29 July 2011

'Tea Party Hobbits'?

I (almost) never talk about politics on this blog, and I don't really intend to start now, but I found this piece on the current brouhaha in Washington over lifting the debt ceiling at Talking Points Memo rather amusing. Especially this part:
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) liked the analogy so much, he worked the piece into a floor speech calling on said "Tea Party Hobbits" to back a compromise on the debt ceiling.

Clearly hurt, Tea Partiers responded with LOTR reference of their own. Mark Meckler of the Tea Party Patriots told CNN that "Clearly he's been corrupted by the ring of power." Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), an avowed fan of fantasy-inspired prog rock, took to the Internet to embrace his new title. "To those referring to 'Tea Party hobbits': I'd rather be a hobbit than a troll," he wrote, attaching a picture of Gollum. His followers quickly corrected him, however, noting that Gollum is not actually a troll but a corrupted hobbit. Go figure.
I find it hilarious that some of Rand Paul's 'followers' felt the need to correct him on Gollum's hobbit heritage!

(Also somewhat amusing is that Legolas, a Sindarin Elf, is used in the picture instead of, say, Frodo.)

Anyway, back to talking about RPGs...


  1. That almost makes me like Paul better. Almost.

  2. Divorced of the Tolkien context, "hobbits" is a funny word that feels like it would make a great insult. Anyway, I read about this on TPM and had a brief moment of respite from the depressing news.

  3. McCain is angered and confused by the actions of the non-career oriented people the tea party put in congress. They act on principle rather than pragmatism, and McCain hasn't known principle for a long time.
    Tolkien fought in WWI and saw most of his childhood friends die in that useless war. The LOTRs is meant to be allegorical and though McCain meant the reference to be demeaning, it's quite accurate and it's been taken to heart by the tea party people. (I'm not a member, I'm closer to being a Libertarian Anarchist myself.) But the point is, the tea party people have a deep romantic streak and McCain is doing himself and the Government Party no favors by painting the tea party people as "hobbits" since that makes those opposing them automaticlly servants of the Dark Lord.

    I also don't like to mix politics and game bloging, but this was just begging for it.

  4. "I also don't like to mix politics and game bloging, but this was just begging for it."

    I'm not sure what you mean by "this was just begging for it" . I certainly have no sympathy for McCain. (I hope you weren't interpreting my post as somehow 'pro-McCain'!)

    But as I have absolutely no sympathy for either McCain or the Tea Party, I have no problem reporting, with amusement, their LotR-derived sniping.

    (McCain was quoting a Wall Street Journal Editorial, btw. I'd be amazed if he could've come up with that reference on his own.)

  5. Wow. They're almost as bad as politicians as they are Tolkienists...

  6. E.G. Palmer: "I cordially dislike allegory in all its manifestations, and always have done since I grew old and wary enough to detect its presence." - J R R Tolkien

    So, no. The Lord of the Rings was not intended as allegory about WWI or anything else.


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I'm a Canadian political philosopher who divides his time between Milwaukee and Toronto.