Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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April 8, 2009

WITH JUST A WEEK TO GO.... Apparently, a bunch of far-right "Tea Parties" are still planned for next week, and leading conservative voices are engaged in a combination of expectations setting and victimhood. Take this Malkin item from Monday, for example, which warns of "anti-Tea Party sabotage."

For the next 9 days, the left-wing blogosphere and left-wing clueless pundits will hammer away with their unreality-based Tea Party smears.

And on the ground, the tax-subsidized and Soros-subsidized troops are going to try and wreak havoc every way they can. Many readers and fellow bloggers have seen signs that ACORN may send in ringers and saboteurs to usurp the anti-tax, anti-reckless spending, anti-bailout message.

Steve M. noted, "It's obvious that the tea parties are going to come and go and (except in the right-wing media) be a one-day story at best. But it's unacceptable for the movement to admit it's not succeeding -- somebody must be at fault."

Right, and in this case, it's George Soros and ACORN. Now, I consider myself relatively clued in on what's going on in progressive circles. Not only have I not heard any talk about "sabotaging" these conservative rallies -- I don't know anyone who cares -- I also can't begin to imagine why Soros and/or ACORN would bother.

But why let reality interfere with unhinged paranoia? The right probably sees some value in preemptively setting the stage for a win-win dynamic. If turnout at the April 15 events is strong, they'll claim success over the nefarious forces of evil lined up against them. If the events are a bust, they'll blame shadowy groups and figures -- who fear the power of the conservative movement -- for disrupting their would-be watershed rallies. Either way, the Tea Baggers are mighty. Or something.

Meanwhile, I suspect one of the problems with the Tea Parties is that it's not altogether clear what they're rallying for. They're conservatives who don't like the Democratic domestic policy agenda; this much is clear. But usually there's some kind of point to organized political events, and the Tea Parties are still a little vague.

I take it they don't like the economic stimulus package, but that's already passed. They don't like budget deficits, unless they're run by Republican presidents. They don't want their taxes to go up, but Obama has already passed a significant middle-class tax cut, which by most measures, is the largest tax cut ever signed by a U.S. president.

So, angry, right-wing activists are going to get together to demand ... what exactly? A 36% top rate instead of a 39.6% top rate? A $3.1 trillion federal budget instead of a $3.5 trillion budget? It's hardly the stuff of a credible and coherent political movement.

Maybe this is just an elaborate endeavor to give Fox News something to do on an otherwise slow Wednesday?

Steve Benen 8:45 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (33)

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Comments

It would just be terrible if radical left-wingers infiltrated the teabaggers and replaced the contents of some of the teabags used in the protest with an illegal herb.

Then anonymously alerting the cops and DEA, of course.

I'm sure that there'll be a stern memo from Soros Conspiracy Central informing all the infiltrators not to do this, but for some reason it hasn't arrived yet. Anyone else having email problems?

Posted by: Snarki, child of Loki on April 8, 2009 at 8:50 AM | PERMALINK

Either way, the Tea Baggers are mighty.

"We have done the trivial, and that makes us mighty."
-Not Malcolm Reynolds

Posted by: low-tech cyclist on April 8, 2009 at 8:52 AM | PERMALINK

Don't forget the inheritance tax.

Posted by: Carl Nyberg on April 8, 2009 at 8:53 AM | PERMALINK

angry, right-wing activists are going to get together to demand ...

The abolition of the IRS, the FDA, HHS and the Dept. of Education, the elimination of restrictions on gun and ammunition ownership, a return to the gold standard, "whites only" immigration policies and probably a return to gunboat diplomacy and 54-40.

This isn't about rolling back a few recent changes: it's about taking the opportunity of a loss to organize, finally, a radical right wing movement that doesn't (apparently) have its origins in the Klan.

Posted by: Ahistoricality on April 8, 2009 at 8:59 AM | PERMALINK

Acorn?

You know, I lived in Chicago almost all my life, til a couple of years ago. I was active in liberal causes.

And, I NEVER heard about Acorn til last year.

Are they the new "Tri-lateral Commission"? (I'm not even sure what that was, except the loonies on the Right trotted it out to condemn Dems).

Posted by: phoebes in santa fe on April 8, 2009 at 9:00 AM | PERMALINK

I object to this use of tea. I like tea and I propose tea drinkers infiltrate the meetings with the objective of taking over the GOP and turning it into "United Tea Drinkers" (UTD). Tax-free tea for all!

Posted by: Milt on April 8, 2009 at 9:00 AM | PERMALINK

Might have to pass on this, as my monthly lockstep check from Mr Soros has not arrived. Is he behind with anyone else? Schaife must have a better payroll department in keeping Malkin well Imeldaized.

Posted by: berttheclock on April 8, 2009 at 9:07 AM | PERMALINK

I LOVE it!!

As Tom Tomorrow so hilariously reminded us, "tea bagging" has an altogether different definition than the morans think it does ;)

Posted by: neilt on April 8, 2009 at 9:12 AM | PERMALINK

So when is Michelle Malkin going to "go Galt" and withdraw the "benefits" of her "productive" labors from our decadent cuture? How long until she refuses to accept money that is going to be taxed away to fund our insidious, redistributionist government? When will she go away and live in blissful selfishness in some hidden enclave until society is ready to appreciate her?


