Yesterday, I was traveling to Washington DC, where I’ll speak at the Heritage Foundation about the impact and future of the Tea Party movement this morning. While waiting for my flight, a woman conducted a rather loud cell-phone conversation with a friend (where’s Amy Alkon when you need her?) in which she discussed her frustrations with having to deal with “fascist morons” from the Tea Party. We hear a lot from the Left about supposedly violent and fascist grassroots activists for, er, limited government, and perhaps no more so than on MSNBC, which has made hyperventilation an art form.
That’s what makes this clip from Dylan Ratigan’s MSNBC show even more interesting. Ratigan gives six minutes of air time to Ted Rall, the cartoonist last seen shark-jumping by insulting the late Pat Tillman for dying in service to the country. Now Rall has a new idea for improving the country, and Ratigan seems very interested the the proposal (via Verum Serum and Directorblue):
Ironically, it was only about a month ago that Sharon Angle was excoriated by several MSNBC talking heads for making a reference to “2nd amendment remedies.” Is Chris Matthews going to call out Ted Rall and/or Dylan Ratigan for letting him promote this? Rachel Maddow wanted to know if Angle’s language was finally too extreme. Well is it still extreme when it’s coming from the far left over your own TV channel, Rachel? If so, maybe you should poke your head down the hall and say something.
Lest anyone thinks that Rall is prescribing a “spiritual” revolt of some kind, John at VS provides an excerpt of the book:
We are here because the U.S. is going to end soon. There’s going to be an intense, violent, probably haphazard struggle for control. It’s going to come down to us versus them. The question is: What are you going to do about it?…
Christian fundamentalists, the millennial end-of-theworlders obsessed with the Left Behind series about the End Times, neo-Nazi racists, rural black-helicopter Michigan Militia types cut from the same inbred cloth as Timothy McVeigh, allied with “mainstream” gun nuts and right-wing Republicans, have been planning, preparing, and praying for the destruction of the “Godless,” “secular” United States for decades. In the past, they formed groups like the John Birch Society and the Aryan Nations. Now the hard Right has a postmodern, decentralized non-organization organization called the Tea Party.
Right-wing organizational names change, but they amount to the same thing: the reactionary sociopolitical force—the sole force—poised to fill the vacuum when collapse occurs. The scenario outlined by Margaret Atwood’s prescient novel The Handmaid’s Tale—rednecks in the trenches, hard military men running things, minorities and liberals taken away and massacred, setting the stage for an even more extreme form of laissez-faire corporate capitalism than we’re suffering under today—is a fair guess of how a post-U.S. scenario will play out unless we prepare to turn it in another direction…
A war is coming. At stake: our lives, the planet, freedom, living. The government, the corporations, and the extreme right are prepared to coalesce into an Axis of Evil. Are you going to fight back? Will you do whatever it takes, including taking up arms?
I don’t find any of this at all remarkable from the execrable Rall, a cartoonist of limited talent who has compensated for it by turning into a crank. What I do find remarkable is this softball interview from Ratigan and MSNBC of a man proposing an armed revolution in the United States after months of hyperbole from MSNBC about the supposed inherent violence and fascism of the Tea Party movement. In fact, Ratigan seems rather intrigued by the potential of such a proposal, while carefully dancing just short of an endorsement. Apparently, that Election Night meltdown wasn’t an isolated case at MSNBC after all.