Author Topic: Skumbag Leftist Foes of Tea Party Movment Infiltrate Rallies, Skew Media  (Read 11796 times)

Offline Emperorjones

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Michael,

I agree with RH and Fransisco in the sense that there is little any liberal infiltrators can do to make the antics of the Tea Party more absurd. As I said previously I think the story is overblown and is a deflection tactic to take attention away from some of the behavior Tea Party, or likely supporters have done or will do in the future. Long before this story, right wingers were crashing health care town halls and turning them into spectacles. Of course when white males get angry they are merely being patriots and the anger has to have a legitimate cause. If you're black or brown, then you're a thug or have a chip on your shoulder.

As for the usage of the terms progressive or liberal, I don't agree with you. I know that the term progressive has been used at least since the turn of the 20th century, and even Teddy Roosevelt ran on a Progressive Bull Moose platform in 1912.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progressive_movement

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bull_Moose_Party

The modern liberalism I assume you are talking it emerged more during the New Deal era and was at its height from the 1930s-1960s. Perhaps the progressivism you are referring to is what some called the New Left. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Left

Today, I think more liberals are calling themselves progressives because the GOP has effectively turned liberalism into a dirty word. I don't think it was merely the clash of the Old v. New Left. There has been a relentless assault on liberalism at least since the Nixon Administration and the Great Society programs since Reagan. The conservatives used a network of think tanks, corporate funding, media, churches, and to be fair electoral victories under girded by time tested appeals to white resentment and solidarity to shift the political culture in this country. With each electoral victory it made the Democratic party and its ideals seem even more passe. So, you had Bill Clinton and others counter with the ,moderate Democratic Leadership Council. I would argue that Jimmy Carter was something of an antecedent to Clinton and the DLC, in terms of being a bit more in the center than some of the Dems he had to deal with in Congress, like Ted Kennedy. With the DLC, it was all about winning and finding ways to moderate the ideals and ideas of the Democrats. To me, they tacitly accepted the GOP contention that liberalism was no longer viable and then tried to concoct ways to dance around what they really were, which made them look weak and/or phony and turned off voters even more. Only the most skillful of dancers like Bill Clinton could get elected. More liberal candidates like McGovern and Mondale got completely trounced because their brand of liberalism had been effectively de-legitimized and the less skillful moderates like Carter, Dukakis, Gore, and Kerry all took L's as well because why go for a pale, mushy imitation when you can have a bonafide conservative?

To be honest, I just think you can't see the power of the conservative media because it conforms to your views. As I've said before, look at the bestselling books, the radio programs that have millions of listeners each day, FOX News, the op-ed columns, the fact that even MSNBC and CNN have conservative commentators who don't roll over like FOX's 'liberals' do. SNL was supporting Hillary Clinton. And they were going with her contention that she wasn't getting a fair shake in the media and Obama was getting an easy ride.

Tina Fey pretty much declared her support for Hillary. I remember when she proclaimed "Bitch is the new Black" during a segment on the show. To which Tracy Morgan later replied, "Bitch might be the new Black, but Black is the new President, Bitch." I also think SNL and a lot of the 'liberal' media pretty much caved into conservative complaints that they were drinking Obama's 'kool aid' or 'were in the tank' for him and so decided to be 'fair' by trying to find something to criticize him about. And they did criticize him. I read countless articles from 'liberal' papers talking about his lack of substance during the debates, and totally ignored the plans and ideas he talked about in the debates. Hillary explained herself better, she was more concise, but Obama just wasn't sitting there blinking his eyes. If anything this shows that 'liberal' journalists are at least concerned with the appearance of impartiality.

I think you're also ignoring the mostly glowing coverage FOX News gave to President Bush, Dick Cheney, and now Sarah Palin. How much were they challenged or taken to the carpet in any FOX interview? Not like when that dude Brett Bart? recently barely let President Obama get a word in edgewise. I think right wingers are hot because people weren't buying the product they kept trying to sell, so they accuse liberals of doing a lot of the same things they did with Bush.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2010, 06:04:52 pm by Emperorjones »

michaelintp

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I don't get your point, Mike.  Exactly what were these protesters doing or saying to make the Tea Party people look stupid? 

