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?
Tags: Open Thread