Why The Left Must Destroy The Tea Party Movement

Reading over the Tea Party coverage this weekend, a strange picture emerged. There was just no possible way to get a cohesive image of the movement because many of the press filters were just so distorted. If one were a stranger from another planet, looking at a mash-up of Tea Party news would be like looking at ones image in a funhouse mirror.

On the negative side, guys like Joe Klein accused anyone criticizing President Obama of sedition.

He wasn’t alone in his hysterical assessment. President Clinton weighed in again [as an aside, I think Hillary would be safe divorcing him now–the guy is a clear liability]. From Fox:

Former President Clinton on Sunday broadened his warning that Tea Party protesters could feed violence reminiscent of the Oklahoma City bombing, suggesting “right-wing media” and the blogosphere could be culpable for any future politically fueled extremism as well.

The former president, speaking on ABC’s “This Week,” elaborated on his controversial comments from Friday, when he drew parallels between the modern Tea Party movement and the anti-government rage of the mid-’90s that preceded the 1995 Oklahoma City attack that killed 168 people and injured hundreds more.

Clinton said Sunday that political dissent is necessary, but “demonization” of government is dangerous — citing the uptick in threats made against members of Congress and other officials.

“We shouldn’t demonize the government or its public employees or its elected officials,” Clinton said. “We can disagree with them, we can harshly criticize them. But when we turn them into an object of demonization, we increase the number of threats.”

In response, Jimmie Bise said: “The former President of the United States has a message for those of us hyper-violent Americans who can not distinguish between dissent (which used to be the ultimate form of patriotism until January 20, 2009) and blowing up a government building. He doesn’t say who he thinks those Americans are because…well, that takes more courage that boning an intern in the Oval Office and lying through his perfect teeth about it, now doesn’t it?”

On the other side of the equation, we have Governor Rick Perry telling Tea Partiers to watch their backs:

Gov. Rick Perry warned tea party organizers to watch their backs for liberals who wish to make them look bad as thousands were set to stage tax-day rallies across the state on Thursday.

At rallies from El Paso to Tyler, supporters of the conservative tea party movement were planning to send their message of limited government and lower taxes to Washington. About 150 activists, many shouting chants against President Barack Obama, gathered in Austin on Thursday. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was set to speak at another rally at the Capitol later in the day.

Thousands are expected to participate the gatherings, and tea party leaders are striving to divert fringe groups, extremists or infiltrators obsessed with hateful messages.

In an invitation-only conference call with tea party organizers on Wednesday, Perry urged participants to “continue looking over your shoulder … for people trying to make the tea party into something that it’s not.”

Perry, a frequent Washington basher who capitalized on the tea party movement to defeat Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison in the March primary elections, was not scheduled to speak at any rallies. But he cautioned supporters against tea party opponents.

“You can bet that every dirty trick is going to get played on tea parties, trying to marginalize them, trying to make them into something that they’re not,” said Perry, who faces Democrat Bill White in November’s gubernatorial election.

Then you have guys like Robert McCartney of The Washington Post calling Tea partiers more “wacky mavericks than extremist threat”.

Really though, the best, and most accurate, assessment of the Tea Party movement came from Michael Barone. And his thoughts are why the left seem so intent on destroying the movement:

But public policy also helps determine the kind of society we are. The Obama Democrats see a society in which ordinary people cannot fend for themselves, where they need to have their incomes supplemented, their health care insurance regulated and guaranteed, their relationships with their employers governed by union leaders. Highly educated mandarins can make better decisions for them than they can make themselves.

That is the culture of dependence. The tea partiers see things differently. They’re not looking for lower taxes; half of tea party supporters, a New York Times survey found, think their taxes are fair. Nor are they financially secure: Half say someone in their household may lose their job in the next year. Two-thirds say the recession has caused some hardship in their lives. But they recognize, correctly, that the Obama Democrats are trying to permanently enlarge government and increase citizens’ dependence on it.

And, invoking the language of the Founding Fathers, they believe that this will destroy the culture of independence that has enabled Americans over the past two centuries to make this the most productive and prosperous — and the most charitably generous — nation in the world. Seeing our political divisions as a battle between the culture of dependence and the culture of independence helps to make sense of the divisions seen in the 2008 election.

Barack Obama carried voters with incomes under $50,000 and those with incomes over $200,000 and lost those with incomes in between. He won large margins from those who never graduated from high school and from those with graduate school degrees and barely exceeded 50 percent among those in between. The top-and-bottom Obama coalition was in effect a coalition of those dependent on government transfers and benefits and those in what David Brooks calls “the educated class” who administer or believe that their kind of people administer those transactions. They are the natural constituency for the culture of dependence.

Barone rightly notes that the Tea Party folks are taking a long view and fear what they see.

And the problem, of course, is that the Tea Party message, far from being radical, hits home in the heart of the country.

TARP looked like a bailout of banks which made horrible decisions. And now, taxpayers were supposed to support them. The government has become more harsh on business owners and individuals while letting businesses off the hook. The government is run by those paying off core constituencies–now, with Obama, it’s unions and Wall Street.

The problem for the corrupt leadership running America, of course, is that they need to convince voters to vote for them so they can turn around and pay off the big money folks who get them elected. It’s an unholy alliance and the American people are fed up.

The solution for many establishment types isn’t to trim their own wings but to destroy the canaries issuing the warning from the coal-mine.

So Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachman must be destroyed.

So average Americans must be labeled as racist.

So the Obama Administration must use Alinsky tactics and Astroturf.

The left and establishment Republicans will stop at nothing to destroy the Tea Party movement. It must. Their whole source of power comes from Americans becoming more dependent and expanding the government.

If a person has a distorted picture of the Tea Party, it’s because a truthful image is damaging to nearly every special interest in America.

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