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Ear to the Ground

Do Tea Party Numbers Warrant All the Fuss?

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Posted on Apr 14, 2010
Flickr / Lee Jordan (CC-BY-SA)

Assuming a new CBS News/New York Times poll is accurate, tea partyers are older, whiter (just 1 percent are black), angrier and better-educated than your average American. And if you count only those who have actually gone to a rally or given money, you’re talking about 4 percent of the population.

That’s a significant number of people, even more so if you include self-identifying tea partyers who haven’t actually done anything about their beliefs (activists and nonactivists together add up to roughly 16 percent of the population). Still, the wall-to-wall coverage generated by the mainstream media—and, indeed, the alternative media as well—presents a distorted view of the tea party. Other activist groups, the Green Party for instance, aren’t taken so seriously, even if they manage to make more cogent and consistent arguments. And when you group such activists together with Americans who agree with them—anti-war protesters and other people who think the war is a bad idea, or environmental activists and self-identifying environmentalists—their numbers are much more significant.

Take this example: In August, CNN and others gave the impression that the hooligans storming town hall meetings around the country represented widespread dissatisfaction with health care reform. The political impact probably contributed to the death of the public option. A majority of Americans polled at the time said they favored a public option, yet it was treated as a fringe position.

The tea party is a difficult group of people to pin down. For instance, one would think Ron Paul a natural icon for an anti-government movement, but the Texas congressman has about half the tea party approval of George W. Bush, who expanded government and the deficit more than just about anyone.  —PZS

CBS News:

Tea Party supporters were asked in the poll what they thought of a few notable figures. The most popular was Sarah Palin, who is viewed favorably by 66 percent of people in the movement. Only 40 percent, however, believe she would be an effective president, a smaller percentage than Republicans overall.

Fifty-nine percent of Tea Party supporters have a favorable impression of Glenn Beck. Nearly as many, 57 percent, have a favorable impression of former President George W. Bush, despite his role in raising the deficit and overseeing TARP bailout of the financial sector.

Just 35 percent view John McCain favorably, and 28 percent view Ron Paul favorably.

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By rudy, November 1, 2010 at 8:07 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Politico reports that advisers to the main 2012 presidential contenders and other veteran Republican operatives reveal they have one mission in common: Stop Sarah Palin.  Pickup this message at 214PM via Smirf etc. decoded 227PM

Obtained from reliable sources and yes it’s true Aliens have decided to cast their vote for the Tea party.The greys have reviewed the political issues of all the party’s and have agreed that those who have the tea party’s viewpoints are less likely to present issues that conflict with their globle view obstructions. Sometime soon after the midterm elections they will make themselves knowed but in the intermin they have left their sexuality concerns and viewpoints in sacred trust with the earthling Sara. All other concerns about the future have been stored in the secret and private volts of the A1 Limo service. Since my retirement my personal advisor in matters of this importance have been rendered to me from Horhay who is also a friend and my special ranch weed grower. Sincerely, your friend George

Jeffrey Skilling, the former Enron Corporation president, has one last, good chance to get out of prison soon. The Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Houston will hear arguments today about how many, if any, of the 19 felony counts on which Mr. Skilling was convicted in 2006 should be overturned as a result of the landmark Supreme Court decision in his case.  Please don’t worry Election Year Medicaid Medicare Inducement issues left open for November not openly discussed.Politics have gone from heated to man on fire thoughts. Also the Judicial dilemmas, since all are offically allowed to bear arms again, the big city Mayors are concerned about how the poor will be able to rearm themselves, and are looking for some type of financial relief from Federal State Medicaid programs to maintain their status quo.The higher courts face tough issues this term since making honest fraud legal, there agenda now turns toward making honest kickbacks and honest bribes equally as legal. This topic remains high as a shared issue by the medicaid medicare enrollment providers since they are looking to expand inducements past the complicated pregnancy stage.

