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The black man's CNN
October 13, 2010 12:05 PM   Subscribe

What if the Tea Party was Black? Jasiri X raps about radicalism and racism. Inflammatory and simplistic, maybe, but the best rap polemic since George Bush Doesn't Care About Black People. Jasiri X responds to critics here.
posted by klangklangston (138 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
Not exactly a double, but this was posted back in July in this thread.
posted by allen.spaulding at 12:12 PM on October 13, 2010


Mr. X thinks the Tea Party is an armed paramilitary group, which it isn't. He also mistakenly thinks that because the TP is dominated by white bourgeois, it might be some sort of revolutionary White Nationalist movement. Not to mention that the biggest TP event of all time was a celebration of multiculturalism and MLK.
posted by Yakuman at 12:14 PM on October 13, 2010


Not to mention that the biggest TP event of all time was a celebration of multiculturalism and MLK.

How's that Kool-Aid?
posted by klangklangston at 12:17 PM on October 13, 2010 [60 favorites]


Wait. What?
posted by JaredSeth at 12:20 PM on October 13, 2010


Mr. X thinks the Tea Party is an armed paramilitary group, which it isn't. He also mistakenly thinks that because the TP is dominated by white bourgeois, it might be some sort of revolutionary White Nationalist movement. Not to mention that the biggest TP event of all time was a celebration of multiculturalism and MLK.

Err, are you referring to the Glenn Beck event that was not a tea party event (although I think it's a fair assumption that many attendees were members of the TP) and that's MLK timing was incidental (according to Mr. Beck himself)?
posted by dig_duggler at 12:22 PM on October 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


How's that Kool-Aid?

Refreshing, like the laughter of a small child after a great tragedy.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:22 PM on October 13, 2010 [22 favorites]


Mr. X thinks the Tea Party is an armed paramilitary group, which it isn't.

Other than all those armed people showing up to town hall meetings.

He also mistakenly thinks t(...) it might be some sort of revolutionary White Nationalist movement.

Well, the fact that it's 99.99% white, is freaking out over ancient issues that only suddenly became a problem once there was a black president, and is named for a revolutionary nationalist movement might be an important clue there, Sherlock.

Not to mention that the biggest TP event of all time was a celebration of multiculturalism and MLK.

Wh-- oh, you're only joking. Carry on.
posted by Shepherd at 12:24 PM on October 13, 2010 [9 favorites]




He's actually not saying that the Tea Party is a paramilitary outfit, he's saying that if they were predominantly black rather than predominantly white, they would be portrayed completely differently by the media. Or at least that's what I'm getting from it.
posted by synaesthetichaze at 12:30 PM on October 13, 2010 [12 favorites]


Not to mention that the biggest TP event of all time was a celebration of multiculturalism and MLK.

What the hell are you talking about? That Glenn Beck travesty on the Mall? The one where Glenn Beck accidentally scheduled it on the anniversary of the "I Have a Dream," and so tried to abscond with MLK's message and ride on the back of MLK's legacy, all the while pushing the most divisive politics in American history? The one where their token African-American speaker was the lunatic Alveda King, who has sided with the right because they side with her virulent opposition to women's reproductive rights and rights for gay people? The one that only avoided blatant partisan politics because their sponsor was a nonprofit whose status would have been at risk otherwise?

Is that the one you were talking about? In what way was it a celebration of multiculturalism?
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:32 PM on October 13, 2010 [4 favorites]


Err, are you referring to the Glenn Beck event that was not a tea party event (although I think it's a fair assumption that many attendees were members of the TP) and that's MLK timing was incidental (according to Mr. Beck himself)?

Yeah, isn't it fucking lovely? When they put it together, it's a gigantic coincidence that it falls on that day, and it's not a tea party event. But after it's done, it was a tea party event that showed how they respected multiculturalism and in honour of MLK.

Also, ain't it fucking grand how that celebration of multiculturalism was 99.999% white? Way to go, tea partiers, you really showed us.
posted by splice at 12:35 PM on October 13, 2010 [4 favorites]


The Mr. T Party: "Get some nuts!"
posted by Kabanos at 12:35 PM on October 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


JohnFredra, I got about two minutes into that video before I was unable to watch anymore. I got as far as 'this is the last bastion of hope', let out an uncontrollable whimper of vague discomfort, and hit the back button.

Thank you for sharing that. I find it troubling and somewhat surreal.
posted by emperor.seamus at 12:36 PM on October 13, 2010


This could apply to all sorts of things. Of course, in our country, it would be different if the Tea Party was black. My left-leaning church would, I do not doubt for a second, get more respect for its viewpoints in the community if its pastors were white. The fundamentalists in town would get less if they were black. Schools full of poor, uneducated white kids are the fault of the bad educational system. Schools full of poor, uneducated black kids are the fault of the parents. Or extend it further--what if the National Council of La Raza was the National Council of Italian Americans? What if the poor people coming across the border were Canadians?

Of course it's different. An almost-exclusively black or Mexican or Middle Eastern Asian or any non-white group of people who pushed for electing officials to advance their personal causes and talked about revolution and nationalism to this extent would be seen as a serious threat. Maybe I'm jaded, but I think that if the Audubon Society was overwhelmingly black (or Mexican, or OMG, Middle Eastern) it would be seen as a serious threat. My pretty ordinary neighborhood full of poor people is seen as a threat because it's mostly black, and all anybody does is live there. This is the nature of race relations in America. This is just so much stating the obvious.

The shocking thing is not that white America would be upset by a black Tea Party, it's that they *ought* to be upset by the *white* Tea Party. To that end, I'm not sure I like this vehicle for the comparison. There are lots of harmless things one can do as a minority that would be seen as bad and scary. The Tea Party is not harmless.
posted by gracedissolved at 12:43 PM on October 13, 2010 [37 favorites]


Wh-- oh, you're only joking. Carry on.

No, he's not.
posted by kafziel at 12:45 PM on October 13, 2010 [8 favorites]


I thought the Tea Party was sorta, kinda negative on socialism, whereas Dr. King surrounded himself with communists from the beginning of his career.

It was one thing, this King told his colleagues, for blacks to win the right to sit at a lunch counter. It was another thing for black and other poor people to get the money to buy a lunch.
posted by three blind mice at 12:47 PM on October 13, 2010 [4 favorites]


I think a similar question is "How would conservative commenters react to anti-bullying laws if Christian children were being bullied for their Christianity to such an extent that they started to kill themselves."

Because, as of right now, they are fighting anti-bullying legislation in general, and especially putting their foot down at any legislation that names the sort of bullying -- homophobic -- and the children who are bullied -- gays and lesbians.

