The mainstreaming of the Tea Party

Three items:

i.) The Texas Republican platform calls for making performing a same-sex marriage a felony, withdrawal from the UN, and “repeal[ing] and reject[ing] the national healthcare takeover, also known as ‘ObamaCare.’ ” Also known as the Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act. They can’t even will themselves to use the Act’s actual name in their party platform.

ii.) Sarah Palin, a former candidate for the Vice Presidency of the United States, endorsed one Star Parker in her run for Congress. On the occassion of Washington, DC’s consideration of recognizing same-sex marriages, Parker said the following:

According to DC’s HIV/AIDS office, three percent of the local population has HIV or AIDS. The Administrator of this office notes that this HIV/AIDS incidence is “…higher than West Africa…on par with Uganda and some parts of Kenya.” And the principal way that HIV is transmitted continues to be through male homosexual activity.

Amidst this dismal picture, the DC City Council, perhaps on the theory that serving up another glass of wine is the way to help a drunk, is scheduled to vote on December 1 to legalize same sex marriage in America’s capital city … It should concern every American as we watch our nation’s capital city transform officially into Sodom.

iii.) In January, US Senate candidate Sharon Angle, running against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, said this on a talk radio show:

You know, our Founding Fathers, they put that Second Amendment in there for a good reason and that was for the people to protect themselves against a tyrannical government. And in fact Thomas Jefferson said it’s good for a country to have a revolution every 20 years.

I hope that’s not where we’re going, but, you know, if this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies and saying my goodness what can we do to turn this country around? I’ll tell you the first thing we need to do is take Harry Reid out.

Jonathan Chait speaks eloquently as to why this is not to be tolerated:

There’s been a lot of wild, loose rhetoric on the right since Obama took office — wilder and more mainstream than the equivalent on the left under George W. Bush — but Angle is really taking things dangerously far. The protection of the law is not enough to ensure the survival of a democracy. Democracies rely upon certain social and cultural norms in order to survive. An important one is a basic respect for the democratic process and a refusal to hint about the idea of actual armed rebellion. Angle did not quite advocate armed rebellion, but she did clearly egg it on it in a way that melds prediction with encouragement.

Angle’s comments flow naturally from a right-wing ideology that regards taxation as theft and many commonly-accepted practices of government as the equivalent to Bolshevik expropriation of wealth, or at least unconstitutional. The alarming thing is not so much what Angle said but how relatively little a ripple it has made. It’s just one more gaffe, something that has not prevented her from being embraced by Senate Republicans. It is not even considered sufficiently outrageous to force her to disavow the clear implication of what she said. It really seems like a dangerous milestone is the darkening mood of the American right.

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2 Responses

  1. If Republicans believed the Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act actually did what the title suggests, it might be easier to call it that.

  2. They make it far too easy to not respect them at all with this sort of stuff.

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