In the days of Karl Rove, when the Bush adminstration was earning its now-undeniable title as the Worst President in History, it made sense to do all kinds of goofy things that would harm the domestic and global economy, as long as it gained approval from the base. “Serve the base,” seemed to be Karl’s motto. Unfortunately for Karl, a rather untravelled Texan who arrived with Gov. George at the White House fully un-encumbered with a deep historical knowledge of his own party’s problems, it turns out that the base was made of people who had nothing in common with each other. Thanks to Reagan’s campaign decision to embrace the Christian Coalition’s direct mail money generation machine, Karl’s base was made half of religious zealots, and half of Eisenhower returned GIs. These people had Nothing, and I mean, Nothing, in common.
This week’s exercise in Party Management (what can we give these disparate folks to do, so they will feel important?), no doubt cooked up by some PR firm on K Street in DC, was to have mini tea bag parties around the country. The real picture, if you ignored Fox TV : groups of 10-100 people, average age 67 (Fox, this is your demographic), whining in the rain about taxes.
IF someone had been at each event, asking: “Do you make less than a quarter of a million dollars in income per year?”, I can guarantee you that almost all of them would have said, Yes.
And then, with their No New Taxes signs on their shoulders, the interviewer could have asked the final question: do you realize that, under Obama’s budget, you will have a tax reduction? Boy, that would have spoiled their party.
Is this current crisis an IQ test? Of course it is: life is an IQ test. Is it Darwinian? You bet: life is Darwinian (unless you live in Louisiana, which just voted to put Creationism on school curricula). Will some lose, and some win? Absolutely.
The days of Karl, and his antics, are really over. In fact, the Pentagon’s propaganda office was taken apart by the Obama people this week. Now, the message of the nation will again come from the White House, and the State Department, and not from the Pentagon.
Staging goofy tea bag parties against tax increases that the people in the crowds would not be paying? Was it the ghost of Karl?
Had to be.
It certainly was not for the benefit of: the town, the county, the state, the country, the world. Did it benefit the party? On the face, the answer would be Yes. But, a day later, when they all realize that they actually were not paying higher taxes? Will they have that moment? Are they smart enough?
That’s the next test. Who will they be more angry with, since anger is the currency of the current party hacks? With the party hacks? Or with Obama, who didn’t raise their taxes after all?
I’m afraid the answer, again, will be (b).