Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Jeff Perren: More Tea Party Smears

Guest Post by Jeff Perren

An editorial at the Seattle Post Intelligencer titled “A Mad Hatters' Tea Party?” begins thus:

_Quote A year after it turned Congress' August town meetings into battle zones, the Tea Party movement is battling for power -- in the Republican Party, and the nation -- in the 2010 mid-term elections. “
Note the subtle allusion to a non-incident in which a single individual (ill-advisedly but legally, mind you) carried a gun to a town-hall meeting. The story doesn't mention, of course, that his behavior was roundly condemned in Tea Party circles.

It's mostly downhill from there.

In outlining the Tea Party's views (as if there were such a thing as the Tea Party), the penultimate paragraph states:

_QuoteROUGH JUSTICE: ‘How many of you have watched the movie Lonesome Dove? What happened to Jake when he ran with the wrong crowd? He got hung. And that's what I want to do with Patty Murray.’ - a speaker, name never disclosed, at Asotin County Fairgrounds Tea Party rally.”
This could have been said by a plant, by a journalist, by a lone whacko, by anybody. The author doesn't know, and probably doesn't care.

And people say objective journalism is dead.

There are a few quotes mixed in that actually convey a flavor of real Tea Party sentiments, though the author obviously intends them to be damning. For example,

_QuoteNEW DEAL: On Franklin D. Roosevelt: ‘His policies stripped the free market system and actually prolonged the Depression.- - Glenn Beck.”
Careful, there, Mr. Connelly. You might encourage someone to look into this and find it's perfectly true.

Most interesting, though, is what's missing from this list of 18 items: there's absolutely no mention of the essentials that characterize nearly every Tea Party organization around the U.S.: the desire for more liberty, an advocacy of limited government constrained by the Constitution, and keeping the government more out of citizen's pocketbooks. As usual, it's what Progressive journalists refuse to talk about that's the most important.

Well, one thing is clear. Progressives are running more scared than I've seen them in my entire life. Reagan during his candidacy didn't get this kind of low-life distortions (though some statements were close). You'd have to go back to the Big Lie about Goldwater's wanting to nuke the world to reach this depth.

The author does state at the end one true thing:

_Quote Will these folks populate the corridors of power?
We'll know in November."

Indeed we will. As Shakespeare said in Hamlet, "Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished."

More pearls (but no swine) at Jeff’s Shaving Leviathan blog.


  1. (ill-advisedly but legally, mind you)

    Ill-advisedly? Why is it ill-advised to exercise one's RIGHTS

    why can it ever be ill-advised to carry a gun, or to point out to leftists and communists what's will happen to them.

    Progressives are running more scared than I've seen them in my entire life.

    Of course they're running shit-scared. Because when we take back congress in November, they'll have nowhere to run. And once Palin is president, it really will be not only our pleasure but our consitutional duty to get rid of the enemies of the constitution both foreign and domestic

    And if a 'progressive' isn't an enemy of the constitution, I don't know who is!

  2. "If a 'progressive' isn't an enemy of the constitution, I don't know who is."

    Um, you are, Sinner. (Yes, you're recognisable even when you post anonymously.)

    To "get rid of" enemies of the constitution in the manner you imply would itself be unconstitutional.

    To get rid of you from here however is far less troubling. Please take your genocidal fantasies elsewhere. Permanently.

  3. Pete, take a look at these two amusing & worrying videos highlighting the plethora of imbecilic, racist Tea Party banners that speak volumes about their motives (check-out the one with Obama being hung by a hooded KKK member at the end of the first)



    What a bunch of red-neck numb-skulls these Tea Party supporters are.

    They are totally embarrassing and freedom is not in their agenda.

    American Taxpayers are the Jews for Obama’s Ovens’
    ‘Barrack Husssein Obama – The New Face of Hitler’
    ‘Congress = Slave Owner Taxpayer = Niggar’
    ‘We need a Christian President’
    ‘Obama is the Anti-Christ’
    ‘Obama Terrorist to America’
    ‘Obama-Nomics Monkey See Monkey Spend’
    ‘Trade Obama back to Kenya’
    ‘Impeach The Muslim Marxist’
    ‘The zoo has a lying lion and the White House a lyin’ African!’

    How can you support these creeps?



  4. To be fair Paul, Peter didn't write the post.

    I will repeat my comment from a week or so ago about the Tea Party Crowd, which remains unanswered:

    ...maybe you could enlighten us on the Tea Partiers overwhelming right wing nativist views on immigration; which is racist according to libertarians and true lovers of freedom.

    Tea Partiers seem to be dyed-in-the-wool authoritarians, not lovers of freedom, libertarians, or least of all Objectivists.

  5. @Paul: Yes, what a bunch of red-neck numb-skulls THOSE Tea Party supporters are to whom you refer.

    But as Jeff argues, and we've said here before, there is not yet such a thing as THE Tea Party--despite attempts to capture it from all directions, it still remains a nascent, largely emotional protest against what's going on in the States.

    It may remain anti-intellectual; it may go blatantly redneck--it may all go to hell--yet at this stage it's still the popular movement with the most potential in recent years to effect real change for the better in the US.

    Let's not condemn it until (or unless) all that hope is gone.

  6. Anonymous:

    Because it's counter-productive, in this context. A group attempting to peaceably restore the country to Constitutional limits is not helped when people show up to public meeting carrying firearms. The more often individuals wishing to restore liberty can be made to look like violent extremists, the more the Left is provided with a pretext to help suppress the growing movement toward liberty.

    To those criticizing the Tea Party movement:

    I would never argue that the behavior of every person involved is above reproach. But should we condemn the thousands, perhaps millions, of well-meaning individuals genuinely interested in greater liberty in many forms because of the views of a few? That is the cherry picking one normally associates with Leftist journalists.

    As to the movement largely being anti-intellectual:

    Certainly the average American is no Ayn Rand, or even a Jonah Goldberg. But I believe there is far more at work here than just an emotional outburst. A very large number of the individuals involved - I would anecdotally estimate 50% - understand, at least in a rough and ready way - the ideas driving the protests. It's not just a bunch of nostalgic old white guys with a faint memory of a freer country, longing for something they don't really understand. Tea Partiers often have a much more sophisticated knowledge of the American system than they're given credit for here.

    One wonders, given some of the views expressed here, how some of you think the original American revolution would have occurred at all with the constraints and criticisms you raise against the Tea Party protestors. Do you think the overwhelming majority of them were the equal of Madison?

    There's a real danger, based on the attitude I see expressed here, of the perfect becoming the enemy of the good. At least, there would be if Tea Partiers took what you say to heart.

    This sounds a lot like one more instance of the error that Left = Right = Statists, with only the two groups wanting control over different areas. That has not been the case for about 20 years in America. That conservatives make some serious errors in application - abortion, stem cell research, immigration, and the like - does NOT mean that they are fundamentally the same as Progressives, who are in principle opposed to individual rights (except of the printing press variety).


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