The "Celebration of multiculturalism" video linked to above gets especially interesting when the subject of Islam comes up, at about 7:15. At least in the case of the speakers presented, there was no celebrating other cultures, but fear and suspicion, coupled with out-and-out hostility.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:48 PM on October 13, 2010 [8 favorites]


kafziel, wow. Those links... "the number of sensational white-on-black crimes is just not that great", seriously?

I think I get why people like this are on the internet now. Cuz for sure if some idiot parroted that line live, I would pull a Morales and not even think twice about it.
posted by splice at 12:54 PM on October 13, 2010


The trick is that conservatives have convinced themselves that they're the beleaguered ones. Given the prevalence among the religious right of deeply fanciful narratives of the oppression of Christianity in America, I am certain that there are significant fractions of that population who think that anti-Christian bullying in school exists and is a problem, and that the way to combat it is through making public schools explicitly Christian.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 12:56 PM on October 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


Last time a large organization of black folks exercised their right to bear arms and had a political message: they got bombed by the FBI.

Ironically, unlike the Tea Party, they actually took direct action to help society- setting up soup lines and putting up stop signs at intersections where children had been hit by cars, multiple times.

Strangely, the libertarians seem to consistently overlook their example. Hmm.
posted by yeloson at 12:57 PM on October 13, 2010 [11 favorites]


I give.
What's a Morales?
posted by Senor Cardgage at 1:02 PM on October 13, 2010


You mean take them to Mexico to lose their virginity and thats what inspires them to make "La Bamba" a hit song?
posted by Senor Cardgage at 1:05 PM on October 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


I give.
What's a Morales?


When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie.

That's a Morales.
posted by GuyZero at 1:14 PM on October 13, 2010 [19 favorites]


if the Audubon Society was overwhelmingly black ... it would be seen as a serious threat

Man, what is it with Black people and birdwatching? Chris Rock would have a whole 30-minute routine devoted to this topic.
posted by GuyZero at 1:16 PM on October 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


Mr. X thinks the Tea Party is an armed paramilitary group, which it isn't. He also mistakenly thinks that because the TP is dominated by white bourgeois, it might be some sort of revolutionary White Nationalist movement. Not to mention that the biggest TP event of all time was a celebration of multiculturalism and MLK.

You should speak after the (ahem) "teabag" is out of your mouth.
posted by hal_c_on at 1:21 PM on October 13, 2010 [5 favorites]


If I had more time on my hands, I would buy a sock puppet account specifically to troll threads such as these. And I'm sure I would be pretty good at it too, because I've seen it happen again and again.

When I come into a thread and see a guy praising the Tea Party for their multiculturalism and celebration of MLK day, I realize I'd never be able to compete. Congratulations, dude. That is some fine form right there.
posted by graventy at 1:23 PM on October 13, 2010 [5 favorites]


Pleasantly surprised to see this on the blue.
posted by lunachic at 1:25 PM on October 13, 2010


The Tea Party doesn't even have a values system to criticize beyond the phrase, "We want our country back." Who are "we"? What does "getting your country back" entail? When Christine O'Donnel says "I am you," what in the hell is she talking about? Am I a forty year old virgin who thinks that masturbation and fornication should be legislated? I'd love to hear from all the Tea Party candidates, but for some reason, they're either too shy, or afraid, or ignorant to be able to have a conversation with a journalist. How can a person afraid of speaking publicly represent my interests effectively in government?

It's for these reasons that I have little respect for the movement. To anyone from the outside, it's basically a crowd of people with what Bill O'Reilly describes as "white working class values" saying, "We're mad as hell, so we're voting Republican again!"
posted by notion at 1:34 PM on October 13, 2010 [11 favorites]


Not to mention that the biggest TP event of all time was a celebration of multiculturalism and MLK.

Perhaps only in the sense that Kristallnacht was a celebration of Christianity.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:44 PM on October 13, 2010 [15 favorites]


When Christine O'Donnel says "I am you," what in the hell is she talking about?

I know it's a rhetorical question, but I think it's pretty clear that when Christine O'Donnell says 'I am you' what she is explicitly saying is 'Those other people are not like you, so don't vote for them.'
posted by shakespeherian at 1:46 PM on October 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


TP! TP FOR MY BUNGHOLE!
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:50 PM on October 13, 2010 [7 favorites]


I give.
What's a Morales?


This
posted by SirOmega at 1:51 PM on October 13, 2010


Have you ever seen the hands of the Tea Party in the moonlight, Will? They appear quite black.
posted by adipocere at 1:52 PM on October 13, 2010


I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that if there were angry black protesters (some of whom were conspicuously armed) gathered in large numbers with signs demanding, in essence, an overthrow of the established system. And they were being funded and driven by a massive news channel more than happy to feed their fury for the sake of furthering some private agenda...

White people in general would be losing their god damned minds.

To be honest, if the Tea Party was made up of any minority group, the reaction would be the same. Black? Hispanic? Muslim? All end in white people freaking out.

I'd love to say that we, as a nation and a culture are past this, but I don't think we are yet.
posted by quin at 1:53 PM on October 13, 2010 [13 favorites]


Pardon my french but i don't want to even attempt to reason with these hyperconservative fuckbags. I just want them to return to the head sized hole in the sand they were living in during the last two deficit hikes.

These people were dormant while the nation was being "bankrupted" by a farcical and bloody and aimless war. Meaning they were fine with limitless spending to upturn a nation which never threatened us, and killing 100,000+ civilians. But as soon as someone attempts to keep the spending domestic and productive and seeks to end corruption in a highly corrupt system, its the end of liberty as we know it.

Its so annoying i have to share a society with these dipshits.
posted by triceryclops at 1:54 PM on October 13, 2010 [21 favorites]


The video upthread suggests to me that the Logan's Run peeps were on to something.

And I'm 36.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 1:56 PM on October 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


Pardon my french but i don't want to even attempt to reason with these hyperconservative fuckbags. I just want them to return to the head sized hole in the sand they were living in during the last two deficit hikes.

AND YET... they seem at least somewhat electable compared to many of their opponents. At the rick of channeling a mefite I'll refer to as "Joe B", the tea Party's opponents are less ideological but equally incompetent.
posted by GuyZero at 1:57 PM on October 13, 2010


When Christine O'Donnel says "I am you," what in the hell is she talking about?

