Learning to Manage the Fringe

By
Thursday, February 18, 2010 at 6:00 am
Texas GOP gubernatorial candidate Debra Medina speaks with the press after an interview with Glenn Beck. (YouTube)

Texas GOP gubernatorial candidate Debra Medina speaks with the press after her interview with Glenn Beck. (YouTube)

The annual Conservative Political Action Conference kicks off in Washington today, and one would-be conservative star — Debra Medina — won’t be missed.

In late January, polls showed Medina’s campaign for governor of Texas surging from single digits — the usual terrain of first-time candidates given to talk of “revolution” and nullifying federal laws — into the low twenties. That was enough support to force a run-off, and enough to turn the media’s attention to the latest story of surprising Tea Party success. Then, on February 11, Glenn Beck booked her on his radio show and asked whether a nasty rumor was true. Did she “believe the government was in any way involved with the bringing down of the World Trade Centers on 9/11?”

[GOP1]Medina didn’t say no. “I don’t have all of the evidence, there, Glenn,” she said, stumbling a bit over her words. “And I think the American people have not seen all of the evidence there. So I have not taken a position on that.”

A groan went up across the conservative blogosphere. When Medina backpedaled by pointing out that Americans also had questions about President Barack Obama’s citizenship, a louder groan went up. Erick Erickson, the influential editor of RedState.com — a website that regularly features guest posts from Republican politicians — announced that the site, which had always banned 9/11 conspiracy theories, was also banning “birthers.”

“If you think 9/11 was an inside job,” wrote Erickson, “or you really want to debate whether or not Barack Obama is an American citizen eligible to be President, RedState is not a place for you.”

One Tea Party activist who watched this unfold with dismay was Judson Phillips. Days before the Medina meltdown, he wrapped up the first National Tea Party Convention in front of dozens of TV cameras and 200 reporters. He’d announced the formation of a new Tea Party-driven PAC and introduced the press to Tea Party-affiliated congressional candidates.

“What Medina did,” Phillips mused this week to TWI, “that might have been the classic self-inflicted wound. It’s clear that she may have been a good candidate someday, and it’s clear that she wasn’t ready for prime time.”

When he ran the National Tea Party Convention, Phillips got a sense of how fringe beliefs and fringe activists could harm the movement. Handled correctly, they didn’t have to do much damage at all. On its first night, former congressman Tom Tancredo used his time at the podium to call the president “Barack Hussein Obama” and say his election could have been prevented by voter “literacy tests.” On its second night, WorldNetDaily Editor-in-Chief Joseph Farah spent roughly 10 minutes of a 40-minute speech musing about President Obama’s citizenship. Those stories got mainstream media coverage, and Phillips fielded questions on them, but the stories didn’t outlast the showy closing speech by Sarah Palin.

“For better or worse,” Phillips told TWI, “America’s got a really short attention span. If you go past a few days, people forget about it. Basically, if you don’t want to be taken down, you have to stay on message, and you have to ignore what the media is doing.”

Phillips’s experience wasn’t unqiue. Conservative activists and Republican politicians have, thus far in the Obama presidency, largely been able to escape the negative attention generated by the movement’s fringes. A February 11 ABC News/Washington Post poll found 35 percent of Americans holding favorable views of the Tea Party movement to 40 percent who hold negative views — negative overall, but better than the ratings for Congress. And that same poll found voters splitting evenly, 46 percent to 46 percent, on whether they wanted the Democrats or the Republicans to win control of Congress in the midterm elections. Despite the increased visibility and power of out-of-the-mainstream activists and rhetoric, the party itself is on steadier footing.

All of this is on the minds of conservatives and liberals alike today as they arrive for CPAC, the traditional gathering of conservatives that brings presidential hopefuls, young activists, and power players to a D.C. hotel. In the run-up to the convention, CPAC Director Lisa De Pasquale announced that a panel on Obama’s citizenship had been ruled out and took the side of GOProud, a gay Republican group, in a dispute with religious conservatives — the leader of the group, Jimmy LaSalvia, is now slated to appear on a Saturday technology panel.