The DOJ has serious concerns that if legalized marijuana in California for medical reasons could be used as a inducement or inticement to help secure new enrollments for the Federal State Medicare Medicaid programs.The State of California is concerned that if the Feds step up their effort in killing off the marijuana crops it could cause higher tax problems that effect Medicaid currently under consideration by the State ‘marijuana tax control board’. Limo drivers cancel their planned Medicaid Cuts DC rally and leave for California to protect this years crop. Wow, don’t think I would like to be in Politics for this years elections. Govenor Schwarzenegger indicated that if the Tea Partys membership keeps holding their rallies at our Marijuana burning fields they will have to be taxed for their free use of inhalants, prior to having them bused back to Arizona. Senator McCain wants the deportation of illegal Mexicans to stop immediatley claims their State has gone to POT and insists California return his landscapers at once.

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By Marshall, October 22, 2010 at 6:43 pm Link to this comment

By Maani, April 17 at 12:27 pm Link to this comment

Maani - even the SS administration’s own numbers don’t agree with you on
medicare solvency: it’s now projecting 19 years (up from 7 last year) based
entirely on the new healthcare bill, which even the CBO admits cannot be
projected accurately.  Many of us have no faith in these projections based on a
complicated, bloated moving target of a bill that is obama-care.  And the baby
boom won’t reach peak until 2030 - well AFTER projected insolvency date, and
it already started spending more than its income in 2008.

http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/TRSUM/index.html

Medicare fraud is estimated at $60B annually which comes to about 14% of the
total budget of $440B in 2007.  Both fraud and spending have increased since
then.  If your argument in support of all this is that it’s typical for a huge govt.
program then I’d think you’d question the wisdom of huge govt. programs as
the logical conclusion, not excuse it as simply the norm.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/10/23/60minutes/main5414390.shtml

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By Medicaid Pot Beneficiaries, October 21, 2010 at 5:53 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

14,000 New Yorkers double-dip into ‘Medicaid Pot” BY Kenneth Lovett DAILY NEWS ALBANY BUREAU CHIEF Wednesday, March 4th 2009, 12:14 AM ALBANY - Nearly 14,000 Medicaid recipients in New York City are double-dipping in other states, a new report found. Florida, Puerto Rico and New Jersey had the most Medicaid recipients also enrolled in New York, an audit by state Controller Thomas DiNapoli’s office revealed. The dual enrollments cost the federal, state and city governments a combined $23.5 million in Medicaid claims from April 2004 through May 2008, the audit found. While some of the claims were legitimate, DiNapoli suspects many were not. In some cases, people may have illegally used the Medicaid program in each state they were enrolled. In others, New York’s more generous program might have covered costs that should have been paid for by other states, DiNapoli said. The city Human Resources Administration has not completed investigations of $11.1 million in possible inappropriate Medicaid managed care premium payments, the audit found. While the enrollees may have been getting services they were not entitled to in New York, the medical providers got the money, DiNapoli said. “The state is facing the worst fiscal crisis of our lifetime,” DiNapoli said. “We can’t afford to waste millions of dollars on people who don’t live here.” The controller said the state Department of Health

Election Year Medicaid Medicare Inducement issues left open for November not openly discussed.Politics have gone from heated to man on fire thoughts. Also the Judicial dilemmas, since all are offically allowed to bear arms again, the big city Mayors are concerned about how the poor will be able to rearm themselves, and are looking for some type of financial relief from Federal State Medicaid programs to maintain their status quo.The higher courts face tough issues this term since making honest fraud legal, there agenda now turns toward making honest kickbacks and honest bribes equally as legal. This topic remains high as a shared issue by the medicaid medicare enrollment providers since they are looking to expand inducements past the complicated pregnancy stage.

The DOJ has serious concerns that if legalized marijuana in California for medical reasons could be used as a inducement or inticement to help secure new enrollments for the Federal State Medicare Medicaid programs.The State of California is concerned that if the Feds step up their effort in killing off the marijuana crops it could cause higher tax problems that effect Medicaid currently under consideration by the State ‘marijuana tax control board’. Limo drivers cancel their planned Medicaid Cuts DC rally and leave for California to protect this years crop. Wow, don’t think I would like to be in Politics for this years elections. Govenor Schwarzenegger indicated that if the Tea Partys membership keeps holding their rallies at our Marijuana burning fields they will have to be taxed for their free use of inhalants, prior to having them bused back to Arizona. Senator Mccain wants the deportation of illegal Mexicans to stop immediatley claims their State has gone to POT and insists California return his landscapers at once.

