Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Oh, so you say ?

Leonard Pitts Jr on the Tea Party movement, which is (you know) if not primarily motivated by race, owns it as it's major component:

But ultimately, people seem moved by something even bigger than race. This is race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, culture, and the fact that those who have always been on the right side, the power-wielding side, of one or more of those equations, now face the realization that their days of dominance are numbered.

Dominance of what, Mr Pitts? Who has always been on the "power-wielding" side?

There is a poignancy to their responsive fury because one senses that the nether side of it is a choking fear. We are witness to the birth cries of a new America and for every one of us who embraces and celebrates that, who looks forward to the opportunity and inclusiveness it promises, there is another who grapples with a crippling sense of dislocation and loss, who wonders who and what she will be in the nation now being born.

One hopes they will find answers that satisfy them because the change they fear will not be turned back. No one ever volunteers to return to the rear of the bus.

A "new"America? You know what this is sounding dangerously like, don't you? What are you celebrating? Statism? An abdication of personal responsibility? An ever increasing paternalistic federal government?

So for all the frustration the tea party movement engenders among the rest of us, one also feels a certain pity for people like the woman last year who cried, plaintively, that she wanted her country back.

As if she didn't realize that it is already, irrevocably, gone.

That's rather big talk.

Now, for an alternate perspective:

To sum up: in 2010, an energized Republican Party will address a public charged with grassroots energy, and furious over the passage of legislation they didn’t want… forced on them in the express belief they’re too stupid to understand its magnificence, and too feeble to survive without it. The Republicans will explain the only way to roll back this legislation is to decimate the party that passed it. They might just be smart enough to demonstrate how ObamaCare is the concentrated essence of everything that has gone wrong with American government – not America – over the last half-century, and present its repeal as the beginning of a comprehensive movement to cleanse the tainted ground from which it sprang.

In other words, Democrats, ObamaCare might indeed become your ticket to perpetual influence… or it might become the centerpiece of the best argument Americans will ever hear to get rid of you. You’ll have your core supporters and a few safe seats, but that’s the formula for a rump party. Americans will always insist on a vibrant opposition party, and they are wise to do so. They tremble on the verge of becoming wise enough to realize the Democrat Party doesn’t “own” its position as one of the two major parties, any more than it owned the “Kennedy seat” in Massachusetts. When Barbara Boxer says every state is now in play, believe her. She knows what she’s talking about.

It’s been a hundred and fifty years since a major American political party was erased. I’ve often wondered what it would look like, if such a thing happened in the modern era. I imagine it would take a combination of widespread voter anger, the messy death of a failed ideology, an energized opposition, and hopelessly out-of-touch leadership. Whatever remains of the “moderate” wing of the Democrat Party should consult their own imaginations, before arrogantly passing a bill that can only be rolled back over their dead bodies.

It's game on.