Marc Cooper says, don’t ignore the teabagger protest in DC this past weekend but don’t exaggerate its influence either. I agree. They aren’t just isolated rednecks livings in doublewides, as FireDoglake implies. Nor are they the leading edge of fascism, as CrookandLiars fears.
I am not particularly worried about what happened in the mall and I absolutely do not think it symbolized a resurgent Right. Quite to the contrary. What I think we are seeing is an emotional and somewhat emotionally-driven aggregation of a decidedly minority sentiment. We’re watching the frenetic rallying of a political sector that suffered an historic defeat in November and is very much on the verge of suffering another staggering body blow when some sort of national health care plan (whatever its weaknesses) WILL get passed in the coming months. Because it is going to pass. And it will be signed into law.
As usual, in any protest – and this one was good-sized, no question – the opposite side takes pictures of the looniest of the loony then portrays them as being the norm. Some of the more centrist people there probably have genuine philosophical beliefs that government should be small. But they’ve no place else to go now except to hard right events like this. Just like how, Cooper explains, Iraq antiwar protesters had to go to except to protests controlled by hardline Marxist groups.
As for those waving the Obama Nazi signs.
This IS dangerous. But no so much to the Republic as it is to Republicans. Associating the party mainstream ever more with the Beck-oids and the thinly-veiled racists birthers and deathers is not, in the end, going to serve them well. By the time the 2010 election rolls around, some folks are going to be able to say they voted FOR health care improvement while others are going to have to explain they didn’t because they were too busy partying with folks holding up Swastikas and Hammers and Sickles.