Tea Party '09: The Rise of the Right's New Distributed Online Activism

By the standards of the Obama campaign and MoveOn.org, the Tea Parties happening all across the country are not very organized. Contra Talking Points Memo, no single group "owns" or is instigating tomorrow's events. The closest thing one could call to a centralized Tea Party homepage is Eric Odom's TaxDayTeaParty.com. Freedom Works has popularized a Google Map which has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times that's become the unofficial directory of the event. Newt Gingrich is driving attendance through his American Solutions (a/k/a Drill Now) list, as are a myriad of other groups.

Contrast this to a MoveOn or MyBO (now OFA) mobilization during the election. A single group would send out a call for a single day of action to its massive e-mail list (in MoveOn's case, this would go to 5 million people; in Obama's, to 13 million people). They would direct people to an online event planning tool, which would either have the hallmarks of MoveOn's internal toolset or the Blue State Digital "PartyBuilder" toolset. Host and attendee information would be hosted on a centralized database. Reminder e-mails would be sent at timed intervals through the same technology. It would be a relatively clean, seamless, and centralized process.

Nothing of the sort has happened with the tea parties, at least from a technology and logistics perspective. Organizers have had to self-report their events to various national groups. One group claims credit for putting one set of events; another group for a different set. It's a much messier process that belies the stereotype of the right as a group of mindless automatons.

This is why it's amusing to watch the left try to debate Jon on the charge of "astroturf." MoveOn virtually invented massively replicable online grassroots organizing -- which many would equate with astroturf, in that activity is actually being directed by a few people at the top, and thousands of people on the ground are (willingly) following orders.

If there are talking points, sample agendas, syncronized start and end times, or standard branding and collateral for the tea parties, I haven't seen them. When Tom Matzzie and Eli Pariser did it old school and decided to send an e-mail to drive people to, say, an Iraq War vigil, they instantly created a level of organization we haven't yet seen in the tea party movement.

And that's okay.

The lack of coordination is a sign of a still-young movement that's just learning to organize online in earnest. And arguably, the advantage brought by a massive e-mail list is much impressive now than when MoveOn pioneered the practice in 2002 and 2003, its heyday.

With viral distribution through Facebook, Twitter, and blogs, it's a lot easier to get a message out from an organizational baseline of zero. Riffing off Clay Shirky, it's the power of organizing without organizations. In the Age of Email, those who could aggregate large lists had all the advantages when it comes to organizing. This is still somewhat true, but word can spread faster through networks of influentials with hundreds and thousands of Twitter followers than it can one-to-many through a large list. There was always the hope that people would forward the e-mail to their friends, but one of the dirty little secrets of e-mail is that the "forward to a friend" button on most e-mail blasts is at best an orphan child. Only the most scurrilous (Obama's a  Muslim) or funny e-mails tend to spread purely virally.

As William Beutler wrote the other day, the left is seriously underestimating Twitter, and in a classic judo move, is parlaying the uncertainty of who's really behind the tea parties into charges of "astroturf." Occam's Razor would suggest this nebulousness is a sign of a lack of central organization, not the other way around.

For all its supposed online prowess, it could be that the left is starting to forget the value of distributed online organizing. The Stollers of the world have spent a lot of time studying the myth of the "vast right wing conspiracy" in a bid to centralize power within their movement under the new netroots institutions and take it away from single issue groups they don't control. To them, the only valid model once they've actually achieved power is a centralized one (see Townhouse, or the 8:30 Podesta conference calls). It may be true that the power brokers in their ideal world will look very different. They understood early on that one could use the Internet to crush the old power structure -- to create a new one in its place. But at the end of the day, the model they've settled on is one-to-many, and their world is run through large e-mail lists or big blogs like Daily Kos where it's still mostly about the blogger. The Obama campaign was still more about using the web to create a ruthlessly efficient organization than it was about creating an open community. 

The messier, more unpredictable, and more freewheeling examples of online activism -- from the Ron Paul campaign to tea parties -- have been on the right. The right's is a different model. One that the left -- and many of our friends the right -- do not completely understand yet.

