Monday, September 30, 2013

Tea Party on the brink of destruction

The hard core right wing Tea Party wing of the Republican Party is finally getting what it wants, to shut down the government which it hates so much.  The idea is to shut off the spigot of goodies that create a culture of dependency.  So the only thing they really want to end are those programs that help people in need.  They seem to be obsessed by the notion that a small percentage of people abuse the entitlement programs like food stamps and Medicare.  This is just silliness, in my opinion.

I don't think it is possible for any big program of any big organization to be run with absolutely no fraud or abuse.  But does that mean that the program shouldn't exist?  Are bridges built without some fraudulent cost over-runs?  Are airports built without any featherbedding of contracts?  Any huge endeavor has potential for abuse, but should we abandon building bridges or airports because of that?  I think the obvious answer is to fight the abuse but keep the programs. That is what management is all about, isn't it?

How about the financial industry, if one is looking for corruption and abuse of a massive, complicated system?  Are we to shut down the banks because the upper management has turned them into corrupt sources of multi-millions for themselves?  I would dearly love to see some of the top thieves in the financial industry ruined financially and sent to jail, but even I don't want the banks themselves to disappear.

So, the Tea Party seems to be suffering under the delusion that they can blame Obama for the government shutdown.  What nonsense.  The hard core right wing, the Confederate wing of the Republican party, is doing what it knows how to do, destroy itself while it congratulates itself for its manly courage.  I think it is no accident that the heart of the hard core is in the old confederate states, the deep south, with Texan Republican Ted Cruz proclaiming himself to be the face of the "rebellion." 

One of the things that I am seeing so clearly in all of this is how ideology works.  Those inside the ideological bubble see themselves as being at the heart of a world changing movement that is destined to sweep us all up in it so that we can all see the brilliant light of its goodness and truth.  That's what the Communists thought, that's what the Fascists thought, that's what the Libertarians think, that's what the Evangelicals think.  As a matter of fact isn't that what the Catholics thought as they were torturing their way to dominance in the Spanish Inquisition?  Isn't that what the Islamist Jihadists think while they blow themselves up in crowded places?  

They are delusional.  Too bad that their delusions are so costly and painful to all the rest of us.

Fanaticism is not an attractor.  Closing the government is the action of a three year old child - throwing a tantrum and holding their breath until they get their way.

Well, they are not going to get their way, but they will drive people out of the Republican Party.  I left in 2010 when the Tea Party took it over and I found them to be repulsively intolerant, inflexible, and childishly willful.

But, maybe that is what they really want after all, to follow in the footsteps of their ideological founders, the Confederacy - to bravely fight a hopeless battle and feel very manly while they are destroyed by those who see them as nutcases, and who just turn away.