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Polly Put The Kettle On

"..and we'll all have Tea."

The recent Tea Party phenomenon seems to have the American Left completely flummoxed. When they are not insulting the Tea Party activists with crude frat boy humor, they are dismissing them as ignorant dolts. When they are not busy inventing elaborate conspiracy theories to explain the momentum behind the gatherings, they are busy trying to hastily organize their own counter-protest protests.

The last time a true grassroots political movement swept through the country was six years ago, when a groundswell of opposition to our military involvement in Iraq began to organize itself through email, blogs, and online message boards. Soon thousands of people were joining together at various "meet-ups" around the nation. Some were driven by purely partisan issues stemming from the controversial 2000 Presidential election. Others were part of the implacable, rag-tag group of socialists, communists, and other fringe radicals who have encamped themselves around any sort of left-wing protest for the last 40 years. But many truly felt that the use of military force against a nation that was not directly involved in the 9/11 attack constituted a dangerous expansion of power and was unjust.

Young people were excited about the fact that they were "doing something" and "making their voices heard. The memories and the worldview of older liberals seemed to be reinforced by the passion of the younger protesters -- this was about "right" versus "might," about voices of reason and moral clarity challenging "the establishment" and "the military-industrial complex." It was about justice and truth. It was good.

The Democratic party saw a golden opportunity in this movement, and Democratic activists and political candidates (most notably Howard Dean) began working with the organizers of these events to channel the unrest among the protesters into campaign donations and votes. But as soon as that happened, the original "grassroots" element of those protests was paved-over with professionally installed Astroturf.

ThinkProgress, Daily Kos, FireDogLake, DemocraticUnderground, MoveOn.org, Media Matters for America, Organizing For America, and numerous other professional left-wing groups and blogs subsequently spent hundreds of millions of dollars from private financiers like George Soros in order to organize citizenry around the political Left. News coverage of liberal opinion and political activism became coordinated between liberal political activists, bloggers, and sympathetic journalists through JournoList. The organized, Web-savvy New Left flexed its political muscle and ultimately triumphed, as Barack Obama moved into his new digs at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

It was all so ... perfect. So right. Finally, things were the way they should be.

But then a funny thing happened. A new grassroots movement began to swell, but this time the participants were concerned about run-away government spending, the legacy of debt that we will leave to our children and our children's children, and the staggering amount of new taxes that will be required to pay for all of these new government programs. It organized itself through blogs, through emails, through Facebook and Twitter, and called its gatherings "Tea Parties" -- and none of this was done with the aid of Official Liberal "Grassroots" Organizers.

When the self-appointed arbiters of truth and justice don't get invited to a protest, they get confused. Then they get upset. They simply can't fathom how anyone could protest their Administration. They don't understand how a protest built on conservative or libertarian principles could form on its own, because true grassroots protests are about truth and the greater good, and conservatism is, well, evil. There must be a vast right-wing conspiracy after all.

Blogger William Jacobsen at Legal Insurrection writes,

What is it with Media Matters and its progeny that must attempt to define and silence the Tea Parties? What do they care if people protest, if they are confident in the power of their views.

The answer lies in one of the most ingenious marketing events of all time, the Ben & Jerry's "What's the doughboy afraid of?" campaign. In the early 1980s, Ben & Jerry's was an upstart "premium" ice cream maker in Vermont struggling to get shelf space to compete against Pillsbury's Haaagen-Daz brand. But Pillsbury, as do many food wholesalers, wasn't keen on giving a competitor room to grow, so it pressured stores not to give Ben & Jerry's shelf space.

In response, Ben & Jerry's hit on a protest theme: "What's the doughboy afraid of." The campaign took off, sprouting bumper stickers, t-shirts, and generally great publicity for Ben & Jerry's. Pillsbury eventual gave in, and Ben & Jerry's got its shelf space

The doughboy campaign holds several lessons for the Tea Party movement. First, the left fears loss of control. As a really good blog post notes, the left dominates the mainstream media and to a lesser extent, the internet. So the right is moving to Twitter, and now to the streets, to avoid the filtering of its message. The left-wing media machine embodied in Media Matters has trouble dealing with these alternatives, and so it attacks. It seeks to assert its control by framing the protests as contrived, when in fact the opposite is true.

The second lesson is that the more Media Matters attacks the Tea Parties, the stronger the Tea Parties become. Pillsbury learned the hard way that trying to muscle a legitimate brand with a loyal following can backfire. And so it is here; my post Tea Parties Are Sooo Scaaary generated more hits for me from more sources (blogs, posting boards, elsewhere) than almost any other post I have written.

It is true that the first Tea Party rallies attracted interest from a variety of fiscally conservative and libertarian groups. At our first Oklahoma City rally, the Ron Paulians showed up, as well as a number of people from Americans For Prosperity. (Unlike the recent events in Pensacola, neither of these groups attempted to "co-opt" the gathering.) But for the upcoming April 15th rally, the coordinators have made it clear that no politicians or political activists will be allowed to speak, and no literature, signs, petitions, or merchandise from any political organization will be allowed.

I have been part of the Oklahoma Tea Party since its inception as a Facebook group a little over six weeks ago, and I can say without hesitation that the group is not corporately funded, nationally organized, or in any way manipulated by some shadowy outfit with a secret agenda.

