Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘tea parties’

Welcome to Glenn Beck’s World: What If the Tea Partiers Ruled the Country?

March 29, 2010 |

Imagine a land where white, patriarchal, religiously zealous, Tea Party-type patriots rule. It’s called Utah, and what happens here should terrify you.

What if the Tea Party ruled?  Imagine a land, let’s call it Glennbeckistan, where white, patriarchal, religiously zealous, Tea Party-type patriots hold a super-majority in both houses of the legislature, sit in the governor’s mansion, and control most local governments. It’s a place so out of sync with the rest of the nation that states’ rights and even secession are always on the agenda.  It’s a place where gun-ownership trumps all other rights, climate change is considered an insidious socialist conspiracy, and a miscarriage can be investigated as a potential crime.  Welcome to Utah.

Our rightwing red-state legislature just finished its annual 2010 session.  So-called message bills challenged the federal government’s right to govern federal lands, enforce gun controls, legalize abortion, and mandate health reform.  In addition, Utah’s lawmakers cut the education budget, raised tuitions, and slashed services to the disabled.  In fairness, state legislators across the nation, faced with disastrous drops in revenue, have likewise slashed social services and balanced budgets on the backs of the poor.  In Utah, however, they also shelved pensions for public employees.  That they could take such draconian action is instructive — organized labor is weak here, unions being another manifestation of creeping socialism.  Utah’s history of labor organizing, or grass roots and civil rights organizing for that matter, is anemic compared to most of America.  This is the place, after all, where IWW radical Joe Hill was arrested and executed.

Although Utah may be unique in some ways, Republican leaders here want the rest of the nation to be more like us.  In fact, a survey of the 2010 Utah legislative session could be considered a trailer for a movie the national Republican base would like all Americans to star in.  This movie would be for the Tea Party movement what Avatar is to tree huggers.

MORE HERE

Read Full Post »

Tea party in Hartford, Connecticut in 2009

Feeling The Heat, Tea Partiers Denounce Violence

TPM Muckraker

Zachary Roth | March 26, 2010, 1:12PM

Tea Partiers and others on the right are starting to distance themselves from the recent spate of violence and racism that has characterized the opposition to health-care reform.

In a letter to President Obama and Congress released yesterday, an alliance of Florida Tea Party groups called the Tea Party movement “a peaceful movement” and declared that they “stand in stark opposition to any person using derogatory characterizations, threats of violence, or disparaging terms toward members of Congress or the President.”

A similar coalition in Colorado — where the office of Rep. Betsy Markey (D-CO) recently notified police about a phone call it received threatening violence — released a similar statement. “Tea party and similar groups across Colorado are saddened tonight to hear of threats made upon Democratic lawmakers in response to the passing their recent health insurance reform legislation, specifically … Rep. Betsy Markey,” it said.

And FreedomWorks, the Washington grassroots lobbying group that has helped co-ordinate Tea Party events put out a statement declaring “political violence is both immoral and ineffective, and will only set the movement back.”

Separately, Debbie Dooley, a co-founder of the Atlanta Tea Party and a national coordinator for Tea Party Patriots, told Fox News: “We support peaceful means,” adding, “there are so many Tea Party groups that are out there. … It’s like herding cats. It’s impossible.”

Even Glenn Beck — not known for his cool head — has counseled his followers against violence, calling it counter-productive.

As we’ve reported, the last few days have seen a spate of violent attacks on Democratic offices around the country, as well as threats against several Democrats who voted for reform. The protests over the weekend at the Capitol involved incidents of racism and homophobia.

So it’s significant that some Tea Partiers and their allies are starting to feel the need to distance themselves from the violence, for fear of being associated with it. In normal times, it might be unremarkable for activists to declare that violence is bad. But these are hardly normal times.

####################

Read Full Post »

I was going to open this piece with an analogy about the tea party groups and why they’re treated seriously by the press and the Republicans. The analogy would go something like: “Imagine [insert left-wing activist group here] getting a serious profile in a mainstream newspaper, and imagine serious Democratic politicians appearing at their convention.”

The problem is, when I really evaluated what the various far-left activist groups are all about and compared them with the tea party movement, there really wasn’t any equivalency. At all.

Because when you strip away all of the rage, all of the nonsensical loud noises and all of the contradictions, all that’s left is race. The tea party is almost entirely about race, and there’s no comparative group on the left that’s similarly motivated by bigotry, ignorance and racial hatred.

