Sunday, 31 July 2011

Tea Party and the Shock Doctrine

I was reading John Boehner's description of Tea Party objectives recently. Consider the following from an interview with John Boehner:

Speaking on conservative radio host Laura Ingraham’s show this morning, Boehner agreed that failing to raise the limit before the deadline would be devastating, and said the “chaos” plan won’t work when asked by Ingraham what’s motivating the recalcitrant Republicans:

BOEHNER: Well, first they want more. And my goodness, I want more too. And secondly, a lot of them believe that if we get past August the second and we have enough chaos, we could force the Senate and the White House to accept a balanced budget amendment. I’m not sure that that — I don’t think that that strategy works. Because I think the closer we get to August the second, frankly, the less leverage we have vis a vis our colleagues in the Senate and the White House.  (source)

The objective is nothing less than to deliberately cause "chaos" in order to manufacture a means of forcing their views on an American public held hostage. One Tweeter that I follow claimed that this is terrorism. Setting aside what should and shouldn't count as terrorism, it does strike me that the strategy that they've laid out clearly follows the shock doctrine as described by Naomi Klein. From the Wikipedia article, "The book argues that the free market policies of ... Milton Friedman have risen to prominence in some countries because they were pushed through while the citizens were reacting to disasters or upheavals. It is implied that some man-made crises, such as the Falklands war, may have been created with the intention of being able to push through these unpopular reforms in their wake." And what do we have here? A completely contrived crisis with the intention of pushing through unpopular reforms. The big difference here is that the perpetrators are telegraphing their passes, letting us know that they're quite intentionally creating a crisis, telling us why they're doing so and what they hope to thereby accomplish and yet we still seem largely unable to respond. In  TP democracy, it's not the will of the people that guides government policy, [poll: 19% want spending cuts only, (markup link)] it's the positions of those willing and able to break things and then hold the citizenry hostage.

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