3 years ago: Rumor-panic, defined

Feb. 27, 2010, on this blog: Rumor-panic, defined

The Tea Party movement bears a striking resemblance to the classic rumor-panic and witchhunt. It’s driven by rumors to become fearful and driven by fear to believe rumors — really outlandish, unbelievable, weirdly nightmarish rumors at that.

"I've said it before and I'll say it again. I think the fear is more ..."

LBCF, No. 193: ‘Inaction heroes’
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LBCF, No. 193: ‘Inaction heroes’
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LBCF, No. 193: ‘Inaction heroes’
"Poison oak probably does, also. Except it generally is in areas with "seasonal" droughts. (I ..."

LBCF, No. 193: ‘Inaction heroes’

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  • Some things I gleaned from the comments in the old thread:

    The Tea Party is a crystallization of impulses that fundamentally amount to walling oneself off and surrounding oneself with only very insular, like-minded people: the approval of the home-schooling movement; the ongoing push for government funding of private schools without the attendant oversight; the fact that gun permits are prioritized above other background checks; the poor understanding of government spending and the insistence that said spending should only be going to the “right” people.

    Springboarding from that:

    What continues to amaze me is that it’s been clearly astroturfed, but has carried a substantial amount of inertia through a kind of metamorphosis and mitosis, sprouting up all across the USA in small local movements that capture, in concentrated form, the kinds of embarrassing (to the elites who astroturfed it originally) nativist and racist views that have otherwise been kept fairly well-hidden because it’s not socially acceptable any longer to explicitly call a black person very rude words which have the effect of calling into question their capabilities and skills on the basis of their skin color alone.

    What also amazes me is the unself-conscious almost wilful lack of understanding of the nature of government among these Tea Party-ites. Back when they were in school, “civics” was a standard part of the menu for the schools they went to; the separation of powers and the Constitution would have bulked large in the classes they took.

    Films like this would have been shown, emphasizing the link between the taxes they would one day pay as adults, and the effective administration of their nation as a functioning entity.

    Medicare might not have been A Thing when they were but teenagers in school, but Social Security sure was; would they not have been taught of Social Security as a classic example of the kind of benefits accruing from a nation-wide federal program?

  • JustoneK


  • Fusina

    Hey, based on his most recent entry above, do you think Eric the lighter shade of pale is going to be leaving us? I like polite discourse, but what he has been indulging in isn’t polite, and the arguments he lays before us have been somewhat less than compelling. (puerile, stale, and infantile TBH) That is, when he actually gives an argument rather than a statement of non-factual items. Like the above, actually.

    I’m not saying that Obama is the greatest president EVER, but IMO he is a damn sight better for the not so well off than Romney would have been. At least if he is contemptuous of us, he hid it better. And at times I judge a man by the enemies he makes, and anyone that can cause the frothing of the mouth that Obama causes by some of the talking heads at FOX news must be doing something right. And I love Michelle’s new ‘do. Cute as a button.

  • Bob Altemeyer made a little postscript to The Authoritarians following up with an analysis of the Tea Party movement.  It is available here.  And yep, they are classic authoritarian followers.  The fear, the desire for insularity, the aggression looking for a socially approved outlet, the compartmentalized mental talking points, etc.  

  • Oh dear. Are you really this starved for attention?

  • Jim Roberts

    As I said in the last election cycle. I don’t like Obama. What I do like is that he angers all the right people.

  • P J Evans

     The farthest-right seem to believe that Obama is our most-liberal president ever. I don’t know where they’re getting that view, because he’s no more liberal as their sainted Ronny.

  • AnonymousSam

    The way you Like your own posts is meaningful in more ways than one.

  • Fusina

    Puerile, stale, and infantile. Congratulations, you made the trifecta!

  • JustoneK

    aw, yer sweet.

  • JustoneK

    I don’t think conversational English is his first language, in all honesty.  I have to wonder what other interactions are like, if there are any.

  • Consumer Unit 5012

    He’s no more liberal as their sainted Ronny. he’s no more liberal as their sainted Ronny.
    he’s no more liberal as their sainted Ronny.

     To be fair, at this point if Ronald Reagan Himself were running for office, he’d be pilloried as a RINO by The Base. 

  •  Could you kindly name an example of “rumor-panic and witchhunt” spread by the obama administration?

    And just to get in front of this, gun control is neither, and saying it is will just prove you aren’t interested in honest debate.

  • gocart mozart

    I think the point is that you are a child Eric.

  • Fusina

     Got it in one! I see his posts show up every so often, and they tend to be immature, name calling things based on his inflated assessment of himself. So I decided to go all Shakespeare on him and see if he could comprehend what I meant. He failed. And using the term gay as an epithet just proved him irrelevant to anyone with a working brain.