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Political "Cosplay" Gone Wrong: The Federal Government is Shutdown by the Tea Party GOP

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Cosplay is a hobby and lifestyle in which fans of TV, film, comic books, and other types of genre entertainment take on the guise of their favorite characters. This is a serious subculture with its own rules, stars, and fans.

Some cosplayers are professionals who travel to conventions around the world where they are paid by the event organizers to add a bit of “realism” to the fan experience. Other cosplayers are amateurs who make their best effort, often succeeding more in spirit than accuracy, to channel their favorite superheroes and fantasy characters.

The latter make do with what they have—spandex is a substitute for body paint; plastic capes stand in for leather; costumes purchased off the rack are used because hand-crafted ensembles are prohibitively expensive.

By comparison, professional cosplayers are dedicated to their craft and no expense is too great because accuracy overrules all other concerns: they quite literally become the character(s).

The amateurs know their place relative to those folks who cosplay as professional vocation. They are second fiddles, pretenders, and mere hobbyists.

The American people are now held hostage by the Tea Party Republicans, who in an act of protest against expanding human rights to include health care,  have shutdown the U.S. government.

This group of political thugs also have a love of costumes. As the American people have seen on numerous occasions since their rise in 2008, the old white men who flock to the Tea Party are enamored with George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and those others who are loosely considered the “Founding Fathers” or "Framers" of the United States of America.

By analogy, the Tea Party GOP consists of amateur political cosplayers. Professional politicians understand the importance of building relationships, consensus government, and of nurturing alliances across the political divide. Moreover, serious elected officials are not interested in destroying the very social and political institutions which make governance and serving the Common Good possible.

The Tea Party Republicans are the cosplayers at a convention who go to Walmart to buy a costume, but think it is authentic and real. They find a character to become, but they know nothing of his or her origins. The costume just looks "cool" to them.

As is true for many of us who seek out a superhero or mythology to identify with—be it Ayn Rand, Ronald Reagan, Spiderman, or Che Guevara—the quest is one of projection and yearning. Ultimately, we want to see ourselves in this hero as a way of giving meaning to our own lives, even if in actuality said hero does not represent or embody what we wish them to.

The Tea Party and its members are beset by many delusions and misunderstandings of empirical reality. They are not a “grass roots” organization. The Tea Party is funded by the plutocrats and the 1% through the Koch Brothers.

They would like to believe that the “American people” support their seditious and treasonous efforts to subvert the United States government, as well as its legitimacy under the country’s first black president from within. In reality, the Tea Party and its policy positions are very unpopular among the American public.

Most importantly, the Tea Party, with their costume fetish, would like to believe that they are continuing the struggle of the “Framers” against “tyranny”.

The Framers of the United States were elites. As a group, they included the richest people in the country. Consequently, the Framers had a profound concern about the perils of mass democracy and how it could be subverted by the passions of an overly emotional and easily manipulated public.

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