Tea Party Activists: Tax Day Events Will Attract ‘Silent Majority’

Tuesday, April 14, 2009 at 8:26 am
Protesters attend an anti-spending Tea Party rally in front of the White House on Feb. 27, 2009 (Photo by: David Weigel)

Protesters attend an anti-spending Tea Party rally in front of the White House on Feb. 27, 2009 (Photo by: David Weigel)

When Jason Pye heard that Newt Gingrich was getting involved with the April 15 Tea Parties, he knew what he had to do. He stepped aside.

“Bringing in someone like Gingrich takes away from the message,” said Pye, a Libertarian Party activist and writer who lives in the suburbs outside Georgia’s capital city. “It makes the people putting together the rallies look like pawns, for lack of a better term.”

Image by: Matt Mahurin

Image by: Matt Mahurin

Pye was not a fair-weather Tea Party protester. He had helped organize one of the first Tea Parties, a February 27 event in Atlanta, attracting around 200 people only eight days after CNBC commentator Rick Santelli said that the president’s mortgage rescue plan made him so angry that he was ready to organize a “Chicago Tea Party.” Pye promoted that event on the Fox Business Channel. But in the weeks since, Pye saw a burgeoning movement, the sort of thing libertarians had dreamed of for years, becoming co-opted by people he didn’t respect. The tipping point came when Gingrich announced that his group American Solutions, an ostensibly grassroots group that’s funded by huge donations from conservative businessmen, was “partnering with the Tax Day Tea Party movement.”

“Newt Gingrich enabled George W. Bush,” Pye said. “He enabled the big spending. He lobbied conservative Republicans to compromise their principles and support Medicare Part D. He supported the bailout.” Pye will attend the rally to write an article, but he has not endorsed it.

In the fast-evolving Tea Party movement, Republicans, Libertarians, and conservatives of all stripes are coming to grips with the kind of organizational politics and media blowback that afflicted left-wing protests during the Bush years. Conservative and libertarian activists who had been attacking the Bush administration over spending are irked by the number of red-handed Republicans jumping onto the Tea Party bandwagon. Mainstream Republicans are pushing back against charges that they are engaging in “AstroTurf” (fake grassroots) activism and encouraging the right-wing political fringe. All of them spot an opportunity to acquire new bodies for political campaigns and new names for their mailing lists. If it means making common cause with some people they wouldn’t normally talk to, that’s what coalition-building is all about.

For all of that, Pye’s disgruntlement is an uncommon development in the Tea Party movement. Most activists talk about tomorrow’s protests as a massive coalition-building coming-out party for a “silent majority” of people opposed to government spending. They view arguments that corporate-funded groups are manufacturing the protests as hypocritical and unfair.

“If journalists actually did their job, did some journalism and reporting, and talked to local organizers, they’d see that this is a grassroots movement,” said Brendan Steinhauser of FreedomWorks, a group that New York Times columnist Paul Krugman called out on Monday for “manufacturing” the protests. “If Paul Krugman doesn’t want to believe me, that’s fine. But this came from the ground up.”

At the same time, Steinhauser shared Pye’s lack of enthusiasm about Gingrich. “It’s disingenuous for him to come out and now say he’s for fiscal responsibility and against the bailouts. I’d say that [FreedomWorks President and former House Majority Leader] Dick Armey has more credibility because he was consistently against the bailouts and the spending.”

The intra-movement squabbles didn’t interest Debbie Ellis Dooley, one of four co-organizers (“the Four Musketeers”) of Atlanta’s Tea Party–an event pushed back from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. to accommodate Sean Hannity, who is scheduled to host his Fox News show from the scene. Dooley, who is also the grassroots coordinator for the Georgia branch of FreedomWorks, argued that the Republican speakers who would appear in Atlanta, including Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), would be joined by “Democrats, Libertarians and independents” in a pan-partisan bonanza. But as of Monday evening no Democrats had committed to speak. “We asked any who wanted to speak to let us know,” said Dooley. “I’m not familiar with their affiliations.”

Government spending protesters attend a rally on Feb. 27, 2009. (Photo by: David Weigel)

Government spending protesters attend a rally on Feb. 27, 2009. (Photo by: David Weigel)

Kingston is one of many Republican elected officials and candidates who has glommed on to the Tea Party movement, a situation that different organizers are handling in different ways. Douglas Landrum, who’s organizing a Tea Party in California’s Orange County, invited both Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.) and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) to speak, but Sanchez said she’d be out of town, leaving the stage to Rohrabacher and some other Republican candidates. “We asked them not to promote their candidacy,” said Landrum, “but to stick to the issues of keeping the taxes low and repealing the pork.” Andrew Langer, an employee of the Institute for Liberty who is organizing a Tea Party in Washington, D.C., invited frequent presidential candidate and Obama critic Alan Keyes to speak but is leaving the speech up to him. “He can take the opportunity and run with it,” said Langer. “What was most important was getting an energetic speaker who could get the crowd pumped and articulate his principles, and Alan Keyes is going to do that.”

At one of two Birmingham, Ala. Tea Parties, attendees will hear from Tim James, a Republican candidate for governor in 2010. James intends to “tie the national and the state situations together,” said campaign manager Brent Hall, “and he has credibility because he led the charge against tax increases here.” The campaign could help out James’ campaign, said Hall, because “when we go these events, we harvest names and email addresses from people to keep them up to date on what we’re doing.”

There has been an alternative response to Republican speaking requests: Blow them off. That was what Eric Odom, the Republican web guru who runs the umbrella site TaxDayTeaParty.com, did when Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele asked to speak at the Odom’s Tea Party in Chicago. “It’s not that Steele is unwelcome in Chicago,” said Odom. “The Chicago Tea Party is not an opportunity for them–politicians–to speak to us. It’s an opportunity to speak to them. Michael Steele would be absolutely welcome to come and listen to what we have to say. ”

According to RNC spokesman Jon Thompson, Steele “will be in an all day political event that has been on the books for a while, so he will not be able to attend the Chicago Tea Party.”

