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“Tea Parties” & Their Critics

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 2:46 am - April 13, 2009.
Filed under: Hysteria on the Left,Tea Party,We The People

Welcome Instapundit Readers!

It’s too early to determine the significance (and staying power) the tea party phenomenon of citizens across this great country organizing to protest the ever-increasing size of the federal government and the ever higher taxes the spending to pay for that government will require.

Personally, I think we’ve just seen the beginning of this movement which could reshape American politics, perhaps forcing Republicans to offer a new Contract with America to show their commitment to the principles which once guided our party.  At last count over 550 protests springing up across the country.

An the theme of these rallies is similar to those of protests and political movements throughout American history, going back to the first Tea Party 236 years ago and little uprising which ensued a few yeas later.  There have been numerous movements protesting the power of the federal government ever since, including most recently the Barry Goldwater campaign of 1964, Jimmy Carter’s run in 1976 (he ran on anti-Washington, D.C. message), Ronald Reagan’s bid in 1980 and even (to some degree) Barack Obama’s successful campaign for “change” last year.

So, why can’t some on the left accept that this as a legitimate phenomenon?  For them to deny the sincerity of the protesters would be similar to conservatives denying the sincerity of all those who protested the Iraq War.

Law Professor William Jacobson* finds that instead of understanding people’s legitimate opposition to the the president’s spendthrift spending proposals,

Liberal bloggers and media groups can’t get the Tea Party phenomenon out of their heads. It wasn’t supposed to be this way, to them. Ordinary people getting together to protest against the liberal establishment. There is a cognitive disconnect. There must be a plot; the vast right-wing conspiracy at work.

They rush to define a grassroots movement as a right-wing conspiracy.  Are they so narrow that they think energetic opposition to Obama must needs be the product of some nefarious plot cooked up in the bowels of FoxNews studios?

Dan Riehl contends that “The Left can’t quite figure out the script for the Tea Party movement because there isn’t one beyond what is being written as it grows.”  Maybe that’s why they’re so upset, demonizing that which they don’t understand.  I think what they fear is related to something else Dan brought up that “the Tea Party movement is currently on track to be the largest genuine grassroots movement America has seen since the Sixties.”

We don’t know yet whether it will be such a grassroots movement, but it could be.  We’ll have a better idea on Wednesday when reports from across the country start coming in.  If on a weekday, these protests attract more than 224,000 people, we’ll know there really is something to it.  A quarter-million participant would suggest it’s more than just a flash in the pan.

And that, I think, is what has gotten so many left-wing bloggers (and left-of-center commenters to this blog) whipped into such a frenzy and eager to discredit/infilitrate the protests.  They don’t like the idea of a grassroots conservative movement.  They want to define us a pawns of a corporate media elite or as unbalanced rubes similar to those who see black helicopters circling above their farms at night (or waiting for the UFOs to land).

*I highly recommend both of Jacobsen’s posts (here and here) on the tea parties; he offers thoughtful analysis on and a plethora of links to the left-wing anti-tea party hysteria.

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70 Comments

  1. I hate to burst everyone’s bubble here, and please understand that I mean no disrespect, but…you guys do realize that you’re the punch line of a huge joke, don’t you?

    I think it’s less that the left is fearful and more that a lot of them find it this a bit hilarious.

    Listen, if you all want to really help yourselves and be taken seriously, can I just suggest you guys stop calling it a “Tea Party” and using the term “Tea Baggers.”

    Just tryin’ to help. 🙂

    Comment by Alex — April 13, 2009 @ 4:54 am - April 13, 2009

  2. they are nervous because if successful it will cause a split within the democratic party as the blue dogs flee the liberals enmass. If successful the TEA parties could derail the liberals dreams of an era of big government. health care, cap and trade all could be on the chopping block by blue dog dems if the tea parties are successful.

    Comment by unseen — April 13, 2009 @ 6:48 am - April 13, 2009

  3. In the past, you’ve compared potential numbers for the tea parties with the number of signatories on a petition for the presidents budget. Bearing in mind that 355,000 have (according to WND) signed a petition demanding to see Obama’s birth certificate, would you be of the opinion that the Birther’s movement is even more significant than the tea party movement?

    Comment by Scottland — April 13, 2009 @ 6:50 am - April 13, 2009

  4. classy.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/04/12/tea-party-insanity-burn-a_n_185991.html

    Comment by bob (aka boob) — April 13, 2009 @ 6:53 am - April 13, 2009

  5. The all powerful Fox News with the smart babes and people clearly enjoying their work, they can do anything. Alert the Troofers.

    Comment by Gary Ogletree — April 13, 2009 @ 7:00 am - April 13, 2009

  6. So, why can’t some on the left accept that this as a legitimate phenomenon? For them to deny the sincerity of the protesters would be similar to conservatives denying the sincerity of all those who protested the Iraq War.

    Dan, it looks like you at least partially answered your question here. Many conservatives did criticize or mock those who protested the Iraq War, including claiming that protestors are for those who don’t have jobs or nothing better to do with their lives, etc. Further, many tried to link all who opposed the Iraq War with some of the loonies that joined the protests.

    So for some, it’s payback. This includes pointing out the kooks that are on your side with the protests. For others, it’s more like, “our protests are legitimate, but yours aren’t.”

    Anyway, I think these protests are great. I think I mentioned in another post that I was willing to give Obama this one shot debt busting budget. And then he and Congress will have to rein in the spending in future budgets. These high deficits obviously can’t continue. Perhaps these protests will help in that regard.

