Early August: You know it’s bad when even John McCain, he of the infamously rubbery spine in the last decade or so, has a few epithets for the Tea Party crowd. (Though his quoting of an article that referred to those folks as “hobbits” was a little off base. Hobbits are the good guys.) They gambled for their cause with the very economy of the country as their chits. And now we see the consequences of brinkmanship, as the nation’s credit rating begins to be downgraded and the stock market tanks, investors turning their fond thoughts to places like France and Canada as real rocks of solid return.
As a writer, it’s hard to mine this material, for the villains here are so cartoonish in their malevolence and their distortions and naked greed that they would make for less than believable characters. The impulse is still there; you have to use your particular skill somehow for the greater good, yes? Is that not a familiar theme? But how do you hoist these zealots by their own petard?
Late August: I wrote the above a few weeks ago and forgot about it. Since then, satire has shown itself to fail in the face of these absurd antagonists as well. The Onion put out an article from Michelle Bachmann’s point of view that is easily one of their weaker efforts. It just sounds angry and frustrated, rather than sharp. Maybe the mushy brains of the Tea Party have an enmushening effect on even their critics. Party on.