It means she's a lazy, loud, Ugly American, too stupid to do basic accounting, someone incurious about the world, a nutter who is predisposed to a religious, parochial and judgmental view of life and the variety of people found in it, yet ready to go on a vicious defensive posture when the confines of her own narrow worldview are challenged. She is you, she is me, she is most of us. She is the bottom barrel of America, and a mirror on the worst instincts of its citizens, who will choose to vote for her out of some monkey-tribal-stimulus-response instinct.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:58 PM on October 13, 2010 [9 favorites]


There's really two tea parties. One, the "real" one, was pretty much started by Ron Paul, and that one has a pretty clear set of values. Small government, honest money, and flight from entangling foreign alliances. The other, which has been whipped up by a combination of desperate Republicans and media types, who are attempting to fool people into coming back into the republican fold.

What you guys are talking about, when you say "tea partiers," is generally undercover Republicans who are the bait on a fishing pole held by the GOP. The values are about identical - pro big business (like the Democrats, but just with a small amount of differences in the big businesses they support) and pro-empire building.

The "real" tea party is made up of libertarians of differing stripes, who are disgusted with the way the federal government is run, and want to shut large portions of it down for good. I know, I know, here on Metafilter the prevailing view is that the government can do anything better than anybody else, but this is what the setup is at this point.
posted by Sukiari at 1:58 PM on October 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


here on Metafilter the prevailing view is that the government can do anything better than anybody else, but this is what the setup is at this point.

You sounded halfway intelligent until you spouted out that Big Lie. Either you never really read MetaFilter or you're joining the Troll Party.
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:03 PM on October 13, 2010 [4 favorites]


^Yakuman:Not to mention that the biggest TP event of all time was a celebration of multiculturalism and MLK.

Come on, now -- everybody knows that was bullshit. Co-opting progressive causes has been part of the Right Wing playbook since the mid-'80s. "Party of Lincoln", "Political Correctness" and First Amendment Rights have long been part of their strategy.

Just remember, these are the same people who want to send everybody else's gardener and nanny south of the border, whether they came from there or not.

'Multiculturalism'? Among the TP, that's the generosity of middle-aged white people, more like.
posted by vhsiv at 2:05 PM on October 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


There's really two tea parties. One, the "real" one, was pretty much started by Ron Paul, and that one has a pretty clear set of values. Small government, honest money, and flight from entangling foreign alliances.

And the dissolution of public education, the EPA and the USDA food safety & inspection agency. Ron Paul isn't some bullshitter - he's a real Libertarian who quite literally wants 99% of the government liquidated. He's said so in public numerous times. As a "loyal opposition" he's a pretty good guy. It would be in-fucking-sane to actually give him any power.
posted by GuyZero at 2:06 PM on October 13, 2010 [5 favorites]


You sounded halfway intelligent until you spouted out that Big Lie. Either you never really read MetaFilter or you're joining the Troll Party.

It's no big lie. MF has a clear bias, and it shows every time there is a post like this.

Look at all the "teabagger" comments which, despite their total lack of intellectual content, are "liked" by people. Then notice the scorn at is heaped upon anybody who does not toe the line, which here means you must hate, fear, and mock anybody who isn't left of center.

Go ahead.
posted by Sukiari at 2:08 PM on October 13, 2010


There seems to be a Kool-aid vendor in this neighborhood.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:13 PM on October 13, 2010 [4 favorites]


And the dissolution of public education, the EPA and the USDA food safety & inspection agency. Ron Paul isn't some bullshitter - he's a real Libertarian who quite literally wants 99% of the government liquidated. He's said so in public numerous times. As a "loyal opposition" he's a pretty good guy. It would be in-fucking-sane to actually give him any power.

I think he said he "believes" that these agencies have big problems, and would best be knocked over. The USDA alone has had so many failures in the past few years that it is a mockery at this point in time. The EPA, are you talking about the same EPA that brought in Xe troopers and joined forces with BP to keep the beaches free of people who want to see what is going on for themselves?

Sorry, but these bureaucracies mainly exist to prop themselves up at this point. The FDA is another bad example of how to run a government agency.

We are in a big mess now, because of big government types. They can not relent in their quest to finish transforming America into a nanny-state on the order of Britain, and will not accept the premise that an ever expanding government must become unsustainable at some point. It will - the question is, will the pyramid fall on the workers of its own volition, or do they stop building onto it when it becomes clear that the foundation is no longer massive enough to support the superstructure?
posted by Sukiari at 2:14 PM on October 13, 2010


One, the "real" one, was pretty much started by Ron Paul, and that one has a pretty clear set of values.

Values such as these:
The criminals who terrorize our cities — in riots and on every non-riot day — are not exclusively young black males, but they largely are... [O]ur country is being destroyed by a group of actual and potential terrorists — and they can be identified by the color of their skin.
The various TP factions, "real" or otherwise, share a common set of values that is rooted in a fascistic hatred of minorities.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:15 PM on October 13, 2010 [2 favorites]




Then notice the scorn at is heaped upon anybody who does not toe the line, which here means you must hate, fear, and mock anybody who isn't left of center.

In a free and open society you are entitled the opportunity to be wrong. You are not entitled however to be congratulated for it.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 2:16 PM on October 13, 2010 [17 favorites]


I think this is entirely legit
posted by fightoplankton at 2:19 PM on October 13, 2010


Mr. X thinks the Tea Party is an armed paramilitary group, which it isn't.

Other than all those armed people showing up to town hall meetings.


Is there evidence that a majority or even a very sizable minority of all tea partiers have been showing up to meetings armed? Not defending the tea party or Yakuman here, but I would be inclined to agree that "paramilitary group" isn't really accurate.

Well, the fact that it's 99.99% white

Again, I think Yakuman is misguided to say the least, and the tea party a bit... off the deep end, but according to Gallup tea party supporters are about 6% black (compared to about 11% black in the overall population).
posted by the other side at 2:21 PM on October 13, 2010


My prior comment was poorly timed.

Which "teabagger" comments are you talking about? The comments referring to the "teabagger" group(s), or the comments by the group(s)?

And how many people are members of the Libertarian Tea Party grass-roots groups, versus the Republican astroturf groups? I'm asking because it seems like a lot of BS raised on astroturf. Real people spouting what they see as the truth. JohnFredra's video link on "a celebration of multiculturalism and MLK" looks like people who are angry about something, but they can't quite explain what. They blame The Government, they blame Obama, they don't like The Direction This Country Is Going, but it's not about shrinking government control. No rants against FDA, EPA, or other agencies. But maybe the video was hand-picking the examples that would make the group seem less than well spoken.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:22 PM on October 13, 2010


Look at all the "teabagger" comments which, despite their total lack of intellectual content, are "liked" by people.

To be fair, I have seen a large number of photographs from Tea Party events featuring Tea Partiers holding signs that say 'tea bag.' F'rinstance.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:22 PM on October 13, 2010


the question is, will the pyramid fall on the workers of its own volition, or do they stop building onto it when it becomes clear that the foundation is no longer massive enough to support the superstructure?