    Comment by Pat — April 13, 2009 @ 7:34 am - April 13, 2009

  7. I would hope that the Tea Parties are just the beginning of a new activist Conservatism. Protesting isn’t something conservatives are much accustomed to and, unlike the left, we don’t have have professional “community organizers” who’s full-time “job” it is to protest and make a fuss.

    The Right has a lot to learn, including learning a style of activism that fits our character and culture. The Tea Parties are just the first step, and there will be mistakes and mis-steps along the way, but having an organization to counter the left is a good thing; even if these tea-parties are just a clumsy first step and the eventual shape of Conservative activism turns out to be something very different in form.

    I think it likely that the left is less scared of the Tea Parties themselves, and more afraid of what they portend in the way of future, better, more effective conservative activism.

    BTW, I note the Reston, VA Tea Party doesn’t kick off until 6:00 pm. Too late to make the local news, but it does give working folk a chance to finish their work first.

    Comment by V the K — April 13, 2009 @ 7:55 am - April 13, 2009

  8. Further, many tried to link all who opposed the Iraq War with some of the loonies that joined the protests.

    Which was made much easier by the fact that “anti-War” protesters showed up with signs like this, and this, and this, and this… and none of the supposedly sane Iraq War Critics raised even a peep of critcism.

    Comment by V the K — April 13, 2009 @ 8:05 am - April 13, 2009

  9. A very interesting point you make, V the K, on the nature of conservative activism. I don’t particularly agree with it, or at the least i’m confused as to your definition of ‘protesting’; The kind of activism that passed initiatives like prop 13 in california would fall square into the category of protest. They have a playbook to work from, both in grassroots and elites, mostly founded on an anti-tax message. Often removed from this arguement is any connection between what taxes cost individuals and what taxes actually do in society (prop 13 dramatically restricted what property taxes could be levied, with little consideration for the fact that property taxes were a vital source of revenue for the california education system). It’s definately worked before, and it might be doable again, depending on who can grasp the narrative best.

    Comment by Scottland — April 13, 2009 @ 8:13 am - April 13, 2009

  10. And I’m only really referring to anti-tax protests in the post above. The conservative counter-establishement that began in the late 60’s and got the Republicans into power in the 80’s was built on a variety of academic, media, grassroots and political protests. It was a very complex and self-reinforcing system, and it’s not what it used to be any more.

    Comment by Scottland — April 13, 2009 @ 8:19 am - April 13, 2009

  11. Which was made much easier by the fact that “anti-War” protesters showed up with signs like this, and this, and this, and this

    Yeah, pretty disgusting, V the K. Just goes to show you that on any issue, you can get a lot of loonies, including those that have their own sick agenda.

    and none of the supposedly sane Iraq War Critics raised even a peep of critcism.

    Another example of the left not criticize their own, or in this case, those on the loon fringe. So I join Dan in criticizing the fringe loonies who were “with” us on issues that we supported. Perhaps we’ll see the supposedly sane supporters of the tea parties criticize the AFA and other anti-liberty groups, and the book burner supporters who’ve decided to join the cause.*

    *I am in no way trying to compare someone’s wish to burn books with someone who wants our troops to kill our own officers. Just saying that both actions are worthy of criticism.

    Comment by Pat — April 13, 2009 @ 9:19 am - April 13, 2009

  12. The Right has a lot to learn, including learning a style of activism that fits our character and culture.

    Maybe so. But I wouldn’t expect the finished form of conservative protest, if such occurs, to appeal to all conservatives.

    I think it likely that the left is less scared of the Tea Parties themselves, and more afraid of what they portend in the way of future, better, more effective conservative activism.

    I don’t doubt it. If any on the left (or any opponent of big government) believes these protests are that insignificant, then why give it any thought? Why not just quietly let them go on?

    Comment by Pat — April 13, 2009 @ 9:37 am - April 13, 2009

  13. So, why can’t some on the left accept that this as a legitimate phenomenon? For them to deny the sincerity of the protesters would be similar to conservatives denying the sincerity of all those who protested the Iraq War.

    Sigh. This question is almost identical to the one posed in a post on this blog yesterday, but I’ll answer it for you again. The principles of the Republican party and the conservative movement were extremely malleable during the Bush years, with lots of contradictory positions taken and excuses made, and judging by the rhetoric used by tea party-ers, it doesn’t exactly seem as though you guys have undergone any significant ideological change. What it seems like is a big, collective hissy-fit at having lost an election.

    After all, it’s only been three months, and to hear conservatives at these tea parties tell it, we’re all about to die under Obama’s leadership. Now it’s up to all of us how much slack to give an incoming government, but it’s a little bit ridiculous to be writing off a new President, any new President, before the first 100 days. Without question, liberals were more supportive of President Bush than conservatives have been of Barack Obama. Liberals rallied around George Bush after 9-11, and you need only look at this blog to see a bunch of frothing conservatives hysterically blaming Obama for a hostage situation in the middle of the ocean. That sort of behavior doesn’t really lend you guys much credibility. Nor does generic b*tching about taxes and spending when the incoming President has inherited a number of disasters from your side.

    Also, look at this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwdOwgD5OsY

    We’re supposed to take groups of people shouting conspiracy theories across an Applebee’s seriously? Wait for the lady that demands that we burn the books ‘with that evolution crap’ at the end.

    I just don’t buy it.

    Comment by Levi — April 13, 2009 @ 10:16 am - April 13, 2009

  14. The left has always succeeded in pushing its agenda because it has a very radical, vocal, dedicated minority pressing forward all the time. The common sense conservatism of the right is a sleeping giant. I will be surprised if we are still holding tea parties a few years from now, but I will be disappointed if that spirit of resistance has not transmuted into a more systemic, organized approach to pushing back against Obamunism.

