It must be scary to be who they are.
One day, we are totalitarian control freaks who want to post police at every ice cream shop to check for papers.
The next day, we are pseudo-anarchists who want no government at all.
Today, apparently, we are anarchists in their scary world (emphasis mine):
Now an angry group of Americans wants to be freer still—free from government agencies that protect their health, wealth, and well-being; free from problems and policies too difficult to understand; free from parties and coalitions; free from experts who think they know better than they do; free from politicians who don’t talk or look like they do (and Barack Obama certainly doesn’t). They want to say what they have to say without fear of contradiction, and then hear someone on television tell them they’re right. They don’t want the rule of the people, though that’s what they say. They want to be people without rules—and, who knows, they may succeed. This is America, where wishes come true. And where no one remembers the adage “Beware what you wish for.”
This passage, from an article by Mark Lilla, “The Tea Party Jacobins,” in the New York Review of Books, is quite the favorite nowadays among those who not long ago were calling Tea Partiers totalitarians and Nazis.
Which extreme are we supposed to be, or are we everything to them, the sum of all their fears?
The argument by extreme reflects left-wing epistemic closure, an inability to engage in meaningful discussion of the failures of big government, resulting in a series of strawman arguments and extensive hyperbole meant to marginalize those who disagree.
We have seen this time and again. It seems to be all they know.
I really want to take these people seriously, but it is hard. But then again, what do I know, I am the mob.
Update: Right on queue, Politico (with healthy publicity via Reuters) runs this intellectual trash by a professor at San Francisco State University, Tea party: Dark side of conservatism:
When the tea partiers say they are true conservatives, there is no reason to doubt them. They stand in the conservative tradition of the radical right — a movement of the haves and the well-protected who, since the time of FDR, have feared that their freedom will be lost if the government extends a hand to the have-nots and the unprotected.
What is it with these people: Clinical Law Profs Don’t Even Count As 3/5ths Of A Person