Continuing the Tea Party theme, let's take a trip back in time to 2009. Obama and the House leadership had just introduced health care reform legislation, a baby step toward a system of universal coverage. Recognizing hardcore communism when they see it, the right sprung into action against it. Members of Congress and their masters in the insurance industry set the right wing Noise and Rage Machine (which I imagine looks something like this) in motion. The leaders of this collective bowel movement came up with the brilliant strategy of telling dumb, confused, and mostly elderly white people – who would eventually become the Tea Party core – all kind of ridiculous crap and encouraging them to go to Democratic representatives' town hall meetings to yell at them. Thus were we entertained for several months by videos of absolutely incoherent people boiling over with rage, waving misspelled signs, and berating hapless members of Congress. The GOP and their allies on the right patted themselves on the back and had a good laugh. Ha ha! Look at Arlen Specter squirm.

The screaming-and-waving people continued to be useful until the day after the 2010 election, at which point the (now majority) GOP expected them to return home and quietly await future instructions from Eric Cantor and Glenn Beck. The problem is that some of these people aren't quite as docile as our economic and political elite need them to be. Tea Party Tim really means it and Plutocrat Pete can't control him. Because many of them are so old, they're now angry about plans proposed by Paul Ryan and other Republicans to gut Medicare and Social Security using the Trojan Horse of Austerity. So this spring, the angry mob came back to the town hall meetings – Republicans' town hall meetings – and offered another round of full-throated disapproval. Paul Ryan himself, golden boy of the Beltway elite, puked up talking points to a chorus of boos.

In 2009 most of the Democrats took their medicine and waited for the furor to calm down; eventually it became possible to appear in public without things turning into a complete circus. So the Republicans are following their example and doing the same thing in 2011.

Ha! No, just kidding. They're charging people to get into town hall events. You know, to keep out the riffraff. That's not surprising from a group of people whose idea of "making it" in life is to live in a gated community and who see the social contract as a process of crossing the bridge into the promised land and burning it behind them.

28 thoughts on “PAY PER VIEW”

  • Good post. To pick up on the gated community conclusion. It pains me to do this, but the David Brooks piece sometime this week was quite insightful about comparing the experience he got at high end resorts vs. common man places on a recent family vacation to Africa. I won't link it because its David Brooks but sometimes he surprises me.

  • When town hall meetings were all the rage back in '09 I decided to attend one because the organizers said it would be a chance for us commoners to have our opinions heard, and questions answered. I was told that we would be discussing the most important issues facing us as a nation. Needless to say I was quite excited indeed.To my disappointment there was very little discussion about taking over and colonizing other planets.

    I was also there to complain about the condition of the road outside my house, and to suggest that we introduce monkeys into the Wisconsin ecosystem. This would benefit us in three ways. First we would get to enjoy the silly antics of monkeys during the summer months. Then, every year when winter approached, we would be able to mercifully hunt and kill all the monkeys. I would probably use a flame thrower with a long stick connected to it. At the end of the stick would be a basket full of bananas. I would wait until several monkeys started eating, and then incinerate them. Thirdly, the job creation would be substantial as we would need people to go to countries that grow monkeys naturally and steal them from their parents to replenish our supply of monkeys every spring. We could also eat their eggs for breakfast; because monkeys are more like humans than chickens, their eggs should be healthier.

    After I proposed my monkey idea they stopped acknowledging my questions, and asked me to leave. I went dead weight in protest, but ended up falling into a puddle of urine produced by the octogenarian crowd.

  • I second the introduction of monkeys into the Wisconsin ecosystem, although I take issue with the long sticks and baskets of bananas. Some things are just a bridge too far.

  • Glad you sourced Tom Tomorrow. That was one of his best strips. I mentioned it in the comments section a few days ago.

    Pay-per-view: I'm just wondering how functionally elitist Republicans can get before their constituents finally, finally see through them. Or will that ever happen?

    Lord, what fools these mortals be!

  • c u n d gulag says:

    'Pay Per View' to talk to them?

    Well, why not?

    The SCOTUS has already ok'd "Pay Per Vote" via "Citizens United."

    And, after all is said and done, Conservatives want to make it "Pay To Vote" all over the country.

    After all, you don't want those nasty 3/5ths people, or people who don't own land or other people voting, now do you?
    Also, too, women!
    And you can blame the damned Liberals for that, too! You go out and sensibly vote for a caucasaion cracker, and your bitch of a wife cancels out your vote by voting for a woman and/or a Democrat. So, that's gotta go, too!

  • @ JR

    I wish to salute your forward thinking! Monkey hatcheries are the future! The fallow ground of Detroit could be used for monkey hatcheries! The monkey hatchery industry could employ millions of Michiganders. Shipping costs will be minimal as well since all monkey yearlings could be easily sent of Lake Michigan via trebuchet. (Thus creating a large trebuchet market).

