How tea party has made anti-intellectualism its rallying cry

We’ve discussed before how the tea party — here and elsewhere — has made anti-intellectualism its rallying cry, but — providing an excerpt from a book “Griftopia” by Matt Taibbi — does a good job of explaining the group’s strategy. The article is here.

“Our world isn’t about ideology anymore. It’s about complexity. We live in a complex bureaucratic state with complex laws and complex business practices, and the few organizations with the corporate will power to master these complexities will inevitably own the political power,” according to the article. “On the other hand, movements like the Tea Party more than anything else reflect a widespread longing for simpler times and simple solutions — just throw the U.S. Constitution at the whole mess and everything will be jake.

“For immigration, build a big fence. Abolish the Federal Reserve, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Education.”

By rallying behind Sarah Palin and Michele Bachman, the tea party has made anti-intellectualism itself a rallying cry. It adds: “The tea party is arguing against the very idea that it’s even necessary to ask the questions you need to ask to grasp bubble economics.”

Around, here people like Todd Juvinall are good “foot soldiers” for the cause, for the same reason.

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for 12 years, and he was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News for eight years, among other positions. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing, swimming, and trout fishing in the Sierra.

21 thoughts on “How tea party has made anti-intellectualism its rallying cry”

  1. Jeff,

    You make this article seem SOOO reasonable:

    Funny that you missed this part: “That’s why it’s so brilliant for the Tea Party to put forward as its leaders some of the most egregiously stupid morons on our great green earth. By rallying behind dingbats like Palin and Michele Bachmann…”

    IF I ever spoke that way about any elected Democratic officials or someone on this list, I assume that I would be banned or at least strongly reprimanded.

    While I appreciate you linking to this article because it is informative to see where they are coming from, I think you should have included a disclaimer.


    1. “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and consciencious stupidity.”

       Martin Luther King, Jr. quote

      1. I think it was Mark Twain who said that our problem is not what we don’t know, but rather all the things we think we know that are not true.


    2. John,

      I agree with you here. I have cited Mother Jones articles in the past, but they are not known for their measured analysis. This is polemic, through and through.

      I also believe their premise here to be incorrect. I don’t think Palin and Bachmann are stupid at all. Rather, I think they have an axe to grind, and they use labels and stereotypes to give their brains the serotonin squirts required to heal psychological damage from some past unknown incidents that made them.

      As do we all. Welcome everyone to your own milieu of ennui, inside of your own very special braincase.

      Michael A.

      1. On a personal note –

        I attended a party in San Francisco a couple of years ago in the Marina. I was at a table with a man who claimed to be the editor of Mother Jones. Turned out to be true.

        After speaking to him for an hour or so, I was so appalled by his behavior and speech that I complained to the host of the party about his completely aggressive and rude behavior.

        The host shrugged with a twisted smile, and said, “I don’t know why we invite him year after year. Do the best you can.”

        I left and went home. To this day I have trouble reading Mother Jones.

  2. “That’s why it’s so brilliant for the Tea Party to put forward as its leaders some of the most egregiously stupid morons on our great green earth. By rallying behind dingbats like Palin and Michele Bachmann…”

    Simply the unvarnished truth. And if you can’t see it, you’re wearing blinders.

    “IF I ever spoke that way about any elected Democratic officials or someone on this list, I assume that I would be banned or at least strongly reprimanded.”

    You know that’s obvious BS, especially in your case.

    Jeff has given you unwarranted leeway with your quasi-religious c**p and fundamentalist Right Wing BS at the detriment of having even more readers, who presently dislike your angle so much that they refuse to read it here.

    So once again, you’re a liar, manipulator and snake oil salesman who has greatly overestimated your market here. It’s nothing more than shameless intellectual masturbation. If you had shame you would see that. But as with many “religious” orators, you don’t have the capacity for shame, or self reflection.

  3. Bruce,

    I preached, and posted for all the world to hear or see, a sermon on confession just a couple of weeks ago, so my attitude and record is pretty clear on shame and self-reflection. Psalm 51 provides a good summary.

    It continues to amaze me how much name-calling you are capable of engaging in without ever engaging in the substance of what is being discussed.


  4. It isn’t worth my time and effort to refute your ridiculousness. I did it before and on reflection it’s just indulging your intellectual onanism. For me, it’s more important to, on occasion, insert a suggestion of a filter to view your garbage through. It’s certainly up to other readers to think about it, or not.

    I told you several times before that if you espouse your world view here freely, as you do, I’m going to continue to suggest where I think you’re coming from. I’m certainly not going to go to the effort of exposing your invented “facts” and lies, because you are numb to facts, and it simply is a waste of my time.

  5. Is the Tea Party pro or con the recent decision to allow the children of illegals born in Mexico, but growing up here, who’ve done well enough to get admitted to our college system, to get in state tuition?

  6. Douglas,

    Why should children who are born in Mexico and have not immigrated to California have any more right to in-state tuition than all of the children in the other 49 states that would like that rate as well?

    This whole debate, along with the endless driver’s license debate, are the result of a broken system that needs to be fixed. Our nations has always welcomed immigration and we certainly need the labor of immigrants in many areas today. However, there needs to be a legal system that we hold people accountable to follow.


    1. Let’s start with fining and jailing the employers. The whole notion that we don’t know who is and who is not a citizen is total elepahant exhaust, perpetuated by RTwg employers. You want to work or employ in this country? Get a USA passport, and be proud to show it. The solution is really a very simple solution, if you have the desire to look for it.

      1. Douglas,

        I agree that we must have a work-permit system that is enforceable as part of the solution.

        The problem is what to do with all those already here illegally. IF we secure the border and then set up the work permit system, then I think you could find some middle ground for dealing with these people, many of whom have been here for many years.


    2. Because like all the other in state residents, they completed their high school work, and often grammer school work, here, in the state of California, and not, in South Carolina or New Jersey.

      Which kids are most likely to be able to leap the hurdles of California campus admissions? Bet you a five for a ten it’s the kids that have been here the longest and who are most acculturated, not the fresh off the boat ones. Getting into a Californai campus is a matter of academic accomplishments and residency, not an accident of birth.

  7. Douglas,

    The fact that almost 50% of the freshmen classes at the Sacramento State University need remedial math and English, I am not sure that there really is much of an academic requirement to get in.


  8. The solution to the work permit process that John and Doug are requesting was on the table, put there by President G. W. Bush in 2005, and it was roundly rejected by the same anti-intellectual wing of the Republican party the Tea Party personifies.

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