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Fear the coven

By Michael J. Smith on Tuesday July 12, 2011 11:12 AM

There's a tiresome lot of hand-wringing pouring into my inbox about the dire Teabagger threat. A sample from Alternet, which bombards me with almost as much mail as the DCCC: "Michele Bachmann, the Queen of the Tea Party, has ideas that are truly extreme."

Well then, Michele and I have something in common; I have truly extreme ideas too. Big deal. This preoccupation with crazy-ass clowns on the Right is a favorite liberal campfire narrative. Rrraaaw head and bloody bones! Make my skin crawl, NPR!

My lefty mailing lists are a mixed bag on this subject, but I'm not entirely a voice crying in the wilderness there. On Doug Henwood's list, recently, a chap with whom I agree more often than not wrote, quite cogently,

I continue to believe, as I have since about 1967, that radicals should stop paying so much attention to the far right. It wasn't the far right that gave us the Wr on Drugs, the War on Crime, and the Effective Death Penalty and Anti-Terrorism Act.
Hear, hear.

The reference to 1967 rings true to me. It was shortly before that -- 1965, I think -- that I travelled from my little Kentucky town to Southern California and met my first Teabaggers. They weren't called that, then, but it was absolutely the same species -- middle aged suburban white-collar white people who were furiously pissed off at everything, for no very obvious reason in their fairly comfortable lives.

I remember being very puzzled at the idea that these people were somehow "conservatives". My home town was intensely conservative, in the straightforward sense of being much attached to existing institutions and ways of life. But the Teabaggers of 1965 were quite deracinated -- they had nearly all come to SoCal from somewhere else, and really had no stable matrix of social relations, apart from the office, and no established folkways, apart from driving in cars a lot. Their "conservatism" wasn't a matter of clinging to what they knew and liked; it seemed largely a matter of resenting what other people were doing elsewhere -- a heavily mediatized engagement with the great social spectacle as seen on TV.

It struck me then and strikes me now as a chimaera bombinans in vacuo -- a sort of maelstrom of furious mental energy expending itself without effect in railing at phantoms -- a titanomachia taking place almost entirely in the memesphere.

Oh, sure, they'd sometimes tip the scales to some particularly clownish galoot in a Republican primary, but I'd already decided by that point that the electoral charade wasn't something of any consequence.

No doubt I was affected at an early age by the wisdom of my grandmother, who being asked what was the difference between Republicans and Democrats, replied, "You vote for the Republicans if you want a depression and the Democrats if you want a war." This was before our present enlightened days, when either party can give you both.

Comments (81)

Drunk Pundit:

MJS Said:
"a heavily mediatized engagement with the great social spectacle as seen on TV"

For a great many people in this broken and ungovernable nation the TV is the only socialization they know. The glowing tube is their social group and their only friend. Everything they know and believe pours forth from it.

Excellent post MJS!

For me there's an even more fundamental element when it comes to liberals bemoaning the Right. It's the principle of taking care of what you can control before you start worrying about what others are doing. If you say to a Dem that their party has been starting wars, throwing people in prison, shitting on poor people and allowing companies to ruin the environment they'd give a halfhearted yeah and go straight into the inevitable but followed by, "They're worse!" Imagine using this mentality anywhere else in life. "I know I beat up that 8 year old and robbed that old lady blind BUT have you heard about Charles Manson!" I understand the dynamics are very different, though, as we at least have some control over ourselves where as Dem apologists are as impotent as some whiskey dick bar fly. And just like that same sot, who keeps talking about all the women he got with back in the day and how his ex-wife is coming back soon, the libs also harken back to the good old days and how things are going to be changing soon. Might as well become unicorn hunters.


