And, in few words, I dare say; that of all the Studies of men, nothing may be sooner obtain'd, than this vicious abundance of Phrase, this trick of Metaphors, this volubility of Tongue, which makes so great a noise in the World. But I spend words in vain; for the evil is now so inveterate, that it is hard to know whom to blame, or where to begin to reform.
(Thomas Sprat, The History of the Royal Society, 1667)
When I got my copy of Newsweek yesterday; the cover showing Michelle Bachmann looking upward as though reading a celestial teleprompter, I fired off a letter similar to the one I wrote when Sarah Palin became the cover girl not long ago. "Indecency or obscenity can be difficult to define" I said, "but I recognize it when I see it."
Somehow, her supporters saw it differently, condemning the wide-eyed lunatic pose as having been selected by the "liberals" to make her look crazy, but scanning the web for other photos, I found it hard to find one where she doesn't look like a two year old who has just, to her great surprise, soiled her diaper -- but that of course, is only my opinion. No offense to incontinent toddlers is intended.
Her stance on "the evils of Government" as the headline blares, is harder to see as being other than obscene unless it's the indecent dishonesty behind her rhetoric that pushes your particular buttons.
I have to wonder: if Democracy is so inherently bad, what kind of government would she then prefer? If Government itself is the enemy of freedom, who or what could be the ally? I have to wonder if the government is really broken or is she trying to break it to prove her point?
Making big noises in Kansas about an oppressive government that makes tyrannical rules about what kind of light bulbs to use and destroys our freedom by inspecting meat, she certainly begs the question of why she nonetheless promotes a "faith based" government that tells us what kind of sex we can have and with whom; promotes poisoning the well if someone can get rich doing it, which encourages us to pray rather than to fix our problems and to be a nation of individuals who owe nothing to anyone.
Then there's also the question of the deceit involved in taking government subsidies under false pretenses and using one of them illegally to fund prayer sessions in the guise of psychotherapy. Really, if we can't call her crazy, what other excuse can we make for her? Ignorant? Malicious? Greedy?
It's a two tier government she dreams about, with one set of rules for 98% of us that exist to preserve and increase the capital and the power of Corporations, Plutocrats and Theocrats. Of course no one with any understanding of Capitalism and what makes it expand would recommend policies that shrink the numbers of people whose spending makes Capitalism work while the one-percenters send capital and jobs abroad, but what made you think the Teabaggers are Capitalists in the first place? The kind of Randian, take the money and run Utopia these people claim to envision is Feudal as well as futile and self-destructive. The rabble-rousing and specious rhetoric smells more of the Brown Shirts and Bolsheviks than Tom Paine or Tom Jefferson.
Of course those who follow the Tea Party Queen like the mice of Hamlin, should be intelligent enough to realize that not only do we not have an oppressive, confiscatory tax situation, but that very low marginal rates inevitably produce bubbles and busts as they did in the 1920's and at the end of the last decade. They should recall that the years of low debt and high prosperity were the years of high marginal tax rates. They should be smart enough to see that all that extra cash in already deep pockets does not create US jobs, but inflates the market and makes hedge funds flourish - but only for a while. They should be, but they're either too ignorant or too stupefied by the pied pipers of the radical right. But like the Shadow, Bachmann knows what rage lies in the hearts of men. Unlike the Shadow, she's hell bent on making a buck for her backers out of it.