Via BooMan, we see the 2012 argument against Obama by the Sensible Centrist crowd is beginning to pick up play. "If we vote Obama out, the Tea Party will vanish!" Leonard Pitts at the Miami Herald at least entertains the idea:
You might think Obama’s re-election would solve this, offering as it would stark repudiation of the politics of panic, paranoia and reactionary extremism this ideology represents. The problem is, these folks thrive on repudiation, on a free-floating conviction that they have been done wrong, cheated and mistreated by the tides of history and progress, change and demography. So there is every reason to believe, particularly given the weakness of the economy, that being repudiated in next year’s election would only make them redouble their intensity, confirming them as it would in their own victimhood.
And ask yourself: what form could that redoubling take? How do you up the ante from this? What is the logical next step after two years of screaming, rocks through windows, threats against legislators and rhetoric that could start a fire?
An awful, obvious answer suggests itself. You reject it instinctively. This is, after all, America, not some unstable fledgling democracy.
Then you realize it was not so long ago that a man blew up a federal building in Oklahoma City out of anti-government sentiment not so different from that espoused by the tea party. And you remember how that tragedy exposed an entire network of armed anti-government zealots gathering in the woods.
And you read where the Southern Poverty Law Center says the number of radical anti-government groups spiked to 824 in 2010, a 61 percent increase over just the previous year.
And you wonder.
No, I don't wonder. Like BooMan, I know that if the Tea Party really wanted to do damage to America and blow everything up and cause untold hardship to tens of millions of Americans, we'd just have to follow their economic and social policies. So yeah, if you really, honestly think the Tea Party is A) that dangerous and B) will simply vanish into that good night once Obama's gone despite being that dangerous, you really do deserve a country run by these dangerous idiots.
Expect to see a lot more of this as the months roll on and we get closer. It's the crucial argument that the Sensible Centrist need in order to convince America to vote against their own self-interest. It's a patently ridiculous argument that assumes the Tea Party is going to just vanish after being handed the reins.
You have to look no further than states like Florida or Ohio to see what kind of future that path holds for America.