"Their "conservatism" wasn't a matter of clinging to what they knew and liked; it seemed largely a matter of resenting what other people were doing elsewhere -- a heavily mediatized engagement with the great social spectacle as seen on TV. "

useful simple distinction:

conservative / reactionary


Michele solves a lot of problems for me
I wanted to support Sarah but her voice drove me crazy
Michele is nice blending
Yet there is more to discover about her
I have concerns

I have never seen a full body shot
That told enough for the exacting " measure man "in me

Much that disappoints may linger below the podium


I see drunk puddle is a glass teat hypothesis

I thought mjs was reaching for a Frenchman not Harlan ellison
Or was it Teddy surgeon I'll need to ask my friend
Harrold of steel head hall
If his wife let's him out of her sight that is

HAHAHAHAHA!!! Op, I nominate you dirty old man of the year! "Much that disappoints may linger below the podium."


OP, I'm not sure Teabaggers (or their ancestors forty-fifty years ago) could even really be called "reactionary". The whole thing seems too delusional and incoherent even for that. Besides, don't reactionaries have to be reacting against something? I always took that term to mean a newly-energized or re-energized component of the Right, evoked by popular unrest manifesting itself as more or less Left politics. Unfortunately, we're not seeing any popular unrest, here at least. Our friend Mike Flugennock has a cartoon on the subject, which I thought was a little too cruel even for this bloody-minded site, but one sometimes wonders whether he doesn't have a point:



Although dated, but I suspect some of the psychological motives of the European anti-Semite that Sartre once examined still apply to the ones animated by ressentiment in California.

I don't read "reactionary" in the Tea Party. This is a movement that wants to preserve Medicare while "fighting" to stop NationalRomneyCare.

Granted, they subsist on bad definitions, where Medicare is not socialism, but handing billions directly to the insurance companies is the second coming of Lenin and Mao.

I think "astroturfed into turgid stupidity" is a better label than "reactionary."


Most "tea party" sympathizers I know aren't reactionary to any degree greater than any other human I know.

I find "reactionary" is poor wording, since it's loaded with pejorative, derogatory implication of a very tribalist sort.

Hence a GOP supporter is "reactionary" to a "leftist," but a Marxist isn't "reactionary" to that same "leftist."


How can someone NOT react to things presented to him/her? By being dead, of course. Or comatose.


The CA phenom that Fr Smiff talked about is not politically partisan. It's about people moving to a Promised Land with fantasies about "making a new life" in that Promised Land, and the fantasies assume the "new life" will be practically pre-packaged for the transplant's enjoyment. When the transplant sees that the "new life" is obstructed by traditional ways of behaving in that new locale ("traditional" = how those who have lived there forever are doing things), he or she "reacts" by demanding that the "new life" spring from the ether to palliate and pacify the transplant's frustration at not realizing his/her fantasy of "new life" at the transplanted location.

It's a consumerist/materialist problem exacerbated by unrealistic fantasy -- not a partisan political one.


Nowadays "below the podium" may be just a Google away.

"Michele Bachmann: 'Naked Pictures' Of Me Could Show Up On Internet After Full-Body Scan'"



There's something about the way white people in the USA get mad that's just...different. I've never been able to put my finger on it, but my sense of this is palpable. The anger is often inchoate and generally directed at the wrong target(s) --- more often than not down (to The Blacks or The Immigrants) or somehow sideways (the government bureaucrat rather than the corporation), but rarely up. The anger is invariably infused with defensiveness, usually against real or imagined charges that they're racist. And in my experience, they're always itching for a fight and/or feeling besieged.

And despite the endless accusations that "they" play the victim card, it is the angry white who is animated by a sense of victimization and by howling self-pity.

I find these traits all more pronounced the more comfortable the person it. (White-working-class rage actually has a reason, if not always a focus.)

Again, personal experience here: Pissed-off black folks I know, know who they're pissed off at and why. No confusion there. And they make sense.

I suspect this all has something to do with our settler-colonial roots and collective, unnamed, mostly denied guilt over ill-gotten gains. And more sigificantly, the relentless status anxiety fostered and perpetuated by capitalism.


A lot of pale-face pale-collar anger is so toxic, I think, because the rage, while real, coexists with a vast deference to and love of authority. This is why they're so crazy about cops and soldiers: the perfect conjuncture of violence and hierarchy.

