The Widdershins

Posts Tagged ‘Tea Party

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I suppose there are many games of 3D chess one can play, but I often wonder what kind of game Democrats are playing. As the country continues to spiral out of control with full cooperation of the Republican party (Mitch McConnell will not allow a vote on a bipartisan bill to protect Bob Mueller’s investigation), and the institutions are taking on more and more water, virtually all Resistance to Electoral College Baboon has been grassroots driven. (Real grassroots, not astroturfed like the Tea Party 10 years ago. Kochs literally paid for the Tea Party; Soros has not cut any checks.) So while the public is engaging in resistance, organizing massive marches and voting in special elections to kick Dumpists out (in Texas Democrat Beto O’Rourke is within margin of error against Rafael Cruz), I have seen so very little Resistance from our elected officials. If we have one name politician leader it may be Maxine Waters. Maybe add Ted Lieu and Adam Schiff. (Not counting HRC because she is a private citizen.) But almost everyone else is very careful not to rock any boats. Mark Warner told Democrats that if Rosenstein is fired they shouldn’t do anything.

Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election, told a group of Democratic colleagues on Wednesday that they should adhere to a one- or two-day cooling-off period if Trump fires Rosenstein, according to three congressional sources. Rosenstein met Thursday with Trump amid reportsthat the White House is preparing an effort to undermine the deputy attorney general’s credibility.

“The first 24 to 48 hours, if and when that happens, we should stay calm; we should do our best to reach out across the aisle and talk to our colleagues and say, ‘Seriously, we cannot allow this to happen.’ Just don’t go immediately to DEFCON-1,” said a member of Congress who attended the meeting but asked for anonymity to discuss it candidly. “We should not say anything—let the dust settle for a minute. What I took from it is it’s better to build a coalition across the aisle than just to come out guns a-blazing saying, ‘We’ve got to impeach him now.’”

I don’t know what Mark Warner is smoking, but it’s almost like he has been in a coma for the last 20 years and hasn’t seen Republican behavior going back to Newt Gingrich. “Cooling-off period” is something Democrats have been doing for a long long time and look where it’s got us. And Warner he is far from alone. Chuck Schumer went to Kentucky to yuck it up with Mitch McConnell because:

“Actually, the Senate is a pretty collegial place. We don’t dislike each other,” McConnell said. “We have to work together.”

The problem with this is Schumer goes to yuck it up with McConnell while McConnell has virtually single-handedly destroyed the Senate and bipartisanship. But “we don’t dislike each other.” Actually I’d say Republicans have shown nothing but contempt for Democrats for about 20 years and Democrats continue to yuck it up as if we were all just playing a friendly game of Charades. The word “impeachment” has not entered elected Democrats’ lexicon. Many Democrats actually fear that impeaching Trump would just make Republicans really mad and will mean Republicans will try to impeach the next Democrat president. It’s as if none of these people know that Bill Clinton was impeached for lying about infidelity, Republicans spent 8 years trying to impeach Obama, and that President Hillary would have been impeached by March 2016. Meanwhile Republican Pres commits treason, profits off presidency – and “Let’s not overreact because we don’t want to make Republicans mad.” I am so so so disappointed and angry at our political leaders. There are actually no leaders. The Democratic base is angry and afraid of the insanity coming out of DC. And Democratic officials are Treebearding their voters to death. I don’t know what kind of rose-colored glasses they are wearing, but they truly don’t seem to recognize the seriousness of situation we are in, and they are not recognizing the anger of their voters. They think they can harness the grassroots led anger to win at the polls, but they may find themselves consumed by the fire, just like Republicans got scalded by the Tea Party in 2009 and beyond.

Trump Debate

Last Tuesday was quite a day.  Morning broke with Trump implicating Ted Cruz’s father in the Kennedy assassination.  It seems Trump unearthed information from where the Warren Commission never thought to look – the front page of The National Enquirer.

We then witnessed Ted Cruz perform an auto-splenectomy on live television.  During a fifteen minute conniption fit, he sputtered and spewed.  Spleenless, he found it too difficult to go on and he quit the race, but not before almost sending his wife, Heidi, to the mat for a nine-count.  Not once, but twice.

