My thinking on the whole issue of America’s rightist wingnuts is finally beginning to jell. First of all, they have no real expectation of winning elections, or even of winning most congressional spats such as the recent one over the Shutdown and Obamacare. They really do not care what the majority of Americans think. They know or at least suspect that theirs is a losing fight. When you can’t win battles any more, all that’s left is sheer obstructionism. I am sure that they all think of themselves as if they were General Nathan Bedford Forrest in the last days of the Civil War, going up against the Union knowing they would be outnumbered in every encounter: Their sole hope is to win a few anyhow. Then they can go to their eternal rest (most of them are white and pretty old) knowing they’ve done their best to stem the tide, at least for a while.
There are about fifty so-called bullet-proof seats in Congress occupied by Tea Party types and their running dogs. The voters who elected these intransigent representatives must be made to change their minds, even if it means having other Congressmen gang up on them to vote down laws that would benefit their constituents. That is the only thing that would change their minds, knowing that their man in Congress is not helping their districts. No amount of petitions or snarky attacks on talk shows will have any effect on these people. They don’t care. They have their Tin Pot Jesus who is a great comfort to them in a bewildering world.
You may recall the Borg, Captain Picard’s fearful adversary on Star Trek: The Next Generation. The Borg essentially fought without caring whether they won or lost (though they mostly won): It was just in their programming that they would overcome and assimilate all the Non-Borg. As a registered Non-Borg, I do not want to be assimilated. Hence, I will resist—even if they think it is futile.
An Iowa Republican Congressman named Steve King made what I consider to be an interesting comment about the shutdown:
“I want what’s best for the long-term best interest of this country,” the Iowa Republican explained. “I want it to be on Constitutional underpinnings.”
“And I want to continue to unleash human nature,” he added. “And I’m afraid we’re going the other direction here. And that is troubling to me.”
Why is it important to “unleash human nature”? And, more important, whose “human nature” does he want to unleash? If he unleashes mine, he may find himself being slugged in the head with a baseball bat.
Another interesting contributor to my thinking on this is that the Rightists are willing to go up against women and the young, which constitute more than half the voters. An interesting article on Salon.Com interviews political consultant Theda Skocpol about the recent fracas. At one point, she says:
We actually did the research, both by pulling together national [data] and by doing observations in groups in three regions. There’s no question that at the grass roots, approximately half of all Republican-identifiers who think of themselves as Tea Partyers are a very conservative-minded old group of white people, some of whom do go all the way back to Goldwater and the Birch Society. They are skeptical of the Republican Party as it has been run in recent years. But they both hate and fear the Democratic Party and Obama. We argued in many ways that anger comes from alarm on the part of these older conservatives that they’re losing their country — that’s what they say. That they’re the true Americans, and they’re losing control of American politics. So that’s the grass-roots component.
All this time, I have been attacking the Republican Party. They have merely been assimilated by the Borg and, in the process, lost their souls, such as they were. Boehner, Cantor, and the other GOP House leaders are dancing to Borg tunes and drawing upon themselves a horrible vengeance from the voters. That is, if the voters remember what happened this time next year.