Perhaps this is what scares the Left the most, particularly in light of their recent organizing failures. Out of its lists of over 13 million Obama supporters, Organizing For America only collected 642,000 signatures -- less than 5% -- in support of the President's budget and spending plans. And so far, the recent New Way Forward counter-protests (an unfortunate name eerily reminiscent of The Great Leap Forward that horribly ended the lives of 20 million Chinese fifty years ago) have have generally attracted only dozens, compared to the hundreds or thousands that have attended Tea Parties.

Hopefully the coordinators of the various Tea Party rallies have learned a valuable lesson from the Left, which is that partisan politics and big money will quickly destroy true grassroots enthusiasm. If you are able, take an hour or two out of your day Wednesday and support your local Tea Party rally. And don't worry -- there won't be any black helicopters hovering nearby.


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Comments (70)

Thanks for this blog post. ... (Below threshold)
James H:

Thanks for this blog post. While I disagree with the various ad hominems against the left, I do appreciate the elucidation on the "tea party" protests. A grassroots movement that co-opted by establishment conservative organizations makes quite a bit of sense, particularly when compared to the similar co-opting of war protests during the Bush years.

The issues that many left l... (Below threshold)
Deke:

The issues that many left leaning protest movements have is that they start out non-partisan and are soon taken over by the fringe element and co-opted and eventually dismissed. The different anti-war, or what have you movements allways start out with a much broader base of appeal than they end up with.

I'm afraid that this might happen, though I hope not, with the Tea Party movement. An example is when, I know this has happened btw, your local R after his name politician begs and pleads to speak at these rally's, this is probably the same person who has the audacity to load a spending bill they know will pass with earmarks and pork barrel spending, then runs around bragging how they voted against it!

Let's face it regardless of party, politicians don't have our best interests at heart, their major concern is the next election and if showing their faces and claiming solidarity will garner a few votes for them they will take any chance they can. Term limits is the only answer but short of calling an article V convention this is never going to happen. I would BEG organizers to keep this a movement of the people and for the future of America and hopefully not allow a true grassroots movement to go the way of so many other populist efforts.

Are you really equating pro... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Are you really equating protests of "hundreds or thousands that have attended Tea Parties" with those of hundreds of thousands protesting the war?

You're off by an order of magnitude or two.

I feel so... flummoxed.

"But for the upcoming Ap... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

"But for the upcoming April 15th rally, the coordinators have made it clear that no politicians or political activists will be allowed to speak, and no literature, signs, petitions, or merchandise from any political organization will be allowed."

Also known as 'staying on message'...

It makes me wonder - how cohesive and 'organized' would the leftward 'grassroots' movement have been without paid organization? Financing Kos and Media Matters certainly helped impell the movement - would it have found a voice without such help?

Perhaps that's why the grassroots tea parties are seen as such a threat (and thus must be belittled and denigrated as much as possible) - they truely ARE grassroots parties, with no central financier or paid organizers.

It also makes me think that the usual tactics by the left are the wrong idea - like the attempted smear of Limbaugh, all it did was draw attention from folks who would otherwise never have bothered to look at the tea parties and they're finding the message ("Enough on the damn spending, already!") one that hits home.

Watch what happens when pol... (Below threshold)
davidt:

Watch what happens when polititions start pushing amnesty for illeagals again.

As usial the liberal left-w... (Below threshold)
Flu-Bird:

As usial the liberal left-wing news media continue to ignore the tea parties while gushing their praises for their beloved dictator OBAMA

Well if the MSM don't repor... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Well if the MSM don't report on the "Tea Parties", then they didn't "happen". To continue to be successful, those organizing the parties are going to have to keep the politicians out.

Well, when you are organizi... (Below threshold)
Unrepentant Democrat:

Well, when you are organizing a protest against a miniscule % increase on the taxes of the richest folks in the land what do you expect? I watched videos of some of the events. And there were literally hundreds of people at them. Grass roots? More like rag weed I'd say. And finally, for those of you complaining about media coverage that "fair and balanced" network FOX looks like a sponsor of the events.

First, thank you for the li... (Below threshold)

First, thank you for the link. Secondly, the Teabag Parties are most certainly NOT grass roots. Although your sentiment is well intentioned, your efforts are going to benefit the lobbying efforts of big business and the hyper-wealthy, and are directly against your own self-interests. These events were first pimped by Santelli, astroturfed by "Freedom Watch", and then promoted by FNC. Just keep in mind - every $1 spent on lobbying tools results in $200 of legislative of tax relief payoff.

Powerline reported that the... (Below threshold)
Ken Hahn:

Powerline reported that the 642,000 figure was complete fiction. The "activists" got 114,000 people to sign their petition and they made 3 copies of each ( one for each Senator and one for the House member of the signer ). The dishonesty of the left continues.

BTW "Unrepentant Democrat", why do you support a Party based on greed and envy? Your message, stripped of the fancy words, is "does your neighbor have more than you? Vote for us and we'll hold a gun to his head and make him give it to you". Democrat, translated into english, is thief.

So it's in our own best int... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

So it's in our own best interests, rzklkng, to stand back and watch as Obama triples the deficit, as long as he promises to make the 'rich' pay for it? The hyper-wealthy? Big businesses? Hey, who do you think are paying a hell of a lot of the taxes in the first place? If you're earning less than $44k/year, you're not even PAYING any taxes.

Take a look at what's happening in New York - the highly paid are bugging out, and they're taking their tax 'contributions' with them. Tax income is tanking, so naturally the thing to do is raise taxes on the rich! (Like they don't have anyplace else to go, right?) What do you think the logical result will be, if you keep escalating taxes?

