New Guards: What comes after the Tea Party Protests?

Left organizations accused Right organizations of (gasp!) organizing, James Wolcott stumbled through a nobody I read covered the tea parties, Left media pundits giggled over one pun (repeated 1000x), and hundreds of Totally Fake protests were attended by hundreds of thousands of Totally Fake people.  The Leftosphere is pretty sure the whole thing was just Photoshop.

So, I'd say the Tea Party protests went pretty well.

But what now?   Three things.

1) Building the New Guards: Rebuilding a movement requires time, and a lot of unifying moments, stories and ideas.  If you look back at the reemergence of the Democratic party over the last 10 years, you will see a great many important points - the impeachment, the 2000 election, the Iraq war, the Dean campaign, Katrina, and many others.  There is no turning point.  There are only rallying points that slowly add up to an effective movement.  Events like the Tea Party protests give new guards a chance to coalesce and have an impact on the old guard.

2) Keep it Personal: As Dave Weigel points out, many see the protests as "an opportunity to acquire new bodies for political campaigns and new names for their mailing lists."  There is nothing wrong with that, per se, but there is a great danger with trying to redirect grassroots energy to organizational ends. The minute you email those new activists with "as a Tea Party protester, we know you will take action immediately on (something they don't care about)", you're burning those new activists.   The minute you spam your grassroots with as a conservative reader of Human Events, we believe you really want to learn more about warm blankets with sleeves, you're moving down the Movement->Business->Racket path.

We need to put a lot less energy into vertical (national) coordination of the Tea Party protesters, and a lot more into horizontal (local) coordination of the protesters.  For instance, creating email groups of local protesters would be a lot more valuable than sending them impersonal blasts from a national group.  In short, let them organize themselves, an army of entrepreneurs.

3) Pick the Fight:  Many people have pointed out that the protests don't have an agenda, a point, or a clear demand.  To some extent, this is incorrect.  As Ross Douthat says, "They're anti-bailout, anti-stimulus, anti-deficit, and anti- the tax increases".  But while "No" is often the best political position of all, a movement also needs a more positive vision and agenda.  At the moment, the Right does not have this. 

While the Right is very unhappy with the status quo, it does not yet know how to change it.  So here is the most crucial lesson of all for the Tea Party protesters and the Right's new guards: This is not about Democrats.

Sure, there are plenty of Democratic policies to which we object.  But Democrats are not the problem we can fix.  Our problems are (1) the Republican Party, (2) the status quo conservative movement, and (3) the structural incentives that make politicians and government so unaccountable.

The next leaders of the Right and the Republican Party will be the people who succeed in fighting the old guard, destroying the conservative movement's comfortable status quo, and genuinely reforming the Republican Party.  They're not going to go quietly.

Your rating: None Average: 4.3 (6 votes)


Have you considered a blimp?

"Democrats are not the problem we can fix."

That's both hilarious and sad. For a specific example, the Dems (and some Republicans) want to allow those who came here illegally to take college educations away from U.S. citizens via a current bill. If someone who's good at asking questions unrelentingly pressed a nationally-known supporter of that bill on the question here, it would have an impact on the Dem's career and send a strong message to the rest. And, it would have a powerful impact on policies pushed by both Dems and Republicans. It would help fight back against unaccountability, especially if politicians knew that any time they proposed something they'd get asked real questions about it by those who - unlike the MSM - aren't afraid to make uncomfortable points.

Instead, all the "partiers" can do is parade around with loopy signs, play dress-up games, and quite possibly help Chris Dodd. At least you haven't entered the "a blimp will solve all our problems!" stage yet.

Silly nonsense as a reply to a serious post?

Blather, I think it's true that we haven't entered "the blimp will solve this problem" stage.

But if we get there, I know you'll have unlimited supply of hot air to personally contribute and get that blimp off the ground... probably enough to be hovering at 15,000 ft too.

For someone who doesn't want to blather, you sure have found it hard to resist blathering here.  Maybe a new name is in order for your blog? Your disdain for fellow citizens exercising their constitutional rights to assemble peacefully, petition their govt for redress and engage in free speech is stunning.

And you think everyone else blathers?  Buddy, you got that gig nailed shut all by yourself.

Michigan Matt's S/N ratio is pretty low

There's only one sentence in his space-filling comment that wasn't simply an ad hom. And, as every smart person can figure out, I'm hardly against the 1st amendment. That's easy enough to check; I've been discussing politics and immigration at my main site since 2002 with over 8000 entries. My disdain isn't for the fact that they're exercising their rights, it's that they and their leaders aren't smart enough to figure out how to exercise those rights in an effective fashion that takes modern realities into account.