Report this

By Medicaid Cuts Worry Mayors, October 19, 2010 at 3:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Election Year Medicaid Medicare Inducement issues left open for November not openly discussed. Politics have gone from heated to Man on Fire thoughts. Also the Judicial dilemmas, since all are offically allowed to bear arms again, the big city Mayors are concerned about how the poor will be able to rearm themselves and are looking for some type of financial relief from Federal State Medicaid programs to maintain the status quo.The higher courts
face tough issues this term since making honest fraud
legal, there agenda now turns toward making honest kickbacks and honest bribes equally as legal. This topic remains high as a shared issue by the medicaid medicare enrollment providers since they are looking to expand inducements past the complicated pregnancy stage.The DOJ has serious concerns that if legalized marijuana in California for medical reasons could be used as a inducement or inticement to help secure new enrollments for the Federal State Medicare Medicaid programs.The State of California is concerned that if the Feds step up their effort in killing off the marijuana crops it could cause higher tax problems that effect Medicaid currently under consideration by the State “marijuana tax control board”. Limo drivers cancel their planned DC rally and leave for California to protect this years crop.Wow, don’t think I would like to be in Politics for this years elections. Govenor Schwarzenegger indicated that if the Tea Partys membership keeps holding their rallies at our Marijuana burning fields they will have to be taxed for their free use of inhalants, prior to having them bused back to Arizona.

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By The Game, September 25, 2010 at 3:58 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Players and whats up for grabs.  Profits United Health Group 2010 $4.293 billion
Here are some other 2010 budget numbers: Wonder what it cost CMS ( Can’t Manage Shit) to operate each year.  $453 billion Medicare/// $290 billion Medicaid ///$78.7 billion Department of Health and Human Services///  UnitedHealth Group Awarded TRICARE Managed Care Support Contract ...  Jul 13, 2009 ... UnitedHealth Group Awarded TRICARE Managed Care Support Contract for more than $20.3 billion. BILLIONS awarded and still to be awarded United’s AmeriChoice unit is the largest government contractor administering state Medicaid programs for the poor and federally sponsored plans for children. AmeriChoice’s revenue rose 34% last year, to $6 billion.

United Health Group and its subsidiarys must be exhausted from signing Corporate Integrity agreements each and every year and as reward for their violations well what happens? they are awarded more contracts and more money and maybe even an ambassadorship here and there and if anybody should question what the heck is going on, then send them a Elmo doll. (Americhoice sponsors Sesame Street) Up side, Billions to be made, down side pay some fines (cost of doing business) move on and nobody goes to jail or gets excluded from the game. Get up the next day put on your Elmo costume and its back to work as usual. WOW, even in the Casino world or Mob world this would be a no no, suprised Hollywood has not done a movie on this or maybe even great TV.
Full Name:  Wayne Berman Title:  Vice-Chair; Finance Co-Chair; Adviser

Over the course of three years, Berman’s lobbying firm was paid $660,000 to lobby on behalf of UnitedHealth subsidiary Americhoice, a managed care HMO providing health insurance to Medicaid, Medicare, and SCHIP recipients. Specifically, according to the lobbying report, they lobbied on Medicaid issues in the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005. [Americhoice Lobbying Reports 2004 – 2007; Americhoice.com]  Berman Also Lobbied For “Absurdly Low” Rates for Medicaid Managed Care Companies to Pay Out of Network Hospitals. Also included in the DRA, and mentioned as a lobbying issue on Berman’s Americhoice lobbying report, was a provision setting rates managed care companies must pay to out-of-network providers—mainly hospital emergency rooms—for care received by Medicaid beneficiaries. Rather than forcing managed care companies to reimburse out-of-network hospitals an amount comparable to network providers, the legislation set the default amount to the state’s “fee-for-service rate,” which often is “absurdly low.” The provision thereby shifted financial responsibility for services to Medicaid beneficiaries from the managed care companies to the hospitals themselves, permitting managed care companies to rake in huge profits, while hospitals incurred added losses. [Modern Healthcare, 1/29/07; Text of S. 1932] To Save Money, Bill Cut Services to Medicaid Beneficiaries, But Left Managed Care Providers Untouched. Under the final budget package, substantial Medicaid spending cuts were achieved by imposing new premiums and increased co-payments on Medicaid beneficiaries; some costs were also shifted to the states, who in return were awarded new powers to drop coverage or reduce benefits to certain beneficiaries. In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, the AARP CEO decried the final bill, saying it “protects the pharmaceutical industry, the managed-care industry and other providers at the expense of low-income Medicaid beneficiaries.” [Inside CMS, 12/29/05; Los Angeles Times, 12/22/05; World Markets Analysis, 12/21/05; The Hill, 12/20/05]

