.

    I have yet to see a teabagger or firebagger give the reason for defeating Obama’s agenda as being said agenda will actually do harm to this nation, and back this assertion up with anything in any way resembling a reasonable argument. When they start doing that, I’ll start taking them seriously. In the meantime, they can fool themselves all they want.

  101. 101
    Kirk Spencer says:

    The Other Steve – may I copy and
    a) put in my blog;
    b) email to some other folk?

    If so, do you want any of the attributions in there – you, Jinx, or avrider?

  102. 102
    brantl says:

    Goddamit, John McCain was always a Republican hack. Read his goddamn history and you’d know that.

    He ditched his faithful, damaged first wife for his trophy wife. He ditched the US Viet Nam MIAs for his own political well-being (threatening to hit a woman in a wheelchair for her inconvenience in a hall, before a hearing).

    He became a campaign finance “reformer” to rehabilitate his image after getting his ass kicked for roughing the refs for Keating.

    He was a jackass in the service (setting fire to an aircraft carrier by hot dogging, getting shot down by disobeying orders, snagging a power cable by flying to low and wrecking the plane).

    He was going to get thrown out of the Naval Academy, and one of his friends decided to take the hit for him, so that he could graduate fourth from last in his class.

    McCain was always a dick. He was a legacy turd, the same way Bush was, only in the military. He’s a jerk who’s managed to outrun his actual history.

  103. 103
    brantl says:

    And Naomi Wolf can blow me.

  104. 104
    The Truffle says:

    “real America” is appealing because it’s a fiction. They don’t live here, and would never live here.

    WTF is this “real America” they talk about? As a transplanted rural girl, currently living in NYC, I’m tired of this reverse snobbishness coming from these flyover folks who think you’re not a “real” American if you live on either coast.

  105. 105
    jenniebee says:

    Mr Elliot was rational, discreet, polished, but he was not open. There was never any burst of feeling, any warmth of indignation or delight, at the evil or good of others. This, to Anne, was a decided imperfection. Her early impressions were incurable. She prized the frank, the open-hearted, the eager character beyond all others. Warmth and enthusiasm did captivate her still. She felt that she could so much more depend upon the sincerity of those who sometimes looked or said a careless or a hasty thing, than of those whose presence of mind never varied, whose tongue never slipped.

    The inimitable Miss Austen, of course. Really, is there anybody here who doesn’t like Obama better for having said that the Cambridge police acted stupidly? Same thing, it’s just a question of where you set the bar on how much presence of mind, rationality, intelligence and polish must exist in the first place for the burst of feeling to overcome. Our standard is Obama. Their standard is a coke-addled dweeb who thinks that if he writes it in chalk, it must be true, and who can cry on cue. But it’s the same impulse, either way.

  106. 106
    kay says:

    Where the hell were the tens of thousands of people carrying signs and agitating in public for health care reform? Where the hell were the millions of liberals at the town meetings, creating a fuss and getting media attention and shouting down the opposition?

    I don’t know mclaren, but since you and Wolf are in that group, I think you should ask yourselves that question.

    The three letters “TEA” aren’t an accident, and they don’t mean “the brewed beverage”. TEA stands for “taxed enough already”.

    They’re an anti-tax group, mclaren. They’re a deluded anti-tax group, because Obama hasn’t raised taxes on the middle and lower class. He’s lowered their taxes. The only tax increase tea baggers have been subject to has been a tax on cigarettes, and that’s to fund S-CHIP, and was written into legislation prior to when he took office.

    I don’t know how you plan to fund single payer when you’re aligning with an anti-tax group, a group formed with the express purpose of protesting (mythical) tax increases.

    But, ignore all that problematic reality and carry on! They’re Real Americans! Authentic!

  107. 107
    kay says:

    WTF is this “real America” they talk about? As a transplanted rural girl, currently living in NYC, I’m tired of this reverse snobbishness coming from these flyover folks who think you’re not a “real” American if you live on either coast.

    I completely agree, and I don’t think you should accept it any way.