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Again instersting, but your analysis is off

In the first section of your peice you mention the following:

By the standard of OFA (both orgs), and Move On, the Wed. 15th. "protests" are not organized. This doesn't make objective sense given the different structure of the Tea Party Events -- it is comparing a "one-off?" event to organizations built over many campaigns. Further FreedomWorks is putting significant time/money and organizational strength into the events via their deep pockets.

Additionally, other paid conservative organizations like Newt's, Right-Talk Radio and Fox News are putting considerable add dollars (in-kind) toward the Tea Party events by promoting the sites, and serving as clearing houses for the information. That information in turn has been broadcast on many conservative sources. 

I'm not sure why there needs to be an emphasis on "grassroots distributed organizing" (you never really define how this exists independently and in a differnet fashion than any other political / movement / single issue group), given the tools have been shown to be available -- and significant FREE resources in promotion have been given) as opposed to the benefits of having conservative media benefactors like Fox News and Right-Talk radio to spread the message. I watch Fox and catch clips all the time on youtube, it's crazy not to see the hundreds of thousands dollars in advocacy time that is extremely useful to publicize the events. 

In the end, it still takes local people to organize the events -- even if they are lobbyists and/or agents of FreedomWorks. It's been proven, FreedomWorks is taking credit for organizing many events -- why fight to redefine the events now ? 

astroturf or not who cares? I don't get the fight over terminology, it seems like an inside baseball thing, rather than something that affects the actual events.

In the end, this is exactly like OFA/Move-on model -- blasts go out for people to organize parties at the local level, those local agents report back to the hub sites, the hub sites in turn broadcast and provide tool sets for people to effectively meet-up.  FreedomWorks has provided essentially THE SAME TOOLSET to tea folk that OFA and Move On supply. Further Fox news is providing free advertising  ---

For instance on the right-column of the foxnews.com website there is not only a free commerical ad for the "tea parties," there are a number articles -- quite favorable articles as well. 

Why deny this? Fox News Support is a strength, nothing to be embarrased about.

Further mail blasts about the event are being sent by a large number of GOP members who are also speaking at many of these events. Given the tools Freedomworks.org provides, the same organizing power is present.

Again, why deny the power of this?

Lastly, by ignoring these factors I think your conclusion goes not only horribly off-base, but also misses an important part.... Move on removed the Democratic power structure that it initially was built to defend, Dkos has supported successful candidates as well. It's like you are deliberately ignoring "distributed" left (some you have linked to) both organizations and scoop sites for every state as well as national distributed sites with their own communities and intereactions. 

The trade-off for the speed of organization, was the quick co-opt by GOP ( 



fox news

and other intrenched players, is that those entrenched players reap the organizational benefits. That's where I see the main problem, when existing political figures control the massive twitter lists, mailing systems and freedomworks.org controls the distribution...

That's a big problem -- b/c of the feedback loop that is necessary to gain control of issues that go contra the dominant partisan paradigm.

For instance, now the Libertarian Leaning GOP / Ron Paul organizers no longer have control of the Tea Party movement, that whole "small government" voice is lost and now the dominant voice that JUST lost the election controls both the movement and the apparatus...

and that is quite unfortunate.

 In a way, I feel the whole diary is an attempt to defend being rich or having a rich relative -- I dont get the point really.




Can you link to some evidence for your claims?

You make many of them without any supporting evidence.  Thank you.

Tea Parties are stupid - thats the problem

Here is the deal.  I have no problem with people getting together to do whatever they want.  Its a free country.

The problem is that what people are doing (having "Tea Parties") is stupid.

Its just dumb. 

My 4 year old daughter has tea parties with her dolls.  Her little friends have tea parties with the barbie teapot and pretty dresses.

Wow, and all of a sudden a bunch of jackasses with teabags (worst.prop.ever.BTW) hanging from their hats are supposed to mean....what exactly?

This entire exercise suffers from a lack of intelligence. 

Its just dumb, and thats the problem that no amount of typing or demonstrating will solve.

Epic fail.

What's the point again?

It's a protest against taxation?  So are you only allowed to attend if you clear $250k/year?  Cause otherwise, well, you just got something called, you know, a huge tax cut...

