Why it is a great benefit that the Tea Party is composed, mostly, of shiny, happy people

One of the big jokes in the blogosphere has been the fact that a Tea Party protest comprised in no small part of smiling grannies (a term I use with great love and respect) standing outside an Obama appearance, was met with riot police:


Yesterday, I asked jokingly just how stupid those riot police felt guarding granny, and I wasn’t the only one in the blogosphere who found the whole thing humorous in way that does not reflect well on the powers that be:

The photos and videos sparked a wave of blogger reactions, including the following comments:

* I hope the riot police have full auto assault weapons with armor-piercing rounds. I hear false teeth can deflect normal NATO rounds.

* Those poor police have to be embarrassed.

* These guys and gals look like my mom or the people in my church. Wake up America!

* Why can’t these racist, violent tea parties be civil like the peaceful pro-illegal immigration rallies we saw in Phoenix!?

* The cops really have to worry since protesters are shown on tape throwing bottles at them. Oh wait …

* SWAT was there because it looked like the ladies were going to break out in a bingo game. Those daubers have ink, ya know.

* Oh my G-d. How beyond ridiculous. This country’s “leaders” have gone stark raving insane.

* Yeah, they look like real hoodlums. Next they’ll be going after the elementary school kids singing those crazy patriotic songs!

* When will the AARP condemn this threatening behavior by team Obama?

Given how the media has been describing the “angry” Tea Parties, I guess the authorities would have been remiss not to take such a protest seriously.  Still, I don’t recall any riot police blocking the protesters who were literally demanding Sarah Palin’s blood when she came to speak in the San Francisco Bay Area. Of course, by 2008, we’d gotten inured to the eight-year long orgy of blood lust swirling about those Progressive crowds, while I guess it’s still surprising to see smiling grannies with protest signs lauding America and its values.  For the authorities, it’s apparent that “new” automatically translates into “dangerous.”

The very different protest styles of the Left and the Right, with the former engaging in violent rhetoric and violent acts, and the latter acting, mostly, like the Church social, have gotten me thinking about the difference between people being angry, on the one hand, and angry people, on the other hand.

We are all, of course, capable of anger when the situation merits it (and, as every parent knows, occasionally when the situation doesn’t).  Most of us, though, don’t value anger.  Our lives have meaning because of family, community, work, spiritual beliefs, etc.  When we’re tired, when people for whom we’re responsible don’t cooperate, and when the things we value are threatened, we will get angry and we’ll act on it, but these occasions are the exception, not the rule, in our lives.

This doesn’t mean we’re pushovers.  I’m certainly an assertive person, when I need to be, but I don’t operate from a wellspring of hostility.  In confrontations, I like to find common ground that enables me and my opponent to work towards a mutually agreeable solution.

What I dislike so much about anger is that, for me, it’s a very damaging emotion.  It destroys my ability to think rationally, or do any thinking at all, it makes me paranoid, and it makes me destructive.  I don’t want to work with my opponent, I want to destroy him.  If a situation that makes me angry occurs, I usually find myself shaken at the end, and less than pleased by the outcome.  Anger so seldom produces smart outcomes.

Those angry people I know are different at a fundamental level from me.  Anger isn’t just a passing emotion that interrupts their lives.  It is, instead, a power that gives energy and meaning to their lives.  They relish a fight, because the fight means that they’re proving themselves to themselves.  There is something about anger that validates them in a way I can’t even begin to understand.  It’s as if their philosophical model isn’t “I think, therefore I am,” it’s “I’m angry, therefore I am.”

The practical effect of being an angry person is that anger is your first response.  You don’t try to downplay differences, you don’t offer excuses for the other person, and you don’t look for face-saving ways out of a situation.  Instead, you just go storming in, guns blazing.  For you, it’s a good day when you leave the battlefield littered with the dead and wounded.  Never mind that you took significant hits yourself.  Never mind even that you lost an entirely unnecessary battle.  Your loss and your wounds are just fuel for your next round of anger.

I’ve commented before that the Obamas (both Barack and Michelle) strike me as angry people.  For both of them, when they’re off teleprompter, their default setting is a worrisome amalgam of paranoia, disdain and hostility.  The same goes for those with whom they surround themselves.  Rahm, for example, is legendary for the anger he wields as both sword and shield.  (Dead fish and knives in the table, anyone?)

