Some dare call it astroturfing.
As someone who, both individually and on the website, participated in the Tea Party surge culminating in the retaking of the House in November 2010, I saw first hand how viciously the Tea Party was attacked.
I attended the Tax Day Tea Party rally in Corning, NY, on April 15, 2009, Looking At Tea Parties Through Binoculars, Like On Safari:
False charges of racism and violence became regular features of liberal media coverage, Democrat attacks, and even attacks from establishment republicans. In August 2010 I wrote how after every mass shooting or other high profile attack, leftist bloggers and even mainstream media personalities would immediately look for a Tea Party connection, which they never found, Another Failed Eliminationist Narrative:
… There was a good crowd in this relatively small town in western upstate NY (several hours from NY City), several hundred in total. Corning is home to Corning glass and Steuben glass. The entire region has been hit hard by the exodus of jobs to less tax intensive parts of the U.S. and abroad.
I don’t remember which speaker said it, but one of them described how politicians from New York City come up to the region so that they can say they have visited the countryside, and stare at the inhabitants as if through binoculars, like on safari.
And that description was a metaphor for what is motivating the Tea Parties and fueling the outrage. Taxes are the issue, but the problem is much deeper. There is a complete disconnect between the politicians who raise taxes to benefit people who do not pay taxes, and the people who pay taxes.
And a complete lack of respect, epitomized by the derisive coverage of the Tea Parties by the mainstream media, and the phony campaign staged by Media Matters to dismiss the Tea Parties as a creature of Fox News. The truth is that the mainstream media and liberal elites don’t even try to hide their disdain for most of the people in America. And people understand that better than you think.
People who had nothing to do with each other in the real world. In the blogosphere, each of these people was linked by a macabre desire by the left-wing blogosphere to find a crime which fit a narrative of right wing violence inspired by talk radio, Fox News, “wingnut” bloggers, and Tea Partiers.
It’s the narrative pushed by Dave Neiwart of Crooks and Liars about an “eliminationist” radical right. You could say that Neiwart fancies himself the new Richard Hofstadter, and “eliminationist” is the new “paranoid style” in American politics.
In each case, the facts did not fit the narrative. But the narrative was pushed anyway.
Add the Anti-Muslim Cabbie Stabber to the list. That person is Michael Enright…
As the facts have come out, that Enright is far from a right-wing zealot and actually works for an “Interfaith” group which supports the Cordoba Mosque, the left-wing blogosphere is backtracking. Enright was extremely drunk at the time of the incident (no excuse, but a fact), and a crime appears to have been committed. That is all (and enough), and fortunately there do not appear to be serious injuries.
The Anti-Muslim Cabbie Stabber joins the others in the rogues gallery of criminals who disappointed the left-wing blogosphere by failing to fit the eliminationist narrative.
The Tea Party surge worked and overcame the media, Democrats and establishment Republicans precisely because it was genuine. While there were groups that lent logistical support as the movement grew, no one needed to construct the movement.Now Democrats are trying to recreate a leftist version of the Tea Party movement, but it’s not a genuine movement. It needs to be constructed in the political laboratories of leftist activists and groups, such as the authors of this NY Times Op-Ed in early January 2017, To Stop Trump, Democrats Can Learn From the Tea Party
… We served as congressional staff members during the early years of the Obama administration. It was an exhilarating time to be a progressive in Washington: An inspirational new president was taking office, accompanied by a majority in the House and a supermajority in the Senate. But by February 2009, something had begun to change. Small protests calling themselves “tea parties” were popping up all over the country. In April, their Tax Day demonstrations dominated the news.
In August, routine hometown events got unexpectedly rough for members of Congress. At a neighborhood event at Randalls, a grocery store in Austin, Tex., Congressman Lloyd Doggett came face to face with a group of “tea party patriots,” carrying signs that said “No Socialized Health Care.” In Austin — and in congressional districts across the country — the tea partyers chanted what became their battle cry: “Just say no!”
Their tactics weren’t fancy: They just showed up on their own home turf, and they just said no.
Here’s the crazy thing: It worked.
