Until this post, I had not used the term all too many on the left are using to discredit the grassroots phenomenon of “Tea Parties” organized across the country to protest “out of control spending at all levels of government.”
At least 300,000 people (and that’s the most conservative estimate) attended these protests on Tax Day alone with more people joining ralies the following weekend and even this past weekend. Clearly, something is afoot when nearly a half-million people who do not readily take to the streets to protest do so.
Some on the left, however, would rather smear 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. Maybe he was trying to be funny, but he just ended up being mean. Blogger Robert Stacy McCain takes his criticism apart so I don’t have to.
Maher claims he can’t find out why the “conservative base is absolutely apoplectic.” Guess it’s because he hasn’t been trying to find out. A good part of that base has been apoplectic for several years now, largely over the issue which drove many of us to the streets earlier this month: government spending run amok. (Bill could find that out by reading conservative blogs and talking to conservative citizens.)
Even a week after the protests, Maher claims he still doesn’t know “what those ‘tea bag’ protests were about.” Doesn’t know or doesn’t want to know? Or, maybe so conditioned is he to slurring them as “tea bag” protests that he used that as his google search term. And came up only with posts and columns by his ideological confrères trying to slur them.
If he had merely typed in “Tax Day Tea Party” into google, his first hit would have an explanation (included as footnote*). But, that’s the thing, he doesn’t want to call them what their organizers have called them. He resorted to the childish slur to mock them.
Perhaps, Bill Maher is just trying to be funny. But, his piece just dripped with contempt for his ideological adversaries. And his use of the standard left-wing slur to describe the growing grassroots phenomenon shows he, like others who use it, have no interest in understanding why we took to the streets on April 15. They’d rather attack conservatives than take seriously our concerns.**
* On April 15th, hundreds of thousands of citizens gathered in more than 800 cities to voice their opposition to out of control spending at all levels of government. Organized in all 50 states by Americans from all walks of life, these “tea parties” were a true grassroots protest of irresponsible fiscal policies and intrusive government.
**R.S. McCain: “Maher has made no serious effort to investigate the Tea Party movement, any more so than he has ever seriously engaged conservatism as a political philosophy.”