‘Walmart Hippies’ and Other Dumb Establishment Theories

David Brooks is always fun to kick around, so let the fun begin.:  Brooks is another one of these columnists who has run with this, “Tea Partiers are just wingnutty versions of hippies, why, they’re no conservatives at all!” idea.:  Oh, sure, there are some small similarities with the New Left, but the idea that the Tea Partiers are an anticonservative movement is asinine.

This line from Brooks stood out,

But the core commonality is this: Members of both movements believe in what you might call mass innocence. Both movements are built on the assumption that the people are pure and virtuous and that evil is introduced into society by corrupt elites and rotten authority structures. “Man is born free, but he is everywhere in chains,” is how Rousseau put it.

Crap.:  Conservatives and Tea Partiers for the most part do not, and never will adopt a view of mass innocence, and Brooks ought to know better than this, and maybe he does.:  Conservatives and Tea Partiers, while they have adopted populist rhetoric, still recognize that people are by their nature flawed.:  They also are well aware of the fact that too much centralized power in the hands of a small number of flawed individuals has a real tendency to end badly for the public, especially in the modern era.:  See the 20th century for details.:  It is a hell of a lot easier for the individual to keep a decentralized, weak government from going off the rails:  than it is some distant, uncaring, behemoth centralized bureaucracy run by an equally distant and uncaring elite.:  The Tea Party is not about the public as a political force, it is about me, or you, as an individual, as a political force.

Brooks then basically claims that there’s widespread conspiracy theorizing amongst the Tea Partiers, as there was the New Left, as a result of this supposed Rousseauian way of thinking.:  More crap, and I’m dismissing it.:  Cranks attach themselves to any widely public movement, they always have, and always will.:  It’s the only way their craziness gets publicity.

Let’s not forget that a similar percentage of Democrats claimed they believed the Truther BS as Republicans claimed they believe the Birther BS. There is always going to be a good percentage of both sides that are basically either nuts, or so fiercely partisan they’re willing to take on any insane conspiracy theory as a cudgel to use against the political opposition.:  Much of the conspiracy theorizing on both sides is an expression of a feeling of powerlessness.:  “Mass innocence” thinking as source for conspiracy theorizing is silly.

Apparently, because of this supposed tendency to conspiracy theorize makes Tea Partiers and conservatives worried that the establishment will try and infiltrate, co-opt or corrupt their movement.:  Fear that the establishment might try and co-opt their movement…hmm, wonder why they’d think that?

Brooks notes the development of conservative thinktanks and other organizations in the 60s and 70s, and then says,

But the Tea Partiers are closer to the New Left. They don’t seek to form a counter-establishment because they don’t believe in establishments or in authority structures. They believe in the spontaneous uprising of participatory democracy. They believe in mass action and the politics of barricades, not in structure and organization. As one activist put it recently on a Tea Party blog: “We reject the idea that the Tea Party Movement is ‘led’ by anyone other than the millions of average citizens who make it up.”

FAIL.:  Brooks is either completely clueless, or he’s being dishonest.: :  Tea Partiers believe in establishments and authority structures, they simply reject the current layout of establishments and authority structures in favor of a more decentralized system, having correctly identified too much centralized power as a major problem in this nation.

As for the lack of leadership in the Tea Party movement, it’s actually a pretty handy defensive mechanism.: :  One of the chronic problems facing conservatives is that any individual conservative that becomes prominent in any way is isolated and attacked relentlessly by the left and their allies in the media until they are damaged or destroyed.:  One can look at the endlessly vicious attacks on Sarah Palin by both the left and media as a perfect example of this in action.:  It tends to demoralize people and can make establishment and leaders nervous about taking a bold stand against the left.:  Regarding the Tea Parties’ lack of leaders, anyone familiar with how a swarm of insects attacks understands how this works, it’s much more difficult to single out targets and often very disorienting, and the results on the much larger entity are often devastating.

For this reason, both the New Left and the Tea Party movement are radically anticonservative. Conservatism is built on the idea of original sin – on the assumption of human fallibility and uncertainty. To remedy our fallen condition, conservatives believe in civilization – in social structures, permanent institutions and just authorities, which embody the accumulated wisdom of the ages and structure individual longings.