    Comment by V the K — April 13, 2009 @ 10:17 am - April 13, 2009

  15. The left has always succeeded in pushing its agenda because it has a very radical, vocal, dedicated minority pressing forward all the time. The common sense conservatism of the right is a sleeping g-i-a-n-t. I will be surprised if we are still holding tea parties a few years from now, but I will be disappointed if that spirit of resistance has not transmuted into a more systemic, organized approach to pushing back against Obamunism.

    Comment by V the K — April 13, 2009 @ 10:17 am - April 13, 2009

  16. So, why can’t some on the left accept that this as a legitimate phenomenon? For them to deny the sincerity of the protesters would be similar to conservatives denying the sincerity of all those who protested the Iraq War.

    For the same reason they got into such a rage both times Bush won election. The Left has told itself that it supports “the people” and therefore “the people” should be supporting it. They cannot accept that they are an ideology of elitists or of small issue interest groups, rather than the population as a whole. Therefore, any group or movement that opposes them cannot be of “the people”, but rather it must be a plot or conspiracy.

    Comment by Marker — April 13, 2009 @ 10:26 am - April 13, 2009

  17. “Liberals rallied around George Bush after 9-11, and you need only look at this blog to see a bunch of frothing conservatives hysterically blaming Obama for a hostage situation in the middle of the ocean. That sort of behavior doesn’t really lend you guys much credibility. ”

    The country gets attacked and liberals are to be applauded for rallying around the flag?

    The tea parties are symptomatic of the old adage ‘the straw that broke the camels back’. Too much taxation, regulation and governmental interference in every day life. Just because someone has a problem therefore someone else should be compelled to subsidize them. Levy what you are seeing is the beginning of the push back against the collectivist state. That is what has the left nervous.

    Comment by cubanbob — April 13, 2009 @ 10:34 am - April 13, 2009

  18. To V’s point in comment #6.

    I’m not sure about the rest of the country, but the organizers of the Fresno TP are trying desperately to weed out splinter protests, such as gay marriage and abortion. They have people who will be handing out spare signs, asking those with alternative agendas to please focus on the one purpose of protesting for fiscal responsibility and fiscal responsibility only.

    Comment by sonicfrog — April 13, 2009 @ 10:34 am - April 13, 2009

  19. What it seems like is a big, collective hissy-fit at having lost an election.

    You mean like the eight years of teeth gnashing and bitter whining that I heard from the left during Bush’s two terms. That’s what you meant, right?

    Comment by physics geek — April 13, 2009 @ 10:37 am - April 13, 2009

  20. >I just don’t buy it.

    You don’t have to.

    It’s happening whether you buy it or not.

    Cheers.

    >We’re supposed to take groups of people shouting conspiracy theories across an Applebee’s seriously?

    And you’re guilty of attributing the rantings of the crazies that exist on both wings with the common folk who do not engage in the kind of conspiracy-huffing that the left did during the Bush years.

    A poster above linked four different pictures of assorted leftwing nutjobs that were regularly marching in anti-war protests during the Bush years. Either they represented the views of the entire crowd, or they represented themselves. Which is it? It isn’t both.

    It’s almost as if you’re afraid of what all of this means for your boys in Washington, so you’re trying to deflect responsibility for confronting it intellectually by pointing to a few whackaloons and trying to extrapolate their insanity to everybody else in the crowd (ignoring, of course, the fact that many of these “whackos” will simply be ACORN plants and assorted “infiltrators” whose goal is not to argue or debate or offer better policy, but simply to encourage others to dismiss the groundswell in their midst as some kind of circus sideshow).

    You’re just doing what your compatriots are doing – trying to discredit what you don’t care to understand because you can’t control it or frame it in a way that is palatable to your political philosophies.

    Enjoy the protests – the same Democrats who were whining about Bush’s deficits are going to be supporting deficits on steroids for the next several decades. Interesting when the shoe is on the other foot, isn’t it?

    Comment by Good Lt. — April 13, 2009 @ 10:40 am - April 13, 2009

  21. What’s telling is that Levi … who occasionally makes some half-hearted feints in the direction of fiscal and political moderation … has nothing but vitriol against the one manifestation of resistance against the collectivist state he claims, rhetorically at least, to oppose.

    Comment by V the K — April 13, 2009 @ 10:43 am - April 13, 2009

  22. Levi: “What it seems like is a big, collective hissy-fit at having lost an election.”

    With phrases such as “hissy-fit” you make your argument dismissable. If you show up at a local Tea Party protest and talk to people, you’ll probably find a significant number who are very upset at Bush and Paulson for opening the door to the bailout parade. I know I remain upset about that. And I’m also upset that conservatives accepted the “too big to fail” argument at the end of the Bush presidency. Once that is accepted, you cannot maintain free market principles.

    Levi: “After all, it’s only been three months, and to hear conservatives at these tea parties tell it, we’re all about to die under Obama’s leadership.”

    No, that’s not true. What’s driving this – at least from the conservative side – is that our fears about Obama’s direction have been realized. He’s actually worse than we’d expected on the economic front.

    Levi: “Nor does generic b*tching about taxes and spending when the incoming President has inherited a number of disasters from your side.”

