Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Tea Party is Coming!

Did you get a frantic letter from Senator John Kerry, on behalf of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee? The usual plea for ever more money comes with a separate sheet warning that: “Republicans will do anything to see president Obama fail, and america will pay the price. The headline on the reverse quotes Rush Limbaugh saying: “We need to wipe them out!” Following are quotes from Tea Party darling Rand Paul, and other Republicans Pat Toomey, Roy Blunt and Linda McMahon.

Coincidentally, a former NAACP employee who years ago sent a white farmer to a white lawyer, so he could be “helped by one of his kind” lost her department of agriculture job for doing so after mentioning the incident in a speech. The TV, as CNN says, is ‘all over the story’, and the Tea Party is feeling vindi-cated after the blooper by popular radio host Mark Williams.

Both incidents bring to my mind the Russian Revolution.

“Whhaat?” you’ll say. Not Hitler? “I thought the danger we’re in with the Tea Party and the local militias is fascism!”

True, but I’m referring to how various unde-sirable events, however different they may be, come about. In the early 20th century there was a Russian Social Democratic Party whose majority was referred to as the Bolsheviks (for big) while the minority were called the Men-sheviks, for small, or minority. The latter were more inclined to cooperate with the Liberals at a time when most Russian activists broadly agreed on the need for reform.

BThe Bolsheviks staged a successful revolu-tion in Russia because the Mensheviks failed to stand up to the Liberals.

I’m drawing this picture with a broad stroke, because what’s important here is not the detail - about which some readers will inevitably nitpick - but the gist.

Not so long ago entire populations were cowed by the warning: ‘The Russians are coming!’ Now we’re told: “The terrorists are coming!”

But the Democratic Party’s frantic appeals for help are like closing the barn door after the horse got away: It’s not more money they need, it’s the courage to form a Social Democratic Party that will stand up to the Republicans and deal with terrorism with a cool head.

Before the Tea Party takes over.

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