Then we saw John Kasich and his electroshock coiffure quit.  Usually when someone bows out in front of their supporters, there are cries and whimpering of, “No, don’t, oh, no, no.”  Sadly, for Kasich there were crickets – mute crickets – mute crickets wrapped in sound-dampeners.  It was almost as if people were thinking, “Well this took long enough!”

Left standing was Trump in all his orange-hued glory.  The Grand Old Party suddenly became the “Party of Trump” or “PoT”.  How did the Republicans go to PoT?  What went wrong?

There are theories aplenty about the Trump plague.  There are the unsurprising and completely expected “surprising things Trump has revealed about America.”

There is the craziness of the “Trump nihilism” of:  Burn it all down!  Burn it to hell because I don’t have an 85 inch teevee, an Uzi, and ringside WWE season tickets.

Trump Laughing StockWe are hearing about the things the Trumpeters believe.  For instance, 40% believe Obama is hiding something about his past.  Fifty-two percent believe vaccines cause autism.  As expected, 29% believe global warming is a myth.  As any good mainlining Fox News junkies would, a full 50% believe Hillary knew about the Benghazi attack beforehand and chose to do nothing.  Finally, and I find this ghastly, 21% of Trump supporters believe the Newtown massacre was faked.

Let that last one sink in for a moment.  One-fifth of Trump diehards believe twenty beautiful first graders are forever taken and hidden from their aggrieved and inconsolable families as part of a grand scheme to increase gun control.

We have heard from everyone and their dog that Trump’s ascension leaves the Republican Party in an identity crisis.  Such long-suffering punditry has the same erudite insightfulness as predicting the sun to set in the west.

But then I ran upon a chart.  It didn’t get much play, but it’s a chart, in my opinion, explaining Trump’s one-third of the Republican Party.  Here it is:

Trump Poll

When asked, “Is discrimination against whites as big a problem as discrimination against blacks and other minorities,” sixty-eight percent of Tea Partiers and sixty-four percent of all Republicans say, “I agree with that statement.”  Neither Independents nor Democrats join in this bizzarity.Trump Hate

For a pollster, this is a “worldview” question.  It suggests how respondents view their place in the world.  It is how Trump supporters view their world.  It also explains a large part of the PoT primary.

Instead of a typical political message of helping others, Trump’s success is grounded in a promise of “hurting them” – “hurting the others” whoever “they” might be.  Accordingly, anger and fear are self-confirming emotions never leading to self-awareness or discovery.  Trump is undeniably the quintessential leader for such followers.  Racism, like water, always finds its own level.

What’s on your mind today?

 

In the 1300s, Petrarch, the father of the Renaissance, warned:  Five enemies of peace inhabit with us – avarice, ambition, envy, anger, and pride; if these were to be banished, we should infallibly enjoy perpetual peace.Petrarch

What Petrarch didn’t foresee is the boundless financial largesse presenting itself to those promoting these enemies of internal peace – not only promoting, but sowing the seeds of derision in order to give these enemies purchase upon our well-being.

What I’m proposing for your consideration today is a simple premise:  The Bundy Boys, Kim Davis, hatred of Obamacare, resentment of government assistance, essentially the Tea Party platform – are all products of avarice, envy, and anger.  It’s just that simple.  Somewhere along the way, a large portion of our population came to see the world in terms of zero-sum – meaning if someone gains, someone must lose.

For instance, the Bundy Boys, a/k/a Vanilla Isis, a/k/a alQracker engaging in YeeHawd (h/t GAgal and Fredster) out in a snowy Washington state bird refuge, are simply envious, greedy, and mad as hell.  They are angry because the federal government, after paying the owners for the land some hundred years ago, doesn’t see fit to just give these crackpots a windfall by ceding millions of acres to them.

Bundy Bros.What the Bundy Boys don’t seem to understand is that the zero-sum game they so deplore, works both ways.  If the land is given to them and their extremist cohorts, they are taking the land from the rest of us.  It was the same for Daddy Cliven, his failure to pay $1 million for years of grazing fees dictated others had to make up the difference for his scofflaw ways.