My question to you was whether you find it objectionable that Left-wing opponents of the Tea Party Movement would attend rallies pretending to be Tea Party Protesters, bringing misspelled or offensive signs, racist signs, yelling racist slurs and comments, making racist or offensive statements to representatives of the Media, and engaging in similar activity to convey the impression that Tea Party Protesters as "racist, homophobic, and moronic."

Are these Progressive Activists "bush league" for even considering this tactic, or "bush league" only because they were outed by not being sufficiently discrete in their implementation?

Also, it is worth noting that 65 people could accomplish a great deal, spread out in different major venues where the Media was sure to be present.  After all, in the incident in DC with the spitting and slurs, how many people actually spat and yelled comments?  A handful at most.

As to whether this was I hoax, I did an Internet search and found no indication that it was one.  Were it a hoax, someone on the Internet or in the Media would have been quick to disclose that fact.

Offline Reginald Hudlin

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I can't even understand what these guys were supposed to be doing, because if their goal was to make tea baggers look intolerant and stupid that would be gilding the lily.  So I guess my overwhelming reaction is either story is not real, or if it is real these guys are morons.  I know you keep fishing around for a "denouncing", but I can't even understand what they are doing enough to form an opinion.  That's why I keep asking you what did they do?  I mean literally, what did they do?  Did they have signs and t-shirts comparing the President of the United States to Curious George?  Because T-baggers have been doing stuff like that since the before the election.  Are these guys the ones responsible for all the mispelled signs brandished in Tea Party crowds?  Or all those done by actual tea party members?

Offline Emperorjones

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Michael,

I don't agree with the idea of infiltration though I do support having strong counter protests and demonstrations. I think progressives/liberals, whatever, need to stand up for what they believe and let the right wingers know that it's their country too and that we are all patriots. But once again, I think conservatives are using this story to excuse the real actions or words of authentic Tea Party activists. So 65 people are supposed to spread all over the country and attend all of these rallies? What about the earlier rallies, like RH said? What about during the Palin-McCain campaign? Did the Democrats seed people among those rallies to call Obama socialist, communist, or Muslim? Did they also create the birther movement too?

Another issue I have with some conservatives is they talk about personal responsibility when it comes to blacks especially, but they are never willing to accept personal responsibility for their own actions. There are racist and homophobes in the Tea Party movement. Not all Tea Party activists or supporters are racist or homophobic, but are you telling me that there are none period, unless they are these liberal infiltrators?
« Last Edit: April 21, 2010, 02:45:08 am by Emperorjones »

michaelintp

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Michael,
I don't agree with the idea of infiltration though I do support having strong counter protests and demonstrations. ...


I'm glad to hear the expression of your principled statement.  As an American, you also have the right to express your point of view in a public forum.  Of course, this does not rise to the level of attempting to create confrontational incidents in an effort to effectively censor the right of others to speak though the "heckler's veto" (as we have seen on some college campuses). I've heard of incidents where counter-protesters have tried to provoke incidents, and the Tea Partiers just smiled at them and applauded, celebrating the counter-protesters' right under the First Amendment to express a contrary point of view. 

As to taking personal responsibility, a concept that is applied to ALL people, I don't think anyone is saying there are no racists involved in the Tea Party Movement, any more than I would expect a person of the Left to claim there are no bigots involved with the "Progressive" Movement. (Well, I might expect some on the Left to claim this, actually, given the way some on the Left view reality and whitewash themselves, but they would be wrong). What is more relevant, however, is to get a sense of what really happens at Tea Party rallies, not from a few photos spread over the internet (often repeated again and again) of an offensive sign here and there, or offensive conduct by a handful of people, but by the behavior of the vast majority of those who are attending these rallies. Of course I, and other principled Conservatives, condemn racism and bigotry.