Some Tea Party organizers are discovering what liberals discovered in the anti-Iraq War protests of 2002 through 2008 and fretting about how to avoid fringe activists from taking over the events. In Burleston, Texas, one Tea Party will be run by self-described secessionists. In Pensacola, Florida, a planned Tea Party has fractured over the involvement of Ron Paul supporters and 9/11 conspiracy theorists. “At any big gathering you’ll have fringe elements show up,” said Andrew Langer with a shrug. He plans to bring “big blue arrows” marked “Tea Party crasher” to point at any fringe protesters or infiltrators who show up at the event in Washington.

FreedomWorks’ Steinhauser was ready for the “fringe” attacks, having “spent a lot of time inside the peace movement, seeing how it worked.” The anti-war movement’s experiences, he hoped, would help the Tea Party organizers avoid some mistakes.

“We’re applying Saul Alinsky’s ‘Rules for Radicals’ here,” said Steinhauser. “We’re using methods that the Left has used, and that other movements have used, all the way back to the Civil Rights movement. First of all there has to be a real grievance, and that’s what Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King  had. That’s what we have.”

Odom has outflanked the “fringe” criticism by branding the Tea Parties, on his site and on the widget provided to the affiliates, as a moment when tax protesters will be a “Silent Majority No More!” President Obama’s high poll numbers, Odom said, are not proof that his opponents make up the political minority. “There’s no question that many, many Americans have voted irresponsibly,” he said. “Many have voted for the prettiest yard signs and the TV commercials they saw the most. Mistakes have been made in the electoral process.”

While some of the preliminary Tea Party events have been aimed at convincing Congress that the country was turning against spending–such as a campaign to send tea bags to Capitol Hill, egged on by a motivational speaker who dressed up as “Thomas Paine” — Wednesday’s events will feature recruitment efforts by many of the co-sponsoring groups. Gingrich’s American Solutions has provided online talking point “tool kits” for attendees. Orange County activists will draft attendees for a campaign against Proposition 1A, a measure to extend tax increases. This did not surprise Jon Henke, a Republican strategist who has defended the Tea Parties against “AstroTurf” charges. “Every time a new, significant energy arises,” said Henke, “these groups will try to to leverage it for their own benefit or try to help it along.”

“I think of what General Yamamoto said after he had been told of the attack on Pearl Harbor,” said Debbie Ellis Doobey. “He said, ‘They’ve just succeeded in awakening a sleeping giant.’ I think that is what is happening now, the awakening of a Silent Majority.”

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Larry A. Hempler
Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 6:19 am

The country is going in the wrong directiion and moving into sociallism. I do not support any of the current policies.

We are experiencing Liberal Fascism. Recall Obama and the Democratic Congress.

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 6:23 am

The Republican Party has hijacked the tea party concept from the Ron Paul supporters. They are the ones who were protesting when protesting wasn't cool. Oh yeah, they raised 6 million dollars in one day during a tea party in 2007. The fringe and crazy people are the ones who want to bomb everyone and kill. Look at the rumblings about Somalia. A group of thugs committed a crime and now the neothugs want to bomb Somalia, and they have the nerve to call RP supporters crazy? lol

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 7:08 am

Since they've chosen to remain ignorant, I have no problem with them remaining silent as well.

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 7:09 am

See “Goin’ to the C.P.A. (The Tax Song)” at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-Groi6Ziio

See more parodies at http://parodyandson.blogspot.com

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 7:14 am

Ron Paul has always voted against raising taxes and against unconstiutional spending.

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 7:48 am

So let's get this straight. Go to a teabagging to protest your tax dollars are being wasted, and then get solicited for donations by politicians who have been wasting your money for the past eight years so they can waste it on another election bid. How stupid are these people?

Chas Freeman
Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 7:49 am

The 'Atlanta Tea Party' was organized by Freedomworks:

And promoted on FOX Business Network…

“In the weeks since [the Atlanta Tea Party], Pye saw a burgeoning movement” being co-opted…doesn't this imply that Freedomworks organization pre-dated the movement? This is the TEXTBOOK DEFINITION of astroturfing.

Palin's Kids are All Named
Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 7:50 am

I see the Angry Old White Guy Party (a.k.a. the GOOP) is at it again: The biggest assortment of crybabies, whiners, losers, chuckleheads and anger-management candidates you'll ever see! These dinosaurs are dying off fast (average age of an extremist right-wing radio listener: 67), and no one is coming along to replace them. There's nothing wrong with the Angry Old white Guy Party that a few million funerals (all due to natural causes, of course) won't cure. Buh-bye, chumps. Have fun Tea Bagging each other!

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 8:25 am


Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 8:26 am

You're a nut

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 8:30 am

the tea parties are truly hurting the liberals. otherwise, why would they talk so negatively about them!!

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 8:32 am

I can talk negatively about anything that's stupid whether it hurts me or not. After the largest tax cut in modern times, what exactly is being protested here ?

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 8:46 am

That's an interesting way to attract people to your “grass roots” movement – accuse them for voting irresponsibly. This whole teabag thing is an absolute joke. Trying to draw a parallel to Rosa Parks and MLK when you're essentially protesting GWB's tax rates is more than a bit indulgent, but it goes a long way to prove that this is not a real movement but a dog and pony show by a frustrated minority trying to find someone who will listen.

