As overwhelming evidence surfaces, the Tea Party movement becomes more adamant in their denial. They do not understand how they attract bigots, racists, illiterates, gun-toting inciters of violence, or corporate and PAC sponsors. They want us not to notice that the number of fans they have attracted is about the same as the number of people who have left the Republican Party. They ask us not to believe our eyes and ears, experts, or logic, and to disregard videos, news reports, and the people we meet daily on the streets and the internet. We are to pretend we have no idea what the term grassroots means, maybe even give them credit for coming up with the idea.
Those misrepresenting wackos (including people like Sarah Palin, Rand Paul, Rush Limbaugh, and Glenn Beck) are a shocking, unwelcomed fringe element that mysteriously managed to ravel in to center stage of a movement that totally denies purposely attracting or embracing them. They robbed the movement of speaking fees, forced their own names onto event flyers, and jumped in front of cameras, devastating movement leaders. And that movement is horrified, same as my friends Liz and Lonnie were when I suggested that she purposely attracts losers and he begs women to use him.
Hot-to-trot probably dates me but I don’t know a more apt or current equivalent to describe poor Liz. She simultaneously overdresses and undercovers but when it comes to beauty products, she takes the opposite extreme – more is better. Nothing will convince her that a reasonable application of more expensive products in place of the cheap stuff she cakes on would benefit both her checkbook and her face. Liz hasn’t met a man she doesn’t like and hasn’t acknowledged the ones who don’t like her. She flaunts, she flatters, and she laughs at lame jokes and appreciates free drinks and dinners. She spends the grocery money for sexy date clothes, and she calls in sick and dumps the kids with sitters for wild weekends.
And then, when she catches the guys who are attracted to everything she put out in the dating phase, she can’t understand why she keeps ending up with losers who don’t want her kids around, can’t keep a job, and who expect her to look like a million (or ten) dollars and be ready to party every minute. It cannot possibly be her fault that she ends up with losers.
Lonnie watches for women in distress. Take him out and he will invariably find the woman whose husband dumped her the day she lost her job and found out she was pregnant with her eighth child. Within a week, he will have fixed her car, built two rooms on the back of her house, given her his credit card for emergencies, and encouraged her kids to call him Dad and come to him with all their needs. He’ll pay for Cinderella’s divorce, see her through the pregnancy, and wonder why she falls in love with someone else but keeps hanging around him on payday. He can’t understand how he collects women who don’t appreciate good guys.
Like Liz and Lonnie, the Tea Party refuses to accept responsibility for the ads they run.