And, encouraging people to engage politicians in debate is indeed a form of petitioning. It not only requires much more bravery than holding a loopy sign, it's also a much more intelligent form of petitioning than holding that loopy sign while wearing tea bags.

However, the fact that it's a much more intelligent form has a major downside: it's difficult to explain to  many people. And, that's where the leaders of the "tea parties" are letting people down. Instead of explaining to their followers how they should do something much more intelligent and effective, they encourage their followers to send tea bags through the mail and the like. At least now I don't need to rent Idiocracy.

Congrats Blather... more hot air for that Blimp when it's ready

Let's see, Blather, first you contend that your blog has along litany of documented positions of yours on various policies... thinking that to be so, I checked.  It's a bush-league effort at inciting angry citizens to disrupt political events with your special interests-laden political agenda.

How's that supportive of a civil market square?  Honest discourse? Meaningful dialogue? Big on the 1st A are we?  Can't say I agree by just looking over and reading 25 or so of your posts going back to 2006.

Maybe what you need to admit is that you got left at the curb on the whole Tea Party experience and, like many, that rubs you just a bit raw?  Too bad the anti-immigrant rabble you're a part of didn't think to infect grassroots rallies against immigration reform.

What, weren't there enough "Kick the Mexicans out of Texas" signs to satiate your need for kicking some brown butt at the local Tea Party?

And you have the audacity to lecture people here that the Tea Party concept isn't successful?  Good gosh, dude, look at your own website for evidence of poor planning, poor political activism and pissing into the wind.

You got those three nailed shut, dude.

Gotta agree with Michigan-Matt on this one

Blather appears to be a bit uninformed on the whole Tea Party issue.  I will have to agree with Michigan-Matt on this series. 

(I saw idocricy and they drank Gatorade the way some people have been drinking the Obama kool-aid.)

The Progressives failed a century ago and they will fail again.  Our country became a world power because of the foresight of the framers and their insistence on limited government.  

Obama cannot implement the plan of Saul Alinsky as outlined in "Rules for Radicals" and repeated in his auto-biographies.  He has not hidden his agenda; but, the kool-aid drinkers insist this is not the course of his actions. 

The heart and soul of America will take it back from the lunatic fringe! 

Obama cannot implement the

Obama cannot implement the plan of Saul Alinsky as outlined in "Rules for Radicals" and repeated in his auto-biographies. He has not hidden his agenda; but, the kool-aid drinkers insist this is not the course of his actions. life experience degree

It's all about the middle

The minute you can rally people beyond your base, then these tea parties will have real political impact.

Until then, not so much.

I guess you didn't attend one...

I met more Independents and Democrats at the tea party I attended, than I saw Republicans

The part about being spammed is excellent

If you expect the recipients of your communication to take the email seriously, treat them professionally, not like a brick in a pyramid scheme.

On top of that, not every piece of legislation that Obama or Pelosi or Reid propose will result in the end of life as we know it. Don't oversell your case. Explain the issue and outline the potential consequenses in less than apocalyptic terms.

As far as being for something goes, I think that there were a few possible directions in which we could go. There were plenty of signs touting term limits at the Tea Party I attended yesterday, a good number of Fair/Flat tax signs and a few in support of the Tenth Amendment. Getting positive action on those three items would go a long, long way towards to goal of a smaller, less intrusive government.


Balanced Budget

Didn't the GOP have some balanced budget amendment going?

Oh, but that was before they had a Republican president.

Reviving the balanced budget amendment seems like a natural for this crowd. 

Well Said

Well said Thunderdog08

Articulating something real

Your third point is spot on, Jon.  So, what's the new vision?  And, perhaps more importantly, how can Republicans convince the electorate (particularly the crucial independent voters) that they won't lapse right back into the old habits of expanding government and wasteful spending?  It doesn't seem that ANY of the current Republicans in or up for major elected office have a whole lot of credibility on this issue (except maybe Huntsman).  

I generally agree

There will be a fight over what the next vision will be.  When I have time, I really need to outline my own vision for the future.   It's not something I can bash out overnight, but I do need to do more policy writing.

cart, horse, order

Republicans don't have a vision.  You don't have a vision.  At least you can see well enough to know it's missing.  You should find it first and talk about vision second. 

