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The other Glenn talks tea

tea-baggers-washington_independent

From Glenn Greenwald:

Far more interesting than Beck himself is the increasingly futile effort to classify the protest movement to which he has connected himself. Here, too, confusion reigns. In part, this is due to the fact that these “tea party” and “9/12” protests are composed of factions with wildly divergent views about most everything. From paleoconservatives to Ron-Paul-libertarians to LaRouchians to Confederacy-loving, race-driven Southerners to Christianist social conservatives to single-issue fanatics (abortion, guns, gays) to standard Limbaugh-following, Bush-loving Republicans, these protests are an incoherent mishmash without any cohesive view other than: “Barack Obama is bad.” There are unquestionably some highly noxious elements in these groups, but they are far from homogeneous. Many of these people despised the Bush-led GOP and many of them loved it.

Add to all of that the fact that this anti-Obama sentiment is being exploited by run-of-the-mill GOP operatives who have no objective other than to undermine Democrats and return the Republicans to power — manifestly not the goal of many of the protesters — and it’s impossible to define what this movement is or what is driving it. In many ways, its leadership (both organizationally and in the media) is fundamentally at odds with the participants. How can people who cheered on the Bush/Cheney administration and who want to re-install GOP leaders in power (i.e., Fox News, Limbaugh, the right-wing blogosphere, GOP House members) possibly make common cause in any coherent way with those who are in favor of limited federal government power, reduced debt, privacy, and Constitutional protections — all the things on which the GOP relentlessly waged war for years? In one important sense, the “tea party” movement is similar to the Obama campaign for “change”: it stays sufficiently vague and unspecific to enable everyone to read into what they want, so that people with fundamentally irreconcilable views believe they’re part of the same movement.

Too many lefty opponents of Obama are supporting the tea party movement under the theory that “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”  These people are not our friends, and the correct adage is “If you lie down with dogs you wake up with fleas .”

At the Tea Party Express website you will see that the events are sponsored by Free Republic, Dick Armey’s FreedomWorks and other conservative groups. The events are advertised on conservative blogs and FOX News, and their speakers include Ann Coulter.

The Tea Party Express “delegation” includes:

Lew Uhler
Chairman, National Tax-Limitation Committee PAC

(Uhler is a former advisor to Ronald Reagan and according to Sourcewatch NTLC is an ally of the tobacco industry in fighting cigarette taxes)

Deborah Johns and Mark Williams
Vice Chairmen, Our Country Deserves Better PAC

(OCDB was formed in July 2008 to oppose Barack Obama and endorsed Republican Jim Tedisco in the special election to replace Kirsten Gillibrand.  According to Sourcewatch “officers of the Our Country Deserves Better PAC overlap extensively with current and former leaders of the pro-war organization Move America Forward” MAF is “headed by California Republican activists, talk show hosts and staff members of the public relations firm Russo Marsh & Rogers, which has strong ties to the Republican Party. PR professional Sal Russo is the chief strategist for MAF. It is a conservative 501c3 not-for-profit organization formed in early 2004 by Howard Kaloogian and “acclaimed radio and television personality” Melanie Morgan (formerly of KSFO 560 AM — San Francisco).”)


“By their works ye shall know them”


tea bag protester


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154 Responses

  1. I love Glenn’s insight that the tea party movement resembles the Obama campaign in it’s vagueness and lack of real goals. I suppose he’ll be attacked for it, but he seems to be able to handle that.

    • both campaigns are astroturf–a bunch of people with different ideas about government anyway but because they’ve been “community organized” around whether they are for/against Obama, the media pays attention to their mindless stuff. “Obama Obama Obama” “Tort Reform Tort Reform Tort Reform.” They get their message out whether we respect it or not.

      the Hillary voters who wouldn’t vote for Obama were a spontaneous and widely disorganized bunch and the media and the blogosphere were able to successfully marginalize THAT as astroturf, even though there are a lot of independent minds in this group, as evidenced by all the splitting off that has happened since then.

      • Liberal politics has always been like herding cats. It’s that contrariness that keeps us from being authoritarian sheep.

        • Liberal politics right now, at least in terms of the voices that the MSM turns to as “liberal,” has been hijacked by fauxgressive koolaid. They’ve organized the Democratic grassroots into a nice united party under the bus.

  2. I do not even enter the teabagger discussion due to a hyperactive imagination… I mean, while everyone discusses the lamrz du jour, I am picturing middle white merka standing around in angry milling crowds with someone’s real balls on their faces… I have not been keeping track, and no one else will know either, when I stopped paying attention to this American Gothic unfun dark nightmare.