  108. 108
    Kirk Spencer says:

    So-called Real America is, as near as I can tell, people who live in small (less than 5,000 population) towns in flyover states and “me and my friends”. In other words, less than 10% of the US population, of whom all but a handful (me and my friends) the believer has never met; never dealt with to any significant extent.

  109. 109
    russell says:

    Nowhere. The goddamn liberals didn’t do jack. They sat around in their living rooms signing online polls. That’s not authentic. That’s bullshit. And everyone knows it.

    This is a load of crap.

    Over the last several years, liberals / progressives / what have you have put tens to hundreds of thousands of people in the street in opposition to the Iraq war, in support of immigration reform, and other issues.

    What’s bullshit is your comment.

  110. 110
    Kirk Spencer says:

    If a tree falls in a forest, does it make a sound? If 100,000 protesters in favor of health care reform march and the media doesn’t report it, does it really happen?

    Where the hell were the tens of thousands of people carrying signs and agitating in public for health care reform? Where the hell were the millions of liberals at the town meetings, creating a fuss and getting media attention and shouting down the opposition?

    Not getting on the news. But having been part of it, I assure you it happened.

  111. 111
    kay says:

    So-called Real America is, as near as I can tell, people who live in small (less than 5,000 population) towns in flyover states and “me and my friends”. In other words, less than 10% of the US population, of whom all but a handful (me and my friends) the believer has never met; never dealt with to any significant extent.

    It’s exactly the same horseshit that David Brooks, and Chris Mathews, and nearly every mainstream pundit gasbag pushes.

    The teabagger promoters on the Left just discovered what David Brooks has built an entire career around.

    I love how Wolf thinks this is a new and exciting idea that she came up with, and her earnest, educational tone. It was actually the basis of the media hit job Al Gore endured, so I understand completely how she missed it, and now seeks to educate us on Pundit’s Version of Real America.

  112. 112
    Bob L says:

    And there’s no doubt about the Tea Party movement on this point—they do say what’s on their minds

    In a primal rage type of way.

    Clowns like the idiot who wrote this article missed what Tea Bagging is really about; these people are in an incandescent rage about being proved utterly wrong on everything. The eight years of Bush II proved the Dirty Fucking Hippies were right, the continuous mocking from the left rubs it, Obama flaunting his enormous brain and being black rubs it in the fact that they are dependant on government hand outs rubs it in.

    Yes, the tea baggers are authentic on their failure.

  113. 113
    tomvox1 says:

    DougJ: This rings true

    Beg to differ.

    Schmitt cites Jane Hamsher & Naomi Wolf to point to a larger trend of Liberals seeking common cause with the Teabaggers. That is hardly representative and I personally don’t know anyone on the Left who feels this way. To paraphrase George Harrison, when the Teabaggers are on the TeeVee, we turn down the sound and say rude things.

    Schmitt’s concern is a made up confluence, IMO, and serves mainly to prove (once again) that Hamsher is an unprincipled absolutist who will work with anyone out of spite and anger when she doesn’t get exactly what she wants. Remember that when Weigel wrote about her alliance with the Tea Party organizer late in the game, she did not so much “object” as seek to trash Weigel’s character and accuse him of lying…which itself was a lie.

    And Wolf? Well, I may be out of the loop but I feel she is as relevant to today’s political scene as Monica Lewisnky and Vince Foster. The quotes she gives in this piece about Teabaggers & Liberals are, in any case, kinda dumb.

    I do agree with the closing paragraph, though:

    But the real America is at least as likely to be found in the 205 million voting age adults who aren’t Tea Partiers as the few hundred thousand who are. And the rest of that real America, with its own passions and anger and economic pain, is probably a more fruitful area to look for allies on real liberal goals that include inclusion and fairness.

    But the hand wringing and simulated amazement that precedes this reasonable conclusion is not born out by any larger reality than that of the two “Liberals” cited in the article, a pretty meager sample on which to base a trend-spotting thesis.

  114. 114
    Little Dreamer says:

    __

    “Many admired and trusted John McCain in 2000 and later, not because they agreed with him but because he seemed real, and his fits of ill temper made him even more appealing, until suddenly one day he just seemed like a tired Republican hack.”