(Here's a hint - look at what raising the tobacco taxes to fund health care has done to the smoker base.)

You might want to be careful what you wish for, bub - because it's almost certain that 'rich' is going to be redefined a hell of a lot lower once the bills start coming due.

Well, when you are organ... (Below threshold)
John Irving:

Well, when you are organizing a protest against a miniscule % increase on the taxes of the richest folks in the land what do you expect?

It is patently absurd to claim that taxes are only going up on a tiny percentage of super-rich people, when the costs of those taxes will run right down through every working layer of society, and yet the Leftroids try and do so over and over.

Unrepentent Tool would be a more accurate name.

Unrepentant Democrat wrote,... (Below threshold)

Unrepentant Democrat wrote, "...a protest against a miniscule % increase on the taxes of the richest folks in the land..."

Nice try at changing the subject, but Tea Parties are being organized primarily around government spending, not primarily around taxation. I know, I know, -- as an unrepentdant Democrat you probably suffer from a form of Tourette's Syndrome that causes you to uncontrollably type the phrase "TAX BREAKS FOR THE RICH!!!" at inopportune times. But please try to control yourself here.

Plus - you add in 1% here, ... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Plus - you add in 1% here, 2% there, 1.5% elsewhere - pretty soon you get a hell of a chunk taken out of your paycheck, and 20% or more tacked onto your cell phone bill.

Payroll taxes, state sales taxes, federal excise taxes, city sales taxes, state license taxes, permit fees, property taxes - it all adds up!

Ken, why were tax rates so ... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Ken, why were tax rates so much higher throughout Reagan's presidency than what Obama is proposing? (About 10% higher on the top bracket, actually.)

Was Reagan a thief? Or--just a thought--is tax policy something that should be left to grown-ups who have better things to do than protest small increases to the top bracket as though Josef Stalin is coming to confiscate all of their personal belongings?

If you aren't in the top bracket and you oppose Obama's proposed increase on the top bracket, then you're a masochist and a useful idiot.

As for the spending increases, I hope Democrats utter the same response that Republicans did when Bush erased Clinton's surpluses: a) September the 11th!!!; and b) Suck it, losers.

Unrepentant Democrat - ... (Below threshold)
marc:

Unrepentant Democrat - "And finally, for those of you complaining about media coverage that "fair and balanced" network FOX looks like a sponsor of the events."

Looks like it or is? Lets be clear of what you mean, if it's the later I'm afraid you'll have to show the cash flow that proves the point.

brian - "Are you really... (Below threshold)
marc:

brian - "Are you really equating protests of "hundreds or thousands that have attended Tea Parties" with those of hundreds of thousands protesting the war?"

You should be "flummoxed," that spin was far better than anything a Sears dryer could produce.

In fact it would appear the post sent your head spinning so fast your gray matter was sent spewing from each ear attempting to place it in a context that never existed.

MarcAnything and e... (Below threshold)
Unrepentant Democrat:

Marc

Anything and everything FOX does has 2 ends: profit and promoting a right wing agenda. Nothing the matter with the 1st. Nothing the matter with the 2nd if they'd just do away with the big lie of "fair and balanced."

I doubt they're sponsoring by providing money but who knows? Sponsoring by endlessly and breathlessly promoting it - for sure.

LaprarieThat's a h... (Below threshold)
Unrepentant Democrat:

Laprarie

That's a hoot if ever there was one. Where were the Tea Parties when Bush was blowing the treasury of the country?

So you would be happy then to admit the hypocrisy of the Tea Parties now, or the lack of them during the Bush regime? Which would it be?

It's all Bush's fault! Not... (Below threshold)
Unrepentant Dumbass:

It's all Bush's fault! Not to mention the Juice!!!11!!11!

I remain skeptical of the p... (Below threshold)
James H:

I remain skeptical of the protests. Do the protesters offer proposals that may be successful in achieving their aims? Do they have a coherent, sensible unifying philosophy? Are the protests attended by rank-and-file Republicans, or is it mainly a wingnut party?

Before you go accusing me of being anti-conservative or what have you, I should let you know that I regarded (and continue to regard) the left-wing anti-war protesters with the same skepticism.

GW Bush raised the debt 450... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

GW Bush raised the debt 450 billion or more during his EIGHT years of office. Before Barry was in office 50 days his raised the debt to 1.5 trillion. I did not like GW's spending and I certainly do not like Barry's.

Oh yeah! Hyper, read the post before you comment. Protests are against spending. ww

hyper - "Ken, why were ... (Below threshold)
marc:

hyper - "Ken, why were tax rates so much higher throughout Reagan's presidency than what Obama is proposing? (About 10% higher on the top bracket, actually.)"

And so? "Was Reagan a thief? You would think so, no surprise there.

If lowering the top bracket (pdf file) from 70% to 50% and from 59% to 50% for those making 85k per year makes him a thief in your eyes that's your problem.

"As for the spending increases, I hope Democrats utter the same response that Republicans did when Bush erased Clinton's surpluses:"

Swallowed that bait hook line and sinker didn't you.

And note those are official U.S. Treasury numbers not those ginned-up by the likes of Begala and Stephanopoulos.

u dem - "That's a hoot ... (Below threshold)
marc:

u dem - "That's a hoot if ever there was one. Where were the Tea Parties when Bush was blowing the treasury of the country? So you would be happy then to admit the hypocrisy of the Tea Parties now, or the lack of them during the Bush regime? Which would it be?

