Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Your weekly dose: Michael Cook

I recently reread Lewis Carroll's, "Alice's Adventures In Wonderland" and its sequel, "Through the Looking Glass".

As I did so, I couldn't help but think if Carroll were alive today, the movement known as the "Tea Partiers" would no doubt serve as inspiration for another sequel to those classic works of political and social satire.

After all, today's Tea Partiers, much like the denizens of Carroll's rabbit hole, live in a parallel universe behind a political looking glass that is as much fantasy and fiction as anything Alice encountered on her journey through "Wonderland."

Let's take a look at just how distorted the Tea Partiers' "behind the looking glass" thinking really is.

Of course to do so begs the question, "Where to begin?"

Let's start with the "Birther" conspiracy. You know, the one many Tea Partiers still cling to that says Barack Obama is an illegitimate president because he was born in Kenya, not Hawaii, and his presidency is the direct result of an international plot hatched on the day Obama was born in some far off, Muslim land by Osama bin Laden's grandfather, or some other evil and nefarious Islamic potentate.

I do believe Bill Hudak, the Tea Party's candidate for congress here in the 6th, is a big subscriber to some variation of that meme.

I have little doubt if today's Tea Partiers had been alive in the 1930's they would have believed, and revered, the Detroit based, nationally syndicated, Nazi apologist, anti-Semitic, Catholic priest, radio shock jock, by the name of Father Coughlin, who revved up that era's Tea Partiers with bogus claims FDR's real name was "Rosenfeld," and that he was an agent of Jewish, Socialist, bankers in Europe determined to destroy America and her capitalist and Christian traditions.

Anyway, on to the next "through the looking glass" Tea Party delusion.

Let's see. How about them there "death panels" Sarah Palin got the Tea Partiers all fired up about?

The Carrollesque irony in Palin's "death panels" meme is the concept that led Palin to lie to her followers and tell them health care reform would result in Obama appointed bureaucrats deciding whether to euthanize or spare little Trig Palin, not to mention Nana and Grandpa, actually has its origins in the fundamentalist Christian administration of George Walker Bush.

The "death panel" meme is the direct result of efforts by both the Bush and Obama administrations to make important "end of life" legal and medical planning something for which Medicare would pay. GW Bush saw it as important for lower income seniors who might not have the financial means to pay for such services out of pocket .

But in the parallel, "behind the looking glass", universe of Sister Sarah Palin and her Tea Party groupies, that benevolent policy aim mutated into an attempt by Obama to carry out an American Holocaust.

Oh, and lest I forget. How about Sister Sarah's Minnesota twin, Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann, exhorting her own Tea Party groupies to break the law and not fill out the Census because it was all part of a plan to identify critics of Obama so they could be later rounded up and placed in domestic versions of Guantanamo where God only knows what horrific fate would await them.

Funny thing though, once Bachmann realized if Minnesotans did not fill out their Census forms her own congressional district, and hence her job, might be eliminated; filling out the Census became a patriotic, almost sacred, duty for her Tea Party constituents to fulfill.

The list of such Tea Party and Palinesque "behind the looking glass" lunacy just goes on and on. It might all be funny if the implications for the nation, perhaps even the world, were not so frightening if people who believe such things, like Bill Hudak here in the 6th, actually obtain real political power in the coming election cycle.

I can assure any and everyone reading this the world is watching, and many people around the globe are aghast that people like Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, and a movement like the Tea Party, seem, at least on the surface, to be the driving forces in American politics today.

We in Gloucester and Newburyport may not be able to do much about what will unfold on the national scene come next November, but we sure as heck can do something about what will happen here. We can make sure John Tierney, as long as the Republicans can't or won't field a better, more viable candidate than a Tea Party conspiracy theorist like Bill Hudak, is returned to Washington to represent the 6th district for another two years.

Not to do so is so unacceptable that it, truly, borders on the unpatriotic.

Michael Cook


Anonymous said...

lots of claims and zero facts, picking up right where you left off last post I see...still claiming that the tea party is full of racists as well or have you moved on?

SJS said...

It's really funny how the most hostile posts are =always= anonymous!

anon2 said...

the above comment doesn't seem hostile at all, certainly not compared to mr. cook's posts.

Gillian Swart said...

anon2, there was one I did not post.

macsurf said...

take a look at the demographics of the Tea Party and listen to a tape of the rhetoric at the convention in Nashville a few months ago.

I am not suggesting ALL people asociated with movement are racists. But to suggest there is not racism, xenophobia, homophobia, and a kind of what I've taken to calling "Christian nationalism", inherent in much of the Tea Party rhtoric and ideology is to be more than naive. It is to be locked in a kind of denial that would make a heroin addict shake his/her head.

A German friend of mine in Costa Rica who's a free lance journalist covering Latin America picked up on it RIGHT AWAY. And sounded all too much to her like the kind of rhetoric the Nazis used to rev people up by scapegoating others for Germany's problems in the waning days of the Weimar Republic.

Anonymous said...

mac, give up. you trivialize racism by claiming everyone that has a different idea than you is a racist. the tea party isn't racist, certainly not homophobic, and aren't nazis. stop making claims that you can't back up with facts. you hurt your own cause because no one will take you seriously.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Surf:

It might be startling for many to discover that the number of African Americans running for elected office this year exceeds the number in any electoral year since Reconstruction....

It might be equally as startling a revelation to realize that the vast majority of these individuals are running as Republicans.

And it might even be seen as disheartening, to those weaned on the fictional narrative spawned by the media arm of the DNC, to discover that the majority of those African-Americans, who are running as Republicans, have sought and received the support of the Tea Party movement.

Sounds as though it might be a nascent racist plot! No?