If Abbie Hoffman hadn't been such a clown, and if the Yippies had been into actually threatening the United States government instead of street theatre, would they have been more effective?
Probably not. The Yippie mistake was in choosing the symbols of the counterculture rather than appropriating those of patriotism in their flags and in their rhetoric of overthrowing the government. It's hard to have an effective revolution when you have a sense of humor and you're stoned much of the time.
No such mistakes for the Tea Partiers, however. They dress up in the costumes of the 1700s, and have as their spiritual leader not a clown like Abbie Hoffman, but a lunatic who's been associated with a secessionist party in her own state, and who at their weekend convention, called for "another revolution."
Because after all, if you use the flag and you dress in tricorn hats, you can advocate implementing a police state that is at constant war with everyone else in the world, and the media will buy your bullshit that you are a patriot.
And has anything actually changed? CAN it even change? The netroots has had four conventions every summer, where OUR leaders have given speeches and appeared at breakout groups -- far more of them than appeared at this conference, and Yearly Kos/Netroots Nation has been treated in as some kind of little fringe meeting with almost no media coverage, not as a massive social movement the way the Teabaggers have, for all that only about 600 people appeared at their profit-making extravaganza. And while I understand that a two-foot snowfall is unusual for Washington DC (though apparently not as unusual as it used to be since they have had two of them this season), and I also realize that the only thing to do with this much snow is have fun in it, this kind of imagery -- a netroots snowball fight organized on Facebook -- just makes me feel even more hopeless. Because I'm sure this will get more media coverage than Netroots Nation ever will.
(UPDATE: Hortense over at Jezebel liveblogged the Moose Queen
for the benefit of the weak of stomach.)
Labels: false patriotism, Sarah Palin, wingnuttia