Monday, October 14, 2013

The Tea-hadist

72 virgins for the Tea Party:

Thomas Jefferson is weeping, and not just for the cheapass theft of copy.


  1. Rod is well on his way to becoming some old media's token on-staff "conservative" like David Brooks. He's already sort of a go-to-guy for these publications when they want credentialed criticism of the Catholic Church or conservatism as illustrated by the recent article in TIME and past NPR appearances. But I can see him being full-time within the next few years. TAC is way to small for him. With this incendiary anti-Tea Party rhetoric, maybe he's shooting for MSNBC?

  2. Although I write about the damage Rod Dreher continues to do to Catholicism in particular (as a poacher) and the world of letters in general (as a poseur), this doesn't require that he ever actually believe in anything he says.

    In fact, Dreher most reminds me, particularly in instances like this, of something like a blacked-out standup comic suddenly come to on a stage, he knows not where, who, like Mr. Peanut, immediately begins to throw things out to the audience in an effort to find their sweet spot:

    "How 'bout those - Republicans/Catholics/peanut butter/my daughter/sled dogs/gremlins/France/cotter pins/pizza/cabinets/my dead sister/Anglicans/varnish/beer/Tea-hadists/rum cake/air/fatties/Muslims/Yankees/not the team, those other Yankees/socks/culture/bab/bab/bab/bab/bab/bab/ - Eh? Huh? Yeah!? Boo!? Yay!? Go, brainfart of the moment, go!"

    As he points out, [NFR: Do you assume that I agree with Bp Fellay? Why? I post things all the time on this blog that I don't agree with....

    As Oengus points out, included among the things Rod posts all the time on this blog that he don't agree with could just as easily be his own book about his sister. What in the world would rule such a thing out? Like everything else Dreher produces, it could just as easily be one more artificial commodity of the moment manufactured solely to meet the presumed consumer tastes of its target market, like The View.

    What makes a nihilist like this a more dangerous anti-Catholic or anti-anything adversary than a traditional opponent, though, is just this sort of absence of limits, much as Dreher likes to give unctuous lip service to them.

    In a limitless Dreher universe, why not compare politically engaged Americans to homicidal terrorists, or pedophiles, or to rice/slackers/the Statue of Liberty/hole saws/hippies/bab/bab/bab/bab/bab/bab...


  3. I guess I'm going RINO too then, since I think that pursuing a political goal with little more than emotion and no strategy to succeed but destined to PO most of the nation is really dumb ass. Oh and as a Catholic Christian, this affection that tea partiers have for the semi-literate novels of an atheiest libertine, anti-Christian puts me off as well

    1. Steve, OK, but there really are "suicide" bombers in the world who purpose to kill other people in the name of their people. The proper analogy to use would be shooting oneself in the foot. If you immediately think of mujahideen when you think of the Tea Party, you're in MSNBC territory.

    2. No, I don't think they are suicide bombers but they are irrational and have caused a great deal of damage to the legitimacy of the party. IMO, the republicans would control the senate if not for the foolish candidates that they created. It's time to call them on it and if by chance I am polled, I will put all of the blame for this impasse on the republicans and give them the most negative rating I can.

    3. Steve, I'm not a Tea Party member and I don't know that I even know anyone who's actually a card-carrying member, but I do know a lot of people who aren't happy with Obamacare and who are rooting for the ends the Tea Party was shooting for if not necessarily the means they chose.

      Catholic Pat Buchanan offers this perspective on what Dreher dismisses as "tilting at windmills", before he despicably heads off to try to score some cheap points with an odious and not even original passing shock tweet about terrorists.

      Instead of adding another comment under my own comment above as I was going to I'll just tack it on here: I'd like to see someone build one of those internet things like the ones where you can randomly generate an odd name, except that this generator would automatically produce Dreher posts by randomly associating randomly chosen things, so that people could then post comments hotly debating why Dreher's early life was influenced in the way it was by hobnail boots and burned Parmesan cheese, or the what the great sociologist Frodo's thoughts on the Tibetan Book of the Dead were while he was eating boudin, etc. Automatum ad absurdem, so to speak.