What it's not

The subtext of the "tea parties" is not very good at all. It boils down to a "greed is good"/"I've got mine, Jack" objectivist mindset or something close to it. It isn't about fiscal sanity. It isn't about creating a broad coalition to oppose BHO overreach or to oppose things that most Americans oppose (like illegal immigration). And, it's not in the least a movement with any intellectual weight behind it. Most of it just boils down to a completely selfish lizard brain response.

And, it's pretty ironic that the organizations pushing the protests all support massive immigration, something that the great majority of their followers probably oppose. And, the idea that relatively small street protests will have any political impact is absurd and shows just how incompetent those behind the parties are.

What you aren't is informed, madam

"And, the idea that relatively small street protests will have any political impact is absurd and shows just how incompetent those behind the parties are"...

Ummm, time to go back to school and actually learn something, lady. 

I think the Boston Massacre is an excellent example of how a small street protest can have lasting political impact in America.

I think the Boston Tea Party in 1773 is a second, excellent example that escapes your grasp even though this is an article about "Tea Party" and taxes.

I think the short skirmish on the vilage green in Concord --you know, the one where the MinuteMen fired the "shot that was heard 'round the world" and may have led to successful revolutions in France, Mexico and countless other revolts right up to Tiananmen Square, the Hungarian revolt, the Solidarity uprising, the Rose Revolution and so on.

Oh yeah, those pesky little street protests ain't going nowhere fast... there's no historical precedent for them actually amounting to anything, right?

What a joke!  Rather than try to convince yourself it isn't real, why don't you spend your time more prudently by maybe working extra hours to repay the federal debt that your MessiahObama has now saddled upon at least two generations of Americans?

The full intellectual heft of the "parties" on display

1. I'm a dude.

2. The cited examples are a bit different from whining "kulaks" (legalinsurrection.blogspot.com/2009/02/revolt-of-kulaks-has-begun.html)

3. Anyone with half a brain can see that I'm not an Obama supporter; I simply believe in opposing him in an effective, intelligent fashion. The "parties" are the opposite of that.

4. I don't really want "Michigan Matt" as a reader, but if anyone else would like to drop by, here's a list of some of the ways that BHO's supposed opponents helped him win. Those same people are continuing their winning ways, by misrepresenting the millions upon millions of Obama opponents as a weak and - yes - "mean-spirited" opposition.

Well, better than a lot of spin & diversion from you, madam

Let's see, you say you're a "dude"; ok, my mistake. You say you aren't an Obama worship boi; ok, my mistake too.  Sort of sound like one, though.

Your bigger mistake was in making a stupid, uninformed nattering comment like "the idea that relatively small street protests will have any political impact is absurd and shows just how incompetent those behind the parties are".  You did say that, right dude?

I said the first tea party in Boston Harbor in 1773 was a small, street protest, dude.  The example fits perfectly, dude.  Hint, hint: it's why the organizers call today's events Tea Parties, dude.

The street protesters who were gunned down by the Lobster-back soldiers in the Boston Massacre were a small street protest, dude.  Hint, hint: it's why the organizers of today's events chose the patriotic period of rebellion to make their point, dude.  It was all about taxes and freedom then; it's all about taxes and freedom now, dude.

The MinuteMen who stood their ground in the village green of Concord were small in number compared to the overwhelming British and mercenary soldiers who cut them down ruthlessly  were involved in the same political action thread that began with the Massacre & the Tea Party -all street protests, dude.  Small in number, dude.  Hint, hint: small protests can have an impact even for dolts who refuse to believe it and spout nonsense like "the idea that relatively small street protests will have any political impact is absurd and shows just how incompetent those behind the parties are", dude.  You missed that history lesson at some point, dude.

Small street protests have a way of becoming much larger events and, if you knew your American history, dude, you'd know that have shaped American and world history for centuries.

But you go back to living in la-la-land.  Because anyone who thinks "the idea that relatively small street protests will have any political impact is absurd and shows just how incompetent those behind the parties are" isn't worthy of having an opinion, let alone being taken for "informed".  You failed that test, dude.  You failed American history, too, dude.

Clear enough, dude?

I'm the bitch around here,

and I won't have you patronizing folks for being female. So buzz off, dude.