    Gee, and here all along I thought it was because the non-crazy segment of the population realized putting John, son of Cain in the presidency meant we were going to end up in a unwinnable war in Iran.

    Silly me!

  115. 115
    Little Dreamer says:

    @mcclaren:
    __

    Michael Moore has it right. Those Republicans, they’re evil and corrupt and thuggish…but dammit, they’re willing to get up off their asses and create a furor about what they believe. When the Republicans pick a hill to die on, policy-wise, they die on it. They go all out. The liberals? They never pick a hill to die on, they stand firm until the opposition says, “No, we won’t go for that,” and then the liberals cave and whimper, “Welllll, ooooookayyyyyy,” and the liberals slink away and whine like whipped dogs.

    Last I heard, staying alive was considered a positive trait.

    If Repubs want to pick a hill to die on, I say “go for it” and I hope it’s sooner rather than later.

    By the way, “picking a hill to die on” is not the same as protesting and not being placed on the air. If right-wingers want to get passionately crazy for their deregulated freemarket world of “God is going to provide because I have bootstraps and I know how to pull them and fuck you liberals because you won’t let those who aren’t like me (a protestant evangelical white Republican real American who Jesus is taking to heaven in the rapture) suffer and die” then I hope they turn it up to 50 and blow the fucking wurlitzer speakers pronto!

    Couldn’t happen to a more appropriate group!

  116. 116
    Little Dreamer says:

    Liberals, she says, in words that sound like they belong on Sarah Palin’s Facebook page, have “a cultural problem with self-righteousness and elitism … We look down on people we don’t agree with. It doesn’t serve us well.”

    It’s called NOT reinforcing negative behavior. I don’t want to praise someone who is acting in the interests of those who would seek to destroy what I believe in. I am NOT going to give those interests positive reinforcement. That would be NUTS! That’s tantamount to rearing a child who plays with matches and buying him a dozen boxes of books of matches to help him get started in his hobby (oh yeah, they already do this with guns!).

    Wingnuts are the ones who do offer positive reinforcement to negative interests, they praise the deregulation and moneyed interests who walk all over them and say “please sir, may I have another”? They will never get what they want because they don’t know how to stop kissing robber baron ass.

    What an idiot!

  117. 117
    eemom says:

    Didn’t I tell y’all that Naomi Wolf is a full-of-shit hair tossing drama queen? Why does no one ever listen to me? : (

    She’s a bigger fucking idiot than Jane Hamsher, and that’s some serious fucking idiotry.

  118. 118
    TTT says:

    I am so sick of wingnut bullies and their “me too” pundit cohorts accusing liberals of being condescending elitists.

    Nearly all Americans live in major urban areas on the coasts. Something like 96% of Americans are non-hunters. A majority supported and continues to support Obama. If you think you’re better than those people / regions / positions are, you are BY DEFINITION an elitist.

    The punditocracy will never admit those conclusions, because it is congenitally incapable of finding fault in angry white midwesterners. The electoral college and the newspaper op-ed page are the greatest sources of affirmative action and redistribution of resources in this country’s history–on behalf of empty states and the great amount of dirt and very small amount of people who reside there.

  119. 119

    Liberals, [Naomi Wolf] says… have “a cultural problem with self-righteousness and elitism … We look down on people we don’t agree with. It doesn’t serve us well.”

    Is it just me, or is this the most fucking hilariously oxymoronic ‘progressive’ quote of this whole theater of the absurd, ginned-up PR festival of teabaggery?

    Listen to the fundamental elitism of her prior comment: “They [teabaggers] were stepping up to the plate, when my own liberal privileged fellow demographic habituates were lying around whining.”

    A commenter who has an astonishing problem with self-righteousness and elitism unselfconsciously accusing those elitists to whom SHE considers herself elite (but evidently pals around with)?

    Shorter: While Muffy and I were downing canapés and Long Island Ice Teas on the canapé at her brother’s place on Fire Island, these RUGGED lumpen proletarians were actually GATHERING in public places with crudely made banners to be PHOtOGRAPHED for Faux Nooz!

