Are They Deranged?

derangedYes.  In my armchair therapist opinion many who oppose the Tea Parties are deranged.

The Tea Party has essentially one message and it is resonating with so many across our nation.  The local Bellingham group describes their mission as reversing “deficit spending and the concentration of power in central government, in order to preserve states’ rights and individual liberty for future generations.”

Whether its reducing taxes, reducing government growth, opposing new intrusive laws, the main focus of the Tea Party has been put forth in a loud, clear and peaceful manner since it’s beginning.   And while the news media has been able to drum up a couple of crackpots here and there, the movement I’ve witnessed has by enlarge stuck to it’s principles in a peaceful manner.  Especially here in Bellingham where I’ve seen nothing but peaceful enthusiasm.

But even here in our town a mental disorder, a derangement, is spreading.   The minds of otherwise normal people are failing them as they are being consumed by what is now known to be Tea Party Derangement Syndrome (TPDS).

Local evidence is easy to find.  Here just a few days ago a commenter at the Herald displayed symptoms of TPDS.

As I’ve said many times in this forum, not all Tea Party members are blatant racists,but the “movement” certainly is. And the organizers, from Dick Armey to local “leaders” most certainly are.

I inquired twice about which leaders and what incident led them to believe that local Tea Party leadership were blatant racists.   Rather than evidence, the commenter instead suggested that I might be a Tea Party leader.  Clearly their mind had diverged from reality.

And there is poor Joe Teehan who in his KGMI Blog claimed that there are Tea Partiers who “can’t accept that Barack Obama was elected to the presidency” yet never said who he was talking about.  I’ve yet to meet a Tea Partier around here who doesn’t accept Barack Obama as legitimately elected.   Joe also claimed, again without evidence, that Tea Partiers say they are “governed not by the government but rather by the Constitution.” Has anyone met a Tea Partier yet who doesn’t recognize that we are under the authority of our elected government?  If anything Party goers lament the overbearing amount of government we currently have.   I see a clear divergence between reality and what those suffering from TPDS are experiencing.

Remembering that the Tea Party’s mission centers on reducing government spending and control, it is clear when reading the following news snippets that Tea Party Derangement Syndrome is affecting people all across our nation.

It may be that the Pakistan-based Taliban, the Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP), has quietly established a Connecticut franchise while we weren’t looking. That’s possible. But it seems far more likely to me that the perpetrator of the bungled Times Square bomb plot was either a lone nut job or a member of some squirrely branch of the Tea Party, anti-government far right.  mediaite.com

Really???  In this post 9/11 nation someone can actually believe this?

A website (crashtheteaparty.org) was recently set up. The creator, though he tried to hide his identity, has been outed; his name is Jason Levin, and he’s a middle school teacher in Beaverton, Oregon. He’s on record saying that you might see some of his team in Nazi uniforms at your local tea party pretending to be racists and other offensive characters. freerepublic.com

And making your own supporting evidence?  Outstandingly deranged.

…it has emerged via whistleblowers that the U.S. Military in Kentucky is training to confront Tea Party protesters…prisonplanet.com

I wonder if our Commander in Chief has anticipated how my 7 year old, who was at a recent Tea Party, might react to a military confrontation?

Kevin, if I can, perhaps not at today’s event, but as you’ve noted in the past, a lot’s been made of some of what they refer to as the fringe elements who show up for these rallies. Some in the past have had offensive signs and rhetoric.

We’re looking at some pictures. And obviously, these are the fringe elements to which we refer. But there’s Obama being painted a mustache on to look like Hitler there.  MSNBC/newsbusters.org

MSNBC trying to paint Tea Partiers as fringe just as the LaRouche fringe, not Tea Partiers painted Obama as Hitler.

And there’s NBC again, this time themselves on the fringe as they attempt to create racism out of thin air.

“There aren’t a lot of African-American men at these events,” NBC News reporter Kelly O’Donnell, a white woman, told Darryl Postell, a black man at a Tea Party rally held Thursday in Washington, DC, pressing him, in an exchange she chose to include in her NBC Nightly News story, to address her prejudiced assumptions: “Have you ever felt uncomfortable?”

Not surprisily, the answer was not as the seemed to want, but how reality is.  Darryl Postell responded “No, no, these are my people, Americans.” A reality very similar to what Rev. Perryman said in his YouTube regarding racism in the Tea Party.

Tea Party Derangement Syndrome may not have a clinical diagnosis yet, but it is real.

