Ich bin ein Tea Partier? Not hardly

Extreme right-wing blogger Don Surber can be counted on for at least a few jaw-droppers every day among the numerous quick hits he throws out, but this one dropped my jaw to the floor: “The Tea Party is now most Americans.”

That’s funny.

Maybe if Don let anyone other than butt-kissing sycophants* comment on his blog he’d have a clearer picture of the real world. In actuality, Tea Party sympathizers make up, at most, about 30 percent of the electorate, and their influence is declining. They are little more than the extreme wing of the Republican Party who have managed to all but take it over. They in no way, shape or form represent a broad swath of America. In fact, the more Americans learn about tea party goals, the less they agree with them.

Tea partiers and politicians representing them like to talk about how their radical agenda to slash domestic spending represents “the will of the American people.” In fact, it does not. In fact, most Americans would prefer Congress concentrate on the economy and jobs – neither of which will be helped by spending plans that analysts believe will result in hundreds of thousands of Americans losing their jobs. “The Tea Party is now most Americans”? Not in the real world, Don. Poke your head out some time and take a look around.

* Full disclosure: When I was at The Charleston Gazette, Surber worked across the hall from me at the competing Daily Mail, which hosts his blog. When he started blogging, I read him every once in awhile and commented occasionally. But during the 2008 election, he banned me from his blog for the shocking crime of telling someone who said something incredibly stupid and untrue to “get a clue.” Meanwhile, commenters who agreed with him were allowed to call me a fool, say I was “full of crap,” etc. His regulars make quite a sport of beating up on the few liberal commenters he graciously allows to hang around. Liberals are regularly referred to as “bozos” or worse – yet he complained that I was “rarely civil” on his blog. He would not, however, point to any examples of uncivil behavior. Apparently, civil to Don means agreeing with him. If you read the comments on his blog, 99 percent of them do agree with him. I suspect that’s less because he’s so persuasive and more because he bans people who tend to disagree with him too effectively. Don used to be a journalist. It’s a shame he’s become so afraid of genuine discussion and debate. I don’t plan to spend a lot of time refuting Don’s blog – I already have a full-time job – but readers should know the history, all the same.

Obama’s brackets bomb, oh my

There have been some stupid and trivial criticisms of President Obama since he took office. The ludicrous claim that speech encouraging kids to excel in school was really an attempt to indoctrinate a captive audience, for instance. The notion that Obama doesn’t believe in American exceptionalism or refuses to even say the word (despite the fact that he discusses that more than President Bush).

But the latest criticism is mind-bendingly ridiculous: After first excoriating the president for taking time during a busy week to appear on ESPN to reveal his March Madness brackets, conservatives are now dissing the president for joining a good portion of the population in seeing his brackets busted.

Blogger Don Surber snarked: Remember how super-duper marvelous Dear Reader’s NCAA picks were?

He was a regular basketball savant because he is just so much smarter than the rest of us.

Well it is a funny thing because as we are down to the Final Four, none of the presidential picks made it. Ohio State didn’t make the Elite Eight. Neither did Duke. Pittsburgh did not make it to the Sweet 16 and Kansas just lost to VCU.

But the comments to Surber’s snarkfest got really silly:

There are always flies in the ointment and no one can get them all correct but the fact that he refused to try and identify any of them tells me all I need to know about his willingness and or ability to analyze anything–even the thing he apparently loves most.

What tripe. If Obama’s March Madness performance is found worthy of criticizing, he must be handling everything else pretty well.