Ross (as in Douthat, not Rick Ross), re: the new incoherence of the American right-wing:
From Glenn Beck to the Tea Parties, much of the energy in the post-Bush G.O.P. is with people who have grasped, albeit sometimes in inchoate ways, that big government and big business are increasingly on one team, and the champions of free markets and limited government are on the other. But they don’t know what to do about it, and what they do seem to know — cutting taxes, and letting the rest take care of itself — is often non-responsive, not only to the problems the country faces, but to the problems they themselves have diagnosed.
He makes it seem as if the symbiotic relationship of big business & politics is a relatively new thing. It’s more accurate to say that it has become more obvious to more people than it used to be, but expecting anyone with mainstream press cred to acknowledge this is pointless anyway, so I won’t dwell on it. Even then though, he gives this group more credit than they deserve IMO.
Considering the string of lobbying groups that have been tied to their public demonstrations, the coincidental lag time of reaching the conclusion that Something Is Wrong just when the launch codes are handed to a black guy, and the overall demonstrated lack of substance behind the anger, to say they’re mad and just don’t know what to do about it just doesn’t pass the smell test. The reality far as I can tell is that this is the same old nativism & fear-mongering, just with a whiff of economic anger due to the current downstroke being deep enough to not ignore. It’s less that they’re stumped for solutions than it is that they have a psychological block from admitting what the problem is (because it’d sound like something a “librul” would say, if not an actual leftist).
If this crowd were genuinely fed up with actually-existing capitalism then they wouldn’t be sympathetic to the Republican party, as though both engage in the same things the popular image is that the GOP is the business party. That said, if the response of Sarah Palin fans when they find out she zigged where they thought she had zagged all along is any indication, they may not even be that aware…