Via Memeorandum, I find it ironic that on the day America celebrates one of the greatest civil rights leaders in our collective history, a man who taught the world the value of civil discourse and paid the ultimate price for it as a result, that we read Don Surber saying civil discourse can go to hell in one of the nuttiest winger rants I've read since the election.
It's astonishingly funny, leading to a number of similar rants from the right this morning.
But it is very instructive. We have heard the phrase "the politics of grievance" used in a number of contexts over the years, but never has it fit better than with the modern Tea Party movement.
They say they are representative of an overwhelming American majority, and yet simultaneously they say they have been victimized for decades (Surber himself points to Bush v. Gore as a watershed moment in the shackling of conservatives, you know where Bush won and became President for eight years.)
They demand an adult conversation about the problems facing America, and then when given a voice they use it to proclaim how their rights have been trampled by "socialism" and that they have no intention of listening to what the other side has to say. (Surber sums that up expertly by saying "Bite me." A lot.)
It's this dichotomy of rah-rah nationalism of the majority and the aggrieved stance of the victim that would stagger anyone trying to make logical sense of the movement, and yet it's treated as tautology by the media, politicians, and the Tea Party themselves.
Surber is correct when he says that the Tea Party right does not want civil discourse in any form, because if we took the injected politics of grievance out of the words he has to say, we'd be laughing at him.