Ordinary people have a range of reactions to the angry ones.  On the positive side, sometimes we admire the pure flame that burns within them.  We follow them when they seem to be leading us someplace we’d like to go, because their anger gives them a courage we may lack.  On the negative side, though, we recognize that unbridled anger often leads a culture to the guillotine or the gas chamber.  We also know that, at a personal level, nobody really wants to spend much time in the company of a truly angry person.  It’s too much work.  One is constantly placating, excusing, and apologizing, leaving no time for life’s simple pleasures.

Which wraps me back around to the Tea Party protests.  The angry Left will always have its angry people, ready to transform their personal paranoia or their carefully inculcated identity victim status into a screaming street protest.  It makes for good television, but the average happy person, even the average happy person who is angry about a political situation, does not feel a sense of identity with that foam-speckled ranter.  Instead, those of us who are not driven by a deep and terminal anger that permeates every area of our lives are drawn to Happy Warriors.  We like smiling grandmothers and other friendly people with whom we feel we can make common cause.

So Tea Partiers:  keep smiling.  It matters, and it is what will, in the long term, leave the MSM narrative in the dust, all the while attracting ordinary people to the cause of individual liberty and economic freedom.

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  • BrianE

    Do you suppose Ozzie has been re-incarnated as a man?

  • BrianE

    You want me to respect that? You want me to follow that? You want me to listen to that?– BarryBonds
    Nope, just want you to answer the questions.

  • Charles Martel

    “Yes Charles, I am a troll.”

    Truth will out.

    Brian: No. Ozzie was not as angry and incoherent.

  • BrianE

    Whew, that makes me feel better.
    I was worried Ozzie had gone in for a sex change and gotten a lobotomy instead.

  • BarryBonds

    Brian, let’s agree on some things before we go any further.  Can we agree that Bush had done more damage fiscally in his 8 years than Obama could in his 1?

  • BarryBonds

    Here is a post from someone more educated then me on the subject:

    Shame on Heritage for showing Bush’s on-budget debt (not actual debt) to Obama’s projected total actual debt. Like Bush’s cost of gas for his car vs Obama’s total cost of car ownership. Makes for a pretty one sided chart.
    Bush added 6 tril total to the debt in 8yrs (5.8-11.9). With no change in tax or spending policy another 7-8 tril would be added in the next 10yrs (about the same per year). But with Bush tax cuts expiring, war spending going down in Iraq, TARP now revenue positive and loss projections droping fast, stimulus spending ending next summer and GDP growth higher than expected, we will see annual deficit and projections, drop like a rock over the next 3yrs.
    Remember the Democrats are the fiscal converatives. Only 14% of this nations debt has come from Democratic administrations and the last one produced a surplus. Thats right 86% of our debt came from Republican administrations.
    Economic growth is always higher under Democrats and stock markets returns higher which add to revenue and reduce debt. They are the masters of the economy and masters of capitalism.
    On bailouts: Obama did not add any new companies or industries to the bailout. All bailout campanies got their first check from Bush.
    On Stimulus spending: Regan had his own stimulus spending program and it was larger. But it mostly went to defence contractors which is one reason it was slow to work. But he boosted goveronment spending by almost 95% in the 80’s. And so did Bush. It was the buildup for the Iraq war in late 02 and early 03 that finally got us to positive job growth in late 03 his 32nd month in office and spending under Bush grew by about 80%…..Clinton 28%.
    The Stimulus turned the economy from a growth rate of -6.5 to +2.2 in just 6 months and to +5.6 in just 9. A 12 point turnaround that economists will still be studying 100 yrs from now. And that Heritage will not be able to explain.
    Much the way Heritage cant explain why the economy went down when taxes were lowered in late 80’s and why the economy went up in 90’s with tax increases. Or when taxes at their lowest in 6 decades we saw the worst economy since the 30’s last decade. Only 3 years of job growth in past 10. Best years under Regan taxes were 50% for anyone earning over 200K.
    Every move the economy has made in the last 30 years contradicts Heritage and yet they are still here and people still believe this Republican supply side stuff.
    Man, I love this stuff.

