The weather is warming here in Minnesota, if only slightly. Meanwhile, the usual "welcome home" cold hit me this week. Miserable. I think the weather change causes it. I know very well that if I were in Arizona enjoying the 85 degree weather until mid-April, I would not have such issues as lethargy and coughs.  

On the upside, the Twins season starts only four days from now. I do not think the Twins have much chance this season, especially given the precarious state of their starting pitching. But I am going to enjoy watching, and try to watch without getting to involved with whether they win or lose. 

Speaking of which, the Twins just lost to the Red Sox. However, it was good to watch baseball. 

A few nights ago, I attended a town hall in Ada, MN with our MN Rep. Paul Marquart and Sen. Kent Eken. I was impressed with how both handled the issues. It seems things are on a rational footing again. No games with state tax cuts which only force local governments to raise property taxes, which is what you get from the Republicans when then get their grimy hands on the levers of power. 

One intolerable know-it-all showed up and was spewing Tea Party doctrine, including "the more guns out there, the safer we are," which is demonstrably false. He also figured we have to cut teacher's salaries. And he went on and on, a pompous know it all, making references to the Ayn Rand novel "Atlas Shrugged," which is really nothing more than a teenage "I am omnipotent" fantasy, not a book meant for serious consumption. Of course, the Tea Party lapped it up and uses it as a philosophical justification for no shared burdens whatsoever. All government is bad. All regulation is bad. 

Then, a man asked about gay marriage. He was a supporter. Neither Eken nor Marquart has made up their mind yet. I suspect they are watching the national winds, which would seem to indicate that they will not be punished at the polls for a vote in favor. During the discussion, the table of big Tea Partiers snickered and acted generally immature. 

No empathy. Complete self-pity. That's what the Tea Party and most of the Republican party are all about. Senator Chambliss of GA: I am not gay, so I am not going to have a gay marriage. So, I am against it! Oh! So that's the level of your interest in the issue? If it doesn't effect you personally, you aren't interested in finding out more? 

Not impressed. 

Right-wing movements throughout  our history have always been ignoble. Name one which looks good in the light of history! They are always wrong, always suspicious, always subscribing to fantasy over reality, always paranoid, always impatient with people of different backgrounds. Slavery? They were for it. Civil rights? They were against it. Women's rights? Against. Child labor in factories? All for it. Five-day work week? Against. Mixed marriage? Against. Daylight Savings Time? Against. It was a communist plot, as was flouridation of water. 

Right-wing religion is as bad as their politics. Focusing solely on pharisaical personal piety and petty personal morality, perverting prayer into a means to browbeat the diety into getting their way, they have no general concern for the poor, other than to toss the heathens a bread crumb every now and then. Their only concern is that people get converted, after which, presumably, the hungry new convert will pick up the virtue of hard work and not be hungry any more. There is almost nothing about the Gospels of the New Testament that is reflected in the right-wing attitude or behavior. Nothing. Yet, they view themselves as the most Christian. And oh, how they suffer! Yes, they have to put up with all these people who are different than them. What really should happen, they wish in their hearts, is that people who are different should be forced, bullied, sermonized, whatever it takes, into conforming, not with the New Testament, but with a male authority cult which worships the 1950s ideal of Dad in the living room reading the paper, Mom in the kitchen cooking macaroni and cheese.

There is an undercurrent of coercion and meanness in these people. And rage. It disturbs me when it rears its ugly head. 

Thank goodness for the epic election of 2012, which has shut most of the Tea baggers up most of the time. I listened to Rush the other day. He sounds beaten. He was lying about gay marriage, saying it has been defeated at the polls 30 times and has never been approved. Of course that was true before the election, but no longer. It was a bald-faced lie, but it came from somebody who is losing his audience to attrition and who is relying on an obsolete formula to whip up his remaining rump of uneducated rubes.