The Tea Party’s ideas were wrong, and their often racist rhetoric and physical threats were unacceptable. [waj note: false] But they understood how to wield political power and made two critical strategic decisions. First, they organized locally, focusing on their own members of Congress. Second, they played defense, sticking together to aggressively resist anything with President Obama’s support. With this playbook, they rattled our elected officials, targeting Democrats and Republicans alike….
With this in mind, we coordinated a group of former congressional staffers and advocates to develop “Indivisible: A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda.” It takes a few pages from the Tea Party playbook, focusing on its strategic choices and tactics, while dispensing with its viciousness. It’s the Tea Party inverted: locally driven advocacy built on inclusion, fairness and respect. It’s playing defense, not to obstruct, but to protect.
The January 15, 2017, Day of Opposition to Repeal of Obamacare was organized top-down, as TPM reported in late December 2016, Democratic Leaders Organize Day Of Opposition To Obamacare Repeal:
In a letter Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) asked local communities to help them organize protests against the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
“Beginning in January, it is likely that Republican leaders will follow through on their threats to ram through a budget bill that will severely undermine the health care needs of the American people,” the letter read.…
In the letter, Schumer, Pelosi and Sanders designated Jan. 15 the day of action and asked activists to “organize a rally or other event” back in the states. Democrats are calling Jan. 15, “Our first stand. Save health care.”
Dave Weigel of The Washington Post, says this movement is an attempt to “reverse engineer” the Tea Party:
So far the Dem effort to reverse-engineer the Feb 2009 Tea Parties looks successful pic.twitter.com/1UMbdbdJZg
— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) January 15, 2017
Weigel reported on the results of this organizing. Note the involvement of top Democratic politicians, unlike the Tea Party, which was mostly scorned by leaders of the Republican Party, Democrats rally across the country to save and expand Obamacare:
Democrats and labor organizers spent Sunday at dozens of rallies across the country, pledging to fight in Congress against the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and any attempt to change Medicare or Medicaid. The party’s leaders faced crowds ranging in size from dozens to thousands of people, urging them to call Republicans and protest the push for repeal.
“Nobody’s gonna shut us up! Nobody’s gonna turn us around!” said Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), the Democrats’ 2016 vice-presidential candidate, at a rally in Richmond that drew a crowd of at least 1,000. “We’re standing in the breach and battling for tens of millions of Americans!”
“Our First Stand,” the catchall theme for the protests, represents one of the earliest protests by an opposition party against an incoming president. Brainstormed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Democratic leaders in Congress, each rally introduced crowds to men and women who had faced death or bankruptcy before the ACA went into effect, then challenged Republicans to listen to their stories. Rattled during the ACA’s passage by tea party protests and raucous congressional town hall meetings, Democrats were flipping the script.
“The immediate goal of the rallies is to show Republicans that the majority of people are against repealing the Affordable Care Act,” Sanders said in an interview this week.
“I think people are waking up to the fact that the Affordable Care Act has been helping tens of millions of Americans,” said Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) after a rally in Bowie organized by Maryland Democrats that drew 1,500 people. “Energizing the public around a common goal can have an important result.” …
In Richmond, after the choir from Kaine’s church sang “We Shall Overcome,” the senator had the same message. He described the late-night drama of last week’s budget “vote-a-rama,” which saw Democrats lose vote after vote to defend the ACA.
“We wouldn’t sit down! We wouldn’t shut up! Because this isn’t business as usual!” Kaine said. “Why don’t we just jump off a cliff, then we’ll figure out how to land while we’re in midair? That’s what they’re saying.”
Democrats will have a hard time reverse-engineering the Tea Party because the far left-wing of the party is actually violent and dangerous, unlike the Tea Party.
The television coverage of the leftist movement will be dominated by anarchists and extremist creating mayhem as they are promising to do at the inauguration, Radical Left Planning Mayhem for Trump Inauguration, and have done in Chicago and elsewhere when Trump appeared during the campaign.
Burning the American flag and busting things up has come to symbolize the far-left, anarchist wing of the Democratic Party on whom the party engineers will rely for street turnout. Democrats appear ready to embrace that fringe. That’s unlikely to work.DONATE
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