  • BrianE

    So tell me BarryBonds, is Barack going to recommend that congress renew the Bush tax cuts, set to expire in 2011, since according to this report that’s the basis for Barack’s claims of an $8 trillion 10-year deficit? The story doesn’t make sense.
    Still waiting for a response.

  • BrianE

    Still waiting.

  • BarryBonds

    Obama says he is going to let the tax cuts for those making over $250,000 expire.
    You don’t have to address post 56 – we’ll just ignore it and pretend like it doesn’t exist.

  • BarryBonds

    Regarding 29, I don’t care about the national debt because it doesn’t directly affect my daily life and I could care less about looking at it as a political football.  When an administration has the desire and capacity to take care of it it will be taken care of.  Just like you don’t begrudge an administration for “priming the pump,” why should I?
    Regarding 30, Rick Santelli, is like I said, using average people to demonize average people.  For some strange reason he is only holding the home owner responsible for the strawman argument that a  person bought a $800,000 house when they could only afford a $400,000 house.  We were in the midst of a financial crisis and by Feburary 2009 millions of people already lost their jobs so even if you bought a house for $100,000 you couldn’t pay your mortgage if you had no job.  So if in Feburary 2009 you were cheering with Rick Santelli and in March 2009 you lost your job tell me if you were still cheering. Rick is a really, really, silly person and he is the father of the Tea Party, so I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.   Do you think it is a coincidence that Rick is only holding the cosumers feet to the fire?
    41 – The Right, Republicans, Conservatives….
    Silly comments – (1) “The left demonized the Bush administration for that, even though they could care less about the spending, they were looking for a club to whack Bush with. You said it yourself– “I don’t care about the national debt.” And neither do your friends on the left.”
    (2) “The tea party movement has gained steam as a result of the sheer magnitude of the growth of government deficits.” Really?

  • BrianE

    Obama says he is going to let the tax cuts for those making over $250,000 expire.- BarryBonds
    That’s a non answer. According to your link (which you offered as proof of exactly nothing) CBO scored the next 10-year deficit at $3.1 trillion, while Obama’s administration claimed it will be $8 trillion. Obama said that was because they were counting the Bush tax cuts, even though they will expire in 2010. The conclusion one could draw from that is Obama plans on recommending congress reauthorize those tax rates. I’m sure his base will happy to hear that.
    I’m assuming you have no explanation to that.
    Brian, let’s agree on some things before we go any further.  Can we agree that Bush had done more damage fiscally in his 8 years than Obama could in his 1?- BarryBonds
    No, and in some respects it’s irrelevant what Obama’s first budget is other than an indication of where he plans on taking the country fiscally. I will say this:
    George Bush and both a Republican and Democrat congress have put us in a bad position economically.
    But that’s the past, though apparently that’s the battle you want to fight. As Mike Devx said in #31:
    “We must admit Bush’s involvement in our catastrophic deficit and debt situation.  Then we can focus on how Obama has doubled down on it, and then doubled down AGAIN, and doubled down AGAIN, and doubled down AGAIN.  And doubled down AGAIN.  He’s so much worse.”
    There is really nothing else that needs to be said. In case you don’t want to believe Mike D. there’s this:
    “In the first independent analysis, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office concluded that President Obama’s budget would rack up massive deficits even after the economy recovers, forcing the nation to borrow nearly $9.3 trillion over the next decade.”
    And that, of course, is from that wacko right wing news organization, The Washington Post.
    Take a good look at the graph. Pictures are worth a thousand words.
    Barack Obama’s policies are going to be devastating because he’s allied himself with the most left-wing element of his party. He had an opportunity to live up to his lofty rhetoric of uniting, rising above petty politics. Most of the country believed him. He sounded so sincere.
    So if in Feburary 2009 you were cheering with Rick Santelli and in March 2009 you lost your job tell me if you were still cheering.- BarryBonds
    Santelli was referring to a proposal to lower the mortgage interest rate for certain homeowners. His point was that lowering their interest rates from 6-7% to a special rate of 4.75% (I believe that was the proposal) was not going to solve the problem. Those people would still not be able to afford their mortgage.
    I was laid off 5/11/2009.
    But this is just a distraction.
    I’ll address #56 later, since I’ve gotta go.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ Ymarsakar