At the same time, CPAC has accepted the sponsorship of the John Birch Society — a far-right group famously exiled from the conservative movement by William F. Buckley. And some figures in the “birther” movement will be making appearances at the conference. Gary Kreep, a lawyer who represents fringe presidential candidate Alan Keyes in a suit demanding Obama’s birth certificate, will appear on a panel titled “Saving Freedom and Due Process from An Oppressive Justice Department,” alongside Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. Hi-Caliber, a Republican rapper who dropped a verse about Obama’s citizenship at the 9/12 march on Washington, will appear at party hosted by XPAC2010, a series of religious conservative events happening alongside CPAC.

The toxic fringe issues that convinced activists to distance themselves from Medina won’t be the only controversial elements of the movement coming into the CPAC spotlight. While at past conferences Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.)’s brand of anti-Federal Reserve, strict constructionist conservative has gotten a polite reception, this year representatives from his Campaign for Liberty are co-sponsoring multiple panels. The Tea Party movement, blasted by Democratic leaders and liberal activists for the extremism that surfaces at some rallies, is an even greater presence.

Liberals are primed to find and publicize every CPAC flirtation with fringe politics. TalkingPointsMemo has assigned three reporters to cover the event and Faiz Shakir, the editor of ThinkProgress, told TWI that some number of staffers will attend the convention with video cameras. In the run-up, other liberal-leaning news organizations have run stories on the sensational themes of CPAC panels and a Nancy Pelosi pinata that will be beaten up at an off-site party. But conservatives, who have grown used to having to explain the actions of fringe activists, have seen that coverage of CPAC before. But if the recent past is prologue, making hay out of the fringe elements that will walk the halls, and the event stage, with possible 2012 GOP candidates, won’t do lasting damage.

“Everybody talks about William F. Buckley repudiating the Birchers,” said J.P. Freire, an editor at the Washington Examiner who was the 2009 CPAC Journalist of the Year. “That’s fine. That’s supposed to happen. But he didn’t spend the rest of his career belaboring the point. When you want to ostracize the fringe, you do not clamp down on it. You ignore it.”

When Freire received his award last year, he had just come from speaking at one of the first-ever Tea Party protests, a rally of around 100 people in Lafayette Square. One year of aggressive and mocking media coverage of that movement, he said, had revealed that the only people damaged by fringe behavior were the offenders themselves — not the conservative movement.

“This is out of Saul Alinsky,” said Freire, suggesting that it was a distraction that wasn’t selling given the grievances that mainstream activists had with Democratic policies. “You’re trying to marginalize the critics, but you’re not addressing their concerns.”

Conservatives have become aware that fringe issues can trip them up. J.D. Hayworth, a former congressman from Arizona who’s challenging Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in the primary, has stumbled in interviews when asked about the president’s citizenship. On Monday, Republican congressional candidate Sean Duffy told TWI that he’s asked “the birther question” from time to time, but he quickly dismisses it and moves on, as he does when asked if he supports plans to nullify or abolish social insurance.

“There are people on the fringe of everything,” said Terry Jeffrey, the editor of CNSNews.com, who is moderating a panel on “Saving Freedom from The Enemies of Our Values” at CPAC. “I just don’t think that the average person identifies some nut, somewhere, with what conservatism is all about. The bigger problem is that the president needs to answer for some of the people at the White House, and the crazy things they’ve said.”

Liberal watchdogs and bloggers aren’t changing their plans. Last year, ThinkProgress correspondents got multiple Republicans on video commenting on Rush Limbaugh’s remark that he wanted the president to “fail.” This year, they’re going to be demanding accountability again, even if conservatives figure they can police their own fringes and ignore the blowback.

“I’m not trying to shoot for the stars,” said Faiz Shakir, the editor of ThinkProgress. “All I want is a record. It shouldn’t be possible for people to duck into a conference, espouse hate-filled rhetoric, and duck out without a trace.”