I know you can make sense if you just tried...

Honest, Rising Tide, is it the lunar-hormones thing with you?  'Cause I know if you really think before you type, it can make sense and you don't have to look like a loon.  Come on, try it at least once.  Please?

no, i'm not hysterical

just teed off.

[if you don't understand the wit about this, maybe your post is less etmologically sophisticated than I first thought]

clear $250k

Typical talking point from a kos kid or an obamabot.  Sorry, the $250k talking point kind of gives it away.

And just so you are aware, tax increases will hit anyone making more than $30k per year.  And if not directly, they will be hit via increased taxes in food, clothing, as well as, additional taxes to other businesses that will simply be passed on to the end user.  Also, employers will also resort to downsizing in order to keep their increased tax bills in line and which employees will they get rid of  first?  The newer ones (younger), the less experienced ones (younger) and the ones who actually make less (the younger).

Hey did you hear about the record number of people that will not be able to pay their taxes this year and that the number will skyrocket in coming years after the Bush tax cuts expire?  Do you also understand from this that taxes are determined by Congresses spending?  And who has controlled congress the last two years that lead to additional taxes that have basically made the Bush tax cuts a moot point?  Democrats. 

Now, will the services being provided by the government outweigh the increased taxes?  They have always failed in the past, and I am betting money they will fail us again.

By the way, the $250k tax threshold statement by Obama was and is a lie and has been proven through a simple look into the numbers (i.e. what they want to spend and what they need to collect to do it, without printing too much fiat money).

The astronomic spending is definitely a  part of this.

On a sidenote - did you hear about Spains research on their "green jobs" government program?  It appears that for every 1 green job created, it cost them 2.2 private sector jobs.   Additionally, only 1 in 10 of the green jobs was actually sustainable - that is, only 1 in 10 of these jobs actually earned their keep.  This, by the way, is the model that Obama has claimed we need to follow - now please, help me understand.  There is a failing program in Europe that we know about - they tried it and it is failing miserably.  So what does our leader say??  Hey, let'scopy that same program here in the states? 

On another note, that David Shuster at MSNBC is a hoot!  his constant "teabagging Republicans" line is hilarious!!  I can see him now muttering under his breath right across from Rachel Maddow, "man, those republicans, what a bunch of fag - - - - " Oh?? Nevermind ."  then again, it's OK when "they" say it, I'm sure.

your kinks are not nearly as bad as Diaper Dave's

sorry, we've got actual evidence on that one. ;-)

That is, unless you're suddenly watching pictures of robots peeing oil into diapers, and masturbating to it [no, the censors didn't forget to censor that one. since it didn't involve humans nor sex, they were rather under the impression that they didn't have to censor it. you Pervert]

No evidence given. I've looked at the numbers, and your knowledge is sorely lacking. Obama is already running the printing presses, as has been reported on all major news networks. if you didn't get gold while you had the chance, I weep for you and your ignorance.

Hmmm, int'restin.....

A couple of points:

First - It is true that Move On would coordinate protests.  And any protest coordinated by Move On would be know to be organized by Move On.  By contrast, the teabaggers are trying to claim that this was a spontaneous "hey kids - let's put on a show!" protest driven by the multitude of individuals.  It is not.  It has been driven by Fredom Works, Faux News, etc.  There is nothing wrong with the fact that it is being driven by large, well funded organizations.  Just don't try to pass off a big, nationwide Broadway show with deep pockets and big producers behind it as a bunch of school kids putting on a play.

Second - The time to protest was during the Glorious W Years.  The change in tax rates is simply a continuation of The Mighty W's tax plan - the decreased rates were scheduled to expire, and they are expiring.  If the teabaggers wish to protest, try heading to that cowboy's ranch in Crawford.  Granted, that great cowboy was really an urban cowboy, putting on the dude ranch duds soley to trick the masses into thinking he was anything but a spoiled rich kid.  So, instead, head to the gated community in the great city of Dallas and complain to the elected representative who arranged for the upcoming tax rate change.

This is a real problem

When the tax cuts do expire they are going to shift the tax burder further towards the highest income earners and less from the average income earner.  This is precisely why there are tea parties.

