tea parties

The "tea party" movement: Page 4

See the summary for this topic on the main The "tea party" movement page.

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Example of Tea Party helping their opponents (immigration, "Restoring Honor") - 08/29/10

The video at peekurl.com/virmhi2 provides yet another in the long line of examples of how the tea parties are helping their opponents. The video features Nick Gillespie of Reason Magazine interviewing the crowd at yesterday's Glenn Beck event.

Glenn Beck "Restoring Honor" rally linked to Dick Armey (Koch too?) - 08/28/10

Earlier today, Glenn Beck held a "Restoring Honor" rally in Washington DC which was attended by somewhere around a few hundred thousand people; certainly an impressive turnout (UPDATE: see below). Thankfully I didn't watch it, but Part 1 of Beck's speech is at peekURL.com/vqlzrtm and Part 1 of Sarah Palin's speech is at peekURL.com/vyn3lcr

Any response to the borderline lunacy offered by Beck would become novel-length; for the novella version, see the dozens of tea parties posts.

A few quick notes:

1. Apparently Beck unveiled or was planning on unveiling something called a "Black-Robed Regiment", a reference to religious leaders prior to the Revolutionary War. It's also a class at Glenn Beck University (link).

2. The original Washington Post story on the event featured a photo showing a very small crowd and referred to the "thousands" of attendees and also highlighted that most were white. Part and parcel of their fringe ideology is that the tea party types - to be frank - aren't smart and sane enough to take effective action against those like the WaPo. The picture in question is here, and that's also an example of how the tea party types are ineffective: that post isn't going to change how the WaPo does things in the least. (That post also helps the WaPo in a way that I won't describe). I've actually described here on a few occasions how to do things in more effective ways, but long experience shows that the teaparty types aren't capable of or interested in learning.

3. Beck and Dick Armey of FreedomWorks are working together (link), and Beck paid a visit to a FreedomWorks event last night:

The Washington-based FreedomWorks planned a large event Friday evening to raise money for candidates such as Mike Lee, a tea-party favorite who defeated the incumbent Utah Sen. Republican Bob Bennett in a May primary election vote. FreedomWorks chairman Dick Armey, a former Republican House Majority leader, said the group is working with Mr. Beck to promote shared causes."We've got a complementary relationship," Mr. Armey said. "Glenn Beck is the instructional arm, and we are the action arm."

Armey will also be sticking up for Beck on a future NewsHour show (link).

4. There may be an even more direct link between Beck's rally and the Koch family. Americans for Prosperity - a tea party organizer and key part of the Koch apparatus - bused people into the rally as AFP volunteers discuss at the end of peekURL.com/vk5mabz

If you oppose illegal immigration, the teaparty/Beck follower types are either standing in your way or are consorting with those who aren't on your side.

UPDATE: CBS News hired a company to estimate the crowd (link), and they came up with 87,000.

McCain trounces JD Hayworth in GOP primary; who's to blame (tea parties, Palin, Scott Brown...) - 08/25/10

In last night's GOP Senate primary in Arizona, John McCain trounced JD Hayworth with 59% versus 29% for Hayworth (and 11% for Jim Deakin). To a certain extent, McCain's win was due to him spending around $20 million on advertising and him pretending to be tough on immigration matters. Defeating McCain would have sent a strong message to the Beltway establishment, the mainstream media, and other amnesty supporters. Instead, those who should have opposed him either didn't oppose him, didn't take a position, or engaged in useless or counter-productive activities.

Who shares the blame?

1. Hayworth isn't exactly a prize catch, no matter ones political affiliation. So, he bears part of the blame.

2. The four major Arizona tea parties groups that decided not to endorse McCain, Hayworth, or Deakin also shares some of the blame. [1] The "Arizona Tea Party" - which might be an umbrella group including some of those listed at [1] did support Hayworth, at least in twitter dot com/azteaparty. However, the Tucson Tea Party has a post explaining that they don't endorse candidates; the reason given differs from that in their press release.

3. The one other teaparty group that decided to hold a border event - instead of doing things in smarter ways - shares part of the blame.

4. Sarah Palin, Grover Norquist, Scott Brown and perhaps tea parties chief leader Dick Armey all supported McCain, thus sharing part of the blame.

5. And, starting over four and a half years ago, I've been trying to get people to go to McCain's events and ask him tough questions. Video of McCain being put on the spot could get hundreds of thousands of views on Youtube and might have prevented him from being the GOP's 2008 nominee and might have prevented him winning yesterday's primary.

There are plenty of videos of people asking McCain questions, the problem is that the questions and the questioners are invariably weak. McCain is able to bowl them over and launch into stock speeches; some members of the mainstream media have asked him tougher questions than regular citizens at his public events. See the question authority page for an action plan and more information.

Those sites that get more traffic than me and that have (except in one or two brief cases) completely refused to encourage their readers to follow that plan bear a good share of the blame.

One lesson to learn from the above is not to put trust in those who don't know how to do things in the right way, or who can't figure out the best outcome, or who are only interested in feathering their own nests.

