02. September 2010 · Comments Off on Aftermath and Elites · Categories: Ain't That America?, General, Politics, Tea Time

Been kind of amusing, surfing the blogosphere in the wake of the Beck rally last weekend – the usual quibble over how many people were actually there, as if a threshold of so many people crammed elbow to elbow at the Lincoln Memorial actually will confer legitimacy/credibility in the eyes of our so-called bettors, looking down their lorgnettes from the lofty heights and sniffing “Oh, honestly, who do those plebs think they are?” Still, 300,000 or half a million, sweating in the hot sun in a crowded venue; for every one who actually attended, how many would have been there, but couldn’t afford it in these economic hard times, or had obligations elsewhere. How many watched it on television, or on streaming video, and wished they had been there?

How many more will come to the 9/12 rally – more than last year? I know very well that the Restore Honor rally was more of Glenn Beck’s ecumenical religious revival thing, whereas this years’ 9/12 march from the Washington Monument to the Capitol is intended as a tax-payer’s protest and organized by a far wider coalition of groups generally lumped together under the heading “Party of Tea.” In a fair number of so-called elite minds, though, the two are pretty much conflated, if only because it’s pretty much the same kind of citizen participation in both. There is a lot of overlap – no sense or utility in pretending otherwise, but the difference in focus is a subtle one. I’d have to say that generally the Tea Partiers I knew put the fiscally-sound, strict Constitutionalist and free-market principles first, and then the socio-religious principles standing about a half-step behind. Which means that they’ll make common political cause with the gay atheist libertarian any day of the week, and probably enjoy each others’ company enormously to boot, especially if beer and tuna hot-dish is involved.

This might have the common run of moderately-leftishly-liberal bloggers would be quivering in their boots as well, if they ever cared to look beyond the grotesque caricature they have created of a Tea Partier. Now and again, a commentator on Open Salon (and in other places) will venture out among Tea Partiers, rather in the sense of an Anglican arch-bishop venturing among the cannibals, and return either startled at being treated politely and respectfully, and how very . . . very nice they all are. Usually, they are jumped upon by their peers, and brought back around to the correct way of thinking toot-sweet. But they are worried on some level – I would guess, just from the level of vituperative comment.

There will be a great many attending 9/12 rallies; there maybe even more than the Beck revival at the Washington one, or so I am presuming, given the level of deep unhappiness welling up. Not uncontrolled lynch-mob anger as the elites of our political/media/academic class keep assuming, picturing something like a rightist version of anarchists protesting at the G-8 summit. The anger is real, but it’s cold and focused, not easily baited into acting or speaking foolishly, and somewhat beneath the surface of things, rather like a deep ocean current. The very existence of that current must have a lot of other people – in media, and in politics-as-they-are waking up in a cold sweat at night. Because November 2010 is coming, and after that, November 2012 – and I just don’t see things improving for our very own established professional political class in the next two years. If I have observed anything of the current administration over the last year or so – it’s that everything they have tried to do to fix a problem area has just resulted in making it infinitely worse. Even the redecorated Oval Office looks worse than it did before. (Yikes – 70ies earth tones, back again!)

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