It's like the second rate football team saying they really really need some great plays.  They can win the if only they had great plays, . . . and great players, and a coach and equipment.  ...

The Republican platform is clear enough.  All Republicans say about the same thing: global warming is fake, nobody should have to pay taxes, etc.  Oh, and if we only had cooler web sites, everyone would agree with us.  

If you have something else to say, now is the time.

I say we stick with what works.

There is an old rule in politics: Stick with what works. So as I see it, what works is actually no political organizational structure, Internet or otherwise, should be attempted at all.

The strength of this new grassroots movement will be in its very diversity.  Now I know for a lot of you "professional" political types, that is an anathema, but get over it. We are in a new political paradigm where it is now possible for the first time in history to have a grassroot movement capable of leading itself.

That is not to say mistakes won't happen. Some will march off to the beat of their own drummer, but with the vast communicative power of the internet now in the hands of the grassroots, the wisdom of the crowd can and will lead itself.

Most Tea Partyers, including myself, never supported TARP, the Stimulus package or Obama's budget. The natural next step then would be to make sure we all vote in the 2010 and 2012 primaries, and to simply not vote for any incumbent Democrat or Republican who voted in support for these actions, period, end of story.

ex animo



From your computer to God's ears!!!  (I just read it aloud, hope that helps)

From the soul!


From your computer to God's ears!!!  (I just read it aloud, hope that helps)

From the soul!

This mildly annoys me

Out of curiosity, why are the Tea Parties getting so much coverage relative to these:



Those demonstrations are on the wrong side of history.

Does anyone seriously doubt if these countries' leaders actually listened to these demonstrators, or better yet, if these demonstrators actually came into real political power and made unilateral peace with the Islamic terrorists, the Islamic terrorists wouldn't quickly take advantage of such stupidity and attack their cities?

ex animo



I seriously doubt that.

Spain's leader, Aznar, did not listen to the protests and was thrown out of office.

The leaders of Turkey, who were begged PERSONALLY by "Dick" Cheney in February 2003 with a bag full of US taxpayer cash (I remember 10B in aid, payable to the leaders) to open up southern Turkey for the staging of the 4th Infantry, a crucial part of the plan for the invasion of Iraq, denied the US even right of passage and almost did not even allow use of their airspace.  Why?  The Turkish people demonstrated in droves, and were almost universally opposed to the invasion.

Last time I looked, neither country was in flames, and Turkey remains a model of a succesful Islamic Republic and democracy in the Middle East.

There's nothing like Conservative ("alternative")  History.  Did you ever read Conservative Wiki?  Man, you people live in your own separate reality.

That's becuase we(the world) cannot tell the difference


between American Idol and American idiocy.

--Blame America Remainder

Not to worry...

...history will tell the difference.

ex animo


What is tyrannical

about a properly elected president and a properly elected congress?

David, next time we meet...

remind me to punch your fucking face in. Then we can go get beers or something.

References to Hitler or Mussolini are not appropriate, and are likely to cause me to sound both obdurate and intemperate.

It isn't Hitler or il Duce, RisingTide

It's Chairman Mao... the Cultural Revolution in China?  Sort of parallels the Obama-nuts demand that everyone kowtow to the new Emperor and ignore he has no clothes. 

I guess I'd ask you, when did your side decide dissent was unpatriotic? 

Before or after you guys were burning Bush and Cheney in effigy? 

Before or after you were aiding the Saddam Regime by sending over HumanShields to protect the scumbag? 

Before or after the ACLU attorneys started ferreting out messages from alQaeda prisoners in prison and getting them to their supporters? 

Before or after you rioted when the SupCt decided Gore lost Florida?  Before or after ACORN paid staff subverted the election?


Pres Bush took great effort to make certain not to call those who opposed the WOT as unpatriotic.  I think your Messiah could learn from his lesson, no?

got the original pic around? ;-)

I guess I owe you a thank you, and david an apology. My cultural ignorance is showing, and I do humbly apologize for going off the handle.

Mean Jean Schmidt called a Marine corps veteran a coward on the House Floor (there was almost a fight, I'm told -- a considerably less common occurrence when Senator Hothead McCain is not in the room).

Dissent remains patriotic, so long as it isnt' about secession.

Going way over the top (calling our president Hitler... BAD! References to Mussolini I see as considerably less bad, as he's not so culturally associated with genocide. Still one needs substantial evidence to back up any assertion of the sort, and signs don't give you that space.)

Your side astroturfed the riots. We have photos, along with which washington lobbyists are in the photos.

