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Nails it. Right to the wall.

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  • Nails it. Right to the wall.

    This is our morning drive guy around here. He's definitely more in the small-L libertarian end of the spectrum, but he's not at all any sort of an off-the-reservation, government-should-only-have-military-and-roads type. Anyway, from time to time, he does what he calls "premeditated Ralph rants," which aren't really "rants" in the sense of him shouting and slobberling all over the microphone, just soliloquies on his own that he has put some time into writing out in advance of going on the air (hence "pre-meditated"). He just calls them "Ralph rants" for the alliteration.

    They're usually pretty good and often pretty thought-provoking, even if it is something with which I do not necessarily agree.

    Today's Ralph rant was particularly good. Lots of good, hard truths in here for everyone to consider, even if it's a little bit painful to do so.



    The most powerful political movement since the Civil Rights movement of the 60s stands the risk of losing its luster – for two reasons. One is a tendency to make heroes out of political personalities. Political heroes are fragile, and when they fall, they crush the people who put them on pedestals. The other, more important reason is the failure to ingrain a positive brand that is resistant to demagoguery.

    That’s why wholly spurious charges, such as a racial motive, can penetrate deeper than they should. In my view, the Tea Party movement is the “shrink government” movement. It is the most influential political movement since the civil rights movement of the 60s, so it’s bound to have enemies – and enemies will define you if you let them.

    In just the past week, two public figures have made headlines by painting the Tea Party movement as racist. Florida Congressman Alan Grayson likened the Tea Party to the KKK in a fund-raising mailing with the “T” in Tea Party depicted as a burning cross. In an interview with the Daily Beast, actor Morgan Freeman said “The lengths that people will go to show their prejudices. You see signs that say ‘Take our country back.’ What the f*** is that?”

    Maybe it’s ignorance. Or maybe it’s fear and loathing of small government that produces charges that the Tea Party is motivated by racism. The charge is false, but Tea Party leaders cannot just ignore it. They should work aggressively to educate the public about the movement’s real identity and motives. The Tea Party movement cannot afford to let its political enemies define its brand.

    I lived through the 60s, but I missed the civil rights movement altogether. It might be hard to believe that’s possible, but I lived on a 42-acre “farm” 10 miles outside Valentine, Nebraska (population 2,600). The black population of Valentine was exactly one family. Until high school, I went to a country school at which one teacher taught 9 grades (k-8). I never met a black person until I got to high school, and the only thing I noticed that was different about him was his color. No one treated him differently – at least that I knew of. He lived in a lower middle-class family, like most of us in rural Nebraska. His dad was a carpenter I think, and if memory serves me, his house is one to which we delivered milk once a week. The only time I saw his mom was sitting in the bleachers with mine, rooting for the same team.

    I paid little attention to news when I was growing up, well into my teens. I had more important things on my mind; baseball, girls, hunting, fishing, training dogs, milking cows, girls, exploring the Niobrara River falls, working to earn money. Did I mention girls? I was only vaguely aware of the civil rights movement until its heyday was nearly over. I don’t remember it ever being discussed in school. I moved to Omaha in 1967 - at the age of 17 – and became more aware of the tumultuous world outside my placid Nebraska sand hills bubble.

    I didn’t experience the Jim Crow days. I’m not pining for Jim Crow, but I am pining for some things about the good ole days – and it’s those things I think about when I read those Tea Party signs that say “Take our country back.” I want the country I knew before we became a welfare state.

    [....]

    The welfare state that employs politicians to take from producers and give to non-producers has given us 50 years of class warfare with corruption on both ends of the ladder and a middle class being drawn to both ends – succumbing to the double-barrel temptation of targeted tax breaks from one political party and more government benefits from the other.

    The welfare state has produced a tax code that rewards us for doing what a corrupt political system decides is the “right” thing to do, whether it be to provide health care benefits to employees, raise children, buy plant equipment, borrow money to buy a house, donate to a foundation, hold stock for more than a year, or hundreds (maybe thousands) of other government approved corporate and individual economic decisions.

