A spot-on analysis of the current "tea party protest" phenomenon on the Right, from a reader over at Andrew Sullivan's joint, who has experience with the protest Left:
It increasingly struck me that these protests served primarily as form of group therapy via self expression. When ones movement is, quite literally, powerless, there's a sense of despair that can take over. In a demonstration, one can commiserate with ones fellow travelers, and instead of powerlessness, there's a feeling of righteous indignation. Also, there's the added advantage of getting a forum where it's socially acceptable to shout your beliefs at other people, which regardless of its utility and efficacy (or lack thereof), is a lot of fun.
Unfortunately, it leads to a deep intellectual rot, as good ideas commingle with ridiculous ones without vetting, and protests obsessed with self-interest leave vital political action undone.
Yep. A lot of noise, but unless converted into sensible debate and discussion, it amounts to not that much.
Take a word of advice from the Left, guys -- until you engage the country where it is, instead of scolding it about where you'd like it to be, you're going to wander in the wilderness for 40 years. Until then, enjoy the shouting -- it's about all you'll get out of the teabags other than tea.
Again, true dat. Sullivan himself, in his original post on the tea party protests, goes deeper into the problem:
But again, if this is a protest in favor of slashing Medicare, Medicaid and social security, great. Where do I sign up? But those rallies do not exist.
Which leads to an inescapable conclusion:
These people are unserious. But we knew that already.
I've pointed out elsewhere that it seems that the a number of the primary voices on the Right these days are the voices of knee-jerk opposition, paranoia, and outrage, much like the far-Left was after 2000. It might make you feel better for a while to vent, and whip yourselves into an anti-Obama frenzy, but eventually, there comes the business of solving problems.