The resident faculty left a Leave-A-Penny bowl outside the mail room this morning. It was an obvious clue. (More)

First our thanks to last week’s writers:

On Monday, you shared your stories of offline political activism in Things We Did This Week and addisnana reflected on family keepsakes with The Welsh Bible in Midday Matinee.

On Tuesday, Jim W offered Menu Planning: Retirement Style in Morning Feature, the Squirrel brought us No Peeking! A Feel-Good Test in Furthermore!, and readers helped tell Tuesdayโ€™s Tale: Secret Agent Men in Midday Matinee.

On Wednesday, we began our series on Avi Tuschman’s Our Political Nature with Openness and Tribalism in Morning Feature and addisnana shared The Bumper Sticker Dilemma in Midday Matinee.

On Thursday, we continued our series on Our Political Nature with Conscientiousness, Discipline, and Inequality in Morning Feature and triciawyse brought us Fursdai Furries in Midday Matinee.

On Friday, our series on Our Political Nature continued with Fear, Hope, and Altruism in Morning Feature, triciawyse shared Frieday Critters in Midday Matinee, and winterbanyan reported on Proof that a Comet Once Struck the Earth in Our Earth.

On the weekend, we concluded our series on Our Political Nature with Theories of Change in Saturday’s Morning Feature, Ms. Crissie was asked about moving Into the Bunker? in Sunday’s Morning Feature, Winning Progressive shared Weekend Reading in Furthermore!, and winterbanyan brought our weekly Eco News Roundup (Shutdown Edition) in Our Earth.

Note: Please share your stories of offline political activism in Things We Did This Week.

Thus we return to the Leave-A-Penny bowl, left outside the mail room by the resident faculty as they made their way from the wine cellar library where they spent the weekend drinking thinking on our motto of Magis vinum, magis verum (“More wine, more truth”) to the hot tub faculty lounge for their weekly game where the underwear goes flying planning conference.

As always, the Squirrel was ready to decipher the clue, for a price:

 photo SquirrelPecanRing.jpeg

“Actually, we have a problem,” Chef said, a bit anxiously.

“What’s that?” the Squirrel texted on his Blewberry.

Chef held up the Leave-A-Penny bowl. “This is … well … your bowl.”

The Squirrel flicked his tail, and not in delight. “This change makes me grumpy.”

“But,” Chef said, “I do have another bowl. It’s even a bit bigger.”

The Squirrel’s whiskers twitched. “Now that’s change I can believe in.”

“Ooh ai getz it!” Pootie the Precious texted on her iHazPhone. “Dis week da reznit fakultee will do dat new book, Change They Can’t Believe In: The Tea Party and Reactionary Politics in America, rite?”

“How did you–” Chef began.

“Ai luv coppee-payst,” Pootie the Precious texted. “Heerz moar:”

Are Tea Party supporters merely a group of conservative citizens concerned about government spending? Or are they racists who refuse to accept Barack Obama as their president because he’s not white? Change They Can’t Believe In offers an alternative argument–that the Tea Party is driven by the reemergence of a reactionary movement in American politics which is fueled by a fear that America has changed for the worse. Providing a range of original evidence and rich portraits of party sympathizers as well as activists, Christopher Parker and Matt Barreto show that what actually pushes Tea Party supporters is not simple ideology or racism, but fear that the country is being stolen from “real Americans” – a belief triggered by Obama’s election. From civil liberties and policy issues, to participation in the political process, the perception that America is in danger directly informs how Tea Party supporters think and act.

The authors argue that this isn’t the first time a segment of American society has perceived the American way of life as under siege. In fact, movements of this kind often appear when some individuals believe that “American” values are under threat by rapid social changes. Drawing connections between the Tea Party and right-wing reactionary movements of the past, including the Know-Nothing Party, the Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s, and the John Birch Society, Parker and Barreto develop a framework that transcends the Tea Party to shed light on its current and future consequences.

Linking past and present reactionary movements, Change They Can’t Believe In rigorously examines the motivations and political implications associated with today’s Tea Party.

“I knew that,” the Squirrel texted. “Do I still get my pecans?”

Chef smiled. “Of course. Pootie P likes her own food.”

“Frum a noo kan pleez,” Pootie the Precious texted. “I’z reddee 4 change.”


Happy Monday!