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The Migratory Habits of the Tufted Southwester Tea Bagger

Some days are just meant for bitching. Don’t lie to yourself; you’ve had’em. You wake up on the wrong side of the bed and someone’s going to have a worse day than you. It doesn’t have to make sense. It doesn’t have to be fair. The first person who falls into your sights is toast. If my wife (who is as close to uniformly charming as anyone walking) gets out of bed and does a crab-walk to the bathroom first thing in the morning, I’m outta there. Sometimes I might have to throw her a piece of raw meat to distract her while I sneak out the door, but whatever it takes to find a cave in which to hide is what I’m going to do. No one’s immune from the wishfully rare, but all too common human ailment.

A small percentage of people seem to have been born to bitch. It’s not a once in a blue moon thing. They get out of bed every day intent on making everyone who crosses their path into road kill. They’re constantly negative. They delight to bringing people down. It’s as if they find it easier to elevate their own mood by making everyone else’s lower than their own. We all know a few of them and if possible, we avoid them like the social boils they are. Their complaints don’t have to make sense. They don’t have to think things through. They can’t seem to take responsibility for their own actions. They live as perpetual consequences. They are victims. Everything that happens to them is beyond their own control and everything that happens is bad.

Which gets me to the Tea Party phenomena. This relatively new spectacle of collective ignorance amounts to a support group for the “born to bitch” sect. As a rule, they get together and bitch about things they know little or nothing about. They campaign against an invisible monster called government because something put them in a bad mood. They woke up knowing they know nothing other than somebody’s out to take one of their toys. The depth of their thinking makes the shallow end of the pool their natural habitat. But sadly, they relish the idea of getting together with other thin thinkers for mutual reinforcement of their unwillingness or inability to deal with the headier issues of the day. It’s sort of like the mental equivalent to a “get out of jail free” card. They see others staring back at them with the same blank look and each thinks to himself, “Those people believe it makes sense so it must make sense.” Not since the little boy told the king he had no clothes has a group been so self- buffaloed. They are truly blissfully ignorant.

In Arizona this past week, the impact of the Tea Party bunch has gone to utterly ridiculous extremes. John McCain is in a bitter fight with J.D. Hayworth for one of Arizona’s senate seats. McCain must have been consulting with one of the orderlies in the nursing home because someone gave him the brilliant idea of soliciting Sarah Palin to stump for him on the campaign trail. After reading her book and watching and listening to her for the past couple of years, it seems more than obvious to me that she is deductively challenged at best and an abject idiot at worst. But McCain wants to appeal to the Tea Party bunch and he thinks parading this simple minded media hound in front of the electorate will be to his advantage. What does this say about McCain and the Tea Party band? It says McCain is too senile to remember what made his presidential campaign into a cartoon – Palin. It says that the Tea Baggers are easily entertained, but totally devoid of deep thinkers. If I were a Tea Bagger and someone said “Vote for me because Sarah Palin likes me,” I would take great offence and assume my intelligence had been egregiously insulted. Sarah cries out, “Ignorance is my name,” and the Tea Baggers cheer wildly. Maybe the radical evangelicals are right (no pun intended) and these really are the end times.

McCain’s opponent, that bastion of enlightenment, hate and bigotry, J.D. Hayworth is not to be out-dumbed. He has actually countered McCain’s pathetic circus by bringing in (I’m not joking here) Joe the Plumber. Incredibly, Joe Wurtzelbacher has been paid to come in and be a pitch man for Hayworth. Here’s an amateur media mongrel whose moment of fame has long passed (except in the vacuous mind of the typical Tea Bagger). His credibility has withered in the light of day. And signs of his intelligence and expertise are as rare as an autographed photo of Jesus Christ. Yet, a politician in Arizona has decided a rerun of the Joe the Plumber Show will appeal to the lemmings of the Tea Party. What has this world come to? Why aren’t these people embarrassed?

In truth I share many of the same misgivings about our nation and its present direction as do the Tea Baggers. Our errant ways in the recent past have put us where the more prescient people predicted – in a hellava mess. We’ve got to take the medicine and frankly, there’s no amount of sugar to make it taste good. But the Tea Baggers will solve nothing by grabbing their torches and wandering the night looking for the elusive Frankenstein monster. Joining a gang of fools will only make things worse except for the small groups of power mongers that are stealthily feeding their rage for their own benefit.

The Tea Baggers group together and stoke each other’s fears and anger, but they don’t stop to think. I’m reminded of an experience I had on the Serengeti Plain in Africa. Wildebeests migrate every year in mid-summer. These animals are generally viewed as some of the dumbest mammals in Africa. They come together in July and form a line three or four animals wide that stretches literally for miles. They walk and walk and walk every day, each looking at the ass end of the Wildebeest in front.

The other animals of the Serengeti get together and talk about the wildebeest behind their backs. They call them stupid, ignorant, thick skulled fools, much like educated people in this country talk about the Tea Baggers. Some of the animals of the plain delight in taking advantage of the idiots. One of the most amazing spectacles of my safari occurred when I positioned myself at a watering spot on a river near the migratory path. In the heat of the African summer day, groups of wildebeests would break from the herd and walk toward the river. The boys club of the river boasted a membership comprised of dozens of huge crocodiles who would lie around talking animal politics in the heat of the day. When they would feel the subtle vibration of the ground, they knew it was nearly lunch time. It was an amazing thing to watch as these massive meat processing plants would pull up to the shore and line up side by side much like vendors at a flea market. There they waited doing their best imitations of rocks in the river until some thirsty wildebeest arrived and bent over to quench his thirst. I never dreamed I could channel an African crocodile, but I’m certain each was thinking, “Pick me. Pick me.”

As the unsuspecting wildebeest leans forward to drink, one of nature’s least attractive spectacles unfolds. I won’t describe it in detail other than to say if the wildebeest would have thought things through a little more, he would have fared much better.

When I see the Tea Baggers standing on street corners waving their signs and experiencing the mutual joy of standing ignorant and proud in the public eye, I can’t help but remember my last trip to Africa. Masses of well meaning people justifiably angry and frustrated with the state of their world looking for relief and refreshment. Like the wildebeest, they just keep walking forward looking at the ass end of the guy in front. They walk toward the river thirsting for relief only to be consumed by the predators lying in wait.

A recent in-depth study of the Tea Party movement by Quinnipiac University reveals the average Tea Bagger is white, Republican, less educated than average. Some of them even bare a faint resemblance to a wildebeest.

The need for change is real and I commend most of the Tea Baggers for “caring” about our nation and our future. But to just roll out of bed every morning intent on bitching about the state of affairs without thinking things through is not the way to make constructive change. The Tea Party’s way of getting change is foolish and short sighted. To blindly follow populist politicians to the banks of the river with the promise of relief from their thirst is an alluring concept, but bad things happen there. They should think twice before going. In fact, they should think once. That’s once more than they’re thinking now.


One Response

  1. Excellent


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