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Are Democrats Resorting to Nixonian “Dirty Tricks” to Advance their Agenda?

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In the aftermath of the passage of their draconian health care bill, it has quickly become clear that the Democrats are seeking to capitalize on their victory and strengthen their position for the fall election by a campaign of disinformation and smear attacks on their opponents on the political right, particularly targeting their vocal critics in the Tea Party movement.

What is unusual in this instance is that their attempt to weaken their opponents through a “dirty tricks” campaign in the Nixonian tradition is backfiring because of exposure in the new media which some mainstream media outlets have followed up on, giving the lie to the party-line coverage provided by partisan media outlets like MSNBC and the New York Times.

The thrust of the propaganda from the left is that the Tea Party movement is full of violent racists, that they shouted racial epithets at members of the Congressional Black Caucus, spat on one black Representative, have been making threatening phone calls to members of Congress who voted for the health care bill, and have been committing acts of vandalism against Democratic party offices.

Further investigation of these claims suggests that some of them are untrue and, even more, that violent incidents may be the work of Democratic party operatives who are hoping that their actions will help to discredit their opponents who are fingered to take the blame.

It starts with the general claim that the tea parties are a racist, all-white movement, a position which Tea Party activist and blogger at blacksphere.com, Kevin Jackson, has eloquently countered with his many appearances and repeated insistence that he has seen “not one single racist event” at the hundreds of Tea Party protests he has attended. Despite the evidence to the contrary the disinformation that the Tea Partiers are racist is all over the media and the blogosphere, repeated again and again by leftists who desperately want it to be true.

Then there is the claim from members of the Congressional Black Caucus that when they went through a crowd of Tea Party protesters on Saturday the 20th, members of the crowd shouted the “N” word at them and that ultimately one member of the crowd spat on Representative Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO). Cleaver claimed that after spitting on him the protester was arrested. This kind of accusation might have been taken at face value a few years ago, but multiple eyewitnesses came forward to deny that any racial slurs were uttered and videos have been released on YouTube clearly showing that the claim is untrue. What’s more, the Capitol Police say that no protester was arrested, though one was detained briefly and then released with no charges filed.

Finally there are many questions surrounding the claims of threatening phone calls and acts of vandalism against Democratic offices. While there is evidence that these calls and attacks have taken place, there has been little success in identifying the perpetrators. What’s more, the militant left has a history of engaging in violent protests against Republicans and of staging false attacks on their own offices to attract attention and stir up controversy. Last year a Democratic activist was caught vandalizing a Democratic Party office in Denver. Given the peaceful nature of the Tea Party protests many have expressed suspicion that the Democrats are engaging in “dirty tricks” and that the calls and vandalism are being carried out by Democrats against their own people to build up anger against conservatives and health care opponents.

All of these things together are part of a pattern, apparently a deliberate strategy intended to sway public opinion by making Democrats look like victims and painting their opponents as violent, racist fanatics. This despite the fact that many of these assertions are clearly untrue and others are suspect and supported by scanty evidence. The Democratic strategy appears to be based on the belief that these claims don’t need to be true to change public opinion and that if they can throw enough mud it will obscure the truth and they will be able to divert the tide of voter anger which seems likely to sweep them from office in November.

Yet if anything has become clear in the past year it is that more and more of the people are no longer buying the bullshit. Their eyes have been opened, they realize how they have been tricked and cheated in the past, and they aren’t going to stand for it. Dirty tricks and smear tactics are part of the corrupt politics which people are rebelling against, and seeing them used here will only reinforce the anger directed at the party of tyrants and oligarchs.

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About Dave Nalle

Dave Nalle is Executive Director of the Texas Liberty Foundation, Chairman of the Center for Foreign and Defense Policy, South Central Regional Director for the Republican Liberty Caucus and an advisory board member at the Coalition to Reduce Spending. He was Texas State Director for the Gary Johnson Presidential campaign, an adviser to the Ted Cruz senatorial campaign, Communications Director for the Travis County Republican Party and National Chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus. He has also consulted on many political campaigns, specializing in messaging. Before focusing on political activism, he owned or was a partner in several businesses in the publishing industry and taught college-level history for 20 years.
  • Dave,

    Part of the problem seems to be one of painting the whole group – teapartiers’s in this instance – with one broad brush. We both know that not only is it impossible but inaccurate as well. Even so, we’re trying to impute a single motivation to multitudes which may be said to comprise the movement. Yet, the temptations is irresistible, because we all want to put our finger on what it is that they represent in essence, what they’re about.

    You say it’s all about liberty and limited government and sure – these are convenient slogans. But does everyone understand them in exactly the same way? Any movement is liable to attract and bring under its fold all kinds of people – and for a variety of reasons; we know that.

    So perhaps the solution is – it’s about time for the teapartiers ts stand up and declare their credo. (Perot’s movement was definitely much more clearly defined and organized.) But until that happens, you can’t complain about the fact that they are being regarded, and with some justification, as an undifferentiated mass.

  • The anti-health-reform rhetoric, both from tea partiers and GOP leaders, has too often been based on something other than facts and truth. That’s what I object to. Racism is only one part of a wide-ranging mosaic of out-of-control hyperbole and outright lies.

    There is a difference between spinning an issue as both sides have done with healthcare and resorting to the kind of direct personal attacks which these racism accusations amount to.

    Everyone is entitled to their own interpretation of the facts. What I will not tolerate is taking entire groups of people and trying to discredit them by the cheapest possible tactics of smearing their character with false accusations of racism.

    The two are fundamentally different. One is part of the process of advocacy. The other is reprehensible dirty tricks as referenced in this article.


  • Clavos

    as far as editorial capital goes, that has been gone ever since you posted under an assumed name years ago.


  • I didn’t know anything about the “Waxman affair,” didn’t bother to look it up, only responded to other points of Cannon’s drift.

  • I didn’t say inevitable, Handy, did I now?

    But surely neither you nor I nor anybody else for that matter can really say how all of this is going to play out in the end.

    Except for Ruvy, of course.

  • Roger: Inevitable totalitarian regime?? Are you bloody kidding us? Jeez.

  • The Waxman “flak” Cannon refers to concerns the same corporate welfare reform I mentioned:

    Large companies including AT&T receive federal subsidies to provide prescription drug benefits to their retirees. Before the health bill passed, they were also allowed to itemize those very same federal subsidies as tax deductions!

    They wasted no time at all in declaring immediate quarterly losses extending years into the future — for the loss of a deduction most people would agree was ridiculous in the first place.

    Waxman is questioning the timing [and the loud PR volume] of the companies’ financial announcements. [Sarbanes Oxley does not require a 24 hour turnaround for these earnings advisories, nor does it require them to be loudly proclaimed as burdensome to all possible news media outlets.]

    Now Cannon echoes the Wall St Journal’s editorial page in scoring a cheap political shot off this — without bothering to state an opinion or position on the silly tax deduction itself.

    The odor of hypocrisy and double talk is very thick.

  • I’m not denying that we may be moving in the direction of the totalitarian regime. All the signs are there. Whether this administration is more guilty of that than the previous one, for example, that’s hard to say. Surely, many of the provisions enacted during the Bush era are still intact and have been reinstated. Personally, I think Obama is trying to negotiatea middle ground between the clamor for reforms from the radical Left and the powerful interests in maintaining the status quo. And it is perhaps as a result of trying to find that middle ground that what we’re seeing is a tilt towards a more centralized government. (I explained that more fully on the other thread.)

    But for you to say that Dave may have a point with his cries for liberty, you’d have to suggest a way out. Well, I see no way out, and I don’t certainly see the shift in political power from Dems to Reps as a way out or any permanent kind of solution.

    Solutions of course will come. But my point is, they’re going to be dictated by events, not by wishful thinking of people who are intent on recovering the past.

