12 years ago just a few days back, in late October 2010 was the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear with Jon Stewart and Stephan Colbert on the mall in Washington D.C.
It was sort of a response to Glenn Beck and his Restoring Honor rally on 8/10/2010
I was there…
…I observed the Glenn Beck rally from a distance, seeing the now familiar to me Tea Party crowd, as a Hill intern for the last year.
And on October 30 I attended the Sanity/Fear rally.
This period of time was when the divergence in reality began in earnest.
You see the game had changed big time.
Ten months earlier the Supreme Court blew up limitations on corporate spending in federal elections on their Citizens United ruling in January 2010.
The door to dark money was now open.
President Obama knew it and called out the Supreme Court at the State of the Union, eliciting an angry response from Samuel Alito
Cognitive dissonance was becoming the norm at this time in the GOP, although from my own sources I know after 2008 they were “scared shitless” —the response was to block anything and everything President Obama put forward, starting with the Affordable Care Act.
The GOP went all in on white resentment during the first term of America’s first black President, all in on “real America” divisive rhetoric, all in on draping obstruction of government action as patriotism with thinly veiled racism.
Bat-shit crazy has to start somewhere.
Meanwhile the outrage pounded daily from blow hards on Fox and on radio on blogs kept feeding the narrative that started to grow exponentially during this time.
Enter: Mr. Bat Shït crazy
Now where am I going with this?
Today, shit is going off the rails. The ability for lies to be more widely believed and acted on in the civic and political spheres in our country is a very dangerous threat to us all.
2010 dark political money enters helping pave this path.
2010 is when the dam broke.
Things accelerated quickly in the information space to where the line was being crossed between news and politics and entertainment. Social media is taking off.
White resentment a la the Tea Party was being purposefully stoked, and directed and led.
Things were starting to really get bat shit crazy
But frankly — the news media and most of America was not paying attention.
I was; certain folks who followed the day to day were like Jon Stewart and Colbert who commented satirically on the rapidly changing landscape.
President Obama knew as he called out Citizens United; but it’s one of many problems his administration dealt with; right wing crazyness was not the top issue… the economy was still in recovery big time, dual wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the list of problems was long.
The theory was if the American people see the federal government function effectively and efficiently then the political party making that happen would be rewarded politically.
But this assumes that the American people are getting the message of reality — a fatal mistake.
Another theory which was prevalent at the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear was to appeal to good faith of Americans of all stripes. Jon Stewart at one point showed a video of traffic entering the Lincoln tunnel orderly saying can’t we all get along?
Another fatal mistake
You see the Republicans as a party had already jettisoned good faith in their operating principles. It wasn’t all at once, but by 2009 it was in full bloom especially after 2008 when they lost, and lost BIG.
A lot of the BAD FAITH stems from being sore losers.
This reality of Republicans acting in bad faith is a constant advantage as the news media and many uninformed Americans beat the narrative that “both sides” of the political spectrum, both political parties are in a food fight so poo poo on both their houses.
This creates apathy
The bad faith behavior is also a clever trap for Democrats to keep falling into because 1) we desperately want the other side be act in good faith and 2) the noncommittal public wants the parties to work together.
It’s a trap we’re still partly in but is becoming clearer.
But it’s not just bad faith, it’s bad faith with a purpose to bring certain fantasies of right wing minds to political reality.
Americans have always had in our DNA a penchant for fantasy, as best explained in Fantasyland — and 2010 was a tipping point into dangerous fantasy.
Remember what I said about sore losers being the big problem?
With progress of the ACA came the attacks but what was new is the attacks were based in falsehoods — aka LIES. But the media couldn’t call it a lie then could they.
backdrop to 2010 b4 dark money enters the picture
And in 2009 the sore losers of the GOP happen to be mostly white, mostly male, and very prone, very eager to latch onto any fantasy that allowed them to own the libs.
They busted norms. It didn’t start with trump.
Joe Wilson yelling “you lie!” At President Obama in 2009
And I should correct myself the ACA didn’t pass in 2009, it finally was passed (a big fucking deal as our current President said at the time) on March 21, 2010 and signed by President Obama on March 23rd.
