The Tea Party’s Toxic Take on History

From Slate:

I am a great believer in used-bookstore serendipity. Sometimes when you’re thinking about how to express something, you find a perfect exemplification of it just by chance in the musty stacks of such an emporium. Here’s a remarkable example. I’d been trying to find a way to write about Tea Party ideology, and in particular about the fraudulent history and distorted language it indulges in. Listen to Tea Partiers on cable news—or read the signs they hoist or their Internet comments—and you frequently encounter the flagrant abuse, the historically ignorant misuse, of words such as tyranny, communist, Marxist, fascist, and socialist.

You hear them say, for instance, that we live under “tyranny” because one side lost a health care vote in an elected legislative body. And that, in all seriousness, the president is a communist. For many Tea Party members, the word is not just a vile epithet; it’s a realistic political description. Check out this clip in which Tea Party “celebrity” spokeswoman Victoria Jackson flatly tells a flummoxed Fox News host, “The president’s a communist.” When the host (the Fox host!) starts to object, she responds that Glenn Beck has taught her that progressive is a code word for communist. (Time to put that ugly hammer and sickle logo inside the “O” on your I-hate-Obama T.P. protest sign!)

Unless of course Obama is really a “fascist,” as some T.P.ers have it, because he’s a liberal, and liberals are fascists (as we all know from that magisterial work of history, Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg). So instead of the hammer and sickle, draw a little Hitler mustache on Obama’s face on your T.P. hate signs. Or better yet, parade around with a swastika! (The Tea Partiers seem to get a special kick out of this, for some reason.)

[Read more at Slate]

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  • http://lovewithoutsound.tumblr.com adam

    this is a good article and all but it sounds like the writer is another one of those who cry about stalin and soviet communism while ignoring the constant and ongoing crimes of capitalism.

    • voxmagi

      Well, going into that would be outside the scope of the articles point…and 'crimes of capitalism' is a list too big to enter into without getting set for an encyclopedic volume ;-)

      It was a good article, hammering home the BS nature of the Teabaggers. I may not agree with the current administration on much of anything, but the harnessed rage of a pack of retards that can't master basic history offends me so deeply that it makes the DNC look good…and that's sayin' somethin'!

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  • wfzlsster

    First of all, it is pretty obvious by now that the tea baggers have been taken over by the Neocons. Secondly, I think the raging liberals are really upset about the tea bag movement because these guys are actually doing something and not just sitting around and drinking coffee.

  • DeepCough

    What would Hitler say if he saw his image superimposed on a half-black, half-white man? Wouldn't he go blitzkrieg or something?

  • Anon

    These filthy people are traitors, nothing more and nothing less. They would happily slap chains on and enslave us, while unwittingly being slaves themselves. This is just class warfare, the rich tricking the poor into attacking other poor to keep us all down in the gutter while they sip champagne and sleep with their mistresses.

    • Chlod

      Tragically, the Teaparty got hi-jacked by mainstream republicans… but to call these people traitors is serious business. The bonafide ones rightfully question the government's policy – it's something some of you should try as well, if you're still capable to do it, that is. If they're 'traitors', then you are a 'joiner', giving your blessing to a (morally) corrupt regime.

  • Chlod

    Well, the author of the article is basically right. But let's face it – Bush wasn't a nazi or a fascist either (for instance: it's not like a national socialist would import half Latin America into the US like Bush did, right?) – it's just bon ton to call your opponent names, because it should give you the moral high ground or something. The level of most political debate doesn't rise above the level of smearing an opponent, often due to a lack of historical knowledge. On top of that, at least some of the leaders who have been branded “fascist” (and some who actually were fascists) by capitalists, socialists, etc., etc. … were far better leaders than both Obama and Bush, and actually did care about their nation.

    On the other hand: it doesn't matter what one calls Obama – it still doesn't justify the way America's heading, Obama-ism is a disaster.

  • Chlod

    Tragically, the Teaparty got hi-jacked by mainstream republicans… but to call these people traitors is serious business. The bonafide ones rightfully question the government’s policy – it’s something some of you should try as well, if you’re still capable to do it, that is. If they’re ‘traitors’, then you are a ‘joiner’, giving your blessing to a (morally) corrupt regime.