  • cannonshop

    #116 Roger, look at the whole of the pattern.

    Right now, Henry Waxman’s holding hearings-why? because some executives are Complying with Sarbanes-Oxley, and the numbers they’re releasing make the Party’s Agenda look bad wrt. the “Health Care Reform” law passed in march.

    They’re getting Congressional Flack for Obeying the Law.

    One of the signs of totalitarian urges, is going after people whom are obeying the law, because it makes the Leader’s agenda look bad.

    Add in that the Democrat “Super triple” (supermajority in the Senate, Majority in Congress, control of the Executive all at the same time) renewed the same provisions of the Patriot Act they were comparing Bush to Hitler over, and then, there’s the FBI going after what amounts to mouthy cranks in Michigan-which fits a pattern established several years ago showing Leftists far more willing to use force against noisy weirdoes at home than confirmed enemy agressors abroad (another trait shared with Totalitarian-inclined regimes), I think Dave MIGHT have a point here.

  • Exactly, Handy, and Dave knows better of course. Yet, he reduced the term to the simplistic meaning it may have had during the Revolutionary War.

    Of course I can see how some might view the present healthcare legislation as a case of a “state out of control,” but the imputation here is that it is the express intent of this administration to turn America into a socialist, totalitarian country. What is being forgotten, meanwhile, that what we see unfolding before us is more of a response to a business interests which had their way of running the country – merely unintended effects rather than a product of some evil design.

    But even this is a gross misrepresentation, because the business interests still have their way with the government, whether we look at how the banks were allowed off the hook or the private insurers which are still as strong a player as even, even with the Obama care in effect. So in a way, what we’re really dealing with is a political gesture. (I’d have to convinced that it’s something more than than.) And Dave knows it.

    Yet he keeps on inciting the uneducated and uninformed – his view of “the people” – under the banner of “liberty” as though some call to arms. It’s no longer a matter of discourse for him but a form of political action. But in so doing, I see him as a provocateur rather as an educated and politically astute and knowledgeable person we all know him to be.

  • “Liberty” means more than the narrow and distorted sound-bite buzz-word many on the right toss around.

    It can mean freedom from the threat of personal bankruptcy just because you get sick.

    It can mean the freedom to support government regulation of the financial system even if it causes hypocritical, narrow-minded “sons of liberty” to then brand you a toady of “socialist tyranny.”

    It can mean the freedom to point out that taking away the banks’ middleman role in student loans, or removing the ridiculous tax deduction given to big companies for receiving federal subsidies for retiree prescription drug benefits, are examples of eliminating wasteful corporate welfare — and not “government takeovers.”

    It’s the freedom to point out lies even when know-nothings insist on branding one an “enemy of liberty” for doing so.

  • Roger, Mark Salesky’s ongoing spate of personal attacks don’t inspire me to treat him with respect.

    not a personal attack at all. just pointing out the holes in your logic that are large enough to walk an elephant through.

    as far as editorial capital goes, that has been gone ever since you posted under an assumed name years ago.

  • Why should I be forced to be in favour of liberty?


  • Dave:
    You are either for liberty or you are against it.

    I’m for it, bub. I daresay so are Zing and Doc Dreadful and most of the other lib commenters here.

    In fact, it’s you, I believe, who have theoretically questioned the value of democracy and of allowing/encouraging everyone to vote.

    The anti-health-reform rhetoric, both from tea partiers and GOP leaders, has too often been based on something other than facts and truth. That’s what I object to. Racism is only one part of a wide-ranging mosaic of out-of-control hyperbole and outright lies.

    In fact, in this discussion, charges and countercharges about racism have become a red herring, obscuring the bigger issue, which is a reckless disregard for verifiable facts and figures or for actually discussing ideas and policies.

    It’s all about impact, not substance.

  • I thank you for responding. It is, you realize, drawing a line in the sand. But if do you happen to think that the present political situation and conflict call for such a radical if not simplistic redefinition of term – I don’t, by the way! – so be it. At least I think I understand where you’re coming from, which is to say, engage in political action rather than in a mode of discourse.

    (BTW, I don’t think that Rich’s article should be regarded as inflammatory as many have taken it – not if he addresses and speaks of “the fringe” rather than all the the teapartiers. At least that’s how I read it.)

  • Roger, Mark Salesky’s ongoing spate of personal attacks don’t inspire me to treat him with respect. Right now my writing time is more limited than it has been, so I’m going to focus on things which are the most critical and those issues aren’t going to please the leftist ideologues.

    I’m also not inclined to put up with the bigotry which is coming from the left. I’m tired of the attempts to portray anyone who opposes the government as a redneck racist nazi. It’s bullshit and I’m just not going to put up with it anymore. A campaign of lies which is allowed to stand unchallenged will begin to be believed and that is unacceptable.

    I’m afraid we’re beyond friendly dialogue at this point. You are either for liberty or you are against it. You are either for the best interests of the people or you are a willing tool of the out of control state.

    There is no “fair and balanced” anymore. Those who spread the lies of the left must be held accountable.


  • Braden is merely encouraging Dave Nalle’s delinquent behavior.

    To Nalle’s credit, however, Dave knows he is no fool, and he knows, too, when he is bullshitting and when he’s not.

    It’s about time, Dave, to join the ranks of responsible commentators, especially since you are the editor-in-chief of the Politics section. You know I’ve always treated you with respect, and I hate to see you losing it with almost every new article you post.

    People like Jordan, Mark Salesky, El Bicho or Sussman are no political hacks. Rarely if ever do they contribute to our section, other than by way of their comments which, more often than not, are on target. They see both sides of the story and they call it how they see it. Yet, you keep on squandering whatever editorial capital you still have left, only reducing the quality of this this site to a kindergarten level.

    Why don’t you start presenting the conservative or libertarian argument in a cogent and balanced way and thus help establish a badly needed dialogue, rather than keep on pandering to the lowest common denominator. You yourself condemn the lunatic fringes of the teapartiers, saying they don’t represent the true views of “the people.” Yet, by your own behavior on BC, you’re doing precisely what you openly disavow.

    Most of the BC audience, again, except for the lunatic fringe, is intelligent, well-read and articulate. They recognize bullshit and nonsense when they see it. and they are going to call you on it. So unless you’re using BC as a platform to appeal to the wider masses – are you running for office perchance? – I can’t really understand you stubborn refusal to be fair and balanced in your arguments and presentations.

    If you do entertain political ambitions, restrict them to your own website, but here on BC show us the kind of Dave we all know you can be.

  • Clavos

    Of course, while the Right just sits around and makes cups of tea.

    Jeez, I hope not, Stan, I hate tea…

  • Boeke

    I looked at the videos offered in the article and I couldn’t tell if the audio corresponded to the video or not. Thus, they prove nothing.

  • STM

    Braden: “The left will stop at nothing to advance their agenda.”

    Of course, while the Right just sits around and makes cups of tea.

  • Great article, Dave. The left will stop at nothing to advance their agenda.

  • zingzing

    dave: “That’s the Birthers, not exactly mainstream tea party folks, and just saying he’s born in Africa may be stupid but it’s not racist.”

    for christ’s sake. the birthers think he was born everywhere. and that’s FAR from the only racist sign you’ve seen about obama and YOU know it. stop denying it.

    “But the speakers and the organizers and the prominent participants certainly are not racist.”

    what are the fucking birthers. racists and neo-nazis if they’re not “participants?” they ARE “participants.” they participate. they are part of this shit. kick them out. stop denying they’re there.

    “I can tell a hawk from a handsaw”

    you can’t tell bullshit from horseshit or shakespeare from fucking john grisham. (and you know he was trying to pretend that he was insane while doubting himself insane when he said that which you quote, yeah?)

    this is fucking ridiculous.