We are approaching a situation where the dominant politically discussed tax, the income tax, is beared by fewer and fewer people.  This is bad.  It further pushes the invididual into the hands of the state.  It is taking away the primary activity that can unite popular support against the decisions by the state.

We do need tax reform, but on the current path to rocket the rate of borrowing AND increase the tax burden on those already paying most of it leaves the individual with little equitable state in their own debt burden beyond their every other year vote in Federal elections.

The state has decided which investment banks will live and which investment banks will die.  On what grounds, we don't know.  This is one huge example of unknowable action the state is taking at the same time it is, not asking, but telling its citizenry they have no choice in the action.

Well we're exercising another option.  It's popular demonstration against these actions of the state to pick winners and losers.

they're all dead throught heir own stupidity

sorry, your talking poitns have no meaning.

Bear, Goldmann, Lehmann.

If you are so bloody upset that Goldmann is blackmailing our elected representatives, WHY NOT DO SOMETHING ABOUT THAT??????

One more thing...

Let me pick a few troubling quotes out:

"The messier, more unpredictable, and more freewheeling examples of online activism -- from the Ron Paul campaign to tea parties -- have been on the right. The right's is a different model. One that the left -- and many of our friends the right -- do not completely understand yet." 

Ron Paul activists started the tea parties -- and have basically been surplanted by FreedomWorks -- as a result "the establishment" has devoured the movement.  As you state earlier: "Freedom Works has popularized a Google Map which has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times that's become the unofficial directory of the event."

The Ron Paul style of activism to TAKE ON THE PARTY is/was nothing new, that's what pushed MoveOn, Dean, DKos, MyBO, and countless smaller others. So, the "tea parties" are hurt twice:

1.) By the grass roots leaders being surplanted by FreedomWorks, Fox News, Gringrich, Dick Armey and company.

2.) The utter lack of focus on remaking the party present in the Ron Paul movement is now focused on being anti-Obama (and a loss of coherent policy).

The only thing I see about Paul  (differnet from Move On, MyBO-OFA) is that ultimately it was only successful in being emulated / co-opted by FreedomWorks and other larger corporate organizations.  The fact that you are not giving credit to Paul Activists for the "tea party" concept shows just how much large corporate interests have devoured the true grassroots right. Farily embarrassing.

Breath, think... come on, you can do it



Fallacies, fallacies let's pick a few?

1) "Ron Paul activists started the tea parties" -true but not like anything today's Tea Party.  Paul was raising big bucks in his Tea Party... these widespread, multiple TeaParties of today are not Libertarian Party events -they are grassroot-ed concerned citizen modern day Tea Parties more like the one in 1773 in Boston than Paul’s in 2008.

2) "...and have basically been surplanted (sic) by FreedomWorks".  Hmm, kind of strange, that claim.  Here in Michigan, our state's 14 events have been organized by 100s of people working independently of Freedom Works or any other group.  In fact, until last week, Fox News was barely speaking about Tea Parties and had devoted less than 17 minutes of original coverage to the organizing of the events.  Yeah, big influence there!  Hey, at least it isn't the farLeft and MSM getting together to elect Obama... it's just one little ol' cable company up against NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, HLN, MSNBC, NYTimes, LATimes, ChicTrib, WaPo, the White House, the Pelosi-Reid and DNC boys and countless talking head pundits.

3) "The utter lack of focus on remaking the party".  Hmmm, I guess that's why GOP leaders elected Michael Steele?  I guess that's why the GOP allies have held countless forums to discuss restoring the Party to its former glory and power?  I guess that's why groups inside the GOP are tossing out fake-GOP groups like LogCabin and others and creating new groups to replace them like GOProud?

4)  "Farily embarrassing"?  The only thing fairly embarrassing is your spelling skill set and lack of informed opinion.  Put down the fallacies and try thinking.  Leave the spin-fest to Prez-spinmaster Robert Gibbs –or, as we call him, Mrs DoubtFire for the White House.

when you stop being led around by the nose

by lobbyists and corporate interests that are in diametric opposition to both your values and the needs of the Republic, perhaps we might be inclined to listen to you.

Until then, good day sir, and may you throw the bums out -- just like the Democrats did!