Some of what you say here, I would nto support. Others, I have the feeling you are distorting...

"Astroturfed the riots"?

Are your meds nearby?  I think it's time to down a few, RisingTide... maybe you can tell us stories about manning the front lines in your "service to the Country" while the meds get a chance to take effect?

for real?

okay, then me, an unarmed lil' white girly, walked in the dark through places where blood was recently shed (still bloodstains on the ground), where shopkeepers windows were frequently shattered by bullets, and not repaired for weeks...

and this wasn't even HALF as bad as detroit or DC!

RisingTide believes resorting to violence... the thing to do when someone doesn't believe in her tyrant. A typical response from a liberal to the conservative truth.

ex animo








aww... what a cute pic.

no, I carry out fine conversations with conservatives on this site. just generally not with folks who post oneliners, or completely irrelevant adhominem (that's MichMatt, not you).

Oh, and by calling obama a tyrant, you demean yourself and your party to demagoguery. Goldwater would be ashamed of you (and he was a hothead!)

David, the ad hom line from RisingTide refers to

his assertion yesterday that he "served his Country" and had a right to declare others to be chickenhawks whilst trying on a little face-saving makeup of fake outrage over anyone questioning a vet on DailyKos ranting and spewing.

Then, it turned out, RisingTide didn't serve.  He was a welfare jobbed AmeriCorps volunteer.

To him and the farLeft, that equals military service.

Some ad hom.


it's funny how idiots call a democratically elected president a tyrant. 

Conservatism: Pathetic

Not if other conservatives here disown the person who said that

But they won't!

Conservatives are proud of David! (or at least they sympathize with his...passion?) LOL

I'm not a conservative....

....and I don't intend to start assuming responsibility for endorsing/condemning everything commenters say.   That's a rabbit hole that never ends.

It's more funny...

how socialists and tyrants in other countries --like HugoChavez or Daniel Ortega or Preval of Haiti-- think they were democratically elected, too.

Can anyone who came out of the cesspool of corrupt Chicago political machines say they were "democratically elected"? 

Can anyone who aids and abets a group dedicated to corrupting elections like ACORN say they are "democratically elected"?

I guess for your side, the ol' adage fits: The ends justify it all.

No one has to believe you really won or have a mandate... the Tea Party phenom is proving that little lie to be pure fiction for your side.

do you even know what Acorn is?

it's a bunch of "low income housing" geeks. I know a few -- they aren't goons, and they want to help the poor get some representation. they're still allowed to vote, even if they're not white, you know (referencing the 90% wealth discrepancy between your average Person of Color versus your average White Person).

Chavez is a weird guy -- but he is popular. I'm not going to wade into Venezuelan politics, other than to say it's safe to say that Chavez is less democratic than Allende was, and look who we overthrew illegally!

Obama came from the clean side of Chi-town politics. Look up rikyrah (she dwells on kos or SkepticalBrotha), she can read you the riot act. Obama was one of the Good Government guys that liberals generally elect (they're rich, they don't need corruption).

Preval was a freemarketteer, he really doesn't seem to fit your theme of leftist dictator/presidents. But, hell, that doesn't matter, when you're making a strawman does it?

RisingTide, I think that's just bullsh*t you're raising now...

ACORN is a corrupt, anti-democratic, racist organization that has enjoyed govt support and taxpayer money.  Want to tick off the indictments and convictions?  Want to tick off the full-scale federal and state investigations now under way in multiple states, multiple jurisdictions?

Yeah, didn't think so.  Don't even try the "housing geeks only" talking point from David Axlerod.

Oxymorons like "Obama came from the clean side of ChiTown politics" aren't arguments.  There isn't a clean side to Chicago politics... never was even when Kennedy stole the 1960 election.  Corruption runs so rampant that both sitting Senators are now targets of federal investigations.  The ObamaTeam and his leadership is tied and corss-referenced in multiple investigations... good God, man, could you state a more stupid oxymoron that is criminally false on its face?

Preval isn't a "freemarketer" anymore than Chavez or Ortega.  Like Mugabe in Zimbabwe, tyrants loved by the farLeft always, always get a pass.  It's because our liberal politicians like Obama and Biden see in those tyrants far more to immulate than ignore.

Try again, RisingTIde because your rising tide of bullsh*t is almost over the tops of most people's shoes with that last one.


Kennedy stole the election in west by god virginia

and don't you damn forget it.