    4. A couple comments, SVS.

      1) I'd think that an inter-party difference of opinion over strategy and tactics shouldn't be enough to bring out the suicide-bomber accusations. But so it has (aided and abetted by the Dems and fellow-travelers, of course).

      2) The ultimate goal ought not be the electoral chances of the Republican Party. It has been about that for too damn long, IMO, and we got John McCain, Mitt Romney, and two terms of Barack Obama to show for it. Actually, the worm turned back in the last decade in which the GOP squandered its Congressional majorities by getting on the pork spending bandwagon themselves. And now we're being asked to sacrifice principle so that they can keep their gigs.

      3) Policy matters. We're faced with a program that both sides admit is doomed to fail, that affects a huge sector of the economy (1/6), that is already adversely affecting the employment market in a time of high unemployment, and from which we will never be able to return to the status quo ante. Considering the stakes and potential damage to the Nation, if this isn't enough to "shut down" the government, one wonders what is. Better to go down fighting on a big issue than to surrender on all issues, IMO.

    5. In the last election Mitt Romney outperformed tea party candidates in the senate elections that they competed in. If they had performed up to his level in several states, republicans would either control or be close to control of the senate. Go back a couple of elections and skip nominating the "not a witch" (tea party favorite) Christine O'Donnell and there is no Obama care.

      You win elections by capturing swing voters. These tactics PO these very voters. Conducting a tantrum while reading a moronic novel by the tea parties favorite atheist, materialist, libertine doesn't do much for me as a social conservative either. And driving down their 401ks doesn't help much either.

      I'm tired of these fools constantly attacking reasonable conservatives and leading the party down to defeat. They want to get mad and throw a fit. Well this time they have gone so far that I wash my hands of them. Bill Buckley walked into a fever swamp of Randians and Birchers and brought back conservatism as a responsible governing philosophy. Whitaker Chambers called Rand out for the fool that she was. The ever-reasonable Ronald Reagan was able to build a popular and successful administration as a result.

      Bill Buckley wasn't afraid to call the lunatics out. Its time for our generation of conservatives to do the same or face political oblivion.

    6. Just a reminder that it was the Tea Party movement that delivered the House to the Republicans in 2010, after the ruling class GOP lost it in 2006. As thanks for that, the TP is now blamed for subsequent electoral losses and is told to go away.

      And I'd venture to guess that it is the "fools" and "lunatics" who will stand firm on the social issues, much more so than the go-along-to-get-along crowd. Check out the response at the Value Voters Summit (or whatever it was) last week to the Cruz et al. speeches. That would be my bet, anyway.

      Again, to me this is a tactical or at most strategic argument among those on the same side. It ought not be fanned into something existential. But of course we've got John McCain in the loop, willing to be used by the Dems while he soils his pants in public, so things get out of control.

    7. Certainly not all tea-party candidates are created equal. Rand Paul is certainly better than Christine O'Donnell.

    8. No doubt, Pauli. I agree totally. But neither are they all Randian Birchers (are any?). Or suicide bombers, as you said.

      BTW, here's a piece on the genesis of the recent suicide-bomber meme. Dreher must be bummed -- he didn't make the list of media mavens who fomented this one.

  4. Steve:

    "Go back a couple of elections and skip nominating the 'not a witch' (tea party favorite) Christine O'Donnell and there is no Obama care."

    How in the world do you figure that? O'Donnell lost that Senate race in November 2010, but Obamacare was signed into law eight months before that.

    The Tea Party didn't emerge as a movement until early 2009, and so the first national election it could have affected was the 2010 election, months after Obamacare.

    I'm willing to grant, for the sake of argument, that Tea-Party enthusiasm led to a few weak candidates, without whom "republicans would either control or be close to control of the senate," but let's not forget that the Tea Party was the big reason the Senate was even in play. The Tea Party was the driving force behind that wave election, even if it was also the reason why the wave didn't result in the theoretical best case scenario.