The "hoot" as you call it is in the fact you make a sad attempt at denigrating them because no previous ones occurred during the Bush years.

u dem - "Anything and e... (Below threshold)
marc:

u dem - "Anything and everything FOX does has 2 ends: profit and promoting a right wing agenda. Nothing the matter with the 1st. Nothing the matter with the 2nd if they'd just do away with the big lie of "fair and balanced."

OMG, Fox runs a business for PROFIT, like every other company in the US tries to do.

As for your purported "big lie," that's obviously your opinion not fact, although I be more than happy to see them assuming you can produce them.

One example that proves otherwise, from Pew Research on the election coverage:

The Best (least biased) and the Worst (most biased) news coverage?

BEST (FOXNEWS)
Positive Obama Stories 25%
Positive McCain Stories 22%
Negative Obama Stories 40%
Negative McCain Stories 40%

WORST (MSDNC)
Positive Obama Stories 73%
Positive McCain Stories 10%
Negative Obama Stories 14%
Negative McCain Stories 43%

TOTAL COVERAGE (all media added together - 2,412 stories from 48 outlets)
Positive Obama Stories 36%
Positive McCain Stories 14%
Negative Obama Stories 29%
Negative McCain Stories 57%

P.S. Anyone ever tell you that you're full of more shit than a Christmas fruitcake?

Unrepentant troll, I see yo... (Below threshold)
Constitution First:

Unrepentant troll, I see you get your news from NYT and you talking points from DU. Now, do you have an original thought?

WW -"I did not ... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

WW -

"I did not like GW's spending and I certainly do not like Barry's."

I can see deficit spending during a war. And possibly to avoid a fiscal collapse - but the 'stimulus' package this year smelled so much of pork it's a wonder the tea parties aren't barbeque bashes.

Marc -

"The "hoot" as you call it is in the fact you make a sad attempt at denigrating them because no previous ones occurred during the Bush years."

Bush actively wanted to preserve the economy in a healthy state. The little 'stimulus' packages he shoved out in the form of tax rebates did more good, IMO, than Obama's Spendulus package is likely to ever accomplish - but that's because the money went to the PEOPLE, instead of special interest groups. $5 bil to ACORN? Good lord - how is THAT supposed to stimulate the economy?

I don't put much into the idea that Obama actively wants to wreck the economy through higher taxes and business failures - but where his policies are concerned even accidental blunders where billions of dollars are concerned have a hell of a lot of an impact. And raising taxes to Carteresque confiscatory levels might be applauded by the left - but they need to remeber how it FUBARed the economy. Stagflation, anyone? (Sadly, I think they see 18% mortgage rates as a feature, not a bug.)

What's next from Obama? Mandated leisure suits and disco?

JLawson, The tea pa... (Below threshold)
maggie:

JLawson,
The tea parties might turn into pitch fork
incidences, and the Obama administration could
be on the recieving end.

Actually, JL, Obama is rais... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Actually, JL, Obama is raising taxes on the upper bracket to a level much lower than they ever were under Reagan, so you could stand to be a bit more even-handed with the 'confiscatory' label.

marc: I know Reagan lowered the rates, but he lowered them to a level far above what Obama has proposed. So being less of an eeeevil socialist than Carter doesn't make Reagan less of a socialist than Obama.

And as for the "balance" you would have liked from the cable news networks, there is no sound reason for journalists to say the same number of nice things about each of the candidates. You will probably say that "Americans think Sarah Palin is stupid because of the MSM!", but maybe she was depicted as a reactionary ignoramus because that's what she is. And it's hard to make John McCain come across as anything but an ideologically confused pandering old fart who for too long refused to accept the idea that he would never get to be President.

hyper - "And as for the... (Below threshold)
marc:

hyper - "And as for the "balance" you would have liked from the cable news networks, there is no sound reason for journalists to say the same number of nice things about each of the candidates."

That's your story, and you're stickin' with it, because everything written after that quote puts you in the same league as the nutzoids that infest the olberman show among others at MSNBC.

Hyper -"Obama i... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Hyper -

"Obama is raising taxes on the upper bracket to a level much lower than they ever were under Reagan, so you could stand to be a bit more even-handed with the 'confiscatory' label."

So far, H. Past performance doesn't guarantee future results, you know.

Six months from now - "Damn, hate to tell ya this but it's not looking so hot, you know? China's not buying our bonds any more, I've got a hell of a lot of stimulus that hasn't kicked in - so you know that old joke IRS form, the one where you put how much you make, and the last line says 'Send it in'? We ain't that far gone - but we're going to need 80% from everyone making $70k or more. I know it's a lot - but look at this way. You're rich if you make $70k or more - so friggin' ACT like it and pay up!

"On the good side of things, we've looked through government warehouses and found a massive stash of vintage leisure suits. So you know how China had their homage to Mao in their civilian uniforms in the '70s and '80s? In order to protect the clothing and polyester industries here in the US, we're going to continue production of those classic apparel items, and make their wear mandatory. Since they're government issue, that'll be one less expense you the taxpayer must bear!"

Government doesn't MAKE money (aside from printing it, which devalues the currency) - but it can sure spend it a hell of a lot faster than it gets created in the private sector and siphoned off by the government, and so far Obama's been doing one hell of a job doing THAT!

There is DEFINITELY corpora... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

There is DEFINITELY corporate interests ATTEMPTING to CO-OPT what is(?) a grassroots movement.

