Sunday Political Roundup: Teabag Triple-Dip (& then some)

“The Tea Party’s Rank Amateurism” by Ta-Nehisi Coates at the Atlantic (h/t to Phil Campbell)

I hear GOP folks and Tea Partiers bemoaning the fact that media and Democrats are using the extremes of their movement for ratings and to score points. This is like Drew Brees complaining that Dwight Freeney keeps trying to sack him. If that were Martin Luther King’s response to media coverage, the South might still be segregated. I exaggerate, but my point is that the whining reflects a basic misunderstanding of the rules of protest. When you lead a protest you lead it, you own it, and your opponents, and the media, will hold you responsible for whatever happens in the course of that protest. This isn’t left-wing bias, it’s the nature of the threat.

Here’s the great Richard Kim at The Nation–I live for his articles & blogposts there; wish they came with anything like regularity–who gets in up past his elbows with “The Cloward-Piven Strategy,” a kind of Teabagger Da Vinci Code. (Also, the artwork above is borrowed from this article.)

Why does the Cloward-Piven conspiracy theory hold such appeal? And what, if anything, does it accomplish? On one level it’s entertainment. It allows believers to tease out the left’s secrets and sinister patterns. Since none of the evidence that supposedly confirms the existence of the Cloward-Piven strategy is, in fact, secret, this proves rather easy to do, and so the puzzle is both thrilling and gratifying.

Over at the Times, meanwhile, they’re wondering about the link between Tea Party membership and unemployment. “With No Jobs, Time for Tea Party.

The fact that many Tea Party supporters joined after losing their jobs raises questions of whether the movement can survive an upturn in the economy.

And from the great Crooks & Liars, “Glenn Beck is actually freaking out Fox News staffers. Roger Ailes steps in–on Beck’s side.” (Note that the below-quoted is C&L’s quote from a New York Daily News article.)

A column in the Washington Post on Monday revealed that some Fox staffers are concerned the celebrity pundit is “becoming the face of the network.”

Ailes pointed out that the information in The Post’s column was leaked by Fox’s Washington bureau.

“For the first time in our 14 years, we’ve had people apparently shooting in the tent, from within the tent,” he told them.

And because we actually live in the weird alternate reality where Gawker is at least as good a political blog as they are a gossip blog, here’s their take on James O’Keefe, the Teabagger who was caught trying to infiltrate a Senator’s office and bug her phone. They’ve got his facebook photos! Also, Scientologists run sweatshops, duh.

Links, now with Direct Address

Two from Dennis Cooper: Yesterday was “Neon Angel Day”, celebrating Cherie Currie of The Runaways and her new book Neon Angel: The Story of a Runaway, which is co-authored by one of our main men, Mr. Tony “O” O’Neill. the day before that, one of Dennis’s regular readers/community-members presented a list of 10 Graphic Novels “chosen…as recommendations to Mr. Cooper and his brilliant flock.” The list includes Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie’s Lost Girls, Derf’s My Friend Dahmer, and eight other fine titles besides, all with descriptions and excerpts. Also, Dennis, if you’re reading this, you were right about Return of the Grievous Angel–duh.

They’re talking about the James Franco Esquire story on Gawker, but here’s the interesting part- instead of burning the story themselves, they make light fun of it and then leave the real burning to us!

The litblog HMTLGIANT says of the story: “If it weren’t by James Franco, this 100% would not be in Esquire… Seems like a pretty typical ‘MFA story,’ if that’s even a type of story.” Burn? We are not literary critics, so let us just say this: James Franco is such a good actor!

Adrian Chen, if you are reading this, thanks for the link! I don’t know whether this is the first time we’ve been Gawker-linked, but it’s the first one I know of, and it made me feel great, even though that wasn’t even my post. According to the Tao Lin/Marty McFly reality-index, my hands are not see-through anymore, and I am allowed to make one facial expression of my own choosing–though obviously I’ll choose not to make one. But seriously, Adrian, I miss Foster Kamer. Also, from all of us to Nick Denton–feel free to start picking us off whenever. Imagine if instead of Ann Coulter, Peaches (naked) Geldof and Steve Jobs, the top stories on Gawker were about Harold Bloom, Natalie Lyalin, and probably Harold Bloom again. WHAT IF?

Lastly, the guy whose doppelganger I am, the other Justin Taylor (or JTO as I like to call him) has a short post called “On Scary Stories and the Moral Imagination.” It’s kind of the same argument Stephen King makes in Danse Macabre about horror as a fundamentally conservative genre, because it is founded on a fear of the other, except made by a believing Christian with a much narrower and more specific definition of “moral,” plus also it’s really short, and just quotes some other things, and so is not really very much like that at all. JTO, if you are reading this, sorry to have put words in your mouth kind of. It’s a big bridge between us, but I’m really committed to building it. What slowed me down, see, is that I can’t get my pdf copy of The Axioms of Religion by EY Mullins to print out properly–I’m trying to do it two-book-pages-to-the-printed-page–and so I haven’t been able to read it yet. But I WILL get there, and then we’ll have that to talk about. Anyway, my favorite part of your post was the Chesterton-opener, the note on which I will end-

Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist.
Children already know that dragons exist.
Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.