Ichabod's Kin
A place for politics, pop culture, and social issues

Tea and No Sympathy

Freud did not say we are just a herd animal. He said we are one with a leader. And therein is the solvent of the celebrated and so-called Tea Party, running on angry fumes whilst hoping and praying for a figurehead. Sarah Palin’s not it, since she’ll take anybody’s money in exchange for a whoopee-speech. They are also looking in other wrong places–among them, notably, the Republican Party.

A foreign visitor asked if the Tea Baggers have the makings of a third party in America; I said no: masquerading as “independent,” they are parasites looking for a host to which to attach themselves. Thank god it’s not the Democrats; the GOP, on the other hand, plays with fire by jumping in on their parades in hopes of snatching a vote or two.

Put another way, the Baggers are Republicans in Independent drag, like Scott Brown, as we now know. When they say throw out the entire government and Congress, they mean Democrats, of which Obama is the face. Everything is their and his fault when in truth the Bag Ladies and Gents are ten years and two presidential terms late with their bile and bluster, having sat on their hands while George W fought wars in the wrong places and sprang the first Stimulus on us. But, oh, never mind.

After all, memories are short when you’re having a good time, busin’ everywhere, waving hostile posters, and pretending to know all about political theory. At heart, “Down With Up” is just about the gist of their nasty little revolution: throw everything up in the air and let God sort it out. I’m reminded of my interview with premier Ky of South Vietnam following that war; after a series of ass-kickings by the North, he discovered that his defense minister’s strategy was based on astrological charts. Political astrology may well be at work in those given to the bitter tea of our day and time .

America was blind-sided by the Tea Party and it is only natural they are still trying to understand it, albeit in an atmosphere of tension and bullying on the part of the latter. It is hardly the first time impudence has intruded on the body politic and this too shall pass, like Spirit Rapping and, more scarily, the Commie witch-hunt led by the drunken, brain-damaged gambling addict, Sen. Joe McCarthy. We need someone like the Army’s Joe Welch and his celebrated retort of many years ago, to say today to our modern Party-ers: have you no decency, sirs and ladies; have you at last no decency?

Had they a real message and plausible solutions, they would certainly have gained at least our thoughtful attention, especially if accompanied by respect for other citizens. But, no, they arrived in cities and towns, ganged up outside meetings of, yes, Democrats, verbally slapping them with jeers and taunts. Why? Because they have no manners and were looking for a fight from the git-go. The rest of us stay away from all such behavior of both the right and the left because we’re careful who we run with.

When divisive elements emerge in societies, it means they were there all along but suddenly found each other. Emboldened by numbers (though a minority) they let fly with irresponsible and reprehensible behavior, each egging on the other with their antics.

At present the Tea Party is flush with apparent success. The rest of society is being civil; they are not. Tea and No Sympathy. They’ve had no setbacks– yet, and the day is coming that we will see how they handle such. In truth, they are riding a wave of shock at measures that were necessary to correct Bush’s Folly. But as the economy rights itself, jobs return and the stock market returns to health, their message will fall on deaf ears. Then when asked if they were once tea-drinkers, they will blush with embarrassment and change the subject.

History will see this as the era of Americans Behaving Badly. For now, the Tea Party will press its takeover of the GOP, a not-so-odd couple but one that will get odder by the day. Certainly they deserve each other.

History is irony if nothing else. Dick Nixon proclaimed a “Silent Majority” that, at last, amounted to nothing. It would be ironic to the max if, in November, those who have been silent while the Baggers misbehaved, were to surprise them by throwing out the real bums in Congress. My money’s on that, since much can happen between now and then.

So go ahead, Bag ladies and gents: wake the sleeping giant.

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