shakes fist at the ending
Don't let establishment opportunists ruin the resistance movement | Thomas Frank
As a powerful grassroots movement emerges, some want to use it for their own gain. The history of the Tea Party has important lessons on how to avoid that
By Thomas Frank

The fury currently welling up against our demagogue president is a gorgeous thing. The Women’s March on Washington bowled me over by its sheer numbers. The town hall meetings calling Republican representatives to account are delicious payback for decades of phony populism. The combination of the two is one of the healthiest political developments I have seen in many years.

But opportunism never sleeps, and with the rage and the resistance of recent weeks some far less noble characters have seen a chance to develop a new con. They’re up on the resistance bandwagon right now, rending their garments, shaking their fists and praying that no one holds them responsible for the dead end into which they’ve steered us over the years. Inveighing loudly against Trump has become, for the people I am describing, a means of rescuing an ideology that has proven a disaster.

Comparing this moment with the Tea Party tells us a lot about this misdirection. In its 2009 heyday, the Tea Party represented a kind of superficial secession from the Republican party, which had discredited itself with the series of disasters we call the George W Bush presidency. Throw the old leaders out, the Tea Party seemed to demand, and start fresh.

But that’s not really what happened then, and it’s probably not going to happen with the hack politicians, million-dollar consultants and smug journalists who led Democrats to utter powerlessness this time around.

Yes, the Tea Party brought down many Republicans, but in truth it was a way of rebranding the same old Republican party without the stink of George W Bush attached. Conservative activists back then looked out over an economic disaster brought on by libertarian idealism – by a generation that worshiped bank deregulation – and insisted that what we needed was more deregulation, that we needed to go full-on free market. That’s the achievement of the Tea Party.

There is a possibility that the resistance to Trump will turn out the same way – that it will become a vehicle for our Enron Democrats to avoid accountability. “I don’t think people want a new direction,” House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said in December. Now is not the moment for infighting, others have insisted, but for unity and togetherness. Unity behind the existing leadership, that is. Changing the personnel in the C-Suites will only weaken us, they will say; hell, we can’t even afford to see our leaders criticized.

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my favourite thing about dear john is how when you first start listening you think it’s just going to be a really heartbreaking last kiss type song that’s just about regret and mourning the loss of a relationship

the lyrics talk about what went wrong and what both parties could have done better and you think you’re going to finish the song feeling sad

but then it gets to the bridge and you can literally hear taylor gaining strength as she sings and the entire meaning of the song SHIFTS as you realise that you’re not listening to a sad song about regret and loss

the song was never about that

you’re listening to a song about a girl who was emotionally manipulated by someone in a position of power over her, and yeah that’s sad, but you are listening as that girl takes her power back 

and by the time the song finishes you’ve somehow climbed to the roof of your house and you’re screaming and shaking a single fist in the air like the end of the breakfast club and your neighbours are like ‘hey are you okay up there that’s dangerous’ and this was supposed to be a serious post but it completely changed tone at the last second sorry i love dear john


Doug could have hoped for anything in 2015. I mean, it’s a hope, so shoot for the moon, right? World peace. An end to hunger. Clean energy. Another series of Firefly. Anything at all. This is what he goes for.