I would be inclined to look for the roots of this curdled emotional state in the immediate context of white-collar workplace socialization rather than the more remote history of settler colonialism, though it would be interesting to see the latter connection drawn in more detail.

The insidious quiet brutalities of the cubicle farm would arouse in any halfway human heart a thirst for violence; but the cathexis of authority means that thirst must be deflected and slaked with fantasies of severe treatment meted out to those even lower on the social scale.


Oh and the hatred of "gummint" functionaries, on the part of corporate functionaries: a case of Caliban's rage at seeing his own face in a mirror. Of course he gets angry at the mirror.


Yes, the contradictory factors of rage-which-should-be-directed-at-authority (and perhaps that some secretly know should be) and deference to and love of authority make for a cognitive and emotional dissonance that would drive one mad.

"A lot of pale-face pale-collar anger is so toxic, I think, because the rage, while real, coexists with a vast deference to and love of authority. This is why they're so crazy about cops and soldiers: the perfect conjuncture of violence and hierarchy."


Another knockout thread with comment observations equal to the original.

This communicates:

I would be inclined to look for the roots of this curdled emotional state in the immediate context of white-collar workplace socialization...

And when with dealing with petty smallholders, with the close-to-perceptible realization that going under is only as far away as a bad week's take at any given moment. When you've sold yourself on the bootstrapper ethos, the blame must be elsewhere. The percentage of shopkeeps and smallholders, among Teap Artiers is pretty high, if I remember correctly.

There's something to be said for Melville's Confidence Man as the explanation for inchoate rage. The con always involves an element of gullible complicity but the mark is always loath to admit his larcenous motives for letting himself be swindled.

And, of course, the confidence man is the archetypal American entrepreneur.


The con always involves an element of gullible complicity but the mark is always loath to admit his larcenous motives for letting himself be swindled.

Reminds one of the chilling words of Herr Doktor Goebbels from April '45:

I feel no sympathy. I repeat, I feel no sympathy! The German people chose their fate. That may surprise some people. Don't fool yourself. We didn't force the German people. They gave us a mandate, and now their little throats are being cut!


Jack C -- Yes. The small businessman is not that different from his cubicle-farm neighbor, in spite of the mythos of entrepreneurship. In each case the poor devil is very much at the mercy of bigger fish than himself.


I'm giving props to Sammich Man for the grift references, which hold well true in my experience.

Drunk Pundit:

OP said:
"I see drunk puddle is a glass teat hypothesis

Drunk Puddle? meh. A little passive aggressive name calling goes a long way for you eh OP? Whatever...

So you don't feel that the "glass teat" has any effect on the socialization of people? If not, what are you saying then?

Write me a 1200 line epic poem to explain please.

And for God's Sake please use some iambic pentameter, that free form stuff you use is completely unreadable.


This is just kind of cockburnian slap-the-liberals'-faces retribution from sMBIVA. Bachman-Palin-militia Joe are all batshit crazy, stupefyingly stupid entitlement clowns, and to think that they get any kind of play in the US political arena says that yeah, damn right people of solid moral character and leftish uprightness should heap scorn and batten down the kids' jungle gyms any time these poltroons of the buffonish christian malcontent infest the airwaves and byways and county fiefdoms of this absurdifying land.
You love 'em so much, go live with them and have your kids be in their classes and listen to them in your family get-togethers and watch them take over a generation of malevolent freakish young.


btw, lest anyone think that the Goebbels reference is a reference to any impending Fascist takeover, that's not what I'm not claiming — far from it. The chance of any upstart being allowed to take over is inversely proportional to the confidence of the business class which is not likely to lose its nerve as German and Italian elites did a lifetime ago. And if any clown like McCarthy or former inhabitant of Wasilla once put into power starts getting too big for their britches, they can be cut down to size in minutes. But, it is true that as Robert Paxton noted, the more putatively "open" democracies — as opposed to ones in which traditional pre-Capitalist elites continue to call the shots — are likely to wallow in a permanent condition of low-grade fever (Stage 1) Fascism:

Since fascisms take their first steps in reaction to claimed failings of democracy, it is not surprising that they should appear first in the most precocious democracies, the United States and France. But we come now to a paradox: it is not necessarily in the countries that first generated the first fascism that fascist systems have had, historically the best chance of succeeding.