    If you were honest, you’d admit that the problems in the financials sector have been a long time coming. Any reasonable analysis must include Carter’s Community Reinvestment Act, Clinton’s expansion of it, and the Democrats’ unyielding resistance to reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as the housing crisis spun up. On “our side”, the regulators were asleep at the switch and the economists were blindsided, as the leveraging at investment firms took us deep into crisis. And Bush’s constant promotion of “home ownership”, along with the absurdly low Fed Interest Rates certainly hurt terribly.

    In other words, there’s plenty of blame to go around, and we certainly can debate all day every day about which side is more to blame.

    The Tea Party protest is based around a deep-seated conviction that government bailouts don’t work, and massive deficits will destroy a country economically. If you talk to people at the Tea Party protests, you’ll find this to be the unifying theme, but you’ll get a lot of different opinions, I’m sure, once you delve into specifics beneath that theme.

    Comment by Mike Devx — April 13, 2009 @ 10:44 am - April 13, 2009

  23. I think Andrew Klavan summed up Levi and the other leftists arguments against Tea Parties (or any other criticism of their agenda) succintly: “Shut Up!” they explained.

    Comment by V the K — April 13, 2009 @ 10:45 am - April 13, 2009

  24. Levi,

    I can’t, and won’t, speak for anyone but myself. Having said that, I can tell you that I’m participating in these protests because I see both political parties as favoring big government intrusiveness over individual liberty.
    The last administration tried to ease in to bigger, more powerful government where the current administration is just grabbing power in all directions.
    “The First 100 Days” argument is silly when we have a government that spends a Trillion dollars in the first 30 days by passing a bill that no one in government had fully read.
    As for the current administration inheriting disasters “from your side”, I see the failures of government as clearly bipartisan. Both political parties want more power, and both of them want to expand government power to achieve that.
    Lastly, why should I care about a small group of nuts portrayed in the video you link? I’m not protesting in support of them, I’m protesting in opposition to two political parties that have abandoned any pretense of respecting the individual. Your attempts to make me, and others like me, shy away from the TEA party protests by associating them with nut jobs is just another example of political correctness (a.k.a. thought control).
    I’m done taking people like you seriously. All you want me to do is be a nice little sheep so your chosen political party can put larger chains on me. The time to throw off those chains is long past due.

    Comment by Dave in Ohio — April 13, 2009 @ 10:46 am - April 13, 2009

  25. What Levi and a number of those on the left are missing is that there was considerable resistance to Bush’s budgets. The only reason Bush won in 2004 was because of Kerry. If the Democrats had put someone who was serious about national defense on the ticket, Bush would have been a one-termer.

    It’s also why the Republicans got kicked to the curb in 2006. A good number of conservatives either stayed home or voted third-party. We figured if we’re gonna have a free-spending government, we may as well let the pros handle it.

    The “Tea Party” thing isn’t some spontaneous reaction to Obama. It’s a kettle that’s been on the burner for too long, and is just now boiling over.

    @SonicFrog #14: I’m happy to hear that the loonies are being actively shunned. I’ve always believed that this is the one thing that made conservatives better than liberals – we shun our freaks while they embrace theirs. It’s how they wound up with a party leadership that is so openly hostile to the founding premises of the nation and so far out of the mainstream.

    Comment by brian — April 13, 2009 @ 11:00 am - April 13, 2009

  26. The ‘very radical, vocal, dedicated minority’ of conservatism has had plenty of influence over the path the entire movement has taken. Neo-conservative are a distinct minority whose ideas have taken root in the movement due to their political positioning, in spite of the inherent lack of common sense in their ideas. After having a look at Richard Perle’s absurd ideas on projecting American influence in the Afghan-Soviet war, for example, I can only conclude that the fact that his opinions are paid any attention to is because he is the product, beneficiary and proponent of a radical, vocal, politically well positioned conservative minority.

    The only reason that a ‘sleeping giant’ exists at all is because of a dedicated minority courting and organizing a variety of monied political interests, that have bred into society at large, into supporting a variety of media outlets, think tanks and politicians. To suggest otherwise is to ignore the historical record.

    Comment by Scottland — April 13, 2009 @ 11:18 am - April 13, 2009

  27. The ‘very radical, vocal, dedicated minority’ of conservatism has had plenty of influence over the path the entire movement has taken. Neo-conservative are a distinct minority whose ideas have taken root in the movement due to their political positioning, in spite of the inherent lack of common sense in their ideas. After having a look at Richard Perle’s absurd ideas on projecting American influence in the Soviet war in afghanistan, for example, I can only conclude that the fact that his opinions are paid any attention to is because he is the product, beneficiary and proponent of a radical, vocal, politically well positioned conservative minority.

    The only reason that a ‘sleeping giant’ exists at all is because of a dedicated minority courting and organizing a variety of monied political interests, that have bred into society at large, into supporting a variety of media outlets, think tanks and politicians. To suggest otherwise is to ignore the historical record.

    Comment by Scottland — April 13, 2009 @ 11:19 am - April 13, 2009

  28. FILTERED.

    Comment by Scottland — April 13, 2009 @ 11:20 am - April 13, 2009

  29. I think they are angered and a bit boggled by the Tea Party protests because it doesn’t fit into their framework for understanding the world. The election of Obama was supposed to signal our readiness to become “enlightened”… more like Europe… which they (wrongly) see as a step upward.

    A few years ago, there was a book called “What’s The Matter With Kansas?”. It was built around the assumption that the policies of the Democrats were so obviously beneficial to the regular folk of America that a citizen who voted Republican was somehow voting “…against their own interests.”

    That is why they cannot really comprehend the people in the Tea Party movement — people should gladly surrender their autonomy for a few more federal benefit crumbs. The only reason a person wouldn’t want big government is:

    a.) They are a card-carrying member of the exploiter class…

    b.) They are duped by “Faux News” and the like.