Bruce Cohen
Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 9:17 am

Wayne Root has Super Powers! He's the Keynote Speaker at the Las Vegas Tea Party, just five minutes from his home. While, at the very same time, he's speaking in Orange County. Who would have thought?! Someone who has more powers than Obama? Seriously, folks, Wayne will be at the Las Vegas event, and this is an error. You may call me or Wayne, or email us for verification, or to get CONFIRMED speaking reservations. www [dot] RootForAmerica [dot] com 866 622-7823

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 9:53 am

It is time for us to take back OUR Nation. i am sick of politicians trying to grab face time and putting their slime hands on everything we do. These are our TEA parties. We are supposed to be telling these politicians to shut up and listen to us for a change. Instead they are busting their way into the events like they are entitled.
SCREW THEM!!! This is our Nation not Theirs! TAKE BACK AMERICA!!!

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 9:54 am

Our home received a robocall on Friday urging us to go to a “tea party” April 15 if we were “concerned about what is happening in this country.” (We somehow got onto a Republican mailing list 3+ years ago around the time we moved homes — I think they may just target geographically.) The speaker was a male, sounded young (as in, under 25) and not polished or educated.

I didn't know real grass roots organizing involved random robocalls. I am happy if FreedomWorks is wasting what's left of its money on us.

No, Really, That Is The Same « Weilerblog
Pingback posted April 14, 2009 @ 11:00 am

[...] Steinhauser has a really high opinion of the “Tea Party” protests they’ve been organizing: “We’re applying Saul Alinsky’s ‘Rules for Radicals’ here,” said Steinhauser. [...]

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 10:03 am

The TEA party concept (in today's terms) was conceived by highly educated Libertarians. The original intention of the TEA parties was to show our discomfort with the Federal Government slowly but surely gaining more power then ever before in our history and thereby eroding our God given Liberties. Taxes are just one way the Government manifests is power seeking agenda on us all.
It is so sad to see how blind Americans have become to this. Republicans and Democrats laugh at us at how stupid we look by sitting here and letting them dictate how our lives should be run. Then they get up on the podiums and talk about accountability and responsibility. How much longer are we going to fall for their incessant deceitfulness?

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 10:08 am

Can someone please explain to me why FreedomWorks' Brendan Steinhauser (quoted above in this article) is sending letters to the racist Vanguard News Network?


Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 10:11 am

Perhaps I'll ask you. You seem to be associated with this event. I'm curious and I shouldn't be judgemental.

What exactly is being protested here ? We've just enacted the largest tax cut in history where everybody except the very rich gets more money to spend.

I've seen clips of people claiming they'll stop paying taxes and others are going to burn books (about science no less) and I find that sad and not a little scary.

It's ironic that the same people seemed fine with 8-year tragedy of the Bush presidency (no tea bags there).

Hawaiian style
Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 10:40 am

The sleeping giant is a joke. He has not been sleeping he is just confused. After mindlessly following the worst President in history, the one that wreaked havoc on the Constitution, created an illegal war that killed over 4000 good US men and women not to mention innocent foreign deaths, spyed on us, tortured humans, gave tax breaks to the rich, and whose financial policies were the straw that broke the camels back, the giant doesn't know what to do. He's just frustrated so he's kicking the ground and blaming everyone else for his sore toe.

Republicans, Conservatives and the Religious right deserve each other. They are acting true to form. “If I don't get to continue eating ALL the ice cream I'm going to scream.”

I would like to see an interview of the protesters. I bet we would see as many opinions as people asked.

This is not a tea party it is a 3T party e.g., a “terrible twos tantrum”.

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 10:51 am

OMG – is the tea party movement completely incapable of coming up with specifics ? Unless you're very rich, your taxes have just gone down ! What exactly are you protesting and how come you were fine with the last 8 years of the idiot-in-chief ?

I got yer tea right here
Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 10:56 am

The Washington Execrable – I'm sorry, Examiner – flogs the tea parties today with a photo of a woman holding a sign asking the govt to stay “out of our personal lives.”

You heard her, Newt.

Ha, ha ha ha, ha ha ha aha aha aha ahahhahahahahahahah

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 10:56 am

“Some Tea Party organizers are discovering what liberals discovered in the anti-Iraq War protests of 2002 through 2008 and fretting about how to avoid fringe activists from taking over the events.”

Except, in the case of the astroturf “antiwar” demonstrations, “liberals” were participating in events organized by “the fringe”.

And by “the fringe” we mean International ANSWER, the “antiwar” front group for the doctrinally Stalinist Workers World Party, and spearheaded by Ramsey Clark, Saddam Hussein's attorney.

Who, in an earlier time, was Attorney General to LBJ.

Progressives have never experienced a “problem” with disassociating themselves with “fringe elements”. Even “moderate” progressives are unperturbed by the prospect of rubbing elbows with people with real blood on their hands, betraying no self awareness as they demand “peace” from the U.S. in unison with someone waving the war flag of Hamas.

And when their associations with “the fringe” threatens their standing with the broader public, they campaign to rehabilitate our attitude toward “the fringe” – as we saw with the Maoist terrorists, William Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn.

Nonny Mouse
Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 11:08 am

Maybe someone has asked this before, but do any of these people know what the term “tea bagging” means? Liberals laugh every time they see people gleefully wave one of these signs in front of a camera. Next time, somebody should conduct a Wikipedia search to make sure the name of their movement isn't slang for some perverted sex act.

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 11:12 am

Which of these qualify as “socialism”?:
1. Largest middle-class tax cut in history
2. Raising the top marginal rate for those making over 250k to 39.6%, where it was under Clinton, which is more than 10% below where during most of Reagan's Presidency (and 50% below where it was under Ike—where the top marginal rate was 91%)
3. The Bush bank bailouts, which Obama has continued
4. The government passing a plan to build roads, repair the electric grid, etc, partially b/c our infrastructure needs a massive overhaul, and partially to try to stimulate an economy that collapsed during the Bush years

Or something else?

It seems like you guys are so upset that you got crushed in two consecutive elections that you're throwing a temper tantrum and inviting everyone to come watch.

Also, the US Constitution has no provision for a recalling the President.

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 11:16 am

Jesus – that's a bit of s stretch. Can you tell me what exactly are you protesting and how come you were fine with the last 8 years of the idiot-in-chief ?