Of course, the very presence of these Poujadists/Tea Party types dovetails nicely with the rhetoric of those who offer their services to keep these "armies of the night" at bay. It's an even sweeter con — for the grifter class, of course — than the one cubicle inhabitants or small business owners are seduced into by their saviors.

"But we come now to a paradox..."

Perhaps we should consider teapottyism as a kind of vaccine against fascism or a homeopathic remedy? Just enough of the toxic shit to fire up the body politic's old immune system? Or is that wishful thinking?

What a wonderful way of looking at it, Sandwichman, although I get the sinking suspicion that this is only the beginning some real ugliness that's going to probably move its way down rather than up. There's some real me-first ugliness out there right now where I live.


"Fascism" is a red-flag topic -- gets people very crazy. So I ought to leave it alone. But fools rush in, as the proverb says.

Teabaggers are the kind of people who certainly would have joined the Nazi Party; but so did Albert Speer.

I have a twitchy personal Fasc-O-Meter myself, and I've been saying for ages that this is becoming daily a more Fascist country, by every metric that means anything to me. But we can hardly blame the Teabaggers, poor fuddled souls, for this development. It's been entirely a matter of bipartisan elite consensus for decades now.

The conventional view of fascism is that it's capitalism's response to crisis. But I wonder whether it isn't the natural tendency of capitalist rule, absent any pushback.

On another topic: mjosef -- I couldn't make head or tail of your comment. "Jungle gyms?!" I'm not sure I could even parse the syntax correctly. Find an air-conditioned room and drink a nice cold beer -- slowly.


Is it possible to read the Teaps as the inevitable and probably predictable vulgarization of an elite philosophy?

The Republicans from whom the Teaps sprang abandoned all pretense to even nominal democracy and republicanism decades ago. Teap rhetoric is steeped in traditionalism and maximalism - and it has more in common with degraded falangist sentiment than any broadly liberal run of the mill post-Enlightenment racket state's set of justifications, especially the threadbare sort which Democrats adorn themselves with come ballot time.

Or, looking at through a different lens, entirely: given a time machine and a mass transit gate, they'd be just fine with Napoly Three's France as long as their preferred set of symbols were reaffirmed.


There's some real me-first ugliness out there right now where I live.

Yeah, and most of what I'm experiencing of that radical selfishness, fuck-you-motherfuckerness is coming from "liberal" and "progressive" Democrats.

I trust the left about as far as I can throw Melissa McEwan. I'd rather hang out with redneck "teabaggers" any day. Their brand of selfishness is tolerable, even if their rhetoric offends the well-educated leftist's sense of political correctness.



contrasting my comment above with Jack's, it's clear the "teabaggers" where I live are much different humans from the Teap Artiers where Jack lives.

Or maybe that's because I can cut through their politically incorrect rhetoric and understand what pisses them off and why, and what they'd prefer to see happen in the realm of their rights vs those of Uncle Sam.


I dunno, JC. The Baggers' demented confabulations seem to have little to do with any 'ism' I can think of. All that stuff about Obie's birth certificate? Even Flat-Earthery makes more sense. And how could they be Falangist? They're nearly all Proddies, aren't they?

But I'm at the extreme limit of my radar with these folks -- or past it. It's all imagination: I just have to ask myself, how could somebody end up in such a state? It's like constructing a character in a novel. You look at the demographics and try to think, well, good Lord, what must their life be like?

I was hoping to convey the lack of coherence or deliberation, MJS, by referring to a "degraded falangism" and the vulgarization of Republican's often admirable message discipline.

The fault is entirely my own.


I don't think they're pissed at anything rational or demonstrable. Whether in NH or some one industry shit town in Colorado.

I think the main claim of the Teap Arty type is that his liberty is frighteningly infringed by the mostly distant government, but that he is somehow liberated by the daily grind imposed upon him by corporate culture and a finance economy.