    The people are supposed to be waiting with bated breath for new and improved entitlements to flow from DC, not agitating for fiscal restraint and financial independence.

    In short, this past election was supposed to signal the end of American exceptionalism and rugged individualism. “Shut up and surrender already, dammit!”

    Comment by stevieray — April 13, 2009 @ 11:21 am - April 13, 2009

  30. Are they so narrow that they think energetic opposition to Obama must needs be the product of some nefarious plot cooked up in the bowels of FoxNews studios?

    Yep. Any opposition to enlightened “liberalism” must be the product of teh evil puppet masters.

    Comment by Tully — April 13, 2009 @ 11:31 am - April 13, 2009

  31. Critics too often make the news….. seldom do they make history!
    TEA PARTY 2009 is just the beginning of a historical movement!

    Comment by elvis — April 13, 2009 @ 11:39 am - April 13, 2009

  32. For them to deny the sincerity of the protesters would be similar to conservatives denying the sincerity of all those who protested the Iraq War.

    I do that. But then I’m biased by the fact that I know quite a few of them.

    Mike, that’s a fine take-down of Levi, but why not go right for the gut and point out that Levi proceeds from an unsupportable pre-conception? That this is a Republican movement whose members were Bush supporters. Let thim try to come up with some evidence before proceeding.

    Comment by tim maguire — April 13, 2009 @ 11:39 am - April 13, 2009

  33. SonicFrog offers: “the organizers of the Fresno TP are trying desperately to weed out splinter protests, such as gay marriage and abortion. They have people who will be handing out spare signs, asking those with alternative agendas to please focus on the one purpose of protesting for fiscal responsibility and fiscal responsibility only.”

    I can ditto that sonicfrog for Michigan’s April 15th rally. We’re asking the usual batch of soc-cons to leave their special issues on the kitchen table, skip the Biblical quotes about homosexuality, leave the out-of-date milita green camo suits in the closet and not confuse the media with a mixed message about our Tea Party… the toughest ones to date have been the RonPaulits who also want this to be about decriminalizing dope and getting back on the gold standard to solve the current economic mess –gheesh.

    It’s still a tough task to keep people motivated and focused even when the stakes are so very, very high. We screw this one up and we’ll be made to look like fools in the MSM for months… while Obama skips and prances across the heartland in a Snoopy-like victory dance.

    Frankly, I think we need less of the typical political party conventioneers’ nonsense and a more serious tone to get respect and the media’s attention. Humor sure; vicious cynics run riot, no. It isn’t the beginning of some widespread conservative resurgence –it’s simply allowing that base a voice in the ongoing debate. A voice that’s always been there and is in serious need of repair and restoration.

    That’s what we’re seeing in Michigan.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — April 13, 2009 @ 11:49 am - April 13, 2009

  34. I am a nominal Republican but a small government political conservative. For over 40 years I have felt like I was in the wilderness after Senator Goldwater’s defeat, but now I feel rejuvenated. I have attended two Tea Parties with three more to go. I have joined the 912 Project because of their non-partisan like-mindedness with their kick the bums out attitude and helped form the American Conservative Party last year. We don’t need big government, big spending Democrats or Democratic-lite Republicans. We the people are not going to take it any more! We want citizen legislators not professional politicians who place ego first, party second and our country last. At the meetings you hear cries for constitutional amendments for term limits, a balanced budget and sometimes for a presidential line item veto as a check on pork. The point being only with citizen legislators in the federal government can we achieve these goals.

    Comment by Al Reasin — April 13, 2009 @ 12:02 pm - April 13, 2009

  35. Our voices will be heard by Congress and President Obama; enough is enough! The irresponsible spending of OUR money is an outrage. This year on Tax Day, I hope the Tea Party protests make history!

    If liberal politicians refuse to listen, we will vote ’em out of office quicker than they can pass a bill without reading it!

    The corruption, the lies, and the political games our government play with us are over. It’s embarrassing to the American people and we’re not gonna take it anymore!

    You can read more on my review of the Tea parties, here:
    http://derekerwin.blogspot.com/2009/04/obama-we-are-taxed-enough-already.html

    Together, we will make history!

    Comment by A 1-In-100 Blogger — April 13, 2009 @ 12:06 pm - April 13, 2009

  36. I agree that the Tea Parties should stay focused on fiscal responsibility & not get sidetracked by non-related issues. Uh-oh, I can hear ND30, AE, etc screaming at me: “don’t throw social conservatives under the bus”, blah, blah, blah. Sigh.

    Comment by Jimbo — April 13, 2009 @ 12:16 pm - April 13, 2009

  37. I attended the Orlando Tea Party in March, but will be unable to attend the one on tax day, because of my work hours. I think the groups that are holding them after works hours have a better chance of increased attendance.
    I have never been to a ‘protest’ before in my life, but was so glad I went to Otown’s . It was a very stirring event. It was great to see so many people – 4 – 6,000 depending on who was counting. There were old people and young people. The best line of the day for me was a 9 year old girl who said something to the effect of ‘stop spending my money before I even get a chance to earn it. ‘ This pork, special interest spending bill will cripple our country to years to come. It is time the Senate and House of Rep. hear the message from the Tea Parties.

    Comment by Denise — April 13, 2009 @ 12:30 pm - April 13, 2009

  38. I’m taking the day off work and going to 2 Tea Parties! One in Lakeland (FL) at noon and afterward the one in Orlando at 6. And I’ve made up Impeach Obama and other Tea Party buttons to sell just for the fun of it!