Follow David Weigel on Twitter


Comments

80 Comments

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This post was mentioned on Twitter by TWI_news: Learning to Manage the Fringe http://bit.ly/dklzGS...


tommariner
Comment posted February 18, 2010 @ 7:12 am

This hyper-partisan flavor of campaigning and governing is doing real damage. On both sides.

Briefly visited a local “tea party” gathering this summer because I was interested (still am). Very amateur, very sincere, made a lot of sense. But, I was greeted by a yahoo with a racially oriented sign featuring my President. One of the failures of my life will be that I didn't deck the guy on the spot and make him eat the sign. When you pollute great ideas with kooky, prejudicial garbage you deserve anything you get.

Now that's partisan politics — if your side is the American people.


gunxclimber
Comment posted February 18, 2010 @ 7:16 am

What about the Tea Party darling Sarah Palin calling for a new investigation into 911? That is more fringe than what Debra Medina said. Story here: http://tr.im/palin911


thefold-Chris
Comment posted February 18, 2010 @ 9:45 am

Dave, going largely unscathed by the tea party fringe because the media is sure to make a distinction between tea bagger and Republican. I don't know what else to call people who voted twice for George Bush. Who poll overwhelmingly Republican and plan to vote (again) Republican in this year's elections. And who were no where to be found during the 8 years of Republican rule. But now that the GOP is no longer in control, they are mad. It's not a mere coincidence. Tea Baggers are Republican and they are mad that a Republican is not still in power.

Ask yourself this. If a Republican was still in the White House, would Fox News be organizing tea bagger protests against the government? Would elected Republican Members of Congress be organizing, inciting and attending protests against this country? Of course not. If John McCain had won, none of this would be going on.


thefold-Chris
Comment posted February 18, 2010 @ 9:45 am

Dave, going largely unscathed by the tea party fringe because the media is sure to make a distinction between tea bagger and Republican. I don't know what else to call people who voted twice for George Bush. Who poll overwhelmingly Republican and plan to vote (again) Republican in this year's elections. And who were no where to be found during the 8 years of Republican rule. But now that the GOP is no longer in control, they are mad. It's not a mere coincidence. Tea Baggers are Republican and they are mad that a Republican is not still in power.

Ask yourself this. If a Republican was still in the White House, would Fox News be organizing tea bagger protests against the government? Would elected Republican Members of Congress be organizing, inciting and attending protests against this country? Of course not. If John McCain had won, none of this would be going on.


eric blair
Comment posted February 18, 2010 @ 10:40 am

Beck is a a fake revolutionary who has hijacked the freedom movement and is being used to lead conservatives and libertarians down the rabbit hole.
He appeals to selected movements and groups by initially appearing to listen to or support their causes or interests, before proceeding to shoot them down in flames.
Tea Party protesters, end the Fed campaigners and Ron Paul supporters have all been endorsed by Beck in one form or another, before later being referred to as dangerous anarchists or radicals in Beck's game of bait and switch.
His complete lack of credibility owing to his rampant hypocrisy and flip flopping also acts as demonization by association to such grassroots groups.
Beck is without doubt one of the most loathsome, un-American, big government worshipping corporate media whores ever to open his big mouth. He is a man who fakes crying on demand for photo shoots and proclaims his love for America while selling out every single idea that made America great, the right to dissent, the right to question, and the right to exercise the liberties enshrined in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.