[1] From a press release (link):

The organizers of the four largest Arizona Tea Party organizations – including the Tucson Tea Party, Greater Phoenix Tea Party, Flagstaff Tea Party, and Mohave County Tea Party – issued a joint press release regarding their unified decision to decline endorsing a candidate in the Arizona Senate primary race between John McCain, J.D. Hayworth, and Jim Deakin.

“The Tea Party is a non-partisan, grassroots movement that stands for limited government, free markets, and fiscal responsibility. Both McCain and Hayworth’s records during their many years in Washington leave much to be desired on these issues,” said Robert Mayer, co-founder of the Tucson Tea Party. “It is their job to hold themselves up to these values and fight for our votes.”

[2] tucsonteaparty.info/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=93&catid=35&Itemid=55

The reason that the Tucson Tea Party (TTP) does not endorse any one candidate in the primaries is because we are made up of a diverse group, which include constitutional, fiscal, and social conservatives, we also have many that are simply free market thinkers... So, if the Tucson Tea Party were to pick one candidate over another, or over many others, we would simply be creating a situation of conservative bloodletting and infighting that would serve no purpose for conservatives in general or the Tea Party specifically.

Melissa Bean's "thug" vs. teaparty libertarian idiot at public meeting - 08/16/10

Gateway Pundit offers "It Begins… Dem Congresswoman Brings In Street Thug at Town Hall Meeting to Threaten Constituents (Video)" (link).

United We Stand Border Coalition Tea Party Rally: Sharron Angle, J.D. Hayworth, less effective... - 08/10/10

On Sunday August 15th 2010, a group called "United We Stand for Americans" ("UWSFA") [1] will be conducting a rally on the border in Arizona in order to call to secure the border and to oppose John McCain.

Is Pete Stark concerned about eVerify keeping illegal aliens from being hired? (Steve Kemp, Golden Gate Minutemen) - 08/03/10

Steve Kemp of the "Golden Gate Minutemen" has been behind two smash Youtube hits featuring Rep. Pete Stark. The videos are at the tea parties level as far as stupidity (very high) and utility (very low) are concerned. They do, however, get Steve Kemp and his group a lot of attention, but then again that isn't going to reduce illegal immigration.

Two tales of Teaparty torpidity (if you oppose illegal immigration teapartiers are in your way) (Mandy Nagy, Liberty_Chick) - 08/02/10

The attached graphics contain two conversations I recently had on Twitter with supporters of the Tea Parties, and both conversations - as with every other single interaction I've ever had with teapartiers - drives home every negative thing I say about them at the link. If you oppose illegal immigration, the teapartiers are just standing in your way.

Example of Tea Party not handling racism correctly; supporting massive immigration + far-left concepts; Glenn Reynolds stupidity - 07/31/10

This post will briefly outline yet another example of the tea parties unknowingly supporting far-left concepts and massive immigration, not handling charges of racism correctly, and, to start with, yet another example of why taking the advice of Glenn Reynolds is a very bad idea.

At pajamasmedia.com/instapundit/103874, Reynolds links to this using its sub-headline: "Spencer Wilking Finds That New York’s Tea Partiers Aren’t The Bigoted White Guys You Fear." In other words, the article is saying that the New York group consists of the "good ones"; the sub-headline implies that other tea party groups might be different. What about, say, Tennessee's Tea Partiers? Would those be the "Bigoted White Guys You Fear"? If Reynolds is going to link to the article, shouldn't he have at least figured out and commented on what the sub-headline was implying?

The linked article itself includes a section about David Webb, a black tea partier who heads New York's Tea Party 365 group and who comes off as a bit of an updated Reverend Ike. He's all about the money and not about challenging the far-left on social issues. Not only that, but he (perhaps unwittingly) supports far-left concepts. At an event he says, "We have diversity in Tea Party 365. I want you to see the picture" as he invites a diverse group of tea partiers to take the stage and with Wilking pointing out that there's "only [one] white guy among them". And here you thought that bean-counting and "diversity" for its own sake were just far-left concepts. Yet, those far-left concepts are right at home in that tea party group (and others).

Not only that:

In order to energize the ranks with new members, the Tea Partiers I spoke with say they need to beat a perception of being conservative wingnuts. Tea Party 365 is eager to gain more members, turning to a demographic often ignored or even persecuted by conservative activist groups: immigrants. With New York City’s large swaths of immigrant populations it’s a logical step to drive recruitment, and Tea Party leaders say that recent hard-working immigrants will respond to their message of “fewer taxes and less handouts.”

What if they don't? What if they fall into the clutches of the far-left New York Immigration Coalition instead? The only thing the tea parties have to offer those "immigrants" is a platform of fiscal austerity, something that only appeals to a small percentage of Americans and that would probably appeal to a much smaller percentage of immigrants. No matter how effective the TP365's outreach, the NYIC would always be able to undercut them, especially since TP365 in effect supports the same far-left concepts that the NYIC uses to obtain power. (And, of course, the tea partiers can't even use the correct terms. By "immigrants" presumably they mean naturalized citizens who thus are no longer immigrants.)