    As for me, I DO look down on people who are dumbasses and proud of it, who profess a superior “morality” that they never remotely manage to live up to, and who suddenly wake up in middle age with $50K plus salaries and become angry that the political system they had never deigned to participate in hadn’t bothered to read their fucking minds.

    Those assholes, I look down on. Yup.

    So, what am I supposed to do? Accept them as equals? Look UP to them?

    Having never been “privileged” and never having been of the class of Naomi’s peers (nor of Mark Schmitt’s, who selectively uses Wolf’s ravings to speak the words he doesn’t have a large enough thesaurus to bloviate for himself), I have never laid about whining, so I can’t speak to what the gold-plated Ivy-league couch potato might do, except to note that the ‘demographic habituates’ involved do NOT compromise a very large demographic. Or a necessarily significant one.

    About as large a demographic as the teabaggers actually occupy.

    As near as I can tell, this whole media/PR circle jerk is a series of camera tricks on the order of the “crowds” who pulled down Saddam’s statue for the embedded newsies, while all were dwarfed by an all-but-empty city square.

    There’s so much sheer masturbation going on here that you need a spooge rag just to get through it.

    Not all thugs are brainless Sam Adams wannabes. Some carry elite credentials and would rather intimidate through the acrobatics of vocabulary than convince with plain words.

    [insert appropriate epistolary epigram here as epilogue]

  120. 120
    tc125231 says:

    If all the usual BS keeps up, along with the “authentic” meme, the pretense that democracy leads to effective governance in the US will collapse in less than 20 years.

    Lotsa luck on what comes next.

  121. 121
    Montana says:

    I love that they asked for “Public Defenders” (and they thought they could bring down our government), undercover FBI agent, sweet. The simpleton Tea baggers keep missing the point. These are the same whiners that were crying when the McCain/Bailin ticket lost. Now they are crying again because their yelling and screaming (because they are haters not debaters or as others have dubbed them screamers not dreamers) did not stop the health care debate or the bill from passing. They think they can scare, intimidate and force others to go along with them by comments like “This time we came unarmed”, let me tell you something they are not the only ones that are armed and not all ex-military join the fringe militia crazies who don’t pay taxes and run around with face paint in the parks playing commando, the majority are mature and understand that the world is more complicated and grey than the black and white that these simpleton make it out to be and that my friend is the point. Do not cry when regular people openly laugh at your group when they see on TV that your leaders are Sarah Bailin, Orly Taitz, Victoria Jackson, Michele Bachmann and your own turn coat Glenn Beck from the LDS. They do more to discredit you group on TV (powerful) than any of comments on the blog sphere. Yee Haw!

  122. 122
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @FlipYrWhig #82:

    “Liberals causing trouble” doesn’t get results. It’s not fair, but that’s where we stand. I still think that if today’s viewing public saw black people being blasted with hoses, they would by and large root for the people with the hoses.

    Bingo.

    The eras are different. The violence directed against the Civil Rights movement protestors of the 50s and 60s was shocking to a prevailing myth – the myth of American decency – and in the years since then that myth has taken a lot of other hits (as they say it isn’t the years, it’s the mileage). A nation that eagerly watched 24 on Fox is not the same nation which was shocked by Bull Conner.

    The other thing is that during the Civil Rights movement there was real concern by the establishment (including most of the press) that southern racists were objectively helping an external adversary (the Soviet Union) by making us look bad in front of the rest of the world, in an era when the contest between the US and the USSR was perceived to be a lot closer run thing (Sputnik, anybody?) than it later turned out to be. The Cold War context back then made a big difference, especially during the Eisenhower and Kennedy admins.

  123. 123
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    The Cold War context back then made a big difference, especially during the Eisenhower and Kennedy admins.

    That’s the lens through which I see a ton of recent history too. I wholeheartedly agree that a lot of civil rights policy was minted in the context of mitigating more violent unrest. (In essence to say that “we don’t need a revolution here.”) There was a fleetingly predominant ideal that being The Free World meant embracing diversity and pluralism and humaneness and civilization. It was puffery, yes, but it was idealistic. That’s shot to hell.

  124. 124
    urbanmeemaw says:

    Perhaps Ms. Wolfe is trying to “rebrand” herself.

Comments are closed.