Adam
Comment posted February 18, 2010 @ 10:43 am

Actually it would still be going on, but it would be much smaller. Fox would not be involved (at least not in a positive way). What you and a lot of other Lib/progressive/Dem what ever you call yourselves don't seem to understand, is that a lot of the people that attend these gatherings did not approve of Bush, and some of even voted for Obama, hoping for the promised change. All the aforementioned people want is a constitutional government, and we are not getting it.


thefold-Chris
Comment posted February 18, 2010 @ 11:18 am

Not true at all. A very small percentage are people who voted for Obama. The overwhelming majority are people who voted for George Bush twice. I'm sure some would claim to be big Ron Paul supporters too. But if they did not approve of Bush why weren't they protesting him? Where were they when Bush ran up a $1.3 trillion deficit? Where were they for 8 years when Bush grew government more than any president since FDR? Anyone who claims to be small government, fiscal conservative and didn't march in the streets holding up ridiculous signs when Bush was president that now expect people to believe any of this would still be going if Republicans were still in power are only kidding themselves. Actually I'm laughing with them.


spinnikerca
Comment posted February 18, 2010 @ 12:07 pm

The collectivist mindset of 'only associating with the PC' is dangerous, David. Those who hurt others, definitely deserve no hearing. But opinions and division of opinion are how the 'right' view is forged and cutting off debate is narrow minded.

You are becoming a one man slur against Ron Paul and like leaning candidates, as their popularity grows. Is that really the role in life you want for yourself?


gadsdengurl
Comment posted February 18, 2010 @ 12:09 pm

As usual, Wiegel writes about something about which most of us could CARE LESS.

Rick Perry is the establishment and as such MUST BE VOTED OUT. He recently got 'religion' when he rejected RTTT and affirmed the 10th.
But we all know where he stands on NAFTA

Let's face it folks — the “FRINGE” are the people currently IN THE WHITE HOUSE and they are the ones that must be 'managed' and tossed out, and soon….. the sooner the better… if we are to save this republic.

But it's fun to see the lefties twisting and turning about who the tea party is, who is their leader, who they endorse, LOL

What a waste of (their) time.. while we organize and mobilize the grassroots… let them flap their tongues all they want.

Who cares what Medina said?


spinnikerca
Comment posted February 18, 2010 @ 12:12 pm

There were protests. As the poster above notes, the media gave them no coverage. Check youtube if you are really interested. Use a date, say 2007, and try “ron paul” in the search bar.


gadsdengurl
Comment posted February 18, 2010 @ 12:15 pm

o true… you can't tell 'truthers' and 'birthers' what to think…. else you'd be violating your own principles of freedom of speech. I just happen to think both are losing issues… i.e. we will never know. However, far be it from me to tell someone to stop thinking and investigating if that's what floats their boat.

So this supposed comment by Medina, unless this is part of her stated platform, is of no consequence.. I like Beck but Beck is wrong here, but he is more defending Perry I think. He should do more homework on Perry to see how evil he is.


gadsdengurl
Comment posted February 18, 2010 @ 12:28 pm

First thanks for the potty mouth — it shows where you are all coming from. Second, where were we? Right here, and it took Obama to do 10X worse to wake up the rest of them.


gadsdengurl
Comment posted February 18, 2010 @ 12:30 pm

“Racially oriented” is very subjective. I doubt it was racist in nature… you give no proof.

Sarah Palin did not ask for investigations. Big Lie once again.


gadsdengurl
Comment posted February 18, 2010 @ 12:32 pm

True — a nice history of how the RPers started the TPs is on the NH Tea Party website… Who Owns the Tea Party I think it's called.


Adam
Comment posted February 18, 2010 @ 12:53 pm

Chris, I am not disagreeing with you about the Bush voters. They would not be there if McCain were president. That’s why I said it would be smaller. What you fail to understand is, and I will repeat it. A fair number of these people DID NOT approve of Bush. I did not vote for him either time. You are also stating what I have or have not done. How do you know I wasn't protesting Bush in the streets?

What I don't understand is why are you not protesting the current administration when we are getting the same as we did with Bush?
Is it because it’s ok when a Democrat does it?


Make The Pie Higher
Comment posted February 18, 2010 @ 1:20 pm

“As usual, Wiegel writes about something about which most of us could CARE LESS.”

Then why did you waste your incredibly precious time commenting?

“if we are to save this republic.”