The article also includes:

The sign-making party is a cheerful event, helped along by the adults’ nostalgia for classroom memories prompted by the ample supply of poster board, markers and paint.

Whether intentional or not, that highlights a indisputable fact: the tea partiers are children. They act like children at public meetings, throwing tantrums, ranting and raving, and playing dress-up games. They aren't capable of making an argument but think that simply saying something and repeating it over and over will make it come true. And, what few policy ideas they have are childlike: they have their own "utopian" vision that would negatively impact millions of their fellow citizens and that most Americans would reject if forced to endure it.

A Teaparty Timeline: Tea Party through the years - 07/19/10

Most people think that the Tea Partiers are just a recent and U.S. phenomenon. Wrong! In fact, there are currently Tea Party groups in hundreds of countries around the world, with over 900 million active members. Not only that, but Teapartiers - or those adhering to Tea Party ideals - have been around for thousands of years.

Join us now as we take a trip down memory lane to learn about Teapartiers of the Past:

Tea party leaders, complaining about NAACP "racist" charge, call Obama's policies "socialist" - 07/14/10

Yesterday, I discussed how if you object to the NAACP playing the race card, the tea partiers aren't your friends. As if to provide a real world example, Jenny Beth Martin and Mark Meckler of the so-called "Tea Party Patriots" offer "On being labeled as 'racist'" (link):

A clear pattern of behavior has emerged over the last 16 months. According to liberals, if you disagree with their thinking, and if you disagree with the Obama administration, you are not only wrong, you are a "racist."... ...At its most simple, [the NAACP resolution] is a direct attack on the First Amendment rights of millions of Americans... ...It seems that anyone who disagrees with the far left, socialist policies of Barack Obama and the current administration is subject to the heavy hand of the race card.

1. When claiming to be called a false name, it's generally not a good idea to call others false names. While some in the Obama orbit are indeed far-left, his policies don't really fit that description. And, those policies certainly aren't "socialist". If Obama is socialist, one wonders what those who want him to move further left are, SuperSocialists?

2. The First Amendment claim is questionable since the NAACP isn't the government. They're certainly at least in favor with the Obama administration - Michelle Obama spoke before they voted on their resolution - but they aren't the government.

They also make this outrageous claim:

According to recent polling, more than 49 million people are active members of the tea party movement (Winston Group, April 1, 2010).

You can view that poll here, and the word "active" doesn't appear in it; the question asked was, "Do you consider yourself a part of the tea party movement?" The idea that 49 million people would be active members of their movement is more than a bit ludicrous. Note also that the poll was taken February 22-23 which was a month before the infamous healthcare vote where teapartiers allegedly spat on and called representatives names (in the case of Barney Frank that's been confirmed, in the other cases it hasn't). Due to those incidents as well as their obvious failure, the tea parties have been on the decline since then, and then in May and June the Koch family and Dick Armey of Freedomworks distanced themselves from the movement.

Note also the smear in the very name of their group, implying that those who aren't members of their movement aren't "Patriots".

ADDED: Note that the first link in this post refers to "counter-productive activities such as endlessly repeating the smears [and] endlessly denying they're racists" which they're doing in this case. They don't have the abilities to handle things in more effective ways but instead just reinforce the "teapartiers = racists" meme. No doubt their opponents are beyond themselves with joy that the teapartiers keep bringing it up; it allows those like ThinkProgress to make videos like the one at thinkprogress.org/2010/07/14/tea-party-racism. Despite the fact that at least one of those shown on the video is probably a plant and despite the fact that the last frame (with the t-shirt) was a failed attempt at irony (the back says "I'm a racist because I support the Constitution" or similar), the teapartiers won't be able to do anything about it.

If you want to see those like ThinkProgress discredited, the tea partiers are just getting in your way.

7/15/10 UPDATE: One of the ThinkProgress clips was from 2006; they've posted a new version of the video without that clip and some in the teaparties point out that there are still problems with other segments on the clip:
The teapartiers did have a short-term impact on ThinkProgress, but the former group won't remember it and the latter group will just keep doing what they've been doing.

If you oppose the NAACP playing the race card, the Tea Parties aren't your friends - 07/13/10

Earlier today, the NAACP passed a resolution "calling on all people -including tea party leaders - to condemn racism within the tea party movement" per this (actual text not available yet).

Bill Kristol enables tea party idiocy; "my fellow Tea Partiers" - 07/11/10

Watch out world, because William Kristol is now a tea partier (link). After the memorable four words "my fellow Tea Partiers" he states that, in addition to the "the day-to-day work of a loyal opposition", he wants the Republican Party to:

be the party of the future as well as the present. It can be the party of fundamental reflection and radical choice as well as the party of day-to-day criticism and opposition. This isn’t easy. It can lead to mistakes and missteps, tensions and confusions. But it’s what the moment requires... So fear not the Tea Parties. Be open to fundamental reforms. Belt-tightening and program-trimming, more transparency and greater efficiency, are not enough. The danger for Republicans isn’t that they will address the current crisis too boldly. It’s that they won’t be bold enough.