Yoooooooure not all that familiar with how pyramids work are you?
posted by Senor Cardgage at 2:23 PM on October 13, 2010 [21 favorites]


MF has a clear bias, and it shows every time there is a post like this.

And that bias is that big government can do anything better than anybody else? And that's proven by this post?

We may have a bias, but that's not it, you haven't proven your point, and you are in no position to chide people for a lack of intellectual content when you come in here breezily spouting unsupported talking points as though you've got facts at your fingertips.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:25 PM on October 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Blazecock, nice derail there. Not everybody has to agree with Paul on the question of blacks and crime rates. I mean, the FBI admits there is a problem there, and so do other agencies who gather statistics on crime. The cause and solution are of course open to debate, but I for one don't think that we should write off a person based on one unfortunate incident or comment. If I did, I would write off Obama for hiring Cass Sunstein.

This is a classic little tactic that gets brought up every time there is a discussion about Paul or anything related to him, even tangentially. Mine that one quote, and then say, well, clearly we can write off whatever else this guy has to say.
posted by Sukiari at 2:25 PM on October 13, 2010


Yoooooooure not all that familiar with how pyramids work are you?

They don't if you build them upside down, dawg. This is what we are doing now.
posted by Sukiari at 2:26 PM on October 13, 2010


The USDA alone has had so many failures in the past few years that it is a mockery at this point in time.

Such as?

The EPA, are you talking about the same EPA that brought in Xe troopers and joined forces with BP to keep the beaches free of people who want to see what is going on for themselves?

This is the same as arguing that the process for procuring contracts for road building has become corrupt, so we'd better go without roads. The answer to ineffective and corrupt government is not zero government, it's effective and transparent government.

Sorry, but these bureaucracies mainly exist to prop themselves up at this point. The FDA is another bad example of how to run a government agency.

What organization does not exist to prop itself up?

We are in a big mess now, because of big government types. They can not relent in their quest to finish transforming America into a nanny-state on the order of Britain, and will not accept the premise that an ever expanding government must become unsustainable at some point. It will - the question is, will the pyramid fall on the workers of its own volition, or do they stop building onto it when it becomes clear that the foundation is no longer massive enough to support the superstructure?

This argument is wholly divorced from the efficacy of good government. But I'll make an agreement with any Tea Party members reading: disassemble every portion of the war machine in the United States, and you can take anything else you like after that.
posted by notion at 2:28 PM on October 13, 2010 [7 favorites]


We may have a bias, but that's not it, you haven't proven your point, and you are in no position to chide people for a lack of intellectual content when you come in here breezily spouting unsupported talking points as though you've got facts at your fingertips.

Unsupported how? I made an assertion. Media people and politicians have "talking points."

I would say that a quick look above proves my point about the bias here pretty well. I'm not going to commission a sociologist to survey everybody, but would you counter me and say that MF doesn't have a left leaning kneejerk reaction to anything that threatens their comfort zone?
posted by Sukiari at 2:29 PM on October 13, 2010


What organization does not exist to prop itself up?

This is the problem. That, and the fact that you and others accept it so blithely.
posted by Sukiari at 2:30 PM on October 13, 2010


It's no big lie. MF has a clear bias, and it shows every time there is a post like this.

You don't know what words mean, do you?

You can say that posters on MF are biased, but even that is pushing it. Bias, in the sense of "a partiality that prevents objective consideration of an issue or situation", doesn't apply to everyone who disagrees with you. And since this is a user driven conversation on a site that you have a username on, you're saying that you too, are biased.

Seriously, if you think there aren't enough front page posts on how the Tea Party has some serious ideas that need to be considered, well make them. The forum is open to you to.

But may I suggest that you come up something better than 'bias' to buttress your arguments? Because it sounds pretty childish.
posted by lumpenprole at 2:30 PM on October 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


Look at all the "teabagger" comments which, despite their total lack of intellectual content, are "liked" by people.

Once and for all; They called themselves the "tea baggers" first. They don't get to take it back once they realized it meant something else and got embarrassed.

Their whole presence is predicated on outlandish rhetoric and they have to be prepared for the fact that people are going to act in kind.
posted by quin at 2:34 PM on October 13, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'm not going to commission a sociologist to survey everybody, but would you counter me and say that MF doesn't have a left leaning kneejerk reaction to anything that threatens their comfort zone?

That's not what I said. I said your assertion that MeFi's viewpoint that big government is some panacea is not supported by this post. If you are to engage MeFites with an accusation, don't be surprised when they ask you to back it up. It's intellectually dishonest to just hand wave it away, or to respond to an entirely different assertion.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:39 PM on October 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


What organization does not exist to prop itself up?

This is the problem. That, and the fact that you and others accept it so blithely.
So your solution is to not have organizations? Shall we just ask people to refrain from forming in groups to achieve shared goals?

And if they refuse, how could we possibly organize to make them stop forming groups without violating our core principles?
posted by notion at 2:39 PM on October 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


Media people and politicians have "talking points."

Which you've chosen to waste our time by parroting.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:40 PM on October 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


How's that Kool-Aid?

FLAVOR AID, GODDAMIT. I AM SICK AND GOD DAMNED TIRED OF YOU INTERNETS PEOPLE CASUALLY IMPUGNING THE GOOD NAME OF OUR NATION'S FINEST ARTIFICIALLY-FLAVORED INSTANT DRINK MIX!
posted by dersins at 2:40 PM on October 13, 2010 [7 favorites]


Apparently, Jim Jones also used Kool Aid. He was an equal opportunity poison drink maker.

That being said, I have always considered it an enormously grotesque point of comparison, and it seems to come out of the mouth of cranks more often than sensible people, so I try to steer clear of it.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:42 PM on October 13, 2010


Tahitian Treat?
posted by Senor Cardgage at 2:43 PM on October 13, 2010


Blazecock, nice derail there. Not everybody has to agree with Paul on the question of blacks and crime rates.

I'm not asking you to agree with anything. I am demonstrating through documented history how the Tea Party in its various forms is rooted in a core of racist beliefs, such as shown on Ron Paul's part in the early 1990s, or now shown through Obama-ribs-and-watermelon signs at Tea Party rallies and Republican campaign materials.

It's not just black people, either, as we witnessed through the "let's hang the fruits for everyone to see" Facebook comment from Tim Ravndal, former leader of the Montana wing of the Tea Party, and now back in the Tea Party organization as leader of the Big Sky Tea Party Association.