Tulsa, OK, a few weeks ago: a guy named Jai organizes a Tea Party event in Veteran's Park downtown (I reported this to Lori before:) and the city hall types attempted to heist the stage via the microphone that only the local MSM talk radio station (KRMG) had to lend out. It shared freely, but not freely enough or something. (The Fox talk radio station was a no-show.) Anyway, attendance was good despite residual bitching from certain "dissed" city hall types who were not "invited" to speak.

This Jai (Mr. Grassroots) announces another Tea Party for Tax Day. In the late morning. Brunch time. And KRMG (the MSM radio staion that covered the first TP) announces it will sponsor another across town afterwards. Mmmm-kay, I guess. They won't technically overlap as long as one hits all green lights. So, OK: TP#1 @ 10:30, TP#2 @ 12:00. Hoookay!

BUT! BUT! BUT! The Fox News Talk station, KFAQ then announces that Talk Radio Star and chinless wigstand, John Gibson will appear at the Tax Day Tea Party, too! EXCEPT it will be at Fox's VERY OWN Tea Party held on the Other (other!) side of town...AT THE SAME TIME as Tea Party #2.

Have I ever mentioned that Fox is a faux conservative organization? Basically, a governmental signals jamming enterprise?

bryanD - "Have I ever m... (Below threshold)
marc:

bryanD - "Have I ever mentioned that Fox is a faux conservative organization? Basically, a governmental signals jamming enterprise?"

And fire has never melted steel.

A simple request, could you please regale us with a couple Nazi UFO stories as well?

Is one of these scheduled f... (Below threshold)
James H:

Is one of these scheduled for the DC area on a weekend? I can't get off work during the week, but I want to see one of these things for myself.

"Basically, a government... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

"Basically, a governmental signals jamming enterprise"

Okay... so does it jam government signals, or does it jam USING government signals? And just what sort of signals ARE those government signals, anyway?

Are you trying to fnord us?

You should be "flummoxed... (Below threshold)
Brian:

You should be "flummoxed," that spin was far better than anything a Sears dryer could produce. In fact it would appear the post sent your head spinning so fast your gray matter was sent spewing from each ear attempting to place it in a context that never existed.

Wow, marc. I think you broke your own personal record for most pointless, factless, unsupported, insulting, nonsensical comment. I wonder where that falls....

Wow, this fella marc certai... (Below threshold)
Unrepentant Democrat:

Wow, this fella marc certainly is prickly. It only took you 2 comments to make an ad hominem attack on me. Must have struck a cord of truthfulness I guess. It appears that you take personally anything anyone who isn't wingnut has to say. Lighten up marc, the world as you knew it is about to change for the better. You'll be alright. It's OK. There, there, take a deep breath now.


But listen you go on defending the "fair and balanced" motto of Fox News. The rest of us will deal with the truth.

Cmon marc, you've read Brya... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

Cmon marc, you've read Bryan enough to know that he likes Nazis. They knew how to deal with Jooos, after all.
The Pope, however, is the one that rides around in UFOs.

brian - Maybe, but it falls... (Below threshold)
marc:

brian - Maybe, but it falls far above the standard set in your first comment which was comprised of twisting what was written with what your wanted it to say.

u dem - "Wow, this fell... (Below threshold)
marc:

u dem - "Wow, this fella marc certainly is prickly. It only took you 2 comments to make an ad hominem attack on me"

Really, well let's just see how factual that is.

Comment #16 and first in the thread. Nope nothing remotely close to what you describe.

Comment #17 (not directed at you). Nope nothing that meets the definition of an ad hominem attack.

Comment #23 see above. (not directed at you)

Comment #24 Again see above.

Comment #25 Maybe, but I fail to see any attack on your character or any attempt at "appealing to one's prejudices, emotions, or special interests rather than to one's intellect or reason."

What it did contain was an opinion (your full of shit) based on you pushing the stereotypical "Fox is in the tank" crap.

If you want to classify that as an ad hominem attack be my guest, I'll take the heat, but at this point you've failed to meet your own standard or an attack carried out in the second comment, at best it was the third and at worst it was in the fifth.

And for the record I'm not "prickly," I'm a prick. And an asshole of epic proportions.

Live with it. Or don't

Guys, come on.T... (Below threshold)
jim:

Guys, come on.

ThinkProgress, Daily Kos, FireDogLake, DemocraticUnderground, MoveOn.org, Media Matters for America, Organizing For America, and numerous other professional left-wing groups and blogs subsequently spent hundreds of millions of dollars from private financiers like George Soros in order to organize citizenry around the political Left.

Hundreds of millions, from "private financiers like George Soros"? Got any figures for that? Citations?

I doubt it. But hey, please, show me wrong.

Because from what I've seen, nearly all of the money and effort that went into all these websites and their grassroots promotions came from small private sources of $1 to $50. That's what was so effective about Obama's campaign as well - these sources could keep giving, and weren't tapped out early like Hillary's big-donor network was.

And as for George Soros, I see you one tycoon and I raise you Richard Mellon Scaife.

The trolls are out in force... (Below threshold)

The trolls are out in force!

Difference between these Tea Parties and the "peace marches" during the Iraq War? These really ARE "grass roots".

Nobody is organizing us, bussing us places, funding us, etc... Whereas the Unions, students, homeless and paid organizers & attenders help pump up numbers on the Left, the folks attending these are WORKING folks!