The problem of course is that the tea parties - as outlined at the last link - have a vast array of fundamental issues. None that I've met are capable of governing much of anything. All they can come up with are childish and childlike ideas that don't acknowledge there are other people in the U.S. who might disagree. Of course, the tea partiers crank it up a notch, implying that those who disagree with them aren't real patriots when they aren't engaging in outright redbaiting. They're willing to be useful idiots for those who don't have their interests at heart, such as the Koch family and Dick Armey of FreedomWorks. Kristol references "a few eccentric proposals" at an event he attended, but Kristol isn't trying to show them how to do things in better ways; he's not pointing out that waving loopy signs, throwing tantrums at public meetings, and playing dress-up games aren't just stupid and childish, they also degrade the already-low level of debate in the U.S. He's not pointing out the negative impacts of the tea partiers' strong fiscal conservatism or that most Americans seem to appreciate a mixed economy rather than the "free" market that the partiers think they want.

And, it's telling that the partiers would invite Kristol to their event in Philadelphia as a featured guest rather than as someone who should be discredited for his links to the George W Bush administration, specifically their foreign policy.

Gallup: Tea partiers think debt more a threat than terrorism; aligned with Republicans on most issues - 07/05/10

According to a new Gallup poll (link), those in the tea parties movement are aligned with Republicans on most issues. And, asked to name "Extremely Serious Threats", they (first number) and their opponents (second number), say:

* "Federal government debt": 61% 29%
* "Terrorism": 51% 29%
* "The size and power of the federal government": 49% 12%
* "Healthcare costs": 41% 33%
* "Illegal immigration": 41% 14%
* "Unemployment": 35% 32%
* "The decision to have U.S. troops in Iraq/Afghanistan": 24% 22%
* "The size and power of large corporations": 16% 32%
* "The environment, including global warming": 13% 30%
* "Discrimination against minority groups": 13% 17%

It's not clear whether respondents were able to make multiple choices, or whether they could only choose one. In any case, the corporations and environment questions reveal what we already know: the tea partiers are more or less just corporate stooges. Neither of those are the most serious threat facing the U.S., but one would think that those opposed to government power wouldn't at the same time downplay the power that large corporations have.

And, while some in the tea parties are opposed to illegal immigration, they don't go about that opposition in the right way. Illegal immigration needn't be a partisan issue, and it should only be supported by the far-left, open borders ideologues, and those directly profiting from it. If those tea partiers who opposed it were going about that opposition in the right way they might be able to raise the 14% above.

Very few July 4th, 2010 Tea Parties compared to last year - 07/05/10

Last July 4th, the tea parties movement was in full swing with thousands of people attending events held across the country. This year was a much more muted affair with a few small events held here and there; gone are the glory days of appearances by Mickey Dolenz and Stephen Crowder.

Arguing with Tea Partiers, Part 1: Teaparty's "Jump, Smear, and Lie" technique - 06/22/10

1. The tea partier will interrupt the other person, in one way or another. That might involve simply trying to prevent them from finishing their sentence, or, in the case of a text-based argument, it might involve simply ignoring everything someone says except a sentence fragment.

Two examples of how tea partiers aren't effective (big AP report, whoo) - 06/20/10

All week, the tea parties line has been abuzz about the release of a new Associated Press article that was supposed to be a fair look at their movement. And, it's here.

Even Dick Armey realizes how toxic the "Tea Party" label is - 06/17/10

Even Dick Armey of FreedomWorks - a main stringpuller on the tea parties movement - now realizes that the label "Tea Party" is toxic and politicians should avoid calling themselves "tea party leaders". Recall that last month the Koch family - without which there might not be a tea party movement - also backed away from the tea parties. From this:

...Armey said (Rand Paul)’s "bigger mistake" came in his victory speech after securing the nomination, when he said "I have a message from the tea party. ... We've come to take our government back" and added: "This tea party movement is a message to Washington that we are unhappy and we want things done differently."

Armey said "I think that hurt him more than (the Civil Rights Act exchange), because the principles of liberty won that position and he won by adhering to them." He quipped that Paul’s reasoning for positioning himself as a tea party leader might have been, "Alright, I don’t have a big enough target on my back. Since the left hates the tea party and they hate me, let’s see if we can get ‘em to double down on me by me claiming to be the leader of the tea party."

"Don’t ask for more of what you really don’t want," Armey said. Pointing out that Paul "ran as a Republican - he won the Republican primary," Armey suggested that Paul and other tea party-backed candidates can remain true to the movement’s limited government principles without becoming targets by declaring themselves tea party leaders.

There certainly is the possibility that Armey was trying to distance the teaparties from Rand Paul due to the latter showing just where libertarian thinking (such as it is) leads. However, he was also asked about Sharron Angle, and, while her positions seem to also have a strong lunatic libertarian component she hasn't gotten as much heat for them as Paul. And, he was also speaking generally, so it seems like the much more likely possibility is that he now realizes that being associated with those in the tea party movement isn't such a good thing.

