“All those actors may have at one time or another financed or used the Tea Party fanatics for their own purposes, may even had a hand in creating some of that astroturf. But the Tea Party is absolutely not controlled by those actors – and they never were. To the degree that they were financed by these actors, well, the monster got away from its creator. …
I think these are dangerous people. I don’t think anybody is behind the scenes controlling things. That’s part of what makes it dangerous – if they were mere puppets/marionettes controlled by unseen fat cats, there would be some natural controls in place, the moment you got to the puppet masters by hitting their interests, they’d pull strings and the situation would be resolved/controllable.
But while there are opportunists feeding at the edges of this party, nobody is controlling the Tea Party. They are a natural force, and once organized and unleashed, are answerable to no one. I keep giving this example, because I think it’s apt – they are the same kinds of forces as during the Civil War, (and again, in the South, mostly). They are fanatics and rebels, but have no very clear or complex ideology – they are rejectionists, who are fighting for what they perceive as their lifestyle and power. Never mind how incoherent it is. Mob rule is rarely coherent. But it is extremely dangerous. When they don’t feel constrained by anything, they can inflict real damage. They don’t understand, and don’t care about the niceties of defaulting when the debt limit is not lifted – they only care about getting their non-negotiable ultimatums met. They are maximalists, and destroyers of order – radicals, not establishment-protecting conservatives. They may hark for a time that never was, but that doesn’t matter, since you probably couldn’t get two Teahadists in a room and have them agree on most points – it’s enough that they have a clear objective: destroy the present order, Obama, the Democrats, RINOs, minorities, foreigners and a few other touchstones of Nativist lore.
They mean business, and they feel unconstrained. They are extremely dangerous, and it is just as dangerous to delude oneself that they are being controlled by anyone, including Wall Street/Koch Bros./Fat Cats/Plutocrats/Business – because we may be applying pressure along axis they are completely immune to. … But the politics are about to get very, very, bad. Brace yourselves – and then man the barricades.“
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