Tea Parties: A Big Deal
The response of liberals to the Tax Day Tea Parties was emblematic of their fear of what the Tea Parties might portend. Let's just consider for a moment what we saw...
Some liberals said the Tea Parties were "orchestrated" by various entities ranging from the Republican Party, to GOP billionaires, to organizations like FreedomWorks, to Rush Limbaugh, to Glenn Beck, to FoxNews. Yet, others declared that the Tea Parties were "disorganized", "incoherent", not clear in their message. The discrepancy between these two views is chasmic. Were they "organized" or "disorganized"?
CNN reporter -- if you want to call her that -- Susan Roesgen, stopped reporting the news and started becoming the news at a Tea Party in Chicago. She cut off a protester in mid-sentence and started upbraiding him, saying that the people of Chicago were receiving "tax cuts" and the State of Illinois was receiving billions in Federal funding, apparently clueless to the fact that it was those very protesters who would be footing the bill. When the crowd rejected her support for Obama and his "tax cuts", she simply declared that the event was "anti-government and anti-CNN", and then she turned it over to the anchor desk in an effort to appear as though she had "won the argument".
CNN's Anderson Cooper and others, resorted to childish humor as they mocked Tea Party protesters using sexual inuendo referring to protesters as "teabagging". Apparently "teabagging" (verb) is a crude slang term meant to describe a sexual act. Brent Bozell, President of the conservative Media Research Center, said such coverage was "insulting." MSNBC's Rachel Maddow with guest Ana Marie Cox of Air America, also exploited the double entendre. By one count, the two of them used the word "teabag" more than 50 times on a single show. MSNBC's David Shuster did no less when he filled in for Countdown host Keith Olbermann. The protests, he explained, amount to "Teabagging day for the right wing and they are going nuts for it." He described the parties as simultaneously "full-throated" and "toothless," and continued: "They want to give President Obama a strong tongue-lashing and lick government spending."
Some went so far as to label the protesters "racists", inferring that they simply hate Barack Obama because he is black. Janeane Garofalo delivered probably the lowest slur imaginable, incorporating the sexual inuendo with the racist label. "Let's be very honest about what this is about," Garofalo said. "It's not about bashing Democrats. It's not about taxes... This is about hating a black man in the White House. This is racism straight up. That is nothing but a bunch of teabagging rednecks."
Democratic adviser Robert Shrum wrote an article in The Week about the Tea Parties, in what the US News and World Report called "a diatribe that seems to border on hysteria." Shrum called the Tea Parties "insubstantial," "incoherent," "hate-filled," and "paranoia on parade." He compared protesters to those who supported McCarthyism and anti-Catholicism. He also threw in references to anti-Muslim rhetoric, swastikas, and rising gun sales.
Some outlets tried to downplay the size of the event in an attempt to make it look insignificant. Tea Party protests took place in over 800 locales drawing anywhere from half a million to a million people. One organization -- Americans for Tax Reform -- started an unofficial counting of the Tea Parties HERE. Having counted only about half the events nationwide (364), they are estimating that 449,385 people attended those events. Yet, some of the liberal media reported attendance as only "thousands" or "tens of thousands", knowing full well that close to 20,000 people attended a single event in Atlanta, Georgia.
According to the Christian Science Monitor, the Tea Parties were "the largest single-day turnout of protesters in the US since 750,000 people marched in Los Angeles in support of rights and protections for immigrants on March 25, 2006." Despite that, "Critics of the movement said the numbers aren't really that impressive."
Another liberal smear of the protesters was the suggestion that the Tea Parties were composed primarily of hard-core, right-wing extremists. Again from CSM, "Jeffrey Kimball, a professor emeritus of history at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, says the protesters seemed to represent the most extreme adherents of American conservatism, hardly representative of the average American. "We may have just seen the whole movement" at these protests, says Mr. Kimball. "I don't see it as a groundswell, but a manifestation by those people who form the core of... the extreme right reacting both to the condition of our time and President Obama – he's black and he's liberal." [emphasis added]
Nancy Pelosi referred to the Tea Parties as an "astro-turf" campaign. "This [Tea Party] initiative is funded by the high end -- we call it 'astro-turf', it's not really a grassroots movement. It’s 'astro-turf' by some of the wealthiest people in America to keep the focus on tax cuts for the rich instead of for the great middle class."
"The White House says the president is unaware of the tea parties and will hold his own event today," ABC’s Dan Harris said on "Good Morning America" on April 15th. Could it really be that the President of the United States with all of his intelligence sources and poll watchers didn't know anything about the Tea Parties? Or was it more likely that he just didn't want to acknowledge them?
Obama advisor David Axelrod on the Sunday morning talk show, Face the Nation, said the Tea Parties could "mutate into something that's unhealthy." This of course was an obvious inference to right-wing domestic terrorism or violence. You know, the kind of implications that were in the Department of Homeland Security's advisory report issued to all law enforcement agencies across the country just a week before the Tea Parties. Funny about the timing of that DHS report, isn't it?
Well, let's set the record straight. The Tea Party protests were A BIG DEAL. By any measure, they were a HUGE SUCCESS, and the liberals know it. Their reaction to the events clearly demonstrate that. The Tea Party campaign scared them and they reacted to it in a way that revealed those fears. Allow me to elaborate. When a person is frightened by something, the typical human response is "fight or flight". You either stand up against your perceived enemy, or you run away from it. The reactions of the liberals outlined above can be neatly classified into these two categories.
Those who got angry and shouted back against the Tea Parties are in the "fight" category. Slam your enemy with ad-hominem attacks. Call them names. Argue with them in front of a live TV camera. Actively try to make them look foolish or silly. Smear them by trying to associate them with wildly inaccurate historical counterparts (i.e., Nazis, McCarthyists, etc). Make fun of them using pre-pubescent sexual jokes. Suggest that they are "dangerous" extremists or fanatics.
Those who tried to ignore them, and downplay their size or importance are in the "flight" category. They pretend like it didn't even happen. It's not a big deal. The whole thing was a non-event. Like Obama, pretend you don't even know about it. Deny its true significance. Say it's not a grassroots movement, it's a subversive plot by "rich guys". These people are running away from reality. They are in complete denial.
What undoubtedly frightens liberals most, is that Barack Obama has not yet been in office for 100 days and already he has turned off a large segment of middle-class America. Sure, they're conservatives and libertarians, but who would have thought they would get testy so soon. ["Hey. We won the election, remember? Shut-up you conservatives!"]
Worse still, these conservatives are the very people liberals are counting on to pick up Obama's spending tab -- the ones who pay the taxes. They see a huge, grassroots backlash rearing up that may well derail or hinder their socialist agenda. They know that this whole movement was organic in nature motivated primarily by a viral Rick Santelli YouTube video. They realize that this was the same sort of technology that launched Obama into power, and that this same technology might now be working against them.
They also know that when grandmothers and families with children come out to protest, they are facing a real groundswell of opposition. They know that if half a million to a million people come out to protest in the middle of a work day, that the crowds might have been much larger if the events were held on a Saturday or a holiday. They know that there were people who wanted to go, but couldn't -- people who were sick, previously engaged, unwilling to face bad weather, didn't know of a Tea Party in their area, or were working hard that day to pay the taxes Obama wants to appropriate.
Liberals know that if this movement continues to grow, the next four years are going to be a living hell. They also know that the Tea Parties really WERE a big deal, and that they could "mutate into something that's unhealthy" for the Democrats in 2010.