Violent bigotry in the Tea Party is endorsed by its leaders and followers — violence against blacks, Latinos, and GLBT folks — and is all a well-documented and key component of classical proto-fascist movements, as unfortunate as this reality might be for your political sympathies.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:43 PM on October 13, 2010 [15 favorites]


All right folks let's not have everyone and Sukiari turn this thread into a Jean Claude Van Damme movie.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:45 PM on October 13, 2010


Well, that depends on the movie. JCVD was excellent.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:46 PM on October 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


FLAVOR AID, GODDAMIT

It was both.
posted by quin at 2:46 PM on October 13, 2010



The "real" tea party is made up of libertarians of differing stripes, who are disgusted with the way the federal government is run, and want to shut large portions of it down for good.


Yeah our present oligarchy is pretty depressing but I like paved roads. Welfare for huge energy companies in the form of tax breaks and 'subsidies?" Not so much.

Our bloated military industrial complex, described by one insider as "welfare for rich white people" could use a big fucking overhaul too.

It all starts with campaign finance reform. As long as our elected officials have to depend on corporate money to continue their own very government supported lifestyle, you'll continue to watch the trickle up economy work it's magic.

You notice that even in the early days of the huge democratic majority after the last election that no one even mentioned campaign finance reform?

They like it the way it is.
posted by Max Power at 2:50 PM on October 13, 2010


I was thinking more like Cyborg.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:52 PM on October 13, 2010


It was both.

Sorry; see the 9:55 minute mark.

posted by quin at 2:56 PM on October 13, 2010


The well-reasoned opinion of most MetaFilterites is that the Tea Party is (a) not what it claims to be and (b) destructive to American issues. Many MeFites have differing opinions (often NOT well-reasoned). Sukiari actually agrees with point (a) and partially agrees with point (b).

NOTHING in the arguments in this thread or ANYWHERE on this site declare that "here on Metafilter the prevailing view is that the government can do anything better than anybody else", unless you make two or three logical flying leaps and ignore all the highly-outraged threads about various Governmental abuses AND Governmental failures.

Of course, Suzuki's own examples of governmental agencies being 'used' by those they are supposed to regulate should, to anyone with half a brain, not lead to the conclusion that such agencies must be abolished. It means that we need EFFECTIVE, NON-CORRUPT agencies more than ever. Unfortunately, nobody is engaging in discussion on how to make the agencies EFFECTIVE and NON-CORRUPT, not even here, which is a shame, because it really is one of the most important issues of our time.
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:59 PM on October 13, 2010 [5 favorites]


Suzuki? I mean Sukiari. I have trouble identifying trolls.
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:00 PM on October 13, 2010


And the Jean Claude Van Damme comparison is not accurate. Think Chuck Norris, in his current role as an Internet Running Joke.
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:01 PM on October 13, 2010


The irony is that political speech costs money and no one wants to subsidize a discussion of reducing corruption.
posted by GuyZero at 3:03 PM on October 13, 2010 [3 favorites]


Crystal Light™
posted by mmrtnt at 3:15 PM on October 13, 2010


At least in a Van Damme movie you get an ass shot at least.
posted by The Whelk at 3:18 PM on October 13, 2010


When Christine O'Donnel says "I am you," what in the hell is she talking about?

She's talking about the same thing Palin was when she talked about "Pro-America areas" of the country. The "real America," full of real Americans. Not the fake America full of fake Americans (Liberals, secularists, minorities, people who don't think scientists created mice with human brains in 2007). This is how they can love and defend America unconditionally, and yet hate wide swathes of the people, places and beliefs in it.
posted by Uppity Pigeon #2 at 3:18 PM on October 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


The "real" tea party is made up of libertarians of differing stripes, who are disgusted with the way the federal government is run, and want to shut large portions of it down for good.

Even if we were to grant that, at this point there are about 5 "real" tea party people and approximately eight zillion "fake" tea party people, so what on Earth is the point of the distinction except to make you feel better?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 3:24 PM on October 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


people who don't think scientists created mice with human brains in 2007

In fairness, she's stumbling, inarticulate proof that scientists have done the reverse, so is it really so hard to believe?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 3:26 PM on October 13, 2010


OK, having finally seen the video, this guy is pretty awesome.
posted by GuyZero at 3:48 PM on October 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


At least in a Van Damme movie you get an ass shot at least.

At least once, at least. I think it was actually in his contract.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:58 PM on October 13, 2010


Does this thread warrant the bookhouse rule?
Van Damme vs. Raul Julia
posted by PsychoKick at 4:00 PM on October 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


And if they refuse, how could we possibly organize to make them stop forming groups without violating our core principles?

I would say, let's put some clear limits on how organizations run, and keep them from getting out of control.

For one example, the popular and overly broad interpretation of the interstate commerce clause has allowed the federal government to run rampant. Amending it would be a big step in the right direction.
posted by Sukiari at 4:05 PM on October 13, 2010


> At the rick of channeling a mefite I'll refer to as "Joe B", the tea Party's opponents are less ideological but equally incompetent.

Joe B is a decent human being whose beliefs are extremely defensible. Comparing him with certain people in this thread is inaccurate, to say the least.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 4:07 PM on October 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


The USDA alone has had so many failures ... are you talking about the same EPA that brought in Xe troopers ...

You can certainly make an argument that these agencies have been captured by the industries they're supposed to regulate. But is the conclusion of that argument that there should be no regulatory agencies at all for these industries? I just don't see how that follows.

would you counter me and say that MF doesn't have a left leaning kneejerk reaction to anything that threatens their comfort zone?

I think there's an argument to be made that Metafilter, like most communities, has a "comfort zone", norms, etc and doesn't always respond to criticism of those norms. But this thread isn't it.
posted by me & my monkey at 4:08 PM on October 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Comparing him with certain people in this thread is inaccurate, to say the least.

The only person I was comparing the anonymous mefite to was myself.
posted by GuyZero at 4:16 PM on October 13, 2010


For one example, the popular and overly broad interpretation of the interstate commerce clause has allowed the federal government to run rampant.

oh god states right please no
posted by GuyZero at 4:17 PM on October 13, 2010 [4 favorites]


You can certainly make an argument that these agencies have been captured by the industries they're supposed to regulate. But is the conclusion of that argument that there should be no regulatory agencies at all for these industries? I just don't see how that follows.

I didn't argue that at all. I said Paul did.

I would argue that rules to ban industry players from entering government positions that have power over those very industries would be a start. I would also argue that reducing the size of these agencies, and cutting out the fat, would be another good angle on this.

I think there's an argument to be made that Metafilter, like most communities, has a "comfort zone", norms, etc and doesn't always respond to criticism of those norms. But this thread isn't it.