And although the media will downplay the numbers on Wednesday, trying again to kill the movement, you can bet people will notice a WORKDAY rally of WORKING folks who are normally QUIET...getting together and saying "Enough!"

And as for the Tea Parties,... (Below threshold)
jim:

And as for the Tea Parties, I really think you guys are overestimating the amount they bother liberals and progressives.

The reason the GOP lost power is: the majority of Americans have seen the specific policy ideas that have come from the GOP and haven't liked their results. At all. So they are willing to try the Democratic Party's approach - because the Democratic party is offering solutions which have worked before. FDR's stimulus spending to get us out of the Great Depression, for example.

If the GOP and conservatives want to have power again, they will have to offer policies and solutions to the country that are credible, new, and work. Perhaps this will come from these tea parties. We'll see.

But tax cuts for the wealthy don't work and don't sell any more; deregulation for it's own sake has once again been proven not to work; and everyone knows that we will some day run out of oil, and no one likes that our dependence on it makes us friends with tyrants.

That's the bottom line.

Well Justrand, I was and am... (Below threshold)
jim:

Well Justrand, I was and am a working folk. As are all of my friends. And we all took off work to protest the invasion of Iraq. And no one organized us to do it, bussed us anyway, or paid us a single dime.

Just so you know.

jim, you may have done what... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

jim, you may have done what you said, but by far, the left busses it's protesters in. Conservative have jobs and cannot get the time off for every event that is held.

You lefties are a tragic bunch. Fox News to you is conservative because you are liberal, but NBC, CBS, ABC, MSNBC, CNN are all fine with you, could it be they have a left slant? Of course. 90% of reporters and broadcasters say they are democrat. So, hype your bias argument to your own news outlets. Clean up your own how first.

The latest accusation from the left is the Tea Parties are racist. Now we know the left has come to the end of their argument. ww

jim - "FDR's stimulus s... (Below threshold)
marc:

jim - "FDR's stimulus spending to get us out of the Great Depression,"

That's the conventional "wisdom," but it's not an undeniable fact.

Here's a few quotes, make of them what you will:

"We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work."

"I want to see this country prosperous. I want to see people get a job. I want to see people get enough to eat. We have never made good on our promises."

"I say after eight years of this Administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started. ... And an enormous debt to boot!"

Jim, sound like words uttered from and taken from a recent news cycle?

Hell the last quote I suspect you'd be proud to claim as your own.

Foolish you.

They come from none other than Henry Morgenthau Jr. loyal secretary of the Treasury to President Franklin D. Roosevelt -- and key architect of FDR's New Deal.

They were spoken on May 9, 1939. before the House Ways and Means Committee.

Morgenthau made this "startling confession," as historian Burton W. Folsom Jr. calls it, during the seventh year of FDR's New Deal programs to combat the rampant unemployment of the Great Depression.

ww, my problem with Fox isn... (Below threshold)
jim:

ww, my problem with Fox isn't that it's conservative. It's that it deliberately reports factually untrue things.

As for reporters being more Democratic, so? They don't decide the stories. It's their editors and producers and **their** bosses - and even more importantly, the advertisers - who determine what stories get out and what don't. And they tend to be more supportive of their social and wealth class.

That may make them lean liberal on some issues and conservative on others - but if a class of wealthy people can make a killing on something, just watch all the media outlets line up in favor of it.

Doesn't take a conspiracy. Just self-interest. Which is fine as far as it goes - but it becomes a problem when their interests run contrary to what's good for the country...

jim - "Hundreds of mill... (Below threshold)
marc:

jim - "Hundreds of millions, from "private financiers like George Soros"? Got any figures for that? Citations?

While not private per se, there damn sure a lot of contributors to the obama campaign that also reaped the benefits of bailouts.

Funny how that works.

As for Soros, are you attempting to deny federal election records show Soros jump-started Obama's 2004 U.S. Senate campaign with $60,000 from himself and family members?

Are you not aware of Soros' $5 million donation to MoveOn.org, a $10 million grant to a Democratic Party 2004 get-out-the-vote initiative called America Coming Together, and $3 million to the Center for American Progress all orgs dedicated to placing obama in office.

Well, dedicated to that end only after tossing Hillary under the bus.

brian - Maybe, but it fa... (Below threshold)
Brian:

brian - Maybe, but it falls far above the standard set in your first comment which was comprised of twisting what was written with what your wanted it to say.

So in a post that attempts to compare the Teabag parties with war protests, I'm "twisting" it by actually comparing them. Good one.

Justrand, I could find any ... (Below threshold)
jim:

Justrand, I could find any number of former employees of Reagan, Bush I and Bush II, Nixon, Eisenhower, etc. who don't like what their bosses were doing, even at the time.

That doesn't prove anything. Talk is talk.

The bottom line is:

1. Hoover's policies handed FDR the Great Depression
2. FDR's policies kept the country afloat
3. It's only when FDR listened to spending critics and **stopped** spending as much money that the recovery curve lessened and the misery continued
4. ...and thus the Great Depression wasn't completely recovered from until World War two - a massive government spending program.

Consider it like this:

1. You're in debt, and you need to keep your job.
2. If you get sick, you'll lose your job.
3. You get sick, and don't have the cash to go the hospital.

In that case, is it a bad idea to go further into debt, so you can keep healthy, keep your job, and eventually get all the way out?

That's what this stimulus spending is intended to do for the economy - keep people working, so the economy doesn't buckle, so we can recover from this damage.

