Tag Archives: Tea Party

Dickens Understood Resentment Well

When resentment threatens to hijack our politics, we would do well to turn to Dickens’ “Little Dorrit.”

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American Politics, Dashiell Hammett Style

Dashiell Hammett’s rough and tumble novels catch some of the spirit of today’s political battles.

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Libertarian Conmen Want Your Fatted Calf

This Scott Bates poem captures the swagger of those who con their fellow Americans while trumpeting free enterprise and bootstrapism.

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Mowgli, a Tea Party Libertarian?

Although Kipling’s “Jungle Books” sometimes read like a rightwing fantasy, there’s a progressive element as well.

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GOP Whites Splitting? Huck Finn Says No

If “Huck Finn” has predictive value, the class tensions within today’s GOP will be papered over by racism.

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Disaster Ahead, No More Fantasizing

Can the Tea Party move beyond fantasies and deal with the world as it really is? Shakespeare and Yeats weigh in.

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Kingsolver on Anti-Communist Hysteria

Barbara Kingsolver’s novel “Lacuna” warns us what happens when surveillance of innocent people gets used to ruin careers.

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Rugged Self Reliance w/Government Help

Often those most reliant on government help spend the most time talking about self reliance.

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GOP, Obama Have Both Created Monsters

Karl Rove and Barack Obama have both “created monsters” (in the Tea Party and drone strikes respectively). Mary Shelley would understand.

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Wanted: Beowulf Strength vs. Extremism

“Beowulf” teaches us that rewarding extremism encourages rather than moderates it. The GOP should not therefore be rewarded with the presidency.

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Will GOP Base Play the Sap Yet Again?

Is the Republican establishment simply exploiting its base, like Tom (in “Mill on the Floss”) exploits Maggie and as Brigid O’Shaughnessy (in “The Maltese Falcon”) tries to exploit Sam Spade?

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Rightwing Rewrites Reality

Today’s Republican right are practitioners of the Humpty Dumpty approach to communication: “I said it very loud and clear. I went and shouted in his ear.” Like Lewis Carroll’s Humpty, they also believe that they can make reality, as Humpty makes words, mean whatever they want it to mean.

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Rebelling against Big Nurse’s Nanny State

If Hillary Clinton were currently our president, I have no doubt in the world that rightwing pundits and politicians would be comparing her to a lead character in the work I am writing about today. She would be Nurse Ratched from Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

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It’s Been a Mad Tea Party

Tuesday’s election gave us a chance to assess the effectiveness of the American Tea Party movement, which has fascinated not only the American media but people around the globe. For liberals like me, at times Tea Partiers have seemed to resemble less the American colonialists dumping tea into the Boston Harbor and more Lewis Carroll’s […]

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Lit and Our Impoverished Political Culture

I’ve been thinking about how shallow and dishonest political speech has become in recent years. Then again, maybe it’s always been like this and I’m just noticing it more. When politics enter the picture, it appears that people start becoming stupid. Outlandish claims and ridiculous reasoning are either (1) accepted as factual or (2) seen […]

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The Tea Partiers Who Would Be Senators

I was rereading Rudyard Kipling’s entertaining story The Man Who Would Be King the other day, and it got me thinking about some of the Tea Party candidates for Senate, like Sharron Angle in Nevada and Rand Paul in Kentucky.  Allow me to explain. Kipling’s 1888 work is about two enterprising good-for-nothings, Dravot and Carnehan, […]

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Uncomfortable Books that Help Us Grow

Streep and Kline in Sophie’s Choice  A recent survey of the Tea Party movement has revealed that the movement is overwhelmingly white, educated, middle class and conservative, and people are now studying what it all means.  I love this post Ta-Tehisi Coates, a senior editor for The Atlantic. As occurs in the world of the […]

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How to Respond to Tea Party Rage

Leslie Marmon Silko  This week we celebrate both Passover and Easter, and the world, as it was during the original Passover meal and then again when Jesus celebrated it under Roman rule, is still filled with rage. The weekend newspapers were filled with stories of Tea Party anger, which is being directed at the recent […]

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