Mike the Mad Biologist

How the Tea Party Monster Was Created

One of the things to remember about the Tea Party Uruk-hai who run the Republican Party make up the shock troops of the GOP is that they were manufactured–just like the orcs in the Lord of the Rings. Comrade Driftglass explains:

Conservatives built this monster.

It didn’t just wander out of the woods one day, or land here from another planet. The Wingnut Base — whatever teabagger, Colonial Williamsburg camouflage they’re sporting this week, and however hard the media tries to pretend they aren’t who we know they are — was manufactured by the Conservative Movement to win elections. Made right here in the U S of A out of spare parts left over from the Segregationist South, Right-wing fundamentalism, Bircher paranoia and general Archie Bunker pig-ignorance.

Conservatives built the unholy thing, programmed it, wounded it up and sent it out to do their bidding.

And everyone knows it. David Brooks knows it. David Gregory. Tom Friedman. David Frum. The goofs at the “No Labels” freakshow. The entire GOP Brain Caste.

Everybody.

This is the same monster that never gave a shit that Reagan/Bush were running up historic deficits, or sold weapons to terrorists to finance illegal wars. The same monster that hunted and impeached Clinton. The same monster that completely looses its shit over “activist judges”…right up until five of the most malignantly activist judges in modern history put their candidate in the White House and gave corporations the right to buy elections.

The same monster that cheered on George W. Bush’s serial, catastrophic betrayals and failures while it called Liberals “traitor”.

The same monster that dutifully gets its opinions from Rush Limbaugh, its “news” from Sean Hannity and its Jebus from Pat Robertson.

And everyone knows it.

…Nixon would of course be considered a filthy Commie Liberal by the monster his strategies created and would have to carry Pat Buchanan in front of him like the Ark of the Wingnut Covenant if he wanted to get into CPAC.

And everyone knows it.

Everyone also knows that calling your Conservative member of Congress isn’t going to budge them, because your Conservative member of Congress owes his or her job to the monster.

Nothing short of an extinction-level event is going to change the monster’s course or ferocity: it is quite mad in exactly the way its designers intended. It has no capacity whatsoever to correct or even recognize its own madness, which means it is never going to recover.

So please stop trying to reason with it.

And here is a case study in how the psychiatric wing of the GOP, the batshitloonitarians, and the theopolitical right were enabled:

In the spring of 2010, GOP Speaker of the House gave some fatherly advice to a fellow conservative facing a primary challenge and a series of increasingly bizarre questions from constituents. Boehner’s advice was a distillation of twenty years of tactics from the rational, but increasingly cynical Republican insiders who had up to that point survived the rising tide of weird that has destroyed so much of the Party’s core.

He gave the advice to Rep. Bob Inglis, one of the young Turks of the last great Republican wave in 1994. Inglis asked Boehner what he should do about committed Republican constituents who were repeating to him some wildly inaccurate crap they had heard on TV, radio, and the Internet. Inglis described some of the encounters:

“They say, ‘Bob, what don’t you get? Barack Obama is a socialist, communist Marxist who wants to destroy the American economy so he can take over as dictator. Health care is part of that. And he wants to open up the Mexican border and turn [the US] into a Muslim nation.'”

And the best one:

“I sat down, and they said on the back of your Social Security card, there’s a number. That number indicates the bank that bought you when you were born based on a projection of your life’s earnings, and you are collateral. We are all collateral for the banks. I have this look like, “What the heck are you talking about?” I’m trying to hide that look and look clueless. I figured clueless was better than argumentative. So they said, “You don’t know this?! You are a member of Congress, and you don’t know this?!” And I said, “Please forgive me. I’m just ignorant of these things.” And then of course, it turned into something about the Federal Reserve and the Bilderbergers and all that stuff. And now you have the feeling of anti-Semitism here coming in, mixing in. Wow.”

Boehner’s advice was to give them platitudes and let them be, “I would have told them that it’s not quite that bad. We disagree with him [Obama] on the issues.” Don’t confront them or try to correct any of the dangerous lies they were repeating. Don’t try to lead. Inglis was stunned by the advice.

…Boehner is typical of this bunch. His ambition long ago overwhelmed his good sense. His reasoning has been that he gets to keep his very good job, no matter what happens to yours, so long as he carefully patronizes the nutjob fringe. Throughout the rise of the Tea Party he remained convinced that he could manage the mob. Republican politics in our time is drowning in the delusion that we can harness the lowest tactics to achieve the highest ends. In other words, the Party is controlled by people blindly convinced that their own success is what’s best for the country.

While that’s a good description of Boehner, this is nothing new for Republicans: there was a reason they made pilgrimage for decades every presidential election to segregationist Bob Jones University–and it wasn’t to laud them for their innovative curriculum.

They are finally reaping what they have sown. Unfortunately, they’re taking the rest of us down with them.

Comments

  1. #1 Pierce R. Butler
    July 31, 2011

    At least Victor Frankenstein made a good-faith effort to undo his mistake.

  2. #2 Rob Jase
    July 31, 2011

    At least Frankenstein’s moster was literate and well-read.

  3. #3 NadePaulKuciGravMcKi
    July 31, 2011

    Tea Party furious as they learn September 11 facts.

  4. #4 Raven0rb
    July 31, 2011

    “Placate / Ignore them” up until the point that their numbers in the House are big enough that one of them gets nominated for Speaker’s spot. Boehner’s ambition / ineptitude may bite him in the ass if a coup is achieved. People worry about “What if a Prez Bachman/Palin” — but what if a Teatard slimes it’s way in to the Speaker’s position?

  5. #5 Zeno
    July 31, 2011

    And Bob Inglis was defeated in the GOP primary for not being crazy enough.

  6. #6 albanaeon
    July 31, 2011

    I am going to steal Teaparty Uruk-Hai. Best description of them yet. Created entirely and only to destroy the world or men to put their dark overlords in charge. Who will happily destroy them when it becomes necessary.

  7. #7 Jim Hardy
    July 31, 2011

    There is a reason that Biologists should not discuss politics, because that is the hand that feeds them.

  8. #8 Tree
    July 31, 2011

    My father served in Occupied Germany where he met my mother…who had (like everyone else who wished to avoid disappearing in the middle of the night) been in the Hitler Youth. She had lots of odd ideas about Genetics and I really think that one of the reasons I became a biologist was just to counteract her batshittery. I attended George Mason University, a school with a reputation for Conservative politics and learned not just the name of every plant and critter but Economics, Policy and Politics. Because. You can’t do Biology very well until you understand that some fuzzy headed demagogue will pray the wrath of God down upon your project if your results call into question his or her favorite bit of woo. Results and evidence-based prescriptions are no longer enough. To operate as a professional you must also have a grasp of the political realities.

  9. #9 Tony P
    July 31, 2011

    They will always be Tea Baggers to me. Why?

    Because if you view early clips of them on YouTube, with their hats festooned with tea bags etc, they proudly called THEMSELVES Tea Baggers.

    It drives them nuts now if you call them that. Watch as they accuse you of using sexual innuendo. And then laugh heartily as you explain that they CHOSE that name.

  10. #10 Billy-Bob Kenobi
    August 1, 2011

    Because if you view early clips of them on YouTube, with their hats festooned with tea bags etc, they proudly called THEMSELVES Tea Baggers.

    They meant it in the Urban Dictionary sense, too — at least until liberals started pointing at the “Tea bag Obama!” signs and snickering.

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