At local blog Dane101, Steve Hanson writes what may be a near-perfect metaphor for the Wisconsin recall elections today.
The Tea Party Express has been touring the state for the last few days to mixed response. The first stop of the tour was in Hudson on Friday afternoon. Before their arrival a group of protesters was in place in the parking lot in the riverfront park. Activist Coni Gehler arrived with a Harsdorf's Special Interests arrow, which she pointed at the bus as people arrived. At first nobody was certain that there actually were any travelers on the bus, since they sat in it for quite a while after arrival, but they slowly trickled out, and eventually about a dozen participants came out. A certain amount of mirth came from the fact that the bus proudly proclaimed that their next bus tour was going to take place in "August and Setpember of 2011." There were quite a few schoolteachers in the audience, and cries of "spell check" rang out in the crowd. Never piss off school teachers.
An out-of-state group gets local chumps to tour around in a corporate-owned bus. Angry teachers. The facts-be-damned nature of the tea party. And yes, the TPE's bus really does have a prominent misspelling on its fancy corporate paint job. The teabagger protester with the misspelled sign is a stereotype for a reason.
This was the stop where Tea Party Nation chief moron Judson Philips claimed that liberals "endorse and embrace an ideology that has killed a billion people" during the 20th century. A desperate and ridiculous lie, representative of a desperate and ridiculous right. These people are nearly as angry as they are terrified.
The language at the stop was warlike and disturbing. "This is ground zero," Vince Schmuki of the Ozaukee Patriot tea party group told the crowd. "You remember what the term ground zero means? We have been attacked... Tuesday is going to be the beginning of our takeover. And we're going to follow it up the following week, and then we're going to polish off the enemy in November 2012. Who's with me?"
Yes, recalling state senators is exactly like killing 3,000 people in a terrorist attack. Between this and Philips' claimed that liberals killed one out of every seven people on Earth, you begin to wonder if tea party leaders have a little more than a disregard for facts -- if they actually believe this stuff, they're quite literally insane.
And, of course, the Tea Party is rapidly evaporating. Currently, only 18% of Americans have a favorable view of the teapartiers, while 40% view them unfavorably. Regardless of how they view the tea party, 43% believe they have too much influence over the Republican Party.
And who would want to be associated with these people? They seem to believe that the best argument isn't the one that's most logical, but the one that's most offensive. "Andrea Shay King, who hosts a Patriot BlogTalkRadio show. Ms. King managed to be my own personal low point of the evening as she kept referring to liberals as crybabies, and crying out WAAH-WAAH-WAAH to the protesters," Hanson writes of the Hudson stop. "This variety of clever persuasion was typical of the day." Seriously, who could be proud of this stuff?
However the recalls turn out tonight, we can be sure of one thing, the fight isn't over. There are still two more senate recall elections and the governor's recall next year. But as the tea party dissipates, expect them to become even more desperate. And possibly dangerous.
If the tea party has an ideological parallel, it's with the "right to life" movement. Both movements don't have opponents, but enemies. They believe that the people who stand in their way aren't people with whom they have a disagreement, but that they're people who are evil. Teabaggers equate progressives with Nazis and Communists for a reason and that reason is that they actually believe this crap. Not that the people above, pulling the strings actually believe it, but that the chumpy puppets like Judson Philips do. And the people in that small crowd in Hudson, Wisconsin did.
When you're fighting evil, there's no reason to worry about fairness or ethics or morality. No matter what you do, it's automatically right, because it's a blow against evil. Dirty tricks? Who worries about fighting fair when you're fighting the devil? All that matters is that you win. You've got to take back America from the liberals and the commies and the Nazis and Muslims and the gays and the godless. The survival of the nation depends on total victory and failure means we'll all be marched off to the dreaded FEMA camps by the Obama Youth Army.
No matter how things turn out tonight, expect the remaining teapartiers to become more entrenched. Not only is this a fight for Wisconsin, but it's a proxy war for national interests. If Republicans go down tonight, it'll be felt in the hearts of nuts everywhere. Expect prolonged legal battles regardless of the outcome, which should also inflame 'bagger passions. The anger will grow as their numbers diminish, until all that are left are few die-hard little white-hot balls of hatred and misplaced rage.