    All of this is happening because of the ever growing expense of operating a capacious welfare state that devours an increasingly larger share of the responsibility for the population’s basic needs. Fully two-thirds of all federal government spending is under the broad category of “benefits to individuals.” The more money the government needs to fund the growing welfare state, the harder the producers try to keep the government from getting even more of what they produce and the more corrupt both the political and the economic system becomes. At the core of the Tea Party Movement is the demand that politicians roll back the welfare state - and wring out the cost and the corruption from the top and the bottom in our country.

    John Tamny, editor of Realclearpolitics.com and Forbesopinion.com recently told a class of college students “bad leadership begets good leadership, and the 16 years of Bush and Obama is bound to give us someone special.” I hope he’s right. That’s certainly what I want and it’s why I attached myself to the Tea Party movement.
    Bask in the warmth of the Deep South
    No one will be denied:
    Big law suits and bathroom toots;
    We're all getting Dixie-fried.
    But somewhere Hank and Lefty
    Are rollin' in their graves
    While kudzu vines grow over signs that read "Jesus Saves."

  • #2
    I figure ["We want our country back" is] short for "We want our country back to 1880."

    .

    They don't like Social Security or Fannie Mae or minimum wage, so back to the 1930's at least. They don't like the Fed and they don't like income tax, so roll it back before 1913. They don't like antitrust law, so roll it back before 1890. They aren't calling for a return of slavery (at least not out loud), so not as far back as 1860. That leaves us in the neighborhood of 1880 -- the gilded age. The age of robber baron capitalism. That's about perfect for the Koch funded Tea Partiers.

    .

    ~ Norm
    "There are four lights!"

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Billy Jingo View Post
      I figure ["We want our country back" is] short for "We want our country back to 1880."

      .

      They don't like Social Security or Fannie Mae or minimum wage, so back to the 1930's at least. They don't like the Fed and they don't like income tax, so roll it back before 1913. They don't like antitrust law, so roll it back before 1890. They aren't calling for a return of slavery (at least not out loud), so not as far back as 1860. That leaves us in the neighborhood of 1880 -- the gilded age. The age of robber baron capitalism. That's about perfect for the Koch funded Tea Partiers.

      .

      ~ Norm
      Yep, that about sums up the smear campaign of the Left.
      Not where I breathe, but where I love, I live...
      Robert Southwell, S.J.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Billy Jingo View Post
        I figure ["We want our country back" is] short for "We want our country back to 1880."

        .

        They don't like Social Security or Fannie Mae or minimum wage, so back to the 1930's at least. They don't like the Fed and they don't like income tax, so roll it back before 1913. They don't like antitrust law, so roll it back before 1890. They aren't calling for a return of slavery (at least not out loud), so not as far back as 1860. That leaves us in the neighborhood of 1880 -- the gilded age. The age of robber baron capitalism. That's about perfect for the Koch funded Tea Partiers.

        .

        ~ Norm
        Hmmm, let's see...

        Social Security - how much money has it taken out of the economy since its inception? How much put back in payouts? How much absorbed into the gaping maw of government waste and corruption? You can keep it.

        Fannie Mae - Yes, let's give everybody a home mortgage, regardless of their ability to pay. The banks don't want to? Make rules that they have to, and promises that they'll be covered; after all, what else is a government for? And after the whole bloody ponzi scheme comes crashing down, let's shovel government money at the dumb bastards who were stupid enough to be complicit with the government's largesse. YES! Let's do it AGAIN!

        Minimum wage - Why not? After all, unskilled workers are obviously too stupid to know how much wages they need; and it beggars belief that one worker may want more or less based on their personal circumstances. Whatever would they do without the government?

        Slavery - Never went went away. We just got new masters, and made it so everyone's included: whites, blacks, Hispanics, cross-eyed Irishmen; everyone who earns a paycheck. We're all slaves for about a third of the year, til about mid-April this year. Go to Canada for free health care and the social welfare state, and that date moves to July. Yay!