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 11:17 am

Funny isn't it

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 11:18 am

Wait a sec. Who are you calling perverted ?

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 11:33 am

Evidence of the grassroots nature of the movement is well documented by “Peeling Back the Layers of the Tax Day Tea Party” at http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/4/14/719839/… Oh, and watching Faux Noise will help your understanding.

AstroTurf, indeed.

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 11:47 am

I have serious doubts as to whether Eric Odom's involvement is purely as an “interested citizen” and devoid of financial motive. http://damnedliberal.com/blog//blog1.php/2009/0…

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 12:04 pm

Hempler's party of rightwing nutjobs lost big time in November.

His “silent majority” now knows that the GOP is the party of losers and nutjobs.

And, now Hempler illustrates his ignorance of both the US Constitution, as well as the meaning of fascism.

Luckily, the GOP and its rightwing neocons idiots have become a toxic brand to the majority of Americans.

It will be fun to watch Hempler and his ilk go teabag themselves.

Trackback posted April 14, 2009 @ 1:06 pm

The Washington Independent » Tea Party Activists: Tax Day Events Will Attract ‘Silent Majority’…

Trackback from PunditKix.com…

jerry curran
Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 12:16 pm

im bringing an old shoe tommorow to symbolically throw at this admin. and their out of control, egotistical and reckless spending that could put this great country at risk. jerry curran louisville,ky.

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 12:19 pm

NO, NO, NO. Our payroll taxes have gone down. The money they take out of our checks that has gone down, by $13. Everytime you buy something you are paying for the corporate, business, capital gains, and every other tax that adds to the expense of running a business. So no our overall taxes are not going down.
The protest is against the biggest, stupidest increase in government since FDR. Everything that they are doing to supposedly help the economy, that has never worked in the history of the world.
Oh, and stop with the last 8 years stuff, what is happening now is Obama's responsibility.

jerry curran
Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 12:28 pm

i just read some of the comments here and i feel like im back in 1939 where people in europe didn't even realize they had a problem.just idiotic ranting and appeasement as their countries slowly slipped away from them as they mumbled to themselves theres no problem we'll just keep giving in till we have no more country.you silly fools you're throwing america away and you don't even realise it.how sad. why dont you stand up with us tommorow like your ancesters and fight for this great country before it becomes france.

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 12:29 pm

At this point in time, I'm looking at the “parties” as a DarwinMoment. When most people going to the “parties” realize they weren't effective, some of them will turn on their leaders, realizing that they have no real clue about how to oppose BHO's policies. And, some will realize that, when millions of Americans are out of work, holding a whinefest about taxation is not exactly going to get them much support.

My posts on the parties are here. I should add to that list because there are other things wrong with them that I could point out. However, #3 at the current list links to what the “partiers” should be doing: discrediting politicians by asking them real questions to their face on video. That would have more of an impact than a million “tea parties”.

P.S. This article also fails to note that one of the groups pushing the parties – Americans for Prosperity – is part of the “Kochtopus”. Google that if you don't know what it means. The article also fails to note that Armey, Norquist, and the Kochtopus all support something that most “partiers” probably oppose. In fact, those major supporters might end up stabbing their useful idiot followers in the back over that issue.

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 12:35 pm

geez, are we back to the silent majority again? i thought instead it was the overwhelming vote by americans at the polls who elected our new president?

i for one will not be attending a tea party. i do not make over $250K/yr so need to protest the more equitable tax rate on the wealthy; i blame bush for the bailouts, aig, and bank sweetheart deals done on his watch not our new president's; and i further blame the previous administration for getting us into this mess in the first place.

i like the “40 hour work week, a minimum wage, worker's compensation, unemployment compensation, a federal law banning child labor, direct federal aid for unemployment relief, social security, a revitalized public employment service and medicare.” all brought to us by a democrat and a woman!

“The woman behind the new deal, the life of frances perkins, fdr's secretary of labor.” kirstin downey

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 12:54 pm

I agree! People have become so use to government bullying and have forgotten that these people work for us; not the other way around.

No Pye with our tea | Fresh Loaf
Pingback posted April 14, 2009 @ 2:17 pm

[...] Washington Independent’s David Weigel interviewed local Libertarian Jason Pye about mainstream Republicans piggy-backing on the Tea Party [...]

The Agitator » Blog Archive » Teabagging
Pingback posted April 14, 2009 @ 2:25 pm

[...] by a variety of other causes, too, including anti-immigration and anti-gay protesters, and, now, many of the mainstream GOP hacks that had no problem growing the federal government back when they were in [...]

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 1:37 pm

I'm not exactly sure what you're protesting. Could you be specific? I've heard a lot of people (including Beck & co.) like you say that we need to do something to save our country, but I'm just not sure what I'm supposed to be saving it from. Educate me, please.

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 1:38 pm

If they do know, they're ignoring it.

Stephen Daugherty
Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 1:38 pm

Because the whole concept is full of it. The principle objection to the Tea tax in the colonial times was that such taxes were being levied without the colonies being represented in Parliament, able to decide what would come of the revenues.

That's Taxation Without Representation.

But these fools are taking up this banner in a day and age where not only are they represented, but they are being taxed less than they were under their favorite President, Ronald Reagan.

And this silent majority thing? How convenient it is, to have a silent majority which need not evidence itself by visible measures like polls and elections. Anything to not have to realize that this isn't a Center-Right nation anymore, or worse that Republicans as a party were merely being tried out by a skeptical public.

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 1:42 pm

Yes, they are incapable of coming up with specifics. I have yet to hear any of them tell me which financial policies in particular they are objecting to, or which of their “God given Liberties” have been taken away (or are going to be taken away). Some of them can't even tell me what they are protesting against, except to say “the stuff the government is doing.”

I'm all for a good protest. But seriously, I like to at least know what I'm protesting.