    “For all the good that Bush did, his deficits HAVE in fact weakened our argument. ”

    Bush was attempting and suceeding at cutting deficits in half ever year or so. Certainly it was decreasing as a percentage of the GDP by significant margins. The Democrat congress of 06 and the Dem engineered housing crash of 08, of course, generated emergencies that then duped Republicans into going for “government solutions”. Of course, all the Republican attempts to reform TARP so that it would actually do some good went down the drain because Dems refused to enforce them.

    “We must admit Bush’s involvement in our catastrophic deficit and debt situation.”

    What good would that do. Would the Dems automatically start cooperating instead of shitting on America? Would the Dems word then be “good”? Would Americans be able to somehow forget about the past and work towards the future?

    Not going to happen.

    “If only Bush had been politically astute enough to at least appear to be dragged kicking and screaming into reluctantly agreeing to the TARP bailout.”

    Bush already demonstrated his level of propaganda skill in 2001-6. Bush’s abilities in this department are personally deficient. I am far superior than him in this arena. And Obama is far superior to me. So where would Bush be, ya think? However, I do not have Bush’s personal charisma or leadership skills, nor the resiliency to handle public pressure the way he has. Thus he is still the better leader than me.

    Of course, that doesn’t mean he should ignore such things. He could always have hired a propagandist that was well versed in such matters yet was loyal to the Cause. Petraeus is one example of such a person concerning military affairs. But notice how Bush didn’t even realize how much of an asset Petraeus was until Dick Cheney and some other people brought the name petraeus to Bush.

    The number of loyal and conscientious propagandists that the Republicans have access to basically comes down to one name: Dick Morris. Whereas the Republicans had access to a far broader military sphere of general officers. Yet they still FAILED to find the right person. How much more difficult would it have been for them to find a propagandist, when only one propagandist was ever worth anything.

    “Then we can focus on how Obama has doubled down on it”

    You fell into the same trap Bush did. They told Bush that if he signed off on pork, that they would then not get in the way of Iraq funds. They told Bush No Child Left Behind was golden. They told Republicans that TARP funds would be regulated well and have high standards and only apply to certain organizations that wanted them.

    They, as you do, think this “compromise” would net them mutual benefits. They and you are wrong. Falling into the trap of admitting something or giving something away to the enemy is not going to cause the enemy to give us something of equal value in return. It simply lets open the gates for the barbarians.

    The evidence is indisputable. It is not just obama, either.

    We will never get a chance to “focus on Obama” after stepping on that trap because we’d have been blown sky high.

    “You want me to respect that? You want me to follow that? You want me to listen to that? ”

    I don’t want to hear what you think who “respect” is due given your undivided loyalty in the cause of Dictators like Obama. You’re not qualified to judge, loyal follower of the Dear Leader.

    “Let’s nail down this 10-year budget issue before moving on.”

    Becareful, 5 or 10 year plans look mighty good to the left, Brian.

    “I was worried Ozzie had gone in for a sex change and gotten a lobotomy instead.”

    That was Biden, man.

    “Can we agree that Bush had done more damage fiscally in his 8 years than Obama could in his 1?”

    As you can see, Mike, step into that trap and it’s all over for you. Alinsky models weren’t designed to make “compromises” or “mutually beneficial” deals.

    “Remember the Democrats are the fiscal converatives. Only 14% of this nations debt has come from Democratic administrations and the last one produced a surplus.”

    I see that Leftist indoctrination camps are doing a good job of putting the power of the purse in the hands of the Executive Dictatorship. The Left’s love affair with Saddam like Strong Men knows no bounds. Btw, it is impossible that 14% of this nation’s debt has come from Democrat administrations simply because the Democrats have had the Presidency in almost all the social expansions of the federal fisc. As the Democrats said, there are no rules, they just make them up as they go along. Same with stats.