  • Denny

    Thank you for speaking up for the Truth!

    What do people expect from make-it-up Saul Alinsky Advocates that still think that either all the people are fooled some of the time, or some of the people are fooled most of the time, when if fact most of the people are not fooled at all by Democrats’ tricks or lies and deceptions and trickery anylonger. The giant (We the People) has already awakened, and it doesn’t like what it is hearing and seeing.


    Sing it with me, will you?!

    Thanks for listening,

  • Which article? For that matter, which Mark? Haven’t seen it.

    oh please. THIS article dave, the original title of which was “Democrats resort to Nixonian ‘Dirty Tricks’ to advance agenda”

    you might be able to tell a hawk from a handsaw, but that doesn’t stop you from making stuff up.

  • they were holding up signs threatening violence and calling obama a “lying african” and that’s only the stuff that was already happening months ago.

    That’s the Birthers, not exactly mainstream tea party folks, and just saying he’s born in Africa may be stupid but it’s not racist.

    it’s clearly gotten worse since then. when are you going to wake up? of course, not all of them would ever do anything like that. not even a majority or even close. but you must admit that the fringe, being what rich was referring to, certainly displays both. if you don’t kick that element out of your tea party, it’s only going to get worse. wake up before it destroys whatever hopes you have vested in this movement.

    These are public events. You can’t stop the occasional Stormfront nazi from showing up. That’s against the law. But the speakers and the organizers and the prominent participants certainly are not racist.

    “Rich has written an excellent piece of inflammatory propaganda.”

    And you are a good judge of that.

    I’ve written academic papers on the subject and presented them at conferences. Done some study on the topic, so yes.

    Why haven’t you responded to Mark’s query about the punctuation chance in the article title?

    Which article? For that matter, which Mark? Haven’t seen it.

    If you mean this article, I liked the title better as a question. It’s friendlier – more likely to suck in readers.

    Amazing to think that you ought to be a considerable judge of what is and what isn’t racist.

    I can tell a hawk from a handsaw, Jordan. And first hand experience and direct contact with many of those involved helps a lot. The fact is that African Americans are heavily involved in these protests. They may not be huge in number, but they are prominent. Watch the videos in the article.


  • Jordan Richardson

    Except for the parts about the protesters being violent, which they demonstrably are not, and racist, which again they are clearly not in any way.

    Amazing to think that you ought to be a considerable judge of what is and what isn’t racist.

  • “Rich has written an excellent piece of inflammatory propaganda.”

    And you are a good judge of that. Why haven’t you responded to Mark’s query about the punctuation chance in the article title?

  • zingzing

    dave, they were holding up signs threatening violence and calling obama a “lying african” and that’s only the stuff that was already happening months ago. it’s clearly gotten worse since then. when are you going to wake up? of course, not all of them would ever do anything like that. not even a majority or even close. but you must admit that the fringe, being what rich was referring to, certainly displays both. if you don’t kick that element out of your tea party, it’s only going to get worse. wake up before it destroys whatever hopes you have vested in this movement.

    it would be to your own benefit. denial isn’t going to help you.

  • Personally, I don’t see, Handy, why you should feel apologetic for Rich’s column. What part do you disagree with? IMO, it’s spot on.

    Except for the parts about the protesters being violent, which they demonstrably are not, and racist, which again they are clearly not in any way.

    But yes, aside from having the primary premise being based on two lies, Rich has written an excellent piece of inflammatory propaganda.


  • I don’t want anything for myself, Cannon. If I argue for certain social reforms, it’s only on behalf of others. And I’m certain the same is true of such as Glenn, Handy or Silas – each of whom are all too frequently openly despised. See, the way I see it, those who are truly the most needy are the least likely to speak for themselves. They’re too downtrodden to risk further humiliation. Which is why they need advocates.

    So anyway, have you considered this eventuality?

  • cannonshop

    Roger, they wouldn’t be-but it WOULD be nice to work with more people who don’t think the world owes them something because they can fog a mirror.

  • But wouldn’t it be boring, Cannon, to be surrounded by the exact replicas of yourself?

    There was a Twilight Zone episode where . . .

  • cannonshop

    #91 You mean, with a functional work-ethic, strong respect for morals, and food with actual Taste, Clavos?

    I wouldn’t mind that a bit…

  • Not Quite Francisco de Quevedo


  • Clavos

    I am so looking forward to the day when the USA is finally a Latino country…

  • John Wilson

    Talking about Nixonian Dirty Tricks, I finally watched some of the famous ACORN videos, and they are obviously faked. You don’t have to be an expert video/audio editor to recognize that there are two different audio tracks blended together. The one with background noise is from the ACORN office, the narrator is in a studio, and the track is blended later. Also, different mikes.

    It’s pretty clumsy.

    The answers the staff gives are to different questions, which were blanked out in edit, with the studio recorded questions dubbed in.

  • Personally, I don’t see, Handy, why you should feel apologetic for Rich’s column. What part do you disagree with? IMO, it’s spot on.

    Mind you, Rich doesn’t speak here of the vast majority of people, be they conservative or liberal, only of the lunatic fringe. And of those corrupt politicians who try to use this rising anger to their political advantage. And if that’s the target of Rich’s column, and correct me now if I’m wrong, then it’s richly deserved.

    Consequently, I don’t see why such sober and resolute people like Cannon or Baronius ought to resent that. It certainly doesn’t address either of them, conservative that they may be.

    Heck, there is plenty of racism and double standard to go around to be limited to either political party – which institutions no longer reflect the true desires and wishes of the people – and that’s a fact of life. So why pretend we identify with any of that when in fact we don’t. Why feel hurt or insulted? We meet those kind of people every day of our lives.

    Would I object if I were told that many Democratic politicians are corrupt? Hell, no. Would I object were I told that a great many people on welfare make it their business to stay on welfare? Hell, no, because I know there is some truth to that.

    Would I object were I told that every single person who is not against this healthcare legislation is a social parasite who wants something for nothing. Damn right I would! Would I object were I told that everyone who is against it is a no good redneck? Yes, I would.

    So what is it exactly about Rich’s column that is so offensive, given we have defined the parameters of the discussion?

  • Here’s the link to Frank Rich’s column that Handy failed to provide: The Rage is not about Healthcare.

  • Baronius

    paragraph 2 – reference to slurs against civil rights hero
    paragrahp 3 – comparison to Kristallnacht
    paragraph 5 – mention of race of Emanuel Cleaver
    paragraph 7 – comparison to reaction to Civil Rights Act
    paragraph 8 – comparison to reaction to Civil Rights Act
    paragraph 9 – comparison to reaction to Civil Rights Act
    paragraph 11 – Obama’s race, Sotomayor’s race
    paragraph 12 – Asians, blacks, Hispanics, whites
    paragraph 13 – reference to “homogeneity”
    paragraph 14 – comparison to reaction to Civil Rights Act

    The article was only 15 paragraphs long. Surely you noticed these references?

  • “Their anxieties about a rapidly changing America are well-grounded.” Frank Rich, #82

    I find it quite an insightful comment.

    So perhaps it’s not racism, guys, but the mere fact that the white man’s dominance has been challenged and is slipping. And electing a black man to the office of the presidency served as a trigger.

    Of course, that’s just the mob-perception. America and the world is still controlled by the money class whose color is green; and all the relevant players know it.

    Meanwhile, the game of politicking continues.

  • Well, how different is it when we accuse the general and peaceful Muslim population to denounce the radical fringes? The leadership of the Republican party has less to lose in terms of their physical safety – unless of course they’re already eyeballing the midterm elections. Consequently, they have a vested interest not to speak out.

  • Just the brick throwers, not the protests as a whole.

    The ‘accusations of racism’ are inferred by you. He says there are groups of people who fear the changes in the demographics of the country and react emotionally — mostly older white people. But not all older white people. And not all conservatives. And not all Republicans.

