Militia and NRA members are yelling about the Second Amendment... even though a Democratic President expanded gun rights during his first year, the Supreme Court recently struck down a major gun control law, and today was the 15th anniversary of a militia member and NRA member killing 168 people in an attack on the federal government.
So America is not exactly taxing its way into socialism. If anything, we're tax-cutting our way toward a new Gilded Age where the middle class is a quaint memory and representative democracy is but a hollow shell that the money power just pushes aside. Nor is big government disarming the populous before instituting the next step in its evil plot. Gun sales are through the roof, and its becoming common for people to bring guns to major political events.
What we are witnessing is the right wing creating its own reality. It's a world where government is a foreign, oppressive power that looms over We the People. And it's a world where government is really the only power that looms over us, because conspicuously absent in this world is any discussion of big business. Unregulated Wall Street banks couldn't have had an important role in the economic crash--only "greedy government" taking "our money" and wasting it.
These are the unhinged movements that Bill Kristol has been calling, "the best thing that's happened to conservatives and the Republican Party in recent times." He's probably right.
I sometimes find myself thinking that even in our flawed system, with enough time, the Tea Party will be "out argued" and defeated in rhetoric and that even the TP-ers will fold up their signs and go home. But based on what I know of politics, that reckoning with truth never comes. Movement politics is more of a fight than a debate. If the Tea Party's lies win elections in 2010 and 2012, it will drastically change the country and the world, and that will be all that matters. In 2013, in President Palin's America, it won't matter much if we can utterly disprove the arguments that got her elected. What will matter is building a movement to defeat her agenda and her reelection.
What matters now is building a movement that defeats the Tea Party and the gun nuts before they take more of a hold than they already have. We need a progressive protest movement demanding more democracy, not less, demanding democratic oversight of Wall Street banks, not ignorance of them, and demanding a tax system that makes the rich pay their fair share. The nice thing is that we won't have to make stuff up to fuel our movement.