The Tea Party and Confederate Nostalgia

Interesting article in The Daily Beast by Jack Schwartz, about the Tea Party and its alliance between, as he puts it, the “Confederate and corporate”:

[T]he conservative movement: a marriage between corporate America and the New Confederacy. The former supplied the financing, the lobbying, a corporate underpinning, national links, and an overall strategy. The latter provided numbers, passion, righteousness, self-righteousness, and a patina of faux populist clout.

It’s worth a read, and it’s a topic I’ve discussed many times on this blog.

There is one thing, though, that it doesn’t address, but it’s something I have come to suspect: that the Democrats are to some extent complicit in this as well.  That is, over the last few decades, their focus on social issues (which I support, don’t get me wrong)  has come at the expense of protecting the economic equality programs of the New Deal.

Basically, the way it works is that the Democrats feud with the Social Conservatives about social issues, and that allows the Corporate Republicans to broker deals or otherwise find ways of passing laissez-faire, deregulatory  economic policies. (There is a little discussion of this issue at the end of What’s The Matter With Kansas?, actually.)

I’m not saying that the Democrats are wrong for doing that; just that it seems to be the pattern for a lot of our political conflicts, and that it’s important to recognize it as such. What is a little troubling about this article (and political analysis in general) is that there is too much focus “de-polarizing” politics, without considering the specifics of what that might look like.  My concern is that if or when Democrats and Republicans eventually do find a middle-ground to compromise on, it will be one that is more beneficial to the wealthy financial interests that support both parties, and not to the nation as a whole.

2 Comments

  1. That middle ground may already be happening to a certain extent in the new budget deal, and we can see what it looks like–no extension of unemployment benefits, no tax increases or even closing of tax loopholes, etc etc.

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