So I was out trying to locate some new voters to register on the next to last day for new registrations, when I came across this street corner populated by some dedicated Teaparty/Romney voters keeping it classy. They had signs for just about every hysterical conspiracy theory that existed for Obama to date.  They would rotate the different messages every few minutes, sometimes marching into the center of the street disrupting traffic when they could get away with it. I decided to ask them what one of them meant.

I apologize for the primitive nature of this little movie. It’s the very first I’ve edited on my own. I promise to get better if I ever decide I need a new hobby.


  • Cloward–Piven strategy  — the teaparty activist in the video is not making-up this bit of strategy, but it never became the lynchpin of anything, as Glenn Beck has suggested. Legions of teaparty activists need these conspiracy theories, half-rooted in reality, so that they have a reason to get up each day.

The Tea Party Jacobins — Mark Lilla, NY Times Book Review

A new strain of populism is metastasizing before our eyes, nourished by the same libertarian impulses that have unsettled American society for half a century now. Anarchistic like the Sixties, selfish like the Eighties, contradicting neither, it is estranged, aimless, and as juvenile as our new century. It appeals to petulant individuals convinced that they can do everything themselves if they are only left alone, and that others are conspiring to keep them from doing just that. This is the one threat that will bring Americans into the streets.

I would have missed this, had it not been for the ever watchful @jayrosen_nyu who tweeted it again because it was his most popular recent link. For good reason.

There is almost nothing I could write that could make the point better than this thoughtful and prescient post does. Everyone should read it—twice.  It could be the first really complete overview of what is actually happening to this nation, and just how dangerous a predicament we are in.

The concorporate media is part of the problem, so they are hardly going to be the one's to tell this story well, despite articles like this which sneak into their product mix now and then.

If I have any criticism at all, it's that it pays far too little attention to Roger Ailes, the Koch brothers, Dick Armey's Freedomworks, and all the other cynical forces of darkness that are gaming the Tea Party movement—and America—more and more each day.

Please  click the GREEN Retweet button below, and help others understand this growing menace to this foundering American experiment.

Read: The Tea Party Jacobins


This is a wonderful interview, and like most of the Washington Journal good stuff, it was buried in the early morning segment when only we hard core @cspanWJ watchers even saw it.

You really need to spend some time with this segment. He covers a lot of ground, and he knows his subject(s) really well. He's got a gift for casually, but concsisely discussing the practical and hypothetical issues raised by this Bizarro-world remix of modern conservatism, Republican cronyism, and all the Batshit crazy that we've been calling the Tea Party, lately.

Watching this segment, I thought about how much I really dislike the term "Tea Party," because it romanticizes a contrived and entirely wrong conception of what the real Tea Party was. But it also fails to describe what is happening in this "movement," or who and what it really represents, or where's it's going. And it's just too fucking informal for a trend that might ultimately take down the entire American experiment.

So, as is my wont, I set about to define it.  It seemed to me that what is happening is a perfect astroturfed storm consisting of:

  • Generally Republican crony corporate capitalism,
  • Fox-news-fed "big government" protesting under the guise of fiscal conservatism.
  • Resurgence of the John Birch Society and other fringe social conservative groups.

The triple-threat might neatly be termed, Trio-conservatism."  

So I liked it so much, I just submitted it to Urban Dictionary as:

Trio-conservatism A more formal designation for the socio-economic blending of corporate, fiscal and social conservatism that now typifies the so-called "Tea Party" movement in the United States.

Love it? Like it? Hate it?  Think I should burn this post and never bring it up again?

If UD approves it, it should be published sometime tomorrow.  I can improve the definition after they do. It's too annoying to spend time making the perfect definition, only to have some UrbanTard editor reject it for totally random reasons. There is no appeal.

About Dave Weigel