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 1:45 pm

It's not about talking negatively, it's about trying to get you to state what it is exactly you're opposed to. If you all knew what you were protesting, it would go a long way towards making you look a little less silly. And if you had some actual policies to object to, maybe something could be done about it. But to protest just for the sake of protesting (which is what you're doing if you can't give specifics) is not going to get you very far. Maybe it's silly of some of us to try to point this out to you, or try to understand your concerns better, but so be it.

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 1:46 pm

I really wish someone could answer that for me, Polaris. I'm trying to understand.

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 1:51 pm

If you're looking for even MORE irony in all of this, there are now warnings being sent out that protesters should not, under any circumstances, sign anything or provide their contact information to anyone, because ACORN will be sending out spies to find out who the dissidents are. So they may end up getting all of these people together in one place in order to get potential donor lists, and have everyone so paranoid (of a non-profit housing agency, no less) that they can't even collect names. It's really going to be entertaining to watch.

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 1:52 pm

What does “unconstitutional spending” mean?

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 1:53 pm

In what way? What policies are you talking about? How exactly are we moving into fascism? I truly do not understand. Please educate me!

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 1:54 pm

I can't get anyone to tell me what exactly they are protesting. It's very frustrating.

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 1:56 pm

I feel as if I was in liberal democratic Germany in 1930 when people didn't realize they had a problem with Nazis screaming hatred of the government from every street corner, and kept giving in to these “patriots” until Hitler had sneaked into power, pulled his 9/11 and passed his Patriot Act.

The Nazis were pro-business, pro-property, pro-male supremacy, and obviously, white supremacists. Hitler had an autographed photo of Henry Ford in his office. Hitler's primary support demographics were small businessmen and rural folks. George W. Bush's grandfather Prescott supported the fascistic DuPont conspiracy against FDR in 1934, and later was convicted of trading with the Nazis during the war. The DuPont conspiracy, by the way, involved far-right businessmen whipping up right-wing war veterans into a militia that would be used to intimidate FDR into abandoning the New Deal. Google it.

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 2:09 pm

When you take back your nation, will you bother to stop the trillion-dollar a year pro-Bush American war machine that has bases in 130 foreign countries and is responsible for:

2 million dead Vietnamese
1 million dead Iraqis
over 1 million dead Indonesians (by the US-supported Indonesian Army)
200,000 dead in tiny Guatemala?

Why is it only a waste of money to FEED ni**er babies, but never a waste of money to KILL ni**er babies? Your bunch only hates government when it reduces inequality, never when it increases it.

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 2:13 pm

I'm going to join this protest! How dare Barry O'BamBam stuff an extra $70 a month into my paycheck! Redistributive bastard!

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 2:37 pm


Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 2:49 pm

The answer to your question is another question:

Why did the militia movement want to repeal the 13th Amendment?

Now they had their claims about why, but consider who in practice would actually have lost their right to vote without the 13th Amendment. More power to “good” Americans – just like the good Americans at these rallies.

Tom the Drinker's Son
Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 3:06 pm

The “Silent majority,” as defined by Aristotle, who coined the term, is THE DEAD.

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 3:25 pm

he gives you 70 and taxes you 100

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 3:31 pm

these people are protesting high taxes and government interfearance of free markets.at least the not protesting for a cop killer to be set free.you liberals are fucked up.

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 3:44 pm

i heard there is millions showing up and the tea parties keep growing.there are dems, republicans,blacks whites.you name it.its beautiful

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 3:55 pm

Sarah & Polaris–excellent questions. They seem to be protesting the fact that they lost, and that President Obama is popular.

I agree–teabaggers–what specific policies are you protesting, and why? And you're aware that if you make under $250,000 a year, you get a tax *cut*, right? Also that, when our economy was booming (the post-war boom, 1946-1974), it was booming in part because the tax rate on the wealthy was quite high–upwards of 90%, in some cases? Finally, if you're concerned about debt and fiscal responsibility, you're aware that the debt's so big because of George W. Bush's 2001 irresponsible tax cut for the rich ($1.6 trillion) and because of the Iraq War ($2 trillion and counting)? Where were you guys then? Why didn't you protest Bush?

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 4:05 pm

Who here is talking about Mumia Abu Jamal? You do realize liberals aren't all monolithic and believe in the same thing, right? I mean, I know that is probably a foreign concept to you, but we don't all believe the same things nor protest the same things. Mumia Abu Jamal is a cop-killer and the reason the economy is on life support is a lack of regulation of your precious free-markets, you mouthbreather. Try having a clue as to the reality of what's going on in your country before you start spouting off next time.

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 4:10 pm

you make no sense dude.go to france if you just want to maintain a mediocre life .this is america.being poor is a choice,and getting rich is a choice.socialism has never ,ever worked anywhere.my advice to you is to read economics before you vote.be your own person,not a government slave.

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 4:11 pm

from socialism dummy.

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 4:20 pm

This is rich: A bunch of people who stridently supported George W. Bush, the man who presided over the greatest increase in the size and scope of the federal government/police state for 8 years and shouted down all opposition with implications of treason and paeans to the “free market” are now crying about the government being too big and taking too much of their money, despite the fact that anyone making under $250k is getting a tax cut. What's the matter, crybabies? Does the Puppet In Chief have the wrong letter behind his name and now you're mad?

You partisan chumps are the reason our economy and our democracy are such jokes. You people treat governance like a damn football game, rooting for your teams, ignoring anything your team does that goes counter to your so-called beliefs. You cry about pork, but are the first people with your hands out for a hand-out when YOUR Senators and Congressman whip up crap like the Bridge To Nowhere. You turn a blind eye to the plight of your fellow man and only give a crap about sustaining your own cushy lifetstyle. You most likely are in debt up to your eyeballs because you feel compelled to keep up with the Joneses and drive a Hummer and buy your kids Hannah Montana crap and anesthetize yourselves with TV.

