Out: Teapartyers are a bunch of crypto-facist racists.
In: Teapartyers are a bunch of self-absorbed, well-to-do, aging hippies.
In a shocker, the L.A. Times commissions a couple of Democratic party flaks for the latest deconstruction of the Tea Party demographic. The angry bigot meme has run its course to no real avail so now its on to two former hippies looking at the tea party movement and discovering, hey, they’re just like us 40 yrs. ago.
The tea party is a harbinger of midlife crisis, not political crisis. For men of a certain age, it offers a counterculture experience familiar from adolescence -- underground radio, esoteric tracts, consciousness-raising teach-ins and rallies replete with extroverted behavior to shock the squares -- all paid for with ample cash.
The partyers are essentially replaying the '60s protest paradigm. (We're aging boomers ourselves, so we know it when we see it.) They fancy themselves the vanguard of a revolution, when in fact they are typical self-absorbed, privileged children used to having their way -- now -- and uninhibited about complaining loudly when they don't. It's the same demographic Spiro Agnew called "an effete corps of impudent snobs who characterize themselves as intellectuals."
The whole article represents a stunning bit of revisionism regarding the 60’s counterculture movement. Rather than gauzy memories of how they changed the world by making love instead of war they come to the sudden and convenient realization of what a lot of preening, attention-seeking, loudmouthed dorks they were.
To get a picture of just what a reversal of perception this is, imagine the entire cast of The Big Chill perishing in a house fire in the first reel instead of engaging in nostalgic navel-gazing as they do (now that would’ve made for an epic watch). And if quoting Spiro Agnew, for chrissakes, doesn’t prove their disengenuousness, we don’t know what does.
And frankly, as Gen X-ers, we have no idea what these two idiots are talking about especially when they start comparing the Che t-shirt to the Gadsden t-shirts favored by many in the angry mob. One loses all credibility when one tries to equate those two.
The Times beclowned itself when they simply refused to cover any of the tea party rallies initially last spring and they continue to do so playing catch-up with their lame analysis of the people who comprise the movement.