Count the "teabag" references and the "likes" they have accumulated. I guess we have to agree to disagree on this particular point.
posted by Sukiari at 4:18 PM on October 13, 2010


oh god states right please no

Oh god, states rights, please yes. This is supposed to be a federation of states, not a top down system where Washington has practically unlimited powers.
posted by Sukiari at 4:19 PM on October 13, 2010


I would say, let's put some clear limits on how organizations run, and keep them from getting out of control.

Gee, where were you guys in 2003? Because, you know, we started an overseas war under false pretenses, and we could have used some limits to keep under control then. Warmaking extends and flexes the power of the state more than abuse of the interstate commerce clause, don't you think?
posted by me & my monkey at 4:21 PM on October 13, 2010 [5 favorites]


I look forward to interstate trade tariffs which would drop US economic activity to third-world levels. That will be fantastic.
posted by GuyZero at 4:22 PM on October 13, 2010


For one example, the popular and overly broad interpretation of the interstate commerce clause has allowed the federal government to run rampant. Amending it would be a big step in the right direction.

And you may find quite a few people who count as very liberal who agree with the sentiment. Unfortunately, neither party seems much interested in actually decreasing the power of the federal government. But I'm sure as heck not voting for a party that has sought to further expand the power of the executive office and voted to all but the last man to not hold the highest governing official of the land responsible for breaking the rules government is supposed to be run by.
posted by Zalzidrax at 4:27 PM on October 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Gee, where were you guys in 2003? Because, you know, we started an overseas war under false pretenses, and we could have used some limits to keep under control then. Warmaking extends and flexes the power of the state more than abuse of the interstate commerce clause, don't you think?

I would argue that the real Libertarian types, with whom I share more ideologically than I do either major party, were against that as well. I certainly was. But there is not a whole lot of Libertarian thought in our current political system, and the media seems to have a sort of LOL Libertarians viewpoint, so "being there" didn't do a whole lot.
posted by Phyltre at 4:29 PM on October 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


I would also argue that reducing the size of these agencies, and cutting out the fat, would be another good angle on this.

How exactly would reducing the size of a regulatory agency make it better at regulation? And where exactly is the "fat?" Sure, there is waste, fraud and abuse in government - like every other human endeavor, including private industry - but if it were so easy to identify and remove, it wouldn't be there any more.

I've worked in the military, and in government agencies, and as a government contractor in private industry. "Cutting out the fat" just isn't a realistic answer to anything - it's the answer you give when you have no answer. Many government agencies already run on shoestring budgets, with antiquated equipment and little support.

It seems like your complaint isn't really coherent. You think that an agency is ineffective, so you propose to make it less effective - because, no matter how you slice it, cutting its budget simply won't make it more effective.
posted by me & my monkey at 4:29 PM on October 13, 2010 [6 favorites]


"Count the "teabag" references and the "likes" they have accumulated."

Um… You know this isn't Facebook, right?

"Oh god, states rights, please yes. This is supposed to be a federation of states, not a top down system where Washington has practically unlimited powers."

Yeah, but, um, see, one of those things is that without the power to regulate interstate commerce like we have, we don't have one USDA, we have 50 (plus DC and territories). In terms of regulation regimes, credit cards and insurance provide excellent examples of the pitfalls of letting states set individual regulations on what are effectively national businesses. Sorry, man, I'm for states having more power in some ways, like leeway in how they administer local programs and encouraging bottom-up development of policy goals, but for every California clean air regulation, there's at least one Texas school board.

Besides, it feels like you need to go back and read your Federalist papers again (especially about the risks of factionalism, something that argues for a stronger, more connected federal government, not a weaker, more distant one).
posted by klangklangston at 4:32 PM on October 13, 2010 [7 favorites]


I would argue that the real Libertarian types, with whom I share more ideologically than I do either major party, were against that as well. I certainly was.

I would agree with that. But my point is simply that there weren't enough of them to form this Tea Party, during the greatest expansion of federal power in my lifetime and the destruction of the US economy. Now, they're all over the place. I can only conclude that the libertarian fraction of the Tea Party is insignificant at best.
posted by me & my monkey at 4:32 PM on October 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh god, states rights, please yes. This is supposed to be a federation of states, not a top down system where Washington has practically unlimited powers.

So can we legalize pot on the west coast now without federal raids?
posted by lumpenprole at 4:35 PM on October 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


You seem to have missed the first part of my answer to your question there.

The second part was my response to ever increasing bureaucracies. Either you set limits on growth, or actually reduce their size, or accept that they will, like an amoeba, grow to consume all available resources.

To me, fat is the CPSC, where despite having literally thousands of employees, there is literally only ONE GUY actually testing product safety in a lab. There was a big story on NPR about this last summer.

Effectiveness should be measured in a more concrete way than "number of employees per citizen" which seems to be the benchmark. There's lots of fat to be cut out there. Clearly defining who is redundant is a tougher job, as there would naturally be huge resistance to it.

To me it seems that you lack coherency, and are just opposing the very idea of halting the growth of government.
posted by Sukiari at 4:36 PM on October 13, 2010


Also, will people in Utah stay the hell out of gay marriage referenda in other states?
posted by dersins at 4:37 PM on October 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


So can we legalize pot on the west coast now without federal raids?

Not if you also want to keep all the federal agencies that you "like."
posted by Sukiari at 4:38 PM on October 13, 2010


the destruction of the US economy

The US GDP fell 1.8% from 2008 to 2009.

"Destruction". Really.
posted by GuyZero at 4:42 PM on October 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


LOOK OUT JEAN CLAUDE THERE'S SOME NINJA ASSASSINS BEHIND YOU
posted by shakespeherian at 4:43 PM on October 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


YOU'D BETTER TAKE OFF YOUR PANTs JUST IN CASE!
posted by The Whelk at 4:45 PM on October 13, 2010 [3 favorites]


You seem to have missed the first part of my answer to your question there.

No, I didn't miss it. It's a potentially sensible suggestion, I think, and it indicates that you think that the job of regulatory agencies is to regulate. Of course, in many cases, you need someone with familiarity with an industry to sensibly regulate that industry, which limits your potential hires a bit.

To me, fat is the CPSC, where despite having literally thousands of employees, there is literally only ONE GUY actually testing product safety in a lab. There was a big story on NPR about this last summer.

So, are you saying that (a) they should hire a lot more testers - presumably a near-infinite number - to test all available products? or (b) they should fire the thousand other employees who presumably perform other tasks within the agency's mandate, like getting product safety information to people? or (c) both? or (d) the agency should just be abolished?

Effectiveness should be measured in a more concrete way than "number of employees per citizen" which seems to be the benchmark. There's lots of fat to be cut out there. Clearly defining who is redundant is a tougher job, as there would naturally be huge resistance to it.

