Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Tea Time, Avec Beignets

Oh boy, the Flying Monkeys of the Teabagger Uprising sure aren't gonna like this.

"This" being a tremendous Op-Ed today in that dreaded Obama-lovin', liberal media fortress, The New York Times, bringing attention to their rabble-rousing, and the parallels to the French revolt, in the 1950's.

Robert Zaretsky's "The Tea Party Last Time", will, (or should) have a lot of heads being scratched down in Nashville this weekend.

MORE than 100,000 angry citizens united in the nation’s capital to take their country back: back from the tax collector and the political and financial elites, back from bureaucrats and backroom wheelers and dealers and, more elusively and alarmingly, back from those who, well, were not like them.

These weren’t the incensed Americans who helped elect Scott Brown in the Massachusetts Senate race and who rallied around conservative candidates in the Illinois primary on Tuesday; this scene didn’t take place at the Tea Party demonstration in Washington last year. These protesters were gathered in France a half-century ago: Last week was the 55th anniversary of the mass demonstration in Paris of the Poujadist movement, a phenomenon that bears a close resemblance to our own Tea Party. For a brief moment, the movement threatened the very foundations of the French Republic. A comparison between France then and America now may be instructive.


During the subsequent national elections, the Poujadists bulldozed their way into town meetings, shouting down opposing candidates and threatening violence: a grim rehearsal for Tea Party tactics during last year’s health care debates. Their tactics, if not their platform — they did not, in fact, have one — worked. Poujade’s party won more than 10 percent of the votes, taking more than 50 seats in the National Assembly.

The election, though, proved to be Poujade’s swan song. He had demanded the nation’s ear, but once he and his fellow deputies had it, they had nothing substantive to say. Slogans and placards were poor preparation for governance, and the group’s rank and file soon either retreated from the political arena or joined the traditional right.


Historical parallelism is the duct tape of my profession: we apply it to the most disparate things. Sooner or later the tape frays, revealing unique fissures that require individual attention. Perhaps this is the case with the Poujadists and the Tea Partiers. Saint-Céré is far from Wasilla, Alaska; questioning Mendès-France’s origins is not quite the same as demanding President Obama’s birth certificate; the mendacity in the claim of France’s imminent coca-colonization is of a different order from that concerning the misinformation about death panels in the United States. In both instances, however, the despair and disconnect with politics seem similarly great and real, as does the common tendency to grasp for simple solutions to complex problems.

Tea Party activists might find it infuriating ever to be compared to the nation they consider the anti-America. But French observers of our country may be forgiven if they feel a certain déjà vu when they see a movement that brings nothing to the ballot box except anger.
Sacre bleu!

PrairieWeather says "In the end, the Tea Party fizzles";
Therein lies the problem for the Tea Party. As long as they reside in a fantasy land of alien, illicit presidents, elitists, and vague socialist threats, they will continue to alienate the majority of voters.

And, Will Bunch, over on Attytood, with his "Vivent longtemps la partie de thé!;
Today in America, we're seeing this already play out to some degree even before the fall 2010 elections, thanks in part to the fulcrum shift between the 60 and now (technically, as of Feb. 11) 59 Democratic votes in the Senate. People wondered if and how Obama would "pivot" in the State of the Union and related events, and I think the pivot was trying to place more responsibility on the GOP something, anything. The "Party of No" may be offering a tiny ray of hope to the Democrats by giving them a chance now to run in November against the "do-nothing 41." (Although voters can and should also ask the Dems why they did absolutely nothing during those months that they had a supermajority.)

The other interesting parallel: Who is the Tea Party/GOP deGaulle? doubt this mass movement would rather rally behind an authoritative leader than all the hard work of holding rallies, carrying signs, etc. But who is that person? Sarah Palin? I think she'd only run for the job if they raised the presidential salary to at least $5 mil, right?

So, what's a saggin', non-swaggin' Teabagger to do?

They would rather be boiled in oil, with Freedom Fries, than line themselves up with beret-wearing, stinky cheese-eaters.

I don't know why I'm doing this, but I think we can bail them out.

And, they can stay in-character, all Apple Pie, jingoistic, Americana.

They need to go out, rent, and have a group viewing of 'Meet John Doe', one of the lesser shown Capra classics.

Wikipedia describes it as "The film, about a "grassroots" political campaign, created unwittingly by a newspaper columnist and pursued by a wealthy businessman."

Apple doesn't fall far from the Teabag Tree, does it?

Substitute "newspaper columnist" with a feces-throwing army of Right Wing Freak Show, and NeoNitWit Flying Monkeys, and replace "wealthy businessman" with "wealthy businessmen", the likes of Dick Armey, and all the other front-companies for the PartyofNoicans, as well as Rupert Murdoch, Roger Ailes, and the pool of smegma over on Faux News.

It's like a living, breathing remake of the movie, right before our eyes.

Well ... Almost ...

They'll need someone, like this, to step up, and pull the curtain back;

Meet John Doe: speech scene

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