    But he was saying Republican leaders seem reluctant to loudly denounce extremist rhetoric, because they want the votes and they’re afraid of alienating the Glenn Beck/Sarah Palin adoring crowds.

    But I agree, he conflates all of this into one big thesis. I didn’t say I agreed with everything he wrote.

  • Baronius

    Well, yeah, Handy, if you leave out the accusations of racism, the article seems tame. What about comparing the protests to Kristallnacht? Where’s the nuance in that?

  • Below is the key graff from Rich’s column. It really is considerably more nuanced than Baronius’s description indicates. But Rich and Krugman are skilled, intelligent writers who are paid well to produce content that is bracing to the left and infuriating to the right. There are plenty of rightist commentators who have the obverse effect on me, I assure you.

    In fact, the current surge of anger – and the accompanying rise in right-wing extremism – predates the entire health care debate. The first signs were the shrieks of “traitor” and “off with his head” at Palin rallies as Obama’s election became more likely in October 2008. Those passions have spiraled ever since – from Gov. Rick Perry’s kowtowing to secessionists at a Tea Party rally in Texas to the gratuitous brandishing of assault weapons at Obama health care rallies last summer to “You lie!” piercing the president’s address to Congress last fall like an ominous shot.

    By 2012, the next presidential election year, non-Hispanic white births will be in the minority. The Tea Party movement is virtually all white. The Republicans haven’t had a single African-American in the Senate or the House since 2003 and have had only three in total since 1935. Their anxieties about a rapidly changing America are well-grounded.

    Maybe Rich goes too far. But it does give one pause to see the difference in approval ratings for Obama: among nonwhites 75%, among whites 42%. This doesn’t prove racism, but it’s discomfiting, and it’s not irrelevant.

  • Baronius

    He accuses the Republican Party and tea partiers of being racists, in league with racists, or cowed by racists. He uses inflammatory language to insult the Right and enrage the Left.

  • John Wilson

    Baronius: “I think some of the Tea Partiers have crossed the line. But so did Frank Rich.”

    I’ve not read the Rich article, can you supply examples of what offended you?

  • The individual insurance mandate has been proposed before, by Republicans, Mitt Romney most prominently and recently.

    The percentage of the population that will ever be pressured against their will to buy insurance is not large. People who are covered by their parents, their employers, Medicare, or Medicaid wouldn’t be affected. And any uninsured person who wants insurance is by definition not being forced. How many do you think that will leave?

    And using the term “power grab” to describe any liberal policy you dislike is one of those non-fact-based bits of repetitive rhetoric I was referring to.

  • cannonshop

    #76 One might consider that the Individual Mandate is the most (or one of the most)important aspect of the power-grab, Handy.

    It’s not, in the end, about health-care (the bill doesn’t do what Obama claimed it would do when he signed it-hence the rush to ‘amend’ it now that it’s been signed), it’s about centralizing more power.

    Hence, you get zero response from most of hte Democrats you write to, and a form-letter from Schumer-because they got what they wanted, and they’re not going to turn loose of it now.

  • Cannon, although I do think there has been some racially tinged/nativist/militiaist rhetoric at the tea protests, race was not my main point. Assertions and accusations that are over the top and not based in fact — that’s what I meant. And there are plenty of examples.

    Also, “tea partiers” and “conservatives” overlap, but I don’t consider them the same thing, and I doubt you do either.

  • To change the subject slightly, I support making the individual mandate optional.

    People could opt out, but at the same time they have to agree to forego any government insurance subsidy for five years or so, when they can reconsider if they wish.

    This was proposed in a fairly prominent NY Times op-ed a few weeks ago by Paul Starr, a pro-reform Clintonite.

    I was so taken with the idea that I wrote to the White House, Pelosi, one of my senators and my congressman. Only Chuck Schumer’s office answered…with a form letter.

    But I’m sure, given the source, that the article was read by some prominent Dems. The legal challenge to the mandate is a long shot anyway, but this might short circuit it, and defuse some of the populist unease/anger too.

  • cannonshop

    #74, problem here, Handy:

    While the accusations are all over the place, there’s no documentary evidence that the Tea Partiers are using those terms. Unlike you leftists, generally conservatives don’t care about race- that’s a Leftist thing. WE tend to care more about ACTIONS than paint and body work.

    (it’s that whole not-being-obsessed with surface appearances thing-only Content matters.)

    So I don’t buy the allegations, sorry dude, and I buy them LESS since all opposition to the democratic party platform since the middle of 2008 have been characterized/accused of Racist motivations.

    It’s that whole “crying wolf” thing-the charge doesn’t stick because it’s been used falsely so often it no longer matters.

  • Haha.

    Actually I experience something more akin to nausea when I hear that kind of mindless and repetitive untruth.

    But many of the tea partiers holding the silliest/most repugnant signs seemed to be having a grand time, or working up a nice red-faced froth, or both.

  • cannonshop

    #69 You experience a “release” from saying things like that? wow…that’s…disgusting.

    Seriously, that’s just wrong, Handy, and really reflects some disturbing elements of your character…Particularly since you support the guy (at least, politically).

  • Andy, I’m so far to the left that it would scare you. But you feel free to call me whatever you wish.

  • roger – I’d say it’s a matter of opinion as to which side of the political spectrum you fall into…it’s my personal opinion, after reading comments from you here for quite a while that you’re WAY over there on the left. You may believe that you’re not a liberal, but you sure don’t type like you’re not one!

    And what could possibly be “worst” than a communist?

  • Baronius

    Handy, I believe that it’s wrong to incite hatred. I think some of the Tea Partiers have crossed the line. But so did Frank Rich.

  • Of course, Baronius, I accept it as a real phenomenon.

    But a great deal of the rhetoric generated by this visceral reaction is destructive.

    And, not to lump you in with them involuntarily, but many of the print and video interviews with tea partiers reveal a tenuous-at-best regard for or interest in facts. Their rage feeds on itself.

    Thus whether the president is really “a lyin’ African” or a “socialist tyrant” becomes secondary to the sheer exhilarating release of saying such things.

  • You are a sober man, Baronius. I just stated the obvious.

    And yes, communications ought to be personal (hopefully not nasty, though).

  • Baronius

    Roger, every last thing has got to be personal with you, doesn’t it?

  • Talk of passion, and that’s from the most sober man on the net.

  • Baronius

    Handy – Honest question for you. You say that you don’t understand how the health care bill could be as passionate an issue for us as the Iraq War was for you. But will you accept that that’s true?

  • Mark

    Handyguy asks: Was the title of this article a question when it was first published? Did Dave decide to cut the Dems a teeny bit of slack?

    I think that Dave should respond to this and explain the change (which a google search indicates) in the interest of maintaining a facade of ‘journalistic’ ethics.

  • I ain’t no lib, Andy. To you I’m worst than a communist. But that was no political kind of spin on my part.

    I spoke to Clavos from my heart, mano a mano.

  • I bet that’s killing you too Clav…no points with the libs!!!

  • And BTW, don’t you think it’s about time to get off the rag? You’ve been in that bloody condition for six months now.

    It’s getting stale, mate, and it’s getting you no points.

  • Spoken like a true arch-defender.

  • Clavos

    That’s nothing new to Archie. He’s been at odds with reality from day one.

    As if you’d know the difference…

  • That’s nothing new to Archie. He’s been at odds with reality from day one.

  • Jordan Richardson

    No it’s about not letting a bunch of power hungry megalmoniacs and their idiot supporters claim that change for the sake of change without regard for the substance of that change is the only thing that matters.

    No, it’s about a refusal to understand that politics means that sometimes somebody’s else’s ideas get to be heard and followed for a while – even if you don’t like them. It’s about a refusal to grow up, about a refusal to truly cooperate, about a refusal to evolve, and about a refusal to listen to other voices for a change.

