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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

It's Too Late To Marginalize the Tea Parties

The reaction of some to the protest before, during and after the passage of health care reform is obvious, tired and boring. We all know it. The protests prove that the opposition to Obamacare is entirely rooted in racism. Here's a sampling.

But the laughs evaporated soon enough. There’s nothing entertaining about watching goons hurl venomous slurs at congressmen like the civil rights hero John Lewis and the openly gay Barney Frank. And as the week dragged on, and reports of death threats and vandalism stretched from Arizona to Kansas to upstate New York, the F.B.I. and the local police had to get into the act to protect members of Congress and their families.

How curious that a mob fond of likening President Obama to Hitler knows so little about history that it doesn’t recognize its own small-scale mimicry of Kristallnacht. The weapon of choice for vigilante violence at Congressional offices has been a brick hurled through a window. So far.

and...

Just how crazy are the Obama haters?

An irresistible set of numbers began rocketing around the Web last week suggesting that foes of President Barack Obama had not just gone around the bend, they'd spun out of control, smashed through the guardrail of reason and plunged into the depths of derangement.

Perhaps you saw:

A recent Harris Interactive poll found that 57 percent of Republicans think Obama is a Muslim, 45 percent think he's foreign-born, 51 percent think he wants to cede control of the U.S. to a one-world government, 24 percent think he may be the Antichrist and 22 percent believe he wants the terrorists to win.


Opponents of the Tea Party movement only treat them in one of three ways: ignore them, mock them, or marginalize them. Usually they ignore them. After all, there's no such thing as bad publicity.

Yet, both in the run up to the vote and after it was unmistakable that the protests against were larger and more intense than the ones in support. So, suddenly, the protesters were a combination of racists, lunatics, and psychopaths.

It was to be expected and obvious. The first national Tea Party happened last February. About 20000 people protested nationwide and almost no one took notice. President Obama was overwhelmingly popular and the numbers weren't that large.

By April 15th, there were about one million people protesting. Suddenly, the same people that ignored the Tea Parties before that day were openly mocking them using a derogatory sexual phrase to describe them and also suggesting they were racist.

Let's dispense with the obvious. Out of the millions of people that consider themselves a part of the Tea Party movement there are those that are racists. I know this since I took a few statistics classes in my life. It's virtually impossible to put a group of a million plus and not include some that are racists. That doesn't, however, mean that the general tenor of the group is racist. All those that claim it is use as the basis of this argument the equivalent of "because I said so".

Their evidence currently is a few unverified reports of racial slurs. All should condemn racial slurs except 1) it's unclear they actually happened and 2) and much more importantly, if they did, it means those saying them are racists and not the entire group.

The tactic is obvious. The Tea Parties are a growing force. If they aren't marginalized, they begin to speak for millions. If they aren't racists, then millions simply disagree with Obama on policy. That's why they must be racists, because if they weren't then the president they worship and the policy they adore was in fact pushed down everyone's throat despite open and intense opposition of people that represent the masses.

3 comments:

AG said...

"Its Too Late to Marginalize the Tea Parties"

But its never too late to marginalize back to back blowout losses by the Republicans in 2006 and 2008. Therefore the onus is on the right to prove that Americans agree with them. And in a perfect world, you'd be able to prove that opposition to Obama was based on fact. If you can claim that the media pulled for Obama in 08, I should be able to claim that Fox News et. al. are overinflating the number and significance of tea parties. Especially considering Fox actually sponsored some.

I was under the impression that video evidence existed of the spitting and racial slurs at John Lewis et. al.

mike volpe said...

AG,

sometimes you make a cogent argument and other times it is total mumbo jumbo. This is the latter. There is universal polling and there is no onus on anyone.

you aren't going to brand a movement that has grown this much this quickly anything now. They've already been defined.

It's very simple. In the words of Danny Caffey,

"The Democrats are going to lose and they're going to lose huge."

you are acting as though if you make some nifty argument that's actually totally lame that won't happen.

It's going to happen. You need to accept that. What's happening is not some mirage. it's real.

You pretending it isn't won't change reality.

Anonymous said...

Mike,

I have a question for you, maybe you can do some digging on the subject. How much is the census costing us? I remember a superbowl ad, ads with hollywood faces, I've gotten 16 flyers, half a dozen letters and the form only took me 30 seconds to fill out and seal! What's going on here?

Thanks,
John