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Tea Party Thoughts

I didn’t pay much attention to the buildup to the “Tea Parties” that were held on April 15, and I didn’t follow any of the coverage of these events after they happened. I had gotten the impression that the “tea parties were a right wing phenomenon focused on high taxes. Since I actually would like to see higher taxes for the super-rich and corporations, I didn’t think I would fit in. It turns out the “Tea Parties” were also about other issues, like protesting the bank bailouts that most Americans, including myself, didn’t want. Apparently, the “tea parties” were heavily promoted by Fox News Channel as well as former U.S. Representatives Newt Gingrich and Dick Army.

I also thought it was interesting that so-called “progressive” bloggers like Jane Hamsher and Mike Lux along with professional organizers Joe Trippi and Zephr Teachout organized a protest on April 11 called “A New Way Forward.” Please note that the rallies were heavily promoted by William Greider and The Nation magazine. Greider even appeared on The Bill Moyers show to promote the “movement.” Here is a report on the Washington DC “a new way forward” demonstration, attended by Jane Hamsher. The video has a Republican bias, so tune that out if it bothers you.

Our own Riverdaughter attended the “new way forward” rally in New York City, and reported that it was a little small and disappointing, although she did meet two very nice young people there named Zach and Alana.

According to Cinie, whose judgment I greatly respect and trust, the “tea parties” are the product of Republican astroturfing, because they were organized and backed by professional politicians and right wing media. If the “tea party movement” is nothing but astroturf, I think we can agree that the “a new way forward movement” is also astroturf, and of course Cinie makes the point in her piece that the Obama administration is pretty much engaged in 24/7 astroturfing supervised by the king of astroturfing himself, David Axelrod. Cinie writes:

Once elected, Axelrove’s KoolAid Brigade continued its assault on the hapless Republicans, to the consternation of many who wondered why the vicious assault continued even after His Egoness “won,” and said so every chance he got, rubbing their faces in it, even while claiming to seek “bipartisan” support. Why, many wondered, not realizing that the “bright, clean, articulate, Hopey Hoper’s Crew was in reality, seeking total domination through submission and surrender. So, we got the whole Obie’s Oval Office-sanctioned Limbaugh Smackdown Debacle, and all the other daily derision against Palin, Michael Steele, Joe the Plumber, (as failed a reverse AstroTurf attempt as there ever was) and any other GOP-er who dared open his/her mouth about anything, in the next phase of the Obacampaign to marginalize, minimize and ridicule the Republican Party into irrelevance.

It was working pretty good too, with the additional bonus of taking the focus off of His SlipUpness. What the Axelrovians forgot was, they don’t have a copyright on AstroTurf, in fact, the other side might as well have invented it.

I don’t disagree with anything Cinie wrote. And I think it’s a very good idea to be aware of who is behind so-called “grass roots” movements. I think we can also agree that “A New Way Forward” was probably 95% astroturf too; it was clearly backed by liberal bloggers and media, if not politicians. The “new way forward” rallies were surprisingly unsuccessful, perhaps because all but the most koolaid drenched Obots have stopped robotically following Axelrod’s orders.

But the mockery of the “tea parties” by the non-right-wing media and the “progressive” blogs was quite overwhelming. And most of these outlets used the sexually suggestive term “teabagging” to smear the tea party goers. I have little doubt that Axelrod’s goons were behind media attacks. Here is an example from the excreable David Shuster of MSNBC. I couldn’t sit through the entire thing, but it’s filled with sexual double-entres. Was this man ever a real reporter? He’s simply repulsive.

You’ve probably already seen this video of Keith Olberman smarmily mocking the “teabaggers” with his good buddy Jeananne Garafalo and the rest of the gang. But I have to include it, because it so clearly expresses the Axelrod/Obama line.

Surprise surprise! Anyone who went to a “tea party” is ipso facto a racist and a redneck–just like all the people who voted for Hillary in the primaries were bitter, ignorant racists.

CNN got into the act too. Here is a video of someone named Susan Roesgen, who claims to be a reporter, but actually seems more like a member of Obama’s “civilian national security force.”

Finally, here is different take on the tea parties from another writer I respect, Karl Denninger of The Market Ticker.

Truthfully, mass movements generally don’t form suddenly out of whole cloth. Looking back to the huge anti-war demonstrations I attended in the late 1960s and early 1970s, most of them were organized by “professionals,” often they were backed by very far left groups that most of the attendees did not agree with. Nevertheless these demonstrations had an impact.

I suppose a lot of the peace movement was astroturfed too. Not only that, it was infliltrated by numerous FBI and CIA agents. So those of us who participated could be seen as “tools” of the Communist Party or the Socialist Workers Party, I suppose. Or if we acted up, we were “tools” of the intelligence establishment, who wanted violent behavior that they could use to discredit the movement. But in fact most of the people who went to those anti-war demonstrations were just ordinary, well-meaning citizens.

In my opinion demonstrations are no longer particularly useful; because even if they begin as grass-roots movements, they do tend to get co-opted. Furthermore, the media no longer covers “news,” but only propagandizes; so demonstrations don’t get publicity anymore unless the media is told by whichever administration is in power to mock the people attending the events. But I don’t see any reason to beat up on people who still want to try to shake things up by going to rallies.

Here’s the thing: of the videos I have posted here, there is only one that seems to me to be serious, thoughtful, and heartfelt–the one by Karl Denninger. I think he’s a conservative, but I really don’t know for sure–and I don’t care. I don’t even care if he’s right about the real meaning of the tea parties.

One of the things I learning in my interactions with other writers and commenters here at The Confluence through the primaries, general election, and now the first few months of the Obama administration, is that party identification just isn’t that important to me anymore. I’m still a registered Democrat. I’m a liberal, and proud of it. But some of the nicest, smartest people I have known in my life have been Republicans. My grandparents were Republicans, and they were good, generous, kind people. I’m ashamed now to think that I might once have sounded the way Jeananne Garafolo does in talking about Republicans. I’m done with that.

I’m even rooting for Obama to do the right thing, although I don’t trust him and will continue to keep a close eye on him. But do I want him to bring this country down? No! As Katiebird said earlier today, if he does something good I’ll give him credit. I’m pleased that he is opening up travel to Cuba and wants to reach out to Latin America generally. On the other hand, I’m royally p.o’d at him for not investigating and prosecuting the top Bush officials who ordered and rationalized torture in our name.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I support most of what Karl Denninger says in the video above. I don’t care what party he belongs to. I know which party Keith Olberman, David Shuster, and Jeaneanne Garafalo support, but I couldn’t care less about that. They don’t speak for me. If I’m ever part of an organized party again, I want it to be one that recognizes that we are all human beings, regardless of ideology, and that we are all in this together.