The federal death state doesn't work against him. He's its primary goddamned beneficiary. His middling lifestyle is directly guaranteed by the death state. His roads, his cheapish oil, his subsidy funded cereals, sugars and beef, his tax write offs and his social security are offered up to keep him in the hours and crass comfort to which he's become accustomed.

The real victims of the government don't sound like the Teap Artiers for a reason. Their gripes are legitimate. They are direct recipients of mandatory minimum prison sentences, the drug war, "illegals" round ups, redlining, block grant double accounting, border fences and (as Al noted below) corporate-state protection rackets for big agra.

They're the unions being busted by law, executive order and tax code shenanigans. They're Iraqis, Afghans, Azeris, Somalis, Libyans and Yemenis.

All those actual victims go into the death state's Stone Soup in order to make sure that the Teap Artier fuckwit is well fed enough to toe the line, hate the fags, worry the Mexicans, bemoan the loss of a judicial Jesus, and mistake the most corporate hack in recent memory for an Indonesian/African/Uppity Negro socialist...


JC, you may well be onto something (and my pedantry about Falangism was just a jape, really). Perhaps the difference in our approach is that I can't see anything in the Baggers for intellectual history to sink its teeth into; seems to me they're a job for students of psychology, or would be, if students of psychology had a clue.

If I'm reading you right, you're suggesting that their "thinking" is a kind of derivative bargain-basement knockoff of something more respectable or at least more coherent. But are they thinking at all? Or are they just gesticulating, and pecking magpie-like at the odd slogan, like Big Gummint?

Maybe I'm doing 'em an injustice. I don't know anybody in this world. I can only speculate, based on media impressions, which quite likely are misleading me as much about them as they are misled about the lives of people in Harlem.


I think you might find the religious demographics of the Teaps surprising, or at least amusing. While they are largely affluent, caucasian and Protestant, about one in three white Catholics also identify with the movement.

I wasn't trying to offer a model of a classic Iberian or Kataebist falangism, but was more hinting at an inchoate maximalist absorption of the Party Republican line to the point that their unifying beliefs are indistinguishable from from rudimentary and very anti-republican totalitarian sentiment. (I still don't think they're dangerous, or driving some sort of future insurgency. They are a symptom, not a cause.)

And despite the bleating sheep conformity to the Holy Eretz Yisroel line, among Teaps, American Jews are the most likely to distrust them.

"If I'm reading you right, you're suggesting that their "thinking" is a kind of derivative bargain-basement knockoff of something more respectable or at least more coherent. But are they thinking at all? Or are they just gesticulating, and pecking magpie-like at the odd slogan, like Big Gummint?

That's a better way of putting it than I managed to muddle through.

I think they are exactly what they've always been - the Moral Majority types who would, if they were Catholics in France, Lebanon or Spain, be target recipients of standard Rightist boiler plate propaganda, but not necessarily leaders of any movement.

But, since they are a mixed bag of Prots and Catholics, perhaps a better label could just be "Good Germans." I don't know.

The overlap between old school Christian Conservative and Tea Party adherent is a damned close match. Other than "magpie pecking" (the clever, tool using magpies suffer for the comparison) about government and the national "debt", their main issues are the same old social con cons: abortion, immigration, prayer in schools, condoms, godless communism and sex which is fun.

You know - I probably should have just stuck with "astroturfed into turgid stupidity." Because I don't think they're a threat or anything. Just a curious case of symptoms masquerading as cause.


Point taken about the magpies, to whom I apologize wholeheartedly. And indeed Baggers seem to have a lot in common with what I've seen of the admirers of Le Pen, so it's certainly not a purely Amurrican phenomenon.


PS -- "One in three white Catholics"? Really? That's a lot more people than I thought there were Baggers.


MJS, that's a nice Fasc-O-Meter you've got there. What's the reading for Hummers? Las Vegas? Some have few kind words about the place:

The Circus-Circus is what the whole hep world would be doing Saturday night if the Nazis had won the war. This is the sixth Reich.