Note also that Armey had bad things to say about Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow and suggested that Republicans stay off MSNBC. All of this ties together: if Armey and the tea parties were competent and advanced mainstream ideas they wouldn't have to worry about going on hostile TV shows, and they wouldn't have to worry about keeping any tea party leadership secret.

Koch family distances from Tea Parties; says dogmatism isn't working ("Kochtopus") - 06/17/10

May 10 saw the appearance of the article "The Left’s Billion Dollar Tea Party Lie", an attempt by the billionaire Koch family to back away from the tea parties. The "Kochtopus" - those people and organizations funded by or linked to the Koch family - has been the main driving force behind organizing and promoting the tea parties.

What personality trait causes tea partiers and libertarians to want to play dress-up games? - 06/14/10

I'm no psychologist, but there has to be some explanation why many libertarians and those in the tea parties think that playing dress-up games and putting on a show is an argument. The same isn't true of other political groups; the only two I can think of that come close are PETA and CodePink. The great majority of political groups try to make an argument or (as in the case of this site for the most part) try to show how the opposition is wrong. But, for the teapartiers and for libertarians, simply playing dress-up games is the argument itself.

For a recent example (link)

In Dallas, the [San Antonio Tea Party] charge has been led by the team of Josh McDowell and Jon Kaplan... McDowell, 53, is tall and gregarious, a former Corpus Christi weatherman who now works as a technical writer. Kaplan, 61, is diminutive and thin, a Realtor with a quiet, professorial air... The two are a budding conservative comedy team. At this year's SATP Tax Day rally, McDowell portrayed Davy Crockett and Kaplan played Vladimir Lenin in historical skits... They now plan to take their balanced-budget campaign to YouTube with a spoof of the musical “Fiddler on the Roof.”

They're going to put on a show. Others in their movement putting on shows include the famous Tom Paine impersonator Bob Basso (peekURL.com/vpoz7hu) and, just as there are several Ronald McDonalds, there are other Paine impersonators: peekURL.com/vldtm7w and peekurl.com/v3fjh2l are just two examples. And, of course, there's the Boston Tea Party re-enactments like peekURL.com/vfnu6ac . And, of course, there were things like the "Ron Paul Mini- Blimp Parade" (peekURL.com/vrl552p) and all the other parades and dress-up events in support of Ron Paul.

I understand the value of publicity and finding ways to grab peoples' attention. However, other groups manage to do that without such flamboyance.

Democrats skip townhalls to avoid tea party "patriots" - 06/07/10

Jeff Zeleny of the New York Times offers "Democrats Skip Town Halls to Avoid Voter Rage" (nytimes.com/2010/06/07/us/politics/07townhall.html): the tantrums that those in the tea parties threw at last summer's public meetings have caused many Democrats to avoid open meetings this time around: Of the 255 Democrats who make up the majority in the

How D.C. Douglas helps Freedomworks and Teaparty - 05/18/10

One of the reasons why there's still a tea parties movement is because their loudest opposition is a match for them when it comes to incompetence. The latest example of that opposition's incompetence comes from D.C. Douglas ("DCD"), the voiceover actor who was fired by GEICO Insurance after he left a voicemail for FreedomWorks ("FW").

Maine GOP adopts Tea Party platform, and it's semi-sane - 05/10/10

The Maine GOP has adopted a very tea parties-friendly platform; you can get a PDF with it here. I've only seen the tea partiers do two smart things in all the months I've been covering them; this is - in some ways - the third smart thing. In other ways, it's more of the same libertarian lunacy with a fillip of Randroid extreme insanity.

First, some of the insanity/loony/libertarian:

Espouse and follow the principle: It is immoral to steal the property rightfully earned by one person, and give it to another who has no claim or right to its benefits... ...Promote energy independence aggressively by removing the obstacles created by government to allow private development of our resources; natural gas, oil, coal, and nuclear power... ...Pass a “Read the Bill” act, to insure clarity, and eliminate the corruption associated with side issues, earmarks, pork or riders... ...Clarify that healthcare is not a right. It is a service.... ....Eliminate the Department of Education.

The first is Randroid 101, the second would let those like the Koch family pillage the environment, the third is just a stunt, the fourth runs contrary to our current laws and good public policy, and the last also runs counter to good public policy (not to say that that Dep't couldn't be reformed).

There's an anti-ACORN provision that might not pass legal muster and that would impact large numbers of groups that aren't objectionable or as objectionable:

Prohibit any public funding of advocacy groups such as ACORN, no matter what it or its affiliate organizations rename themselves; New York Communities for Change, New England United for Justice etc.; Conduct thorough investigation of their activities and voter fraud and prosecute violations.

The immigration-related parts are actually very strong and in large part defensible, surprising for a movement marked by those with a libertarian bent (although what they mean in the last sentence below needs to be spelled out in more detail to see whether that's acceptable or not):

Reject any effort to give foreign citizens the right to vote in the US in any situation or capacity... ...Restore the process of assimilation of immigrants to preserve the benefits of an advanced educated and prosperous society. Rescind Maine’s sanctuary State status. No amnesty, no benefits, no citizenship -ever- for anyone in the country illegally. Arrest and detain, for a specified period of time, anyone here illegally, and then deport, period... ...Seal the border and protect US citizens along the border and everywhere, as is the prime directive of the Federal Government... ...Eliminate motor voter and other voter fraud mechanisms; institute secure voter registration and identification systems...