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223 Responses

  1. The gross “tea-bagging” double entendres started with Rachel Maddow, most likely at the behest of Ana Marie Cox, who’s now Maddow’s BFF. (Not to get personal, but it’s highly unlikely Maddow has or ever would have personal knowledge of the practice, and Cox has always trafficked with arcane sexual slang.) The crap spread to Shuster and Olbermann after Maddow’s segment went viral online. If anyone needed a reason to get off the boat with “liberal” TV news anchors, they had all the reason they could need right there. I don’t like Republicans, and I think these parties were largely astroturf, but that crap crossed a line. It’s hard to believe NBC and GE would ever allow anything like that on the air. It’s clear now they’ll broadcast anything.

    By the way, just to be unbelievably picky, Gingrich and Armey (with an “e”) were never Senators. They served in the House.

  2. {{sniff}} That was so good. I loved your last paragraph. Wonderful.
    We are the unParty.

  3. Hear hear BB! Right there with you. Garafalo’s commentary (I heard it the other day) made my stomach turn. It is just as bigoted as anything that came out of Jerry Falwell’s stereotyping, generalizing, hateful mouth. Incredibly disrespectful of the thousands of Americans who felt they had something to say. Disagree with them? Fine, but to dismiss them as ignorant rac*sts–and she specifically said their complaints were ALL attributable to “not wanting a black man in the White House,” is repellent.

    Also, you wrote: “Furthermore, the media no longer covers “news,” but only propagandizes; so demonstrations don’t get publicity anymore unless the media is told by whichever administration is in power to mock the people attending the events.”

    You can tell it’s all orchestrated, because Pelosi talked about right wing astroturfing. The hypocrisy–after what Axelrod did last year. Yuck.

    • fif,

      I visualized my grandparents while I was listening to Garafalo. They didn’t fit her description and they definitely didn’t deserve to be talked about like that. I want no part of that anymore.

      • ‘I’m ashamed now to think that I might once have sounded the way Jeananne Garafolo does in talking about Republicans. I’m done with that. ”

        Great post BB, and this line could ve come out of my mouth had I not been so speechless for the past year.

    • Garafalo is as much a knee jerk loon as anyone on the far right. I despise this sort of mindless ‘commentary’, more and more of which is emanating from the faux left.

  4. BB, I think this whole thing deserves exploration, thank you for taking it on here. I’m still a little under the weather, nothing serious, just stress. But, the whole protest agenda is not only outmoded, imo, it’s relatively ineffective, other than as PR, tools. Especially nowadays. In my humble opinion, as an organized protest group, the medium of choice should be the internet. One more group agitating in the old activism mode will either be co-opted, infiltrated, or ignored. A group of people dedicated to calling bullshit on all the astroturfing, manipulation, scams and schemes politics is rife with today has the potential to not only influence the public debate and raise awareness, but keep the powers that be on their collective toes. That’s just the way I see it.

    • Cinie,

      I also see the internet as our best weapon. For one thing, we actually do influence the media. I think we need to explore all possible ways to use the internet to achieve our goals. Obviously it is a powerful way to attract like-minded people. We have already seen that happen.

      I also think we have to pay attention to corporate and government attempts to regulate the internet and shut down dissent. Obama is currently trying to do exactly that.

      • The internet can be a great source of information and consolation, but there’s nothing more powerful than a public gathering to nudge things forward. We have arms and legs and voices and we need to use them. Whither the impetus to make this an either/or choice?

    • The next thing is will be corporate sponsored protests:

      The Goldman Sachs Protest against Defamation of Bankers

      complete with t-shirts and application forms for IRAs based on toxic assets

      The Bank Of American Protest against Bailouts to Automobile Manufacturers

      complete with t-shirts and credit card applications

      Both sides want to co-opt the current populist rage but can’t seem to recognize that the rage is against THEM, the political ruling class that brought us Pelosi AND Cheney. There’s a left boot and a right boot jackbooting the constitution into oblivion, they’re just doing the jackboot two-step.

      • All of the critiques of the tea parties focus on the false issue of taxes, but plenty of the “real people” who went were angry about the bailouts. Let’s face it, we will be paying through our taxes for the looting by government and banks in the future. Besides, no one ever notes that our “tax cut” is coming out of social security funds.

        • I went to the one in Ft. Lauderdale. I’m not upset about federal or local taxes, but rather what various governmental agencies are doing with said taxes. I heard Eugene Robinson on “Morning Joe” the other day. While he said that the Tea Parties were all rather “small”, he did feel as though the generalized unrest should be noted. We had 3000 or so in true blue Broward county. We were even threatened by Acorn. Most interestingly were the cars driving by. The ones blowing their horns and signaling with a thumb up vastly outnumbered the drivers who delivered that other single digit salute. Friends in the Atlanta area said that their tea party was in excess of 15,000.

          • Wow! I think 3,000 is a lot, but 15,000. I don’t know what happened in Boston. I haven’t been able to find a single news story.

          • Boomer, there was little or no news coverage in FLL. I’ve seen better coverage of an airport runway protest.

          • Here in my solidly blue county we had 7500.

          • The MSM are lying in re to the numbers. If my little, normally quiescent burg can turn out a crowd of at least a hundred, many of them young and in tee-shirts, the national numbers have to be much, much higher that what we’re hearing.

        • What I heard about protests re: taxes is the FUTURE taxes that are inevitably coming our way due to the bail outs that are financed by the taxpayers.

      • LIKE A LOT of just plain folks will march for that Daki!!!!

    • But it’s only through real life action that people will find us IMO. The percentage of actual citizens who visit online political boards is probably like 2. There are plenty of people who agree with us, but we need to find them. We can’t get our message into the msm. Most people who go online are young or political junkies. Everybody else will start googling, find the big sites, and get sick of astroturfing and quit before finding the smaller sites. I just feel like a medium that reaches such a small segment of the population is limited in how effective it can be

      • I mean effective in disseminating information. You email lies about palin to Anderson cooper, he repeats them to his audience, abc picks it up, CBS, the times. People repeat it because they heard it on tv. The original astroturfer now emails it to the dnc’s list “as heard on CNN.” meanwhile, 50 small blogs debunk it. Cooper ignores it. Those 50 blogs are unknown. The truth dies. How do we compete with the closed circle of astroturfing?

        • Good point, Seriously, 😕

        • But we can influence the media. They actually do pay attention when something makes a lot of noise on the internet. We can also use the internet to organize e-mail campaigns to media outlets.

          That doesn’t prevent us from also forming local groups and working with other existing groups in our local areas.