What makes this over-budget spending different from GWB's, is how this one is being spent - on projects that directly benefit working Americans by putting them to work. And on giving tax cuts to people who need the money, and so will spend it.

Not GWB's method of giving tax cuts to people who don't need the money, and might not even spend it, or might even put it in banks overseas.

Trickle-down doesn't work.

jim - "ww, my problem w... (Below threshold)
marc:

jim - "ww, my problem with Fox isn't that it's conservative. It's that it deliberately reports factually untrue things."

That a pretty incendiary charge, to use your words: "But hey, please, show me wrong."

"As for reporters being more Democratic, so? They don't decide the stories. It's their editors and producers and **their** bosses - and even more importantly, the advertisers - who determine what stories get out and what don't. And they tend to be more supportive of their social and wealth class."

Guess you haven't noticed the studies that show it's not just reporters but those in charge, i.e. "editors and producers and **their** bosses," that all identify themselves as left and far left.

There is little doubt some journalists are essentially advocates for political parties, and that my friend is expressly forbidden by the Journalists Code of Ethics.

While not private per se... (Below threshold)
jim:

While not private per se, there damn sure a lot of contributors to the obama campaign that also reaped the benefits of bailouts.

Funny how that works.

Sure is. Those bailouts which, of course, that started under Bush, and were also voted on by McCain - who happily took contributions from the same companies which benefited - and other ones besides.

http://www.opensecrets.org/pres08/contrib.php?cycle=2008&cid=N00006424

Funny how that works, too, isn't it?

As for Soros, are you attempting to deny federal election records show Soros jump-started Obama's 2004 U.S. Senate campaign with $60,000 from himself and family members?

No. Are you attempting to deny Richard Mellon Scaife did the same for Rick Santorum?

Are you not aware of Soros' $5 million donation to MoveOn.org, a $10 million grant to a Democratic Party 2004 get-out-the-vote initiative called America Coming Together, and $3 million to the Center for American Progress all orgs dedicated to placing obama in office.

Are you aware that:
a) none of those are the blogs mentioned in the article?
b) that isn't "hundreds of millions", it's less than $20 million, and over more than 5 years to boot?
c) this means that this blog post is still incorrect?

brain - "So in a post t... (Below threshold)
marc:

brain - "So in a post that attempts to compare the Teabag parties with war protests, I'm "twisting" it by actually comparing them. Good one."

The correction to this should read... in a post that made a comparison in how anti-war protests and the teabag parties came about via methods of organization you spun it to mean they were equal in size, RE: "Are you really equating protests of "hundreds or thousands that have attended Tea Parties" with those of hundreds of thousands protesting the war?".

jim - "Sure is. Those b... (Below threshold)
marc:

jim - "Sure is. Those bailouts which, of course, that started under Bush, and were also voted on by McCain - who happily took contributions from the same companies which benefited - and other ones besides."

And so? Not to mention McCain and Bush were on the receiving end of much condemnation over the excessive spending n both gov programs but on the bailouts as well.

"No. Are you attempting to deny Richard Mellon Scaife did the same for Rick Santorum?"

The answer should be obvious, even to you. NO, and Santorum last time I checked wasn't sitting in the WH as a result of the Soros largess regardless how big or small you chose to describe it.

OK, can do.Here's ... (Below threshold)
jim:

OK, can do.

Here's Fox lying about Obama's voting record:
http://crooksandliars.com/2008/07/04/fox-news-repeatedly-lies-about-obamas-voting-record/

Here's a more recent clip, where Biden's speech was edited so that it "just happened" to be the exact opposite of what he was actually saying.

To edit a clip requires seeing the whole clip. So to suggest that this "just happened" can only be another lie...

http://thinkprogress.org/2009/03/16/fox-news-fundamentals/

Which is probably why Fox viewers were the least accurately informed about the Iraq invasion, before it and after -

http://www.pipa.org/OnlineReports/Iraq/IraqMedia_Oct03/IraqMedia_Oct03_rpt.pdf.

And again in 2007, according to Pew,
http://mirroronamerica.blogspot.com/2007/04/fox-viewers-least-informed-according-to.html

So if you can find other networks *lying* - stating things that are factually provably untrue - and misinforming the public to this degree, please do so. I'll want to see it.

And so? Not to mention M... (Below threshold)
jim:

And so? Not to mention McCain and Bush were on the receiving end of much condemnation over the excessive spending n both gov programs but on the bailouts as well.

Yes. But you were making a specific big deal about Obama, as if to imply that he was being paid off by banks. In the process of that, you appeared to be avoiding the fact that a) this was a Bush plan, and b) McCain was just as friendly to these banks.

So hey, either they're all suspect, or none of them are. Don't cherrypick who's guilty just based on their party.

The answer should be obv... (Below threshold)
jim:

The answer should be obvious, even to you. NO,

It's not obvious, I can't read your mind. So I'm giving you the chance to respond.

...and Santorum last time I checked wasn't sitting in the WH as a result of the Soros largess regardless how big or small you chose to describe it.

Well, last time I checked, facts matter.

So yes, Santorum didn't make it to the White House. He and other right-wing stars still owe their careers to right-wing financiers and string pullers such as Scaife.

