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Dems want to create leftist version of 2010 Tea Party surge

Dems want to create leftist version of 2010 Tea Party surge

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:

… 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.

[Tea Party participants and Legal Insurrection readers, Jersey City, NJ, 2013]

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:

Bill SparkmanAmy BishopThe Fort Hood ShooterThe IRS Plane CrasherThe Pentagon Shooter.

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.

[Nashville Tea Party rally, 2012, photo by Legal Insurrection reader]

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:

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.


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PC = Progressive Cost. The Left never met a monopoly or practice they did not love.

Haven’t they done this half a dozen times already?

The “Coffee Party” is the only one I can remember by name — and only because it was such a lame name.

Aww, gee, they are trying to astroturf the Coffee Party, again. They tried something similar with OWS and BLM, with even less desirable results. Taking Soros money to burn down our cities has proved to be an unsuccessful strategy.

This is what the Democratic Party needs to do: Clean House.

1. Recognize that the American people have reacted unfavorably to the policies of the Obama administration.

2. Recognize that the American people despise cheaters, and that the use of rent-a-rioters against Republicans, and multiple forms of cheating against the Bernie Sanders supporters are unacceptable actions that have made the Democrats losers at all levels of government..

3. Remove the criminals from the decision-making positions in the party. Pay attention to the screw-ups in New York, who removed a voting Commissioner instead of dealing with the people who rented busloads of “voters” to visit multiple voting sites. Pay attention to California where the Bernie people were cheated out of the nomination, and where extraordinary numbers of normal voters were arbitrarily changed to provisional (uncounted) voters, and where the election produced an outlier set of results.

Fix your process, fix your policies, and get some fresh faces in, or decide to enjoy your stay in the wilderness. I would rather have a viable, loyal opposition, but if you insist, you can just exile yourselves for as long as you like! Who knows, maybe the Libertarians can take your place.

    Tom Servo in reply to Valerie. | January 17, 2017 at 1:50 am

    You got it, right in the first line – Astroturf, a pretty fake copy of a real thing, that never lasts.

    The left never understood the Tea Party, because they are so far removed from actual grass roots politics that they can no longer understand a movement that grows organically from the bottom up, rather than one that it dictated and created from the top down. That is why they have secretly always believed that the Tea Party was created by the Republicans in order to give Obama grief. They have no mental tools in their skillset which would allow them to conceive of any other way such a thing could come about.

    In truth, as all of us know, the Tea Party confounded the GOP-e almost as much as it confounded the democrats, because it was NEVER a GOP creation. (which is why so many in the GOP spent so much time attacking it; they are always scared of something they cannot control)

    The Tea Party movement was disjointed, and contradicted itself at times, and had no specific leadership at any given time; on the other hand, it was alive and sustaining itself, and couldn’t be stamped out just because the Powers That Be didn’t like it.

    But now, here come the democrats, jealous of hell of this living movement that they couldn’t stop, and promising to create a doppelganger that will serve them, without even understanding the slightest thing about how it actually came about.

    (for diehard Tolkien fans, it kind of reminds me of the story of Morgoth creating Orcs, in crude imitation of the Elven race)

    Milwaukee in reply to Valerie. | January 17, 2017 at 5:32 pm

    Ain’t gonna happen. If they did all that, they would then not be Democrats.

Maybe they can advertise on Al Gore’s Current Radio.

Nothing dangerous here.

The only chance the Dems ever had to get this pig to actually fly was the hope that after we all got used to it, we’d love it. Well, we’ve had nearly a decade of it, and … we still don’t love it. The fantasy stories about how wonderful it will all be, the bogus projections of cost savings and abstract statistics of how many people (people we don’t know) are now insured … those are the sales tools they used seven years ago. They just don’t apply now.

The Dems are showing no sign of becoming the party of new ideas.

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | January 16, 2017 at 9:22 pm

I saw part of Obama’s 60 Minutes interview last night. He told Steve Kroft that while he disagreed with the Tea Party he admired how they were able to make some political changes from the bottom up. Funny how that interview in which he expresses his phony admiration for the Tea Party coincided with the article in the New York Times and these rallies.

I’ve always thought the strategy to delegitimize Trump’s election has been about keeping his popularity low. If his popularity is low, neither Democrats nor Republicans in “swing” districts will want to work with him and jeopardize their own re-elections in two years.