Typical paranoid, fear mongering crap. Face it, indeed.


chrisjay
Comment posted February 18, 2010 @ 1:44 pm

post-Bush, rightwingers try to get past the obvious hypocrisy of their born-again concerns about deficit spending, etc, with a little lip-service about how they “disapproved” of any number of things Bush & the Repub congress did. I don't have a short-term memory problem, and I remember virtually all R's in lock-step with Bush & Co all down the line: not a peep out of anyone on the right about the economy, the Iraq debacle, the outing of a CIA agent from within the highest levels of the executive branch. It is a matter of record that the Repub congress was a rubber-stamp device for the reckless Bush/Cheney aganda. The 'outrage' that has suddenly erupted, along with such brainless and baseless remarks (right here on this thread) such as “Obama is 10X worse” leave me completely unconvinced that the right is just selling the same stinky snakeoil, re-bottled by the same old corporate scumbags.


chrisjay
Comment posted February 18, 2010 @ 1:55 pm

White trash extravaganza—-with emphasis on the word 'white'


thefold-Chris
Comment posted February 18, 2010 @ 2:05 pm

Smaller as in nonexistent. I never said all were Republican. I said an overwhelming majority of the tea baggers are people who voted for George Bush twice and plan on voting Republican again this year.

Of course people talking about Revolution! claiming themselves as freedom fighters will now say they opposed George Bush too. Heck, he left office with a 26% approval rating. Finding people who disapproved of him are a dime a dozen. My point is they (meaning the tea baggers) were not protesting George Bush. Yes people protested George Bush every day. He had the largest protests of any American president in history. But they weren't tea baggers. At least the large majority of them were not people whining about Big Government socialist takeovers. That's my point.

So people who now claim they are against Big Government and trillion dollar deficits were noticeably absent all throughout George Bush's reign. Are some of the people now aligning with the tea baggers Ron Paul people who also despised Bush? Absolutely. But the overwhelming majority are Republicans who voted for George Bush twice. The movement is based around people who sit and watch Fox News and listen to hate radio and want to sit and bump peter heads about small government. It's that simple.


patriciaajones
Comment posted February 18, 2010 @ 3:27 pm

The Beck vs. Medina thing wasn't an interview, it was an ambush and Rick Perry was behind it. Texans need to BootPerry.org right on down his NAFTA highway.


Make The Pie Higher
Comment posted February 18, 2010 @ 9:45 pm

Proof?


jaii
Comment posted February 18, 2010 @ 10:30 pm

Wouldn't the Liberal loonies just love to turn voters against Ms. Medina? She simply refused to give Glen Beck a direct answer to a trick question. GOOD FOR HER! Beck is an egotistical maniac who is blowing this thing up as a symbol of his importance. He thinks he's so cute he can destroy anyone. Not! Texans are smarter than he is and they may just make him look the fool he has made himself to be.

Since when is it political suicide to speak one's mind? Is Beck trying to establish his own speech police?


jaii
Comment posted February 18, 2010 @ 10:41 pm

How do you know “a very small percentage are people who voted for Obama?” Every single person I know who voted for Obama regret it and many are now in the Tea Party Movement.

As to fiscal matters, Bush ran up a $1.3 Trillion budget with a Democratic congress when our country was trying to recover from an enemy attack. The media staged the bank meltdown to get Obama elected and thanks to the libs it worked, but now millions are seeing Obama's true colors and we're mad as hell.


nader paul kucinich gravel
Comment posted February 19, 2010 @ 1:16 am

The 5 dancing Israelis arrested on 9/11 in NYC
were very proud of the work of the Mossad.

No more Twin Tower asbestos problem.


Make The Pie Higher
Comment posted February 19, 2010 @ 9:59 am

WTF are you babbling about? Put down the home brew and slowly back away from the computer.


ellid
Comment posted February 19, 2010 @ 10:11 am

One of things that amused me about the Republican National Convention in 2008 was how desperately they tried to conceal the fact that the attendees were overwhelmingly white, overwhelmingly middle aged or elderly, and more than half male. My roommate was practically falling off the sofa laughing at how the camera kept zooming in on the same two or three clusters of non-whites, and then pulling back to show that there were maybe a couple hundred dark faces in the entire hall….