    Incidentally, do you know what they call change for the sake of it? Existence. Change happens every single day for the sake of it, Arch. It happens because life moves in a forward direction. You can fight that basic truth all you like, but you’ll never come close to winning. You’re having a philosophical disagreement with reality.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Shame on all of us when we ratchet up the tension without considering the consequences.

    Absolutely agree 100%.

    Shame on us, too, when we use revisionist history to make points or refuse to see facts or refuse to accept and acknowledge actual video evidence or call someone a traitor or a turncoat when they consider the value in the positions of a political opponent or…

    Well, I could go on and on. There’s a lot of shame to go around.

  • Arch Conservative

    “it’s never been about health care. It’s about people [especially white people] afraid of a changing world.”

    No it’s about not letting a bunch of power hungry megalmoniacs and their idiot supporters claim that change for the sake of change without regard for the substance of that change is the only thing that matters.

  • zingzing

    can’t argue against that.

  • Clavos

    why’d you vote for some of them then?

    Beats me. Wish I hadn’t.

  • It’s not as if loony hyperbole and ugliness on one side justify it on the other.

    The Iraq war deeply upset a lot of people. It doesn’t entirely make sense to me that others seem to be just as upset over a healthcare bill. But as Frank Rich pointed out this morning, it’s never been about health care. It’s about people [especially white people] afraid of a changing world.

  • Here are some very disturbing pictures of Bush Haters.

    Guess it must have slipped the memory of the left.

  • Was the title of this article a question when it was first published? Did Dave decide to cut the Dems a teeny bit of slack?

  • zingzing

    “Just like all those scumbags in Congress, the Senate and the WH.”

    why’d you vote for some of them then?

  • Clavos


    Just like all those scumbags in Congress, the Senate and the WH.

  • zingzing

    you’re kidding, right, baronius? the brooklyn da found that acorn has done nothing wrong and isn’t pressing charges. on the other hand, they found that o’keefe and giles “heavily edited the video to suit their agenda.” the congressional research service came to similar conclusions in december, saying o’keefe’s actions should be prosecuted.

    “According to the investigator’s report, some of the audio in the videos turns out to have been dubbed, meaning that we don’t know what the ACORN employees were agreeing to since we don’t know what the undercover filmmakers were actually asking them. Plus, exculpatory content that may have ameliorated the appearance of scandal was apparently left on the cutting-room floor.”

    now, a good way to clear their name, or remove any doubt as to their guilt, would be for o’keefe and giles to release the unedited tapes. yet they haven’t done that. why? BECAUSE THEY’RE LYING SACK-OF-SHIT CRIMINALS who fooled you into thinking you were seeing something you weren’t. you’ve been duped, baronius. stop making yourself look stupid.

  • Baronius

    John, other than not showing what O’Keefe was wearing, where’s the deception? Didn’t the ACORN workers look O’Keefe and Giles in the eyes as they described their plan to set up a brothel of underage illegals, and give them accounting advice? Do you really think that the big story is how he was dressed?

  • zingzing

    what does it matter anyway? the republicans got what they wanted. acorn is no more (well, almost). this was just a well-orchestrated political hitjob. the right shouldn’t be pleased about the tactics used, as they can just as easily be used against them. of course, people might not be stupid enough to fall for it a second time.

  • And Handy is right. That’s the UK edition of Krugman’s book. Didn’t realize the bloggers at Power Line had access to Krugman’s contract when it comes to international editions what his rights are.

    They also have poor visual acuity skills as that mustache on Chaney looks nothing like Hitler’s.

  • zing, you should know by now Dave doesn’t let things like facts get in the way of his opinion on matters.

  • zingzing

    yeah, dave, but they’re edited in a way that they show something that didn’t really happen.

  • John, where did you hear that the ACORN sting video was a hoax? Some questions have been raised about the way it was edited. That’s it. The video is certainly authentic.


  • John Wilson

    Baronius says:

    “Both sides have a lot to apologize for.”

    Apparently, that ACORN/pimp thing was a hoax. When can people expect an apology from the rightists who contrived and promoted it?

  • By the way, that is not the cover of the book in the US. Maybe it was the UK cover? No pictures at all on the jacket of the US version.

  • Yes the book cover is way over the top. And funny, something Krugman rarely manages to be — though I wonder if he really approved of that ludicrous illustration. He is undeniably partisan. But he’s also quite brilliant.

  • But Handy,

    You can’t deny that Krugman was equally guilty of inflammatory rhetoric, as per the end of the linked article (i.e., the book cover).

  • Re: Dan’s Power Line link, apparently intended as a counterexample, hard-hitting but intelligent conservative rhetoric —

    Having just watched Paul Krugman on ABC’s This Week and Fareed Zakaria’s show today, I believe there are very few voices on this issue saner or more intelligent.

    I don’t expect Dan or Clavos or Dave to agree with him. But to assert that the Power Line article, essentially a snide effluence of name calling, effectively refutes Krugman…well, maybe you have low standards for success.

    Wonkette does the snide thing much more hilariously.

  • zingzing

    jesus christ, dave. then you miss the damn point. even you know that video proves nothing. it can’t possibly hope to. don’t be thick.

  • No, Zing, I just think your point has no relevance.


  • Clavos

    Good citation, Dan(Miller).

    As always, the guys at Power Line are dead on.

  • zingzing

    you completely miss my point, dave.

  • Nixonian is so Rovian. Buchananan is much more Reaganic.

  • Roger, Zing. A video of the incident is in the article. Do please read past the first page.


  • All (to paraphrase VP Biden) @#$*&#$($& conservatives should be taken out behind the ghetto and shot. This is the sort of defensive nonsense they spout.

    For shame, I say, for shame!


  • Baronius

    On the other hand, Obama telling people to get in their neighbor’s face, the SEIU thugs beating people up, every single thing that comes out of Van Jones’s mouth, all the threats that Bart Stupak received *before* he switched to a yes vote, and Bill Maher wishing that Glenn Beck was dead.

    Both sides have a lot to apologize for.

    But it isn’t a side that does these things; it’s individuals. People a lot like us. You heard some of the things said by that Holocaust Memorial shooter, the Pentagon shooter, the teacher passed over for tenure, and the guy who flew the plane into the IRS building. They sound like people that post here. Shame on all of us when we ratchet up the tension without considering the consequences.

  • every word that emerges from Devin Nunes’s and Steve King’s unfortunate mouths

    Devin Nunes is my congressman, unfortunately. He’s the worst kind of political dittohead. I don’t recall him ever dissenting from the House GOP line on any issue whatsoever.

  • Roger B

    Talking about Nixonian Dirty Tricks, apparently all that fury over ACORN was a hoax perpetrated by rightwingers and boosted enthusiastically by the New York Times.


    “New York Times finally comes clean about ACORN pimp hoax

    March 21, 2010 9:38 am ET by Eric Boehlert

    Bottom line: The Times got the story wrong, and public editor Clark Hoyt admits he was wrong to defend it earlier this year. And oh yeah, Times editors are “considering” publishing a correction.

    Progress, I suppose. But I have to say this whole process has been rather torturous to watch as Hoyt originally dug in and refused to recommend that Times correct its faulty articles. This, after Hoyt conceded the Times got the pimp hoax story wrong.

    For the record, if the complaints about a story like this had come from the Right, and not the Left, I don’t think there’s any chance it would’ve taken Hoyt well over a month to do the right thing. Keep in mind, it was Hoyt himself who scolded the daily last year for not reacting quickly enough to the all-important right-wing attack on ACORN.

    But when it turns out the Times got a key piece of the story wrong (James O’Keefe did not enter the ACORN offices dressed as a pimp), the Times takes its own sweet time conceding its mistake and still, to this day, has not publically corrected its errors.