And now this: tea parties that completely miss the point of the original Boston Tea Party (they were protesting taxation without representation, by the way, you dullards. You HAVE representation, it's not just the guy you voted for in most cases, and now you're throwing a tantrum. So much for your love of Democracy), are co-opted by the same parasitic Republican politicians who drove our country off a cliff while emitting war whoops for the last 8 years and was supposedly inspired by some blow-dried idiot from CNBC who has made a career out of lying to chumps like you in order to inspire “consumer confidence” sufficient that you'll make risky investments and line the pockets of their Wall Street buddies.

But yeah, OBAMA is the real problem.

God you people are tools.

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 4:25 pm

You're not right! You're a boob who clearly has no clue whatsoever as to what socialism actually means. Here's a clue, genius: Before you go spouting off telling people to “read economics”, maybe you should have the slightest understanding of what the hell you're talking about first!

Being poor is a choice? Hahaha, ok Mr. “read economics”! I guess institutionalized poverty doesn't exist because some dope on the internets said so!

Please, teach us some more you massive idiot! I want to learn from you!

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 4:27 pm

Again, you clearly have no idea what you're talking about. Please, for the edification of all of us poor feeble people who aren't you, tell us, what is socialism?

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 4:32 pm

you cant learn.you have to do it yourself.government cant help you its impossible.sooner or latter you run out of other peoples money.ill give you a stock tip.massive inflation is on the way.the fed printed money because obama spent to much on communistic gov.buy oil and food stocks,youll make money while the rest of the freeloaders become poorer

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 4:39 pm

by the way.for socialism to work 100% of population has to be down with it.im not and i only make $100,000.00 a year. i work hard but thats ok. move to france where everyone makes $30,000.00 on average.class envy is bad for you.i wish you all the luck,your going to need it.

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 4:42 pm

bush wasted 1 trillion,obama is wasting 10 trillion.plus obama,frank,reid,dodd,acorn all have their hands in this crisis also.this is a 1 term president

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 4:46 pm

your getting closer.1998 CRA reform.lets give houses away for free.now that obama is in the car business,acorn can give them away also ON YOUR AND MY DIME.im actually on your side.you just cant see it.see me in 5 years.ill give you a job.

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 4:47 pm

You have no idea what words mean, do you? You clearly don't understand the basic definitions of either communism OR socialism. You're just parroting empty right wing talking points. FAIL.

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 4:49 pm

ACORN? Jesus, you have no grasp on reality whatsoever, just a bunch of stale talking points, Randian b.s. and posturing. You're probably posting from the library on your lunch break from Chik-Fil-A. Please, spare us all your idiocy and “pull yourself up by your bootstraps!” crap. You are intellectually and morally bankrupt and you should kill yourself.

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 4:52 pm

Just as an aside, I find it interesting that the folks on this site who are expressing a more progressive viewpoint tend to also use proper spelling, grammar, and less profanity. I suspect this reflects the changes that have taken place in the Republican party over the last decade or so, changes that have led many of my Republican friends to vote for a Democratic president for the first time ever. They also all express a pretty high degree of satisfaction with Pres. Obama so far…it would be nice to have two viable parties in our country again, but I don't think the answer lies within the Republican party as it presently exists.

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 4:59 pm

then why dont you tell us.im not trying to argue ,im trying to help.socialism leads to communism.GOV CONTROL.LESS FREEDOM .

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 5:03 pm

typical brainwashed reply.

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 5:03 pm

ACORN has nothing to do with anything, you idiot. ACORN didn't make banks give people loans, and they certainly didn't make those banks create b.s. commodities called credit default swaps based on all of those shaky loans. Greedy ass Wall Street swine created a bunch of assets that became toxic when it became evident to even the braindead business media that the housing market bubble had burst. But hey, don't let the facts get in the way of you scapegoating idiotic poor people who were assured by financial professionals that their loans were solid and they could afford them forever. Without the credit default swaps, this crisis would have been over by now, and they were made ENTIRELY by Wall Street. ACORN, Obama, Frank, Reid and Dodd had no power whatsoever over Wall Street regulation at the time this was going on.

Let me repeat: You don't have even a fundamental understanding of economics or the causes of the current financial crisis your country is currently mired in (along with hundreds of other countries around the world). You don't know what socialism actually is. You have no idea what communism is. You clearly have no idea how economics or our economy works. You are a moron.

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 5:28 pm

I make under $250K a year and don't see a tax cut period. If George Bush's running up of a deficit was so evil (and it was), why now is it okay to triple his spending? You make no sense. If it's wrong, it's wrong, no matter what party is in charge. I'd like you to prove that the “economy was booming in the early 70's because tax rates on the rich were “quite high”. With all do respect, you have no idea what you're talking about.

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 5:41 pm

they fought against regulation of fannie may.they all took money from fannie may,acorn thugs threatened bank ceo's with racism charges.wall street fucked up with credit default swaps among other dirrevitives,ect.but who do you blame the scientist who made the virus or the ones who spread it.both parties are to blame,but massive spending on more gov programs are not the cure.

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 5:46 pm

I'm with you.In 300 years the United States (WITH CAPITALISM) rose to the most respected economic powerhouse in the world.Socialistic programs WILL NOT WORK.People just don't understand.

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 5:52 pm

you now .you voted for it.the black caucus just got back from CUBA .Loved CASTRO.THE DEMS started slavery.Consevatists ended it.You are the next slave.But we will save you again.YOU CANT KILL THIS COUNTRY

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 6:17 pm

You are an imbecilic lunatic

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 6:19 pm

You have no idea what you're talking about and you can't spell for shit. Go away now littlebrain, the grownups are talking.

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 6:21 pm

People understand just fine, you braindead turd: no one is promoting socialism and no one is trying to get socialism implemented in the USA. You are a paranoid lunatic. Seek help, or at least a dictionary to actually find out what socialism means, since you don't have a clue about that.

