September 3, 2010

Freedom's Just Another Word for Nothing Left to Lose

Marc Comtois

A lot has been said about the August 28th rally on the Mall last weekend. As a non-Beck guy (not anti- just agnostic) and having a lot to do last weekend, I frankly didn't pay too much attention to the event and the aftermath. Now that I've caught up a bit, I think Rich Lowry is pretty close in what it's all about:

This was the revolt of the bourgeois, of the responsible, of the orderly, of people profoundly at peace with the traditional mores of American society.
In other words, it's not a revolt so much as a retrenchment. While I think Lowry conflates the 8/28 and Tea Party movements a bit--it seems there may be some differences of emphasis (morals/tradition/religion or fiscal concerns, respectively)--they are pretty much the same bunch of people--average, middle-class Americans who our coastal/beltway elites like to call the bourgeois. Lowry continues:
For more than a hundred years, the bourgeois have been accused of being insipid, greedy, and unenlightened. To the long catalogue of their offenses can now be added another: unenthralled by Barack Obama, the Romantic hero seeking to transform the nation.

The tea party represents a revolt against his revolution, and thus a restoration. If a tea-party-infused Republican party were to take Congress and manage to cut federal expenditures by a sharp one-fifth, that figure would only be back to its typical level of recent decades of roughly 20 percent of GDP. If the party were to succeed in making the federal government more mindful of its constitutional limits, it would only be a step toward the dispensation that obtained during most of the country’s history.

Quite a revolt! Something about standing athwart History comes to mind....But Republicans shouldn't get too full of themselves, no matter what the current over/under on November looks like:
The last time Republicans benefited from a wave election, they had their own Beckian figure at the top in the person of House Speaker Newt Gingrich. They wallowed in their revolution and let Gingrich’s ideological grandeur define them — to their regret in the end. If the wave comes this time, Republicans should endeavor to be a sober and responsible party for sober and responsible people, resolutely cleaning up after the failed Obama revolution.
As the last two "wave" elections--one each won by the GOP and the Democrats--have shown, the quickest way for a political party to undercut such a win is to display vast quantities of hubris in the wake of a supposed mandate. In each case, the party that won went too far, reneged on promises or decided that ideals were worth sacrificing for the mirage of long term power. Americans want change, but not that kind or that much.

Now we see average folks clamoring for something else, anything else, to stop what they believe is a disaster in the making. They don't like the direction the country is taking politically so they've started Tea Parties. They don't like the long cultural decline so they find themselves inspired to hold a rally on the Mall. In short, average folks--the silent majority--are speaking up like never before. They've got nothing left to lose.

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Check out this Op/ed piece about who's bankrolling the tea party

Posted by: Phil at September 3, 2010 5:55 PM


Since your a non-Beck guy maybe you read Jane Mayer's article in the New Yorker titled Covert Operations.

Posted by: Phil at September 3, 2010 6:02 PM

There is no such thing as "bankrolling the tea party" as there is no one tea party. It is a movement comprised of thousands of individual groups. The tea party is akin to a starfish- cut off an arm and another will grow. There is no stopping such an amorphous group of individuals who are viscerally bound by the same American principles instilled in them since birth. And there sure ain't no "bankrolling" of it; maybe some individual group but not the movement.

Posted by: Madmom at September 3, 2010 6:34 PM


I used the term tea party because Mark wrote this:

Now we see average folks clamoring for something else, anything else, to stop what they believe is a disaster in the making. They don't like the direction the country is taking politically so they've started Tea Parties. They don't like the long cultural decline so they find themselves inspired to hold a rally on the Mall. In short, average folks--the silent majority--are speaking up like never before. They've got nothing left to lose.

Read the op/ed piece and the article if you're interested.

Posted by: Phil at September 3, 2010 6:55 PM


Shellfishermen hate starfish. They consume huge quantities of juvenile clams and oysters. The old timers bring their caught starfish back to the shore and dump them on the beach to die in the sun. I can't work up that kind of hatred but I do try to prevent them from getting at my oysters.

