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Hullabaloo


Thursday, June 12, 2014

 
"It's not my party"

by digby


So Ron Fournier dusted off his pith helmet, grabbed his binoculars and went out into the wilds of
America to study the indigenous tribes:
"America is for the greedy, for those who've made their buck or grabbed their power. It's not for us," said Helen Conover of Oxford, Pa. She was eating with two other Chester County employees, Jennifer Guy and Kim Kercher, at the Penn's Table diner. Conover was the table's optimist.

"This country's doomed," Guy said. Kercher nodded her head and told me that she's close to losing her house to a mortgage company and can't get help from Washington. For years, their county salaries haven't kept pace with the cost of living. "The rich get richer. The poor get benefits. The middle class pays for it all," Kercher said.

Guy said she's an independent voter. Conover and Kercher are registered Republicans. All three voted for Obama in 2008, hoping that he could start changing the culture of Washington. Now, they consider the president ineffective, if only partly to blame for his failure.

"He hit a brick wall," Conover said. "The Republican Party is not going to let him change anything."

I replied, "But it's your party."

"No," Conover bristled, "it's not my party. I don't have a party." She paused, took a small bite of her sandwich and added, "An American Party is what I have."

An American Party—what does that mean? For months, I've heard that phrase or similar antiestablishment sentiment from voters in Michigan, Arkansas, South Carolina, and elsewhere—whites and nonwhites; voters who are poor and rich and from the shrinking middle-class; Democrats, Republicans, and independents. "We need American leaders, not Republican and Democratic leaders," a construction worker in Little Rock, Ark., told me last month. Down the street from Penn's Table, barber Stefanos Bouikidis held scissors in his right hand while throwing both hands in the air. "How are things going to change with corporate America running everything?"

At West Chester's popular D.K. Diner, a military veteran who served five combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan said the only solution may be a revolution against political elites. "We may need to drag politicians out and shoot them like they did in Cuba," said a grim-faced Frederick Derry two days after a Las Vegas couple allegedly shot two police officers. The attackers draped their bodies with a "Don't Tread on Me" flag, according to ABC News, pinned a swastika on them and a note that read, "The revolution has begun."

Lest you think that the conservative Fournier finds this the least bit incoherent --- or slightly unhinged --- he assures us that this is actually peaceful populism:

A violent revolution is unconscionable. But what may be in the air is a peaceful populist revolt—a bottom-up, tech-fueled assault on 20th-century political institutions.

Of course it's "tech fueled" because ... well, who knows? He doesn't explain. But the rest of it sounds totally awesome.

Edrosos explains what it's all about:

*A pullback from the rest of the world, with more of an inward focus.
*A desire to go after big banks and other large financial institutions.
*Elimination of corporate welfare.
*Reducing special deals for the rich.
*Pushing back on the violation of the public's privacy by the government and big business.

Sounds reasonable -- oh, wait, we forgot the most important revolutionary bullet:

*Reducing the size of government.

Because if you want to rein in the rich, corporations, the financial industry, etc., the first step is to scale back the government -- the SEC, the CFPB, the Justice Department and all that, they just get in the way; flying squads of billionaires, battening on the bathtub-drowned Small Government, will take care of all that for you.

I'm with Pierce on this:

Certainly, Cantor was one of the more unpleasant stalks of stinkweed in the conservative terrarium, and I have no doubt that a great number of people agree. But, seriously, the issue in the election was not "immigration reform." It was "AMNESTY!!!!!!!!1111!!!!!!!! AIEEEEEEE!!!!11111!!!!!!!!!!!!!" That was the central point of all the free media on talk radio that was Brat's only way of countering the massive financial advantage Cantor had. That was the issue that was the accelerant that produced the conflagration that consumed Cantor's career. Just being a dick wasn't enough to beat Cantor. (It never was before.) But being a dick who was believed to be in favor of "AMNESTY!!!!!111!!!!!! AIEEEEE!!!!!11111!!!!!" was more than enough. Cantor's absence from the district undoubtedly made it easier to position him that way. But it simply isn't possible to imagine an 11-point margin of victory over a prominent member of the Republican leadership in 2014 that didn't involve something that engaged The Base's Id in some way.


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