While rhetorical criticism was probably not a favorite subject of Ammon Bundy, it appears his logic fails in a half-million ways given his federally enabled loan for $530,000.00.  In any event, his victimization of being tyrannized is suspect given he and his armed friends have been illegally occupying a federal building for four days without a hint of government action or oppression.Kim Davis

Or take Kim Davis – a salary of some $80,000 a year for a high school graduate who has never collected a paycheck outside the government office her mother held or she currently enjoys.  Instead of resigning in protest, she claimed the office as her own personal entitlement to be conducted in accordance with her religious beliefs.  The Bush appointed federal judge correctly pointed out, “The Clerk’s office does not belong to Mrs. Davis, it belongs to the people.”

Or take any objection of the Tea Party, whether it be to Obamacare or need-qualified benefits, it is the same anger based upon a zero-sum fiction.  Somewhere along the way they forgot, if they ever knew, the ethical imperative of helping those in need.

What Petrarch didn’t foresee was the ability of those like Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Rubio, Hannity, Limbaugh, or Alex Jones to flame the fires of avarice, greed, and anger for their own purposes.  What is really rich in the irony is the purposes of these instigators are the same as those they incite – avarice, greed, and the perpetuation of anger since they are the legs of action.

TrumpTheir paychecks, their livelihoods, their multi-million dollar salaries are all directly tied to fomenting the anger that drives the torment of living a life in perpetual resentment of the “other”.

This flirting with extremists, giving them an ear, a nod, and a wink helps Conservatives harness the anger in the electorate.

A poll released this weekend by NBC, Esquire and Survey Monkey found anger is particularly intense among Republicans:  Seventy-seven percent said the news makes them angry at least once a day (compared with 67 percent of Democrats). Seventy-three percent of white Americans are angered daily (vs. 66 percent of Hispanics and 56 percent of African-Americans).

As much as these things change, they remain the same or it does for the 73% of tyrannically oppressed white Americans.  Petrarch was right – and Columbus was still two hundred years in the offing.

 

 

 

By now you have probably heard about Mike Huckabee’s shamelessly disgusting comments invoking the Holocaust to prove he’s up to the job of “presidenting”.   Then there’s Ted Cruz belching a verbal diarrhea by declaring Obama, and by guilty association the U.S., as Witches of McBeththe foremost sponsors of state terrorism.  Rounding out the field and proving it’s never too early to declare demagoguery as a career choice, Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton declared John Kerry a modern-day Pontius Pilate.  Maybe Cotton can ask his pen pal the Ayatollah for advice on how to handle such matters.

And I haven’t even gotten to Donald Trump.  I could go on, but why go to the trouble?  The downward spiral in which Republicans find themselves is the pull of the great porcelain bowl of politics where dead goldfish and human waste are celebrated with one final kerplunk.

You are asking, as am I, “Why would anyone with political walking around sense act so incurably deranged?”  The vapid teevee bobble heads lay the blame to the “Trumping down” of political rhetoric.  There are others who claim it is merely a gambit to get on next week’s Fox debate stage.  Finally, there are those who pull on their black pajamas while watching for the matching helicopter to complete their ensemble and declare the incendiary commenters “truth-tellers”. Just plain lazy, lazy, lazy – so lazy is this lack of analysis, it’s like the mosquito that starved to death stranded at a blood bank.

Chart Republican IdeologyThe real truth about this flame-throwing is simple and can be explained in one question:  Why do bank robbers rob banks?  Because that is where the money is.

The Republicans are infecting the 20-30% of their base with this poisonous rhetoric because that is where the sure-fire voters are.  The angrier you are and the more fearful you are, the likelier you are to vote, donate, or volunteer as per a Pew Foundation Study.

Every politician has a choice between the rhetoric of Column A and Column B.  Column A is a conversation about two divergent, but well-meaning philosophies.  Column B is an apocalyptic confrontation of biblical proportions between good and evil – virtue and sin.  Column B will get you more donations, more press, more social media buzz, more volunteers, and most importantly, more votes.