  • Dear Mr. J.R.–

    We represent a forward-thinking conservative political action committee. We wish to discuss the possibility of implementing your idea in our local communities immediately. Your kind of boot-strap, outside-the-box thinking is what makes this country great. We foresee a time, not far off, when the great American Monkey Hunt will join the Superbowl and Talk Like A Pirate Day as one of the most honored and beloved American celebrations of its own awesomeness.

    Sincerely, etc.

    P.S. Oh, one minor tweak: Instead of monkeys, we'd like to sell you on the idea of using the homeless and illegal immigrants.

  • J. Dryden – I'll meet you half way on your proposed tweak. I live in California, and I assure you, illegal immigrant eggs are neither as nutritious nor as tasty as monkey eggs. OTOH, the homeless here are quite inflammable.

  • The Rs are, in the main, a bunch of dufi (pl of dufuss)

    However, the Ds in the HoR took a main force hit in 2010 from the TP army. Ms Pelosi got her ass kickin' leg blown off. Just because she wears her prosthesis well and the TP army doesn't spend much time on the parade grounds these days, y'all keep making racist, ageist (your own kind of rhetoric) snarky remarks while remaining in denial about what's happened.

    Surely the Koch Brothers and Rep Armey didn't show up in all those voting booths to kick the Ds out. Nah, y'all probably think they got Mr. Diebold to rig the mo-sheens.

    Y'all better get off your asses and do something or pray that I'm right that the TP army will turn on the dufi when they do what dufi do…


  • Monkey Business says:

    @bb in GA:

    I agree with you that the Republican party are dufi (although I believe the plural of doofus is doofuses, not doofi).

    However, the House of Representatives is different from the Senate in that the majority has little to no power to influence events, depending on the actions and size of the majority. Consequently, Nancy Pelosi can't do a whole lot at the moment. She is, however, still quite capable of kicking ass.

    The Tea Party is rapidly becoming defunct. Like most flash in the pan "movements", the Tea Party was fueled by anger, and once they accomplished their goals, their anger subsided. Without anger, they have nothing. Moreover, their gains came in an off-year election, where turnout is low.

    Expect much of the GOP gains from 2010 to be erased in 2012.

  • Halloween Jack says:

    One of the things that came up pretty quickly in the days after the '10 election is that a lot of the teabagger congresspeople didn't really think through their personal budgets when they promised to hold a skadillion town hall meetings every week, in their home districts. Flying home every week isn't cheap, and neither is maintaining two households (more so if they have a spouse or kids). Some of them resorted to sleeping in their offices and using the congressional gym for showering, but that lifestyle only really appeals to college kids; the only people their age who have to live like that are poor, and you know how teabaggers feel about the poor. They could resort to the usual tactic of having lobbyists pay for everything in return for earmarks, but since they campaigned against earmarks, they have to be careful about doing it too openly.

    So, "encourage" constituents to dip into their change jars if they want to ask their congresscritter if they're keeping their promises, or hold your town hall in East Bumfuque where you can rent the Legion hall for a case of Natty Light. Welcome to your Randian future, America!

  • Monkey Biz:

    From the Latin…

    radius, radii
    alumnus, alumni
    doofuss, doofi (or the alternate dufuss, dufi)



  • Guess the Repubs loves them some freedom of speech–except when it's it's inconvenient. Then it's time to show the little people that democracy is for "members only"–y'know, just like at those private country clubs they spend so much time in, drinking up the $700 bottles of wine ( no Jews or darkies allowed, thank you…).

  • Who would have thought that a bunch of crotchety right-wing assholes on scooters would fuck up directing their outrage constructively? Within months of the mid-terms, Boehner was about as popular on the far right as Barry O is on the far left.

    When I need a quick pick-me-up, I dial up some archives from 2009, when major news publications and seriously serious pundits were rapturously comparing the Tea Party to the Summer of Love. Good times.

  • b.b – I quite like "doofi." The word, that is, not the actual, — ah doofi . . .

    J.R – Wisconsin is already overrun with monkeys.

    OK – that last one is monkey BUSINESS, but still . . .


  • Elder Futhark says:

    Mmm-mm-mmm-monkey eggs! Of course, you have to crack the bones to get to the bone marrow to get the eggs, cause that's where they are.

    Them and stem cells. Mmm. Stem cells.

  • Nicely done, Ed. I do wish the tea party would direct some of its ire at corporations and Wall Street, given the heavy astrotruf element in the tea party, but that's probably an irony (and self-awareness) too far. As it stands, most of the rank-and-file tea partiers are basically Dumb Plutocrats with Benefits. "Keep the gummint off my Medicare!"

  • PGE:

    Sometimes you should put :-) on things and other times you just kind hope everybody knows your messin' wif 'em.

    Of course, doofus is probably an American English euphemism for dumbass and has nothing to do w/ Latin.

    My knowledge of Latin :-) is limited to about the two earlier leading lines to doofus, doofi and one other phrase my Daddy taught me that I apply around here:

    "Illegitimus non carborundum" that is "Don't let the bastards wear you down."


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