There are good government provisions:

Return to transparent and honest reporting of economic statistics free of gimmicks and distortions... ...investigate collusion between government and industry in the global warming myth, and prosecute any illegal collusion

Whether global warming is a "myth" or not, there probably is such collusion; for something on the road there, see this.


Oppose “Localism and Diversity”, the Fairness Doctrine or whatever else such attempted restrictions are labeled...

See that link for the background.

Then, there's the anti-United Nations part that by many will be portrayed as tinfoil hat time but which actually makes sense:

Oppose any and all treaties with the UN (United Nations or any other organization or country which surrenders US sovereignty. i. Reject the UN Treaty on Rights of the Child. ii. Reject “LOST” the Law Of The Sea Treaty. iii. Reject any agreement which seeks to confiscate our firearms... ...Repeal and prohibit any participation in efforts to create a one world government...

Note that various UN proposals - such as LOST - would allow them to become a self-sustaining body on the road to becoming a government unto themselves. Note also that some Democratic leaders are in favor of giving the UN their own army.

If they ditched the pro-corporation parts and the loony libertarian/Randroid parts and just concentrated on the things that most Americans should support (and provided a fully accurate and level-headed description of those provisions), this actually wouldn't be that bad.

Like I said: this is somewhat the third smart thing the tea parties have done. Now all they need to do is defend it.

Will teaparty and rightwing bloggers stumble us into amnesty? - 05/09/10

As if there wasn't enough to worry about, here's something else: rightwing bloggers and the tea parties might "oppose" amnesty in such a way that makes amnesty more likely.

Why the Tea Parties keep being called racist - 05/05/10

Amy Gardner and Krissah Thompson of the Washington Post offer "Tea party groups battling perceptions of racism" (link).

No shame: Teaparty invokes Civil Rights Movement, baby-waves, and engages in bad journalism - 04/29/10

Yesterday, Gateway Pundit (aka Jim Hoft, someone who I take to be more a useful idiot naif than an outright Glenn Reynolds type) offered "Team Obama Calls Out Swat Team on Tea Party Patriots!" (biggovernment.com/jhoft/2010/04/28/team-obama-calls-out-swat-team-on-tea-party-patriots), a journalism-free claim about an Obama event in Quincy, Illinois.

PJTV whines about taxes for Beverly Hills business as millions unemployed - 04/17/10

Normally I'd prefer people to shun the Pajamas Media mini-empire, but I actually urge everyone to share this video: link. Not because it's good, but for the opposite reason: it makes them and those in the general tea parties movement look very bad.

If Andrea Nill of CAP can't get Steve King's joke, what else is she unclear on? - 04/16/10

From this (bolding added):

Immigrant-rights groups sought to tap some of the "tea party" thunder Thursday by using the anti-tax-and-spending movement's nationwide protests to argue illegal immigrants must be legalized because they are eager to pay their full taxes... "Here there are people who don't want to pay taxes, and we're saying there are all these people who want to carry the load and we don't allow them to," said Mary Moreno, a spokeswoman for the Center for Community Change. She led a delegation that delivered five boxes of blank tax forms to a Capitol Hill office as a symbol of all the tax money left uncollected because illegal immigrants have not been legalized... "Oh man. How do they come up with this? They won't be real Americans if they love taxes," said Rep. Steve King, an Iowa Republican who rallied with the tea partiers later in the day... He said the IRS won’t turn down any extra revenue from illegal immigrants who want to pay it now, but also doubted legalization would be a good deal for American taxpayers...

In response to the last, Andrea Nill of ThinkProgress says (thinkprogress.org/2010/04/16/steve-king-immigration-taxes):

King is wrong on both accounts. The truth is that an overwhelming majority of Americans recognize the need to do their part in contributing to the nation’s welfare in the form of taxes. Eighty percent of Americans support maintaining spending levels on domestic programs such as education, health care, and Social Security over lowering taxes. Moreover, a new New York Times/CBS News poll finds that most Americans, 62 percent, regard the income taxes they personally pay as fair, regardless of political partisanship, ideology, or income level.

While King is definitely an anti-tax maven, his quote above was almost certainly meant at least partly in jest, along the lines of complaining about lines at the DMV. Obviously, that possibility flew over Nill's head, resulting in her linking to various immigration economics pseudo-studies that fail to take into account all the costs of comprehensive immigration reform.

Chris Stirewalt's fantastical libertarian triumphalism - 04/15/10

Chris Stirewalt - Political Editor of the Washington Examiner - offers the fantastical "Hating the government finally goes mainstream" (link, linked of course by Glenn Reynolds: pajamasmedia.com/instapundit/97645). He advances the delusional claim that the tea parties and recent polls indicate that libertarianism is finally becoming popular, that "[l]ibertarian sentiment has finally gone mainstream".