    “Regarding 29, I don’t care about the national debt because it doesn’t directly affect my daily life”

    As you can see, debt slaves, plantation field hands, and house servants are what the Left produces whenever they breath let alone control the reins of US power.

    I have two choices. I either hold these people personally responsible or I think of them as tools that got in my way.

  • suek

    Well…BB may not be worried about the debt, but I sure am…!
    Also read an article somewhere about whether the government might call in all gold as well – as FDR did, making it illegal to own bullion.  Whoever it was felt that was not likely, but that there would be some sort of tax on gold.

  • BarryBonds

    Ymarsakar, that was a manly display of manliness.  Never before has such a bold and masterful dispatching of a straw man ever been witness before.
    Line them up and then tear them down: Liberals are slaves – dead!, Liberals hate America – dead and gone!, Liberal hate capitalism – explosion!

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ Ymarsakar

    Stick with the program BB. You’ll be clean yet.

  • BrianE

    I said I would respond to #56. I should ask for the link, since you are just repeating someone else, but here goes.
    With no change in tax or spending policy another 7-8 tril would be added in the next 10yrs- BarryBonds
    You keep saying this, but tax policy is changing. The Bush tax cuts will expire in 2010. At this point, the only way the tax rates will remain as they are is if a democrat congress renews them. Are you saying the democrats are going to spit in the face of their base?

    we will see annual deficit and projections, drop like a rock over the next 3yrs.- BarryBonds
    See my post above. The CBO estimates that Obama administration proposals would increase the debt by $9.3 trillion (as reported by The Washington Post).
    Only 14% of this nations debt has come from Democratic administrations and the last one produced a surplus. Thats right 86% of our debt came from Republican administrations.-BarryBonds
    It would be more relevant to say that most of the nations debt has come from Democrat congresses. The fact of the matter is that congress holds the power of the purse. President’s can turn blue in the face, but they can’t spend a dime more than congress authorizes. Certainly the president sets the agenda, and yes divided government has been our only relief from rising debt– for the most part.
    Many leading Democrats in Washington these days like to point to the fact that the federal budget was balanced for part of the time that President Bill Clinton was in office. What they do not mention is that those balanced budgets occurred only when Republicans controlled both houses of Congress. In fact, according to the historical data published by the Office of Management and Budget in the Obama White House, no Congress in which the Democrats controlled both the House and Senate has balanced the federal budget since fiscal 1969–more than 40 years ago.
    More recently, the federal budget was balanced in fiscal years 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001. A Republican-controlled Congress approved the appropriations for each one of those years and Democratic President Bill Clinton signed them. In fiscal years 1994 and 1995, when President Clinton governed with a Democrat-controlled Congress, the federal government ran deficits of $203.2 billion and $163.9 billion respectively. The Republican majority Congress elected in November 1994 presided over two fiscal years with declining deficits—fiscal 1996 and 1997—before it initially balanced the budget in fiscal 1998.  In fiscal 1996 and 1997, the deficits were $107.4 billion and $21.9 billion respectively. In the 2000 election, Republicans retained control of the House but the Senate split 50-50 between Republicans and Democrats. In May 2001, Sen. Jim Jeffords of Vermont switched parties from Republican to Independent and began caucusing with the Democrats, giving the Democrats the effective majority and making then-Sen. Tom Daschle (D.-S.D.) the majority leader. That split Congress was responsible for the appropriations for fiscal 2002, which put the federal government back into a deficit. After Republicans regained control of the Senate in the November 2002 elections (thus taking control of the budget process for fiscal 2004 which would begin on Oct. 1, 2003), the all-Republican Congress continued running deficits for four fiscal years (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007). During that time, with President George W. Bush in the White House, the Republicans controlled both the legislative and executive branches but failed to balance the budget. In the November 2006 elections, Democrats won back the majority in both the House and Senate, and in the three fiscal years that have started since then (2008, 2009, 2010), they have run record deficits of  $458.6 billion, $1.41 trillion and $1.55 trillion. The estimated deficit for this fiscal year (2010) of $1.55 trillion is more than three times as large as the $458.6 billion deficit that President George W. Bush presided over with a Democratic Congress in fiscal 2008. In fiscal 2010, of course, Democrats controlled both Houses of Congress as well as the White House. Since 1960, the federal budget has been balanced in only 6 fiscal years. For two of those fiscal years—1960 and 1969—Democrats controlled Congress. For four—1998, 1999, 2000, 2001—Republicans controlled Congress.
    So, what’s the point of all this? A revolt by the Tea Party movement. Remember, the Tea Party is not a Republican cover group. We need to throw out both Republican and Democrat politicians who continue to obfuscate, dissemble and procrastinate about the pressing issue of spiraling government obligations.
    To the extent that the movement deviates from this narrow and critical focus, the message with voters will be diminished.