          • Yeah, but we’re not on a fair playing field, and unlike obots and repubs, we don’t have any media outlets disposed to our pov. Plus if dissatisfaction with obie increases online, they send in 10,000 astroturfers. We can’t compete with their resources or influence.

          • Yeah, but we’re pure of spirit. Or something…

          • LOL!

          • There was plenty of pre-tea party noise on the internet, but the MSM chose to report it as just that – noise. The MSM have become a largely malign force.

  5. The tea parties developed organically as genuine grassroots action, and for the most part are independent of any political organization. The fact that politicians and news outlets chose to support or attack them in no way changes that, though it does co-opt and dilute them if not checked.

    I know people of all parties who planned and participated; my friends were talking about this sort of thing in December and January. All of the involvement of political and news organizations came later.

    The fervor of the attacks on them strengthens my conviction that they are effective and seen by the attackers as genuine and thus a real threat.

    • On the other hand, the “liberal” rallies were apparently less of a grass roots effort.

      • What do you mean? There is plenty of organizing for rallies at my favorite coffeehouse all the time; sure they get help later but the action starts there.

        • Poplicola,

          I was referring to the “A New Way Forward” organization that I wrote about in the post. To me that was definitely orchestrated by Obama’s army of supporters. And for that reason they fell flat. The tea parties, on the other hand, did have some real grass roots support. If it were just the pols and Fox news pushing them, I don’t think they would have attracted as many people.

          • The NWF fell flat because they didn’t have an established astroturfing PR company behind them like ASK (Axelrove) or FreedomWorks (Armey).

      • This is what I think of as astroturf:

        “The Service Employees International Union organized Thursday’s protests in Chicago and suburban Oak Brook. Similar events were scheduled in 35 states.”

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/03/19/aig-bonuses-spark-chicago_n_177162.html

        • My point is that it’s all good. If the “new way forward” rallies had succeeded, I would have cheered them too. I don’t think demonstrations are the future of protest, but I support other people’s right to participate. Most of all, I don’t think people should be mocked and attacked for exercising their constitutional rights of speech and assembly.

    • The individual tea parties are separate and apart from the coordinated, planned, manufactured Tea Party Astroturf movement. If not for the influence of the astroturfers, it’s hard to imagine that the result would have been more than a small number of protests. The appearance of grassroots is the essence of astroturf, if real grassroots efforts can be co-opted, so much the better.

      • You’re probably right, but the events apparently were disturbing to the the Obama administration, judging by the response of the Obot media and blogs. And some of the people who went may be ready to do it again in the future. I’m just saying that we should be open to finding common ground with these people.

        • Why wouldn’t they be upset about a rightwing Astroturf campaign? They’re scared of Rush Limbaugh. Should we be infiltrating talk radio, too?

          • No. I think we really are in agreement in most ways, Cinie. Like you, I want to stay very open and I don’t want to commit to a limited agenda. I also want to be open to other people who will oppose the banksters, even though I may not agree with them on every issue.

        • I believe that any sign of push-back is beginning to get them concerned. Makes me wonder.

  6. I will say that I am a great believer in demonstrations . I, too, was involved in the Vietnam War show of disgust at the loss of so many lives. I didn’t ask if the person walking with me was Democrat or Republican. It has always been my belief that the streets filled with protest is a healthy way to show how we feel. The Tea Parties, were for me, a way to show my disgust for the policies I find lacking in D.C. I, again, did not ask if my fellow attenders were Democrat or Republican. Although, it should not be said, that my knowledge was lacking with regard to who was organizing the events. Nor do I think that the people there could easily be swayed to join a political side not true to their beliefs. That’s insulting to their intelligence.

  7. Or, by putting the protestors down , the streets will remain free of any visible decent. Now we wouldn’t want to be like those other countries that show robustly how they feel!!!

    • It’s different…it’s just different

      • Could it not be a common voice that people of all parties are unsatisfied with Washington??

        • It’s mind-boggling.

          • Amen!

          • Do you believe in multi trillion dollar bailouts for banksters who have ripped off the country? Most of the talk I heard at the tea party I attended was about bailouts and breaking up banks that were “too big to fail”. I must have missed that part of being liberal.

  8. Boston Boomer — this is a fabulous piece!
    too many things to love about it!

    Let me tell you, it was Dems in my town who had the party — and, it had no political affiliation — just flags and signs (all homemade!) I saw the pix in the paper (not that it is a paper anymore).

    But that is just my town.

    Oh, they had plenty of action up in San Fran too — and it was just like the 70’s — when I was a teenage war protester! Umm, hmm.
    Actually the whole fact of it happening reminds me of that fab spirit in those days…

    Alrighty — I want you to pass my PUMApost around to people who are going to be in politics post 2008.

    Astroturf?

    Not a prob for grassroots pumatypes…

    hugs!

    damn, you and Cinie!
    hats off to your pens, you blogsters you!
    (this is why the Conf is the creme de la creme of liberal blogs — I like, know I’m among liberals?)

    xxoo!

    http://vbonnaire.wordpress.com/2009/04/19/brave-new-american-politician-2009-the-politics-of-advertising-in-the-web/

    funny thing — ol’ Axelstein and I both worked for great newspapers once upon a time….

    OOOOOOOoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

    We know a lot of the same peeps I bet!

    that post is dedicated to aspiring politicians from any AMERICAN political party — we do have more than just two, don’t we?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_political_parties_in_the_United_States

    and then what about this? for historical purposes!

    funny thing about documents in the web and those who like to try and scrub or edit history?

    like, where are the other parties like the Green Party on this lil document?

    http://www.mury.k12.ut.us/MHS/apus/handouts/politicalparties.htm

  9. That should be dissent not decent, I do believe.

  10. David Shuster was a George W. Bush media toady until around 2005 (guy was even a yearly guest at Bush’s White House Christmas parties until 2005. ) He’s been a rabid Clinton hater since the start of his career.

    Olbermann worked for Fox before he worked for MSNBC, and supported the war in Iraq until 2005. Never criticized the Bush administration until 2005.

    Chris Matthews, Russert, etc… all toadied up to the Bush administration even longer- until around 2007. (which for Russert was the end of his life)

    They all hated the Clintons because the Clintons actually made life better for and cared about the poor and lower middle class (of all races and both genders)

    That’s why they all treat Jesse Jackson Sr. and Cynthia McKinney with contempt while they fawn over Obama. Obama is like them, privileged economically with nothing but contempt for the poor and middle class (of all races), and full of misogyny toward any woman- but especially the ones that “dare” to try for a “man’s” job and “dare” to believe they should be taken seriously.