Really, really sad

There is a lot of lunacy on this site, but you saying the Obama cannot be considered the legitimately elected leader of our country becasue he is from Chicago is, probably, one of the stupidist things ever written on this site.

Nando, it's not lunacy

it's accurate.  When the issues of fraud and voter abuse are settled, then we talk about whether or not Obama is a legitimate Prez.  And then, too, we can talk about his "mandate"... and no, I don't mean an opportunity for the MetroSexualCinC to play kissy face and teabag with Democrat leader BarneyFrank.

And when Chicago promotes an honest man in politics, we'll get back to taking you seriously.  I can't believe you think the words "honest" and "politics" and "Chicago" could even be used in the same sentence and be taken seriously by anyone with a brain.  What a joke.

Please, by all means, continue saying that Obama cannot be

Please, by all means, continue saying that Obama cannot be considered to have been legitimately elected becasue he is from Chicago. Whenever you meet any independent or swing voters, please, please, please tell them about this. Call in to talk radio and CSPAN and make this case. Blog about it. Post on other forums with this concept.

Chicago Politics

 I'm from Chicago and I've seen people that didn't run get announced as the winner a week after an election.  Don't tell me that reference to Chicago politics is unreal!  Chicago politics is a machine!  Elections are determined in the proverbial back room and not at the polls.

This man is about to usher in the biggest ....

...expansion of government in our nation's history, enslaving millions of Americans into economic servitude for many years to come and you call conservatism "pathetic?"

ex animo


David, lose the gifs ad nilho (sp). This is not middle school

. . . at least for most of us--& they know who they are.

And while you are at it

explain "enslaving millions of Americans into economic servitude for many years to come". Do you consider returning to the Clinton era tax rates "enslavement"?

I guess you don't get it


Do you think money grows on trees?  Have you had no economic training at all in those public schools you obviously attend?  Money doesn't grow on trees.  If we print it (like a lot of Kool-aid drinkers think we should do) it devalues the dollar.  Read up on Zimbabwe.  Since we can't print it, it has to come from somewhere.  Currently, we borrow it from China; but, they're having second thoughts.  Regardless, what we have already borrowed cannot be repaid in a short amount of time.  It's like a huge credit card balance.  If you max out your credit card, you have to keep working until you get it paid off.  Once Obama has exhausted all revenues (by raising taxes), we (the US Taxpayer) will have to continue paying those taxes for the next three generations in order to pay off the debt he has created.  If he continues on his current trend, the repayment period will extend past that.  This means our grandchildren will always owe a portion of their paycheck to the government - not for services they receive; but, to repay the massive debt incurred by the current administration.   The slackers who elected Obama in the hopes of getting a free ride, want the government to wipe their butts because they are too lazy to do it themselves and the rest of us have to supply the toilet paper.  It might be worth your time to investigate taking a class in economics 101.  Just tell the government you are an illegal alien and Nancy Pelosi will see that there is a tax increase to pay for your class and find out why pig poo has an odor.

What's wrong with having attended public schools?

What's wrong with having attended public schools?

Was the baby boom generation "enslaved" by "inheriting" the debt run up to fight WWII?

Where were you and your hyperbolic arguments when George W. Bush was simulateously starting the 2nd-most expensive war in our nation's history while simultaneously cutting taxes on the rich and then acting surprise when the budget surplus he inheritied turned into a massive deficit?

I know enough about economics to know that if you are going to talk about the national debt in terms of a burden being inherited by our children, then you also have to grant that those children "inherit" an annual "income" from federal tax revenues - something your side never seems to mention when you trot out this ridiculous meme.

Our country is facing the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. What is your prescription for fixing the mess that W left behind that doesn't involve government spending?

David, I think that's code for: You're pissin off the Left

BTW, those are terrific graphics.  I watched thousands of them posted at farLeft blogs over the last 8 yrs by angry, boot-pissing protesters from the FarLeft who called Bush and Cheney every name in the book except "Political Superiors"... which was the only one that fit then.

Yes, I get complaints here from time to time...

...from both libs and neocons alike about my gifs. But, hells-bells, I find they really do help bring the point home sometimes.

I could waste a whole page trying to explain how much I disagree with one of these trolls' stupid liberal points, when all I really need to do is post a nice little gif to that effect:




or perhaps:

Or my personal favorite:

And when they really get my dandruff up: 




The whole joke of the matter is, if they knew anything about the process, they would be r-clicking on them as fast as I post them,



    ex animo

 except on me, of course. On me you can simply l-click.