I hasten to note that I’m taking about real racism, insofar as it’s impossible for the majority race — the 70 percent white majority — to be on the receiving end of racism. That is unless white males, for example, are suddenly an oppressed racial demographic. But judging by the racial composition of, say, the Senate or AM talk radio or the cast members playing the Obamas on SNL, I don’t think white people have anything to worry about.

This isn’t an epiphany by any stretch. From the beginning, with their witch doctor imagery, watermelon agitprop and Curious George effigies, the wingnut right has been dying to blurt out, as Lee Atwater famously said, “nigger, nigger, nigger!”

But they can’t.

Strike that. Correction. TeaParty.org founder Dale Robertson brandished a sign with the (misspelled) word “niggar.” So they’re not even as restrained as the generally unstrung Atwater anymore.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Members of a Tea Party event attended by Republican Congressional candidate Ed Martin

Tea Partiers Call Obama A Marxist And A Dictator … Get Promoted On GOPer’s Site

TPM Muckraker

Zachary Roth | March 1, 2010, 11:47AM

As the Republican Party becomes increasingly dominated by an implacably anti-Obama far-right fringe, it’s becoming difficult for even mainstream GOPers to avoid endorsing the loonier rhetoric of the Tea Party wing.

Consider Ed Martin, a former chief of staff to Missouri governor Matt Blunt, who’s mounted a strong bid to challenge Rep. Russ Carnahan (D-MO) in the fall. This weekend, Martin campaigned at a Tea Party rally at the Arch in St. Louis, and his campaign posted photographs of the event on his official website. Most of the pictures are unremarkable. But a few show people expressing sentiments that — though perhaps not so unusual for a Tea Party event — might raise some eyebrows when they’re being promoted by a serious candidate for Congress.

In one photo, which you can see here, a man holds a sign captioned “Presidential Advisors.” Along with President Obama himself, the image depicts Josef Stalin, Karl Marx, Fidel Castro, and Mao. Next to the man, a woman holds another sign, which shows Obama speaking in front of an American flag — but the stars on the flag have been replaced by a Soviet-style hammer and sickle.

In the other photo — viewable here — an angry-looking woman holds a sign that condemns “Obama’s Marxist Way,” which is said to involve “dictatorship,” “suppression,” “disenfranchisement,” and, oddly, “sheep.” This is contrasted with the “American Way,” which is said to involve “God and the individual,” “personal humility and dignity,” “principles,” and other good things.

(The woman may be on to something in claiming that sheep don’t represent the American Way: According to U.N. figures, the U.S. is the world’s largest producer of cattle meat, but only the 18th-largest producer of sheep meat, behind such countries as Kazakhstan, Syria, Sudan, and Morocco.)

Martin is no fringe candidate. Politico reported recently that he started the year with nearly as much money as the incumbent Carnahan. It added that the respected analyst Charlie Cook recently moved the seat, once held by Dick Gephardt, from safely Democratic to “likely Democratic.”

Martin’s campaign didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on whether the he endorses the sentiments in the photos.

H/t Fired Up Missouri, which asks, “is this the ‘new normal’ for Republican candidates?”

Read Full Post »

Former AK Gov. Sarah Palin

‘Warning: Tea Party In Danger': Leader Slams Palin As ‘Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing’

TPM Muckraker

Zachary Roth | February 12, 2010, 9:59AM

A prominent Tea Party leader from Texas is warning that the movement “is becoming nothing more than a wholly owned subsidiary of the Republican Party,” and slamming Sarah Palin as representing “a growing insider’s attack to the heart of the Tea Party.”

Dale Robertson, the founder of TeaParty.org, is just the latest Tea Partier to express concern that the movement is being hijacked by the GOP.

In a lengthy statement — entitled “Warning: Tea Party In Danger” — posted yesterday on the TeaParty.org homepage, Robertson instructs his felllow Tea Partiers to “[b]e alert to turncoats and deceivers being herded into the Tea Party by usurpers from the weakened Republican Party for the sole purpose of capturing our populist movement.”

Robertson continues:

[W]hat I am witnessing is an attempted defilement of the concept of what the Tea Party’s purposes are and where we are going. The bastardization of our message I find bilious and disingenuous on its face.Tea Party members are being eyed as just another piece of voting meat. Tea Party members are targeted for filling the rank and file of minion laden political operations, most of which are lead (sic) by failed Republican hacks.