    They are all scum- Rachel Maddow and almost all of Air America hosts in this too. Go back in their histories and you’ll see almost all of them never criticized the Bush administrations policies before 2004. And certainly never criticized the numerous policies that hurt women and all lower income people before 2004 (and with women’s issues, almost none of them EVER spoke out against what Bush did to hurt women’s rights- in fact, they, like Randi Rhodes, Mike Malloy, Ed Shultz, Young Turks, etc… expressed contempt for liberal feminist women speaking out about what the Bush administration had done to women’s rights.

    Jerry Springer (yeah him, he had a show- and a pretty good one actually, on Air America until 2006) was the only male host who did- not surprisingly Springer backed Hillary during the primaries. Too bad he wasn’t brave enough to take the fauxgressives to task for their lying misogynist attacks on Hillary during the primaries during his early 2008 TV appearances.

    No liberal media person who backed Hillary was brave enough to rip into the lies and misogyny spouted by Obama and his campaign. It was right centerist Dem Greta, and former conservative Republican Dan Abrams (the later who Olberman forced off the air with his behind the scenes temper tantrums, and even a couple on air ones) who’s disillusionment with the Bush administration (whom he’d been an ardent supporter of) was not faked but real, along with to a lesser degree former Republican turned Independent Lou Dobbs, and the big shocker- Republican Joe Scarborough (who again Olberman got off the prime time schedule with his temper tantrums. Joe had more power though and got a morning show to replace his evening one) who had been a major opponent of Bill Clinton, dislikes liberalism strongly. Yet he regularly commented on the Obama campaign and media misogyny against Hillary during the primaries….

    • Wasn’t Dan Abrams the program director? How’d Olbermann get him kicked off the air, when he (Olbermann) got downgraded last year himself?

      • If Olberman keeps attacking Obama, his GE masters may downgrade him right off the network.

    • I thought Olberman worked for ESPN before MSNBC. When did he work for Fox News? Link?

      • I don’t have a link, but I heard him frequently speak of having worked for Fox Noise before he worked for MSNBC. I don’t remember whether it was before or after he was with ESPN.

        • In 1998, Olbermann joined Fox Sports Net as anchor and executive producer for The Keith Olbermann Evening News, a sportscast similar to SportsCenter, airing weekly on Sunday evenings. While at Fox, he again hosted the 2000 World Series as well as Fox Broadcasting’s baseball Game of the Week.

          According to Olbermann, he was fired from Fox in 2001 after reporting on rumors that Rupert Murdoch, whose News Corporation owns Fox, was planning on selling the Los Angeles Dodgers.[30] When asked about Olbermann, Murdoch said “I fired him…He’s crazy.”[31] News Corp. went on to sell the Dodgers to Frank McCourt in 2004.

          from:
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keith_Olberman#Fox_Sports

          • Thanks for that info. From what I’ve heard Olberman has ended up self-destructing everywhere he has worked.

  11. My big fear is that if we fall victim, or can be made to seem as if we have fallen victim, or even can be credibly accused of falling victim to rightwing astroturf techniques, we lose all credibility as a truthtelling entity. For that reason alone, we should be very, very careful about which activities we lend our Good Housekeeping Seal of Support to.

    • Last year we saw activities that were entirely PUMA-originated attract unsavory elements that had their own agendas.

      • That’s different than joining up with the wrong folks. And, I believe I remember PUMA taking a hit for some of that “unsavory element” stuff.

        • Folks that don’t see the shades of gray automatically think that if you’re not with THEM you must be with US and they show up to claim you. Doesn’t occur to them their might be a middle path and you’re saying no to both of them. I don’t want to be any one’s wing nut.

    • That’s an excellent point.

    • I still haven’t seen any evidence of “rightwing astroturfing.” Please post it if you have.

  12. Has anyone considered that both the NWF and Tea Party protests are both mutually conspired astroturf to distract the masses and control the anger by directing it and making it *appear* that they have a voice?

    Yes, I most certainly have.

    • that’s a great read, thx

    • I agree Bluelyon, I called it “Dueling Astroturf,” and didn’t take it all the way to SOD’s logical conclusion, but yep, it’s all poli-chess.

      • Cinie,

        I have to admit, it all gives me one big headache. Years ago, I read a book called “The Selling of the President, 1968,” on how Richard Nixon was repackaged and sold like a product. I would never have believed things could get so much worse. Now we have a President who used “behavioral psychology” techniques to get the job. More like mind control.

        • This kind of thing has been going on since the founding of the republic. I think the 1828 campaign killed President Jackson’s wife.

      • I’ll tell you a secret. My guilty pleasure is reading “Infowars.” The people there thought of the tea parties as associated with Ron Paul, and they resented Fox News and especially Glenn Beck for infiltrating and destroying “their” movement.

        • I read that too, and I do think that there are many places where PUMAs could potentially make common cause with Ron Paul-style paleocons. These people may not be sold on UHC and other liberal programs, but they do share our concerns about the erosion of our constitutional rights (and they do seem just as concerned with the 4th amendment as the 2nd amendment) not to mention sharing our outrage at the Paulson/Bernanke/Geithner bailout plan.

          • Well, I wouldn’t go too far with that. I can’t get behind abolishing the income tax and the anti-abortion crazies. But I do like to follow the latest conspiracy theories.

          • Perhaps I mispoke then. I totally agree with you that their notions on abortion, a “flat” tax, and any number of other issues are repellent, but they are also on the money when it comes to railing against the erosion of our civil liberties, attacking the insanity of our $13T (and counting) bankster bailout, and decrying our imperial FP. Why is it impossible to contemplate possibly working together on points of agreement, even as we make clear our points of departure?

            I do see potential dangers, but I also see potential upsides–many of these people might rethink some of their ideas about liberal policies if they understood that there were liberals who shared some of their concerns. I don’t know–perhaps I am being naive. But particularly after watching the Janeane Garafolo clip, I am sick and tired of the demonizing that goes on among people of different political persuasions when almost all Americans have reasons to be upset about the same things. Along those lines I admire the TCers who decided to attend the tea parties in order to talk to their neighbors about our exploding deficit and seek out common ground.

            But yes, I too mostly follow Infowars to keep up on the latest conspiracy theories.

        • I used to hang at a blog full of Ron Paul fans. I was the token liberal, and they were nice to me. however, they were serious anti-semites, and I don’t just mean they had problems with Israeli policies. most of them really were anti-semitic. a good many of them also made what I considered bigotted comments about other races and cultures, and that sort of thing was not discouraged. I tried to avoid those threads but eventually just gave up as the attitudes became more pervasive, and I stopped going there. I think there’s a reason skinheads became associated with Ron Paul. it’s certainly not that they all are skinheads, but my experience is they are tolerant of people like that.

          • I have only one friend who’s an avid Ron Paul supporter. He’s hardly antisemitic–in fact, his wife is Jewish. He’s also a smart and funny guy and a brilliant musician. For my friend the support for Ron Paul comes from opposition to foreign wars, as well as some ideas about the Federal Reserve and the US dollar as a fiat currency. Perhaps because of my friend, I don’t think of Ron Paul supporters as crazies or racists or any of that, and I tend to think I could find many points of agreement with them. I do acknowledge that my sample size is rather small.

  13. Good post BB.

    • I haven’t broken out the pom poms. I just think it’s a good thing. But it pales in comparison to the other things that have been happening–defense of torture, renditions, illegal spying, refusal to hold Bushco accountable, looting of the treasury, and on and on.

      I’m just saying that I’d like Obama to rise to the occasion and actually be a leader. I don’t want the U.S. to break apart in a spectacular economic/political meltdown followed by civil war and anarchy. I also don’t want to live under a dictator, of course.

      • {{{sigh}}}

        • That’s a good sign anyway. It didn’t take long, did it?

        • My daughter’s Obot partner is convinced now that he is absolutely evil and Bush III.

          • Good to know there’ll be peace in the valley. 😀

          • “But thank God I didn’t vote for Hillary. She would have been SO MUCH WORSE!”

            I need to stop bringing this up because it depresses me, but not a single one of these moaning koolaid-addicts will ever admit that she would have been a million times better, even after the hangover wears off. Obama could murder babies on the White House lawn, and they’d all still thank their lucky stars that, as evil and awful as he is, at least he isn’t that old bitch.

        • Bush 3?!?

          I wonder if this is a sign PUMA’s impact in anyway!

    • At one point didn’t Cuba have a surplus of doctors? Let our tourists go down there for treatment….

  14. OT: I just read this over at NQ

    http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=95451

    I don’t know this reference but it lines up with my suspicions that the rescue of Capt. Phillips was not really a shining moment for O and in fact that he unnecessarily delayed the rescue. I thought it was interesting that Capt. Phillips in his return to Vermont and his humble speech on the tarmac there profusely thanked the Seals, his crew, the US Navy and did NOT mention TOTUS.

    • That’s what I thought and wrote at the time. I think Obama issued a “don’t shoot” order until the very last minute.

    • This story will never see the MSM light of day. It would disturb their faux O-narratives.

    • I can’t find a reference to that WND article at NQ in the latest entries. When did NQ comment on it?

      Larry made a good case for some necessary delay, just to get the Seals to the location and set up — and for necessary paperwork. I asked whether the military had got EACH request approved immediately, but haven’t seen an answer.

  15. I think at this point that any nationally coordinated protest will have elements of astroturfing in it, whether the turfers originate it or take someone else’s idea and run with it.

    That doesn’t mean anyone associated with the protest is either a turfer or a tool.

    The impression I got from the tea parties is that lots of the people there weren’t protesting the taxes, they were protesting the spending.

    I found the pushback by the Obamamedia and Kool-aid bloggers very revealing.

    But I didn’t have a dog in that fight so I just watched.

    • The list of projects he listed were actually worthy ones.

      • What I object to is the looting of the U.S. Treasury in order to prop up the banksters. I especially object to the money laundering that took place through the AIG bailout. And that’s where I think we can find common ground with conservatives.

      • I have a liberal’s love of government spending, but that doesn’t make all government spending good.

    • If there had not been real grassroots anger, the term ‘Tea Party’ would have fallen flat — as would the term PUMA.

      • Nobody from a PR firm organized PUMA.

        • True, PUMA was brainstormed online at RD. But wherever the terms came from, they spread because they were good terms that expressed what many were feeling already. Without such feelings out there, both terms would have flopped.

      • For that matter, the grassroots may have hijacked the term Tea Party, if someone had invented it for a different purpose.

  16. I’ve talked to several people who joined the tea parties. If at first it began as astoturfing, it quickly spread and triggered what people were already feeling about things. Working class people. Taxes on the poor have been increasing, mostly state taxes and fees, and people are starting to feel the pinch. The economy is bad, people are making sacrifices and then they go home and watch the news about multi million dollar bonuses, trillion dollar spending bills. People are going to get pissed. They’re getting calls from creditors, the IRS is harassing them and then they watch members of Obama’s cabinet get caught cheating on their taxes. This is like rubbing salt in a wound and it is creating a powder keg.

  17. I think that if you dismiss the idea that public protests and marches and believe they are “over”, and people are on the internet—you miss out on a big lever. There was real energy in those teaparties. Yes, there was some astro turfing but people do not show up for orchestrated events today. Those of us who got to do the 60’s know that real people protests are not only not popular with gov they are not popular with media. You can tell when real juice is present. Real juice was there. And you could tell the reality because although the teaparty meme connoted tax protesting, most signs were not about taxes. They were about using tax $$$$; they were about bailouts. I say we should all be exploring such events if they occur around us—not as an organized PUMA event but as individuals finding out how ?que paso.

    • Well, I think the point that Cinie has been making–and I agree with her–is that we as PUMAs should not *endorse* a Republican astroturf operation. That doesn’t mean that individual PUMAs should go if they want to or that there aren’t well meaning people attending them.

      It’s the same reason why The Confluence decided not to officially endorse any candidate in the general election. We decided to write individual posts about our own decisions, but not to take a position on what anyone else should do.

      What I was trying to call attention to in my post is the ugly name calling and smearing that was directed at the people who attended the tea parties. I can’t accept that. It is the same thing that was done to us because we wouldn’t support Obama.

      • I was reading about the tea party organization for over a month and never once heard Fox News mentioned. The first time I heard that was from that CNN reporter on the day.

        Also–the first tea parties were a few days after the stimulus bill was passed. They were small (although I know 400 showed up in Chicago and 1200 in St. Louis) and quickly put together so the people who did it decided to plan one farther out on a significant date, thus April 15th was chosen. It’s all about the government overspending and lack of accountability, but Axelrod the original astroturfer is trying to redirect the focus to taxes only.

        Don’t paint yourselves into a corner by shutting out the tea party people. They are people concerned about debt and spending–from all parties.

        • If you’re talking about the Tea Parties in Feb. after Santelli’s rant, FreedomWorks/Conservative Revolution/Malkin/Reynolds claim those, too.

        • Right there it is.

          • Whatever adds up to the huge debt for future generations. It is all money down the commode–you can take that statement to the bank.

          • Well, I personally was angry about both. The stimulus bill is full of earmarks. And B0 campaigned strongly that he was against earmarks and would eliminate them.

            Just another lie from a liar. That makes me angry and I don’t think I’m the only one.