    Comment by Mark — April 13, 2009 @ 12:35 pm - April 13, 2009

  39. Uh-oh, I can hear ND30, AE, etc screaming at me: “don’t throw social conservatives under the bus”, blah, blah, blah. Sigh.

    Nope.

    I don’t believe that you should throw social conservatives under the bus, but the point of these gatherings is to protest the Obama Party’s attempt to crush capitalism under regulation, destroy the spirit of free enterprise in this country, and take away from those who earn and are productive to those who refuse to do or be either.

    You’ll get no argument from me on having people focus on what’s most important here. Those other issues can (and should) be dealt with later, and if people can’t cope with that, they’re welcome to have their own protests elsewhere for their pet issues.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 13, 2009 @ 12:37 pm - April 13, 2009

  40. Liberals are nervous about the Tea Parties for the same reason they get so unhinged about Conservative Talk Radio.

    In the 1960’s, young, liberal baby boomers said things like “rebel against the establishment” and “question authority”. Now those young, liberal baby boomers are middle aged, liberal baby boomers, and they’ve become the new establishment. They control academia, the mainsteam media, the entertainment business, etc. But in their heart of hearts, they still think of themselves as young rebels.

    Conservative talk radio isn’t just for political junkies. It’s a place where conservatives can go to complain about all aspects of our liberal popular culture. Conservatives are the new counter culture. This drives liberals nuts. The tea parties are the next logical step after all these years of Conservatives sitting on their rears just listening to talk radio and reading blogs.

    I”ve been arguing for years that Conservatives need to take to the streets and have their voices heard. The fact that they haven’t has allowed liberals to maintain their place as the only people passionate enough about their political beliefs to get involved on the grass roots level. It’s about time we put an end to that.

    Comment by The Fop — April 13, 2009 @ 12:59 pm - April 13, 2009

  41. Great posting…

    You might like this:

    Comment by Americaneocon — April 13, 2009 @ 1:08 pm - April 13, 2009

  42. […] tip: Gay Patriot, via Instapundit Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)HUGE: Evidence Surfaces That […]

    Pingback by The Confused Critics Of The Tax Day Tea Parties « Nice Deb — April 13, 2009 @ 1:09 pm - April 13, 2009

  43. The conservative movement requires redefinition. The basic problem is that our tax and spend regime no longer represents the average voter. But big government is where the money is located, so most politics center around how to milk the current system for favored constituents….and push the bill to “that other
    guy”

    The TEA parties are a great collector of this discontent, but there is no focus. Without focus, this will all amount to nothing. My solution is a difficult tax reform http://www.hedgehogparty.com. Take a look at it.

    Those of you tripping down the partisan trail…take care…atomization and revolution is lurking.

    Comment by ezag — April 13, 2009 @ 2:10 pm - April 13, 2009

  44. There’s lots about the “parties” that’s hilarious, such as the attempt by a small group of Randroids and extreme fiscal conservatives to define themselves as the One True Voice of Conservatism.

    What’s not hilarious is that they’re helping make thousands of people angry and then all those people will be let down when they realize that what they did was completely ineffective.

    BHO could be secretly behind the “parties”, they’re going to be that ineffective. I don’t think there’s a chance the “parties” could be a Dem operation, but plenty other leaders have encouraged a feckless opposition in order to keep their opponents occupied with something completely ineffective.

    If any smart/non-Randroid folks want to do something that would actually be effective, see my name’s link.

    Comment by Something that's actually effective — April 13, 2009 @ 2:11 pm - April 13, 2009

  45. […] *Tea Parties and Their Critics, buy GayPatriot. […]

    Pingback by The Quantum Conservative » Blog Archive » Tea Party Stuff — April 13, 2009 @ 2:39 pm - April 13, 2009

  46. […] thoughts from GayPatriot and Legal Insurrection. Posted in: Tea Party Send to a Friend Printer Friendly comments […]

    Pingback by Michelle Malkin » Tea Party Smear Watch: The Race Card — April 13, 2009 @ 3:35 pm - April 13, 2009

  47. Liberals rallied around George Bush after 9-11

    As long as it was the popular thing to do. It didn’t take long before they went back to undermining Bush. You might recall liberals delaying the implementation of the TSA because they were more concerned about unionizing them first. The unions got more consideration than airport security.

    Wait for the lady that demands that we burn the books ‘with that evolution crap’ at the end.

    Didn’t AG Holder, the other day, state that he supports banning books? That after the liberal’s faux hysteria over a lie that Palin tried to ban books. Guess it depends on the subject matter.

    Now it’s up to all of us how much slack to give an incoming government, but it’s a little bit ridiculous to be writing off a new President, any new President, before the first 100 days.

    So tell us, how long do people have to wait? How many trillions of dollars of our money has to be spent before YOU think it’s appropriate? Once the horse has left the barn, it’s too late to stop ‘im.

    I’m taking the day off work and going to 2 Tea Parties! One in Lakeland (FL)

    I didn’t know there was going to be one here in Lakeland. I thought TPA & MCO were the only options.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — April 13, 2009 @ 4:43 pm - April 13, 2009

  48. As a terrible leftist myself, I am all in favor of these tea parties. No shit, I am. They are comically nerdy affairs. They just scream, “Young Americans for Freedom.” It’s only a matter of time until they have a Glee Club singing the Whiffenpoof Song as they dump their bags o’Lipton into the nearest body of water.

    Do you have any idea how utterly ridiculous you guys look? Guess not! The right wing always was tone deaf. The 2010 elections are only 18 months away. I can hardly wait!

