The Tea Party Republicans who have stormed the nation's Capitol in a venom-filled blitz against the fabric of American life have been a puzzle to many who have tried to figure out who they are. President Jimmy Carter said he thought they were racists. NPR executives were cashiered because someone suggested the same thing. Polls found the Tea Partisans were fairly well off financially.
The Tea Party freshman in Congress are the most extreme right-wing demagogues, howling daily to cripple the federal government with cuts to every department. They aim to dismantle the EPA and allow unfettered toxic pollution. They aim to disable banking and financial regulation and allow the unimpeded ransacking of every Americans' savings, pensions, and Social Security. They aim to eliminate education, health care, food safety, disaster preparedness, and a woman's right to chose. They aim to relegate persons of color to second-class status, domestic servants marginally acceptable for menial subservience.
They do favor birth control for horses.
They seem to have some peculiar ideas regarding leadership. They thought Sarah Palin, Sharron Angle, and Christine O'Donnell were good candidates to lead America.
A new CNN Poll throws more light on what Tea Partisans think.
In the current Washington budget tussle, Republicans have threatened to shut down the federal government unless they get $61 billion in crippling cuts to vital government services. CNN asked Americans whether they thought an extended shutdown of the federal government would be a good thing or a bad thing. 74% said it would be a bad thing, and only 24% thought it would be a good thing. Most Americans believe a nation without a Social Security Administration, or air traffic controllers, or border patrol agents, or food safety inspectors, or any of the other myriad government functions would not be a good thing.
However, 52% of Tea Partisans said an extended government shutdown would be a good thing.
Digging further into the CNN poll reveals the twisted quirk that demonstrates that Tea Party adherents are indeed at odds with America as a whole.
Among all respondents, when asked who they would hold responsible for a government shutdown, 46% said Republicans would be the culprits, while 37% thought President Obama would be the guilty party.
Among folks who identified with the Tea Party, 63% said President Obama would be responsible.
Remember, the Tea Party said a government shutdown would be a good thing. And, they say President Obama would be responsible for it.
What does this reveal about the Tea Party? The Tea Party is on record as being in full blown hysterical outrage over the Obama presidency. They say a government shutdown is a good thing, and Obama would be responsible.
There are two possibilities: Either they would laud President Obama for causing a government shutdown they favor but most Americans oppose, or they hate the President so much they want to see a government shutdown just so people could blame him for it. Even though most people wouldn't.
Either way, the term "sociopath" comes to mind when considering a mindset that would hold such beliefs.
A group of people so hateful of America, so filled with spite and vitriol, who hold the health, safety and well-being of their fellow citizens in such disdain that they would wish to cut off Social Security payments to the elderly, that they would paralyze all air and rail traffic across the nation, that they would allow unmitigated belching of toxic effluents into our air and water, that they would allow murderers to run free across state lines poses the greatest threat to the nation's well being since the Second World War. The peril the Tea Party poses to America can only be measured in logarithmic multiples of any threat posed by beggared Mid-East terrorist cells cowering in mountain caves on the other side of the planet.
The Tea Party exists solely to destroy the United States, just as the perpetrators of the original tea party sought to overthrow the reigning British colonial authority. The Tea Party thinks a government shutdown would be a good thing, because it would be the de facto elimination of the federal authority. The Tea Party believes President Obama would be responsible for the shutdown because his very existence, whether for his race, or his beliefs, or his hope for unity among Americans, is such anathema to the Tea Party that it necessitated the destruction of the greatest democratic institution in history.
The Tea Party representatives in Congress and the Tea Party candidates for offices throughout the nation expound the most extreme, unsustainable, and sociopathic agenda ever fomented. They denigrate immigrants as subhuman menials, they disparage science and learning as useless posturing, and they mock institutions and freedoms paid for in blood by countless generations.
The Tea Party has demanded that America do away with all the services and institutions needed to keep a modern democracy functioning because their refusal to pay their fair share of taxes has left the nation with a budget shortfall. They say America cannot afford public education, health care, clean water, clean air, wholesome food, fair business practices, safe workplaces, and transparency in banking and finances.
In fact, the main thing America can't afford is the Tea Party.