Now you aren't even trying to mount an argument

You can do better than this.  These posts of yours are useless without any attempt to respond to the subjects presented by the comment above.

One may ask, are you merely here to by the voice of "no, you"?

okay, so you're from Michigan.

Riots in Detroit will happen when?

I shouldn't do this, but I'll take bets (with the loser having to write embarrassing blog posts here).

Some perspective: http://reliques.online.fr/detroit/detroit01.html (three different militia members tried to recruit him while he was out taking these).

Detroit -- it's good for postapocalyptic video games!

Do you even know to whom you reply?

A different user, me, responded to your reply, but you didn't even notice the change.  Perhaps this is a trend.  Could I just program the replies to your posts to keep the conversation going?

As I said.  You are better than what you present.  Offer your replies, but juice the content of them.  Presently they are lacking in detail to extend the conversation, find a point of contention, and maybe it will resolve itself in due time.

my apologies, dear heart.

it would appear that in my haste, I have stuck my foot in my mouth! fancy that!

Wow, I didn't know that was happening!

Care to try to back up your worthless whining with some facts, Rising Tide?  Or are you just content to be known as the tide that has more in common with lunar events than with Earthly political events?

the quotes from kennedy.. the pics from kos.


let me know if you have trouble following the links.

Score another for Playboy! (let's just say there's a reason law libraries carry it!)

And you think referencing the DailyKos helps you?


I should... it's great citizen journalism.


"great citizen journalism"?

First, the "great" qualifier is not a word anyone with an unbiased ear or eye would apply to the anti-American, anti-freedom, pro-alQaeda nutroots over at the seditious DailyKos.  Those people make ColdWar commie spies look pro-American.

"Citizen" is a misnomer because, unless we're talking about a citizen of France or a citizen of the EU or a citizen of OneWorldMovement, there's nothing that comes close to citizenship in the un-democratic conduct over on the DailyKos.

"Journalism" I'll gladly give you that because I think when the Walter Annenberg School of Journalism can debase its benefactor's honorable contribution -his lifetime goal was to raise journalism from a trade to a profession- to journalism by giving the MSM's lapdog failure of a newsreader KatieKittieCouric an award, well the "journalism" you think exists at the DailyKos has an equal at CBS then.

You do realize you're speaking about a Veteran's website?

Army guy, name of Markos Moulitsas Zúniga?

Kinda hard to go fight for our country and then be SPAT UPON by chicken hawks like yourself.

Hell, if I were him, I'd be pissed too!

The Daily Kos?

RisingTide, nice try again but it ain't working for you.  "Kinda hard to go fight for our country and then be SPAT UPON by chicken hawks like yourself."

Ummm, OKCity bomber Timothy McVeigh was a veteran, too.  There are some vets who become crackpots, lunatics and serious threats.  Of course, Matt Sanchez, the porn star turned journalist, was a vet too.  Although most vets serve honorably, I'm not sure your effort to tag all vets as worhty of honor syncs with your side's normal, usual and obvious disdain for the military, the mission or the men.

As for fighting for my country, I've done that already.  How about you, Mr ChickenHawk?  Yeah, I thought you hadn't.  It's usually the un-serviced munches who whine "chickenhawk" the loudest.  That and the blame-america-first crowd on the farLeft.

guilty as charged. I served my country while collecting

foodstamps and making $10,000 a year.


Yeah, but for all that you want to conflate... one Hispanic man who doesnt' even collect guns with Timothy McVeigh (first time I heard HE was a vet, btw. thanks for the info)... it really doesn't make sense.

Kos does for the left about what this site is supposed to do for the right. Gather data, promote good campaign practices, promote well-tuned to their district politicians.

All veterans deserve honor for their sacrifices. It ain't pretty having to clean brains up from exploded citizenry, as my cousin did during her mandatory military service.



Kos does for the left about what this site is supposed to do for the right.

Kos 4/8/2009:

So the poor saps at the Next Right -- the closest thing on the Right they have to what we were doing back in 2002 -- are pretty much ignored and marginalized, while the rest of the conservative netroots is reading from Code Pink's playbook, working hard to replicate their stunning failure at relevancy.


