Papa's Got A Brand New Tea Bag

Papa's Got A Brand New Tea Bag

by digby

Well at least they aren't racist:

An online news outlet in New York state has obtained dozens of emails, many of them racist and sexually graphic, which it reports were sent by Carl Paladino, the Tea-Party-backed Republican candidate for governor of New York, to a long list of political and business associates. One email shows a video of an African tribal dance, entitled "Obama Inauguration Rehearsal," while another depicts hardcore bestiality.

Paladino's campaign manager, Michael Caputo, would not comment on specific emails, but acknowledged to TPMmuckraker that Paladino had sent emails that were "off-color" and "politically incorrect," saying that few such emails represented the candidate's own opinion. Caputo accused Democrats of wanting to change the subject from substantive issues to "having sex with horses."

(There's something about conservatives and bestiality that I just don't want to think about.)

Here's a tame example of what this wealthy teabagger send around to his friends and associates:

Meanwhile, some of the teabag leaders have decided to try to ixnay some of the extremism, which they seem to have tolerated well so far:

The battle for health care reform brought out both the best and the worst in the tea party movement, according to activists. On the plus side, the conservative insurgency showed it could dominate the political dialogue and influence decision-making on both sides of the aisle. Activists say that shows tea partiers are becoming wiser and more seasoned politically.

But the health care debate also exposed rifts and deep vulnerabilities with in the tea party movement that could stop its path toward mainstream acceptance. Violent rhetoric and racial overtones in protests spilled over into actual death threats, property damage and the hurling of slurs. Whether or not the suspects in those incidents are actually tea partiers, movement leaders seem worried that they play into progressive arguments that the tea parties are just a new wrapping on right-wing extremism.

They are. More than anything, though, they are a reflection of a deep strain in American political life which simply doesn't understand or respect democracy. It's well illustrated here:

He said he expects more people to turn out at the April 15 protests around the country than ever before. Despite all the changes to rhetoric and self-awareness, McClellan said the core beliefs of the tea party haven't changed.

"It's a pretty simple concept," he told me. "The people we elect to office should listen to us."

He simply fails to understand that the people he voted into office are listening to him. They are called Republicans and, unfortunately for him, they are in the minority. There are more people who voted the Democrats into office and these Democrats have a responsibility to listen to their constituents --- us. I know it's inconvenient when the majority doesn't agree with you and frustrating when its representatives pass laws you don't like, but it's the way democracy is organized. All this screaming about how the government isn't "listening to the people" is really about how it isn't doing what they want and yet their representatives, the Republicans, are doing everything they can to obstruct the Democrats' agenda. Sadly for the teabaggers, there just aren't enough of them. They just refuse to accept this. Any government that fails to do their bidding isn't just wrong. It is illegitimate.

I'm glad some of them understand how obnoxious and dangerous the racist, extremist rhetoric among some of their adherents is. But I would suggest that their fundamental misunderstanding of democracy is what's most troubling. Every time someone they didn't vote for becomes president or the Democrats take a majority, they refuse to accept it and resort to impeachment, throwing it to the Supreme Court or violent threats. They can downplay the racism and try to hide their extremism, but this is the real problem and it's not changing. They really do believe it's their country and the rest of us have no say in it.