In Washington D.C., a Tea Bag Protester Expresses Longing for a Blown-Up Capitol Building

Sounding like a 1920s German fascist or communist impatient with bourgeois parliamentary democracy in the Weimar Republic, Salon.com reports that a tea bag protester expressed his wish that, on 9/11, our nation’s Congressional building had simply been obliterated. This is really illiberal creepy political expression for an American:

Another seemingly sedate protester, Brian Smith, a marketer from Greenville, S.C., who was in Washington on business and came by the rally, wandered equally off message. “I love my country and I don’t like what’s going on,” Smith said. “Government — to be honest with you, and this will probably be misquoted, but on 9/11, I think they hit the wrong building. They should have gone into the Capitol building, hit out, knocked out both sides of the aisle, we’d start from scratch, we’d be better off today.” I pointed out that “they” did try to hit the Capitol. “Yeah, I know, they missed,” he said. “The wrong sequence. If someone had to go, it should have been the Capitol building. On that day I felt differently, but today that’s the way I feel.”

What an outrage for an American to talk this way about our country’s very symbol of representative democracy: the U.S. Capitol building. This man is a proverbial canary in the right wing coal mine. Such expression is a sign that the far right in this country may be harboring fantasies that populist-backed authoritarianism is better than the slow and messy process of partisan democratic politics accompanied by compromise. And where, oh where, are the sane voices among establishment Republicans, condemning and disassociating themselves from the conspiratorial and fringe rhetoric that these tea bag parties have generated?

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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1 Response to In Washington D.C., a Tea Bag Protester Expresses Longing for a Blown-Up Capitol Building

  1. Jared K. says:

    Agreed. I don’t understand this latest Republican strategy. Firing up the extreme, uneducated, and paranoid fringe of the party is supposed to help Republicans win elections how? I really don’t understand it.

    As someone known for voting both ways, this new conservative movement has almost ruined me for ever considering voting for Republicans again.

    If you look at Obama’s approval rating, it seems to have remained relatively steady (and high) throughout this latest wave of nutty protests.

    Santi, did you see the Texas governor’s statement earlier in the week–about seceding from the union?! What is going on with these nutty people? I’m starting to fear that this tiny minority is going to prohibit Obama from doing his job–maybe that is the whole point.

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