Tea Party “Stuffs” GOP
What do the Tea Party and a 1985 B movie have in common?
Everything except the budget.
Way back in early 2009, establishment and moderate Republicans looked at the ragtag Tea Party, clowns in tricorner hats making fools of themselves, and saw a bunch of useful idiots. They lapped the Tea Party up like so much yogurt, thinking they’d hand the freakshow a place to stay, and get rewarded with better digestion . . . er, lots of extra votes.
But the Tea Party is no Lactobacillis acidophilus. It’s more like the dreaded movie monster, The Stuff.
This classic sci-fi horror flick is about a new dessert treat that looks just like yogurt. It tastes great, and has no calories. It’s highly profitable, because it’s addictive. Who could ask for anything more?
Just like the GOP after a taste of the motivated voters of the Tea Party, the only thing you could ask for is more Stuff. Stuff takes over your brain, you see, and makes you want more.
This is sounding mighty familiar.
After the religious right took over the Tea Party, a bloodless coup which took almost three weeks back in mid-2009, the Tea Party took over the GOP’s brain. Proof? Witness the selection of Tea Party extremist Paul Ryan as VP candidate. The merger of GOP and Tea Party is complete, and an uneasy hybrid creature is convening in Tampa this week:
. . . [A]s the GOP convention opens this week, tea-party activists say they like what they see.The Republican ticket now includes Paul Ryan, whom tea-party supporters view as one of their own. The GOP platform squares with their values. And some of the speakers who will be showcased in Tampa are heroes of the movement, notably Texas Senate candidate Ted Cruz and Sen. Rand Paul (R., Ky.).
Speaking of the movement’s influence on the convention, Sal Russo, co-founder of the political action committee Tea Party Express, said: "In baseball, it’s called a grand slam.…I would say this is a triumphant tea-party convention."
Tea-party groups see their clout reflected in a party platform that will be voted on by convention delegates this week. The statement of party ideology is in tune with the policies of FreedomWorks, which organizes tea-party groups.
But there’s this one little detail, nagging at the back of my mind. What was it?
Oh, right. The Stuff eats you.
First Alien, then The Stuff, now the Tea Party. Give the GOTea Party a hug, America. Image: The Stuff, 1985
The Republican Party is finding the promise of extra votes they so eagerly swallowed is now gnawing away and replacing the Party’s core.
Upon realizing the danger, the Establishment and the Moderates put up a halfhearted fight against extremism, but the vigor of the alien organism soon overwhelmed the GOP’s weak and weary defenses. Like the unfortunate early adopters of The Stuff, the GOP is now a staggering shell of itself, being consumed from the inside by noisome slime that will soon spew forth and . . . hug your face.
In the first act of this nauseous thriller, we were introduced to the Tea Party. We laughed at it; there was no threat. The GOP decided to taste it, while Democrats decided to go all-natural with the Greek yogurt instead.
Second act, we realized that it was a dangerous force, and watched the Republican Party succumb. We’ve reached the end of the second act, when the Stuff forces its way out of Charlie’s impossibly-gaping maw, violently splattering itself upon the nearest human and transforming into a free-roaming, all-consuming blob.
This week, the curtain rises on Act 3 in Tampa. Will this be the final conflict, a last battle between the Tea Party and the Republicans, ending with dismal failure and defeat of the alien invaders in November? Or will there be a sequel?
I looked for The Stuff, Part 2, and found nothing. Somehow, I don’t think America can dodge that bullet twice.