Over the past seven years, there have been several grassroots protest movement of some significance and considerable staying power. And each of these movements, like all large political movements, contain their fair share of nuts. But, with several notable exceptions, the mainstream media (echoing the views of left-wing bloggers and the Democratic Party) has seen fit to define one by its extremes.
Lately, as I’ve been doing my cardio, I have been toting along Michael Graham’s That’s No Angry Mob, That’s My Mom: Team Obama’s Assault on Tea-Party, Talk-Radio Americans. On page 27, he writes,
Now, there are kooks in any big movement, and that includes the tea party movement. Undoubtedly, when you have thousand of people at a tea party rally, you’re going to have a few “Obama Muslim Agent of Kenyan Commies!” signs to balance out the “Halliburton Hurricane Machines Caused Katrina!” banners you find at leftwing protests.
But, did the mainstream media and those who are thumping their chests in mock outrage, demanding that Republicans “differentiate themselves” from the isolated extremist in the Tea Party midst, ever dare differentiate themselves from the loons amidst the anti-war protesters (the most moderate of whom (most moderate of the loons, that is) were telling us that Bush lied us into a war for oil) or those devotees of candidate Obama calling the Democrat the Messiah?
The anti-war movement was indeed as grassroots phenomenon, with people genuinely opposed to our involvement in Iraq. Obama’s campaign generated a genuine grassroots following, particularly among young people, wanting a new kind of politics, a change from the divisive politics of the Bush Era.
So, why must the spin this narrative, that Tea Parties are defined by their extremes while refusing to so define the anti-war movement and the Obama campaign, even going so far as trying to “crash” our protests so we fit their definition of what we’re supposed to be? Here, Graham provides the answer. It’s their absence (to borrow a moose-hunting term) of intellectual ammunition. Y’all in this Tea Party movement, like that talk-show host’s Mom, are right, because “instead of answering your concerns about bailouts, stimulus spending, and healthcare, they [i.e., Tea Party haters] just attack you.”
Seems name-calling is their means of ignoring our concerns.
And they accuse us of an absence of civility.