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Tea Party luring US into adventures in irrationality - opinion - 12 October 2010 - New Scientist

Compared with what may be in store for the US, George W. Bush's administration looks positively friendly to science, says Chris Mooney

THE Tea Party isn't nearly as entertaining as it ought to be. It is still unclear whether this particular brand of patriotic extremism is a passing fad or something more. Come the US mid-term elections on 2 November, those of us who care about science and rationality may not be laughing.

On the surface, the movement seems impelled by the economic pain Americans are feeling. But look more closely and it's hard to miss what historian Richard Hofstadter called the "paranoid style" in US politics, marked by "exaggeration, suspiciousness, and conspiratorial fantasy". An essential strand of that is anti-intellectualism and disdain for science.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 02:09:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
US midterms: Political freak show - Opinion - Al Jazeera English

I'm you, dear readers. Well, actually, I'm not. But I'm also not a witch, so at least I've got that going for me.

The above is of course a reference to Delaware's favourite Wiccan of Wilmington, Republican Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell, who began her most recent television advertisement by assuring viewers that she, indeed, is "not a witch." In past political years this might have been considered a bit low-brow, to actually have to assure the voting public you didn't spend most days at dusk swooping over the heads of the Lollipop Guild.

The bar has been raised among this year's crop of weirdos and wackadoos seeking higher office in America. If you don't have the Second Amendment tattooed on your buttocks or actually think you're The Walrus, don't even try and claim to be among the craziest third of aspiring politicos on the current American landscape.

For Jay Leno may have once called politics "show business for ugly people." But the larger truth these days is that a run for political office is a surefire way for those seeking a moment in the spotlight, but lacking any discernible talent or a handle on the truth, to have their hour in the headlines. It's show business for crazy people.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 02:10:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Washington Monthly
ANGLE MAKES UP CITIES, TOO.... About a week ago, extremist Senate candidate Sharron Angle (R) appeared at a town-hall-style event, and was asked about "Muslims taking over the U.S." In right-wing circles, the notion of some kind of invasion that would leave white Christians as a persecuted minority is fairly common, and the right-wing Nevadan stoked the fires of fear.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 02:11:06 PM EST
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