I eagerly await your algorithm for identifying fat. It will make you a rich man, no doubt. Frankly, this sort of thing is hard enough in the business world, where you actually have a useful overall performance metric (profit).

To me it seems that you lack coherency, and are just opposing the very idea of halting the growth of government.

No, I'm not against halting the growth of government. However, I don't see it as a useful end in itself. And I've seen the bad effects of deregulation, and don't want to go back to that either. And I'm not especially sanguine about moving government responsibilities from the federal to the state level, as that simply increases the likelihood of duplication of efforts. Not to mention the staggering incompetence and overall sleaziness I've personally seen with state governments. You might get the same incompetence at the federal level, but there's less sleaze in my own experience.
posted by me & my monkey at 4:54 PM on October 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Maybe it's just me, but does anybody else have the feeling that, 30 years from now, 'the Tea Party' will seem as quaint as getting 'Clean For Gene?'
posted by jonmc at 5:01 PM on October 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


So, are you saying that (a) they should hire a lot more testers - presumably a near-infinite number - to test all available products? or (b) they should fire the thousand other employees who presumably perform other tasks within the agency's mandate, like getting product safety information to people? or (c) both? or (d) the agency should just be abolished?

I am saying that an agency with the nominal mandate of testing product safety, with thousands of employees, but only one product tester, is clearly too fat. How many employees does it take to process product safety complaints? I don't know. However, I do know that getting the message out to people should not require a division of people who sit on ass. A webmaster, a person to fire away letters, and (of course) a person to manage the two should do it. Efficiency should be a goal for all agencies. More money does not make them more efficient in their duties, and if you know about how budgeting and governments work an increase in funding and "support" does not translate into effectiveness.

Oh, and to all the lovely Van Damme people, I will admit to being Van Damme if you admit to being Buddy Cole.
posted by Sukiari at 5:07 PM on October 13, 2010


A webmaster, a person to fire away letters, and (of course) a person to manage the two should do it.

What kind of podunk country do you think this is?
posted by breezeway at 5:20 PM on October 13, 2010 [8 favorites]


So adding funding does not make an agency more effective and reducing funding does not make an agency more effective. So why are we discussing the agency's budget or its outright dissolution if what you want is a more effective agency?

A webmaster, a person to fire away letters, and (of course) a person to manage the two should do it.

Ah yes, the armchair CEO's refrain. What's the deal with Linecum anyway - anyone can throw a goddamn ball. Why do they pay that guy so much?
posted by GuyZero at 5:21 PM on October 13, 2010 [3 favorites]


"Destruction". Really.

I was referring to the cavalcade of bad decisions starting with the repeal of Glass-Steagall under Clinton and the Republican senate, on through two terms of GWB.

I am saying that an agency with the nominal mandate of testing product safety, with thousands of employees, but only one product tester, is clearly too fat. How many employees does it take to process product safety complaints? I don't know.

Government waste is like pornography - you know it when you see it, right? But is that even the nominal mandate of the CPSC? Product testing? Because it's not clear to me that this is an accurate description. In any case, you've provided a vast oversimplification of what they actually do.

Efficiency should be a goal for all agencies. More money does not make them more efficient in their duties, and if you know about how budgeting and governments work an increase in funding and "support" does not translate into effectiveness.

But how do you measure efficiency? This is the part that you, and all the other "waste fraud and abuse" guys, gloss over. And while more money might not increase efficiency (which we still haven't measured yet, but anyway ...) less money will not increase efficiency either, and until you can provide metrics you're just blowing smoke out of your ass.
posted by me & my monkey at 5:25 PM on October 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm still tickled there's a "bookhouse rule"
posted by Bookhouse at 5:28 PM on October 13, 2010


Well I might tell you the same thing, that your lack of admission that waste, fraud, and abuse are serious problems and your lack of "metrics" just mean you are blowing smoke out of your ass.

My claim that the CPSC is wasteful, and having merely one person testing products and thousands doing... something does little to nothing in the way of fulfilling its stated mission which is "to protect against unreasonable risks of injuries associated with consumer products."

My other contention is that waste, fraud, and abuse are so ingrained in the system that people merely accept it as part of the cost of doing business. Idealism should count for something.
posted by Sukiari at 5:30 PM on October 13, 2010


Wait, you don't have any metrics either, for all your huffing and puffing, and while more testers would be better, it's hard to argue that an agency independently designated with the highest effectiveness rating is somehow full of fat.

You're talking out of your ass.
posted by klangklangston at 5:37 PM on October 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


My other contention is that waste, fraud, and abuse are so ingrained in the system that people merely accept it as part of the cost of doing business.

The US is best in the world at very few things, contrary to what most Americans think. But one of those few things is worker productivity (GDP per worker), in both the public and private sectors. And the US is, according to Transparency International's 2009 survey of Corruption, one of the least corrupt nations in the world.

So I'm not exactly sure what you plan to do with the most efficient and least corrupt workforce in the world.
posted by GuyZero at 5:37 PM on October 13, 2010 [3 favorites]


I mean, Christ, here are some programs you can really gnash your teeth about rather than relying on some half-remembered NPR story you heard a month or two ago.
posted by klangklangston at 5:39 PM on October 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah, cripes, go kick some ass down at Amtrak headquarters. They sure as hell need it.

Unless trains are unAmerican or something.
posted by GuyZero at 5:40 PM on October 13, 2010


A webmaster, a person to fire away letters, and (of course) a person to manage the two should do it.

You have no idea how things are actually accomplished, do you? How things go from need to fulfillment of that need, or from conception to reality?
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:49 PM on October 13, 2010


He has a point about the streamlining of government agencies W/R/T minimizing redundant staff.
Therefore I submit that each country pare it's armed forces down to its single largest, strongest inhabitant and we fight future wars mano-a-mano*.


(* - actually a good idea)

posted by Senor Cardgage at 5:55 PM on October 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


You have no idea how things are actually accomplished, do you? How things go from need to fulfillment of that need, or from conception to reality?

Is it your contention that you do know? I do know how things are done now, and I also suspect that there is room for massive improvement.

By the way, I think wars should be fought by the so-called leaders, with sabers. On pay-per-view.
posted by Sukiari at 6:09 PM on October 13, 2010


I'm sorry, klangklangston, the white house's approval of the CPSC strikes me the same way that the Pope's approval of a Cardinal might. This is no independent evaluation of its efficacy, it's simple bullshit back-slapping.

I suppose you agreed that Brownie was doing a heck of a job, right? After all, the President said he was.