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By LIBERTARIAN DILEMMA, September 21, 2010 at 2:38 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Limo Divers Protest Medicare Mediciad Reform Cuts, It’s rumored this issue could become part of the Tea Party movement. AmeriChoice Health also rumored to take a position on this issue. Recirculate those tax dollars? Help keep limo drivers working, benefits flowing and overpaid tax dollars remain in abuse.

Medicare.gov as well as other Federal agency’s encourage you to report any fraudulent activities, yet, the same government agency’s were notified the way this company does business yet did nothing. Three years ago they were reported to these Federal agency’s and as of todays date not only were they allowed to continue doing business but were never charged once. Protected vendor status sure, politics sure, limited government budgets sure, Federal and State officals looking the other way sure, and rather then stop these activities a strong desire not to rock the boat previals. Even with the vast changes in the laws, budgets,a hands off policy remains, you tell me what’s wrong with this picture?

The Government created this monster and now they don’t know what to do about it, like shooting yourself in your own foot etc. Tons of money to advance their national growth, it’s market positions, tons of money for political donations, tons of money to send 75 millIon back to its home office from New York state alone, tons of money to suppot National TV shows, tons of money to pay hugh State fines, tons of money to hire the very best law firms, tons of money to pay for bribes and kickbacks, tons of money for hugh salary’s and bonuses, all done on the back of the American tax payor, you see this company receives all it’s money from the Federal government. Should your tax dollars be held to a higher standard? Should our government agency’s responsible for there review and be held to that same standard? Should the IRS audit their corruption? Why has this company not been charged? How long can the buck be passed here in more ways then one?

Hey, it’s your tax dollars don’t complain now.. then don’t complain later on…

ps… I know times are tough for a lot us, but it would be great to have a free limo to go to the Doctors, Pharmacy, Movies, Grocery shopping, and given free tickets for the movies. Offered soda, pop corn and hotdogs, as well as have them receive free coupons for Grocery items…Kind of makes you wish qualified for Medicare and Mediciad right?

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By OzarkMichael, June 3, 2010 at 11:14 am Link to this comment

carry on Douglas!

welcome to Truthdig.

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By Douglas, June 2, 2010 at 6:45 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am 60yr old grandfather who served my country during the Viet Nam war. I cannot fathom how so many people can judge Tea Party people so unfairly. We are not racist or violent people. We welcome African Americans in protest and to quote MLK “don’t judge us by the color of our skin, but the content of our character”. A lot of people believe what they read or hear and not take the time to go and see for themselves and form their own view. It is kind of like the Arizona Bill or the new so call health care bill. You judge us without knowing us or our beliefs. I worked 35 yrs on my knees doing back breaking work and now own a small business that more and more is being tax to death. I hope Pres. Obama makes us all wrong, but I seriously doubt that will happen. Thanks for the forum, GOD BLESS AMERICA!!

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By Maani, April 17, 2010 at 8:27 am Link to this comment

Marshall: “I would have to differ with you on that.  I wouldn’t characterize a program that
suffers a 15% fraud rate, doesn’t keep up with rising medical costs, and is slated
to go broke soon, a ‘successful’ program.”

Not sure where you are getting your numbers (unless it is from G.O.P. talking points).  The fraud rate for Medicare is between 7.5% and 10%.  Certainly not good, but (sadly) well within bounds of huge gov’t programs.

Second, although it is true that Medicare has not kept up with overall medical costs, it is only by a relatively small amount, 6.8 v. 7.1.  Again, this is within “tolerance” levels for huge gov’t programs.

As for “going broke,” this canard has been used by the G.O.P. practically since the inception of the program.  In fact, the scaremongering over Medicare and Social Security is as bogus as a $4 bill.  Even given the imminent retirement of the baby boomers, the numbers show that both of these program will remain solvent for 25 to 50 years, minimum.  I got these numbers from two impeccable sources: a U.S. congressperson who is on the House appropriations subcommittee for health et al, and economist Paul Krugman.