    Comment by Terrible Leftist — April 13, 2009 @ 6:59 pm - April 13, 2009

  49. I wonder less about the motives of people participating in the tea parties, and more about those of people who don’t seem to give a damn that Obama is on course to double the National Debt in less than ten years.

    Comment by V the K — April 13, 2009 @ 7:34 pm - April 13, 2009

  50. Above The Fold for Monday, April 13, 2009…

    Here is the inaugural issue of Above The Fold.  Let me know what you think.
    First off, congratulations are in order to the U.S. Navy and, above all, Captain Richard Phillips for his safe return to his family.  Read about the rescue here.  Hopefully, So…

    Trackback by The Lone Maryland Conservative — April 13, 2009 @ 7:57 pm - April 13, 2009

  51. Do you have any idea how utterly ridiculous you guys look?

    Any more ridiculous than “fainting” in the presence of “the messiah”? Any more ridiculous than electing the LEAST qualified candidate? Any more ridiculous than electing a blithering idiot with ZERO interest in his background or accomplishments? Any more ridiculous than electing a blithering idiot who buries you in debt? Any more ridiculous than electing a blithering idiot who takes over private companies “for the greater good”?

    I can hardly wait!

    Just like you’re still waiting for the 110th Congress to carry out their promisses?

    I’m curious as to why the HuffPlaig needs “citizen journalists” when they can just swipe other people’s news stories, insert their own headlines and revel in the accolades of the brainless lemmings who love them.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — April 13, 2009 @ 8:02 pm - April 13, 2009

  52. I think they are angered and a bit boggled by the Tea Party protests because it doesn’t fit into their framework for understanding the world. The election of Obama was supposed to signal our readiness to become “enlightened”… more like Europe… which they (wrongly) see as a step upward.

    Anyone that hasn’t spent the last eight years in a coma would have known that there would be some sort of overblown reaction by the conservatives in the wake of Obama’s election. And really, this is nothing new, we’ve been seeing this stuff from you guys for years. Do you really think you’re switching it up? You were just as furious and prone to hyperbole during last year’s presidential campaign, just as you were in response to liberal criticism of Bush’s war, torture, wiretapping policies, and whatever else. If you guys think you’re turning over a new leaf, you’re not. You’re just not.

    Something else I thought of today. I’ve been accused of secretly being either extremely nervous or incredibly terrified by the tea parties. This seems to be the new, stock response to liberals that’s been settled upon in the age of Obama, replacing the Bush-era retort of ‘You have Bush Derangement Syndrome!!! You have Bush Derangement Syndrome!!!’ What’s really going on, if I may, is that it’s you guys who are nervous, you guys who are afraid, that all of this shouting and all of this to-do is going to be greeted with a big, fat YAWN. You guys are scrambling for relevance, and at the end of the day you’re still looking at a year and a half until the next election, where if anything, Republicans are likely to lose even more seats. Tea parties are Pet Rocks. They’re Beanie Babies and Vanilla Ice. Sorry – this is going to sputter out. Mark my words.

    Comment by Levi — April 13, 2009 @ 8:16 pm - April 13, 2009

  53. Any more ridiculous than electing the LEAST qualified candidate? Any more ridiculous than electing a blithering idiot with ZERO interest in his background or accomplishments? Any more ridiculous than electing a blithering idiot who buries you in debt? Any more ridiculous than electing a blithering idiot who takes over private companies “for the greater good”?

    Please, please! You’re Republicans. What are doing pointing to George W. Bush and his failures? Stay off our turf, gay patriots!

    you’re still looking at a year and a half until the next election, where if anything, Republicans are likely to lose even more seats. Tea parties are Pet Rocks. They’re Beanie Babies and Vanilla Ice. Sorry – this is going to sputter out.

    They will refuse to believe it until it happens. Even if they wanted to chart a new course, the Republican Party, and its even nastier gay patriot wing, wouldn’t know how to do it. They’ve systematically excluded reasonable voices, nearly to the vanishing point. All that’s left is the bitter detrius of failure, but it controls the machinery.

    I think you’ll see a continuing string of election defeats until the Republicans hit rock bottom, with 100-120 seats in the House and maybe 25 or so in the Senate. And then they’ll just sit there until ongoing defeat finally causes them to change.

    As a lifelong terrible leftist, I’m going to cook myself a nice big batch of popcorn and enjoy the movie!

    Comment by Terrible Leftist — April 13, 2009 @ 9:18 pm - April 13, 2009

  54. Excellent post. I guess it shouldn’t surprise me that some of the hatemongers have come out of the woodwork, accusing us of stupidity, when they’re the ones who elected a guy who promised change and gave us Bush economic policies on steroids.

    You know what? I can’t wait for 2010, either. With the numbers I’m seeing showing up at these protests, I’m pretty sure Democrats are gonna get the smackdown.

    And Levi…I love how you guys are against wiretapping but FOR speed cameras. Tell me, when was the last time you saw groups of conservatives all over America uniting for a big protest like this?

    Comment by MelMaguire — April 13, 2009 @ 9:21 pm - April 13, 2009

  55. And Levi…I love how you guys are against wiretapping but FOR speed cameras.

    This is just weird.

    Tell me, when was the last time you saw groups of conservatives all over America uniting for a big protest like this?

    Well we did just have an epic, 18-month long campaign where people of all political leanings met at daily political rallies all over the country. This seems similar, only less organized and more infrequent.

    Yaaaaaaaawwwwwwnn.

