Sunday, August 29, 2010

Teabagger Weekend

You can tell it's a big Teabagger weekend. Riding my bike I saw a pickup truck flying the stars and bars (in addition to the stars and stripes). 9/12 driving to Naples we saw 2 or 3 40-50 foot confederate flags flying. But teabaggers aren't racist, no sir, not at all. They want to "return to the values of the founding fathers" -- and if half of the founding fathers happened to be slave owners, no biggie.

I say, enough of such half-ass measures, let's return to the values of the barons who forced King John to sign the Magna Carta! Why regress to 18th century values when we can regress to 13th century values? Now you're talking!

I laugh when conservatives talk about "the values of the founding fathers", as if these guys were able to foresee the evolution of the US and the world for centuries to come. They were revolutionaries, steering by the seat of their pants. They didn't know how things were going to turn out. And if something didn't work, they tried something else. Duh. I believe that they would be very pleasantly surprised at how their great experiment is turning out.

I think that appeals to "the values of the founding fathers" are code for "state rights". And, frankly, for many, many things, state rights are not the way to go, because, it's too easy to buy a state government.

That's why Random Paul's assertion that coal mine regulation and inspection should be handled completely locally makes you want to cry. The coal barons own the governments of those counties, the chances that they're going to "do the right thing" when it conflicts with their margins are slim to none.

Here's another example, from USA Today: "Study: Drinking water polluted by coal-ash dump sites".

The electric power industry is lobbying to keep regulation up to individual states, but environmental groups argue states have failed to protect the public and EPA should set and enforce a national standard.
Much easier to buy state officials than it is Feds.

Another of the teabagger code words is "christian values". This is just a way to exclude newer non-christian immigrants from Africa and the near and far east. In the 19th century, the WASP majority used their catholicism as an excuse to exclude Irish, Italian and German immigrants. Same old tricks. To quote Bob Dylan, 1963:

A South politician preaches to the poor white man
"You got more than blacks, don't complain
You're better than them, you been born with white skin" they explain
And the Negro's name
Is used it is plain
For the politician's gain
As he rises to fame
And the poor white remains
On the caboose of the train
But it ain't him to blame
He's only a pawn in their game.
You keep hoping that as older conservative reactionary types die off, these old reactionary attitudes will die off with them. I smile when I'm out biking Sunday mornings and see church parking lots filled with 90% white-hairs. And, we are making progress, we did elect Barack Obama. But, the powers-that-be, the good old boys, the ones born with the silver spoons in their mouths and their dupes, will not give up, and we can't either.

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