    A friend asked me why I am not having fun, since this could be the book my nihilistic and twisted but musical little mind would cook up…

    okay, back to the wine…

  3. Blue Dog Democrats aren’t our friends either. Blue Dog Coalition (h/t Cinie):

    Democrats who identify with the Blue Dogs tend to be conservatives, but have more divergent positions on social issues than “New Democrats.” Reflecting the group’s Southern roots, many Blue Dogs are strong supporters of gun rights and receive high ratings from the National Rifle Association, some have pro-life voting records, and some get high ratings from immigration reduction groups. As a caucus, however, the group has never agreed on or taken a position on these issues, and many members favor more socially liberal positions.

    On economic issues, Blue Dogs tend to be pro-business and favor limiting public welfare spending, arguing instead for individuals to take their chances on their own by competing with one another for jobs, so that business owners can gain the upper hand and prosper. They have supported welfare reduction as well as the Republican-backed Bankruptcy Reform Act of 2005. They have differing positions on trade issues, and include both supporters and strong critics of labor unions, protectionism, and other populist measures. New Democrats tend to favor free trade.

    • They really are basically Republicans at this point. I think we’d do better drawing lines between the Parties with a few less of those kinda Democrats.

      • Right, if they supported decent social and economic programs like their constituents want, they’d seem more like Democrats.

  4. It’s a very white movement, no?

    Yeah, these people are wingers.

    But I still say beat them with policy. The lack of substance in policy coming out of DC these days is truly sad. I felt sort of sorry for Hill when Obama won because I knew he would be able to do all these great things, what with the revolt against conservatism. I really did think we’d end up with Improved and Enhanced Medicare for All, or something close. Such a missed opportunity. I truly don’t get it. I hope the Dems wake up and realize the teabaggers are not the only ones angry at this government. I’m mad as hell, but I’m with the mad as hell doctor movement, not the teabags. I don’t think Glen Beck will pick up on our anger.

    • Yeah, I remember you talking about how great it was all going to be with a Dem Congress and Prez and getting irritated at you. 🙂 Sorry about that.

    • If you take a good look at these people you can see they aren’t exactly swing voters. The ones that are angry at the GOP think the Republicans are too liberal. These are the people who voted for Perot and Pat Buchanan.

      • Oh of course. I absolutely agree. but there is alot of anger out there. The media only notices the teabag crowd.

      • I mean, my point is there really is populist anger out there, and if the Dems don’t acknowledge and do something about people won’t vote for them.

        • That’s true, but that doesn’t mean we should join up with people who oppose everything we believe in.

          • Well, who is doing that?

          • I’m not gonna name names, but we seem to have quite a few tea party supporters around here.

          • It’s all Obama’s fault. “Bipartisanship” brought the GOP back to life.

          • I’m heartened you noticed, MYIQ, but I could tell, from your comments on earlier posts, that you were getting mildly annoyed with the “I hate Obama so much I can’t see the forest for the trees” crowd. It’s good to see you posting this.

          • I object to the term “mildly.”

          • you seem to be on quite a kick about “the enemy of my enemy is not my friend” the last few days. Do you think the rest of us are idiots?
            You don’t have to be friends with some one to work with them or hope they prevail when their ends are the same as yours? And in some cases, these people are your friends, except they disagree with you on politics.
            In years past I thought my friends and relatives and I were all on the same page. I hardly ever bothered with people who didn’t think like I did. But then the 2008 primaries happened and I realized that I should not be isolating myself in some liberal elitist ghetto….. mostly because I couldn’t stand the level of idiocy I found there.
            I am betting there are all kinds of people at those rallies and some of them are the kind of people who I would be perfectly happy to live next door to.

          • PS… do you really think that most people here believe in all the same things? I used to argue with people at dkos all the time about trying to stick everyone in a nice clean separate box.
            Life is full of Venn diagrams myiq.

  5. I call them teapartayers (or now kat has added teabot…I like that one too). Maybe they don’t deserve the civility, but I find the teabagger label and the innuendo that goes along with it a waste of time.

    I’m not forcing that opinion on anyone, however.

    I disagree with Sarah Palin’s right wing views, but I thought the t-shirts calling her a fucking cunt were sick, too. Even though women on the left were wearing it.

  6. Spammy ate my post.

  7. OT:

    Via Cannonfire, Salon warns us that those evil papists in Rome want married Catholics to pray before sex.

    Dear Lord, let us have lots of really intense orgasms. Amen”

  8. Well what then? Where can we go? How can we make our voices heard?

    You had an opportunity to start a independent party – why didn’t you? You just left us all hanging.

    If the tea party can put the fear of God into my representative then the tea party it is.

  9. “If you lie down with dogs you wake up with fleas .”

    Thanks, myiq, but after laying with the fauxgressives who decided I was bitter, old, racist, and stupid, I think I’m probably immune to fleas now.

    I’m not sure what you’re worried about? That the tea party protests will grow and capture more Democrats and former Hillary supporters? That it will become a genuine populist movement? That it will greatly influence the elections in 2010 and 2012?

