Anyone who’s ever spent extended time with very young children will know what I’m talking about here. Whenever a particularly spazzy kid who’s perhaps a little too hepped up on sugary snacks can’t articulate what he or she wants, they tend to act out. Sometimes violently. Spitting, biting, screeching, hitting.
I think you know where I’m going with this.
Despite the fact that they’re probably going to win a considerable number of congressional seats on Tuesday, the far right appears to be unsatisfied with a significant electoral victory and is supplementing its would-be success by physically accosting anyone who isn’t sporting an array of teabags erotically dangled from the brim of a tri-cornered hat.
Last week, hired goons working for Sarah Palin’s hand-selected action figure candidate Joe Miller (With Life-Like Hair and Beard!) manhandled, handcuffed and detained a reporter. No serious violence committed here, except perhaps a precursor to violence against the First Amendment should Joe Miller actually win. It’s always a good sign when a potential U.S. Senator retains hired goons in order to arrest members of the press. But, then again, Miller thinks communist East Germany was simply the tops, so it seems to be all part of a larger set piece for him.
Of course, this was only a precursor to a supremely violent week in wingnuttia.
Outside the debate between Rand Paul and Paul Conway, a MoveOn.org activist, Lauren Valle, was attacked, shoved to the ground and stomped on. Rand Paul supporters, along with an actual Rand Paul campaign staffer, displayed their insecure masculinity and newly “restored honor” by beating up a woman in plain view of cameras and other citizens who appeared to do nothing to stop the assailants. By the way, no one’s talking about the other redneck in the green hat and plaid shirt who wrestled Valle to the ground, or the black-tee-shirted person who appears to step on Valle’s mid-section. We can only assume they won’t turn themselves in despite the Tea Party’s widely publicized commitment to personal responsibility.
Further highlighting Tea Party honor and personal responsibility today, the chief woman-fighter at the scene, Tim Profitt, demanded that Valle apologize to him. I can only assume Profitt is suffering from the post-traumatic stress that resulted from Valle’s head thwacking him on the sole of his defenseless shoe. Poor baby. (Appropriately posted on Twitter today: “BP to seek apology from Gulf of Mexico.”)
Meanwhile, scores of far-right AM radio talkers, far-right bloggers and far-right blog commenters swung into action in a unified effort to blame the victim on this attack.
Erectile-dysfunction sufferer Rush Limbaugh, for example, implied that the attack was justified given the fact that Tea Party crazies are refusing to “grab the ankles” and “play nice.” So if I’m correctly following Limbaugh’s reasoning, one way to avoid (metaphorical?) anal rape is to wrestle a woman to the curb, American History X style, and step on her face. Nice. No wonder he’s been married four times. He obviously has tremendous respect for women.
And yesterday in Virginia, a member of a rural Democratic committee, John Taylor, was ejected from an open-to-the-public Eric Cantor event in Louisa County. Reports indicate Taylor did absolutely nothing to precipitate his ejection from the coffee shop where the event was being held. After leaving, Taylor was violently accosted by police on the sidewalk in a ridiculously over-the-top display of excessive use of force.
This is evidently how the Republicans intend to handle dissent should they gain any sort of congressional majority. When they’re not avoiding press scrutiny or party opposition, they’re arresting dissenters. And when they’re unable to rationally debate the issues, they lash out with violence.
It’s a special brand of cowardice that’s symptomatic of their utterly inexplicable and contradictory positions.
They insist the Democrats increased the deficit when, in fact, the Democrats and the Obama administration cut the deficit by $122 billion following the Bush-authorized 2009 budget. Allow me to repeat: President Obama cut the deficit by $122 billion. It’s the largest one-year reduction in the federal budget deficit ever. Ever!
They’re screeching about joblessness under the Obama administration even though the Democrats and the White House helped to create more private-sector jobs than the entire two terms of the Bush administration.
They’ve turned the stimulus into an obscenity even though it created at least 1.4 million new jobs.
They’re pitching a fit about taxes while oblivious to the fact that, included in the stimulus, the Obama administration passed the largest middle class tax cut in American history.
And they’re pissing in their big-boy pants over the bailouts, which were requested and signed by the Bush administration and have ultimately earned an eight-percent profit.
Hell, the word-salad chef herself — the queen of the Tea Party — Sarah Palin (along with her idiot sidekick Christine O’Donnell) still don’t understand the purpose and intent of the First Amendment. Palin, for her part, believes the First Amendment allows Juan Williams to say whatever the hell he wants to say with impunity. Naturally, this is a doofish misinterpretation of the First Amendment, which was written to protect the people and the press from the government — not to protect TV and radio personalities from their employers or from political activists.
Seriously, it has to be mind-bendingly frustrating to have to defend some of this nonsensical hooey. Couple all of it with the umbrella contradiction that the original Boston Tea Party was a protest against a tax cut in favor of the British East India Company, allowing the corporation to import tea to the colonies tax-free and therefore undercut the prices charged by independent importers. I always hesitate to mention this because I don’t want to be held responsible for the subsequent far-right noggin meltdowns. Yes, the original Tea Party was in opposition to a corporate tax cut. Chew on that one, Tea Partiers.
So in the absence of rational and factual arguments, what are they left with? Inchoate violence and flailing rage directed at anyone who chooses to observe the nation’s problems through the prism of objective reality and facts. We live in a counter-factual era no matter what arguments are made, and no matter how many sources we have on hand to make the case for reality, the far-right is more content to throw fists and fits. It just so happens that Stephen Colbert is right: “Reality has a well-known liberal bias.”