  • suek

    This link is now OT since you’ve moved on to the deficit stuff, but it’s an interesting article about the rating agencies.  Apparently the government had their mitts into that as well.  I hadn’t realized that.

  • suek
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  • suek

    Here are another couple of interesting links.  The first seems to have possible connections with our various Wall street traders, the second is just more about the global warming possible fraud, which is naturally, included within the first link.  It’s like living in a mystery novel – with no likelihood of learning absolutely who the bad guys are!

  • suek

    Yet another.  _WHY_ such resistance to having the Fed audited?  Much like the birther issue, one can’t help but think that where there is so much effort expended on covering something up, there must be something potentially damning being covered up…

  • suek

    More warnings.

    And by the way…
    BrianE…have I told you I think you’re terrific?  I can link…I may have an inkling of understanding the issues…but _you_!  You put it all together!
    Thank you!

  • BrianE

    You make be blush.
    I enjoy your perspective and your links are always worth reading.
    I think Y put this thread to bed at #62, though sometimes he’s a little too subtle for my tastes.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ Ymarsakar

    Heh, I would think the chief complaint against me would be that I’m too blunt and “extreme” rather than too subtle.

  • BrianE

    Sometimes my humor is so subtle, even I don’t get it.
    Re: Your link in #72. IMO Denninger has it right. The question is whether we still have time to change course.
    “We may still choose to do what needs to be done voluntarily before it is imposed on us.  We can force those banking institutions to eat their own cooking.  We can expel those in government who were part of the web of scams and fraud from government and take our nation back – peacefully.
    We can force the large financials to mark to market – for everything.  We can force all assets back onto balance sheets, and ban by law, with criminal felony penalties, all gaming attempts through “off sheet” vehicles.  We can reverse with the stroke of a pen the CFTC override on state gaming laws that made naked Credit Default Swaps a monstrous casino with no social utility.  And we can demand that any attempt to game claimed asset valuations by claiming non-performing loans are “money good”, as is going on right now with homes where people haven’t made a payment in 2+ years yet their first and HELOC are carried at above recovery value, result in criminal prosecution for bank fraud.  Fannie and Freddy’s hidden gameplaying, which has now cost in losses over two years more than they earned in the previous 30, will end.
    Doing so will cause a number of large financial institutions to either disintegrate into their constituent parts, with some worth zero and bond and shareholders getting severely haircut, or if they resist, they will fail.  Home prices will fall to the point where they are truly affordable nationwide, perhaps to as low as 2x incomes on average.
    The average family that decides to live in an austere fashion and save will be able to buy for cash within a decade’s time.
    Yes, austerity sucks.
    But voluntary austerity can be peaceful, even if it’s painful.
    Externally-imposed austerity at best usually leads to civil unrest and can result in civil war.  Should the Greek situation result in the police flipping to the side of the demonstrators, they will lose their government.”

  • BrianE

    If you’re interested in who did what to whom as it relates to derivatives like CDS, read this:
    Make sure to read the timeline (quite lengthy). I was unaware of how long the battle had been going on.
    There is plenty of blame to go around.

  • suek

    You’re right.  It’s long – and involved.  I don’t think I’ll finish it in one sitting.  Oh well…yet another bookmark!

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ Ymarsakar

    ” Sometimes my humor is so subtle, even I don’t get it.”
    In what fashion is that so?

  • BrianE

    It was supposed to be irony.

  • suek

    Now if you want to see something _REALLY_ funny (or not!), check  this out:
    Heh.  Bet _someone_ gets laid off…!!

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ Ymarsakar

    Oh, I see.