John Colson: Hit and Run
Aspen Times Weekly
Aspen, CO Colorado
What is the tea party, anyway?
Is it a grassroots movement of the disenfranchised or a safe harbor for the disillusioned?
Is it merely an outlet for the delusional, the people who actually believe that private enterprise will answer all the questions posed by our ever-growing population and our concurrently ever-shrinking pool of global resources?
Or is it simply a bunch of nut-jobs who deserve the somewhat derisive nickname I call them – teabaggers?
Judging by the most recent posts to invade my inbox, it is undoubtedly the latter.
For weeks now, the teabaggers’ missives are dominated by two basic themes.
One, by far the less numerous, is an expanding list of quackery in the guise of health care products that promote this or that miracle cure to this or that ailment. I say “this or that” because there are too many to mention here, and they are too goofy to warrant much ink.
The other is a screeching, caterwauling demand that the world endorse their primary cause, the exposure of President Barack Obama as a “fraud.”
They call him a socialist, which is clearly the measure of their insanity. Obama is a modern capitalist who believes in welfare for corporations first and foremost.
They say the country has been “torn to shreds” since he was sworn into office and blame him as the cause of that tearing when actually it is they and their supporters who do their best to rip things apart.
They cite the ravings of one Jerome Corsi, a conspiracy theorist whose writings appear to prove the proposition that even a deaf and blind bird gets the worm every now and then. In his case, the idea is that if you spout enough blarney over a long enough period of time, every now and then you’ll hit on something that is of interest to someone, somewhere.
I have learned, to my regret, that Corsi was born in Cleveland, the city of my own birth, and that he earned a degree from Case Western Reserve University, the same school that matriculated my late, anarchistic mother.
I make that known not because I think it means much but just in case some fool reader out there recalls earlier mentions of my birthplace or my mom’s college and tries to smear me by association.
Anyway, Corsi has written extensively about Obama’s supposed noncitizenship in the U.S. He also participated in the “Swift Boating” scam launched against Sen. John Kerry that helped re-elect George W. Bush in 2004.
According to the leftist Guardian newspaper in Britain, Corsi – who is Catholic- has been accused by the American press “of being anti-Islamic, anti-Catholic, anti-Semitic and homophobic, and of exploiting racial prejudices in an attempt to ‘scare white America’.”
Sounds like a teabagger to me.
So what do we have here?
We have a movement (the teabaggers) that was spawned by the Republican elite as a foil against the Democratic Party but which swiftly and viciously turned on its creators when the mainstream Republican Party lacked the proper degree of certifiable lunacy.
We have a movement that is sidelining itself through its own excesses and has turned its online newsletter into an electronic tabloid excrescence akin to the National Enquirer just to stay economically afloat.
And now the teabaggers are promising to unleash “stunning new revelations that Barack Hussein (the Muslim connection) Obama has perpetuated the greatest fraud on the citizens of the United States.”
Tellingly, they do not say what this monumental revelation will be. Instead, they say all will be unveiled if you send them some money.
Hmmm. I’m starting to think the teabaggers are somehow in league with that guy in Nigeria who keeps offering to give me millions of dollars if I’ll only send him my financial data for an immediate transfer of funds.
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ESPN’s Winter X Games is back in Aspen this week for the 20th straight year, although it’ll lack most of the usual flair. Out of precaution to safeguard against further spread of COVID-19, there won’t be any fans, any music and, well, really anything outside of the main competitions.