Posted by: Phil at September 3, 2010 7:02 PM

"America is better than Glenn Beck. For all of his celebrity, Mr. Beck is an ignorant, divisive, pathetic figure....a provocateur who likes to play with matches in the tinderbox of racial and ethnic confrontation. He seems oblivious to the real danger of his execrable behavior.

Facts and reality mean nothing to Beck. And there is no road too low for him to slither upon....He makes you want to take a shower"

Bob Herbert

Posted by: Sammy at September 3, 2010 7:47 PM

Petty, contentious people, wasting time arguing about isms and schisms.

Posted by: Bored at September 3, 2010 9:34 PM

I hear Kerry King was there, he likes dodging taxes, and isn't that what the tea pretty was about.

Posted by: Swazool at September 3, 2010 9:34 PM

Who's "bankrolling" the tea party?Who cares,Phil?The numbers of people protesting at tea party,8/28/or 9/12 events speaks for itself-no amount of money could bring out the discontent if it weren't there.
I don't belong to any of these movements,but I am definitely against this administartion and the "leadership"in Congress.
Obama and Pelosi are ramrodding through legislation that a lot of legislators,let alone the average voter,have a hard time understanding.It's an attitude of "we know what's good for you,so shut up and bow your heads".F**k that.
BTW Phil,who bankrolled Soros,one of the most evil men on Earth.
If the Obama program gets bitch-slapped in this upcoming election,I hope the new wave won't repeat the mistakes of 1994,when Gingrich was handed a lot of trust and squandered it,partly though base personal behavior.Kinda like Clinton.
Anyone who doesn't vote has no beef either way.

Posted by: joe bernstein at September 4, 2010 9:36 AM

"Petty, contentious people, wasting time arguing about isms and schisms."

That is a nice way to put it. Pseudo-intellectual white people who think they know the constitution, who are fun to watch and listen to, but take with a grain of salt.

They do give the late night and Saturday night live writers a ton of fodder though.

Posted by: coffee at September 4, 2010 10:12 AM

You called Soros "one of the most evil men on Earth" but never explained why? You expressed no opinion of the Koch brothers, the subject of Phil's thread, and brought Soros into the argument.

I wonder why you have expressed no opinion of them since they are the subject of Phil's thread and engaged in similar activities as Soros. Can you help me by explaining the difference between the brothers and Soros; and why Soros is so evil while the Koch brothers get a pass?

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at September 4, 2010 10:16 AM

You sound an awfully lot like Susan from Providence. But be that as it may, who fed you the Starfish and the Spider to chew on and regurgitate into this argument?

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at September 4, 2010 10:21 AM

Why is it that the "Million Man March" of black people was lauded by the press, while a gathering of white people on the Mall is a matter for contempt?

As to religiosity, wasn't Dr. King a minister? Some might say there was some confusion about morals in his private life.

Posted by: Warrington Faust at September 4, 2010 10:21 AM

People who made up this past Tea Party event and and those who made up the Million Man March are very similar in the fact that they are both fringe groups, who find a pulpit to rally around and gather a few weak minded scared individuals who just want to be a part of something. It is a watered down version of a cult. Different messages, but same tactics.

Posted by: coffee at September 4, 2010 11:42 AM

Hmmm, you boys sound like you've got Alinsky's Rules for radicals down cold. Pick a target, a human target.

Use turnspeak to accuse (even falsely) the other side of engaging in what you've been doing all along, with your left wing Astroturf "community groups" like Acorn. Check out The Colorado Model. What's good for the goose is good for the gander. Joe is right on when he notes Soros' bankrolling of leftist "advocacy groups" for years.

