It’s been awhile since PostScript has divulged much about the PostScript Bunker, where she crouches, shivering, be-helmeted and listening for sounds of agitation among the attack dolphins in the moat. PostScript went to comical lengths to defend herself from the presumed bleak nuclear winter of comments sections. But after a year, PostScript grew more comfortable and stopped reinforcing the walls quite so often, sometimes even glancing in the direction of the hatch. It wasn’t quite so scary out there.
But let’s be honest. PostScript was very apprehensive over the weekend when she saw Colbert King’s column comparing the tea party to a newfangled Confederacy. And how it got more than 5,000 comments. Because the comments section can be a simultaneously dank and explosive place.
King wrote a rather nuanced piece (for the thesis) that compared the tea party congresspeople to the old Confederacy — plus Jim Crow legislators — not based on their attitudes toward race but on their tactics. Both groups, King argues, want to decentralize government power and disempower some categories of Americans — he cites voting restrictions across the South that will hit minorities, young people and the poor disproportionately. Such a party doesn’t have to be motivated by racial hatred. It was a very slippery point King made.
But nuanced points about race and politics do not tend to go over well in the anonymous comment sections. So PostScript prepared her special diving bell for protection before sinking into these comments, expecting a higher proportion than usual of narsty.
Didn’t happen. Tea party identifiers got no more indignant about being compared to the Confederacy than they regularly do about less serious negative media portrayals. Really. PostScript has no idea what it means, but the biggest blowback she found was this.
Race card alert.
When you got nothing else you leftists always, always, always throw out the race card.
Which is all pretty standard. Actually. Not even featuring all caps or exclamation marks. Being rhetorically linked to the Confederacy is not the outrage PostScript thought it would be. It is, perhaps, old hat.
So what did happen? Some argued that the tea party tactics aren’t similar to those of the Confederates. And reasonable debate ensued!
Colbert should pick up a history book. The Confederate States withdrew from the Union. They did not try to overthrow the U.S. Government. The dispute that the North used to go to war was a Fort in a state that had left the Union. What the far right today is doing is more like the rise of the Southern Democrats after the end of the Civil War.
The analogy breaks down. The Republican Party, their majority in the House of Representatives, and the American people they represent ARE part of the government. A fact the liberals refuse to acknowledge.
During the 1850s, US Congressmen and Senators from southern states, and the people they represented, were just as much part of the United States as Republicans and Tea Party members are now. That did not stop them from pursuing policies during the 1850s which led to the formation of the Confederacy, and the commencement of the Civil War to break up the United States and overturn the Constitution on which its government was based.
Frankly, this freaks PostScript out. She’ll be in her sarcophagus until things get normal.