IF THEY’RE GOING TO TALK ABOUT ‘PROJECT MAYHEM’…. Republican political consultant Matt Mackowiak, a former press secretary to Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, has an op-ed in the Austin American-Statesman, touting the greatness of the far-right “Tea Parties.”
Most of the piece is just confusing. The Tea Baggers are getting together, Mackowiak explains, to voice their outrage at “the Obama administration’s confiscatory level of taxation.” Really? Because just yesterday conservatives were trying to convince us this has nothing to do with the existing levels of taxation — the president recently signed a massive middle-class tax cut — and everything to do with hypothetical rates at some point in the future.
More important was Mackowiak’s conclusion:
The coming revolution is akin to “Fight Club,” the 1999 film that follows the struggles of day to day life for a regular guy who starts an underground fight club as radical and not terribly productive psychotherapy.
As Brad Pitt’s character, Tyler Durden, says in the movie, “Fight Club was the beginning, now it’s moved out of the basement, it’s called Project Mayhem.”
Is that so. For those who haven’t seen “Fight Club,” David Weigel explains, “Project Mayhem, of course, was the militarization of the Fight Clubs into terrorist cells that blow up banks.”
Now, Mackowiak’s piece concludes that we’ll see the results of the Project Mayhem-like “revolution” during the “2010 midterm Congressional elections.” Presumably, he’s referring to changes through legitimate political means, not using violence to disrupt the elections.
But as Matt Yglesias reminds us, “[I]f you go around analogizing yourself to terrorists, then you don’t get to be shocked and outraged that the Department of Homeland Security might think there will be a problem with fringe members of your organization.”
Right. Mainstream conservatives simply see their movement as analogous to Project Mayhem, and use rhetoric like “revolution,” “rise up,” and “armed and dangerous.” Why would anyone find this odd?