Right... and we can believe you served? LOL

That is a claim which begs the question, RisingTide.  You no more served our country than one can claim "Biden is an honest man".  You can honor me and other veterans by refusing to lie.  ChickenHawk, indeed.  The only "service" you've done is in the speedy lane at Wendy's.

It's a matter of federal record, which you might look up

If you were interested. I list it on my resumes, as what I did was important service to our country.

Nevertheless, your reading comprehension skills deserve some work.

I did not say that I've worked as a military person. I in fact volunteered with Americorps, for the standard stipend, plus the food stamps.

Never had the good fortune to work at Wendy's. Figure you're talking about yourself, sir.

military service

Some noted conservatives who have never served:

Ronald Reagan

Rush Limbaugh  

Sean Hannity

Bill O'Reilly

George W. Bush

Dick Cheney 

Donald Rumsfeld

Ted Nugent   << defecated and urinated in his clothes for 2 weeks to get out


I'm sure there's more chickenhawks to find among your glorious leaders.


So RisingTide is an AmeriCorps soldier? WTF

Let's see, RisingTide, first you claim you "served" your country --which to all but the farLeft means military service in one of the 5 branches.

You get called on it.  Can't back up the claim and now revise it to mean you "served your Country" in the AmeriCorps?  I get it... you're the chickenhawk calling others chickenhawk?  Can you spell H-Y-PO-C-R-I-T-E?  Well, fancy that.

For the record, RisingTide, you do all who DID SERVE a grave disservice by trying to project the image that your welfare job in AmeriCorps was a kin to my or fellow veterans' service.  Of course, according to MessiahObama, what you did is really the equal of military service to this Nation -at least according to his campaign statements.

RisingTide, I am convinced you are controlled by the looney-lunar phases if you think that welfare job at govt expense equals honorable military service.  Or maybe, like LyinJoeBiden, you were disoriented for a second and thought it was the equal?  Oh yeah, that's the ticket.

Actually, it's the far right that believes that CommunityService

for those who have religious objections is equivalent to Military Service.

I said I served my country, which is true. I do not, and will not, conflate my service with military service... As I said above, "guilty as charged."

But I do my part to fix our country, and to fix the world, and if you will not credit me my religious and social obligations to do so, may you be damned to whatever hell you believe in.

Religious and social service?

Hey RisingTide, you can serve in any capacity you want in AmeriCorps.  There wasn't any military draft so you can't argue that you had a religious objection to a Just War and you chose to serve alternatively in a domestic peace corps/welfare job program.

Frankly, my taxpayer money shouldn't have been footing your bills while you worked at a welfare job... food stamps, free bus rides, a stipend isn't "service to your Country"... it's feeding off the public trough and having your Country serve you.

What a load of bullsh*t you pump out.  The Country served you and your needs, RisingTide.  I know in Chavez's and Ortega's and Mugabe's worlds that is a "right".

In my world, that's a loafer.

not being paid enough to live on is hardly

the country serving my needs, dear shmuck.

My reference to the Right, religious obligation, and consciencious objectors stems from my cousins, who were exempted from a mandatory draft (and chose to work in nursing).

The Spirit of '73



It’s not out-of-the-question that the 2009 Tea Party participants might someday be respected by history as patriots who made a difference- same as 1773. This sort of public outrage might be just what’s needed to break through the media’s manufactured reality.


Barack Obama is rapidly liquidating everything that made this country great… and needs to be put back-on-his-heels with a major embarrassment that puts an end to the myth that everybody just loves Barack and his wacked-out agenda… because millions of us DON’T.




Nicely done parody site!

One of the best I've seen!

 less then 100 days after

 less then 100 days after election day?

Where Barack Obama is executing exactly what he said he would?

Where Barack Obama was elected by 2 to 1 electoral college votes with 9MM+ popular margin, in an election that was MORE democratic than the process in the founders / framers day?

Where the tax protestors are literaly "complaining" about a TAX CUT on 95% of all Americans and allowing the Bush tax cuts to EXPIRE AS PLANNED in 2010?

Where these top tax rates are are less than under Reagan?

