I'd like to thank everyone for participating in the compelling "Hannity escalation"
. The evolution of the topic there was excellent, and inspiring to watch.
Admittedly, my initial reaction to Hannity's yuckity-yuck closing statement didn't factor into account his all too-well calculated, and
timed-for-effect, sarcasm as much as it should have. However, crafty sarcasm or not, the statement stands as an unfortunate example of the new absurd
lows being achieved in political discourse.
(NOTE: This started as a reply to the original thread, but evolved into a post that, I believe, is worthy of a new thread.)
But more importantly, I believe the evolution of this discussion clarified a rather troubling conspiracy. The conspiracy is the collusion of the media
and both "parties" to demonize and destroy an "unauthorized" grass roots political movement.
We've been given a clear case study of the conspiracy in action, on a silver platter:
(1) The unfortunate comments from Representative Bain,
(2) followed rather deftly by sensationalist ratcheting-up (via distortion) of the comment by conservative entertainers (such as Hannity, but he's
(3) and then amplified by sound-byte media coverage, from various angles on various networks,
Neither political party could tolerate the "Tea Party." It's early incarnation represented actual people demonstrating an ability to think for
themselves, and the result of their startling "thinking" was the notion that the politicians -- not the other party -- are the problem. You can
almost hear them, "Oh crap, that needs to stop, and fast!"
No newsertainment network could tolerate the "Tea Party." People loosing alignment with a ideological mindset are difficult to sway through mere
emotional sound-bytes from angry spittle-spewing pundits, or crybabies with chalkboards. You know you heard them, "Shut up and listen to us
And certainly, the lobbyists and political sponsors couldn't tolerate anything like this "Tea Party" rabble of free thinkers. Let loose the hounds!
You never heard them, but you heard those on whom they spent their money.
So within months of noticing its existence (if not weeks), the strategy to demonize and trivialize the movement was born. Republicans will fuel the
flames via extremist ultra-conservatism (that is their role in this grand game, supply the anger), Democrats will shudder and cry about how terrible
it is (that is their role, supply the sniveling spineless), and the media will sensationalize every bit of it over-and-over-and-over again.
Supply the movement with firebrands - Sarah Palin, yeah, that's it. Demonize it with fear - militia and guns oh my. Cover it all ad-nauseam from
every imaginable angle. And sooner or later, real angry wingnuts with guns and cabins in the woods will join up and shout racist tripe in front of a
news camera with a Tea Party t-shirt and carry absurd signs at rallies.
That's it. Job done. Tea Party ruined. Now what? Oh look, health care reform.
The vacuum of centralized leadership, if not a single charismatic figure, hobbled the movement before it began, and allowed this to happen.
I understand the altruistic dreamers who felt the grass-roots approach had merit and real hope of initiating some kind of change. Maybe in 1950 that
could have worked... but it won't play in 2010. Without a strong backbone and ballsy leadership, the media and politicos had their way.
If there are any of those original altruistic Tea Party people left who are reading this (two if we're lucky), I strongly urge you to gather with
your local people who are of a like-mind. Recognize the fundamental mistake that allowed your fresh young benevolence to die an ugly and bitter death.
Then, cut and run. Distance yourself from the madness. It doesn't matter if the movement has been poisoned to death by interlopers and evil-doers,
the perception has been solidified. Done. Party over... all that's left are the ugly dry and putrid leaves at the bottom of a grungy cracked tea
But when you cut and run, do so with as many like-minded people with all the other local grass-roots groups across the country as you can muster.
Condense your issues down to five (or less) easy-to-express core problems that need immediate correction. Find an inspiring leader who shares your
passion and is so eloquent as to make Hannity and his ilk seem like knuckle-dragging illiterate buffoons. And get it done.
Fell free to use the name previously dreamed up in the thread -- R.O.A.R. - Reform Our American Republic. Take it if you like it... or not, there may
certainly be something better (though that's pretty damn good
Most importantly, please understand that while Tea Party is over, the movement must continue. ROAR loud my friends, roar loud.