  • Those suffering from TPDS believe Tea Partiers are terrorist, but they aren’t.
  • They believe them to be a fringe element, but thousands of them standing on the guide and in other cities show they aren’t.
  • Syndrome sufferers try to manipulate reality to fit their derangement, but reality is real, they won’t win that game.
  • TPDS sufferers believe Tea Partiers are racist despite the reality that race hasn’t a darn thing to do with the message or mission of the Tea Party.
  • TPDS sufferers fluidly dip in and out of reality, often in the same sentence.

I wondered what those suffering from Bush Derangement Syndrome would do once President Bush was no longer making the news.  I see that some sort of transference to  Tea Party Derangement Syndrome has occurred.  It seems that there is always an element of our society that can’t deal with many aspects of conservative reality and in the case of TPDS they can’t deal with the reality of the Tea Party explosion.

7 thoughts on “Are They Deranged?

  1. Yeah, but, what’s the point of making a post where you cherry-pick your opponents’ arguments such as this EXCEPT for the purpose of generally mischaracterizing your opponents? I mean, I’m sure you’re just joking around to some extent, but then again, so too might be many of the people you’re quoting here. To me, it clearly suggests an interest in attempting to portray at least a substantial portion of tea party opponents as deranged by focusing exclusively on those making nonsensical statements. I’m not really sure how the post could otherwise be interpreted.

    There’s a lot of this kind of cherry-pick nonsense going on in our politics, on both sides, so I thought it fair to call it out. It’s not a problem so much because it’s mean (of course it is mean too) but because it has the effect of severely weakening your argument: when you create an mischaracterization of this sort, you speak not to the arguments of your opponent but to a bad facsimile of their argument. It’s much easier to defeat the arguments of the deranged, to be sure, but it’s not the deranged you need to convince. It’s the people with honest arguments.

    All that being said, and having considered your argument, I should also take the time to respond to your substantive argument regarding spending, I hope you’ll take the time to consider it:

    The problem is that most liberals (at least that I talk to) don’t see it as being as simple as “cut spending now.” The questions that immediately arise, if this is proposed, is what spending should be cut, what the long-term expenses of cutting it would be, and how we’re going to pay for those long-term expenses.

    If we merely wanted to increase spending with no longer-term intentions in mind, you’d probably have me convinced. But that’s not what the liberal argument is, especially, I guess, among people in my generation.

    The “real” argument is that a lot of our spending growth can be attributed to the long-term costs of past decisions that were cheaper in the short-term. In other words, government spending is growing not because there’s a tremendous number of people who want it to grow (though, sure, there are some), it’s mainly growing because we’ve failed to make decisions that would have reduced the cost of it over the longer term.

    The government has been encouraged to essentially “play the market” and make decisions at the margin, which defeats the entire purpose of even having a government. Private industry should play the market by developing innovations and decide at the margin to make those innovations efficient. Government, by contrast, should govern — exercising leadership in making decisions that aren’t particularly cheap in the short-run but pay off in the long run. It’s better if we don’t have to make investments on a deficit, but we are now in a position where we’re in a recession and can’t continue to forgo long-term investments. It’s like buying a bad car when you’re in debt because it’s cheap and then finding out the car is only going to serve to keep you in debt.

    There are numerous examples of this problem in policy. But an analogy that helps me to think of the problem more intuitively is the long-term cost associated with buying a nice new car versus an old lemon. The old lemon will be substantially cheaper in the short-term, allowing you to cut taxes, for example. But as time wears on, the costs of keeping the lemon operating will become very expensive. It will guzzle gas, have parts fail, suffer breakdowns and require intensive maintenance. The new car, on the other hand, is much more expensive in the short-term. Yet the cost of replacing components, filling the tank, and repairing breakdowns is much lower, allowing you to save money (and cut spending) in the long-term.

    In other words, we’ve had a whole generation of attempts to reduce government spending by opting for the policy equivalent of the old lemon. It’s worked somewhat — taxes are much lower now than in previous periods, for some earners — but over the long haul, costs continue to rise across the board, and we have to pay increasingly more and more just to keep it working well enough that we can get by. Often, we have expensive breakdowns: cities are wiped out by hurricanes, banks over-consolidate and then fail, bridges collapse into rivers, car companies can’t compete against those who aren’t spending so heavily on their employees’ medical care. Most conservatives actually understand this better even than liberals, which is why I find they’re often persuaded by the argument, when we actually take the time to consider the argument itself.