What really baffles me is this Congressional investigation into the so called Russian hacking. The DNC is a private organization and the investigation, if one is warranted, ought to be handled by the FBI. But I’m not sure one is even warranted. From what I understand, John Podesta voluntarily gave his email password to a phisher. Why are Republicans agreeing to conduct an Congressional investigation if they know Podesta is an idiot who gave his password to a stranger? I don’t get it.

“And people understand that better than you think.”

Explaining Donald Trump.

And Geert Wilders; Viktor Orbán; Marine Le Pen; Pat Condell; et alia.

Explaining also why we’re fed up to here with the Religion of Peace.

The left simply does not understand freedom, explaining why it’s impossible for them to create a Tea Party type of movement. Theirs will always be a top-down hierarchy.

Brandeis expresses it nicely (Olmstead, 1928), “The makers of our Constitution undertook to secure conditions favorable to the pursuit of happiness. They recognized the significance of man’s spiritual nature, of his feelings, and of his intellect. They knew that only a part of the pain, pleasure and satisfactions of life are to be found in material things. They sought to protect Americans in their beliefs, their thoughts, their emotions and their sensations. They conferred, as against the Government, the right to be let alone — the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by civilized men. To protect that right, every unjustifiable intrusion by the Government upon the privacy of the individual, whatever the means employed, must be deemed a violation of the Fourth Amendment.”

Leave us alone !

Less “reverse engineer” than “cargo cult” pseudo-copy, IMO.

PC is one thing, but the Democratic Hypocritic Oath is cause for concern.

Beware: while The Donald is in charge at the moment, the GOPe is right behind. Memories fade quickly in this country of pop culture millennials and hysterical ‘feminists’ and corrupt leftist media. The older generations of common sense voters aging-out.

In 8 years of prosperity, voters might have forgotten the “Make America Hate” and the poverty of Jimmy Obama’s years.

Just look at how the GOPe has blown it over and over and over and over and over. (Much of it intentional.)

Until we recapture our schools and cleanse it of corrupt ppsycho teachers and their malignant agendas, and until we cleanse our media of the same corrupt psychos (by free market pressure, The Donald’s idea of marginalizing them by booting them from the White House press room and forcing them to become peers of the conservative blogosphere, and recapturing PBS and NPR from the leftist loons running them) a heated war for hearts and minds can never end.

    The temptation is for greed and personal wealth at the expense of liberty for the rest of us. The Establishment Republicans, GOPe, are willing to sell our liberty to the democrat-progressive-socialists, for personal gain. Instead of vigorous opposing them, they go along. Too many don’t see the huge gap between the TEA Party, which isn’t really a party, and the Republican Party.

    I do recall an article about how a lobbyist admitted that after 2010 professional lobbyist raised PAC money from grassroots TEA people, and used it to enrich themselves. Look at how the experts enriched themselves as Romney lost.

As long as George Soros provides the funding, they’ll keep flailing and failing.

    mariner in reply to rinardman. | January 16, 2017 at 11:05 pm

    They haven’t been failing. They’ve won for decades.

    ONLY Donald Trump’s willingness to do open battle with them has set them back.

MaxWebXperienZ | January 16, 2017 at 11:20 pm

They wanted to have liberal talk radio too. Remember Air America? Neither does anybody else!

cjharrispretzer | January 17, 2017 at 12:20 am

First time I ever heard the term “astro turf” as a political term was from Nancy Pelosi when she referred to the Tea Party as AstroTurf. I knew she was clueless because I’d seen first hand how genuine and real this movement was. It worked because it was not conceived of or constructed by any politicians! This effort by Dems will fail, too.

    Tom Servo in reply to cjharrispretzer. | January 17, 2017 at 1:42 am

    You first heard it publicly from Pelosi, but it came from David Axelrod. He quite unashamedly used it as a description of how he managed campaigns; in other words, to use a lot of money to create a facsimile of a grass roots campaign.

    The important point is that astroturf is just a shiny plastic copy of the real thing. It looks good for a little while, and then it fades and cracks.

Insufficiently Sensitive | January 17, 2017 at 12:25 am

Blue-state – hell, ultra-progressive – Seattle even had a TP rally on 4/15/09, with fine speakers and great signs. Of course a squadron of mounted police stood by in case the evil right-wingers got out of hand. Regrets that this site doesn’t appear to support attaching photos, could post some good ones, which of course did NOT appear in the scornful article in the Seattle Times.

It wasn’t long after this that the cadres of the oh-so-reasonable ‘Coffee Party’ got their cash injection from Bank of the Left and chirped and chattered on Facebook, but fizzled soon after. The cash injection must have run out.

