Sunday Open Thread [6.22.2014]

Filed in Open Thread by on June 22, 2014

What a gorgeous weekend! The Clifford Brown Jazz Festival came to a really fun end last night. This festival is my favorite Wilmington thing (even though they’ve changed the programming to more smooth jazz).

Today’s must read piece is by William Rivers Pitt: They Belong in Prison, Not on TV. Mr. Pitt captures a good deal of the anger that many people feel in having the Iraq War re-litigated by the same crew that was dead wrong on this thing from the get-go:

Let me put it plainly: these people do not belong on my television. They belong in prison, for the crimes of theft, torture and murder. They shattered the lives of thousands of American soldiers and millions of Iraqi civilians. They savaged the American economy paying for it all, and several of them got very rich in the process. They should be in orange jumpsuits and fetters, picking mealworms out of their gruel while shuttered in very small, very grim, very inescapable metal rooms.

Make it so!

Here’s another great read: Tea Party’s embarrassing irony: How its ideal nation rejects basic American beliefs. This has been pretty plain to most of us who have been watching these folks have their temper tantrum, but:

What I’d argue, rather, is that the Tea Party’s philosophy of government (again, as understood by Salam) has embedded within it an aversion to basic democratic principles that goes far beyond a typical contempt for Washington, politicians and pundits. When Salam writes that Teatopia is founded on a commitment to a “robust federalism” intended to let “different states … offer different visions of the good life” and allow citizens to “vote with their feet” by moving to whichever state best reflects their values, he’s not describing a common aversion to corruption or a distaste for political theater. He’s describing a childish and essentially anti-political belief that a return to an Articles of Confederation-style U.S. order — in which each state is more of a sovereign unto itself than a member of a larger American whole — will produce 50 mini-nations where everyone basically agrees.

And a great comment to this article rescued here:

You’re overthinking this. The Tea Party is mostly just a geographic experiment to steal elections gone wrong. For the last 30 years Republicans have been creating absurdly gerrymandered Congressional districts and corralling every right-wing nut-job in the country into them (about fifty districts by my count). Unfortunately, they’ve been so successful in rounding up these crazies and riling them up that they’ve lost political control over them– the inmates have taken over the asylum. These anarchic districts started making angry (and mostly non-sensical) noise when Obama was elected in 2008. But: when Obama was re-elected in 2012 a large percentage of this conservative population went literally insane…. and they’re still crazy today. These people can’t stand the idea of Obama in the White House and would rather burn the country down than see someone “like” him run it.

The Tea Party doesn’t really have an intellectual thesis or care much about Wall Street, the Constitution, or anything else much. They’re only concerned with “freedom”….. the freedom to hate our president and our government (and in fact, most of all other Americans not like them).

As for Rand Paul: he’s just another political huckster opportunist taking advantage of the rubes.

This would be my view, completely.

What interests you today?

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  1. puck says:

    Bobby Jindal speaking at Ralph Reed’s wackapalooza:

    “I can sense right now a rebellion brewing amongst these United States,” Jindal said, “where people are ready for a hostile takeover of Washington, D.C., to preserve the American Dream for our children and grandchildren.”

  2. Jason330 says:

    I’m old enough to remember a day when those remarks would have marked a governor as unfit for public office.

  3. bamboozer says:

    Re Bobby Jindal, his statements also had the usual religious garbage, in fact it was the basis for his “rebellion” comments. As for Teatopia think Russian revolution, when victory was achieved they slaughtered each other until only one remained, I suspect in this case it will be the Koch fueled groups.

  4. puck says:

    Ironically, Washington DC did have to do a hostile takeover of Louisiana and the entire Confederacy in order to preserve the American Dream for their own people.

  5. Frank says:

    I saw that article and grasped its absurdity by the second paragraph. Then I wandered off to read something with usefulness and intellectual depth–either the comics page in my local rag or Ask Amy, I forget which.

  6. Frank says:

    I saw that article and grasped its absurdity by the second paragraph. Then I wandered off to read something with usefulness and intellectual depth–either the comics page in my local rag or Ask Amy, I forget which.

  7. cassandra m says:

    The NYRB reviews Glenn Greenwald’s book about Snowden, and ends up doing a critique about the journalists reviewing his book. Mainly, it looks like the journalists are coughing up alot of clubbiness — that Greenwald is Not One of Them, mainly because he isn’t as concerned with hanging on to the secrets of the Beltway Heathers. I haven’t read Greenwald’s book, but I really object to journalists retreating to a National Security defense. No doubt that journalists probably need to be careful about what they publish, pretending that only a few of them have the appropriate judgement seems emblematic of what is wrong with journalism today.

  8. SussexAnon says:

    ‘Memba when the Tea Party was against the bailouts and wanted the bankers thrown in jail?

    Good times. Before they were bought out by the Republican Party and became a whackadoo force to be reckoned with.

  9. stan merriman says:

    Having lived in the heart of the Tea Party, Texas, I can assure you they are indeed Neo-Confederates with racism at the core of their belief system.

  10. FTH says:

    God Bless Texas

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