Sunday, February 13, 2011

How many lumps with your tea?

"Many a bum show has been saved by the flag." George M. Cohan

First, a warm Shebeen welcome to a new follower, Dr. Morbius, who writes an interesting blog on film .

<- This is what we are dealing with these days in America. They are the Tea Party, a hydra of gun nuts, flat earthers, libertarians and people just plain pissed off. They are angry about taxes when in actuality taxes have gone down. Opportunists like Sarah Palin and Eric Cantor have become remoras, running dogs to the tea baggers. They want to undo any progress, and want to 'take America back': to the Gilded Age as far as I can tell. No pesky gummint regulation, no OSHA, no EPA, and back to the gold standard. No health care, no separation of church and state. Crappy misspelled signs littering the landscape. Pick a sample of weirdness that has popped up in America in the last century, and there is a tea bagger for that cause. No FDA, no Public Broadcasting Service, that viper's nest of liberalism; edjumication will be back to the '3 Rs'.

Here is an example of how Tea Party government will work, from Obion County, Tennessee. The city of South Fulton, Tenn. imposes a fee of $75.00 per annum on neighboring county residents for fire department coverage. A man called to report his house was on fire. When the fire department got there,they proceeded to hose down his neighbor's house, and let the burning house burn to the ground. Turns out the man had not paid his fire fee. He tried to pay when they got there, but the heroes said it was too late. He lost everything, including his pets. According to the mayor, people who cannot afford or do not pay the fee are 'out of luck'.

These people have all kinds of whacky concepts. There's birthers, who maintain that President Obama is not an American citizen, and have deluged the Hawaiian records department to such an extent that now the department charges a fee for copies of birth records.

It was not always this way with conservatives. One could sit down, have a drink with conservative colleagues without the screaming. Back in the day, I remember watching William F Buckley on his PBS show, "Firing Line". Quiet , reasoned discussion; unless he was talking to Gore Vidal. Not any more. I place the entry of meanness at the feet of George "Iraq has WMD" Bush, a Texas ward heeler. Look at his administration's reaction when the French passed on the second phase of American adventurism in Iraq.

What will RR and the missus do? We're going to fight them, challenge them in every way until the next elections , in two years. If they win, it means more prisons, more meanness, more getting beaten over the head with religion. Welcome to Amerika.

1 comment:

Barrett Bonden said...

Welcome back. It is the Tea Baggers in particular that forced me into posting "Painful change" recently; their attitudes make it very difficult at the moment to care for USA, the abstraction, (no problem with individuals of course). The Tea Baggers' shrillness and (as you say) mean-spiritedness seems to have nothing in common with the generosity and decency Mrs BB and I encountered in the Pittsburgh and Philadelphia suburbs between 1966 and 1972.

As to the Fire Service I opened the door one day back in Clifton Heights to some thunderous knocking and found a giant dressed in full fireman's regalia, holding a bucket and waving a notice "Give five to Five". Outside in the street was a fire engine with all its light flashing. Even if I'd been disinclined to contribute I would have needed nerves of steel to have resisted this dramatic appeal. Again, the anecdote you post seems to belong to another age which, alas, I suppose is quite possible.

You're right about old-fashioned conservatives. I didn't agree for a moment with William F. Buckley Jr but I used to read his stuff (secretly you understand). I well remember the Vidal vs. Buckley near-punch-up where "lousy faggot" and "crypto Nazi" exchanged educated words. Some years later Vidal said there was a sequel since both were being paid by ABC to comment on a presidential ellection and a slot remained to be filled. To prevent blood being spilled they were filmed in separate rooms.

And thanks for "ward heeler". After all these years I've never bothered to look it up though I knew vaguely what it meant. Today I did look it up: "Machine politician: a politician who belongs to a small clique that controls a political party for private rather than public ends."

All I can say, RR, is fight the good fight. We wish you well.