The Shenandoah Valley Tea Party Patriots are now selling a deck of playing cards modeled after the Iraq War Most Wanted deck that was issued to soldiers to help them identify and capture members of Saddam Hussein‘s government. The Tea Party deck, however, features members of the US Congress whom they identify as part of the “progressive cancer,” along with some creepy marching orders. However, to use another Iraq War metaphor, it’s beginning to look like the Tea Party is in its last throes. (h/t Alan Colmes)
The card decks are only $7 a pop, and while they don’t have pinochle decks available, you can always buy 2 regular ones and combine them. You’ll need a third deck, however, to carry out the Tea Party’s creepy mission:
The Tea Party has dealt America into the game; now, join us in making these card sharks go bust.
1. Use this website to locate your dirty politician’s mailing address.
2. Sign his card with a permanent marker
3. Mail it to him as a reminder that, on Election Day, you will be calling his bluff (Suggestion : you may want to refrain from writing your return address on the envelope).
…But, you don’t have to stop with just your own corrupt congressman. Let’s make sure that “Dirty Harry” and “Nasty Nancy” get dealt a hand from all of us!
The site then displays each card, with the corresponding Congressman’s office address and phone number.
If Sarah Palin’s “crosshair map” upset you, this should positively freak you out. The violence of the metaphor is extreme and unmistakable. As Alan Colmes points out, Tea Party organizer Bruce Richmond downplays the idea that this might instigate violence, but seems to acknowledge the intimidation factor: (emphasis mine)
“It adds a little bit of humor and a little bit of a target,” Richmond said. “But we are about as peaceful as you get. We are mostly older people, we are very friendly, we are nonviolent. Absolutely, we think it will be alright.”
He’s probably right. The Tea Partiers who get off on this kind of thing are probably experiencing the same kind of cathartic kick that comes from paintball outings or videogames. For the recipients of those marker-scrawled cards in unmarked envelopes, however, it will be no laughing matter. The recklessness of someone’s actions are not solely determined by the end result.
This winking use of intimidation is the equivalent of the fortune cookie “in bed” game, only you think up something violent to do to politicians you don’t like, then add the words “with our votes.”
This might be a desperate attempt to regain some of the spotlight that the Tea Party has lost. Media attention on the movement reached its zenith on Tax Day, and seems to have fallen off the table since then. Sarah Palin‘s endorsement of Carly Fiorina seems to have taken some wind out of their sails, and the media seems to have moved on with her.
Even conservatives seem to have lost interest. The recent brouhaha over President Obama‘s use of the word “teabagger” barely registered on the right-wing blogosphere. Going forward, it seems the Tea Party will retain some relevance as a voting bloc, but their hold over the collective imagination appears to have slipped.
Oh, and for the “But, what about…” crowd, yes, there were parodies of the Iraq deck during the Bush administration, but they were overtly jokey, and didn’t feature covert mission instructions.
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