Nothing says “organic” and “grassroots” like being partnered with MoveOn and CAP
The progressive left’s grudging admiration for the Tea Party is evidenced in their intense efforts to recreate our successes. I thoroughly enjoyed watching their various manifestations of “leftist Tea Parties” implode and sink into obscurity. From the “coffee party” and “no labels party” to Occupy and Black Lives Matter, the progressive left has tried again and again to manufacture its own Tea Party equivalent.
The irony, of course, is that their current efforts are transparently astroturfed, while ours had/has truly grassroots origins. Their first mistake is in believing their own press about us back in ’09 and ’10. Headline after headline bleated desolately and desperately that the Tea Party was “bogus astroturf,” that it was the brainchild of the Koch brothers and/or Rupert Murdock (and even Jim DeMint), that protesters were paid, that it was neither spontaneous nor grassroots, and on. And on.
Because they didn’t understand or believe that the Tea Party movement was very real, their attempts at recreating its power are focused first on outside organizers and massive funding rather than on tapping into something that will actually speak to a large enough base to inspire a true grassroots movement.
Their second problem is a lack of focus. Instead of focusing on one issue and clear messaging, the progressive left simply can’t pull its disparate demographic segments together.
One indicator of the grassroots nature of the Tea Party movement is the large number of organizations and groups that quickly sprang up across the country.
One of the most interesting aspects of the Tea Party protests of 2009 and 2010 was the association with the formation of a vast network of new organizations, some formal and others informal or virtual.
As political scientists Theda Skocpol and Vanessa Williamson showed, nearly a thousand Tea Party-related groups formed within a year of Obama’s election. Some were closely affiliated with existing national organizations, like FreedomWorks, while others were brand-new and loosely tied to new national political networks, such as Tea Party Patriots or Tea Party Nation.
The large number of Tea Party organizations quickly drew the attention of the IRS and resulted in the shocking targeting of these groups by the IRS, a scandal we followed closely here at LI.
We’re only a few months into Trump’s presidency, but so far, there “does not appear to be the same creation of new organizations as we saw in 2009 with the Tea Party.” Instead of grassroots citizens’ groups being organized at the state and local level, the “resistance” organizations rely on those already in existence or those that have quickly been “partnered” with (subsumed by?) radical leftist organizations like Hillary shill John Podesta’s Center for American Progress (CAP). CAP, you may recall, is funded in part by “left-wing hedge fund titan George Soros.”
The latest attempt of the regressive “resistance” is centered on town halls. So impressed were they with the Tea Party’s effective use of town hall meetings that the “resistance” has latched onto the “town hall” part of the equation, ignoring the cohesion of our message, and are busily forming “partnerships” like that between the group focused on town halls—the Town Hall Project—and CAP.
“So today I’m excited to announce a partnership between Town Hall Project and the Center for American Progress Action Fund,” an email from Town Hall Project said. “With CAP Action amplifying our town hall event research, we can even better ensure that that all Americans have the tools needed to channel their organic energy to ensure their voices are heard and their elected representatives held accountable.””Let me emphasize that this is collaboration towards a common goal,” the email continued. “Town Hall Project is 100% independent and will never waiver [sic] from our core values of grassroots research and citizen engagement. While we stay true to ourselves—and to supporters like you—we know the way we win is to build a big coalition of progressive groups: big and small, new and old, online and offline, all working together to fight back.”
The Town Hall Project, already in an existing partnership with MoveOn.org, urges members to coordinate their “organic, grassroots” town hall protests with CAP’s “Resistance Near Me” efforts.
The Washington Free Beacon continues:
The email urges readers to visit ResistanceNearMe.org, a re-launched CAP Action website run in conjunction with the Town Hall Project.
“In partnership with Town Hall Project, Resistance Near Me is a hub for progressive local #resist actions, designed for you to find any public event, rally, town hall, protest, and more, near you, as well as the information you need to contact your member of Congress,” the website states. “It’s never been more important to raise our voices to resist Trump’s harmful agenda and the elected representatives who aren’t speaking for us.”
Jimmy Dahman, the founder of Town Hall Project, claimed on CNN in February that previous, explosive town hall events were “all organic and happening at the grassroots level.”
Dahman is a former staffer for the Clinton campaign in Iowa, the Washington Free Beacon previously reported. At the time of his CNN interview, his group had already forged a partnership with MoveOn.org, a major progressive advocacy group, to encourage people to attend the town hall events. The group teamed up with Indivisible, a group that provides a “practical guide for resisting the Trump agenda” that contains information on how to organize in congressional districts.
This insistence that the anti-Trump “resistance” spontaneously flooded town halls is clearly inaccurate. Though there seems little doubt that many Americans are indeed motivated by deep-seated concerns about the president’s policies, concerns amplified and distorted by rampant media bias, the demonstrable coordination and organization of these town halls is indisputable.
For example, Representative Tom Reed (R-NY) saw his townhalls flooded with bussed in “constituents” who were provided instructions and even questions to ask.
As detailed below, there was a well-organized national and local campaign to get activists to Reed’s town halls for the specific purpose of creating a protest environment. Instructions how to protest and what questions to ask were circulated. Though the town halls were in the western part of the district, liberal groups in Ithaca and Tompkins county organized protests and got their members there. Other liberal groups like Planned Parenthood also got their people out.
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