            I was going to go to a protest, but was on a trip with my daughter, so did not go. They were covered in Oregon in a pretty unbiased way. One protested shouted near the camera, “Obama is the worst mistake the American people have ever made.” I admit, I got a chuckle at that. And there were plenty of people indicating they were Dems, too. So maybe the tide is changing a bit.

            The MSM is a whole other story. Despicable is as despicable does.

      • BB — that was one of the most fab things the CONF has done — those posts–superb!

        this is “real juice” as referred to above– the people’s voices! Like Dems have always been about?

        Umm hmmm….

  18. Obama is asking all his department secretaries to look for ways to cut back their budgets? Does this guy not have a clue about what he is doing? Put out a 4 Trill with a T budget, pass it and then start asking for budget cuts??????????

    • Ya think he’s going to require “furlough” days like we’re doing at work? Will he go two days a month with no pay? For me that equals a 10% pay cut.

  19. How long will it be before more Americans are protesting in tea parties or whatever the “ain’t America awful” tours of Obama?

    President Obama listened to “a 50-minute diatribe from socialist Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega that lashed out at a century of what he called terroristic U.S. aggression in Central America and included a rambling denunciation of the U.S.-imposed isolation of Cuba’s Communist government.”

    Obama’s response? “I’m grateful that President Ortega did not blame me for things that happened when I was three months old…”

    Just one more thing this poor man has inherited from his rich white fordaddys.

    • That’s an odd response. Of course he is hanging around with the the folks who staged the coups in Latin America, especially Chile–Milton Friedman’s “Chicago boys.”

    • If he means the Bay of Pigs, I think that happened before he was born.

  20. bb: I agree with your stance and I think TC did the right thing in the general election. It is that independent stance for and about principle that gives PUMAS a special edge. I think this stance will become a part of our core principles that we will put together thru the project Daki is working with us on—clarifying who we are, what we want to create, how we plan to go about doing it, what the results are going to be, building our agenda.

    It is always risky to take ones organizational name and put it behind or in concert with others. We should always be cautious; we should always search for the truth about what is happening.

  21. Obama’s response? “I’m grateful that President Ortega did not blame me for things that happened when I was three months old…”

    What a moronic response.

    • Yep – once again Obama makes it about himself.

      He is the world’s biggest /greatest “ME MACHINE”.

    • Not only moronic, but inaccurate. Obama still can’t seem to get his own damn birthdate correct. The Bay of Pigs happened 4 months before Obama was born, not when he was 3 months old. Bay of Pigs, Selma AL, whatever. The dates are all fluid because it’s always about rearranging history to make his own “personal narrative” more compelling. Truth and accuracy are beside the point to a narcissist.

    • It’s always, always, always about Him. Always.

      But we knew that.

  22. Nice post. Fairness, accountability, transparency and justice have no party. Party labels are too often used to elicit emotional reactions and prevent us from listening to each other.

  23. Ralph B, I wish you and others would stop conflating what went on at the tea parties with the purpose of the Astroturfing campaign around them. You all could have played Pinochle on the White House Lawn and the FreedomWorks people would have sent out press releases about the country’s dissatisfaction with the current administration’s policies. The “news” in that release would have been reported with great fanfare on FOX and the rightwing press and blogosphere, and downplayed and ridiculed on CNN and MSNBO, et al. The real anger is being subsumed, manipulated, and diverted, if not outright ignored. That’s the point.

    • {{{{{Cinie}}}}}

      I got your point. I hope you understood my post was supportive of your point of view. I’m just sick and tired of the ugly attacks from the Obamedia on anyone who dares to criticize him.

      And all of this does divert attention from the important revelations this week about torture and Obama’s refusal to deal with it.

      • I wasn’t directing it at you, BB, I’m just frustrated with the “people are really angry” and “we could recruit PUMAs” defense as if it mitigates against the reality of the Astroturf campaign.

        • I agree. You need to realize that what you write really does influence people. But sometimes it takes awhile for it to sink in. I found that thread you were talking about from last night, and frankly, sometimes you just have to understand that not everyone is as bright and insightful as you are.

        • Cinie — I agree.

    • Fine, but what you don’t understand is I think your critique is meaningless. You seem to only care about the cable news coverage and their couple of million viewers.

      Just because the media in this country are corrupt, the people don’t have to keep quiet. Those parties happened in 700 or so places around the country. I frankly don’t give a damn what was on Fox or CNN about them. The local news coverage in many cases is much different and, in almost all case, a lot fairer to their citizens.

      By stifling protest, or keeping it to a nice intertube chat group, we become utterly meaningless in the scheme of things. If we want to have no effect we can just keep preaching to the choir.

      • Ralph,

        If you read Cinie’s previous comments, you’ll see that she said the individual tea parties are not what she was referring to in her post. She is arguing that *PUMA* as a group should not be *endorsing* these rallies. Of course any blog that identifies as puma can do whatever it wants. She’s just adding her point of view to a big conversation, which is what we all do.

        • This is one of the reasons why I don’t particularly care about the “puma” label any more than the Dem or Repub labels. We are an unparty, as RD said.

          • I often wish PUMA had just stayed a joke, as I believe SM intended.

            if I decide to associate with a party, I’m going to look at the Greens. I agree with their platform and ideals just about totally.

          • I think there is potential in the PUMA moniker. We just need to distill down the core principles and unite under those principles.

        • I don’t think Puma should endorse these either. Especially since we could never agree on the right or wrong of the protests. 🙂

          My only concern is that speech is not constrained and ordinary people are not denigrated. Maybe I made it up in my own mind, but it sure sounded like some denigration of the rubes was going on to me.

          • But of course it was, Ralph. And in particular, by the elitist Democratic snobs like Olbermann, Maddow, Cox, and Garafalo.

            Frankly, their behavior was embarassing.

            I don’t want to join ANYBODY whose attempt to communicate involves giggling like 8th graders about dick jokes and teabagging, without substantial discussion of issues.

            Their reaction to the tea parties literally drove listeners AWAY from their point of view, which, in the long run, as Somerby clearly explains, REDUCES the public’s regard for the liberal point of view.

            I literally heard an MSNBC commentator call the people attending tea parties , PEASANTS.

            All it really does, this childish snarking, is diminish any regard for the liberal agenda.

            It’s why MSNBC’s numbers TANKED, and Fox News’s numbers skyrocketed.

            Dick jokes are all MSNBC had, for a full week. And THAT trash, from a so-called Rhodes Scholar.

            YUK.