Or maybe it's just Bat Country.

"About one in three white Catholics and a similar share of white mainline Protestants also agree with the Tea Party, Pew found. Among those two groups at least one in five disagrees with the movement. Roughly 45% of white Catholics and mainline Protestants have no opinion about the Tea Party or have not heard of it."



Oh, Pew. They appear to have a very broad definition of "Tea Party supporter", don't they? Still, it's an interesting reflection on the development of American Catholicism. Maybe not such a development at all, of course, now that I think of Father Coughlin -- which admittedly does bring us back into some kind of Falangist penumbra.

Fadduh Smiff sez on 07.12.11 @13:18:
Our friend Mike Flugennock has a cartoon on the subject, which I thought was a little too cruel even for this bloody-minded site, but one sometimes wonders whether he doesn't have a point:


Cruel? Shit, man, that's not cruel; it's the straight raw truth. I'm not trying to be mean, I'm just callin' 'em as I see 'em.

Hell, it couldn't possibly be any more cruel than this:



Jack has it right. The baggers are among The Gummint's biggest beneficiaries. I'd add that some folks I know of the bagger variety are themselves govt employees, civil servants. In one case, two generations of civil servants with stout bagger sentiments.

Too incoherent to be anything like an ideology. I agree they're no threat. The threat comes from changing objective conditions. As they worsen, the baggers will seem like, well, a tea party.





I think there are lots of "analytic" (quotes intended to mock the word's euphemistic rather than literal use) errors in equating the teabaggers of my area of the USA and the bizarre Stepford Wife approach of Michelle Bachmann.

It's easy to mock Bachmann and her act-alikes because they're so obviously charlatans playing a theme-party kind of role.

It's sloppy to assume that the people of Ravalli County are just like Michelle Bachmann or Glenn Beck or Sarah Palin.

But I know, a dried-up washed-up former Shining Light of The Left must have his targets to mock from behind a keyboard. It makes the Leftist feel strong, virile, and not so shriveled up.


"The real victims of the government don't sound like the Teap Artiers for a reason. Their gripes are legitimate."




The baggers have been polled repeatedly. They are more educated and make more money than the average prole.



I can tell you what they're pissed off at in Missoula County, Lake County, Ravalli County, Mineral County.

They're pissed off that their Big Daddy (Uncle Sam) tells them that having "jobs" is the essence of being American, and enables consumption of those miraculous consumer goods, but then at the same time, nobody's arranging for them to have such "jobs" despite the "jobs" being essential to life. Therefore, why trust Big Daddy if he puts you in such a bind.

They see this at the same time Professional Leftists (yuppie douchebag "progressives") continue moving to western Montana with their "nest eggs" of savings, living off those "nest eggs," contributing nothing to local economies except "gentrification" -- which exacerbates the lack of "jobs."

Their daily lives grow more expensive while the work remains invisible.

The yupster pwogs continue moving in, building McMansions among shacks. And lording their consumer power over the shack-dwellers.

I think all y'all Smart Leftists have spent far too much time in urban areas to know anything about this shit, and are talking out your asses.

I think y'all, each of you, needs to go live poor for a decade. And by "poor" I don't mean foregoing your Glenlivet in favor of cheap rye.


Anonymous, I have poll results which show all people posting as "Anonymous" are making up bullshit with every post.



I meant to sign the one about the bagger polls. But the people I am talking about are decidedly not the people you are talking about who, as I said earlier, have a legit gripe.

We're talking about different folks here.


By the way, there are plenty of poor folks in "urban areas" too. I don't see the point of making this an urban v rural thing, except to take a cheap shot.

A few thousand pretty poor folks are warehoused a couple of blocks from where I live. I get out plenty, though I cannot profess to a desire to "live poor" anymore than the people who actually live poor do.


(That was me again @ 11:08)



Yes, we are talking about different people, but then in this comment thread, a lot of comments equate the two groups of people.

Is this thread about the charlatan nature of Michelle Bachmann?

Or about the reasons for the disaffection among those who would vote for Bachmann?

Two different things.