So if it's all only about the 2008 presidential campaign, you're off-point by even mentioning this $60,000 Soros dropped on a rising star 5 years ago. Neither him nor Scaife would even pick their teeth with that kind of money anyway

So, then, to sum up: you guys are talking about "hundreds of millions" spent by "George Soros" and unnamed other wealthy private financiers - to various blogs as well as nonprofits - for the 2008 Presidential campaign - and one look at the actual figures shows you are completely wrong.

OK then.

marc,I completely ... (Below threshold)
Unrepentant Democrat:

marc,

I completely agree with your 2nd to last sentence in your last comment to me, i.e. #40.

Sadly, it is you who has to live with it, not me. I'm not nearly as interested in you as you are.

Where were you GOPers when ... (Below threshold)

Where were you GOPers when Reagan was guilty of "generational theft" via borrowing and deficits?

Oh, wait. That's right. IOKIYAR. [source]

Perhaps that's why the g... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Perhaps that's why the grassroots tea parties are seen as such a threat (and thus must be belittled and denigrated as much as possible) - they truely ARE grassroots parties, with no central financier or paid organizers.

That'd be news to Dick Armey:

As you may have heard, taxpayers are revolting across the country, organizing "taxpayer tea parties" in more than 100 cities and towns. FreedomWorks has been organizing many of these "tea parties" and we are listing the details on our website IamWithRick.com

Your "grassroots" are looking more like astroturf. How flummoxing.

u dem - "Sadly, it is y... (Below threshold)
marc:

u dem - "Sadly, it is you who has to live with it, not me. I'm not nearly as interested in you as you are."

Hardly surprising you'd lose whatever interest you may have had after being show the fool you are.

marc,In comment #2... (Below threshold)
Unrepentant Democrat:

marc,

In comment #25 you attempt to refute my mockery of FOX News' claim to be "fair and balanced:

"As for your purported "big lie," that's obviously your opinion not fact, although I be more than happy to see them assuming you can produce them."

Here see this:

Fox host: 'It's now my great duty to promote the tea parties. Here we go!'
Fox News host Neil Cavuto regularly claims that when he aggressively advocates for the anti-Obama "tea party" protests on air, he is simply covering them as a journalist. But Stuart Varney, Cavuto's fill-in host, admitted this afternoon that the the network is actually promoting the right-wing protests. After telling a guest that the tea parties were in protest to President Obama's policies, Varney closed a segment by saying, "It's now my great duty to promote the tea parties." http://thinkprogress.org/

Watch the video.

Now that's what anyone would call "fair and balanced."

Unrepentent demo, are you s... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Unrepentent demo, are you stupid or do you try to be perceived that way? When Fox News reports on the concept of the Tea Party's and reports on their growth and locations, it is by default promoting them. Say CNN says Best Buy in Philadelphia is giving away free t.v.'s to the first one hundred customers this Saturday is reporting a fact and at the same to promoting it. You are a putz. ww

Brian - Heard this... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Brian -

Heard this morning there's over 700 cities hosting tea parties, so that's over 600 at least that seem to be more spontaneous than 'organized'. And I don't think your linked site is sponsoring them, (IE paying for publicity, paying workers (like ACORN) and the like) - instead it seems it's more of a bulletin board where folks can get info on organizing something like this. Sometimes it's nice to have a step-by-step list of what you need to do to actually HOST one of these things.

If you visit the website, you can rsvp for an event near you, and you can download guidelines to organizing a tea party in your home town if there isn't one being planned already.
Seems to me like there's no difference between them, and the folks who published the Obama House Party guidelines.

Mr WillieI see tha... (Below threshold)
Unrepentant Democrat:

Mr Willie

I see that you and marc are frequently engaged in ad hominem attacks against people with whom you disagree. That says all that needs to be said about you.

P.S. I've noticed that you complain quite a bit about marc's personal attacks on you. Perhaps you should take a look in the mirror. I'm just suggesting...

You know, when all you can ... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

You know, when all you can quote are sites run by agenda driven ideologues (thinkprogress, crooks and liars [love the irony there]) it's hard to take the arguments you present seriously. Snopes, for instance, is pretty objective, and therefore believable.

Looks like <a href="http://... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Looks like USA Today is promoting the Tea Parties also. Gee, I didn't realize it was a right-wing media outlet! I always thought they were a NEWS-paper!

Unrepentent demo, marc and ... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Unrepentent demo, marc and I are fine. I don't know about you, but I can disagree with someone and still respect them. Your funniest statement was the "ad hominem" attacks from me. You lefties are the founders of the personal attack. So, cry me a river. ww

u dem - "I see that you... (Below threshold)
marc:

u dem - "I see that you and marc are frequently engaged in ad hominem attacks against people with whom you disagree. That says all that needs to be said about you."

As far as that goes you're correct.

However with the limited time spent here what you have failed to consider when and if I "attack" someone it follows one against me, or when that person has a long "time honored" history of that type of conduct here.

Think not? Then search my history here, but I doubt if you will as it falls far outside your ability to be objective.

P.S. u dem - "P.S. I've... (Below threshold)
marc:

P.S. u dem - "P.S. I've noticed that you complain quite a bit about marc's personal attacks on you. Perhaps you should take a look in the mirror. I'm just suggesting..."

Where might those so called "attacks" be u dem?

Can you quote them?

If you're referring to ww being called ignorant as it relates knowledge of the piracy issue sorry that's far from personal.

Everyone is ignorant on various issues, I for example am ignorant on certain subjects in the Physics field.

And BTW, you seem to be damn ignorant when it comes to counting past the number 2 as plainly demonstrates in this very thread during your misguided attack on me.




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