Posted by: SteveT on April 8, 2009 at 9:18 AM | PERMALINK

It's ironic that we point and snicker at the right's muddled tea-bag messaging. After all, I look at protests by the left over the last eight years and I see protests and events that were as muddled or worse.

For example, I recall several protest rallies in NYC that were supposed to be anti-war rallies. Yet, what we got was some war protesters, along with some anti-fur protesters, some environmental protesters, a handful of Free Mumia! protesters, and so on.

So I'm not real inclined to point at the tea-baggers and snicker over their lack of focus. I'll laugh at the fact that they're completely clueless about what the term "tea-bagging" means, but not at their mixed and muddled messages.

Posted by: Domage on April 8, 2009 at 9:18 AM | PERMALINK

The most powerful thing we can do about these "protests"?

Ignore them....totally, cuz that is what the vast majority of Americans will be doing and so will ACORN and Mr. Soros.

Posted by: dweb on April 8, 2009 at 9:22 AM | PERMALINK

These "tea-bagger parties" are all a plot by Big Tea to increase their corporate revenues in the face of the economic downturn/recession/depression. Devious really. Who knew the Tea Trust was such a Machivellian cabal?

Posted by: Breezeblock on April 8, 2009 at 9:24 AM | PERMALINK

"left-wing clueless pundits will hammer away with their unreality-based Tea Party smears."

What is up with the right's complete and shameless use of left talking points. Bill O'Reilly is always going off on left "hate groups" such as think progress. Hate group, really? Glenn Beck is pushing the 'fascist' meme hard and heavy. Now Malkin thinks the left is unreality-based? Besides the poor grammar this is just embarrassing. A total implosion of right wing ideas.

Posted by: palinoscopy on April 8, 2009 at 9:38 AM | PERMALINK

It brings joy to my heart every waking and sleeping moment to know I have a Constitutional right not to live in the perverse universe Michelle Malkin has wrapped herself in.

Too many Soros for me to take at any one time, and too many exaggerated fears! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on April 8, 2009 at 9:40 AM | PERMALINK

"Maybe this is just an elaborate endeavor to give Fox News something to do on an otherwise slow Wednesday?"

Nah, on slow news days they just farm out their pundits to NBC. Laura Ingraham was on the Today Show spouting off claims that Obama's overseas trip was a total failure, and that he's just a popular pretty boy who doesn't really have any cache, isn't able to make the Europeans submit and grovel before America the Almighty, or something like that.

Posted by: palinoscopy on April 8, 2009 at 9:45 AM | PERMALINK

All I can say to the wingers is teabag a liberal befor they teabag you.

Posted by: Gandalf on April 8, 2009 at 9:46 AM | PERMALINK

"...And on the ground, the tax-subsidized and Soros-subsidized troops are going to try and wreak havoc every way they can. Many readers and fellow bloggers have seen signs that ACORN may send in ringers and saboteurs to usurp the anti-tax, anti-reckless spending, anti-bailout message..."

OMG! Soros' saboteur Koffee Klatchers!

Posted by: Varecia on April 8, 2009 at 9:49 AM | PERMALINK

it also sets the stage for getting rough with 'outsiders'.

Posted by: Scott H on April 8, 2009 at 9:50 AM | PERMALINK

Not only have I not heard any talk about "sabotaging" these conservative rallies -- I don't know anyone who cares -- I also can't begin to imagine why Soros and/or ACORN would bother.

I think you're forgetting the reverse vampires.....

Posted by: Stefan on April 8, 2009 at 9:54 AM | PERMALINK

The left is now the man, keeping the teabaggers down?

I love it.

Posted by: henry lewis on April 8, 2009 at 10:02 AM | PERMALINK

I think the "Tea Bag Partys" are a cover for ammo exchanges. DEA stay home. ATF get busy.

Posted by: robert on April 8, 2009 at 10:13 AM | PERMALINK

It's ironic that we point and snicker at the right's muddled tea-bag messaging. After all, I look at protests by the left over the last eight years and I see protests and events that were as muddled or worse.

The same comparison occurred to me, but you also have to remember that immediately before the war there were some major, focused, well-organized protests that drew hundreds of thousands across the country. And the right didn't just scoff at the small protests that were as concerned with veganism as they were with the war, they also made fun of and tried to minimize the large protests. Admittedly, they didn't succeed in stopping the war, but they were at least focused on a specific goal and drew in more than a fringe element, and may have had some effectiveness in curtailing the media-supported myth that you had to be an unwashed hippie to oppose such an awesome war.

Also, personally, as someone who was never a big fan of ANSWER and giant puppets, I don't feel at all awkward making fun of the tea parties just because some people who happen to agree with me on certain issues are capable of being equally pathetic.