Analyzing the former is the terrain for has-been, dried-up, former "bright lights" of the left.

Analyzing the latter is for people who imagine their imagination is attuned to social improvement.

Analyzing the latter cannot happen fairly unless the analyst drops his/her reflexive hatred of anything that doesn't smell of Glossy Karl.


PS to CZ:

Analyzing ANY of this by reference to how the mainstream infotainment media presents the "tea party" or "teabaggers" is complete and utter nonsense, given the total bullshit nature of all "news" media.

But it explains why most of this thread's criticism of the individual "tea party" members is focused on upper middle class white dudes who like being angry about everything.

Y'all can make fun of Glenn Beck all day, I don't mind. I don't see the point of the wasted energy, but I don't mind. However, when you pretend that analyzing Glenn Beck is the same as analyzing the people of Ravalli County who have GOP election signs in their yards, I think you (generic "you") are naught but a fraud, no more sincere or grift-free than Glenn Beck himself.


Also to CZ:

I am well aware of poor folks in cities, having grown up in and among them.

They are a different character than rural poor, by any measure.

The rural poor in a traditionally poor state, watching their state slowly gentrify, are a completely different animal from the urban poor who grow up among gentrification-as-rule and are quite used to seeing the rich get their way in all aspects of life.

They have different reasons to be mad. Urban poor tend to suffer a lot of Bad Cop injustice. Rural poor and the cops tend to be friends, often have been since jr high or high school. Totally different.


UE rate in may

montana 7.3 %

california 11.7%

michigan 10.3 %

new jersey 9.4%


the triumph of posturing over positivism

though often easy enough
hardly a victory worth the joust


reaction is the soul of the anarchist
as well as
the under leveraged
spare time householder posse


the bitterly 'wised up '
rabidly anti "elite leftist "
as poorly sublimated
but house trained anti semite


UE rates are bullshit. Ask the throngs of people at the Montana Job Service office in your local Montana town if they believe UE is under 10%. You'll get a hearty laugh if you don't get stuck with a knife.

Though I don't get into the nonsense of number-chucking like you Professional Leftist EconoDowagers, I'd put the UE rate in MT at 20-25%, based on who I know and how well they are employed, and what I have learned from the counties surrounding me.

But hey, let's worship a statistical analysis, and ignore what's actually happening. The statistics make us feel ...uh... smart. They're practically a replacement for understanding the landscape, right?

Oh never mind. I'm busy in my major metropolitan urban area office, too busy to get to know what's going on outside my head.


Karl, if you'd "I'd put the UE rate in MT at 20-25%", then why wouldn't the rates in CA and NJ also be significantly higher? Why would the undercounting (which I agree is quite likely) only exist in one state?


I am not commenting on anything but the state I know, CZ.

Unlike some people here.

That's some mighty powerful weed you got down there in Montana, Karl. Mind if I have a toke?


Sure, whatever. Here's a sack of oregano, a/k/a organically grown Blueberry Gumbo. I recommend smoking it in a well-turned-out salon full of enlightened leftists pontificating about why Marxism hasn't yet begun to dominate world affairs. Put on some George Winston or other assorted Windham Hill label "artists," and enjoy the mellow, superior groove.

The machines operate as always, right?

Zero "raise[s] more than $86 million for his reelection campaign and the Democratic National Committee in the last three months."

The groundlings start to shoot out the emails encouraging targets to take dislike for Tea Party types as some great achievement.

Tea Party types, middle-class whiteys who "did everything right" (meaning dutifully swallowed every lie) continue to play the self-pitying fools.

As does the meta- and mega-confused troll/author of "glossy Karl," perhaps the least apt insult ever coined.


Keep working that childish angle, Dawson. It suits you and your perspective, that rank juvenilia.

I especially admire your "do as I say, not as I do" life-meme. Brilliant stuff, that. Pure brillo.