Where the taxation without representation is in the District of Columbia -- which has NEVER BEEN MENTIONED by thenextright.com or any other "tea party" site?

are you serious? 


Are you?

Where Barack Obama is executing exactly what he said he would?

You appear to know as much about the right as you do about the left.

The interesting thing about the tea parties

Is that the economic right typically doesn't protest.  Sure the abortion and gay marriage folk will turn out in droves, but its not usually the people p.o.'d about marginal tax rates.  At least not in my living memory.

I don't think they exist, actually, sir.

I think they're manufactured out of Glenn Beck's listeners, in an attempt to push conspiracy theories on the rest of us.

Rent a mob and sugar daddies

The problem for the right is our lack of suger daddies and ability to create an instant mob with the drop of some 'walking around money'. The left is full of deep pocket individuals who can turn out a hired mob in a matter of hours. The right relies on folk really having an interest in the issue, taking time off from work (another thing the rent a mobs seem to lack) and appearing. We need warning and motivation....

The left simply needs to round up the usual folk. In Maine I used to be amazed to see the same folk at every protest, none employed and often bussed from event to event....

Bill's employed now

... by DailyKos readership.

Just because they attend protests during work hours, doesn't mean that they aren't employed

(though the raging grannies against the war, who stand in front of recruiting offices knitting covers for amputees' appendages are probably not employed...)

Did you leftwing threaderators even read Patrick's piece?

Honestly, Patrick makes a very fair, balanced case that the farLeft (especially represented by guys like NYTimes "journalist" Paul Klugman or MSNBC's HerrOlbermann) proves it can't muster any intelligent opposition to the grassroots Tea Party phenom because the farLeft and some of the commenters here are busy spinning out Democrat talking points instead of listening, thinking, responding.

Who cares about baseless fatLeft claims that the Tea Party has been astroturfed?  Well, not the farLeft because they don't even care when Obama lies to them, when Biden gets caught in multiple lies and bold-faced distortions, or when Blago, Spitzer, Murtha, Edwards and the rest get caught in outright criminal acts.

Like the TeleprompterPrez, it's all talking points, cliches and spin-sets 24x7 for some of you farLeft commenters.

Patrick's points have gone unchallenged.  Maybe you ought to try thinking on your own and put the talking points to bed for a day?

Or, in the alternative, you could go out and join with MoveOnDotOrg & CodePink & ACORN and protest the TeaParty protesters and try to disrupt the Public Square.  It seems fitting to have the farLeft once again tossing molotov cocktails and causing civic disturbances... the zoo animals as master of their cage?

Not a leftie but don't get the point?

There are three separate versions on this site alone of the supposed purpose of the parties.  One focuses strictly on taxes, another mostly on spending, and the third on a broad array of Obama (and to some degree, Bush) transgressions in taxes, spending, lobbyists, etc., etc.  It's completely disconnnected from the 'taxation without representation' aspect of the original tea parties -- no Americans except in D.C. are unrepresented in Congress.  Overall, the parties strike me as group therapy for those still smarting from the last electoral repudiation, fanned by Fox News for profit.

It's harmless enough for people to gather even if there's no particular focus or message that resonates with a broad swath of voters.  But I think there are much more productive things the Right could be doing.  How much traction can you really get with a tax protest after most people just saw a tax cut?  Only if you're completely sold on trickle-down could you think a huge number of people are motivated to protest a return to Clinton-era tax rates for the over $250,000 crowd, especially after they themselves tacitly approved of it by a majority voting for Obama.  I believe their tax rate is even below what it was under Reagan?  Why weren't conservatives throwing parties then?

Is it really that relevant to the Right's future whether Keith Olbermann has an effective response to the parties?  He seems to be getting enough mileage for his audience out of sexual double-entendres.  I think that's just another aspect of continued focus on winning the 24-hour news cycle and not doing the hard work needed to craft policies that address the concerns and future of a majority of voters.

Have you seen your taxes cut?

How much traction can you really get with a tax protest after most people just saw a tax cut? 

I keep asking people at work if they have seen their tax cuts. To date nobody has said yes yet. So if you are claiming "most people have just saw a tax cut", I was just wondering if you, yourself, have actually seen your tax cut.

ex animo