Tea Bag Captain America Before He Tea Bags You

Dave does a great job with Olbermann of contextualizing and adjudicating the tea party-vs-Captain America dispute. One (typically) insightful point Dave makes is that the tea party set isn’t yet comfortable with being part of the culture — which implies, among other treatment, satire and critical judgment. The teabaggers’ self-righteous assertion that they’re the Real America equips the movement particularly poorly to being ridiculed — and acceptance of ridicule is a subset of self-awareness — because such are the wages of zealotry.

Then there’s the race question. Look: if you find it offensive that people often point out that you represent an overwhelmingly white audience because you’re yet another voice of the over-represented… I don’t understand why you’d be unwilling to perform a little self-analysis. People make fun of the left for all sorts of PC hysteria — and, you know, ha ha, fair enough — but it’s a far healthier thing for a movement to frequently ask itself about possibly-unconscious and pernicious racial and gender and sexual dynamics that it might be promoting. That’s not something to apologize for — it’s something for everyone to regularize! Whatever excesses occur are a small price to pay for the pursuit of social justice. You just can’t love America and hate Americans. Attempting to do so is mere narcissism. (And yes, I’m assuming the teabaggers are sincere in their stated abhorrence of racism, because why not.)

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Spencer Ackerman

Spencer Ackerman

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