    And let's not overstate the bad eggs that the Tea Party supported. The Tea Party Express and Sarah Palin endorsed former state treasurer Sarah Steelman over Todd Akin in the Missouri primary -- and Akin wasn't in hot water for comments supportive of Ayn Rand, but rather it was his stumbling comments in opposition to abortion.

    That August was very instructive for me.

    Todd Akin was asked a question in a local interview, and the major point in his answer was PERFECTLY FINE -- that, in cases of rape leading to pregnancy, we should punish the rapist not the child -- but because of a garbled digression, the conservative elites demanded his withdrawal from the race.

    Less than two weeks later, John Boehner deliberately lied to the attendees at the RNC when he declared that a controversial rules change -- a change that neuters the state parties and the grass roots -- passed by a voice vote when it clearly did not. He was evidently just following the script, and the commentariat that had called for Akin's head barely noticed Boehner's betrayal of the conservative base.

    It's funny what the reasonable Republicans can get away with.

    Look, Steve:

    - The Democrats lionize predators like Bill Clinton and Ted Kennedy, and they cover for a candidate who surrounds himself with race-essentialist conspiracy theorists and unrepentant former terrorists.

    - A Republican like John McCain can build his political career on betraying conservatives, and National Review will still outright endorse him against a very respectable primary challenge. Never mind the stilted, artificial affect and the odd anecdote involving a dog on the roof of a car, Mitt Romney was responsible for the state-level predecessor to Obamacare and he continued to defend the individual mandate as conservative(!), and pundits still hailed him for his electability.

    - But Christine O'Donnell admits that she dallied in Wicca during her wayward youth (when they were about the same age, Obama was doing coke and W. was a drunk driver), and somehow she's radioactive?

    I think that tells us more about the Republican establishment's contempt for the Tea Party than it does about their outrageously low standards.

  5. And, Steve:

    "The ever-reasonable Ronald Reagan was able to build a popular and successful administration as a result."

    Would that be the same Reagan whose "Time for Choosing" speech warned of consigning our children to a thousand years of darkness? The same Reagan who was villified for accurately describing the Soviet Union as an evil empire?

    Reagan remained outside the establishment, and even eight years of roaring sucess wasn't sufficient to restrain his patrician VP from sneering about how we need to be a "kinder, gentler nation."

    McCain, Romney, Boehner: are these guys heirs to Reagan or the latest iteration of George HW Bush? The question answers itself, and it's not as if these guys are advancing a conservative agenda.

    Not unless you consider Ryan's budget plan sufficient for the looming fiscal crisis we face, even though this supposedly oh-so-extreme plan doesn't balance the budget for a quarter-century-plus, and it would almost certainly be the GOP's opening bid in negotiations with the Dems rather than a modest first step to real fiscal sanity.

    And not unless you consider comprehensive immigration reform to be conservative, even though the latest attempt punted on enforcement-first to require only a PLAN to enforce the law. Perhaps we should follow Mark Steyn's tongue-in-cheek suggestion to trust Krauthammer's reassurances that the 33 million illegals are a natural conservative constituency. We should take his word for it that, "once America assumes the demographics of California, the Republican party will be unstoppable."

    For myself, I don't see that we have a choice between those lunatic Tea Partiers and the reasonable conservatives leading the GOP.

    Instead, the Tea Party is pushing for the House to excercise its constitutional powers to take a very reasonable stand -- Mr. Social Justice should delay Obamacare for all of us and not just his cronies, and the law should apply to all of us and not just those of us unfortunate enough not to be on Congress' payroll.

    Those who dismiss this as a temper tantrum discredit themselves, not the Tea Party.

  6. His master's voice: why self professed policy ignorant Dreher nevertheless flooded his blog with anti-Republican posts recently, because his master likes it slow and gentle, from underneath.


    1. Thus spake the publisher of "The" "American" "Conservative". As Diane (I think) said elsewhere, it is entirely a lie, including (and especially) the "the".

      P.S. I dig Louie Gohmert. For example, he recently got under the skin of my least-favorite politican (of either party).