/sheesh.
posted by Sukiari at 6:12 PM on October 13, 2010


So what do you call it when the very same White House disapproves of programs? It's not like they give everyone a gold star like back in grade school.
posted by ymgve at 6:44 PM on October 13, 2010


To me, fat is the CPSC, where despite having literally thousands of employees

This is what is technically known as a "lie." The CPSC has literally about 500 employees.

there is literally only ONE GUY actually testing product safety in a lab

The only references to one tester that I can find are that in 2007, there was only one CPSC employee who was a full-time toy tester. Right now, 4 of 11 vacancies at CSPC are for Product Safety Investigators.

So unless you can demonstrate your outlandish, dimly-recalled claim, I'm going to assume that it is also a lie.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:57 PM on October 13, 2010 [9 favorites]


"I'm sorry, klangklangston, the white house's approval of the CPSC strikes me the same way that the Pope's approval of a Cardinal might. This is no independent evaluation of its efficacy, it's simple bullshit back-slapping.

I suppose you agreed that Brownie was doing a heck of a job, right? After all, the President said he was.
"

That's because you're an idiot. Sorry.

I mean, I'd like to be more congenial, but if you can't tell the difference between the Office of Management and Budget's process of rating programs within the executive branch and the former president's wan support for his failed crony at FEMA, you're either desperately ignorant or incapable of comprehension. I mean, if it were just back-slapping, then every program would be rated as "effective," rather than the breakdown available here.

Rather, it seems like you've already assumed the conclusion, that CPSC isn't effective, or isn't an effective use of our money, based on some hearsay, some ideological bias, and, well, absolutely no metrics of your own, and in the face of a pretty clear report that you're welcome to read.

If you'd like to actually come up with ways that the OMB's report on the CPSC was flawed, feel free, but dismissing it because it came from the government is ad hominem reasoning, and as ROU_Xenophobe has shown, you're totally out your ass on any realistic portrayal of the CPSC.
posted by klangklangston at 7:26 PM on October 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


Guys, this thread has quickly become useless. Please stop.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:29 PM on October 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah, sorry.
posted by klangklangston at 7:45 PM on October 13, 2010 [5 favorites]


okay.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:51 PM on October 13, 2010 [5 favorites]


This is supposed to be a federation of states, not a top down system where Washington has practically unlimited powers.

first of all, let me say that i think your initial statement, that there are sincere tea party members who have a genuine philosophical opposition towards the present structure of our federal government and what it is costing in taxes, is correct - although i don't agree with their philosophies

but i have to ask - what is so sacred about the form and structure of our 50 states as we now have them? - does the entity known as rhode island, or california make any economic, political, geographic, or whatever sense? - especially in an age where national boundaries, let alone state boundaries, are becoming meaningless when it comes to how political and economic issues are solved (or not solved)?

it seems to me that the current structure of states was derived by an essential random and thoughtless process, full of utter inconsistency and lack of justification - does it really serve the people of kansas and nebraska to be considered as two seperate entities? - does it really make sense that detroit and the upper peninsula be considered as part of the same entitiy?

in what way does such a nonsensical arrangement serve the rights and interest of the people? - if the people, as i'm sure you'd agree, have the right to choose their form of government, how does an artificial and essentially meaningless collection of crooked lines and rectangles help them choose government that will represent their interests fairly and efficiently?

if we have the right to change our government, surely we have the right to change the demarcation of what are considered states - surely "states' rights" do not supercede our right to have a government that works well for us

and what other mechanism than the federal government would we have to fix this problem?
posted by pyramid termite at 9:21 PM on October 13, 2010


Yeah, sorry.
posted by klangklangston at 9:45 PM on October 13 [+] [!]

okay.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:51 PM on October 13 [+] [!]



I love you both.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:27 PM on October 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


I agree with the premise of the question stated by Jasiri X.

Also, what if Palin & Obama resumes / histories were switched, it would be a similar question.
posted by analogtom at 9:35 PM on October 13, 2010


Pfff. If you loved me, you'd prove it. Physically. Or at least financially.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:01 PM on October 13, 2010


Oh god, states rights, please yes. This is supposed to be a federation of states, not a top down system where Washington has practically unlimited powers.

Turns out, not so much. Your way's been tried twice, and you guys are 0-2. Under the first constitution of the United States--the Articles of Confederation--each state had a vote, and the votes had to be unanimous. There was no Executive Branch, only Congress. The resulting weak central government caused military problems during the American Revolution and diplomatic problems later because the government didn't have the power or money to follow through on their responsibilities.

The full title of the articles was the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union (emphasis added), and after 12 years (de facto; 8 years de jure), the articles were replaced by the United States Constitution "in Order to form a more perfect Union" to rectify the weakness of the Confederation and have a stronger central government. (According to Abraham Lincoln and the Supreme Court.)

That's the Union the Confederate States of America fought against in the second shot at states' rights. (Funnily enough they didn't mind the Fugitive Slave Act that asserted the primacy of federal laws over states' laws guaranteeing individual liberty. Or the Dred Scott decision in which the federal Judicial Branch trumped the laws of several states.) The "states rights" Confederate government instituted the first draft in American history. During the Civil War Southern governors and state legislatures sometimes refused to send troops, weapons, or even uniforms outside their states; this recalcitrance is a central reason the Confederacy "died of states' rights."
posted by kirkaracha at 10:12 PM on October 13, 2010 [9 favorites]


I'll make it oh for three:
'States Rights' was the rallying cry of the racists in the South who opposed the Voting Rights act and every other implementation of the 14th amendment in the 1950's and 60's.
posted by kaibutsu at 1:01 AM on October 14, 2010


If you loved me, you'd prove it. Physically.

I will if you'll just hold still.
posted by shakespeherian at 6:26 AM on October 14, 2010


I'm hyperkinetic and [people] don't find me attractive. I guess if I ever stopped to think about it, I'd be upset.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:38 AM on October 14, 2010


Belatedly: I think there are certainly Tea Party members who are pure libertarians. However, the number I've heard is that 18% of the US identifies itself as being part of the Tea Party, ideologically. Like "real Christians"--or true Scotsmen--you don't get to limit the "real" identity of a group that many people call themselves member of to only things you believe in. If you don't like it, you're affiliating with the wrong group. The fact that quite a lot of Tea Party members are racists without any sort of understanding of law or economics does not mean that you are, Sukiari, or any other particular person, but it's a fact that has considerable bearing on the impact of the group as a whole.

I'm unsympathetic. I don't like a lot of the people who call themselves Christian, much less agree with them on a lot of substantive questions of religion, but I don't get to say they're all Not Really Christian because they don't agree with me. I don't think they're good Christians by my standard of what that means, but I have to cope with the fact that they have a lot to do with the impact of my religion on society.
posted by gracedissolved at 7:20 AM on October 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


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