Medicare is, in every real sense, one of the most successful government programs ever developed.

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By Marshall, April 17, 2010 at 4:12 am Link to this comment

By Maani, April 15 at 4:42 pm #

“Medicare is a government program - perhaps the most successful ever.”

I would have to differ with you on that.  I wouldn’t characterize a program that
suffers a 15% fraud rate, doesn’t keep up with rising medical costs, and is slated
to go broke soon, a “successful” program.

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By Maani, April 16, 2010 at 9:19 am Link to this comment

A glowing example of the “better educated” (or should that be “edumacated?”...LOL) tea baggers.  Make sure to read the captions too!

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/galleries/teabonics_the_flawed_language_of_protest/teabonics_the_flawed_language_of_protest.html

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LostHills's avatar

By LostHills, April 16, 2010 at 8:18 am Link to this comment

5 rednecks say they’re having a “tea party” and the press is all over it. Thousands
march against the war and they don’t even report on it. Go figure…

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By Tobysgirl, April 16, 2010 at 6:23 am Link to this comment

“Better educated” should not be confused with education and sophistication. In my experience, even advanced degrees do not correlate with an ability to write and speak well, and they certainly do not correlate with an ability to think clearly and critically. Anyone who looks upon Sarah Palin with admiration is either lusting for her or completely without intelligence. Her self-aggrandizement is pitifully obvious, and one has to be moronic to not see it.

I only know one teabagger and, in spite of his bizarre references to the Constitution in his online letters, I am positive that his only interest in this movement is his fear that he might have to pay a bit more in taxes. As he’s loaded, I see his involvement purely as another example of his stunning selfishness and lack of responsibility to others.

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By Donna Cayote, April 16, 2010 at 5:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

About the TPers - I laughed, I cried and now I’m worried. Chompsky did that for me - Confirmed my fears that is.
    Progressives - Arise, join my Koffee Klatch Koalition - or if you prefer tea, my Green Tea party. We are so far left we come around the bend to meet the far right. Our symbol is a flock of eagles dive bombing donkeys, elephants and tea bags. Our patriotic song is the Woodstock version of FREEDOM. Our Vision is an America that never was nor will be but so many folks think was and is still possible.

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By Brian, April 15, 2010 at 4:48 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

According to the 2008 US census.-

The entire black population of the USA is roughly 12.8%.

“”“”“(activists and nonactivists together add up to roughly 16 percent of the population)”“”“”“”“


SO if almost 4% more blacks then there are in the entire USA supported this..would you think the coverage justified then?


If your going to use race then use it in a credible manner.


.........

You make it worse by trying to claim the defeatist losers who wanted to abandon people to terrorists amounted to anything near what the Tea party movement has already amounted to. IN either size or importance.
The run out and watch people die on MSNBC crowd didn’t even get 16% support.

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By ocjim, April 15, 2010 at 4:47 pm Link to this comment

One assumes Dave Thomas is independently wealthy, never used public schools, national parks, never received money from the federal government, never used public libraries, never needed public utilities, never received handouts for not growing crops, never sought help from police or firemen and never benefitted from government regulations to protect consumers.

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By Dave Thomas, April 15, 2010 at 2:55 pm Link to this comment

What really infuriates progressives is they don’t create enough wealth with their intelligence and efforts to pay for everything they want done, and they can’t manipulate the Constitution in a way that allows them to rob non-progressives of their personal property.

The sad truth is that if you can’t make can’t make it in the United States of America in the 21st century without asking for a handout from your fellow citizens you need to realize that it is your fault and your fault alone and quit crying about your own shortcomings.

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By Maani, April 15, 2010 at 2:03 pm Link to this comment

Although I certainly take the movement seriously, I would have far more sympathy if they truly understood the problems and had more focus: right now, it is largely unfocused anger and frustrstion - and that is a dangerous thing, not simply because those on the right can explit them, but also because they will act on their anger and frustration without truly understanding who the real “enemies” are; i.e., they may well vote out “good” people in favor of bad ones simply because they do not even know what is in their best interests - or are misled about that.

