I always try to listen to a little bit of conservative talk radio in any given week. I think I'm finally starting to understand the myriad of ways that restoring the marginal tax rate on the top 2% of income earners to what it was under Clinton and Reagan pretty much represents fascism.
Beck, Hannity, and Rush have recently spent a lot of time getting excited about a new book by their friend, another conservative radio host named Mark Levin, who has one of the most annoying voices I've ever heard in my life. Levin's new book, Liberty and Tyranny, is apparently a big seller. It's a big hit with the tea party crowd. He hasn't yet sent me a copy for review but I'm pretty sure the general thesis is that the New Deal was the worst thing of all time and that progressives since Woodrow Wilson have been party to a gigantic conspiracy, weaving in and out of latency in order to subvert the constitution.
I've been disgusted as anger on the Right has manifested itself in high gun sales and wild flailing comparisons between pragmatic Democratic governance in the public interest and Hitler's Germany.
Some of the comments are shocking and abhorrent but when actually listen to these shows, there's something ironically adorable about what these hosts actually spend most of their time trying to get people to do.
Think about it.
The reality is that the macho men of talk radio are devoting huge chunks of their programming in order to promote tea parties and book discussions.
Lift your pinkies gentlemen, it's considered polite.
Seriously though, the attempted allusion to the Boston Tea Party rebellion against British taxation during the buildup to the Revolutionary War might have worked once as a conceptual mobilization. But effectively now that this is a long-term conservative campaign, it comes across more like a bunch of grown men talking about tea parties. The historical reference is totally lost.
To get a reading list for your next tea party, you could listen to New Orleans' Rush Radio, 99.5 WRNO. Recently, these guys have been running a series of commercials featuring edited clips of amounting to a campaign by the morning show to ensure that US Attorney Jim Letten is retained by the Obama administration. My personal views on this have evolved. For awhile I thought of him as overrated and replaceable but now I'd prefer to keep him on just in the interest of investigatory continuity. Anyway, the ad is all about the 'Lettenpalooza' going on 24/7 at WRNO and then cuts to an announcer who says:
"99.5 WRNO - because WE live here too."
The emphasis is all theirs.
Now what the hell is that supposed to imply? That the white conservatives who control all of the wealth in the city plus all of the wealth, power and influence in the region and state are the feeling oppressed? I'd bet that if you measured WRNO's listenership by geography, it would disproportionately originate from the majority- white, majority-conservative parishes that encircle Orleans Parish.
No reason to feel lonely guys. As Glenn Beck would remind you, "We surround them."