McClarinJ
Comment posted February 19, 2010 @ 10:11 am

Swarms of new primary voters are taking part in the early voting of this Texas election, rendering recent polls unreliable. Could all these new voters be inspired by business-as-usual candidates or do they have something else in mind? Maybe the Glenn Beck flap alerted many to the fact they had a third choice. Should be interesting…


Make The Pie Higher
Comment posted February 19, 2010 @ 11:51 am

And this pin was for sale at the 2008 Republican convention:

http://www.preemptivekarma.com/archives/racist%…


CPAC, the JBS and Conservatism's Real Fringe | LibertyNews
Pingback posted February 19, 2010 @ 12:32 pm

[...] “fringe groups” that should be “purged,” according to some analysts, include “birthers” (those who dispute President Obama’s U.S. birth) and “9/11 [...]


mantis
Comment posted February 19, 2010 @ 1:58 pm

The media staged the bank meltdown to get Obama elected and thanks to the libs it worked, but now millions are seeing Obama's true colors and we're mad as hell.

Tinfoil hat's a bit tight today, isn't it?


chrisjay
Comment posted February 19, 2010 @ 2:01 pm

Trutherz on acid, I think.


ellid
Comment posted February 19, 2010 @ 2:11 pm

Latest polls contradict every statement you've made.


Make The Pie Higher
Comment posted February 19, 2010 @ 4:15 pm

Scary (and Trutherz on acid sounds like the name for a punk garage band).


chrisjay
Comment posted February 19, 2010 @ 10:00 pm

I know countless people who voted for Obama. Several are disappointed that he's farther to the right than they bargained for–a couple say that they wish they had gotten Hillary instead of Barry. None of 'em say they regret voting for him and NONE of them have turned into 'baggers.


Anthony
Comment posted February 20, 2010 @ 9:49 am

the camera kept zooming in on the same two or three clusters of non-whites

Even the perception of that is worse than if they just pretended that their were no non-whites where there.


Anthony
Comment posted February 20, 2010 @ 9:55 am

We know they exist. However, in the past they would have been ignored.


Alex__S
Comment posted February 22, 2010 @ 10:59 pm

It's a shame Medina backed off from her initial claims for skepticism. While I have no interest in supporting Texas Republicans, the time is long past for 9/11 skeptics to be represented in the public sphere, and I would like to see more candidates speaking up about the inconsistencies between the varying tales told by the Bush administration, the 9/11 Commission and other storytellers and the physical facts as they have been reported by such fringe media outlets as The New York Times and ABC News. Though there haven't been any real scientific studies of how much of the population has swallowed the official mythology, it seems fair to guess from various surveys that at least as many American voters believe American officials were complicit in 9/11 as approved of GWB's job performance when he left office. That's not fringe, that's real critical thinking going on, despite the endless MSM noise trying to drown out the dozens of reasonable questions about the preposterous idea that the attacks could have been orchestrated from a cave by a modern-day Fu Manchu fostering a religious hatred for the West. After all, if Osama Bin Laden has (err, make that HAD) the capacity to, for example, get aircraft into the hyper-sensitive air space near the Pentagon at random, perhaps we should be paying more attention to his technological contributions than Steve Jobs's.

It seems to me that the Democratic Party is going to need to learn how to manage the “fringe” as well… Just as some libertarians/Libertarians associated with the Tea Party movement are causing the GOP to try to co-opt the movement (despite failing to modify their Big Government/Big Empire platform), so will the loss of progressive support plague the Democrats in the next few years, if they don't at least create the perception of standing with their base. What has been politely called the “credibility gap” between the neoliberal Obama administration and the liberal and progressive values that inform the Democratic base is a fundamental difference in worldview that may prove more difficult to neutralize than the Tea Parties. Of course I remain skeptical about the prospect of a new party on the Left or perhaps a primary challenge for Obama in 2012, either of which I would be glad to see, but the blase that accompanied Martha Coakley to the polls in Massachusetts last month is not going to slow down if the administration continues its right-ward path.