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 6:24 pm

Where were you for the last 8 years when the government wiped its ass with the Constitution? Oh right, Bush wasn't raising taxes on the super rich so you didn't give a shit about freedom until your tiny peabrain was infected with this nonsense about socialism and communism, neither of which are being implemented and neither of which have any chance of being implemented in the United States. You are a moron running on fear and ignorance and trying to scare other morons with the long-dead boogeyman of the Red Menace.


Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 6:24 pm

Typical moron reply: When you can't debate, cite facts or define any of the terms you keep throwing around like a chimp flinging his poo, you accuse the other party of being brainwashed. How convenient!

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 6:32 pm

what the hell are you talking about – socialism works great until you run out of other peoples' money…..

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 6:34 pm

I live in Chicago, and walk up and down the streets every day….I can show you many people for whom being poor was a choice, is a choice and continues to be a choice.

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 6:35 pm

The name calling really goes a long way towards convincing me.

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 6:37 pm

again – goes a long way towards convincing me you're even close to being correct

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 6:39 pm

you're not brainwashed, just wrong

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 6:41 pm

I think you should keep reading.

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 6:43 pm

No, but the CRA made the banks give loans…..let's talk about CRA…..Out of curiosity, what in your background makes your position morally superior to others?

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 7:24 pm

Obama has dwarfed any overspending that the previous administration in just two months. He is throwing trillions of dollar around that we simply do not have. The deficit hie proposes in his budget is close to 5 times the amount we had a couple years ago. Bush did not do a thing to control spending, but this current situation is dramatically worse.

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 7:31 pm

ACORN absolutely had a role, as did the Community agitator In Chief. There was intense pressure from that group to expand affordable housing. CRA created an artificially low requirement for loans in the name of 'affordable housing'. It was actually the single biggest problem here, period. No question about it. When lower or no down payment is required people buy houses they cannot afford and the problem begins. Fannie & Freddie get in the act, and are there in the competitive arena, the banks have to follow suit or they can't compete. Also Fannie/Freddie are there to buy up mortgages, lessening the risk to banks. Frank, Dodd and crowd fought tooth and nail to prevent new regulations. I love how the left can completely ignore the source of the problem here. Idiocy rules the day on all sides.

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 7:38 pm


Bush lowered taxes for everyone, took many off the tax rolls completely, and lowered the lower and middle brackets the most percentage. His 'evil' cuts for the rich dropped them a whopping 4 percent. Socialism is a ligitimate concern here, and Obama is just the latest chapter and the biggest champion of the ideas to get in the office. Government gets bigger and excerpts more control. This has been going on steadily for too long. The more government touches, the more special interests have need to get involved int he government. Vicious cycle. Why do you think so much money is in politics on all sides…influence and control. The more money into politics, the more politicians get involved where they have no business. This President raised nearly a billion dollars….he has a lot of people to thank.

Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 7:46 pm

Uh, an ever growing federal government that is spending it's way into collapse. Printing money to hand it to failed companies. Spending trillions of dollars on their special interests in the name of 'stimulus' even though most won't be spent until the recession is predicted to be over by their own studies. Layers and layers of burdensome taxes, at all levels.

Comment posted April 15, 2009 @ 12:43 am

I pray that something positive happens….like the passing of The Fair Tax (H.R. 25/S. 296).

Comment posted April 15, 2009 @ 3:12 am

When you resort to sophomoric banter then whatever point you make vailid or otherwise is instantly discredited. I wouldn't vote for anyone on the “God You People are Tools” ticket. :)

Comment posted April 15, 2009 @ 8:24 am

Polaris – “Jesus – that’s a bit of a stretch.”

how so?

to summarize my point again, while it may be a problem for the organizers of the Tea Parties to keep fringe elements , this dilemma wasn’t shared by “mainstream” progressives who actively attached themselves to events organized by fringe elements.

i’ll put it a third way, to clear up your confusion: you cannot compare the two aptly except as opposites. the tea parties are being organized by mainstream elements (as progressives seem to want to make a “scandal” of) and they may attract fringies. the astroturf “antiwar” rallies progressives participated in were organized by fringies and “mainstream” progressives chose to associate themselves with them.

you tell me which part of that was a stretch. in the meantime, here’s what that means: let a million snapshots of immigration nutters and angry bald dudes insinuating themselves amongst the crowds at the tea party demonstrations proliferate on the lefty blogs. they could never be assembled into a case for culpability similar to what conservative bloggers were able to make against progressives with their snapshots of hamas flags, hate literature and lit effigies of u.s. troops and officials taken from those demonstrations.

Comment posted April 15, 2009 @ 6:50 am

Jammy's rant certainly proves your point.

Comment posted April 15, 2009 @ 6:56 am

Yes and those very Progressive and Civilized shows like Keith Olbermann where he uses language such as “Bushhhed” and “Worser and Worst Person”. Yes the liberal, “progressive” left is so much more educated and civilized then the Right.

Watching the left and right fight is like watching my two five year old nephews throw matchbox cars at each other.

Comment posted April 15, 2009 @ 9:07 am

I too like these things, but we're still long overdue for minimum mandated vacation days. If we had three weeks a year (as they have in civilized societies), we would be in much better physical and mental health as a country. Our citizens would also have ample time to see the rest of the world.

Too many folks have worked their fingers to the bone while under the assumption they would be rewarded with “retirement.” We have recently seen this is not a guarantee, in disastrous numbers. People over the age of 70 have lost everything, and are now delivering pizzas or greeting Wal-mart customers. It's a shame they weren't guaranteed more than the average 7-10 vacation days while they were in optimal health.

Like the anti-war folks « Tangzine
Pingback posted April 15, 2009 @ 2:14 pm

[...] by a variety of other causes, too, including anti-immigration and anti-gay protesters, and, now, many of the mainstream GOP hacks that had no problem growing the federal government back when they were in [...]