      • The tea party coverage in the San Antonio paper was fairly balanced. The paper didn’t have much choice, since there was such a large turnout in front of the Alamo and it was local. The Austin paper (which we only receive on Sundays) carried a number of quite angry letters to the editor taking the News-Express to task for portraying the protests as stunts. Good for these letter writers, most of whom emphasized that they considered the protests as strictly nonpartisan.

        This morning’s San Antonio paper, however, had a strongly worded editorial about reining in “entitlements”. You know, that pesky SS, Medicare and Medicaid. Screw ’em. Talk about being on the O bandwagon.

  24. The “progressive” response to the tea parties has been interesting indeed. The making fun, belittling, and being downright pathetic as seen on MSNBC (surprise, surprise) was really bad. But what I saw from J.Garofalo actually scared me. I think the extreme hate labeling of an entire group that might disagree with you is very dangerous. It’s not unlike what we saw in the primaries. What’s scary to me is that I don’t think it’s a very big leap from that type of thinking to having hearings on un-American activities. Perhaps Jeananne goes by Joe now.

    • DandyTiger,

      That’s exactly what scares me. I see Democrats doing what I used to think was a just a right wing thing. Obama and Axelrod have stoked this hatred and they are obviously prepared to unleash it when they perceive a need.

      • It’s really not much different than Obama’s primary appearance with liberal, San Francisco millionaires where he called the people of Pennsylvania “bitter, clingy, gun-toters.”

        There’s a pattern here, and it doesn’t portray Obama and his believers as “caring about the little people.”

        Dick jokes. How embarassing for our side.

  25. I am from Pensacola my mom lives there the town is not racist she is evil she is a nazi she claims to be an expert on the brain…for the love of goddess shut up and act.

  26. moderation used the R word…pls release

  27. Oh, intellectual snobbery, thy name is progressive media

  28. as far as taxing the super rich like berry is always telling us he is or will. don’t bet on it these people are super rich 4 a reason .. then know enfo ways to manipulate the system send pay off a few politicians her & there…were the gov gets the money is not the super rich it every other class of Americans

    • as far at the tea partys the jury is still out with me on them but i think most of them are upset with overspending goverment control not taxes .

      • just ask my GOV perry of texas hes threatened 2 succeed from the union if berry keeps this up.

      • Boogieman — what do you mean by “overspending goverment control?”

      • Overspending and the issuing of $20 million bonuses while I recieive a $10/wk paycut.

        • “you get caught in the undertow you need to swim across the tide, not with it. “what do you mean by that

          • I’m not speaking about you per se.

          • In Perry’s case, he was very specific about the strings he objected to. They were tied to the extension of unemployment benefits funded by the feds for a limited period of time, after which the state would be on the hook for additional funding. Not saying I agree with Perry on much, but states do have sovereignty concerns and rights and we need to recognize them.

  29. Yeah they are no better than the Republicans and they will meet the same fate!

    I have been thinking driving home on a dark country road at 230am on a saturday night from Jacksonville florida…

    I know that we all believe this financial meltdown was most likely a planned event, started by Goldman Sax George Soros etc.

    The purpose was to ensure that Pampers assended like a saving Messiah to the Oval office..

    What if it got out of control what if it wasnt supposed to be this bad because it would have certianly have done Pampers good to turn it around in say emmm ummm errr ahhh 100 days?

    What if the guys at the controls of this thing never had any intention of making things this bad?

    It happens all the time at sea and in the air to pilots or sea capitans deside to play chicken to test the metal of the other guy and ***poof*** one takes it to far with the consequence of a fire ball in the air or a ship at the bottom of the sea….

    To me that is the more rational and more frightening senario…because it means this entire financial fiasco was a consequence of Pampers greed for Power.

    It also means the is no plan to turn things around. It would also explain the running around like chickens with their heads cutoff.

    Finally it would explain the difficulty filling the seats on the economic team and at treasury…the ones in the know…Realy Do Know That This is A Disaster….with no quick solution or even possible solution.

    scary hugh?

  30. Thanks for making it impossible to sleep tonight fuzzy! {{{{ pulling covers over eyes }}}}}

  31. BB, what an interesting and thoughtful essay. I also appreciate the debate in this thread — lots of great comments. I agree with those who say that the reaction to the tea parties, that really weird and belittling “teabagging” response, even in supposedly mainstream corp media, has been telling. I guess the neo-evangelicals of the BO Establishment really felt threatened if they needed to resurrect the old r@cist meme.

    I’ll stand against both parties as institutions — I like my un-party, Mad Hatters and all. However, like you BB, I’ve lost the ability to draw the boundary lines so neatly. I’m in a place where increasingly, I read widely from all kinds of opinion and my collection of bookmarks is increasingly hilarious. It’s funny, in a way, because I started this journey from further “left” (whatever that means anymore, who knows) than most here, I think. It’s not that my belief system has changed. It’s that I don’t want to classify myself according to rigid party lines anymore.

    In any case, a lot to think about. Thanks, BB.

  32. so I am not tin foil hat crazy for thinking this I would love to bounce it off RD and the rest of the confluence

  33. fuzzy….uhh….I don’t think anyone said you’re not crazy 🙂

  34. but it so makes sence there must be 3 data points out there RD where are you when I need you?

  35. The Tea Parties were organized by people like me; election losers. We are very upset that we are being taxed without representation. When our reps don’t even try to read a bill before signing it, they clearly show they are in the tank for the King.
    Fox publicized the event, but they only went to four cities. The turnout in those cities was fair. The city I went to was small, and the turnout was fabulous. The mix was split between Republicans and Democrats who were upset by the nonsense spending bills. It was also clear that the people who attended are not happy with the direction the country is being led. If nothing else, the parties will make the conservatives aware of what has to be done to take the country back.
    The media referring to attendees as “Tea Baggers, was clearly an insult designed to throw their arrogance in our faces. It is also a sign of the demented mind of the liberal thinkers.

    • you are represented you are just in the minority…yes Teabagging is a insult usually leveled at gay men and women….

      I can see why you are offended…Why didnt KO RacheL Maddow et all just call you guys feminazis or faggots?

      Of course calling every one who disagrees with you a raci$t is a tactic Puma’s are used too by now…

      sadly so!

    • I find it so ironic that the arrogance displayed by the leftie elitists (eg: Garafalo) reminds me so much of the arrogance on the right–insular, sanctimonious, disrespectful, and tone deaf. Two sides of the same coin.

  36. fuzzy, all joking aside, I do not think your idea is crazy. politics seems to be a bunch of theater, written and performed to elicit a certain reaction from us, or to distract or control us. it’s certainly believable that events could get set in motion and then get out of control. these people (our overlords) are clever and manipulative, but fall short of brilliant, imo.

    • thanks kiki- how is your daughter?

      • she’s fine – i miss her! I can’t wait to get back to Florida to see her (and you!) again. if you get to Orlando, check on her for me 🙂

  37. bostonboomer — thanks for posting that video by Karl Denninger. I hadn’t seen it but I’ve heard those sentiments expressed over and over.

    • I just started reading Denninger recently — I have a round of economic blogs I visit and he’s one of the stops. This is clearly dakinikat’s clever and wonkifying influence! He’s been firm on prosecution of economic misconduct, consistently, and he calls out both Republicans and Democrats. I enjoy reading him.

  38. where is myiq2xu?

  39. poplicola like bettlejuice!

  40. holy cow I am the last person in the western world to hear the voice of an Angel

    Susan Boyle oh my gosh what tallent I hope she wins!

    • Wasn’t that wonderful fuzzy? I’ve since read a couple of backlash blogs about her performance–Simon Cowell planned the whole thing & she’s not the great yada yada yada. Are we so cynical that we can’t just enjoy a great moment like that and wish her well? She also gives good snark 🙂

      • What do you mean “not the great yada, yada, yada?” She has given several interviews, and in a few, she sang alcapella. Her voice is real.

    • If she doesn’t win, fuzzy, there’ll be a bounty on Simon Cowell’s head before sundown. 🙂

    • Yep, you may just be the last person! Amazing talent!

  41. What joint message is being sent?

  42. Usually lurk rather than post, but this was a great thread. PUMA, I thought was developed to break out of party shackles and with good reason. In addition to the primary theft, certain ‘liberals’, such as Garofalo, have actually resurrected McCarthyism – a complete bastardization of liberal principles.

    The Repubs have capitalized on the tea party movement, but this movement transcends them. Lou Dobbs may have captured it best when he pointed out that a lot of average Americans are sick of wingnuts right and left, and dictatorial, irresponsible, underhanded political operations. It is extraordinary to see complacent middle America out on the streets protesting. This is huge.

    As for the media’s spin on the tea parties: the media be damned. Those of us who supported Hillary learned that during the primaries.

  43. Interesting post, BB, and thoughtful comments. Always great discussion here.

    I, too, was disgusted by the media coverage.

    From an old protester in the late 60’s, I just had a couple of simple thoughts.

    I attended the Atlanta Tea Party and found it to be energizing. There were 15,000-20,000 people! Most of the signs were not about taxes but seemed to be about wanting a “voice.” The feeling I heard expressed was that our government is not by the people, for the people any longer.

    I found myself not caring if the tea parties were organized by the Republicans, Fox News, George Bush, or Rush Limbaugh! It didn’t matter! What mattered was that people were out expressing dissent and to be able to do that is still a good thing!

    • Good for you for being there. And thank you for giving us the straight skinny (so to speak), with no lying MSM scorn-clogged filter to twist the story.

    • Hi Lakota in ga! Thanks for the update. That sounds like a big crowd.

  44. New thread up.

  45. So would “hope and change.”
    Sorry… forgot to say great post – can’t wait to read your next one!

  46. I too attended the
    Tea Party” demonstration n Ft. Lauderdale. It was definitely viral, meaning there was no promotion from any single blog or Fox News. It wasn’t even officially listed, it just happened. Talking to people there, everyone was aware that this wasn’t a political party demonstration as much as it was objecting to the Giant give-away and coverup of the banking industry and the administration’s deception. Many talked about when the money going to the banks dries up , the problem won’t be solved and the only recourse will be to halt other worthwhile programs or cut services that are now being funded. At least I was able to rant about my concerns of Goldman Sachs running the country through proxy. There was alot of information shared that day between citizens and this is very unusual for our community. There’s just not enough money. We’re now seeing that prophecy fulfilled as Obama is stating that he wants every Federal program audited and cut to the bone.
    We also didn’t get any media although there were thousands of people of all colors and stripes. No body felt a political affiliation that I could tell. It was only later that I learned I was a Republican right-winger and a racist and was demonstrating my adoration of Michelle Malkin and Limbaugh although I’ve never listened to them. That rally was a healthy demonstration to me that not everyone has their head in the sand. If you could see what is happening down here, you might understand. I swear every other house on every single street has a For Sale sign out front. That is no exageration.

    • Thank you for another first person account testifying that the tea parties weren’t Republican astroturf. All this denigrating of the protests is not only shameful, it’s dangerous. Nothing like discouraging Americans who are finally finding their voices in the act of peaceful assembly.

    • IThe tea party was much bigger than expected. There are three houses to the east of me and one to the south of me in forclosure.

  47. Interesting post bb. Though I find several of the mediaclips deeply disturbing.

    For what it’s worth here is a summary of how the protests were covered on the National tv here. The leader of Center of American Studies and the Washington Correspondent was interviewed:

    Obama very popular. Demonstrations from the far right. There’s even opposition further out right – but we don’t have pictures of that (sic!).

    Right wing confused. President very popular, high poll numbers.

    Far right wing cells might feel the need to blow something up or attempt assassination.
    “For those, the combination of a black president, financial crisis, and growing unemployment gives frustrations. So far there haven’t been concrete threats, but …”

    An ikon in the White House, a black liberal president. This might further recruitment (to the far right).

    Republicans are paralyzed.

    Obama, rebuilding the American economy. Repubs against higher taxes, although they really are lower(?).

    They attack the way, Obama has chosen to straighten up the economical crisis – which he by the way inherited from the Bush office.

    • Oh my God! There are always crazies who want to kill politicians, but I haven’t seen any sign yet that violence is in the offing. I think it could happen if there are food shortages and higher unemployment with the government continuing to refuse to deal with an real solutions.

      Obama is less popular than Bush was at this point in his presidency, but who cares about the truth, right? Mythology is so much more satisfying for the media.

      • I know bb, and I find it quite strange and unusual, that our media should focus so much on “violence”, and “far right hate”, and “black president”.

    • see my comment about Italian tv re rebirth KKK, on myiq’s tea post.
      These have to be Axelrod talking points for the press.

  48. Here’s a chance for a project on media creditility. (Will cc to Alessandro Machi of DailyPuma.com).

    Make a site where everyone can look up their LOCAL Tea Party and compare media coverage of it against reality: photos of it, and eyewitness accounts by local people. Including a list of local contact people, people who attended and/or organized it. Look through that list and if you recognize a name as someone you know and trust, you can contact them for a first hand report. (And, yes, get on their list for next time, if you want to.)

    This could become the hub for a network of trustworthy anti-BM news, bi-partisan, grassroots.

    • The thing is, we do not want to get involved in tea parties and we certainly don’t want to endorse them. That sounds like a terrific idea, if it were applied to issues of important to us.

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