        Comment


        • #5
          Wow, talk about mixed signals. Phillygirl calls it a smear campaign and Reinman affirms every point.
          Enjoy.

          Comment


          • #6
            Filthy Tea Partiers.



            Science that cannot be questioned is propaganda.

            Cameras in classrooms now.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by JB View Post
              Filthy Tea Partiers.



              One of the most annoying things about those in the tea party is that they're stealing Democrat lines.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Billy Jingo View Post
                They aren't calling for a return of slavery (at least not out loud)...
                Fuck Norm. And fuck you. If you're both too chickenshit to talk to TEA Party people to find out what they want, at least stop spreading progressive horseshit about them.
                “I do not aim with my hand; he who aims with his hand has forgotten the face of his father.
                I aim with my eye.

                "I do not shoot with my hand; he who shoots with his hand has forgotten the face of his father.
                I shoot with my mind.

                "I do not kill with my gun; he who kills with his gun has forgotten the face of his father.
                I kill with my heart.”

                The Gunslinger Creed, Stephen King, The Dark Tower

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Norm dePlume View Post
                  Wow, talk about mixed signals. Phillygirl calls it a smear campaign and Reinman affirms every point.
                  So I guess we can add the notion that the right insists on rigid lockstep to the list of progressive horseshit, huh?
                  “I do not aim with my hand; he who aims with his hand has forgotten the face of his father.
                  I aim with my eye.

                  "I do not shoot with my hand; he who shoots with his hand has forgotten the face of his father.
                  I shoot with my mind.

                  "I do not kill with my gun; he who kills with his gun has forgotten the face of his father.
                  I kill with my heart.”

                  The Gunslinger Creed, Stephen King, The Dark Tower

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by daveman View Post
                    So I guess we can add the notion that the right insists on rigid lockstep to the list of progressive horseshit, huh?
                    No, of course not. Just ask any Log Cabin Republican who's been elected or appointed to national office. Oh, wait....
                    "Think as I think," said a man,
                    "Or you are abominably wicked;
                    You are a toad."
                    And after I had thought of it,
                    I said: "I will, then, be a toad." - Stephen Crane

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Celeste Chalfonte View Post
                      No, of course not. Just ask any Log Cabin Republican who's been elected or appointed to national office. Oh, wait....
                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Bro...io_politician)

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Fleck

                      I noticed you pre-moved the goalposts to "national office".

                      Nevertheless, can you show me any gay Republicans who've had their party membership revoked?
                      “I do not aim with my hand; he who aims with his hand has forgotten the face of his father.
                      I aim with my eye.

                      "I do not shoot with my hand; he who shoots with his hand has forgotten the face of his father.
                      I shoot with my mind.

                      "I do not kill with my gun; he who kills with his gun has forgotten the face of his father.
                      I kill with my heart.”

                      The Gunslinger Creed, Stephen King, The Dark Tower

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by daveman View Post
                        Fuck Norm. And fuck you. If you're both too chickenshit to talk to TEA Party people to find out what they want, at least stop spreading progressive horseshit about them.
                        You're disagreeing with the statement that they aren't calling for a return to slavery?
                        Enjoy.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Norm dePlume View Post
                          You're disagreeing with the statement that they aren't calling for a return to slavery?
                          Are you being stupid on purpose?
                          “I do not aim with my hand; he who aims with his hand has forgotten the face of his father.
                          I aim with my eye.

                          "I do not shoot with my hand; he who shoots with his hand has forgotten the face of his father.
                          I shoot with my mind.

                          "I do not kill with my gun; he who kills with his gun has forgotten the face of his father.
                          I kill with my heart.”

                          The Gunslinger Creed, Stephen King, The Dark Tower

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Tea party people often make me want to knash at the teeth with their economical ideas. However, they're like anybody else on matters of race. Some of them are racist. Most are not. Same is true for Democrats.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by daveman View Post
                              Are you being stupid on purpose?
                              I assume you're finding it hard to read through the tears.
                              Enjoy.

                              Comment

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