While I believe there is a certain amount of “Trumping down” of the political discourse – the true reason we are witnessing these sandpaper tongues is fear of being culled from the herd.  If you want to blend in with zebras, you have to make sure your stripes are going in the right direction.  You have to fear the same fears and be angry about the same anger-making issues.  If there isn’t anything that causes fear or anger, you have to conjure them up like so many distempered unicorns.Ideological Silos

What is alarming for the “Sweet 16” is this little fact:  Trump maintains a double-digit lead among voters who identify as very conservative, somewhat conservative and with the Tea Party. Scott Walker is his nearest competitor in most of those metrics.  If you want to rob some votes, you go to where the votes are and that would be those attracted to the foul-smelling stench of the carrion wafting from Trump.

When I was consulting it was relatively simple to check the health of virtually any organization by asking the management team two questions:  How do you spend your time and do you spend it with your high performers or with the lower performing problem causers?  Poor managers spend about 80% of their time with the lowest performing 20% of trouble-makers.  This bottom 20% are the loudest, most vocal, and by far the most destructive force within any organization.  They curse any organization to a never-ending cycle of ever declining mediocrity.

Welcome to the modern-day GOP.  After declaring their problems solved by a post-election autopsy in 2013, just like the Walking Dead, you can’t keep a good zombie down.

Fox DebateNot for a minute do I believe ding-dong Donald will be the Republican nominee.  What I do believe with conviction is that this rhetorical Mariana Trench tour is damaging to the political process especially given the hackney-eyed congressional districts.  Fifty of these gerrymandered, radical know-nothings have hijacked Congress for five years now.  I don’t want to see the same knuckle-dragging fanatics sabotage President Hillary’s first term.

The brilliance of Prince Reince of Priebus was to winnow down the primary field and streamline the process.  So what did he do?  He outsourced those chores to Fox News.  Fox then arbitrarily placed a cut-off at ten participants to be determined by national polling.  As luck and conniving minds would have it, to “Viagracize flaccid poll numbers” ads would need to be run on the sole news source for three-quarters of conservative voters.  Roger Ailes has again proved “being unafraid of being fairly imbalanced” is a great business model.

I hope your day is a good one and please take this conversation in any direction you might like to explore.

Sometimes in the universe an unfathomable convergence of events unfolds that is quite literally inexplicable.  Yesterday was one of those unimaginable intersections no amount of planning could engineer.  July 21st was the ninetieth anniversary of the end of the “Scopes monkey trial” in Dayton, Tennessee.  By pure happenstance, it was also national Masturbation Day in Japan.  And for the proverbial hat trick, Donald Trump was the undisputed leader in polling for the Republican presidential nomination.Red Kangaroo

Go figure?  Was this a fluke?  Perhaps.  Happenstance?  Maybe.  A stroke of luck on the cosmic roulette wheel of randomness?  Quite possibly.  Or was it providential Kismet for a Trumpanzee wearing a kangaroo scrotum as a hairpiece to lead a national poll by engaging in a vulgar display of ego masturbation?

Why would I spend your precious time writing about the Trumpanzee?  Trump’s shenanigans not only hurt the Republican Party, but they hurt the country and all public policy in general.  This is particularly true when we need a robust conversation around real issues affecting real people about all too real problems.

Over the weekend “the Donald” allowed his mouth to again go joyriding without the benefit of a licensed brain.  He insulted John McCain and thousands of other veterans.  What is amazing is that I’m betting this won’t significantly hurt Trump’s numbers.  He is the poster buffoon for a disaffected slice of the Republican Party and while his insult would be cyanide to a normal candidate, it is merely catnip to the Trumpeters.

An explanation you are probably hearing on the teevee is much akin to something you probably heard from your mother, “It’s all well and good until somebody gets hurt and by then it’s too late to stop.”

TrumpIt was all well and good for Trump to call out President Obama about his birth certificate and to blow the “Kenyan dog whistle” until he was more red-faced than usual.  It was all well and good for him to indict an entire race as “rapists and drug dealers”.

Throughout these and other instances, nary a word was heard from any Republican during these episodic displays of bigotry.  Now that Trump has directed his bluster at Republicans, suddenly he is a dangerous public enemy and must be stopped.

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