Stephen Colbert must be having a hard time coming up with material these days. It's difficult to create political satire when the GOP's reality has become more like an HBO one-man comedy show, live and uncut. Texas Governor Rick Perry, the new Sarah Palin of the South, rallied with teabaggers in the city of Austin yesterday, reinforcing his secession message from last week that the "federal government has become oppressive in its size, its intrusion into the lives of our citizens, and its interference with the affairs of our state." He forgot to add, "You're welcome, America."
All of this hypocrisy had this tax-paying Texan thinking of the Colin Powell Pottery Barn caveat: You break it, you buy it. The Republican party has been an elephant in the china shop for the last eight years, yet suddenly their base is turning up their noses at the mess. They're trying to distance themselves from their dismal leadership, clinging only to talking show hosts and those with a moral code low enough to pander to their deluded notions that somehow, this isn't their fault. Enter Rick Perry, stage left.
When Dubya was in office (you know, the guy that got us into this mess?), if you dared to ask what the color orange represented on the color-coded "The Terrorists Are Coming" scale, you were considered an anti-American Bin Laden sympathizer. Now suddenly the new fight song of Texas is "Secede!" and our Governor is calling these empirically-frustrated teabaggers "patriots."
But the nationwide tea parties yesterday came across more like self-satisfactory pity parties, a group of sulking sore-losers who are too consumed with their own ideology to look up from their Bibles to notice that their administration allowed all of this to happen. They want to complain about deficit spending? Our last Democratic president left office with a surplus that Bush whittled away to pay for two wars and color-coded threat assessment charts. Government intrusion? It was your guy who signed the Patriot Act into law.
So, spare me. Teabag away, but spare me the "life's not fair" grumblings while you wave flags to the sounds of Toby Keith and watch your party die a slow, strange death, like stunned deer losing a fight with a Suburban. I don't remember Rick Perry asking me how I felt about spending $300 million tax dollars a day while occupying Iraq for the last six years. And if anyone had asked, they wouldn't have listened to the answer. They were too busy calling us unpatriotic.