    I suspect it will. I’m sorry, maybe next time people will think before they vote.

    • Do you share the goals of the TPM? Do you even know what they are?

      I’m worried that liberals and progressives will help the TPM succeed in making things even worse than they are now.

      Would you be so supportive of them if they were busy attacking President Hillary Clinton? Cuz rest assured, they would be.

      • The teabot crowd would definitely be against a President Hillary Clinton.

        • Well, except for the part where there probably wouldn’t even be a bill to complain about because the Dem supermajority would probably hold a sitdown strike and refuse to do anything for 4 years in protest…

          • Seriously.

            It’s red vino time. Just like last fall w/all the BTR shows. Damn I miss them so much.

          • Crazy politics makes me all chatty. But it’s much crazier now w/the reawakened GOP.

          • We knew this was gonna happen. Obama wins, Obamacrats take over, they own the party, they’re the only game in town. Even if Obama loses in ’12, they will still be running things. Reform’s impossible and opposition close to it. We’ve been checkmated and now what do we do?

          • The first thing we do is remember who we are and what we believe in.

          • S,

            Start at the local level. Run on a common decency ticket where telling the truth and keeping promises are standard operating procedure. Deliver. It will spread.

            I watched a false populist score huge gains in popular support by implementing the draconian budgetary measures he promised he would implement.

            If people are so starved for trustworthy representatives that they’ll accept a person who delivers on the promise of doing something bad, (which proved to be unnecessary and badly implemented), imagine how they’ll react to good policy and honesty.

            s

          • The first thing we should do is say, “we told you so. You wouldn’t listen but it turned out exactly like we said it would. Oh, and you didn’t even get jobs out of it, didja? Too bad.”

      • The thing is that the Clintons have withstood this kind of opposition and survived and become stronger for it because they fight back. For whatever reason (a feature not a bug), Obama does not fight back.

        • Well, mostly, they succeeded because they fought back with policies that increased the quality of life of the middle class, which marginalized the whackadoos, even as they impeached bill. he had a 73% approval rating that day. that’s about as good as it gets.

      • It doesn’t matter what I want or what I support, myiq. The die has been cast. It began the day we elected Obama. I can’t stop a populist movement any more then I can stop a tidal wave.

        I can tell you that the way to make the movement grow is to continue to mock and dismiss them. Just like some on the left transformed Miss Ca into a right wing martyr, the more you ridicule the tea party movement, the more wind you put in their sails.

        • So what is your suggestion?

          Should we sit passively and watch or join up with them?

          • LOL, well since they are likely to be in power soon, I suggest we infiltrate their leadership positions so we can have a say in the agenda.

          • I have an idea, talk about the other strains of populism out there. make the liberal anger known. It’s out there. It’s palpable.

            I’ll tell you what, I don’t mock the baggers for not knowing Medicare is government run. Since no one is offering me Medicare, I think the jokes on us. I DO, however, mock them for calling Obama a “socialist”.

          • There is real populist backlash from the left, but this is what the Obama WH calls “left of the left” and tries to point to as his being so sensible and moderate because, see, he’s fighting with is own party over it. Obama triangulates for the sake of himself. This was supposed to be an FDR moment, push through left policy, not a time for triangulation.

          • If Republicans get another brain cell, populists from both parties can oppose the bankers/oligarchy.

          • Masslib, socialism to the right wing means fascism, mandated insurance and 3800 dollar fines if you don’t comply. The Left thinks socialism means something that looks more like Canada or Sweden.

          • I suggest we infiltrate their leadership positions so we can have a say in the agenda.

            yttik, I like how you think!

            Seriously though, if the GOP run a woman for president in 2012, I’ll be right beside the tea party folks voting for her. I don’t care if the candidate is to the right of Attila the Hun. I am a single-issue voter in 2012. Break the glass ceiling once and for all.

      • One thing is certain, you damn sure don’t know who they are or what they want. You’r far too busy insulting them to find out.

        Welcome to the Fauxgressives.

        • You’re wrong.

          I’ve spent a lot of time finding out who they are and what they want.

          That’s why I want nothing to do with them.

        • “One thing is certain, you damn sure don’t know who they are or what they want. You’r far too busy insulting them to find out.”

          The insults have been really flying of late re the tea party protestors, and I’m just not getting it. Because people exercised their right to protest? And some people agreed with them? And some people disagreed?

          • No, because the TEA parties were organized and designed by dedicated partisans to exploit people who don’t share their values to the organizers’ advantage.