This is, yes, I’ll say it, an outrageous claim.:  Part of the Tea Party and conservative movement’s opposition is based on the fact that the continued centralization and growth of power in DC is destroying traditional American social structures, institutions and authorities.:  They don’t oppose these concepts, they oppose the federal government’s efforts to seize and usurp them.

Now, enough of Brooks, let’s take a look at John Feehery of the Daily Caller’s post in support of Brooks, and says he’d add the following,

True conservatives value one thing over any thing else: societal stability.

But what do the Tea Partiers do?

They march with signs of Barack Obama in a clown face. They spend an inordinate time wondering if Obama was born in America. They attack institutions.

They use Alinsky’s rules against the left, but by doing so they create anarchy.

Dick Armey, the self-proclaimed father of the Tea Party movement, has been unapologetic in his use of these tactics. James O’Keefe, the right-wing provocateur, seems to enjoy channeling his inner Abby Hoffman.

Even the leading lights of so-called conservative talk radio, guys like Rush Limbaugh and especially Glen Beck, use many of these tactics to provoke, to entertain, and to shock the public.

Oh here we freaking go.:  Yeah, because that strategy of being polite to people who want to destroy us has been working so brilliantly.:  Look at the way these animals savage every conservative who dares speak out against their march against individualism, liberty and the free market.:  And look what it got them, they had full majority in the House and Senate, the presidency and any number of typically spineless Republicans getting into slapfights over who got to be the first to snag that coveted “bipartisan” gewgaw that the media and left dangle out in front of them.:  Thank God they haven’t done more damage thus far, because undoubtedly if they were more politically competent, they could have.

Let me put on my Olbermann glasses and serious Olbermann Special Comment face.:  Okay, ready.

And another thing, John, what the hell is socially stable about massive and radical centralization of government, John?

What is socially stable about trying to seize control over every major facet of our economy?

What is socially stable about running trillion dollar deficits?

What is socially stable about inflicting crushing debt on future generations?

What is socially stable about a crap economy, well over 10% when discouraged workers are counted, with a large part of that percentage being young men?

What is socially stable about rewarding people who have flagrantly violated immigration law with citizenship, not to mention the complete destruction of the concept of equality under the law, and the social contract that comes with it?

What is socially stable about an incompetent and impotent foreign policy?

There is nothing socially stable any of things, and there is nothing stable about radical expansion of central authority, nothing.:  There never has been, there never will be, and it always leads to horrific ruin for society and civilization, and tragedy for the individual.:  It has to be stopped, even if that means utilizing the left’s own tactics against them.:  I’ll gladly take the short term instability that comes with it if it means a fighting chance at long term societal stability.:  That Churchill quote about Hitler invading Hell comes to mind.

Feehery concludes,

Abby Hoffman once said that sacred cows make for a tasty hamburger. He also said that the first duty of a revolutionary is to get away with it.

A real conservative doesn’t play that game. A real conservative puts a high value on civil society, stability, and a social contract based on mutual respect and equal opportunity.

A real conservative doesn’t try to “get away with it.”

“The Rules For Radicals” was designed as a guide for the left to use to tear down civil society and build up something utopian in its place. It tactics are not applicable to those of us who value a stable, civil, and prosperous nation.

First off this shows a fundamental failure to understand what the Tea Party is, Tea Partiers are not revolutionaries, they are counterrevolutionaries.:  Tea Partiers are trying to move America back to where it was in terms of government size and power, not take America in an entirely new direction altogether, as the New Left did.:  Tea Partiers do have high regard for civil society, stability, and social contract.:  The left has zero regard for any of these things.:  The Tea Party is an attempt to restore those things, something that Brooks and Feehery, through ignorance or malice, do not recognize.:  Rules for Radicals is indeed a strategy guide for the New Left to tear down civil society and attempt to create their leftist utopia (which always turns into a horrific disaster), but there is no reason at all that the right cannot reverse engineer Rules for Radicals and use it to tear down the left and restore civil society.

An aside::  Really, the article says more about Feehery’s inability to think outside the box than anything else.:  So naturally, I was unsurprised to find out he offers up sneering screeds like this to Rush Limbaugh and was a former strategerist for the GOP leadership.

You can read more of my co-bloggers and my own insane scribblings at doubleplusundead. Abandon all hope ye who enter here.

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