Personally, I would also like to see some form of psychological study that explains why it does not matter what sort of bone-headed, stupid, cynical, corrupt, or blatantly dishonest things Palin, Beck et al do or say, NOTHING seems to get the TPers to see how bone-headed, stupid, cynical, corrupt and dishonest (and manipulative) Palin et al can be.  It is almost as if they WANT to be led around by these right-wing demogogues.

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By DHFabian, April 15, 2010 at 1:53 pm Link to this comment

Reading the protest signs of the teabaggers is, at the least, a new form of entertainment.  Beyond that, I do take it seriously that people feel so much frustration. This is especially true of the working class, which has lost so much over the past 30-some years. The issues are complex, have been years in the making, and I think many people just don’t understand how we got to this point. 

I deeply resent seeing these folks exploited, deliberately misinformed, by self-serving right-wingers. A study of our own history, all the way up to today, shows how the right-wing has consistently regarded the working class with utter contempt.

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By Maani, April 15, 2010 at 12:42 pm Link to this comment

Good comments all, thus far, even if I don’t agree with every jot and tittle.

Still, one thing unmentioned is the “cognitive dissonance” (I am being polite…LOL) of many in the TP.  For example, the same people carrying signs speaking of smaller government and less government interference were also carrying signs saying, “Hands off my Medicare.”  It appears that, as educated as they may be (or claim to be), they do not know that Medicare is a government program - perhaps the most successful ever.

See, for example:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/15/opinion/15collins.html?ref=opinion&pagewanted=print

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OzarkMichael's avatar

By OzarkMichael, April 15, 2010 at 11:32 am Link to this comment

Tea Party people are basically they are(like many Truth-diggers) fed up with the political party that supposedly represented them.

Like Truth-diggers, they are better educated and better informed on issues than the average American. By the way, i am amazed that the MSM would admit that since it goes against their normal narrative of the Tea Party movement

Un-like Truth-diggers, they got off their butts and organized gatherings and protested. Tea partiers did not ask their political party if it was ok. They may run candidates for office. That threat is aimed at Republicans. The fact that they could even threaten to do so is impressive.

I dont think the mainstream press was kind to them. But yes the MSM did pay attention to the Tea party movement.

I read your descriptions of Tea Party reasoning and motivations. It is ignorance on your part. Please know that they describe your reasoning and motivations in the exact same way, so i guess it evens out.

Tea Partiers are trying to influence the policy of the this country. I dont think you guys are influencing anything.

The best that the extreme left can do is try to mock Tea parties or try to plant some folks in them to make them look bad.

Why dont you just do your own thing? I will tell you why. You know that you will be treated the same way as the MSM treated the Tea party.

You are all idiosyncratic, quixotic individuals… just like the Tea Party people. The MSM will catch one of you saying something a bit absurd and they will try to portray all of you as crackpots.

Stop being afraid. Stop complaining about how unfair it all is. Start organizing.

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By oregoncharles, April 15, 2010 at 11:07 am Link to this comment

“Other activist groups, the Green Party for instance, aren’t taken so seriously, even if they manage to make more cogent and consistent arguments.”

Hey - a break in the wall!  An actual mention, in the post, not the comments!

PZS is right:  the Green Party, at least, is systematically censored from the MSM and even most liberal sites.  Do you suppose that’s because we’re a threat to the MSM’s corporate agenda, or to the Democratic Party, while the Tea Partiers are serving it?  That’s the implication of the article, and I’m grateful. 

One very real factor is that the Tea Partiers are colorful:  they make good TV.  That’s a lesson to us.  Color, color, color.  Of course, that was the point of the giant puppets in the global justice demonstrations, and the MSM ignored them anyway - until windows were broken.  That got coverage.  The Tea Partiers noticed, too, so it was the first thing they did after the Health Care Deform (remember, the Left despises it, too) passed.

Talk about teaching the wrong lesson.

The worst charge against the Tea Party is that they’re obviously a reaction to Obama’s election.  They theoretically object to a lot that Bush did, too, but they were silent through that disaster.

The most promising thing is that they don’t like Wall Street any better than we do.  That’s a major common cause, that we should use if we can.  That’s pretty heroic reaching out - not sure if I’m up to it, myself - but very much worth doing.  Some of them are in the wrong movement, but they don’t know it yet.