As for Palin, whose appearance last week at a controversial Tea Party convention appears to have given her a claim to be the de facto leader of the Tea Party movement, Robertson derides her “neo-con flippant viewpoint” and calls her “a duck out of water among true constitutional conservatives.”

He adds:

She represents a growing insider’s attack to the heart of the Tea Party. Very much like a wolf in sheep’s clothing entering in at the gate as an ally, but for all intents and purposes there to seize and capture, not only one or two stray sheep, but the whole flock!

The Houston-based Robertson rose to prominence in the movement last year when he helped organize local rallies and founded Teaparty.org, a for-profit conservative activist site. But his influence within Tea Party circles is open to question. The Houston Tea Party Patriots distanced themselves from him after a photograph emerged of him holding a sign that compared taxpayers to “niggars.”

Robertson’s animus toward the GOP also appears to have developed only recently Last month, he complained to a reporter that he had been trying to contact the RNC to discuss working together, but hadn’t received a call back.

Still, Robertson is hardly alone in warning that Republicans are trying to hijack the Tea Party movement. Several grassroots Tea Partiers have sounded similar alarms — some to TPMmuckraker — partly in reference to the convention at which Palin spoke.

You can read Robertson’s full statement here.

Read Full Post »

Sal Russo

CNN On Tea Party Infighting (VIDEO)

TPM Muckraker

Zachary Roth | February 3, 2010, 5:52PM

CNN has a lengthy (for TV) report on the infighting that, as we’ve detailed, is besetting the Tea Party movement.

The high-note comes when CNN gets on camera the GOP consultants who run the Tea Party Express to answer charges that their “grassroots” Tea Party group is little more than a front for the Republican Party.

Says Joe Wierzbicki of Russo, Marsh:

I think what you’ll find is, at Tea Party rallies, a lot of the people who are mad at the Republican Party, many of them are Republicans themselves.

We’d asked similar questions of Russo, Marsh, which is run by California Republican political operative Sal Russo, but never gotten a response.

The whole CNN report is worth watching:

Over the weekend, Tea Party Express sent out an email designed to push back against what it called “false and malicious attacks” by TPMmuckraker and others.

Read Full Post »

Lloyd Marcus

In Damage Control Mode, Tea Party Express Slams ‘Smears’

TPM Muckraker

Zachary Roth | February 1, 2010, 9:52AM

In an aggressive damage control effort launched in the wake of a barrage of negative publicity, a leading Tea Party group created by a Republican consulting firm is pushing back against what it calls “false and malicious attacks.”

The Tea Party Express (TPE) yesterday sent an email to supporters slamming “attack hit pieces” by TPMmuckraker and other outlets. The recent stories, writes TPE’s Lloyd Marcus under the TPE banner, amount to “a range of rumors, accusations, allegations, smears and mischaracterizations of what we at the Tea Party Express are supposedly about.” Marcus, the African-American country singer who has become a prominent TPE spokesman, promises another email soon that will “debunk” the “smears.”

In fact, much of the recent criticism of TPE, which was launched by Russo, Marsh, a well-connected Republican consulting firm, has come from other members of the Tea Party movement. The Tea Party Patriots have accused TPE of being a GOP front group at odds with the grassroots Tea Party ethos, and have suggested that Russo, Marsh intends to profit financially from the venture. TPMmuckraker reported in December that the majority of spending by the PAC that controls TPE went to Russo, Marsh, which is led by the veteran California Republican operative Sal Russo.

Before withdrawing last week citing scheduling issues, TPE had planned to attend the upcoming National Tea Party Convention, which itself has suffered a barrage of attacks by grassroots Tea Partiers who see it as an effort to hijack the movement for profit.

In yesterday’s email — oddly titled, “I have some juicy dirt about Tea Party Express” — Marcus writes that he sees the criticism as evidence of success. “You know [Tea Party Express] has become a powerful force when people take shots at you,” he writes.

Marcus includes video footage from TPE rallies across the country. “This is our record of who we are, and we’re proud of it,” he writes, “and I can tell you that I won’t let anyone even try to rewrite this history!”

An excerpt from the email follows:

MORE HERE

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 506 other followers

%d bloggers like this: