Tea Smoking Related to Cognitive Dissonance

Tea Smokers.

Those tea smoking parties are absolutely 100% spontaneous grass roots affairs,

This afternoon, former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich, leader of the corporate-funded American Solutions for Winning the Futures (ASWF), blasted an e-mail to his supporters with a reminder to attend the protests, along with a “Toolkit” of talking points. Gingrich’s ASWF is funded by polluters and helped orchestrate the “Drill Here, Drill Now” campaign last summer. ASWF has been an official “partner” in the tea party effort since at least March.

It is not my intention, not that it would matter much anyway, to discourage the tea smokers movement. There is a certain amount of comic relief – Jon Stewart Takes On FOX News Re Baracknophobia! At the same time, while some of the participants claim that these events are not partisan, they’re obviously driven mostly by the hard-core Right,

“We are gathering to protest the giant leap toward socialism and massive federal spending of the Obama administration,”

The same people that voted for Bush’s monumentally awful fiscal policies, not once, but twice, now form little herds to protest deficit spending they made possible. To now say that they did not like Bush’s fiscal policies is like an arsonist swearing they never really liked fires. They voted for Bush, they were enablers. Now they alternate mindless accusations of socialists and fascists, proving they do not understand the issues, the gravity of the situation and haven’t read any news that wasn’t not filtered through the right-wing spin machine for eight years. Most Americans prefer not living in caves, real or mentally constructed. Wingnut Warning! Trust no one!

Hot rumor on the right: members of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now will stalk next week’s Tea Party protests, collecting intel on the people who show up. One e-mail that’s making the rounds, via my friend Steve Gordon:

TEA PARTY CAUTION! DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING – FROM ANYONE – AT ANY TEA PARTY ANYWHERE IN THE USA —- NO EXCEPTIONS!Federally-funded ACORN operators will be at all Tea Parties to get signatures….

I just thought to be a good sport I’d pass along this urgent warning. Unfortunately knowing the Right, this effort will be in vain, they will inevitably be signing things they do not understand.

If you search the news for the phrase taxation without representation, most of the results today will come back with hits from Republican sites. Which doubles down on the cognitive dissonance factor. If anything, because even lower population red states get two senators, Republicans are over represented. Even though the election, just a few months ago ushered in Democrats in an over whelming rejection of Republican policies, Whigs, Federalists Strongly Differ on Support for Obama

Nonetheless, measurements of the partisan split in support for the President, as Pew Research has done here (they found a record partisan split in Obama’s approval ratings, with 88 percent of Democrats but just 27 percent of Republicans approving of Obama’s performance) are not quite as straightforward as they might seem. This is because partisan identification is at least somewhat fluid. The Republicans, in particular, have lost quite a bit of support over the past several years; those persons who continue to identify as Republicans are a hardened — and very conservative — lot. Just 24 percent of voters identified as Republican when Pew conducted this survey in March, which is roughly as low as that total has ever gotten.

If it seems like the maniacal, crazy, conspiratorial rhetoric from the Right is as bad if not worse then during the height of the jihadist paranoia of five years ago, it is because most moderate Republicans have left the party. So in a twisted kind of way, the tea smokers are right, they’re do not have the represenation, they at least feel, they deserve. The country is moving on, abiet with some honest disagreement on the moderate side, but distancing itself the the politics of destruction which the Right seems more determined then ever to embrace.