05/17/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Tea Parties as Resurrective Ideology

In a series of earlier articles, I have discussed the concepts of "collective trauma"--the shattering of our shared illusions of grandiose invincibility--and "resurrective ideology"--the efforts to bring back to life the illusions that have been lost. I have also characterized the current economic collapse as a collective trauma, both in its own right and insofar as it reanimates the feelings of vulnerability, anxiety, and powerlessness that were wrought by the terrorist attack of 9/11.

The so-called "tea parties" being promulgated by the Republican right are rather pathetic examples of what I mean by resurrective ideology. In the wake of the the trauma of economic collapse, these Republicans are reviving imagery derived from our glorious revolutionary history. By basking in the rhetoric of the Boston tea party, they cover up the disastrous economic consequences of the policies of the Bush administration and blame their woes on the new "red coats"--President Obama and his administration--who are in fact trying valiantly to fix what Bush and his collaborators have destroyed.

Speaking of tyranny and taxation without representation, how many Americans did King George Bush end up actually representing?