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Monday, April 13, 2009

Next Stop: the Race to Define the Tea Parties

In my last post, I spoke about the Alinsky like tactics of Paul Krugman in trying to marginalize the tea party movement. Krugman is an anomoly in the MSM in that he even goes so far as to recognize the tea parties at all. That will likely change sometime after the 15th. That's because near one thousand protests nationwich with thousands at each protest can't be ignored.

Of course, the movement is a direct challenge to the agenda that MSM supports. With about a million people strong, ignoring it will no longer be an option. As such, both opponents and proponents alike will be in a race to define the movement.

Several years ago there was another grass roots movement of citizens that organized because they were fed up with another problem that they saw the government ignoring. That movement was the Minutemen, and its opponents were successful in painting the movement as full of zealots and racists. The movement has become toxic to all those besides true believers. Furthermore, its link to the Republican Party has become a drag on the party. The movement has done damage not only to its own cause but to those it purports to support.

That's the blue print for opponents of the tea party movement. It's likely that liberal commentators will employ similar tactics to those of Krugman. It won't be that will define the movement. We expect them to be biased. It's likely the folks at places like the New York Times and MSNBC will allow the editorial policy to creep into its straight news coverage. As such, their will be subtle references to links from the movement to the Republicans, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, and Fox News at large.

The movement, on the other hand, will be out there presenting themselves as common citizens fed up with out of control government spending. If they are smart, they will present the stay at home moms and college students that often are the ones organizing the parties as the face of the party.

While the movement itself has a head start in defining itself, ultimately the real battle begins on Thursday. Until then, very few people will have heard of tea parties. After the organized protests, many more people will have been introduced. That's when the media blitz on both sides will begin.

The stakes couldn't be higher. If opponents are successful in painting the tea parties the way they painted the Minutemen, the movement will be viewed as fringe and it will do more harm than good. If the movement is able to define itself as ordinary citizens fed up with out of control government spending, the movement will be viewed as a grass roots insurgency of ordinary citizens tired of runaway out of control government spending. The movement will continue to grow and so the next election will then be defined by fiscal discipline. So, let the race begin to define the tea parties.


Jack McHugh said...

Define yourself or be defined. Here's mine:

It's a protest against the current fiscal extremism in Washington, coming on top of eight years of chronic fiscal abuse.

Note that both parties are implicated in that. Thus, the protestor’s proper target is an inbred, self-serving, self-perpetuating and bipartisan political class that has supplanted true representative government in this country.

Anonymous said...

The problem is the Democrats and MSM will not allow your voice to be heard in the way you want it to be.

This movement is seen as "anti-Obama" and therefore more political than the voice of the common man.

The movement should take steps to actively and visibly detach itself from Rush Limbaugh, Fox news and the Republicans - otherwise it will be seen as political first and foremost.

However, I don't see your group actually doing this.

Approval of the Republican party is at an all-time low. Without bi-partisan involvement from the people on the ground [i.e Blue Dogs], it is doomed to failure.

Anonymous said...

What next after Wednesday??? I say a "million man" Tea Party on the mall in Washington D.C. on the July Fourth weekend!

Jason Gillman said...

This article is from a guy who is merely participating. He has a very decent take on what the reason for the tea parties is, and follows up by helping to define it.

As for AFTER, I have posted an item at RM hopefully encouraging the patriots who attend to continue being involved in the process.

Also, this is much more than the minute men. I got off the phone a little while ago with a guy who is riding to Lansing on our chartered bus. He said he spent three months working for the Obama campaign in Seattle. He knows who he is riding with, and finds common ground at the root of our problem. He wants what most of us want; an accountable government.

Naysayers and those who will label us might well find themselves called out as the fringe.

I am so geeked about this movement because it is real people with a very real issue with our elected representation.

As to a mall rally in Washington? I will be there when it happens.

mike volpe said...

I agree that this movement is huge and likely much bigger than the minutemen. My point was, though, that their opponents painted them as lunatic fringe and racist, and thus turned the movement toxic.

If opponents of the tea parties do the same thing, then the movement will do more harm than good.

Remember, perception is reality and so it matters less what the movement wants than what it is perceived to want.

Patrick said...

For the "tea party" movement to position themselves as anti-Obama or anti-Democrat doesn't make any sense, and they're shooting themselves in the foot.

Because it's both the Republicans and the Democrats who are responsible for our country's fiscal situation.

Let's remember that Bush presided over the largest increase of the budget deficit in US history.

The tea party protesters would be better off if they took aim at both parties.