First, his definition of libertarianism doesn't comport with reality:

A movement that said that people should do whatever they wanted as long as it didn't hurt anyone else couldn't compete during the culture wars that began in the 1960s.

If they were put into practice, libertarian ideas would have vastly negative impacts on millions of people. For instance, the libertarian support for loose or open borders would allow strong, cohesive foreign countries to in effect colonize parts of the U.S. No libertarian leader will acknowledge that. Other libertarian proposals would have secondary and beyond effects, some of which might not become evident for decades (e.g., pollution and other environmental issues, health issues, and so on). It's trivially easy to find libertarian leaders - those who represent libertarian thought - supporting plans that would have vastly negative impacts on Americans.

Stirewalt also says:

But there's no doubt that hating the government and the powerful interests that pull Washington's strings has gone from the radical precincts of the Right and Left to the mainstream... And in a political system fueled by special-interest money, it was hard for the leaders of major parties to imagine anything other than an activist government. After all, if you pay for someone to get elected, you don't expect him to just sit there.

The libertarian movement - or at least the Beltway version of it - would collapse overnight if it lost funding from a small group of corporations, such as the Koch family. Trying to pretend that libertarianism isn't "fueled by special-interest money" is at least highly misleading.

Taitz uninvited from tea party event; does Seema Mehta know what a "falsehood" is? - 04/14/10

Seema Mehta of the Los Angeles Times brings word (link) that Orly Taitz has been disinvited from a tea parties event in Pleasanton on Thursday. And, that was done after politicians who were to appear at the event complained. Taitz is a piece of work, so it's perfectly understandable why Carly Fiorina and Chuck DeVore wouldn't want to share a stage with her (even if they say they had nothing to do with her being booted from the event).

That said, this bit from Seema Mehta's article jumps out (bolding added):

Taitz is best known for her crusade to prove Obama was born in Kenya and not Hawaii, a falsehood that sprang to life during the 2008 presidential campaign and that most voters and mainstream Republicans reject. But she has also been creating waves in the state Republican Party.

In order for what Taitz claims to be a "falsehood", the claim that Obama was not born in Kenya would need to have been definitively proven. While there's an excellent chance that he was in fact born in Hawaii, all of the evidence so far provided does not add up to definitive proof: all of that evidence has various flaws.

That doesn't mean that he was born somewhere other than Hawaii, it just means that it hasn't been definitively proven. To say otherwise would be to engage in childlike thinking, pretending that just because FactCheck says something it must be true, despite the fact that they've been caught in lies about this and other issues.

And, to say otherwise would be to assist a useful fiction, that where Obama was born has been definitively proven. The establishment works night and day to smear anyone who has any questions - just as they smear those who have reasonable questions about 911 - but that doesn't make their claims true. On the other hand, just because they doth protest too much doesn't mean that they're trying to cover something up, but it's not helping.

As for Seema Mehta, I invite her to list below what she considers definitive proof. Then, I'll show you (and hopefully her readers) why she's wrong.

How Crash the Tea Party could be effective (Brendan Steinhauser of Freedomworks knows!) - 04/14/10

As exhaustively detailed at the following link, the tea parties are a massive magnet for massive stupidity. They can't do anything right and the only reason they aren't little more than an embarrassing blip on U.S. political history is because their opponents are only marginally smarter than they are. Instead of trying to intellectually engage the partiers and show how they're wrong, those opponents have engaged in a long series of similarly childish activities, such as calling the partiers names or the like.

The latest example is the "Crash the Tea Party" group (crashtheteaparty.org) which is seeking infiltrators to try to make the partiers look bad by cranking their lunacy up a notch: bringing misspelled signs to rallies, advancing positions that are even more fringe, and so on. One problem with that is that it's lowering debate in the U.S. even more than the partiers are doing. Another problem is that it's difficult for even Pajamas Media to tell the difference between the real partiers and the infiltrators (pjtv.com/?cmd=mpg&mpid=72); everything they say about infiltrators applies to some or many real partiers.

And, yet another problem with the "Crashers" is that it gives the real partiers cover: they can (and will) simply blame loony signs and loony ideas on the infiltrators. The person behind the "Crashers" (Jason Levin, twitter dot com/tpartycrasher, twitter dot com/xenex11) is in effect helping the partiers (he might even be secretly on their side). Even Dave Weigel can figure out that Levin is helping them (link).

Another twist and turn in this disturbing tale is that FreedomWorks - one of the string-pullers for the partiers - knows how they're vulnerable. At the Washington Post article, their Brendan Steinhauser says:

Steinhauser passed on a chance to critique the CrashtheParty strategy of discrediting tea partiers. "I'm not going to suggest what they'd do if they were smart," he said.

OK, so I'll do that:

1. Their opponents could send smart, high-minded people - i.e., not the Max Blumenthal types - to tea party events and meetings and have them engage those present - preferably their leaders - in debate about policy. Those smart people could show how their libertarian-leaning ideology leads to a raft of negative consequences. Videos of the debates could be uploaded to video sharing sites so that Americans who aren't that familiar with the partiers could see what they really support.