    A couple of other irksome points about Hoyt effort today:

    -The public editor reports that as part of his review of the story he recently interviewed Andrew Breirtbart to get to the bottom of the ACORN pimp hoax. My question is why bother? Breitbart spent nearly six months lying about the story. Why would Hoyt think it would be helpful to talk to an ACORN liar like Breitbart? Worse, Breitbart now claims he was duped by O’Keefe and that because of the way O’Keefe deceptively edited the ACORN videos, even Breirtbart was mislead and didn’t know the activist was dressed in a dresse shirt and slacks inside the ACORN office. Again, why did Hoyt bother interviewing Breitbart about the pimp costume if he now claims he didn’t even know the truth about the gotcha videos he relentlessly hyped?

    -Rather defensively, Hoyt insists [emphasis added]:

    Acorn’s supporters appear to hope that the whole story will fall apart over the issue of what O’Keefe wore: if that was wrong, everything else must be wrong. The record does not support them.

    So now Hoyt’s in the mind-reading business? So now Hoyt can surmise what supporters “appear to hope” in regards to the ACORN pimp hoax story? This is some very weak tea, especially coming from a public editor who is supposed to deal with the facts, and who has already mucked up this pimp story. Save us your analysis about why you think people wrote about this story, and just cover the facts as you know them.

    -In his column, Hoyt credits FAIR with bringing attention to the Times’ questionable ACORN pimp hoax coverage and specifically the paper’s earlier refusal to correct its obvious errors. I’m glad Hoyt tipped his hat to FAIR, which helped rally supporters to the cause and put pressure on Hoyt. But it’s extraordinarily disingenuous for Hoyt to not name the blogger who put this story front-and-center this year: Brad Friedman at The Brad Blog. He was the one who first put the Times on notice and who was relentless in holding the newsapepr accountable. Hoyt though, makes no reference to him, and he also fails to credit Media Matters, which has been helping to drive the story.

    How could ANYONE publish about the O’Keefe tapes without seeing the whole unexpurgated tape? Why would any decent person form a conclusion based on edited propaganda tapes?

    Has the NYT has gone over wholly to the rightwing?


    ” NYT and the ACORN Hoax
    Why can’t paper admit its mistakes?


    Ignoring calls from numerous critics, the New York Times refuses to own up to mistakes in the paper’s coverage of the now-famous right-wing videotapes attacking the community organizing group ACORN. Instead, the paper’s public editor, Clark Hoyt, is relying on an absurd semantic justification in order to claim the paper does not need to print any corrections.

    As conventionally reported in the Times and elsewhere, right-wing activists James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles dressed up as a pimp and a prostitute and visited several local ACORN offices, where office workers gave the duo advice on setting up a brothel, concealing a child prostitution ring and so forth. But many of the key “facts” surrounding the videos are either in dispute or are demonstrable fabrications.

    Though O’Keefe appears in various scenes in the videos wearing a garish and absurd “pimp” costume, he in fact did not wear the outfit when he appeared in the ACORN offices (Washington Independent, 2/19/10); he was dressed in a button-down shirt and slacks. This fact undermines one of the key contentions of the ACORN smear–that the group is so hopelessly corrupt that they would dispense advice to an obvious criminal.

    What’s more, the “advice” that they received, according to the transcripts released by O’Keefe and Giles, does not appear to be as incriminating as it was portrayed in the videos–and echoed in outlets like the New York Times.

    A review of the Times coverage:

    But the story the Times continues to tell is wildly misleading, as a review of the publicly available transcripts of his visit (BigGovernment.com) makes clear. O’Keefe never dressed as a pimp during his visits to ACORN offices, seems to never actually represent himself as a “pimp,” and the advice he solicits is usually about how to file income taxes (which is not “tax evasion”). In at least one encounter (at a Baltimore ACORN office), the pair seemed to first insist that Giles was a dancer, not a prostitute.

    –New York Times public editor Clark Hoyt weighed in (9/27/09), chiding the paper for not being more aggressive in promoting the ACORN videos–lamenting that Times readers weren’t as up-to-speed on the story as “followers of Fox News,” who already knew “that a video sting had caught ACORN workers counseling a bogus prostitute and pimp on how to set up a brothel staffed by under-age girls, avoid detection and cheat on taxes.”

    –The following week (10/4/09), Hoyt was on the ACORN case again: “To recap: Two conservative activists with a concealed video camera, posing as a prostitute and her pimp, visited offices of ACORN, the community organizing group, and lured employees into bizarre conversations about how to establish a bordello, cheat on taxes and smuggle in underage girls from Central America.”

    –On March 2, 2010, under the headline, “ACORN’s Advice to Fake Pimp Was No Crime, Prosecutor Says, “the Times reported: “The ACORN employees in Brooklyn who were captured on a hidden camera seeming to offer conservative activists posing as a pimp and a prostitute creative advice on how to get a mortgage have been cleared of wrongdoing by the Brooklyn district attorney’s office.”

  • @ #15:

    I think I broke Baronius.

    Do we still have the receipt?


  • Roger B

    dave: “videos have been released on YouTube clearly showing that the claim is untrue”

    Any citations?

  • zingzing

    dave: “videos have been released on YouTube clearly showing that the claim is untrue”

    how do you even begin to think that’s true? do you?

  • The police now say the bullet that hit Cantor’s office window was a stray, that had been fired straight up and then landed where it did. Cantor never actually claimed this was a threat, just tried to make the tricky point that alarming announcements simply fan the flames. Which of course is what he managed to do.

    Several quite separate reports and events are being conflated here, on both sides, confusing the issue.

    Some hotheads on the right have used intemperate rhetoric and gestures:
    – Michelle Bachmann and Sarah Palin using the terms “armed” and “reload!” in unmistakably provocative context
    – GOP Congressmen waving a “Don’t Tread on Me” flag and egging on protesters
    – the demonization of Pelosi
    – the “Hell no you can’t!” Boehner idiocy
    – every word that emerges from Devin Nunes’s and Steve King’s unfortunate mouths

    Some among the protesters engaged in some questionable behavior:
    – obnoxiously mocking the Parkinson’s patient counter-protesting
    – shouting slurs at Lewis and Frank and others
    – the numerous signs that scrape the bottom of political discourse and taste [“The National Zoo has an African lion, the White House has a lyin’ African”].

    Some loony birds somewhere have been throwing bricks with very ugly messages on them, and leaving even grosser voice mails for members of Congress.

    These elements don’t add up to evidence that tea partiers are violent racists.

    But they don’t exactly make the world a more pleasant place, eh? A funnier, more entertaining place, possibly.

    And jumping to the conclusion that the Dems just made all this up with the collusion of the media is unproven and ridiculous as well.

  • Indeed, in light of Dave’s argument that the outbursts by the fringe elements of the teapartiers were in reality not only instigated by the Democrats but in fact perpetrated by them, I have only one question to ask:

    How does one square Eric Cantor’s complain that his offices where threatened and vandalized – by the Democracts?

    It does indeed appear as though Mr. Nalle had taken the cue from Mr. Cantor’s playbook: to cover up for the indignities perpetrated by your own camp, allege similar indignities on the part of your opponents.

    Everything being equal, I am far more inclined to believe that it was Mr. Cantor who resulted to “dirty tricks,” perhaps even orchestrating the whole affair in order to make his point. Which is precisely the opposite of Mr. Nalle’s main thrust.

    Why do I think so? Simply because the Democrats have won the battle, the Republicans have lost it. Indeed, it is quite something to accuse the victors of being so perfidious as to deny any possibility of comeback by the losers. It’s against human nature. Once you win, you tend to relax and cherish your victory rather than tighten the screws. It doesn’t make any sense from the psychological standpoint.