    Where we can disagree (and where I disagree with most liberals) is over the necessity of specific long-term investments at the Federal level. Obviously, some decisions are more appropriate to make locally, and others (like national security) are more appropriately made in the national context. There is a valuable debate to be had over determining which is which, but that debate is lost when we must waste time dispatching unrealistic, short-sighted “slash-and-burn” proposals.

    Anyways, this is why I think we need a more serious discussion of how we actually stem the trend of government spending, and be honest about what our arguments actually are. I’ve talked to few liberals who want government to spend more solely for the fun of it. Most want to turn government spending around, as you do, but just don’t feel we can do it by slashing in the short-term and incurring yet more long-term costs.

  2. Wally, what you’re doing here is no better than what you others of doing in response to the Tea Party–taking a group of people you disagree with, ignoring their legitimate political opinions, and then mischaracterizing all of them as misunderstanding the issues.

    It’s pretty disingenuous. Sure, some liberals do a poor job of responding to the positions of the Tea Party. But others do a better job. And by ignoring those who do a better job to suggest that they all hold positions that are “deranged” is virtually the exact same thing as suggesting that all Tea Partiers hold positions that are “racist.” Neither is true–you’re just choosing to listen to the ones who are deranged.

    That all being said, a more effective critique of Tea Party positions needs to be aired on this blog, so here it is:

    I disagree with the Tea Party on the issue of the deficit because I realize that cutting the deficit right now would necessitate either the slashing of government benefits and jobs OR raising taxes, or both, and neither of these would be a wise choice in a deep recession. Investing in infrastructure, on the other hand, does yield long-term economic benefits that enable us to pay off a recession-incurred deficit more easily.

    That being said, most liberals of my generation agree with the Tea Party on the issue of the deficit generally: it’s been much too large for a long time and the current debt levels are becoming unsustainable. However, we need to have a serious discussion of what we are going to do in response, as buzzwords about “cutting wasteful spending” aren’t going to get it done, and you should know that.

    While I’m sure you’re aware of the budget’s composition, I’ll air this for those who are not: Some four-fifths of the deficit is tied up in commitments to national security, interest on the debt, healthcare for seniors and social security, and it’s unlikely we will effectively reduce it without doing something to one or all of those commitments, or raising taxes, or both.

    Finally, when I speak with Tea Partiers one-on-one (and I have spoken with hundreds), they usually are convinced of the necessity of raising taxes and supporting social programs–a position which seems to directly contradict your description of the Tea Party’s agenda (though, I’ll admit, they sometimes suggest to do so only at the state level, a position I can see as more reasonable).

    While these individuals’ positions cannot be extrapolated to every Tea Partier by any means, and while they might have a different idea of the Tea Party’s agenda than yours, the ease with which they “become liberals” does suggest to me that there are a good number of Tea Partiers who simply haven’t thought their positions through enough to either (a) realize and account for the potential consequences of their proposals; or, (b) develop a comprehensive set of realistic policy ideas for resolving the issues in question.

    • I said this was affecting people all across our nation, not that it was affecting all of the people who somehow disagree with the tea party. And I don’t believe that I suggested that those who do a better job of responding to the position of the Tea Party are deranged. The deranged people answer real issues with accusations of racist,terrorist, etc, while those are obviously not suffering respond with their take or positions.

      I have yet to meet a Tea Partier who suggests cutting all taxes, but I’ve met at least a few who would fall into the slash category. Most of the Tea Partiers I’ve met fall more into the mission statement line of thought that we need to reverse the trend of spending growth.

      Government continues to grow, spending continues to go up and we need to start turning things around. The size of our government is getting so big and out of control that it’s no surprise that liberals, conservative and all other shades are balking. They may not have thought through everything, but they know big, bigger and too big.

  3. They are a fringe because of their remedies, not their paranoia.
    Eight years of Bush produced every problem we have today with a non-existent government oversight philosophy.
    And those that would acknowledge that folly have the syndrome?
    The Tea Babies were in complete compliance during those eight years where our national debt increased by 125% and that’s what thinking Americans are puzzled about.
    Now those real deranged low-information citizens want more?
    No matter what you call it,
    it shows complete ignorance of the role of We The People in Our Own Government action.
    Then there’s the Nazi and racist elements to the Beggar Party and those alone would fill every crack in poor Mr. Wally’s tear-fest of woe.
    I’m really surprised anybody can not-think like Wally can not-think and then make a blog outta it.