I strongly urge you to read the article on the "Black Tea Partier" thread, written by the guy from CNN who has been covering Tea Party Rallies in several cities as part of the embedded team of journalists: Reporter's notebook: What really happens at Tea Party rallies By Shannon Travis, CNN Political Producer.  What he has discovered is something very different from the grossly distorted picture painted by Reginald here and by others in the Media and on the Internet. 

In my view, the broad brush attempt to demonize the Tea Party Movement as "racist" is nothing but the Left's lame-ass attempt to intimidate and discredit the opposition by playing the race card.  It is a tactic that has had some success, from time to time, in other contexts, but I really don't think it will work this time.  Because under no circumstances would it NOT be played in response to Conservatives opposing the Administration's policies. I think a lot of people are getting sick of it, because it is a gross distortion. A lotta people would rather hear the opponents respond to the substantive issues raised by the Tea Partiers.  I understand that many on the Left desperately want the Tea Party Movement to be a racist movement, but, sadly for them, it is in fact not.  Again, see the CNN article on the other thread: http://hudlinentertainment.com/smf/index.php?topic=5817.75

As to the discrediting of "Liberals" and the abandonment of that label, of course Conservatives also expressed criticism of Liberals.  But I was there in the 1960s and 1970s, and I can tell you that the folk I knew back then, who called themselves "Progressive" were of the New Left, very very Left-wing in terms of the economics and geopolitics that they embraced.  They were not members of Teddy Roosevelt's Bull Moose Party, haha. Indeed, in a couple of instances, their parents had been active Communist Party members. The label "Progressive" was donned by many of them because it frankly sold better than "Communist" or "Socialist" given the climate in the the country at that time. At the time they too were very outspoken in demeaning "Liberals" whom they viewed as members of the Establishment. So the attacks against "Liberals" were coming from both the Left and the Right. No wonder the "Liberals" felt squeezed and started adopting the "Progressive" label as well. Still, it is fair to say that the New Left Progressives, as they have grown up, have played an increasingly active role in the Democratic Party.

As to Media bias, everyone runs their studies to show that the Media is biased against them.  We've had those conversations in the past on the Forum. 

Offline Emperorjones

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Michael,

It was not liberal 'infiltrators' who where shouting down Congresspeople at town hall hearings last summer. It was right wing people, probably allied with or supportive of the Tea Party movement. They were using this heckler's veto and strong arm tactics, which you don't seem all that concerned with, yet you summon outrage about this infiltration scheme that, to my knowledge, hasn't gained much traction. Has any of these infiltrators even done anything yet or been exposed? Once again, you didn't have an answer about the inflammatory signs and behavior from the Tea Partiers months before this story came to light.

I checked out the CNN article and it even pointed out that there were a 'few' signs that 'could be seen as' offensive to African Americans. Now this is coming from an article that is trying to paint a different picture of the Tea Party. Bang up job it did.

Living in the DC area, I've encountered quite a few Tea Party people on the Metro, particularly during their first big rally late last year. The ones I met were personally gracious and respectful-perhaps they thought I was going to rob them-and I was in turn respectful to them. But out on the Mall that day, I saw some had inflammatory signs (not racially offensive, but the kind using heated rhetoric) as they walked around the Mall from the Capitol. I didn't see the rally so I don't know what the mood of that was like.

Beyond that, I think you wish us to believe that the Tea Party is a multi-racial, harmonious movement, which I don't believe. The leadership is overwhelmingly white, and the ideology is right wing. So what you find a few black people to co-sign something. There have always been black people co-signing things that might be harmful to the larger black community. There are quite a few noted black conservatives but can I honestly say they have significant sway in the black community? No, they don't. Just like the few black Tea Party people out there. In fact, they are probably mostly one and the same.

As I've said before I think race does play a role in the Tea Party. I think it is being fueled by white male anger and resentment, but I don't think race is the sole thing driving the Tea Party. However, Obama's race turn actions a Tea Party sympathizer might disagree with into something sinister and anti-American. I did some volunteer work for a GOP congressional office back in 2000 and I took a call or two calling Hillary and Bill socialists. So that charge has been out there, but even in the 90s that kind of talk and thinking was on the right wing fringe. But when Obama came into office the fringe started becoming mainstream and responsible GOP leaders, bereft of ideas and vision, decided to go with the flow instead of challenging the anger and resentment into something less toxic.

Some conservatives had issues with Bush's bank bailout, but there wasn't a massive, uprising against it. Some conservatives just didn't vote for McCain. Now, with Obama in office there is this urgency to take 'our' country back. And there was the hue and cry about Obama when he wanted to talk to school children. What is he going to say? Is he going to indoctrinate 'our' children? Or that Obama isn't a US citizen or that he's the Anti-Christ. Or GOP officials referring to Michelle Obama as a monkey. Or bloggers making racial comments about the Obama children during a trip they took to Italy. None of this has to do with race? And fear of the "Other" plays no role in the hardened feelings, the lack of trust and respect some Tea Partiers feel for the President?

The GOP has actively and successfully tarred the liberal label. I've watched a lot of election coverage over the years where Republicans will hurl the label like an epithet and Democrats will dance around it. Yet, Republicans have no problem telling the world they are conservatives. When is the last time you saw liberal beneath a Democrats name in a commercial or on a billboard? You shouldn't be denying this, you should be happy that the success of this campaign. It's helped shift this nation to the right. In 1964, Americans overwhelmingly rejected the Goldwater vision of America that Reagan helped to bring into fruition in 1980, roughly a generation later. I think the GOP is scared as hell that Obama has the potential to shift the country in the other direction and they are willing to let loose or play with some of our national demons in order to prevent it.

IMO, you are willfully oblivious to just about anything right wingers do. You would rather point to a proposed infiltration plan than the real language and actions thus far of the Tea Party. How could this proposed plan even work if there wasn't already smoke there for the infiltrators to try to turn into a fire? If the Tea Party was as harmonious and inclusive as I think you believe, these disruptive infiltrators wouldn't be able to blend it all. It would be like me at a Klan rally. I'm going to stick out.

You also talk about media bias as if there are no conservative outlets out there. It's like your in full ideological mode and can't come up for air or even honestly consider the other side. Some people aren't hurling around the racist charge at the Tea Party because it will score political points, some people see echoes of lynch mobs, or hear the echoes of 1963 George Wallace, and they don't want to go back there. The obtuseness of many in the Tea Party to this shows how little they have been able to look beyond their own rage, their own self-interests. I think many see this as a zero sum game, any gain for a non-white is a loss for them. They don't see that everyone is hurting right now or that all cultures and religions have value, not just white American culture(s) and Christianity. I think you're assuming that just because you might not have negative intent or malice, that your fellow travelers are the same way. That's not always the case.

You have yet to focus on the actions and behavior of the Tea Party members itself. You instinctively hit back about liberals this or liberals that. Once again, not willing to address some of the negative behavior or actions of the Tea Parties and their supporters. Where's the personal responsibility?
« Last Edit: April 24, 2010, 08:11:44 am by Emperorjones »

Offline Reginald Hudlin

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Michael, you keep asking about this "infiltrator" story, but you still haven't said what they did. 

michaelintp

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Michael, you keep asking about this "infiltrator" story, but you still haven't said what they did. 

I know what one group was planning to do, and may have done to some extent.  I have already described the tactics, above.  I don't know what others may have done, but this one group of Lefties is not the only one motivated to engage in those sorts of tactics to serve their ideological ends.  My purpose in raising the matter was not to suggest that all or even most outright racist signs or conduct engaged in by a very very very small minority at the Tea Party rallies are Leftist infiltrators.  A few may have been, but most (of those few folk) were undoubtedly not.  My point in posting the original article, from the AP (not some right-wing source) was to just find out if members of the forum thought such tactics to be justified under the circumstances of the present ideological "struggle," or whether they find such conduct to be offensive and dishonest.  Because it is clear that this was NOT a hoax. 

Reginald, I honestly found your response to be rather evasive. I still don't clearly know what you think about such plans, whether or not implemented, or whether or not detected if to some extent implemented by this group or others.  Other than that you think them lame (though part of their "lameness" was that they got caught and how they got caught).  Which is not the same thing as saying you believe such conduct to be right or wrong.  One can view a tactic to be unnecessary, while not thinking it wrong in principle.  That was why I specifically asked you for your judgement of that aspect of the matter.

michaelintp

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Emperorjones, my purpose in raising the "infiltrator" matter, something not made up by the Right, but reported by AP as well as other Media outlets, was to get a sense what folks on the forum think about such tactics.

As to the Town Hall Meetings you mention: The purpose of a town hall meeting is for people to express their viewpoints and ask hard questions and respond negatively if the answer is bullsh*t.  They are not just PR opportunities for Members of Congress.  By the same token, real journalistic interviews of politicians are not a series of softball questions followed by opportunities for the politician to rattle off talking points and evasive answers.  Real journalists keep asking the question, or keep the politician on topic, when the politician is being evasive.  This goes for all politicians, including the President.

If at all, I will discuss the article written by CNN Political Producer Shannon Travis on the other thread, where I posted that article.  Though some reference to it will no doubt come out here.

You point out that the Tea Party Protesters you met on the Metro were, in fact, "personally gracious and respectful."  I appreciate your honestly in pointing that out. Why can't you just leave it at that?  Why must you throw in "perhaps they thought I was going to rob them."  This reveals exactly the attitude that Travis is talking about -- the adherence to prejudiced stereotypes.

The Tea Party Movement does have members of all races participate, though the fact that black participation is smaller than that in the general population only establishes that the overwhelming number of African-Americans support Obama.  Which is not surprising, given that he is the first black President of the United States.  On top of that, black Conservatives are ostracized, vilified, called vile names, by many black activists and so-called "black leaders," as you well know, making it an act of courage for them to participate in Tea Party Rallies (and perhaps discouraging some from participating; of course most white Conservatives don't actually participate in the rallies either, because it is just hard to get busy people to go to public rallies).  Look at the snapshots taken at the rally in L.A. that my son attended, as an example.

I find it amusing that whenever people on the Left express strong opinions, they are described as "passionate" or "outraged" or "expressing solidarity" etc ... but whenever Conservatives express strong opinions, the Media simply describes them as "angry."  A line you parrot here.  The line MSNBC parroted about John McCain, that he was an "angry man, a bitter man."  Why angry?  All because he expressed criticism of President Obama's nuclear summit.  "Angry."  Might this reflect bias in the Mainstream Media?

I've never denied that some involved with the Tea Party movement might in part be motivated by race.  But not most. Were Obama doing the same things, but were he white, I believe we would see the outgrowth of a grassroots movement like the Tea Party Movement. Obama's election proved the value of a strong grassroots movement.  The Tea Party Movement is not a movement focused on race.  It is not, as Keith Olberman describes it, the "Tea Klux Klan."  It is focused on the size and self-destructive unprecedented growth of Government, at the national, state, and local levels, that augers disastrous consequences in the future for our nation.  Growth advocated by Barack Obama, as a man of the Left, who very much wishes to push America in that direction of greater government economic domination.  It is not fueled by "white male anger" but rather by serious concern, indeed fear, that our country is being economically destroyed, with unsustainable mountains of debt and irremediable deficits, that over the long term will hamper economic development and military preparedness. That the lives of our children and their children will be far far worse off as a result, and that the world will be a far worse place as a result.  I believe all these concerns are well founded.

As to your comments directed at me:  I have objected to any expressions of racism.  Now, some comments or signs that are critical of Obama or are presented as parody, may be "offensive" to some African-Americans, even though they are no more offensive than similar portrayals of George W. Bush by the Left at their rallies, but some African-Americans may take special offense because they so strongly support Barack Obama and may be particularly sensitive because he is black.  That said, statements or signs that contain clear racial slurs are outright wrong.  I cannot state that more clearly.  You must realize, however, that the Tea Party Movement is a grassroots movement and that most in that movement strongly support the First Amendment and the Constitution as a whole.  Thus, my understanding is that people prepare their own signs.  On a Tea Party websight that suggests text of signs, I saw no reference to race whatsoever. All the references were to Obamacare, Socialism, the Size of Government, etc.  But some folk make up their own text, and a minute fraction may be objectionable by any standard. We don't know if anything has been said to someone with a really stupid-ass sign, by someone else at a rally (but be that as it may, my understanding is that there is no "central authority" that is empowered to censor signs at these rallies). Those few truly offensive signs are the ones that are replayed and redisplayed over and over and over again on the Internet, creating false impressions that Shannon Travis says are reinforcing prejudiced stereotypes against the vast majority of folk who participate in Tea Party Rallies (and for that matter, against Conservatives as a whole).  Your comments, and insistent negative spin, reflect this prejudice as well.  Which, I believe is, for all on the Left, in part politically motivated.  A clear tactic to divert people from the real issues, in an attempt to marginalize the vast majority of folk who are raising legitimate concerns at these rallies.  

I'm still waiting for folk on the Left to take responsibility for their conduct over the past decade, up to the present time. Haha, well, I'm really not.  ;)
« Last Edit: April 25, 2010, 08:08:47 pm by michaelintp »

Offline Reginald Hudlin

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Michael, I've stated what I think pretty clearly, considering I don't know who these people are or what they did.  I keep asking you, and you don't know what they've done either.  Or if they did anything.  In the absence of actual facts to talk about, my interest wavers.

michaelintp

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Yes Reginald, I understand that if someone is caught conspiring to commit murder it is not as interesting as if they actually succeeded in committing murder.  However, I don't think most folk would have a problem making the simple statement that they find murder to be objectionable.  I don't think you would be so hesitant in that context to pass a moral judgement.

The facts here are (at a minimum) that a group of Progressives had infiltrated Tea Party Rallies, passing themselves off as Right Wing Extremists, to gather intelligence. They planned (if to some extent not done already) to bring misspelled signs, racist signs, offensive signs, and when the Media appeared, to loudly regurgitate racist slurs and the like, to create Media incidents that would be recorded and rebroadcast over and over again and to be displayed over and over again on the Internet.

Morally objectionable, or not?

I say the facts as stated above are at a minimum, for we don't know to what extent some of the co-conspirators already engaged in this conduct, or whether similar, more discrete Leftists, already have done so. I'm not raising this for the purpose of whitewashing any racists who are involved in the Tea Party Movement.  I am raising this to find out if you, and others on the forum, find these kind of tactics to be immoral or, and a minimum, dishonest and objectionable.  Or, on the other hand, do you believe that all tactics, including these, are fine in the war of politics?

Why in the world are you having such difficulty answering the question?  It is a "yes, objectionable" or "no, not objectionable."

Offline Francisco

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I get what you're saying Michael. From now one every time a tea partier does something wrong we would chalk it down as a left winger infiltrator.  ::)
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michaelintp

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I get what you're saying Michael. From now one every time a tea partier does something wrong we would chalk it down as a left winger infiltrator.  ::)

Did you even read what I wrote to Reginald in the post immediately prior to yours?  Why is the question I am asking so hard to answer?

Offline Curtis Metcalf

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I get what you're saying Michael. From now one every time a tea partier does something wrong we would chalk it down as a left winger infiltrator.  ::)


Did you even read what I wrote to Reginald in the post immediately prior to yours?  Why is the question I am asking so hard to answer?


Well, it could be that folks don't accept the underlying assumptions of your question or the manner in which you have framed it and are thus reluctant to participate. It does strike me as a potentially loaded question (e.g. "When did you stop beating your wife?). Some may be distrustful of your motives for asking such a question.
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Offline moor

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I don't get this question - if youre asking someone if they would find it morally abrasive to engage in dishonesty for some fuzzy political goal, I'd gather  9 out of 10 people would agree.

Infiltrating a political party just to spread or disseminate slanderous and libelous subject matter about its members would/should strike anyone as "wrong". 

Is it any more wrong than walking into the office of a local community group with a hidden camcorder and essentially committing repeated instances of morally repugnant behaviour until eventually catching/entrapping a decidely minute sampling of employees in providing unethical advice?

Or would I be comparing apples to oranges?