2. Their opponents could show why average Americans don't want to be useful idiots for Freedom Works, the Koch family, Grover Norquist, and all the others who are the real leaders of the tea parties. I believe that Rachel Maddow has discussed those who pull the strings on their movement, but based on what I've seen of her I don't think she would do it in a way that would convince those outside her small circle.

3. Their opponents could point out that the leaders of the partiers are lowering debate in the U.S.: instead of encouraging an open debate about policy, those leaders have encouraged their charges to throw tantrums, shout down politicians, and engage in other uncivil and ineffective actions.

4. Their opponents could point out that the leaders of the partiers have completely ignored immigration matters, and could suggest why that might be. Their opponents could use this issue to separate the bulk of the partiers from their corrupt DC and libertarian leaders.

Cristina Corbin of Fox tries to distance Tea Party from fringe "conspiracy theories", gets facts wrong - 04/12/10

Fox News is apparently realizing that the 99.99% (or more) of those in the tea parties who engage in hyperbole, conspiracy theories, or just general lunacy are making the other 0.01% (to be generous) look bad. So, Cristina Corbin offers "Tea Party Rallies Remain a Cauldron for Conspiracy Theories" (link). In her quest to distance the partiers from fringe ideas, she gets her facts wrong:

Other Tea Party members continue to question the president's citizenship -- a sign reading "Show Us Your Birth Certificate" popped up at a recent rally in Traverse City, Mich.

"What's more disturbing is that he's not answering them," Tea Party member and conservative blogger Andrea Shay King said of the questions over Obama's birthplace.

The Hawaiian government twice confirmed during the 2008 presidential election that a copy of Obama's birth certificate was authentic. Factcheck.org tracked down the birth certificate and posted copies of it online.

See the Obama citizenship page for the facts. Hawaii has released two statements, one on 10/31/08 and the other on 7/27/09. The second, of course, was after the election and not before as Corbin states. Further, her use of "copy" is highly misleading since Hawaii admits that they never authenticated the picture shown on Obama's website (or shown by FactCheck). And, her use of "tracked down" is problematic since they were supposedly shown the certificate by the Obama campaign at their campaign office in Chicago, and that was after having been invited there. What they posted online also wasn't a "certificate" but a "certification of live birth" or COLB.

If you're going to claim that concerns over this issue are a "conspiracy theory", at least try to get simple facts right.

Example of tea party being useful idiots (global warming edition) - 04/07/10

Not that you needed it, but the video at peekurl.com/vuoy9wp provides yet another in the long line of examples of the tea parties being useful idiots, in this case about global warming. It consists of a series of interviews conducted by Bob McCarty at a tea party protest in December.

Debbie Wasserman-Schultz completely "p0wns" her Tea Party constituents (Obamacare) - 04/06/10

Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz held a townhall about Obama healthcare yesterday and - as with all the other townhalls - the results weren't pretty. Instead of taking effective steps to discredit her, those present (at least on the videos below) asked weak questions that she handled with ease.

Carol Shea-Porter "p0wns" her Teaparty constituents, including a doctor - 04/02/10

The video at peekURL.com/v5rn15o shows New Hampshire Rep. Carol Shea Porter basically lecturing her constituents at a townhall yesterday. Those on the video (and the one at peekURL.com/vuimsnv ) just aren't in her league. And, that's saying something since Porter appears to be quite a piece of work.

Jack Cashill shows yet more tea party incompetence, analyzes McClatchy tea parties-as-racists article - 04/02/10

Over at the ironically-named American Thinker, Jack Cashill offers "How Quickly Spread the Tea Party Smear" (americanthinker.com/blog/2010/04/how_quickly_spread_the_tea_par.html, linked of course by Glenn Reynolds, pajamasmedia.com/instapundit/96898).

What Evan Coyne Maloney won't tell you: the tea parties are far worse than the anti-Iraq war protests - 03/31/10

Back on December 15, 2002, I was the first journalist of any kind to go to an anti-Iraq War protest and come back with photos. A couple months later, Evan Coyne Maloney did the same, in his case with video. Both of us subsequently went to several other peace movement protests and shot pictures (me) and video (him) of the loopy signs and protesters.

Freedom Vigil: Beltway libertarians to restore U.S. liberty one glowstick at a time - 03/26/10

The latest hilariously stupid tea parties-style cheap stunt is a "Freedom Vigil" to be held in Washington DC tomorrow night. "Thousands" - make that more like a few dozen - will gather for a silent walk during which they'll raise glowsticks in the air in order to show their support for liberty (at least according to their definition). And, no, I'm not making that up.

Tea partiers clueless about tax policy (among, of course, other things) - 03/19/10

Bruce Bartlett - former Reagan advisor and Treasury official during the George HW Bush administration - offers "The Misinformed Tea Party Movement/For an antitax group, they don't know much about taxes" (link):

The "war" against amnesty has two fronts: its supporters, and its incompetent or corrupt opponents - 03/18/10

If you oppose comprehensive immigration reform - aka amnesty - you aren't just fighting against its overt, "usual suspect" supporters. Another group you need to deal with are those who might at first seem to be on your side but to some degree aren't: