Free Markets, Free People
There is a growing sense that what happened in Washington DC on the day of the vote in the House on health care reform was an attempt to provoke an incident among Tea Partiers by members of the House Democratic caucus. The Representatives in question usually take the underground tunnel between their office complex and the capital. They certainly never march in lockstep through a hostile crowd to do so. So why did they do it this time?
Well, you’ve all heard the claims and counter-claims. Members of the caucus were called the “N” word and spat upon. The perpetrator of the spitting incident was arrested by Capital police. Barney Frank was called “fag”. Apparently out of all those claims, only the latter one was true and the person who shouted “fag” was rebuked by the Tea Party crowd. However not a single instance of the “N” word is evident in all of the video – both private and network news – shot that day. None. And the spitting incident, which was caught on tape, appears to be a “say it don’t spray it” problem, and not someone intentionally spitting on someone else. Most of the unsubstantiated and unproven allegations continue to be used as “the truth”, by some, despite the lack of any evidence to support them.
So how did the rumors and allegations get spread so quickly? Within 90 minutes, stories were up claiming the allegations were fact (how do you verify anything, edit it and post it on line if you’re a true news organization?). The MSM ran with the story for the next few days and hasn’t yet backed off of it. Yet to this day, not a single verifiable bit of proof – eye-witness, audio or video – has emerged that the “N” word was ever used by anyone during their little parade. However Democrats and the MSM still cite it as proof of the racist roots of the Tea Party movement. The latest attempt at this sort of demoniztion belongs to Steve Cohen (D-TN). Listen to him talk about the Tea Partiers and tell me if this is appropriate for a US Representative to say about other Americans and probably some of his constituents.
The irony here is Cohen, who represents a mostly black district in Memphis, was once compared to a klansman by a Democratic opponent not too long ago. As you might imagine, he found such a comparison highly offensive and was outraged.
Then we’ve had some broken windows characterized as the equivalent of Nazi anti-Semitic pogrom “kristallnacht” in which it is estimated hundreds of Jews were killed. Meanwhile, a brick through a local GOP office with a note tied to it saying “stop the right-wing”? Not such a bid deal. And, speaking of trying too hard, today the NY Times implicitly compares the violent and murderous leftist Weather Underground with the Tea Party protesters by running comparative crowd shots of the WU during the “Days of Rage” protest and a Tea Party protest.
It is and has been an amazing performance. Since day one of the emergence of these Tea Parties, the Democrats have done everything within their power and with the help of much of the MSM to characterize concerned American citizens as anything but. They have invoked the lessons of identity politics with a vengeance and tried their damndest to brand this movement as a malevolent manifestation of racist right-wing America. They often talk about the right’s code words – what do you suppose “Nazi” or “brownshirt” or “kristallnact” really mean? Why note that a crowd is mostly “white” if not to imply “racist?”
Why do I use “FAIL” in the title? Because the people the Democrats are talking about are you and me. One of the reasons independents are deserting the Democrats in increasing numbers is they too identify with this movement calling for the scaling back of government and its cost. They also know they’re not any of these things Democrats accuse them of being. And, like you and me, they’re aghast that their attempts to bring their discontent to the attention of their political leaders – to petition their government – is characterized in such horrific ways and dismissed out of hand.
I often say the Tea Parties represent the tip of the iceberg. Think of talk radio where it is estimated that only 1% of any listening audience actually takes the time and makes the effort to call in. Think of those Tea Partiers as the 1%. While 99% may not call in to a talk show, the vast majority listening agree with what the host has to say. There are a great number of people in America who may not turn out for Tea Party protests for any number of mundane reasons, like the ability to afford to travel or because of their job and family, that agree with most, if not all of what the TP represents. Every time Democrats launch another hateful smear against the TPs, those that identify with the TP but don’t actually turn out for protests internalize the insult. They know what they are and aren’t, and don’t at all appreciate the false characterizations or those making them.
So each time the Steve Cohens of the world make statements like his above, or false (or at least unsubstantiated) smears are launched against these protesters, another bunch who identify with the goals of the TP movement turn away from the Dems.
And, as it is shaping up for November, the Democrats are making it easier and easier through this attempt to paint patriotic dissent as racism, for people to vote against them.