    I must admit however that the apparent inability of the Capitol police and the FBI to identify the perpetrators – Dave’s main point behind his otherwise faulty argument – is disturbing.

  • How hysterical to read the headline “Democrats Resort to Nixonian “Dirty Tricks” to Advance Agenda” when the article is yet another instance of Dave Nalle resorting to Nixonian “Dirty Tricks” to advance his own agenda.

    After stating “there has been little success in identifying the perpetrators” he and others on the right are identifying perpetrators using the same smears he castigates others for.

  • Dr. D,

    You know, I find it interesting, Arch, that you invoke Biff the school bully from Back to the Future here. Not necessarily that you invoke him, but that “Hello? McFly?” has become part of the American idiom. Biff was the bad guy in those movies. Yet that quote is almost always used by somebody who thinks they hold the high ground.

    Back to the Future is one of my favorite movies (mainly because of the Burger King uniforms it shows from 1985) and while I have no particular dog in this rather useless and noisy argument, I’ll be sure to remember your points made above.

  • The bill is designed to pay for itself, through new taxes, fees paid by the pharma industry, and savings in Medicare.

    It’s that last part that has drawn the most conservative skepticism — they don’t believe the Dems will follow through with those cuts.

    But we have to save money on Medicare somehow. The only viable alternative I have seen, Paul Ryan’s, is far more ‘draconian’ than the current bill.

    The GOP warns that what Dems really want is a single payer system. They’re right. But that is seen [possibly falsely] as a political non-starter, so we have this bill instead, which despite loony claims to the contrary is not an attempt to stealthily begin creating a single payer system.

    Similarly, what conservatives really want is to dismantle all entitlement programs — also a non-starter politically. [And the GOP’s transparently disingenuous attempt to demagogue about the Medicare savings in the Dem reform bill got exactly the eye-rolling response it deserved.]

    Neither side feels it can be completely honest about its preferred goals. The result is poisonous sniping at the margins.

  • Arch Conservative

    You’re right All American…..not a single liberal on this thread wants to discuss the economic points of this bill.

    They’d rather play Sigmund Frued and extrapolate a superficial pop culture reference to the conclusion that I’m nothing but a bully whose brain’s been adled by too many hours of listening to Rush Limbaugh. (I don’t listen to Limbaugh or watch Beck’s show at all by the way.”

    I’d still like to see someone who supports the law reconcile the rhetoric about how it’s going to save us so much money with the fact that two of our largest existing government entitlement programs are headed toward 100 trillion in unfunded liability.

    With that burden already in place I don’t see how we can afford this new health care reform law. But then again I’m just a dumb conservative bully who listens to evil unprogessive talking heads.

    So although I most likely won’t get a serious response I’ll ask again.

    Given out current debt, inability to pay for the government programs in place, and the history of grossly innacurate financial projections at the inception of large new government programs, how is this new law going to save us money?

  • Mark

    I’m perfectly willing to believe Dave’s accusations, but think that their accuracy is irrelevant and more or less independent of (intended?) effect — which is to echo spin as a part of ‘the resistance’…imo.

  • Baronius

    Dread, I accuse you of accusing the Bush administration of accusing others of accusing, no, of doing…

    of doing what you accused others…

    of accusing…

  • This article is somewhat second-tier Dave Nalle. He seems a bit dispirited, in spite of unconvincingly calling for revolution.

    Referring to the New York Times, in this context, as a partisan media outlet is not in keeping with past Nalle statements about the media — although it is perfect red meat for his target audience. This smacks of opportunism and insincerity.

    Both the NY Times [editorially liberal, journalistically centrist] and the Wall St Journal [editorially very conservative, journalistically centrist, but leaning to the sensationalist under Murdoch] covered the “violent threats” stories the same way: on the inside pages as an opportunistic war of political words between Dems and the GOP — immediately spun by both sides into fundraising letters.

    And holding up wacky, facts-challenged shouting head Kevin Jackson as a paradigm of “eloquence” is just bewildering.

    It’s been apparent all along that some of the rhetoric used in the tea-party protests borrowed from past extremists in the nativist/militia mold. More than a few of the very visible signs at these rallies flirt with racism and violent imagery.

    Maybe these folks are only at the fringes, and they get over-covered because their silly slogans make for better TV ‘drama.’ But to go to the other extreme, as Dave repeatedly does, and claim that tea partiers are pure as the driven snow, and free of any elements of nativist/militia unsavoriness is plainly ridiculous. It is, as I have said before, just propaganda, not an honest reporting of the facts.

    And choosing between Dave Nalle and John Lewis, I will take Rep. Lewis’s first-hand account of last Saturday’s events over that of Nalle — who is, after all, a “partisan media outlet.”

  • All American Male

    I love how not a single liberal here is willing to admit that anything in this article is prescient or accurate. Most of the opposing arguments are simply designed to villify those that agree with it or turn the focus on the other commenters. They have no capacity to understand how the old entitlements are bankrupt and they have no concerns about the Obama spending spree whatsoever. It is unAmerican and shameful and if a revolution or uprising ever occurs they will be crying in their basements. It has happened in Greece and will continue to happen elsewhere until America wakes up and does something about this disasterous economic policy.

  • It’s not surprising that a certain type of conservative — the type that hosts a ranting radio talk show, the type that makes ridiculous and appalling speeches in Congress, and the sub-type that posts endlessly obnoxious, combative comments on political web sites — would identify with a loudmouth bully character from a movie.

    Limbaugh, Hannity, Inhofe, DeMint are examples. They all relish the role of macho bully. No doubt they consider it a compliment to be called obnoxious assholes.

  • “Hello? Hello? Anybody home? Huh? Think, McFly. Think!”

    You know, I find it interesting, Arch, that you invoke Biff the school bully from Back to the Future here. Not necessarily that you invoke him, but that “Hello? McFly?” has become part of the American idiom.

    Biff was the bad guy in those movies. Yet that quote is almost always used by somebody who thinks they hold the high ground.

  • Arch Conservative

    Yeah well if we actually discussed our latest and greatest law rather than harping on some racial slurs and threats that never actually happened the Dems would lose even more favor with the American people Baronius.

    How dumb do you have to believe that this new health care entitlement program is going to save this nation money.

    The dems and their suppporters keep pointing to medicare and social security as some kinds of examples as to how this new law is going to help people. What they do not mention is that Medicare and Social Security combined represent upwards of 50 trillion dollars in unfunded liability.

    Yet we are supposed to buy into the line thatthis new massive health care reform law is going to save us money?

    “Hello? Hello? Anybody home? Huh? Think, McFly. Think!”

    The Dems have been pointing to the CBO scoring of their plan which cast it in a positive light. First of all the scoring factored in a bunch of ridiculous positive economic assumptions that are not likely to happen. Second the CBO also initially scored the Big Dig, Medicare, and Social Security in a much more positive light than what they ultimately turned out to be.

    Supporters of this law like to paint anyone that opposes it as a heartless bastard revelling in the misery fellow citizens that cannot afford their healthcare. Nothing could be further from the truth. It’s more that we know that just because something “feels good” and you can garner support for it by offering up a bunch of sob stories it is not necessarily good policy. there is absolutely no evidence, based on the history of massive entitlement programs in this nation, that any reasonable person can point to that supports the notion that this law will be beneficial to the long term financial health of this nation. it simply cannot be done without resorting to lies and propaganda.

  • Hmm… verrry interrresting.

    Seems to me that Jordan and Baronius have the kind of handle on things that most anybody else who writes and comments here only grips tenuously at best.

    Honestly… “I don’t like the way things are going! This is EVIL!! Must have… REVOLUTION!!!” It just ain’t the way things work, folks.

    Even 1776 wasn’t about people being pushed beyond the limit of endurance. It was an opportunist power grab fuelled by a few legitimate grievances.

