But a few short months after gaining access to political office, the Tea Party is revealing itself as a demented fringe whose values clash with those of main-stream America. TP legislators in Congress and several state houses have put forth legislation to:
- Redefine rape as not rape
- Kill childhood nutrition programs
- Privatize all schools
- Destroy unions
- Legalize assassination of abortion doctors
- Sell off public utilities
- De-fund the EPA and FTC
Repealing the Truth
The cuts to the EPA are not about reducing deficits. Their purpose is to end regulation of pollution and carbon emissions by the coal and oil industries (the very same industries, it so happens, who bankroll the TP.) All unnecessary hindrances to commerce, the TPers argue, as they insist Global Warming is a hoax, an international conspiracy.
Last year, Michele Bachmann incited her constituents to armed resistance of any government policies that fight climate change. This month, the GOP-led House voted to cut funding (all $2.3 million) of the IPCC, calling the highly respected, non-partisan, Nobel-peace-prize-winning, international science body, “corrupt” and “nefarious”.
The Montana legislature is now considering a bill which declares that “global warming is beneficial to the welfare and business climate of Montana.”
Last week on Capitol HIll, TPers in both houses introduced legislation (under the Orwellian title, “Energy Tax Prevention Act”) to “repeal” (sic) the EPA’s “scientific determination that greenhouse gases threaten human health and welfare.”
That’s right, folks — the Tea Party is solving Global Warming by declaring it illegal.
In New Mexico, new TP governor Susana Martinez named geologist & former Apollo astronaut Harrison Schmitt to head her state’s Department of Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources. Schmitt is a verifiable lunatic, and not just because he was the second-to-last man to walk on the moon.
A fervent denier of GW, Schmitt believes “the ‘global warming scare’ is being used as a political tool to increase government control over American lives, incomes and decision making.” In 2009, Schmitt submitted an unsolicited paper to NASA claiming that, contrary to irrefutable data, the Earth is cooling and that polar ice has returned to 1989 levels. Schmitt’s paper trots out a series of already-debunked challenges to climate change, then urges a wait-and-see approach until better data can be collected via observatories on the Moon and geological surveys of the surface of Mercury.
In his 2008 letter announcing his resignation from the elite Planetary Society, Schmitt warned that the U.S. would never become a “deep space-faring nation” because “the government-run, politicized K-12 school system will not currently support such [a multi-generational] endeavor.”
Schmitt is both a big fan of, and frequent guest on, the Alex Jones Show, the late-night conspiracy theory & supernatural sightings radio program. It was during a 2009 interview on Jones’ show that Schmitt linked groups like the Sierra Club to the USSR:
I think that there are individuals … who have taken — shall we say captured the environmental movement and turned it into what was previously considered the communist movement. I think the whole trend really began with the fall of the Soviet Union. Because the great champion of the opponents of liberty, namely communism, had to find some other place to go and they basically went into the environmental movement.
Schmitt has a solution to the world’s energy needs: the immediate establishment of private, lunar mining colonies to extract Helium 3 for use in (yet-to-be invented) fusion reactors, a scheme that an MIT report declared “wildly impractical”, with more energy expended on carting the helium isotope back to Earth than could ever be generated.
Schmitt’s presence in Martinez’ administration was intended to lend an air of scientific legitimacy to TP policy. Apparently, Martinez had a change of heart, as Schmitt abruptly disqualified himself by refusing the state-mandated background check. No doubt a less flamboyantly eccentric GW denier will be found for the post.
Lunatics in Power
TPers claim to be ordinary people, like you or me. Yet the TP is a minority group whose adherents believe in things like chemtrails, HAARP mind control, global conspiracies, and the existence of Sharia law in Battle Creek. They twist American History to fit their ideology, and embrace biblical literacy while denying the solid Science accepted by the rest of the world. It’s also a group which hoards gold and ammunition in anticipation of the imminent Armageddon predicted by the likes of Glenn Beck. Such a group can be described only one way — lunatic fringe.
There’s at least one other instance in recent history of a lunatic fringe coming to power, and things didn’t turn out too good. Like the TP, that group of lunatics believed an international conspiracy had ruined their nation’s economy. They too, espoused pseudoscientific theories, and revised History to fit their ideology. Their political leaders were considered to be crackpots and laughing stocks. Few took them seriously, but, thanks to substantial funding by a rich industrialist, they were able to win a large bloc of seats in the 1930 Reichstag elections, and take complete control of the government two years later.
Happy days are definitely not here again.
(c) 2011 by ‘tamerlane.’ All rights reserved.
Jesus Christ all mighty. I knew they were weird but this takes the cake.
I’m an optimistic person, though. Maybe this needed to happen. Maybe after Americans see how budget cuts and other policy changes proposed and passed by lunatic right winger, flag humping pentecostal tongue-speaking xionists affect their lives and their country, it will usher in a new era of Liberalism. And maybe they even won’t mind electing proud Pagans to Public office.
A girl can dream.
Just promise the masses to give them back their incandescants, and they’ll ignore everything else about you.
The masses as always flock to the portents cast by the priests, who may or may not believe in their ancient rituals. The skeptics, TL, fulminate against the ignorant. We told ’em so. Sic semper tyrannis.
The Koch Bros, due to their peddling in Wisconsin and for our Justices Scalia & Thomas, perhaps may face the pitchforks and torches in Madison’s agora, but as with Henry Ford or Haymarket, I suspect the goons will come out in force, the security state’s minions being one of our few growth industries, unable to be offshored.
Speaking of portents, I’d love to vote non-dabbling witches and proud pagans into office, Lil’ Isis. We know that atheists as we now come dead last in trust by our fellow ‘Murican voters. I heard it’s then Mormons, Muslims, and Buddhists–not sure in which order of contempt.
Interesting use on 50 reviews (Amazon, which strengthens my point about the divide–which Plato lamented or defended too!–between the hoi polloi and the literati) to date of a perfect bell curve, inverted: “Voodoo Histories: The Role of the Conspiracy Theory in Shaping Modern History” by David Aaronovitch (Penguin, 2011). The 5-star and 1-star ratings are nearly identical with the lowest in the middle, thus producing three stars. I can tell you from reviewing such perennials as Thomas Frank’s “What’s the Matter with Kansas?,” Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and Christopher Hitchens that nuance, objectivity, and balance in such seem to convince nearly nobody not already convinced.