Sunday, April 11, 2010

Playing With Fire

Steve M. takes a frank look at the Village treatment of Rand Paul, the Tea Party movement, and wingnuts in general as he analyzes Kate Zernike's piece in the NY Times on the Randy One.
Zernike does note that Rand Paul -- son of Ron Paul -- is being criticized for stands that don't seem quite mainstream, even by contemporary standards. But his opponent in the GOP primary, an establishment Republican named Trey Grayson, is still trailing, and doesn't seem to be getting any traction with the argument that Paul's support for the notion of eliminating three Cabinet departments in D.C. is, in Zernike's words, "too 'weird' for Kentucky." (Hey Kate, the notion of getting rid of Cabinet departments was very, very mainstream in the Reagan years.) Paul's having a little more trouble with the fact he's expressed support in the past for closing Gitmo -- but now he says he wants to keep it open. Smart guy.

Zernike, like so many mainstream journalists, is looking for signs of a mainstream GOP/teabag schism. Good luck with that. Rand Paul's going to win, he's going to keep modifying any troublesome Paulite positions on foreign policy or push them into the background, and he's probably going to win big in November -- for the glaringly obvious reason that he hates what teabaggers and non-teabag Republicans hate, namely Obamaism and "big government." And he's making crowds giddly at the thought of chaos:

Outside a courthouse in Independence, he told a group of about 100 people, mostly Tea Party supporters, that one of his first acts as a senator would be to unite with conservatives and demand that Congress stop work for a week if it could not amend the Constitution to require a balanced budget. "Let's just stop it up," he said, "and let's invite the Tea Party up and let's fill the Mall and let's debate a balanced budget amendment and let them explain why they can't do it."

"Gridlock!" one man cheered.

It's going to be a really unpleasant 2011, folks.
Living here in Kentucky, I have to say that "voting against your own self-interest" has become the state's all-consuming pastime.  The Village move to legitimize Rand Paul and the Tea Party is now in full swing.  Like Steve, I actually don't think there's a schism between the Republicans and the Tea Party at all.  But it sure makes a good excuse to profile how "normal and mainstream" the views of Rand Paul are.

Which is to say, Obama Derangement Syndrome as standard operating procedure.  Give in to your emotions, young Skywalker...

Even more than Clinton, Barack Obama represents everything that Rand Paul supporters in Kentucky are not:  the logical endpoint of anti-government, anti-social program corporatism disguised as populism.  "We can't afford social programs.  Let's cut taxes instead!"  It's the continuation of what I was talking about yesterday:  these are the people convinced that the measly 2.5% of America's total wealth in the hands of the entire bottom 50% of the American people is unconstitutionally high, and that the sin of increasing that through government assistance is worthy of a second American Revolution.

All the while, these are the same people voting to reduce their own meager share even more, surrendering it to the plutocrats.  The most successful thing the right-wing movement in this country has done is convince millions of Americans to destroy their own self-interest and give more to the wealthiest people on the planet.

There's a reason why Rand Paul's major financial support is coming from outside Kentucky, folks.

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