The TEA Party stood against PC = progressive corruption.

Mr. Chairman, we do not have a crisis at Freddie Mac, and in particular at Fannie Mae
— Maxine Waters

Not a few Democrat-affiliated businesses were Planned/aborted following this adventure.

So, the Democrat Party is the party of social “justice” adventurism (e.g. illegal wars, violent coups, extrajudicial trials), immigration “reform” (e.g. refugee crises), [class] diversity (e.g. racism, sexism), progressive confusion, selective exclusion “=”, scientific mysticism (e.g. spontaneous human conception, prophecy of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming), and progressive corruption. Totally Pro-Choice (PC).

They had one. It was called “Occupy,” and the Democrats were all in until it turned into an embarrassment and a liability shortly after it started. All their other attempts have been miserable failures.

Hey, isn’t that Elizabeth Warren to Corey Booker’s left?

    userpen in reply to Redneck Law. | January 18, 2017 at 12:38 am

    She was born in a little teepee on the left side of the Main Stream. When just a little papoose the foot soldiers came and drilled into her head words she would never forget, “Your left, your left, your left, your right, your left.” Since that time she has stayed on the left of not so pale faces such as Booker. Refusing to smoke peace pipe with those not as left as her red-skinned self, she continues to throw tomahawks in their direction. Oh yes, she is a faithful left-leaning squaw for sure.

    But my wampum is on Booker.

Henry Hawkins | January 17, 2017 at 7:18 am

To astroturf such a liberal front with hopes of replicating the Tea Party movement’s success is to admit you have no idea how the Tea Party started nor why it started.

The tea party folks had one thing that any Democrat emulation will never have. The tea partiers were and are willing to walk into the voting booth and vote against the incumbent. This is something Democrats cannot do.

When you get right down to it, that is all that the tea party did: voted against the incumbent. Sure, there were rallies, sure there was rhetoric, sure there were town-hall confrontations. But ultimately it was the power of the ballot box that prevailed. Politicians – Democrats and Republicans – are well practiced at ignoring rhetoric with which they don’t agree. But they cannot ignore the ballot box.

The tea party folks voted in great numbers against the incumbents – and unleashed a wave of hatred and fury that was mind-boggling. The 2016 elections are something of a reprise of that, and we are again seeing the hatred and fury of the “incumbency” at such insolence. Deplorable, indeed!

Unknown3rdParty | January 17, 2017 at 3:26 pm

There is one significant but unstated difference: the “Tea Party” folks wanted to make the Constitution front and center. If the Democrats want to recreate a leftist version, that’s fine, but it’ll be promoting Communism. You either support the Constitution, or you don’t.

    Another Voice in reply to Unknown3rdParty. | January 17, 2017 at 4:15 pm

    On that Note: The saying that “All Government Is Local” rings the loudest by and for conservative voters. The founding of grass root citizens were and are the people who embrace this and began to promote a grass root effort for others to cast their votes at the local, state and federal levels several cycles ago. They have continued to elect and grow those who would represent conservative policies. And as the numbers in the majority of the states attest and are now represented by conservative elected it is not going away. Democrats cannot duplicate a bottom up organic movement as they have yet to understand anything outside the methods of which they choose to adhere to as a top-down exclusive electorate. They have a lot of wind, but they do not have the people who have the vote.

n. n. has the correct spelling, typographical error in the headline:
“Dems want to create leftist version of 2010 Tea Party surge”
should be
“Dems want to create leftist version of 2010 TEA Party surge”

TEA Party, as in “T.E.A.” for “taxed enough already”, a conglomeration of people who want less government and more liberty and freedom.

When the ideals are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, with the necessary property rights, then troops can march to the sound of guns, and fight for these simple but powerful ideas. The left has to continue subdividing. Notice the Women’s March on Washington, where groups which don’t adhere to the party line are removed. Any group not supporting abortion is not tolerated.

Leftism always descends into smaller and smaller divisive groups.

Why doesn’t Senator Booker resign from the Senate and run for Governor? As Governor he could provide a New Jersey equivalent of Obamacare for the good people of New Jersey. Not a problem. Except that as Senator his primary job is winning re-election, and as Governor he would have to actually, y’know, work.

Here’s why you can’t do it. You aren’t patriots, you don’t love your country, you don’t values the Constitution, and you don’t want to be free or responsible for your own actions.

Go ahead and try, but all you will do is face plant in the mud hole of history.

The Tea Party was an Idea that took off with no leaders, no headquarters, no donors, and no lies. You are not capable of anything like that.