The difference with the tea party is that it is a spontaneous uprising of everyday Americans who recognize that our country is, and has been, heading in the wrong direction, away from the rights of the individual and towards a collectivist mentality which breeds mediocrity. If monied individuals now see the unfettered power in that spirit and want to spend their money to promote its agenda, then I say bring it on! There's no stopping this train.

Posted by: Madmom at September 4, 2010 11:51 AM

Listen to the liberals wasting their breath
Just wait until November, then let's see what they have to say.

Posted by: Mike Cappelli at September 4, 2010 1:25 PM

I like this title of this post. It comes from the Janis Joplin song "Me and Bobby McGee"
I’ve heard about how much fun you guys have having with your conventions and protests. It seems like it would be a lot like Woodstock except geared to middle aged white people and no music. Plus, it must be pretty neat to get all that free Fox-News swag. And it gets you out of the house. That’s important too.

So I’m all for you having your fun, but just don't confuse hobbies with relevance.

Posted by: coffee at September 4, 2010 1:25 PM

Soros was a collaborator with the Nazis,turning in other Jews,while getting his start in life.
I don't really care about the Koch brothers,okay?
I'm not here trying to be evenhanded.Soros makes money by playing with currencies and destroying millions of lives.
Then he funds some useful idiots like moveon and the gun control scum led by that woman named Rebecca Peters at the UN and dons the mask of humantarian.
Who are you to demand me to address something?You frequently sidestep anything inconvenient or use that tired old"freely deny" line.
if you want to know the truth,I don't even know who the Koch brothers are,and since I'm not with the Tea Party,I don't give a hoot.

Posted by: joe bernstein at September 4, 2010 1:33 PM

Joe -

Are you referring to Schwartz/Soros working for the Jewish Council in Hungary when the Nazis took over in 1944? He was a 13 and doing what he was told. They instructed those little kids to hand out 'deportation notices'.

To me, that does not define the character of an 80 year old as 'evil'.

Posted by: Robert Balliot at September 4, 2010 2:33 PM

If the GOP wants to build a lasting majority, aiding and abetting the Tea Party won't do it. If Nevada Republicans had elected a rational Senate nominee, Harry Reid would have his bags packed right now. Kentucky should not even be in play for the Democrats, but with a nutty like Rand Paul on the ballot...the GOP will live to lament some missed opportunities come November, whether it takes Congress or not.
This whole setup reminds me of 30 years ago, when the Moral Majority was strutting around with the same sense of entitlement the Tea Party is right now. The Moral Majority candidates won, but proved utterly incapable of governing. The Dems won big two years later, and by '86 they took back the Senate after the Class of '80 and its pious drivel was sent home..

Posted by: rhody at September 4, 2010 4:15 PM

This thread is precious. Why do liberals always obsess over and smear the very things they "claim" as irrelevant? It's quite funny really.

The truly amazing thing about Glen Beck and his impact is that he's on at 5 o'clock in the afternoon. I rarely get to see his show but when I do I find his opinions to be on the money about this nation, the village idiot in the WH and the destructive national path we are on. The liberal media smear machine only makes Beck more popular because Beck takes the very lies these libs spew and refutes them time after time after time. Fell off the couch laughing when Beck made a fool out of Joe Klein. Beck showed a clip of Joey yammering on the Chris Matthews show about the DC mall gathering and how the vibe reminded him of an America when we rounded up Japanese Americans and interned them in camps during WWll. Beck then pointed out how it was BIG GOVERNMENT PROGRESSIVES (like Joe Klein) in the WH who ordered the internment not only of Japanese Americans but German Americans and Italian Americans also.
Ooops for Joe!! lol
BTW, the rally on the mall was not a tea party gathering at all. It was more like a religious revival. I found the participants both on and off stage to mirror the image of America...all religions...all colors....all proud Americans.

Quoting Bob Herbert?? Why do you libs think anyone (other than yourselves of course) is impressed with these card carrying members of the NY Times op/ed page?? I suppose we should be happy they finally allowed one black on the team of liberal white Manhattenites, no?
Oh how they care

Posted by: Tim at September 4, 2010 4:37 PM

Tim-actually they allowed two Blacks there-Charles Blow is the other.
Mr.Balliot-Under Jewish law,a 13 year old is an adult.Of course Soros is a Godless animal,but nevertheless if Ann Frank could figure out right and wrong so could he.
Whenever Soros leaves this earth I'll consider it a personal holiday.Ruth Bader Ginsburg too.
I taped Ron Kuby crying big drippy tears over the passing of William Kunstler-good cheery stuff for dreary days.

Posted by: joe bernstein at September 4, 2010 6:24 PM

Your ganglia are exposed again. I didn't "demand" anything from you. I don't demand anything from you. I asked a couple of questions and tried to engage you in a dialog. If you say you have answered them, so be it.

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at September 4, 2010 6:45 PM

- the silent majority-? Marc, where were the silent ones during the last election? The election that was this country's last real political referendum. Were the silent majority unable to rouse themselves for an election about the course forward concerning two full scale wars that had ground on for years? Were they equally uninterested in a tanking economy? Did they just decide they had better things to do on election day? Silent majority? I know its a Nixon term, but it probably can be applied to the present administration and not a noisy minority.

Considering the facts that we are in the midst of war and recession and fear and superstition- when the going gets tough, the cowardly go to tea parties.

Posted by: David S at September 4, 2010 7:26 PM

David S-listen to yourself.War and recession-never went together before.
Maybe because we don't make anything here anymore.

Posted by: joe bernstein at September 4, 2010 9:37 PM

Nevada is still in a dead heat,given the usual margin of error.
Imagine a nut like Sharon Angle actually having a shot at the majority leader's seat.A more normal republican would be a walk in.The only thing is that she's no worse than Al Franken.
Rand Paul might get elected in Kentucky,aprtly based on his relationship to Ron Paul,and the fact that Sen.Bunning was to the right of Genghis Khan.Bunning disgraced himself just like Jack Reed did vis a vis the money from the bankers while he served on the committee with oversight.
Point is,that Kentucky is pretty conservative.
The race I'm really interested in is the Boxer-Fiorina matchup..Boxer is a disease.

Posted by: joe bernstein at September 4, 2010 9:44 PM

If Boxer is a disease, Fiorina is the Black Plague.

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at September 5, 2010 12:31 PM

"which I freely deny"
Actually I don't know Fiorina from a box of Post Toasties,but I HATE Barbara Boxer.
I graduated high school with her future sister in law.
Barbara was two years ahead of me so i didn't know her,but people who did think she's dirt stupid.

Posted by: joe bernstein at September 5, 2010 1:52 PM

Unclear exactly which you deny, Boxer as a disease or Fiorina as The Black Plague. Since both are assertions, both may be denied. That was the point of my original post. Thanks for the confirmation.

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at September 5, 2010 5:59 PM

OTL-here it is in a nutshell-Boxer still sounds like she probably did when she ran for student government at Wingate HS.I bet she'd sh*t her drawers if she knew our school was named for the foundwer of the NRA.LOL.
I know Fiorina was a big corporate type-but believe me,I'd vote for Joe Sh*t the Ragman over Boxer.
Being a veteran,you know that name I'm sure.Like Bum F**k Egypt

Posted by: joe bernstein at September 5, 2010 8:21 PM

It can't happen here?

6. Ur-Fascism derives from individual or social frustration.

That is why one of the most typical features of the historical fascism was the appeal to a frustrated middle class, a class suffering from an economic crisis or feelings of political humiliation, and frightened by the pressure of lower social groups. In our time, when the old "proletarians" are becoming petty bourgeois (and the lumpen are largely excluded from the political scene), the fascism of tomorrow will find its audience in this new majority.

Posted by: Russ at September 7, 2010 2:03 PM
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