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By ocjim, April 15, 2010 at 10:44 am Link to this comment

Assuming a new CBS News/New York Times poll is accurate, tea partyers are older, whiter (just 1 percent are black), angrier and better-educated than your average American. And if you count only those who have actually gone to a rally or given money, you’re talking about 4 percent of the population.

If tea-pariers are so smart, where were they during the corrupt, tyrannical Bush administration when the dangers of an autocratic government, restriction of rights, abuse of power and the stealing of the presidency were all dominant? Add to that a rabid and ruthless majority in Congress passing legislation totally alien to people needs.

I am totally mystified that the group of angry and irrational people could be whipped up by concerted effort of neo-conservative propaganda.

Obama and Congress are right of center and doing things that benefit a majority with health care anyway. Otherwise they are lapdogs to business, but less so that the Bushies.

It astounds me that angry people are so disengaged and misinformed that they can be pointed like rabid dogs at Obama who’s helped them more in a year than Bush did in eight years.

I can only guess that their anger has a misplaced target: rather than corporations of greed and demagogic Republicans, they can be pointed at Obama and Democrats.

I can only guess that it is stupidity and racism.

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By Maani, April 15, 2010 at 10:22 am Link to this comment

Taldren:

While the NYT is admittedly MSM, this is the most in-depth demographic poll taken thus far of the Tea Party.  It does not comport with your theory:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/15/us/politics/15poll.html?hp

See specifically the “multimedia” sidebar on the left.

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By Taldren, April 15, 2010 at 3:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

For one, the poll is complete bs. I have been to ‘tea
parties’ since december 2007 fund raiser for ron
paul. Older whites are the minority at these events.
Most are 20-somethings and it is very diverse in
regards to racial background.

Hell, just youtube tea party event videos and see
for yourself how off base these clowns are. Media
targets the fringe minority that are riding the coat
tails of the movement for there own agenda. Trying
to define the movement by this minority is like me
calling all democrats nazi’s because I caught some
on camera claiming to be part of that party.

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By Marshall, April 15, 2010 at 1:20 am Link to this comment

Gays amount to about 5% of the population, so if this article’s logic holds, they
should be getting less fuss as well.

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By Commune115, April 14, 2010 at 10:01 pm Link to this comment

I think we Liberals are too quickly dismissing the Tea Party phenomenon as a bunch of yahoos. It has tapped into real, public anger which should be mobilized by the Left, but we don’t have a real Left in America, just limousine liberals. The real test will come in the November elections.

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By Maani, April 14, 2010 at 9:08 pm Link to this comment

Am I the only one who sees a disconnect - even an oxymoron - between “better educated” and “favorable impression of Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck?”  Maybe stupids like me actually know something after all!  LOL.

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Allan Krueger's avatar

By Allan Krueger, April 14, 2010 at 9:05 pm Link to this comment

Tea Party - bullshit!

Right Wing nut jobs, send a bus to Walmart’s to pickup these goons. You can tell by looking at them that they certainly did not come from a college campus, ANYWHERE! Most have OD’d on Rush and ceased critical thinking years ago!

They stand for nothing and are an orchestrated distraction from important problems: regulating Wall Street - real Health Reform!

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By Inherit The Wind, April 14, 2010 at 8:01 pm Link to this comment

And Democrats have always stood for something…and these days they’ll stand for plenty!

Reminds me of Groucho Marx describing Thelma Todd in “Horsefeathers”

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By Jimnp72, April 14, 2010 at 7:14 pm Link to this comment

Why dont we admit it and note they do not stand for anything,  BUT ARE AGAINST
EVERTYTHING THAT COULD BENEFIT AMERICANS.
There, I said it in caps.

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By Heather Denkmire, April 14, 2010 at 6:10 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is so infuriating. It’s no puzzle! If progressives would just get our heads out of our Enlightenment view of the mind we would understand what’s going on.

Of *course* the like GWBush better. He’s the ideal “strict father.” Their frames, the radical right, are based on a strict father morality. We all have been force fed and have accepted without question the radical right’s frames since the 60s.

It’s infuriating to see so many progressives focusing on the “mystery” of the Tea Party movement people when instead we should be talking about *our* progressive values!

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