Saturday, February 21, 2009


I'm wtiting this on a computer with no audio hookup, so you'll have to sample the tunes for yourself, but I'm looking at Michelle Malkin's post "Tea Party U.S.A.: The movement grows" and it's painfully obvious that what's really motivating a lot of the right (in addition to the usual desire to re-fight the Civil War) is an unquenchable 1960s jealousy. Or maybe not jealousy exactly -- in a way it's as if they're looking back on that era the way Rambo looked at his return to 'Nam and muttering, "Do we get to win this time?"

Her post ends with a collection of song parodies. As is usual with the right, they're godawful. But what's being parodied? Apart from, er, "Dixie," it's mostly tunes from the 'Nam era. "American Pie":

A long, long time ago…
we can still remember
How Ronald Regan made us smile.
And we knew if we had a chance
we could make those Democrats dance
And, surely we’d be happy for a while....

So bye-bye, to our kids piece of the pie.
Obama Drives us to the brink,
will leave us all high and dry.
Coburn and the boys were tryin' all they could think
Singin', "You're making our economy die.
you've taken our kid's piece of the pie." ...

And Janis Joplin:

Oh Barry, wont you buy me a Mercedes Benz ? ...

Plus a parody from a pro -- Arlo Guthrie of all people (misidentified by Michelle as his dad, Woody), updating the little-known Tom Paxton song "I Am Changing My Name to Chrysler" as "I'm Changing My Name to Fannie Mae":

I am changing my name to Fannie Mae
I am going down to Washington D.C.
I’ll be glad they got my back
'Cause what they did for Freddie Mac
Will be perfectly acceptable to me

(Good job there, Arlo -- giving your lifelong ideological enemies this kind of ammunition.)


These guys are making all the noise planning their "tea parties," but meanwhile there appears to be -- I use the phrase with some trepidation, knowing it's an inexact analogy -- a new silent majority in the land:

A national poll indicates that two out of three Americans approve of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as president of the United States.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey, released Friday, also suggests that six in 10 support the economic stimulus package that Obama signed into law Tuesday.

Obama's approval rating stands at 67 percent in the new poll. That's down 9 percentage points from the most recent CNN poll, which was conducted in early February. But a breakdown by party suggests that the drop doesn't mean that the new president is in serious trouble.

"Since nearly all of the decline came among Republicans, this doesn't indicate that the honeymoon is already over," said Keating Holland, CNN's polling director. "Among Democrats, Obama's approval went from 96 percent to 92 percent; among Republicans, it dropped from 50 percent in early February to 31 percent now."

Among independents, the president's approval rating now stands at 61 percent, down 6 percentage points from earlier in the month....

In many ways, "silent majority," is a lousy analogy. The stimulus isn't the Vietnam War, which was simply the wrong policy, as was clear even to a lot of people in Nixon's original "silent majority."

This silent majority is real. And if the current majority really does resemble the noble caricature Nixon painted of his own s.m., the new minority really resembles the caricature of the Nixon-era left: crazies who just want to act out and whack at the hornets' nest for the fun of seeing the result.

It would be bizarre if Obama, instead of being the new Lincoln or the new FDR or the new Clinton, turns out to be what Nixon pretended to be: a president trying to keep the country from steering onto the shoals as protestors howl in the street, a guy known primarily for respecting institutions and the notion of working within the system, at a time when crazies want everything blown up.

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