  10. I suggest we infiltrate their leadership positions so we can have a say in the agenda.

    You can sign up right here:

    http://www.teapartyexpress.org/getinvolved/index.html

  11. I *Love* this new term, teabots!!!

  12. $$$bots = Investors
    powerbots = politicians
    xxxbots = xxx freaks
    mallbots = young brand consumers
    prepbots = izod cherishing denizens of understated sporty style
    oubots = old urban professionals
    nobots = mean moralist
    yesbots = spineless
    ideabots = crazy folks

  13. As Jon Stewart said, tyranny=we lost. Socialist=liberal, from the conversations I’ve had with some of the “populists”. I watched much of the DC protest and these are the speakers I saw: Betsy McCaughey(who’s been lying about health care reform since ’93), Jim Demint, Marsha Blackburn, Mike Pence, Dick Armey, and a few others I didn’t recognize. Some might say they don’t like the Repubs or Bush but the fact is that they never felt compelled to protest any of horrible things they and he have done so I doubt their sincerity.

  14. because of what happened to the Dem party, Green party is my choice, they’ve been speaking out on liberal issues, but as nobody rich and powerful is funding them- like both the obots and teabots they can’t get any media exposure.

    • Yeah, Green is pretty much the only option I see here.

      Hey, if you don’t mind my asking, your name looks familiar, did you used to post at Ginmar’s?

      • Well, anyway, if you’re that person, I really liked your posts, there were awesome. If that’s not you, I’m sure you’re awesome anyway. 🙂 I had to quit visiting there when it became ground zero for every debunked Palin smear, but I heard that it later went totally off the rails with McKinney Derangement Syndrome. Weird.

    • yeah! The party who did the best they could to deny us a Gore presidency.
      The only third party that has been successful is the reform party and it is because they came from the center. Perot unfortunately was a kook.

  15. Any supporter of Bill and Hillary Clinton should avoid an organization sponsored by Free Republic:

    Founded in September 1996 as a sole proprietorship by Founder, Chairman and President James C. “Jim” Robinson[5] of Fresno, California, Free Republic opened to the general public in February 1997. Robinson filed for LLC status on September 11, 1998.[6] It has always been a for-profit company and donations have never been tax exempt. [7]

    Free Republic gained popularity during the Clinton impeachment in 1997 and 1998, a time when it was linked on the Drudge Report as “Whitewater Archives,” when protests and write-in campaigns were organized through the website. Many were also introduced to the site through an impeachment rally in Washington, attended by over 3000 participants, called the “March for Justice,” broadcast live on Halloween 1998 by C-SPAN. Featured speakers included Alan Keyes, Bob Barr, Reverend Jesse Lee Peterson of B.O.N.D. and Larry Klayman. Ann Coulter, Lucianne Goldberg and Matt Drudge also attended.

    Freeperville also pushed the “black love child” story.

  16. Last year former GOP House Majority Leader Dick Armey’s FreedomWorks started Angryrenter.com:

    “AngryRenter.com looks a bit like a digital ransom note, with irregular fonts, exclamation points and big red arrows — all emphasizing prudent renters’ outrage over a proposed government bailout for irresponsible homeowners. “It seems like America’s renters may NEVER be able to afford a home,” AngryRenter.com laments. The Web site urges like-minded tenants to let Congress feel their fury by signing an online petition. “We are millions of renters standing up for our rights!” Angry they may be, but the people behind AngryRenter.com are certainly not renters. Though it purports to be a spontaneous uprising, AngryRenter.com is actually a product of an inside-the-Beltway conservative advocacy organization led by Dick Armey, the former House majority leader, and publishing magnate Steve Forbes, a fellow Republican. It’s a fake grass-roots effort — what politicos call an AstroTurf campaign — that provides a window into the sleight-of-hand ways of Washington.”

    FreedomWorks is a Tea Party sponsor. Here is their website:

    http://www.freedomworks.org/

    See for yourself if they share your beliefs.

  17. From CNN:

    From the stage, Deborah Johns is the angry conscience of the tea party movement.

    “Question everything your government is doing,” she tells a crowd of about 100 from the bus’s stage in the parking lot of the Winners casino in Winnemucca, Nevada.

    Under a setting sun on the steps of the state capitol in Little Rock, Arkansas, Johns says: “Our men and women took an oath when they put on the uniform to defend and protect this country from enemies both foreign and domestic. I think we’ve got some domestic enemies in the White House.”

    On a sunny afternoon in Louisville, Kentucky, Johns works the crowd of about 2,000 into a frenzy.

    “The men and women in our military didn’t fight and die for this country for a communist in the White House,” she says, and the crowd erupts in a chant of “U-S-A, U-S-A!”

    On the bus, Johns slips off her heels and slips on a pair of ankle socks. She curls up under a quilt her grandmother made. She favors skirts and cardigans — a pit bull in cashmere.

    She leads the rallies in each city with Mark Williams, a former talk radio host who now writes books and makes the rounds on cable TV chat shows. Both work for Our Country Deserves Better, the conservative political action committee sponsoring the Tea Party Express bus tour.

