Have the teabaggers "always been in charge"? Uhm ... no.

Have The Teabaggers "Always Been In Charge?"
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by digby

"We are our country. We have always been in charge. This is America." Christine O'Donnell, 9/17/10
Uhm, no. Please read Michael Tomasky's excellent essay about the 230 years of American tea bagging. As those who read my blog know very well, this is also my view of the contours of American politics. And no, they have not always been in charge. Indeed, they have rarely been in charge, thank goodness.

Tomasky points out, also correctly, that the old rules do not apply and that the forces of progress had better learn to adapt lest this gets out of hand. He writes:

[T]he historically situated question is this: is the Tea Party movement a flash in the pan, or is it a historic fulfilment of an urge that has been building for 230 years and is on the cusp, with the help of Rupert Murdoch's "news" channel, of becoming a permanent fixture in American politics?

If most of those eight candidates lose on 2 November, the more establishment Republicans will attempt to rein in the movement. Whether they can do so is another question. Meanwhile the Democrats now have an opportunity, in a year that has largely been bereft of them, to make the Beltway politics chatter focus on the other side's problems, rather than their own. Democrats have a tendency to play by the old rules. One old rule of politics is that when the other side is shooting itself in the foot, do nothing – just stand back and watch.

But we are in a new media and political environment. In fact it's not even new any more. It's been around for 15 years, but still Democrats think the old rules apply. One old rule is, don't respond to nutty allegations because you only give them oxygen. Well, Democrats have spent two years not responding as "birthers" spin their conspiracies about Obama, and the result is that between 20% and 25% of American adults doubt that the president is a genuine American.

So I propose a new rule: when the other side is shooting itself in the foot, stand close by and keep handing out bullets. Democratic strategists should be thinking of fresh ways to demonstrate to the American people that these Tea Partiers are not the sons and daughters of John Adams but people who stand almost entirely outside the country's best mainstream traditions.

Thank you. I know it's terribly shrill but the fact is that in this fractured culture of ours, counting on people to "see through" these tea partiers is far too faith based. There is no guarantee that they will. And the consequences of them not doing so is quite grave.

Listening to Christine O'Donnell speak at the Values Voter Summit today is very, very creepy. She managed to lay every bad thing in the country from the economic slump to male pattern baldness on "Keynesian fantasies" (which she seems to think are what we liberals have when we pleasure ourselves against God's will.) This from a creationist who believes condoms don't prevent AIDS. You can't just let this stuff hang out there.

Update: Here's Michelle Bachman calling President Obama infantile because he used the term negative rights. Wait until you hear what she thinks it means.

It's a carnival of misinformation. Can we see the problem with this?