Free Markets, Free People

The left: Still trying to label the Tea Party

In this episode, and apparently not content with the fact that the left has failed to make Nazi, brownshirt, racist or thug stick to members of the Tea Party, someone named Charles Postel attempts to equate “conservative” with the John Birch Society (JBS) – and other labels. Amazingly (or not), it is Politico running this nonsense:

The Populist Coxey started a tradition of marching on Washington for economic and social justice. Consider the 1932 Bonus March of jobless veterans. And Martin Luther King Jr. spoke of his dream at the 1963 March for Jobs and Freedom. The focus of that march, often forgotten, was both civil rights and government action to create jobs.

Not all marches on Washington, however, have pursued populist goals of economic justice. In 1925 and 1926, members of the Ku Klux Klan marched down Pennsylvania Avenue. They protested threats to the Protestant religion and the white race posed by communism and immigration. These echoes seem to resonate in the current tea party slogans about birth certificates, immigrants and Muslims.

The tea party leaders disavow any racist appeals from their ranks. But historically, whether it was the JBS or Goldwater, the radical right has often had a soft spot for bigots.

An amazingly dishonset and blinkered view of the Tea Party. William Jacobson sums it up rather well:

The argument by extreme reflects left-wing epistemic closure, an inability to engage in meaningful discussion of the failures of big government, resulting in a series of strawman arguments and extensive hyperbole meant to marginalize those who disagree.

We have seen this time and again. It seems to be all they know.

I really want to take these people seriously, but it is hard. But then again, what do I know, I am the mob.

As the left continues these attacks it appears it doesn’t understand that those that are actually being marginalized by such attempts to demonize Tea Parties are – the left.

In this particular case, perhaps Roger Pilon at CATO@Liberty says it best. Calling them “desperate” he says:

This is absurd. An obscure assistant professor teaching in a middling university writes an opinion piece comparing the Tea Party movement to the John Birch Society — indeed, even to the Ku Klux Klan — and Politico Arena asks us to take it seriously for comment?! Res ipsa loquitur: The several recent elections speak more loudly than this professor ever will. Back to adult fare.

Indeed. And, as an aside, it appears QandO isn’t the only place plagued by obscure professors from middling universities. But Pilon is question is on the mark – what were Politico’s 3 layers of editors thinking by running this? Is it simply an indicator of another supposedly unbiased media source giving us a peek behind the curtain of reality? Such screeds do indeed point to a certain level of desperation on the left that is unseemly but fairly consistent. Why Politico felt compelled to put their credibility on the line to air it, however, remains a mystery.


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13 Responses to The left: Still trying to label the Tea Party

  • I also know another professor of leftist persuasion who consistently claims the tea party folk are racists. Tin ear. Really. You know, I get it that it makes the lefties feel good when their enemies can be claimed as racists, etc. But, seriously? Lower spending = racisim? Uhhhh, nope. No sell. As dangerous as Bushites (mea culpa) thinking that everything was fine and dandy in 2006.
    Now, I also know some pretty lefty folk who think the welfare state will need to shrink – who agree not to bail out banks anymore – who wonder about government employees being in unions.  These are essentially rational leftists, who realize you need capitalism to provide the safety net, and that maybe the safety net has been brought up too far…especially regarding SEIU…it will be interesting to see how they vote. I suggest that a strict small government candidate could win over these voters easily – just go real easy on the social conservative issues. This is why Palin is not 2012 material, whereas maybe Christie-like individual could be.
    If there is a social conservative candidate, they would be wise to ignore those issues, and brush them off as “unimportant – let’s get America working again and then worry about that stuff” – Romney is an idiot for defending Mass. Care….he is perfectly positioned for a “I tried something out – bipartisanly- and it failed.” honesty moment…but he won’t do that. Who’s going to be the pro-growth, spending cutter in 2012 for the GOP? I don’t know. If they don’t find one…it will be scary.

    • At some point, if every time you disagree with someone, you call him “racist”, then racist has no meaning.  We are now past that point.  So, we have a corollary to Godwin’s law.  Instead of  ” reductio ad Hitlerum“, we now have “reductio ad Racistum”.  The first one to use the term, loses.

  • “obscure professors from middling universities.”

    Yeah, I thought of him too, but then I remembered-
    1) A university has a graduate school, and UMF does not.
    2) UMF is not even middling.

  • The guy has an “award winning” book on century old populism .. what would you expect ?
    The fact that he is stuck with the “Birchers” shows where his minds is .. the past.

  • Wait a second…. Politico had credability?

  • If I was running for public office I would LOVE for my opponant to call me a racist (or insinuate).  It would allow me to unload hell upon him. Such a diatribe as has rarely been seen in politics.
    Remember that face time on TV is much more important than any other sort of publicity.

