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Stewart and Colbert

Stephen Colbert announces his March to Keep Fear Alive in response to Jon Stewart's Rally to Restore Sanity.

How to make the Tea Partiers even madder

My wife and I used to live in DC. If we still did, we'd be tempted to join the estimated 150,000 at the Jon Stewart-Stephen Colbert event on the National Mall tomorrow.

Timothy Noah is not enthused about the nebulous hybrid of a Glenn Beck parody and an actual political rally:

There's still a lot we don't fully understand about the Tea Partiers and the political independents who have lost faith in Obama. But one thing we should all be pretty clear on by now is that they hate, hate, hate anything that smacks of elitism. The spectacle of affluent 18-to-34-year-olds blanketing the Mall to snicker at jokes about wingnut ignoramuses and Bible thumpers will, I fear, have the effect of a red cape waved before a bull.

Gabriel Arana disagrees:

Who cares if the Stewart/Colbert rallies make the Tea Partiers mad? They've been mad since early 2009.... With Republican obstructionism in the Senate and the impending takeover of the House by the party of "no," it's safe to say that, come Nov. 2, the government won't be getting much of anything done.

You can choose to cry about it, but I'd rather laugh.

I share Arana's sense of helpless frustration with the Tea Party's success, Republican obstructionism and the apparent inevitability of divided-government gridlock. Still, I think Noah's right here.

As I've said before, I appreciate Stewart and Colbert's willingness to unapologetically work within the strange space created by the shattered boundaries between entertainment, news and politics--a situation that long precedes them. But the Tea Party has managed to corral a bunch of America's worst impulses under a banner (however incoherent) of regular folks fighting back against uncaring elites. It's also succeeded in pushing the Republican Party right without destroying its chances of retaking Congress.

Three days before the election, a high-profile smart-alecky Tea Party mockery-fest seems like a horrible idea. Stewart and Colbert may prove that they are comedians, not opinion journalists or liberal activists--a point that Stewart in particular is forever trying to drive home. But to do so by giving a big electoral gift to the very people they think are so ridiculous is an awfully high price.

In other Tea Party-vs.-elites news, this quiz--based on Charles Murray's Washington Post piece--has been making the rounds (via CCblogger Marvin Lindsay). Twenty-five yes/no questions determine your relative elitism. I answered just nine of them elitely; apparently I'm a man (somewhat) of the people. (I confess, however, that while I know that "MMA" stands for "mixed martial arts," my first thought was "Metropolitan Museum of Art.")

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Comments

What I find funny

is how highly liberals think of themselves.

They are always referring to their education levels, time they spend thinking and unmatched affluance.

Timothy Noahs description of Jon Stewart attendees as "affluent 18-to-34-year-olds" is far from the shows demographic of college age frat boys glad Obamacare will allow them to stay on their parents health insurance policy while they play video games in their bedroom.

Rally

Regardless of the rally, what everyone expects is that the Republicans will do well in the midterms and stonewall legislation for the remainder of the Obama presidency. It's a combination of the anger of the tea partiers and impatience on the part of many who voted for Obama because they were captivated by his speeches and dissatisfied with W. The thing is though, Obama's still the president, and he has thoughtfulness and reason on his side. What I expect is that this Republican victory will prove to be an advantage when he runs for reelection in 2012. Those people who were dissatisfied with W and are now dissatisfied with Obama will vote Republican in the midterms, then become dissatisfied again when they realize that anger is not a governing strategy. What the tea partiers are really doing is painting the perfect background for Obama's 2012 reelection campaign. Same thing happened with Bill Clinton - the Republicans gained control in the midterms, and that helped spur him on to victory in reelection.

But midterms matter more than

But midterms matter more than just for the electoral presidential politics they create. There's not a lot a president can do with a hostile Congress, and if it doesn't lead to gridlock it leads to legislation that's either compromised or simply in line w/ the president's opposition. It may be that the 1994 Republican takeover guaranteed Clinton eight years, but it also led to welfare reform.

Glad to see liberals like Steve Thorngate still don't understand

the tea party movement.

The portrayal of the tea party being exclusively angry is laughable. Try googling "Hillary Clinton Angry" or "Howard Dean Angry EEEAAAGGGHHH!!!" ha ha

The hatred of liberal elites on display this past week towards the "knuckle draggers" in the tea party has already motivated us to the polls.

Sincerely,
KD

PS. I look forward to the remaining Dems in DC continuing to be the party of "YES" as the conservative led House starts sending bills their way. The phoniness of the "party of NO" label used by liberals these past couple years will be priceless.

I won't argue with your

I won't argue with your point, but it's difficult to agree when Carl Paladino's election slogan is "I'm Angry Too, Carl".

Help me understand, please

The Tea Party just considers that the role of Government is to set the rules and enforce them not to play the game at everyone's expense. They see that people should be able to work and earn their wages with the ability to provide for whatever they choose. Some will prosper others will not. As Christians this disparagement is recognized and addressed that care for those among us is the role of the church. My concern is that many Christians are deferring responsibilities of the church on the government.
Help me understand how this is not understood to you who view the Tea Party as "wingnut ignoramuses and Bible thumpers" please.

one of THOSE guys

The Tea Party just considers that the role of Government is to set the rules and enforce them not to play the game at everyone's expense. They see that people should be able to work and earn their wages with the ability to provide for whatever they choose. Some will prosper others will not. As Christians this disparagement is recognized and addressed that care for those among us is the role of the church. My concern is that many Christians are deferring responsibilities of the church on the government.
Help me understand how this is not understood to you who view the Tea Party as "wingnut ignoramuses and Bible thumpers" please.

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