    Comment by Levi — April 13, 2009 @ 9:32 pm - April 13, 2009

  56. They will refuse to believe it until it happens. Even if they wanted to chart a new course, the Republican Party, and its even nastier gay patriot wing, wouldn’t know how to do it. They’ve systematically excluded reasonable voices, nearly to the vanishing point. All that’s left is the bitter detrius of failure, but it controls the machinery.

    You’re spot on. George Bush and Karl Rove sacrificed their party’s long-term viability for short-term political success, and now they’re happily collecting speaking fees and cashing Fox News paychecks. They basically turned the rest of the Republican Party into a group of mindless cheerleaders, and now that they’ve skipped town, the cheerleaders have no one to cheer for.

    It would take some honesty and a capability and willingness to reflect and be critical of oneself to realize that this is what they’ve become, but that’s obviously not going to be happening anytime soon. No one likes to admit that they got suckered, after all.

    Comment by Levi — April 13, 2009 @ 9:46 pm - April 13, 2009

  57. Tea parties are Pet Rocks. They’re Beanie Babies and Vanilla Ice. Sorry – this is going to sputter out. Mark my words.

    Many had the same opinion until 1994.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — April 13, 2009 @ 10:14 pm - April 13, 2009

  58. Many had the same opinion until 1994.

    Another good strategy: selectively assuming historical political trends will automatically save your party for you.

    Comment by Levi — April 13, 2009 @ 10:24 pm - April 13, 2009

  59. I suspect a lot of liberals are upset because the fear they will not get their free house, car and insurance from Obama if he pays attention to the Tea Party protests.

    Comment by Libby — April 13, 2009 @ 10:39 pm - April 13, 2009

  60. So tell me, who came up with the “teabagging” meme I’ve been seeing in the wingnut echosphere. Was that from the Gay Patriot website, or was it gay patriots within Fox News? Do you people even begin to realize that millions of Americans are laughing their asses off at you?

    Comment by Terrible Leftist — April 13, 2009 @ 10:44 pm - April 13, 2009

  61. I don’t see the humor in standing up for our Constitutional Rights as Americans! Our rights are being stomped on and enough is enough!! We are awake and we are not going to take it anymore!! Liberals think they are going to shove there agendas down our throats well think again we are sick of your bs!! If you want to live as socialists go to Venezuela, or now Cuba and live the great life you want and leave the freedom loving, small government true Americans alone!! Take your cap and tax and global warming scams with you!! Oh yea don’t for get to take the deficit with you also!!

    Comment by michelle — April 13, 2009 @ 11:36 pm - April 13, 2009

  62. Ahhhh….Terrible leftist,

    Here is a quote from a man who actually stood by his beliefs and followed them, even when they were not popular:

    First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.

    That was said by Ghandi. Mock us, fine. We’re only a year away from a New Congress after you fight us.

    Comment by JSF — April 14, 2009 @ 12:45 am - April 14, 2009

  63. Let me just point out that the first of these Tea Party events was a Ron Paul Campaign rally in Austin, Texas last year.

    See here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8LsnbN7d-8

    A few of the neocons have tried to jump in front of the parade, but the simple fact is that people like Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich don’t have the influence to get this kind of turnout. This is about liberty, and the Tea Party rejects both wings of the Ruling Party.

    The lefties are hoping that if they can just slap the “fox news” label on us, that the protests will go away. That’s wishful thinking, just like wishing that you could make a depression go away by increasing the national debt.

    -jcr

    Comment by John C. Randolph — April 14, 2009 @ 4:25 am - April 14, 2009

  64. “So tell me, who came up with the “teabagging” meme I’ve been seeing in the wingnut echosphere.”

    The only people talking about “teabagging” are lefties.

    Comment by Rob Crawford — April 14, 2009 @ 11:41 am - April 14, 2009

  65. Dissent was the highest form of patriotism until 1/20/09. Welcome to the NWO.

    Comment by Bandit — April 14, 2009 @ 11:59 am - April 14, 2009

  66. #65 – I hear you, Bandit. The other day, I passed by an unwashed SUV which still had a “W” with a slash through it, a “No Blood For Oil” bumpersticker (talk about irony) and the quote by Jefferson that said “Dissent Is The Highest Form Of Patriotism.”

    I pulled next to the driver – a very angry-looking woman who, well, was not exactly a Janice Dickinson model – and rolled down my window. Then I hollered: “Right on! Dissent is patriotic! That’s why I voted against Obama!”

    She shot me the bird, gave me a disgusted look and drove off in a cloud of exhaust fumes.

    Ah, the tolerance of the liberal left! And they wonder why nobody takes them seriously anymore.

    Regards,
    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — April 14, 2009 @ 3:35 pm - April 14, 2009

  67. No one is demonizing you. We’re just laughing at you. But please, keep it up. Times are hard and humor has been in short supply.

    Comment by Houndentenor — April 14, 2009 @ 7:16 pm - April 14, 2009

  68. First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. — Ghandi

    Keep laughing. Congress is ours next year due to your Hubris.

    Comment by JSF — April 14, 2009 @ 10:31 pm - April 14, 2009

  69. #67 – “Times are hard and humor has been in short supply.”

    No thanks to Count Baracula, that’s for sure.

    Regards,
    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — April 15, 2009 @ 11:21 am - April 15, 2009

  70. […] this movement than understand our concerns.  I’ve blogged on this before, and more than once.  The latest to do so is Bill Maher who took to the Los Angeles Times to throw his tantrum.  […]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » Bill Maher & the Use of the “Tea Bag” Smear — April 26, 2009 @ 10:02 am - April 26, 2009

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