  • I really want to take these people seriously, but it is hard.

    I don’t find it hard to take lefties seriously any more than I would find it hard to take a knife-wielding psycho seriously.  I can know that they are not rational or bright and hence there’s no point in trying to talk to them, but I also know that they are terribly dangerous.

    McQ –  [W]hat were Politico’s 3 layers of editors thinking by running this? Is it simply an indicator of another supposedly unbiased media source giving us a peek behind the curtain of reality?

    It’s part ‘n’ parcel of DCNN interviewing a English Lit. professor about how the volcano in Iceland is due to global warming, or setting Algore up as an environmental expert, or annointing Imeme as a great intellectual.  The left has a fetish for “intellectuals”, as though a little alphabet soup behind one’s name makes him an expert on EVERYTHING and hence his proclamations must be taken as the absolute, final, unequivocal Truth.

    McQWhy Politico felt compelled to put their credibility on the line to air it, however, remains a mystery.

    They aren’t putting any credibility on the line: they are establishing and reinforcing The Narrative that “teabaggers” are evil, racist, stupid, dangerous, etc.  Consider the polls about the Arizona illegal immigrant law: when people are asked about various facets of the law, they overwhelmingly favor them.  But when they are asked about the law in general, approval falls off dramatically.  Why?  Because MiniTru’s propaganda has been at least somewhat successful in convinging people that the law is racist and therefore evil.  In this case, I think MiniTru is banking on the notion that people won’t dig too deeply into this clown’s actual credentials: they’ll simply remember that a professor said that the Tea Party is like the Birchers, i.e. bad.

  • {sigh} {chuckle} {eyes rolling} We leftist pragmatic moderate social science academics are so unappreciated. We sift through mountains of New York Times articles and Newsweek analysis to explain to you dense righties how the world works. We work so hard to manufacture the multiple truths that will help you understand why wise leftists constantly need to be in control, and anyone who opposes us is racist, homophobic, Nazi-like, inbred, sterile, and desperate.

    And all we get in return is insults. Look, guys, can’t you just stop with your weird fixation on people running their own lives and understand how post modernism works? I mean, I don’t buy it, but I also believe it’s generally accepted and I’ve defended it as completely valid. And it completely explains why tea partiers are just completely out of touch. Besides, there are only a few of them. Barely enough to oust a fine, upstanding, conservative senator in Utah, and everyone except you inbred, sterile, dense righties are completely mystified about why they did that. I mean, he’s conservative! So don’t start with how he supported a healthcare bill with an individual mandate and no conservative would ever do that. He opposes abortion! He’s for gun rights! Don’t you see?!? He’s conservative! Stop laughing!

    So I have to come here and educate you dense righties on how Republicans need to be moderate, nice, well-spoken people like Olympia Snowe. You know, those who know how to sit down with wise leftists and talk everything out and come to an understanding, in which we get to advance towards leftist utopia, but conservatives get a few token concessions that we’ll get around to taking away in a few years. See, such people actually help us in our march to glorious leftist salvation by finding ways to mollify the sterile, inbred people on the right. Like the ex-military basket cases who are the front page posters around here, totally wigged out from the stress of being in the military. I have studies on that, which I don’t have to link to so stop asking.

    But I do have fun. I get to lecture people who don’t have advanced degrees and explain in moderate, measured language how totally wrong you all are. Plus, I get lots of attention, but I don’t do it because I’m a narcissist who is addicted to attention, so stop saying that. And it’s not either true that getting fun from irritating other people is a sign of mental problems, so stop saying that too.

    Besides, in the last week, I’ve made some token efforts to find places I agree. I don’t really with a bunch of ex-military basket cases, of course, but that reassures new readers of the blog that I’m reasonable and moderate, and they’ll probably go back and forth giving me attention for at least two weeks before they realize that I’m always right and trying to change my mind is pointless.

    And what was that crack about us not giving PhDs? It’s true, of course, but so what? Because it certainly doesn’t mean that I’m a mediocre thinker who can’t get a job anywhere but a cow college with only a few bored undergraduates to teach. No, I love it here. And the fact that I’m low paid and have to do a ton of paperwork doesn’t bother me in the least, no sir. And, for goodness sake, don’t start up with how that explains why I’m so desperate for respect that I come here and talk down to you guys. Because that’s not true. I decree it.

  • Expect this angle to get pushed harder and harder as we approach November.  I think that for many Democrat congressmen who have seats on the line, the best hope is to try and convince voters to either stay home and avoid being part of that racist teabag group, or convince voters to help save the Republic from those racist teabag people.  I don’t think they believe the stuff that they are writing.  I think that they are simply hoping that if they bash the tea party relentlessly, it will help Democrats at the polls.  After November we will probably see a change in the way the tea party is covered, but until then it will be all noise and no signal.