Jesse, I’m with you on the idea that Cain’s popularity is inexplicable, mostly because the man has no name recognition. But his speech where he announces his run for President explains so much.
He ends the speech — no joke — by saying, “Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty, this nation is free at last again.” You know, quoting the only MLK speech your average Tea Partier has passing familiarity with.
Remember when I said the tea party has the potential to be the GOP’s psycho ex-girlfriend? Well, Dana Milbank’s latest column — about tea party activists attacking John Boehner, Paul Ryan and the GOP for not tying an increase in the debt ceiling to undoing health care reform and preserving “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” — seems to bear this out. Especially the part where they blame the economic crisis on immorality, in general, and gay people, specifically. Again.
Of course, the irony is that the meltdown and the ensuing recession have less to do with immorality than amorality run amok in the in the marketplace, and the conservatism that allowed it.
If you had any doubts about where the tea party’s allegiances really lie, they should be dispelled now. This week, tea party leaders told Congress that they’d drop their opposition to raising the debt ceiling (not doing so will cause the country to default) if Don’t Ask Don’t Tell ) that odious policy wherein gay men and lesbians are forced to lie to serve their country in the military — is reinstated. The grown-ups in the room are in the process of repealing that Clinton-era mistake, but the tea party … it doesn’t really give a shit about the country, really, just so long as we establish a good, solid theocracy, like Iran, only Christian. What do you expect from people who dress like colonial leaders for their press conferences? To her “credit,” nutjob Michele Bachmann didn’t go for this. She sent a letter saying she’d drop her opposition if “ObamaCare” is completely defunded.
Dreams figure prominently in the poetry of Langston Hughes; not just in “Harlem,” but poems like “Dreams” and “Dream Variations.” So doesAmerica and, in fact, the American Dream. In poems like “I, Too, Sing America,” Hughes lays claim to American identity denied to him as a black man. Hughes acknowledges that denial, writing “I am the darker brother. They send me to eat in the kitchen, When company comes,” but follows it up with a promise: “Tomorrow, I’ll be at the table.”
Having laid claim to American identity, Hughes goes on to claim the American Dream itself in “Let America Be America Again.” Though it starts out identifying that dream with “the pioneer on the plain, seeking a home where he himself is free,” Hughes is really writing a poem with two voices; one that trumpets the conventional American Dream, and another that mutters in parenthesis “America was never America to me.”
Two years ago, the Koch Brothers and their big business allies paid a bundle to get Tea Party members out to congressional town hall meetings to shout down any resasonable discusson on health reform.
This year, Progressives are coming out in force to confront Republican members of Congress about budget cuts, Medicare “reform” and the attempts to repeal, defund or otherwise cripple reform, but you won’t see a whole lot of coverage.