After becoming spooked initially, I quickly figured out that the Teabaggers are nothing but a sideshow, a diversion which should be welcomed as a reliable source of cheap laffs:


I'm alarmed at the amount of time and energy pissed away by Liberals - and many of my fellow Lefties - on being afraid of the Teabaggers, and jumping up and down yelling and screaming about how they have to be "stopped". Sadly, my DW is among those mindlessly spooked Liberals who spends her mornings on Facebook bitching about those mean ol' Teabaggers with her fellow Liberals, and snickering about how stupid Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann are. Any time I try to point out to her that the Democratic Party is a far bigger threat to the Left than a bunch of warmed-over Birchers with hideously misspelled signs, she gets all pissy and brandishes her PoliSci degree in my face, and then her head explodes.

Same deal with Glenn Beck. All these goddamn' Liberals want to throw Glenn Beck off the air, free speech be damned. Myself, I say let the motherfucker roll, on the principle that if Glenn Beck insists on displaying his stupidity and insanity on a satellite TV hookup to the whole goddamn' world, who the hell are we to try and stop him? I mean, shit, man; if the guy wants to hang himself, why should we keep him from having a rope?

There's also this Twitter feed called "StopFOX" whose posts are occasionally retweeted to me by people I follow, and it's a total load of sputtering impotence. Every time that feed posts something about how we need to do something about Fox News, I reply with a reminder that all US media are scum, it's just that Fox is more up-front about where they're coming from. I mean, seriously, "StopFOX"? Hell, why stop at Fox?


I didn't live in the Roman Empire, Karl. Am I not allowed to comment on that?

The baggers have been polled repeatedly. They are more educated and make more money than the average prole.
But they're also whiter (by far) and older than the average prole. To what extent, I wonder, have these confounding factors been compensated for?

I love it that they're "better educated". So much for education, eh?


CZ, if I had the slightest clue why you're on the attack against me, I could answer your question.

As it is, I'm confused. But please do carry on with the animosity toward me, especially when I haven't argued against anything you've posted here in this thread.


Karl, just to be clear: I agree with you on your MT neighbors. I am more confounded by, and discussing, a more educated and affluent class of angry white folk. I do think these groups too often get conflated.


MJS: they're almost 100% white.


I already explained the angry well-educated white people in my first post in this thread.

Maybe you could follow-up ask,

Why do they feel entitled to their fantasy becoming reality?

...and I would say that American infotainment media tell Americans that if they reach a certain socioeconomic stage or level, they are entitled to certain luxuries, accoutrements, and lifestyle(s). TV shows confirm that the well-off live in McMansions and drive fancy vehicles with big price tags. TV shows tell their viewers that those who are so well-off are the ones who run America.

So people aspire to be that well-off, as symbolized by the attendant possessions and trinkets, and expect that once they've gained such possessions and trinkets, they are entitled to dictate life to all who reside below them on the possessions-and-trinkets cumulative scale.


My gripe with this comment thread is the posture of the pot-shotters, living in middle- if not upper-middle-class comfort, prestige and status, while pretending to understand rural Republicans.

The "smart leftists" here would do well to read Joe Bageant.

Or, they could remain in worship of a dead German who didn't give a flying fuck about them or their kin.


Nothing is more fun
Then watching a kook swat imaginary flies away from his head


There's no populism like faux populism.

swat imaginary flies away from his head
With an imaginary flyswatter.

People in Montana are hardly different than any others among us, though a MT-based megalomaniac might project his own brilliance and realness onto them, due to their proximity to him.

Rather hilarious and diagnostically in character to this self-same narcissist berating others for not knowing his favored group, while telling me I'm upper class. Haw!

As to Joe Bageant, it's a shame he's dead now. We could've asked him what he thought of slovenly Karl. But, given Joe's passing, MT meatheads are free to quote him in their own solipsistic manner, with their own special, if insupportable and frankly rock-stupid, ways.

P.S. The proposition that jobs is what T-Pee-ers want is only slightly more apt than "glossy Karl." These people want to see their fantasies jump to life, and to be congratulated for being right all along, despite the fact that they've been militantly wrong, on principle, since they first called MLK the n-word.



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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on Tuesday July 12, 2011 11:12 AM.

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