Tin Pot Tea Party

I’ve been reading Dave Winer’s blog for years. He’s the guy who invented the RSS feed, and was one of the first bloggers on the net. Many of his posts are about tech, but there’s plenty of political stuff there too. I find it hard to get a real feel for what is happening in the US. As far as news services go, there’s little in the way of presentation of the basic facts – it’s all opinion. Most of it seems to be heavily biased one way or the other. Dave has his biases too, I’m sure, but I get the sense I’m getting a far more accurate picture from him than I do from most other sources. The hot topic lately is, of course, the potential US default.

It’s all madness. But then again, in a country which seems so hellbent on swinging to extremes, I guess it’s kinda predictable too. You’re either a capitalist, or a commie. To be polite, commie is often substituted with socialist. People have become so polite though, that socialist has come to mean the same thing. As far as I’m concerned anyone who believes in either capitalism or socialism as a be-all-and-end-all ideaology is quite, quite mad.

Tea Party activists fit neatly into my description of madness. They seem to have sought inspiration from the tin pot dictators that plagued Latin America not so long ago. Perhaps that’s not surprising – it was Tea Party idols such as Reagan who kept those guys in power.Other Americans are different. Quoting examples of a liking for extremes on both sides of the political coin seems to have become a popular means of disassociation from this madness. As if schizophrenia is a beacon of sanity.

Politically speaking I’m in favour of policies that encourage our natural human spirit to flourish – I like competition. And also of policies that contain our natural urges for excess – I’m not a big fan of greed. I believe in humanitarian policies that ensure a basic standard of living is available to all. I particularly like policies that promote a level playing field – ironically, without socialism, capitalism is dead.

The potential for a US default is there. I, like probably almost everyone else, assumes a deal will be done. I hope we don’t swap assumption for complacency.  Times are different. I’m not a fan of Obama particularly. I’m not fussed one way or the other. I’m utterly unconvinced that the current administration would really have been run much differently by anyone else. It seems to me that circumstance, market forces and the legacy of the last four presidents are the biggest drivers at the moment. But I find the Obamaphobia that is out there   distasteful, disturbing and even a little dangerous.

I have a solution for the US. Return to the fold. Haul down the Star and Stripes. Raise up the good old flag. Apologize to Her Majesty and come home like the Prodigal Son you are. Disband the senate and we’ll appoint you some Lords, Barons and Earls to oversee, but not overrule, your elected officials. You’ll get a dysfunctional Royal Family to take up some tabloid space and cool down your political temperatures. All the crooked lobbyists will, of course, be thrown into jail. Along with most of your congressmen. Don’t worry, we’ll appoint a governor to get things on track while the House is sorted out. So decisions will get made.

Seriously, everyone wins. Rabid right-wingers will be pleased to know there’ll never be a black man at the top of the pile again. Nor any other non WASP. We Brits do more than shout slurs and cross our fingers that the vote goes our way. We’re men of action! We’ll install a National Freaking Health Service too, which will be like a wet dream come true for the loony leftist liberals. And the Jesuslandians….there’s sixty million heathens here just waiting to mock you be converted.

I’ll end this post, but not before pointing out that whilst some of my points are serious,  others are said in jest, others are nothing more than a sarcastic comment on society in general. And at least one is nothing more than a playful poke with a hot iron. If you can’t tell which is which, you can ask. Or rant. I don’t much mind. I also like America and Americans. Don’t get too hung up on my generalisations. I haven’t the time or motivation to be fair and balanced. Go read Dave Winer’s blog instead, his blog offers more of that than I’m capable of, and it’s probably a better read. The photo was taken in Salisbury. I’d been wondering when I’d get to use it.

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5 Comments

  • LOL… This is a hysterical post. The idea of the U.S. relinquishing its sovereignty and becoming just another territory is a scream.

    I’m all for smaller government and cutting spending, but this whole “Tea Party” idea of just letting the U.S. default is incredibly irresponsible. I mean, aren’t all these conservatives in favor of the idea of “sanctity of contract?” How exactly does a default square with that?

    Anyway, don’t let me get started.

    Cheers,

    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where there is a monument to the original tea party. And a longstanding preference for coffee ever since.

    • You might have stumbled across the bit that was said in jest, amigo! Of course, there are some who fancy a return to the ‘good old days’. Proof that Britannia should have ruled another 500 years more? Hmmm. Then again, there’s a growing number of Russians who look back fondly at the Stalin era…

      I do think the US three house system is a bit nuts though. There’s room there for a bit of governmental shrinkage. I know we do have a three house system in the UK too. But the House of Windsor steps into political matters only at its peril. The House of Commons is where the voters get a say, and where decisions are ultimately made. The House of Lords has long been controversial. But I like it, generally speaking. The good and the great (and the occasional loon) gather there to share their wisdom (and dribble), and pull the government up on seriously contentious issues. But they have no power to prevent the government from legislating.

      Really, the Senate should become an appointment only affair. You could even turn it into a reality TV show. It’s as close to power as Donald Trump will ever get so he’ll jump at the chance of hosting it, I’m, sure. Who knows? By the end of 2012 the public might have voted Britney Spears and Charlie Sheen into office. The war on drugs will end pretty quick! It’ll be great fun to watch. Having said that though, and knowing you’re probably not much of fan of the US returning to being a colony, there is a chance you’ll wake up one morning to find Charlie lost the US to Mexico in a bet with Senor Slim in an attempt to get one more wrap of smack…

    • PS. I’ve always though tea a most ghastly beverage. I’d have thrown it into the sea as well had I been there. Nothing beats a coffee. Whether hot on a cold morning, or frozen with an Oreo stuck in the whipped cream on a warm afternoon in Coyoacan.

  • For some reason they can’t figure out that spending more than they take in is not sustainable….should be a requirement for anyone running for office to have operated a PROFITABLE non subsidized business for awhile before telling everyone else how to run their lives.
    But then again, that’s only my opinion.

    • All opinions are welcome, amigo. I can see the sense in having accomplished business men in charge. I can see some big flaws in that too. I’d prefer the requirement to hold office be that the person has a genuine desire to help the constituents he or she represents, the society they live in, and the future we’re all going to inhabit. How we’d measure that, though….I’ve no idea.

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