At the end of the day, it comes down to appearances, not policy… The verdict is still out as to whether the appearance of a peppy, racist MILF like Sarah Palin will be enough to bring Tea Partiers back into the GOP fold, despite their Libertarian rhetoric… And so is the verdict out as to whether the progressive left is going to be so easily swayed by the prospect of electing (or supporting the party of) a mixed-race, exotically named, smooth talking faux-lefty, despite Obama's neoliberal, imperialistic policies. It seems to me, however, that it's easier to please the crowd looking for a reassuringly reactionary “conservative” view to glom onto than it is to win the forgiveness and understanding of a betrayed, justly skeptical progressive base.

I could be wrong, but to assume that the Democrats have everything sewed up on the Left is to ignore the fact that many on the Left pay attention to what Democrats do, not just what they say.


ellid
Comment posted February 23, 2010 @ 10:33 am

The above is proof that lunacy is not exclusive to the Right.


Alex__S
Comment posted February 23, 2010 @ 4:41 pm

Yes, nothing like an unfounded ad hominem attack to prove your intellectual superiority! Douche…


Make The Pie Higher
Comment posted February 24, 2010 @ 12:51 pm

Nothing like a flaming hypocrite accusing someone of name calling and calling her a douche at the same time.

hypocrite
noun
Example: A poster accusing others of ad hominem attacks and simultaneously responds with an ad hominem attack is a hypocrite. See pretender, dissembler, deceiver, liar, pietist, sanctimonious person, plaster saint; informal phony, fraud, sham, fake.


chrisjay
Comment posted February 24, 2010 @ 3:00 pm

There is plenty of Democraty Party to the left of Obama and the Senate leadership: to label that substancial demographic a “fringe” is preposterous. The Greens, Progressives etc are a little too sophisticated and adult to be dismissed as ranting Marxists. Conversely, on the right, the “fringe” is in a very fluid and dynamic state; although they regularly call for the overthrow of our gov't (Oath Keepers), depose and/or deport POTUS (Berfers) and re-fight the Civil War (most Teabaggers) they are treated with seriousness and civility (if not affection) by the mainstream media; anyone to left of center-right is also a “fringe”?
Maybe I'm not objective enough, but to posit an equivalency between a significant portion of the electorate (who find Obama governing from further to the right as advertised), and Teabaggers is a non-starter.


Make The Pie Higher
Comment posted February 25, 2010 @ 11:47 am

I'll take liberal loonies over fright wing freaks any day.


Make The Pie Higher
Comment posted February 26, 2010 @ 11:53 am

And the “Like” vote is obviously a mistake. Too bad there's no undo for that.


Make The Pie Higher
Comment posted February 26, 2010 @ 4:53 pm

And the “Like” vote is obviously a mistake. Too bad there's no undo for that.


Alex__S
Comment posted March 6, 2010 @ 1:00 am

Hey, I have no problem with some less-than-mature ad hominem spatting from time to time, I just find it more than a little inadequate in dealing with 3 substantive paragraphs, loony or not.


louis vuitton
Comment posted July 26, 2010 @ 5:26 pm

The above is proof that lunacy is not exclusive to the Right.


lv
Comment posted August 8, 2010 @ 11:51 am

great


Discount Louis Vuitton
Comment posted August 20, 2010 @ 2:35 am

the blase that accompanied Martha Coakley to the polls in Massachusetts last month is not going to slow down if the administration continues its right-ward path.


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Comment posted August 21, 2010 @ 2:33 am

The above is proof that lunacy is not exclusive to the Right.


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Comment posted September 27, 2010 @ 8:37 pm

One of things that amused me about the Republican National Convention in 2008 was how desperately they tried to conceal the fact that the attendees were overwhelmingly white, overwhelmingly middle aged or elderly, and more than half male.


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