    And Mark, pointedly reproducing Alinsky’s Rules here, reminds us that there’s nothing new under the sun. Accusing the other side of doing something to conceal the fact that you’re doing it yourself is one of the oldest tricks in the book. The Bush White House was particularly fond of the tactic.

  • Baronius

    This isn’t *just* talk. I’d hope that there’s some persuasion going on, with both sides presenting arguments and evidence, as well as pointing out errors on the other side. There’s no point to insults or blind sloganeering, though.

    I like this article and thread because they call out the Democrats on their tactics. (I think that Dave should have called the tactics “Kennedyesque” or “Johnsonesque” though.) But we need to avoid falling into victimhood. The Dems want to discuss their victimization. We need to point out that we’re the ones being targeted, then get back to the health care debate.

  • Arch Conservative

    It’s not all talk.

    Obviously I don’t want to die.

    I am hoping that the GOP has learned their lesson. Under Bush they were horrendous and that is the reason why I and so many others that believe in the ideas that they only pay lip service to, have not voted for them in awhile. I sure as shit didn’t vote for that nutbag McCain.

    So I hold onto a small grain of hope that they will realize why they got spanked in 2006 and in 2008 and return to the idea of a limited least intrusive federal government. I doubt it though. No one wants to go the hard way (ie revolution) certainly not me, but sometimes we’re left with no other options.

    Oh and it’s not healthcare for all. That’s just more propaganda. It’s more accurately described as government power grab under the guise of improving the healthcare system.

    I will not be the first , the second or even the 100th but when many do take up arms or do whatever must be done to stop this runaway federal government but when it becomes clear that the shit’s going down I will gladly join those who have already done so. Don’t think because we have plasma Tvs, ipods and American Idol that it can’t happen either.

    I realize that it’s very easy to label and ridicule my posts as useless bluster but consider the following.

    Regardless of anything I may write on here the federal government is growing larger and becoming more intrusive with each passing year and there are millions of Americans that are extremely angry about this.

    That is an indisputable demonstrable fact and it going to cause some type of dramatic result one way or the other in the not too distant future.

  • Mark

    Jordan, isn’t political ‘pamphleteering’ following Dave, the Con and Christine’s smear formula part of the process of ‘doing something’?

    Don’t you underestimate the power (and necessity) of repetitive propaganda in #4?

  • Yep, this is all talk

  • Jordan Richardson

    Because really, guys, enough talk. If this bill is really draconian in nature and if you really believe that Obama is putting your country into serious jeopardy, you must act if you intend to be taken seriously.

    If you guys think that Obama is comparable to a Nazi, you must act. You cannot just let your country fall into fascism or socialism without a fight, can you?

    Or is this really just all talk, as I suspect? Is this really a reflection of the inability of some individuals to express themselves without resorting to extreme comparisons and over-the-top rhetoric?

    If you really feel that the Obama Administration represents a form of tyranny that could cost you your lives and your liberty, do something about it already.

  • Jordan Richardson

    There’s been talk of civil war and revolution as if those were bad things. If this nation is to survive there must come a day of reckoning.

    So what role do you intend to play in this day of reckoning, Arch? And are you willing to die to fight the monster of health care for all and, you know, more rights for people without them?

  • Mark

    As Arch Conservative references Alinsky’s ‘The Rules’, it’s appropriate to list the book’s bullet points, I guess (from Wiki):

    * Rule 1: Power is not only what you have, but what an opponent thinks you have. If your organization is small, hide your numbers in the dark and raise a din that will make everyone think you have many more people than you do.
    * Rule 2: Never go outside the experience of your people. The result is confusion, fear, and retreat.
    * Rule 3: Whenever possible, go outside the experience of an opponent. Here you want to cause confusion, fear, and retreat.
    * Rule 4: Make opponents live up to their own book of rules. “You can kill them with this, for they can no more obey their own rules than the Christian church can live up to Christianity.”
    * Rule 5: Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. It’s hard to counterattack ridicule, and it infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage.
    * Rule 6: A good tactic is one your people enjoy. “If your people aren’t having a ball doing it, there is something very wrong with the tactic.”
    * Rule 7: A tactic that drags on for too long becomes a drag. Commitment may become ritualistic as people turn to other issues.
    * Rule 8: Keep the pressure on. Use different tactics and actions and use all events of the period for your purpose. “The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition. It is this that will cause the opposition to react to your advantage.”
    * Rule 9: The threat is more terrifying than the thing itself. When Alinsky leaked word that large numbers of poor people were going to tie up the washrooms of O’Hare Airport, Chicago city authorities quickly agreed to act on a longstanding commitment to a ghetto organization. They imagined the mayhem as thousands of passengers poured off airplanes to discover every washroom occupied. Then they imagined the international embarrassment and the damage to the city’s reputation.
    * Rule 10: The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative. Avoid being trapped by an opponent or an interviewer who says, “Okay, what would you do?”
    * Rule 11: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, polarize it. Don’t try to attack abstract corporations or bureaucracies. Identify a responsible individual. Ignore attempts to shift or spread the blame.

    Alinsky’s ethics of means and ends:

    * The judgment of the ethics of means is dependent upon the political position of those sitting in judgment.
    * In war, the end justifies almost any means.
    * Judgment must be made in the context of the times in which the action occurred and not from any other chronological vantage point.
    * Concern with ethics increases with the number of means available and vice versa.
    * The less important the end to be desired, the more one can afford to engage in ethical evaluations of means.
    * Generally, success or failure is a mighty determinant of ethics.
    * The morality of a means depends upon whether the means is being employed at a time of imminent defeat or imminent victory.
    * Any effective means is automatically judged by the opposition as being unethical.
    * You do what you can with what you have and clothe it with moral garments.
    * Goals must be phrased in general terms like “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity,” “Of the Common Welfare,” “Pursuit of Happiness,” or “Bread and Peace.”

  • Arch Conservative

    Straight from Alinsky’s “Rules for Radical.”

    Of course the Democrats don’t want to talk about the monstrosity that they just perpetuated on the American people so now it’s all about those “awful, racist teabaggers.” As if the healthcare reform bill alone didn’t alienate enough moderates and independents.

    Anyone that isn’t a batshit crazy, whackadoo, leftist moonbat understands that at it’s core, the Tea Party movement is, above all else, a response to an ever encroaching federal government….a response to the Dems and the GOP pushing us around and running roughshod over the constitution and the American people.

    We’ve seen it before where allegaed hate crimes and incidents of violence have ultimately proven to be left wing operatives. Why would anyone hesitate to believe that’s what’s going on now?

    For eight years while Bush was president this nation was witness to the most vile, violent, inciteful rhetoric we’ve ever seen. There were books and movies about the assassination of Bush lauded by the leftist smart set, Air America radio hosts doing skits about the assassination of Bush, 24-7 comparisons to Hitler, violent, unruly antiwar demonstrations, countless death threats to Bush Cheney and others in the GOP, mob like quellings of free speech on the college campus by uppity, snot nosed, know it all, brainwashed leftist students, government sanctioned executions at Waco and Ruby Ridge………..

    And now the lefties expect everyone to shut up and play nice while they have their way with this nation?

    There can be no doubt that at least some of the current threats and violence directed toward the Dems has been the actions of operatives on their own side. It helps no one to divert and distract from what we should be focusing on at this very moment, that being how this bill is going to drop us deeper in the hole as a nation.

    The CBO, which the Dems were touting just a few short weeks ago when it was favorable for them to do so, has just come out with new report explaining how King Barry’s policies are over burdening us with uncontrollable, unmanagebale debt.

    We’re on a crash course to financial ruin. Bush was driving the car and now Obama is, only he’s going much faster.

    There’s been talk of civil war and revolution as if those were bad things. If this nation is to survive there must come a day of reckoning.