This was a seminal moment in the divergence in reality for the right.
On the same date, in response the sore losers to this big fucking deal, starting with 14 red GOP states, they sued over the Affordable Care Act’s legality. They called it ObamaCare.
By May 2010, 21 red states had joined the litigation.
The information war had begun.
The current threat of fascism in the United States requires a study 2010, when the seeds were planted, causing an inflection point, a new political Cold War. A divergence in reality.
“Anyone who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.” Voltaire
The seeds for what has played out, the step away from the norms of public service coalesced in the GOP leadership the night President Obama was inaugurated.
Draper lays it out his prologue of his history of the 111th and 112th Congress
A new plan on how to act from top down.
Kevin McCarthy lays out the strategy of “hell no we won’t compromise” that is a parting from the past and the new norm of the GOP lasting until…the present. Born out of being sore losers.
The bad faith stemming from being sore losers is the last act of privilege realizing the check is coming due.
And that sentiment caught fire with many angry white people. First the anger was directs implicitly.
the plan of total blockage was set. The Cold War is on.
Newt Gingrich did start this ethos, and just listening to @Greg Olear 🇺🇦 discussion with Katherine Stewart about Christian Nationalism—Kevin McCarthy also at the center of this total obstruction game-plan i outline above; the path to radicalization. podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/pre…
It cannot be stressed enough that the Tea Party was a Trojan horse of Christian Nationalism into American politics just at a moment when Citizens United sanctioned dark money, helping fund litigation strategies like never before. theguardian.com/commentisfree/…
Speaking of 2010 the year the seeds of fascism were sown, @Greg Olear 🇺🇦 did you know Leonard Leo and Ginni Thomas were in a Tea Party group together???!! The group “Liberty Central”
Talk about an early
And what kind of operation was Liberty Central?
501(c)4 - one of those Citizen United dark money groups.
Shocking, no? Or totally in line with the plan?
The key shift in the political paradigm that comes with Citizens United is a blow to the central power that political parties use to have with the prior campaign finance laws, so to be able to have some control over money going to certain candidates. Self police extremes. Money.
This was yet unrealized to its full potential in 2010 but one need only look to the rise of extremism in the GOP. The mainlining of Rush Limbaugh, the coordinated messaging on Fox News with the GOP on obstruction, the united front against OBamaCare all were radicalizing elements.
The increasingly unhinged messaging and the literal organizing by Glenn Beck in DC caused Jon Stewart (and then in response to Jon, Stephen Colbert) to announce their own rally to restore sanity and/or fear.
Held less than a week before the midterms, it yet wasn’t political.
In 2010 the fantasy of fear painted by the right rallied the base while the center and the left were mainly complacent/fighting over policies on the Hill.
The administration was working on the economy and wars.
We were unprepared for the “shellacking” in the 2010 midterms.
A critical moment at the end of 2010–the GOP takes the House.
They now have the power to really obstruct.
Into this strategy of chaos in 2011 walks Donald Trump boosting the birther lie that President Obama isn’t a U.S. citizen.
Mainstreaming of lies grow.
The rest is history
So VOTE VOTE VOTE
THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ELECTION
WHAT PATH DO WE AS A COUNTRY GO—CHAOS OR COMMUNITY?
For anyone who feels fatigued that “the next election” always feels like “the most important election of our lifetimes” take heed
You are in good company, as 𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒓𝒚 election in the United States is the most important election.
Huh? What? Why?
5. Facts don’t matter and either does tradition, process or rules to the Republicans. It’s been a two decade march to this a position. They operate in bad faith.
The right has shown their hand.
The ultra right Supreme Court just ended legal abortion.
The right has shown their hand.
Refusing to hold insurrectionists accountable and spreading a big lie to spur more seditious conspiracies.
The right has shown their hand.
They’d rather support war crime dictators than free peoples, free expression and their democracy.
The right has shown their hand. The snake oil is so easy to spot.
Meanwhile Democrats have shown their hand by investing in the American people, by working to provide necessities of life, by protecting and expanding rights. Expressing the will of the people. Community.