Comment posted April 15, 2009 @ 2:59 pm

this is beautiful.blacks,whites,dems,conservatives.this is big.this will not go away.CAPITALISM is why we are the best in the world.you can't take god from these people,you can't over tax these people.you can't take freedom.Capitalism in pure form with free markets is wealth for all mankind.

Comment posted April 15, 2009 @ 3:16 pm

funny i tuned in to MSNBC for a laugh.the tea parties are not all about taxes.expansion of government means less freedom.they regulate this and that,and we know free markets spread weath.if the things obama does do not work(ITS A FACT)they either know nothing about econamics or they do it on purpose.the latter scares me the most.

It’s not the Boston Tea Party « Mnemosyne Writes
Pingback posted April 15, 2009 @ 10:55 pm

[...] Tea Parties staged today in hundreds of cities, egged on by conservative groups and think tanks but populated by flesh-and-blood, fed-up opponents of President Obama, were less [...]

Comment posted April 15, 2009 @ 10:28 pm

I live in Chicago. You can't back this up – but please try, as I would love to live to have it explained to me.

Comment posted April 15, 2009 @ 10:41 pm

What economic system does work great even after you run out of other people's money? You say you live in Chicago, so you must know whats been going on here in the country…think. Stupid.

Comment posted April 16, 2009 @ 10:03 am

I think they should have called it “Drink the Kool-aid Party”. The facts used to work people up are so distorted. From who started the bailout (last administration) to who is getting taxed when. And so close after an election, who can say they did not get a representation? Only the ones that did not bother to vote.
Where were the tea parties when spend and pretend the money is there Republicans were in charge?

Comment posted April 16, 2009 @ 1:16 pm

this is funny.liberals, msnbc,and the like making fun of fellow americans,who wish the government to not steal their money,and let them have the freedom we all deserve.you liberals are so fucked up that you scare the hell out of me.tea parties are stoopid to you,but protests to free criminals are kool.god help you.i will pray for you

Comment posted April 17, 2009 @ 11:39 am

any form of government intervention(yes that includes bush bailout also) is a form of socialism.you cant water down capitalism,or you get france.socialism leads to communism.the obama admin.should not be in the bank or auto business.IT WILL NOT WORK.

Comment posted April 17, 2009 @ 11:40 am

keep voting democrat and you will find out

Comment posted April 19, 2009 @ 10:23 pm

Thanks… for nothing.

Comment posted April 24, 2009 @ 7:22 am

You're right in one regard: This crisis was caused by a lack of regulation. Freddy and Fannie amounted to a small portion of the sub-prime market, and a fairly stable portion of it.

When Wall Street realized how much money was to be made by making bad loans, packaging them with good loans and reselling them as derivatives, THAT is when things got out of hand. Every shady loan company was filling their books with things like “liar's loans” and selling them to investment banks who didn't care. The rating agencies who are supposed to investigate these loans just wrote them off as good without doing their job to investigate if they were bogus or not.

And then there's the deregulation, Clinton expanded the CRA, Bush did too (part of his whole “compassionate conservative” shtick). Clinton signed Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act into law (named for it's 3 REPUBLICAN authors), which repealed the old Glass-Steagle Act, a depression era regulation which kept investment banks, rating agencies and other financial institutions separate. Important, because a vertical monopoly (owning every step in an economic process) gives these institutions a great reason to run fast and loose (read: fraud) with money they've been entrusted with. Hell, this is one of the things that lead to the crash in '29, which preceded the Great Depression.

My rage is bipartisan. You think we'd have learned something from our history.

Comment posted April 26, 2009 @ 4:07 pm

Following these tea parties is quite interesting, as they're pulling in a diverse group of different types of conservatives.

Which was more egregious???? - Debate Politics Forums
Pingback posted April 27, 2009 @ 4:03 am

[...] Was Planned Months Ago by GOP Billionaires | Corporate Accountability and WorkPlace | AlterNet The Washington Independent Tea Party Activists: Tax Day Events Will Attract ‘Silent Majority&#… It’s not grass roots, it’s not some uprising, it’s part of the conservative machine (I consider [...]

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Comment posted June 14, 2009 @ 7:44 am

It's a crime that the majoring Of the morons voted for CHANGE,WE need to take OUR country back.Between Clintons and This jackass in office now we are LOSING our freedom becoming more like old russia.What dear god would Ronnie Reagen say about ALL of this.My husband fought 3tours of Nam shot twice and a lifer,(for those who don't know what lifer is,retired military 26yrs)Sign us up for this party the republicans sold us out.And the morons in power are taking the very same freedom that my husband fought for.We do not believe NO one should be in the Oval lffice whom has NEVER been to war in foreign soil It's time the USA wakes up and gets rid of these arrogant Democrats.We love our country

Ellen Brehony
Comment posted June 14, 2009 @ 2:44 pm

It's a crime that the majoring Of the morons voted for CHANGE,WE need to take OUR country back.Between Clintons and This jackass in office now we are LOSING our freedom becoming more like old russia.What dear god would Ronnie Reagen say about ALL of this.My husband fought 3tours of Nam shot twice and a lifer,(for those who don't know what lifer is,retired military 26yrs)Sign us up for this party the republicans sold us out.And the morons in power are taking the very same freedom that my husband fought for.We do not believe NO one should be in the Oval lffice whom has NEVER been to war in foreign soil It's time the USA wakes up and gets rid of these arrogant Democrats.We love our country

Progressive Nation » Blog Archive » Conservatives New Strategist: Saul Alinsky
Pingback posted August 12, 2009 @ 1:58 pm

[...] that has pro­vided guid­ance to many “Tea Party” orga­niz­ers and town hall row­dies, told TWI that the group was “apply­ing Saul Alinsky’s ‘Rules for Rad­i­cals’” in its approach [...]

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