Posted by: ibid on April 8, 2009 at 10:27 AM | PERMALINK

To spread the word, I here ~repeat my comment from upblog per ACORN allegations re: I say the rest of us should put on a counter-tea-party to protest the way the tax system helps the wealthy. There's plenty of pickings: the wretched lower capital gains tax (no real excuse since traded assets aren't start-up capital, and they don't have to pay FICA on it either), the huge exemption for estate taxes, the loopholes (many corporations don't pay taxes or even get money from the government to promote overseas operations, etc! For all his faults and weirdness, Perot went up against this sort of thing, Godbless him - where is he now?)

Then there's the deductions and child tax credits for dependents, for earners up to around 100k - that means, childless people making 30k are subsidizing the kids of people making 100k! That sure as hell is a form of welfare (wealthfare?) There's plenty more, pitch in. (To see what the other side is planning and some comments, check http://www.reporternews.com/news/2009/mar/28/are-you-tired-of-taxation-join-a-tea-party/.

Really, let's organize a counter-TEA-party to protest the tax system *our* way! Network it out right here, why not ...

Posted by: Neil B ♪ on April 8, 2009 at 10:36 AM | PERMALINK

I find it typical of Republican failures that they chose the wrong symbology to rally their protesters. In the simpilist terms, the Boston Tea Party was about taxation WITHOUT representation...it wasn't about TAXATION. We today have representation, so the modern Republican Tea Party is even more than a joke. It fails on so many levels.

Posted by: JWK on April 8, 2009 at 10:42 AM | PERMALINK

Not to denigrate the Boston Tea Party but hasn't it occured to anyone that the Party was about Tea wihich is a commodity to be sure but in the end, a commodity of no intrinsic value other than a cultural accoutrement?
Fitting for the wingnuts.

And isn't a Tea Party a occasion for the Elites the wingnuts so despise?

Posted by: OXYMORON on April 8, 2009 at 10:48 AM | PERMALINK

These events are nothing more than Fox and local wingnut talk radio station's version of a Opie & Anthony WOW rally, just with less breast flashing by actual real women. Jonah Goldberg and Hugh Hewitt topless just don't do it for me.

Posted by: The Other Ed on April 8, 2009 at 10:51 AM | PERMALINK

So, angry, right-wing activists are going to get together to demand ... what exactly? A 36% top rate instead of a 39.6% top rate? A $3.1 trillion federal budget instead of a $3.5 trillion budget? It's hardly the stuff of a credible and coherent political movement.

What's really pathetic is that all of the losers in Das Base are mostly lower-middle-class, so they're going to get tax cuts (something I'm told conservatives like), but it's for these "poor" ones. Ol' Massa, he gon' get a tax hike and we all know that's bad - Ol' Massa, he might just fold his tent and "go Galt" and leave all of us in the lurch, so we just gotta be sure we take care of Ol' Massa. These morons have spent so many generations voting and acting against their own best interests it's now in their DNA.

Posted by: TCinLA on April 8, 2009 at 11:42 AM | PERMALINK

But, JWK, sadly, there are many Americans who believe they are only represented when their own views are placed into law. Recently, heard a RepuG woman on C-Span - She was a member of an anti-immigration and anti-tax group - She said she was not represented in Arizona, even by McCain or any other RepuG politician, let alone any Democratic Rep.

Posted by: berttheclock on April 8, 2009 at 11:43 AM | PERMALINK

Berththeclock,

I have no doubt you're right. But when has the feelings of certain wingnuts ever constituted reality? They may feel like they aren't represented, but they are -- at least to the granularity that our representative government allows.

Just as with the bugaboo of 'regulation', the extent of taxation is the will of the people, not some nefarious, behind-the-curtains sort of conspiracy.

Posted by: JWK on April 8, 2009 at 12:07 PM | PERMALINK

So I'm not real inclined to point at the tea-baggers and snicker over their lack of focus.

I had plenty of snickers over the puppet people, so I'm perfectly comfortable pointing and laughing at the right-wingers for looking equally as stupid.

But I will say, at least the Free Mumia and wacky vegan crowds knew what they wanted and had an actual agenda. It was a stupid agenda, but they had one. What's the agenda of the teabaggers other than "creeping socialism," especially when they can't actually explain what they mean by "creeping socialism" when you ask?

"Say what you like about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it's an ethos."

Posted by: Mnemosyne on April 8, 2009 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

Just as with the bugaboo of 'regulation', the extent of taxation is the will of the people, not some nefarious, behind-the-curtains sort of conspiracy.
No, it doesn't follow your well-meaning trope. Our elected officials have been very corrupted and do not follow the WOTP. Note the loopholes, low CG taxes, cap on FICA, etc. That situation is in some sense, a conspiracy.

Posted by: Neil B ♣ on April 8, 2009 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK
...and probably a return to gunboat diplomacy and 54-40

I KNEW the NHL was just a Commie Canadian Plot to soften us up for Socialized Medicine!!

Get the guns, Martha! We're gonna invade Sudbury!!

Posted by: Unca Paul on April 8, 2009 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

The direction our country is headed, we're in trouble. Putin has a better plan than Obama.

Posted by: Foxwood on April 8, 2009 at 8:52 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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