    The tour concluded Saturday at the U.S. Capitol in Washington after a 34-stop tour that began August 28 in Sacramento, California.

    Williams is the showman of the bunch. His signature line when he gets the mic goes like this: “You can have our country when you pry it from our … cold … dead … fingers!” Again the crowd erupts.

    Seldom seen on stage are the two gurus of the tea party movement, veteran politico Sal Russo and his protégé, Joe Wierzbicki. They are charged with turning the passion on display at the tea parties into political action.

    They have three goals: Defeat President Obama’s health care reform efforts, win back the House and Senate in 2010 and take the White House in 2012.

    Russo grew up in a house full of working-class Democrats in Monterey, California, and nearly gave his father a heart attack when he became a Republican. His first paid gig in politics was working for Ronald Reagan’s 1966 California gubernatorial campaign, and he has worked in conservative politics ever since.

    […]

    If the tea party movement has an architect, it is Joe Wierzbicki. Unassuming in wrinkled khakis and a polo shirt, he is in near perpetual motion. Hands gesturing wildly through the air, he describes his plan.

    “There are going to be stops along the way. The first stop is going to be the health care reform act,” he says.

    If the tea partyers can play a part in stopping the president’s health care efforts they will be poised for a much bigger challenge: taking control of Congress from the Democrats, he says.

    As someone at TGW pointed out, just because the current crop of Democrats suck doesn’t mean the Republicans stopped sucking.

  18. Brendan Steinhauser of Freedom Works is behind angryrenter.com and the Taxed Enough Already protests. He claims he came up with it with Michelle Malkin and Glenn Reynolds. Jane Hamsher posted a timeline at HuffPo in April. I’m not quite sure of all of her info, but a lot of it jibes with what I found.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jane-hamsher/a-teabagger-timeline-koch_b_187312.html

    This is Steinhauser’s blog, The Conservative Revolution. He used to have a How To Organized A TEA Party post, but he took it down.
    http://theconservativerevolution.com/?paged=6

    Zachary Christenson registered chicagoteaparty.com in August, 08. He was/is exec producer for the Milt Rosenberg show, the WGN radio show the Obots went after for the Stanly Kurtz/UofI/Ayers Annenberg records.

    • This is Source Watch’s entry on Steinhauser. They’re usually thorough, but not always current, which makes their info interesting. Like, the fact that while in college, Steinhauser was involved in Affirmative Action bake sales, just like James O’Keefe, the ACORN pimp, who went to law school in California. O’Keefe’s Planned Parenthood sting was profiled on their website in 07.

      http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Brendan_Steinhauser

      • The group he founded in 05 was Young Conservatives of California.

        http://bstein80.blogspot.com/2005/03/young-conservatives-of-california_15.html

        • From your link:

          I will be bringing the conservative revolution to California. I am starting The Young Conservatives of California this summer. Read about my plans here on Free Republic. We will be following the mission and goals of The Young Conservatives of Texas.

          Anything associated with the Freepers should set off alarm bells for a liberal.

      • From your Sourcewatch link:

        Brendan Steinhauser, a former student activist at the University of Texas, is the author of The Conservative Revolution: How to Win the Battle for College Campuses. The book is a guide for right-wing activists, and calls on them to “launch a conservative revolution on college campuses.”

        An alum of the Young Conservatives of Texas, Steinhauser established a sister organisation to YCT, the Young Conservatives of California.[1] These groups are known for their in-your-face style. They have put on events like affirmative action bake sales, professor watchlists, Straight Pride days, and Texas Independence Day celebrations. The groups also lobby the state legislatures of Texas and California.

        Ryan Sorba, a controversial College Republican at California State University–San Bernardino, is the Chairman of YCC. Steinhauser has written on his blog about their antics on campuses, and published a piece on TownHall.com about Sorba’s attempt to establish a Christian club at CSUSB that discriminates against homosexuals and non-Christians.

        According to his bio on TownHall.com and FreedomWorks.org, Steinhauser is affiliated with the Intercollegiate Studies Institute and the Leadership Institute. His website indicates that he teaches “grassroots methods” for LI throughout the country. Steinhauser also is affiliated with the right-wing Collegiate Network, funded by ISI. The CN pours money into conservative campus newspapers and journals such as the Dartmouth Review and UT-Austin’s Contumacy.

        Steinhauser has published other articles in right-wing publications Human Events, TownHall.com, Front Page Magazine, Intellectual Conservative and The Austin Review. His articles have attacked Noam Chomsky, PETA, progressive professors and students, university administrators and the peace movement.

        Steinhauser was the Washington, D.C. chapter leader of the right-wing protest group, Protest Warrior. He led the counter-protest against the anti-war movement’s mobilization on September 24, 2005. The group’s confrontational and provocative methods have caused incidents at numerous peace rallies. Steinhauser also led an “infiltration” of a peace rally in San Diego in March of 2005, and protests of Michael Moore in Crawford, Texas and San Diego, California. He brags about making short films of his provocative “infiltrations” and distributes them to other activists.

        Steinhauser writes for a blog called, “Reagan’s Children.” The blog includes young conservative writers Ben Shapiro and Hans Zeiger, as well as ISI Membership Director Francisco Gonzalez. Shapiro and Zeiger both have published books and are apparently in the process of writing another.

        Steinhauser is currently employed as the Grassroots Manager for Dick Armey’s advocacy group FreedomWorks in Washington DC. This organization claims 800,000 members and works on privatization of social security, tax cuts, deregulation, tort “reform” and spending “restraint.” FreedomWorks claims credit for pushing Telecom “reform” through the Texas and Indiana legislatures in 2005 and 2006.

    • When the Teapotters got started back in February Obama still had high approval ratings.

      With the exception of PUMA liberals the only people disapproving of Obama back then were wingnuts, and PUMA was not involved with the TPM.

      If you do the math:

      Teapotters = wingnuts

      • Outside of puma, many people who call themselves liberals think puma is wingnuts.

        • Indeed. Bitter, clingy, uneducated, “less than,” triangulating Republicn rat-f*ckers.

          Many of those Obots still think so.

          Guess it just depends on whose eyeballs you’re looking out of, or whose in-crowd you want to be part of. A-listers, and all that childish crap.

          This blog exists BECAUSE the Obots marginalized most of its posters as not liberal enough.

          Pidgeonholes from either side are foolish.

  19. People keep claiming that the TPM is a populist movement made up of average Americans who are upset with the way our government is being run.

    But when you hear them speak, see the signs they carry and read what they write you see that they are not moderates. They are conservative Republicans and independents who think the GOP is too liberal.

    If you look at all the things that liberals care about the teapotters are either opposed to it or don’t care about it. (Mostly they are opposed)

    Mocking them won’t drive them away, they’ve already gone ’round the bend (and over the edge)

    • You know you’re preaching to the choir with me, Myiq. I’ve been on these guys since April.

      • I’m not preaching to you – my target audience is the naive and deluded among us.

        • Calling people here naive and deluded if they do not necessarily share your level of angst about the TPM does not seem to me to be a workable strategy. I don’t think anyone here thinks the TPM is the next great political event and we should join up. I think populist movements always attract a broad range at first and then they define themselves as time moves forward. I can not imagine why it is a surprise that the right wing is trying to capitalize on the real anger that has emerged and try to take it over. Of course they want to regain congressional power in 2010 and defeat Obama in 2012—big surprise. But they are not really making traction. GOP popularity is not improving and they are not moving the needle one decimal for the GOP.

          • If no one here is naive and/or deluded then who have I been arguing with for the past couple weeks?

            I keep saying the teapotters are not our friends and people keep telling me I’m wrong.

          • When people who have full knowledge of a campaign’s sponsorship and agenda insist upon participating anyway, I fail to see how naivete has anything to do with it.

          • If I can’t change their minds at least they can’t claim they didn’t know what was going on.

      • Granted we should have listened to you from the jump, but at the time it seemed like “well, regardless of whoever’s organizing it, people will be able to go and meet some likeminded people and bring them in here!” lol I think we forgot that none of us can go because we had to work and all the likeminded people would be chased off by a paid mob of astroturfers….

        • I thought the tea party stuff was clearly rightwing driven from the start. the hillbuzz people were all over it and they always had a log cabin Republican vibe going on.

          • Hillbuzz has gone full wingnut.

          • Hillbuzz scares me, but I remember people thinking that they could go and check things out and see what’s up. In retrospect, it seems naive, If we’re not part of the organization, then we show up and they’ve got all the speaker slots assigned, the signs printed up, why are we even there?

          • I don’t mean anyone else was naive, I mean me for thinking that was a good idea.

          • I posted a video that shows what happens if you bring a sign to a tea party advocating public option.

            Imagine if you had one saying “single payer now!’

        • It’s not about blame, Seriously. My frustration comes from PUMAs not knowing who to trust, and how that in itself becomes an almost insurmountable obstacle.

          • What was it like, back in the days before all political operatives had degrees in Behavioral science? 🙂

            I thought it was kinda ironic that the Young Republicans had Chomsky as one of their targets.

          • I don’t know what it was like before the behavioral science thing. TV marketing of the president started with Ike, and the first campaign I remember as a very young child, btw, was Kennedy.

    • The teabot parties are GOP astroturf that is exploiting frustration (mostly rightwing), but there would be nothing for the GOP to exploit if there wasn’t populist frustration out there in the first place. A lot of the people at their events are not going to ever support any Dem policies, good or bad, anyway, I totally agree. At the same time I get the sense that there are some stragglers that are actively being turned away by tonedeaf Dem leadership.

      There was the youtube of this woman (starts around 1:42 mark) that the teabots passed around trying to counter CNN’s coverage. She seems more conservative than moderate, but she seems pretty frustrated with Congress across the board…

      • Anyhow my point was that the Dem leadership isn’t exactly doing anything to win the naive and deluded over. They just keep calling them haters and low class. Turning to the GOP tea partays is def. not the solution, but the Dem leadership is also part of the problem. IMHO.

        • The vast majority of the teapotters will never be won over by any Dem leadership. The people who can be won over are non-teapotter moderates.

          Passing real health care reform is one way to win those people over. If and when a real HCR like single payer or a true public option takes effect it will be very popular.

          Passing crappy legislation hoping to appeal to conservatives will end up pissing everyone off.

        • You forgot rac@ist. I completely agree. I do not think regulars here think the TPM is our cup of tea (sorry). The problem is that the DNC and Obama have created a big schism in the country. The Left of the Left (us) are marginalized and the entire Republican party is marginalized. The gap was there and the TPM moved in and took control. Historically, great movements happen when leaders see what is happening and move to control it. I am not saying TPM is ‘great’, but I do think that there is a fear and anger out there and scary parts of the Republican party are using it to there advantage.

          I don’t think that when we acknowledge that some of their points are valid we are naive or are being duped. The DNC has major flaws and they have over-played their hand. They started to believe that everyone loved them as much as they loved themselves. When they lose the House in 2010, they will have to reconsider their tactics. I think that it will be a good thing.

          • Agree. Well said. Internal corrections would be a good thing, and the only way that will change may very well be , a few losses.

            Doesn’t mean I’m “naive” about tea party members, by any means, or that I don’t understand the facts.

            But if anyone thinks there weren’t a lot of disillusioned Independents at those parties, or that they will very much affect 2010, I suggest you examine your own naivete.

          • Have you been to a tea party? Do you know any “disillusioned independent” that has?

            Do you have statistical info on what percentage of the TPM are disillusioned independents?

            Where do you get your information about the tea parties?

      • Founding Bloggers, the guys who shot this video, is a rightwing website founded by Andrew Marcus, another in-your-face videographer, and Gateway Pundit’s Jim Holt.

        http://www.andrewmarcus.com/

        Just fyi.

        There’s a link to Founding Bloggers at that site.

        • I already knew the group is rightwing, that’s why I said the teabots passed it around.

        • Again the point was about the stragglers (disaffected Dems, moderates, pumas what have you) that are being swayed by these kinds of appeals while Dems have tried to demonize opposition as racist and turn people away. Call them gullible, deluded, whatever. This is what happens with puma or anti-Obama or whatever you want to call it. People split off and go their own ways. It was happening even before the tea party stuff started.

          • What’s really starting to piss me off is the people who keep saying that pointing out that the teapotters are not our friends is the same as Obots demonizing Clinton supporters as old bitter racists.

            Obots and Clinton supporters were supposedly on the same side, while the teapotters never believed in or supported the same things we do.

          • This is how we got into trouble when we stuffed Hill into the closet. The Dems are still high on hubris and think they can win another by default. They won’t do anything because they think they don’t need to.

          • What’s pissing me off is how they’re “working class.” says who? They look pretty well off to me. They have time to go to protests and means to travel there. I kind of find that an offensive stereotype, as if people with scary racist signs chasing dissenters = working class. How many working class people vs. Well off people obsess over taxes and ACORN and stuff like tge teabots, anyway.

          • The problem, as I see it, is that what started as Democrats angry at their party for sacrificing it’s principles became, you hate Obama. But, everybody who hates Obama doesn’t believe in the same things, even though they all call themselves PUMA. So, nobody knows who to trust, or exactly what we stand for.

          • Unless the economy makes a miraculous recovery by next year the Democrats will lose seats in Congress. They’ll lose seats with even a mild recovery. It’s hard to predict how many but they’ll probably hang on to the majority.

            2012 depends on two things – the economy and who the GOP nominates. If the economy is still bad the Democrats could easily lose Congress and the WH.

          • Basically, it seems like both Obama and Hill drew support from the left, right, and center of the Democratic Party, for various reasons. And frankly, we’re not necessarily that compatible. And when it comes right down to it, there’s a limited range of issues where we’re sure to agree, pretty much. Electoral reform.

      • Wonk the Vote, on September 23rd, 2009 at 4:02 am Said:
        The teabot parties are GOP astroturf that is exploiting frustration (mostly rightwing), but there would be nothing for the GOP to exploit if there wasn’t populist frustration out there in the first place

        Amen…the anger is out there and if teabaggers are the only express it, you are going to have people not usual wing nuts getting involved with teabots . One of the basic problems in all this is the deafening crickets on the left over every Obama inc outrage .

  20. I really like the terms teapotters and teabots.

    I like teapotter because it links with potty- which can be “potty-mouth”, or, as in the Brit sense of you must be potty!!!
    meaning out of your mind/crazy.

    adj. Chiefly British, -ti·er, -ti·est.

    1. Of little importance; trivial.
    2. Slightly intoxicated.
    3. Somewhat silly or crazy; addlebrained.

    pot·ty2 (pŏt’ē) pronunciation
    n., pl., -ties.

    A small pot for use as a toilet by an infant or young child.

    Or how about this everyday title from the Telegraph Why Posh Totty Drives Us Potty
    http://tinyurl.com/l84eoo

    teabot on the other hand links to astroturfing.

    I’ve always disliked the use of tea-bagging, not because of homophobia, but because Pumas should not be following unpleasant giggling innuendo set by fratboyz and girlz newsreaders . We had enough of that during the Primaries.

    • “I’ve always disliked the use of tea-bagging, not because of homophobia, but because Pumas should not be following unpleasant giggling innuendo set by fratboyz and girlz newsreaders . We had enough of that during the Primaries.”

      Amen, and thank you for pointing such out, Laurie.

      I would personally add “and true Liberals” to your statement, following Pumas.

      • I stopped using that term on the previous thread. Keep bringing the subject up and I’ll start using it again.

        It’s your call.

        • Who is your comment directed to MYIQ?

          It is your perogative to “start using it again”

          However, I stand by my comment that true Liberals do not neec ad-hominem BS to make a point, and such is contrary to what we used to stand for.

          “Civility”!

          • Myiq, I might add, for clarification, that my comment to Laurie in no way involved you.

            It was a generalized statement concerning my belief that “we” should never allow ourselves to become “them”, “(them” being the vile far-right, and the totally crass and uncivil obots).

          • Agree with you, Just Me.

            The term “teabaggers” places us in the same name-calling, gossipy trash-talking category as those we supposedly despise.

            It is why I never watch Rachel Maddow anymore, having watched her , as a Rhodes Scholar, spend 20 minutes giggling with AnnaMarie Cox, telling innuendo dick jokes.

            It’s BENEATH us, I think. Yuk.

          • I guess I’m using “teabagger” again.

          • Nooooooooooh please don’t myiq-I should have just shut up.

            Great posts BTW. You and Cinie between you have really clarified tea parties for me. But do you think they were always that way ? Or have they been taken over?

          • They were a right-wing baby from the moment of conception.

  21. Although most of the teapotter rhetoric focuses on Obamacare, they oppose abortion, affirmative action, gay marriage and global warming legislation too.

  22. What was it like, back in the days before all political operatives had degrees in Behavioral science?

    Politicians went around making boring speeches about policy and stuff.

    Reagan in 1980 was the first campaign run by “Mad Men” 1984 was the first time they tried packaging and marketing an empty suit. 2000 was the first time an empty suit won.

    • My favorite thing about Ike is that he sort of randomly decided to run And run as a Repub because he felt that the Dems would have a forever lock on the Presidency otherwise and he thought it should be handed around. Thanks a lot, Ike, you sure fixed that, didn’t ya. And your buddy with the little dog, too.

    • expect I remember a book in early 70’s about the selling of Nixon called ” The selling of the Presidency” and had Nixon’s face on a pack of cigs.
      It was about the advertising principles used …really Wilson used them earlier to get people hopped up to take down the hun

      The new wrinkle Reagan’s time brought to the mad men approach was Lee Atwater. He’s the father of our modern gutter campaigning….Axlerod is the natural spawn of Lee. imo

  23. I have mixed opinions on the avoidance approach. Personally I feel the Wealthcare for Billionaires have the right idea. You don’t avoid their tea parties. You go there and confront them. You open dialogue and force them to acknowledge fallacies being presented.

    Yes, there are some manipulating charlatans organizing these events (we have these type of folk on both sides of the aisle) that doesn’t mean though that everyone at these rallies is suspect or unreachable.

    I tend to agree with yttik. I actually visited the GOP booth when I went to our local festival and told them what I appreciated about their party and what I wanted to see change(I did the same for the Dem booth).

    While I don’t watch Beck or any of the other blatherers of the right, I do not think shutting out the voices of the people at these protests is a smart move. It’s better to address them head on and engage in honest dialogue.

  24. GWB was all about photo ops, so is Obama. GWB did the ranch thing like Reagan. Obama did an infomercial with a Camp David like setting. They are real phonies, the lot of them.

  25. GWB was all about photo ops, so is Obama. GWB did the ranch thing like Reagan. Obama did an infomercial with a Camp David like setting. They are real phonies, the lot of them.
    Oops…forgot to say great post! Looking forward to your next one.

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