(image by ragesoss, used under a Creative Commons license)
There’s an old joke about Irish politics: that the second item on the agenda of any new political movement’s first meeting is the split. The Tea Party, the notional emerging third party of American politics, already seems to be heading in the same direction.
The Glenn Becks and Sarah Palins don’t seem to be able to string together a coherent narrative for the Teabaggers (beyond hysterical screaming about Obama’s nefarious hidden agenda) and, almost as though playing out an old Bill Hicks joke about ‘the people who hate people party’, the in-fighting has started. And how.
The following text is taken from an e-mail sent by Sherry Phillips, a leading light in the anti-bailout, anti-BigGov, anti-Obama, anti-everything Teaparty whose first convention is due to happen next week. From David Weigel at the Washington Independent:
‘We have refrained from responding to many of the attacks that have been thrown at us from other “Tea Party” groups, in the belief we did not want to spread the divisions that are already hurting this movement even though that does not seem to be the consideration of some others involved in this movement. Because of the many TPN members’ requests and encouragement, I have decided to provide comment about Tea Party Nation and the National Tea Party Convention. We will stay silent no longer.’
Rage building nicely now. Wait for it:
Former Tea Party Nation Members – Several former members were unanimously banned from our site for reasons running the gamut from antagonism to passing on confidential information. These members have been blogging, as well as discussing their association with liberal media outlets and conspiring with each other to, “Take TPN and this convention down”.
So, why can’t everyone just get along?
Well, it perhaps seems obvious to say it, but a movement with close links to the same school of thought that fuels the Birthers, with a firm slant towards syllogistic, conspiracist thinking (‘Obama is a non-USA citizen and a muslim who wants to destroy America’), and a movement essentially born of popular rage is not a movement that is going to see much reason or encourage much internal debate and dissent.
How can that many angry people be expected to be able to agree to anything?
The People Who Hate People Party
Hat-tip to Little Green Footballs
For more on conspiracist thinking see:
The Haiti Conspiracy Theories
Tracking the Protocols of the Elders of Zion
Blather, Rinse, Repeat: An Ethnography of Conspiracy Theory