Thursday, April 16, 2009

Tea-flavored Kool-Aid?

Yesterday in Richmond lots of people drove through the rain to the main post office to mail in their tax forms. No one can dispute that.

However, according to what you want to believe, either a handful of people, or great throngs attended a political rally to do with taxes that was staged Downtown. Similarly, it was either part of a nationwide grassroots phenomenon with a life of its own, or it was a bad imitation of the same, which came from the top down.

Today, all over the country teabaggers are bragging about their success to anyone who will report on what they claim happened. Having been to a few political demonstrations in my travels, I'm familiar with the process of ginning up the numbers, with regard to crowd-size. And, I know that some of those who want to rain on the tea party's afterglow are underestimating the numbers.

And, it goes...

Speaking of numbers, given the trouncing the Republican Party took on the most recent election day, there can be no argument over whether it needs to find new ways to promote its principles and policies. So, whatever else they were, the tea party protests were a step toward something different, if not new.

Given the humiliation those who slavishly backed former-President George W. Bush's rhetoric and performance have had to endure for the last year, it's understandable they would want to complain about how uncomfortable it has been for them. Their trouble is 70 percent of Americans are happy with the man who defeated their presidential candidate.

Still, what exactly the teabag tempest was about looked fuzzy to me. It came off as a rude bag of mixed metaphors and convoluted symbols. Like, was the protest over government spending? Over high taxes? Over guns? Over religion? Over socialism?

Or, was it mostly about people sipping out-of-date Kool-Aid and calling it tea?

Some are already saying yesterday's tea party will be seen in the future as the day proper Americans turned the tide and began to regain their control over this country's direction. But I suspect it will be seen more as a goofy stunt that played out as a wake for the bad old days of a mindless brand of conservatism.

Whatever else Bush accomplished in his eight years of lies about war, tax cuts for the wealthy and huge deficits, he did unglue the coalition that allowed cultural conservatives, neoconservatives, fiscal conservatives, Libertarians, and so forth, to agree and work together comfortably.

My guess is tea-flavored Kool-Aid won't work as the new glue.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Chester Patriots continue to work in their community after Richmond Tea Party Success.