Surprise! Tea Party Membership Reflects America

Surprise! Tea Party Membership Reflects America

Posted By Andrew Ian Dodge On April 10, 2010 @ 12:00 am In Column 2, Media, Politics, US News |

Experienced tea party activists have rarely recognized the descriptions of their events and membership in the MSM. Some no doubt wondered whether or not their local group was abnormal in its diversity, but several polls have now concluded that activists know their tea parties better than the media.

Quotes like this, now commonplace, describe some alternate reality, and certainly not the tea parties:

[In] other words, well-to-do conservative white men don’t much care for Barack Obama’s policies. Which, of course, is something we already knew from the exit polls back in November 2008.

This perception, peddled by the MSM and replicated by leftist bloggers, is consequently what many people believe to be true. Prominent tea party activists like Kevin Jackson and C.L. Bryant will not recognize this as anything close to accurate, though if you were to rely only on the crowd shots peddled by the MSM, you might sympathize.

On a program called The Young Turks, Steve Cohen (D-TN) said [1]:

[The Tea Party shows] opposition to African Americans, hostility toward gays, hostility to anybody who wasn’t just a clone of George Wallace’s fan club.

Wallace of course being the late Alabama governor and presidential candidate who opposed desegregation.

Polls from Rasmussen [2] and The Winston Group [3] objectively show that Cohen owes America an apology. A significant percentage of tea partiers identify as Democrats and independents according to the Winston study:

In three national surveys, done for New Models from December 2009 through February 2010, 57% of Tea Party members called themselves Republicans, another 28% said they were Independents, and 13% were Democrats. Two-thirds of Tea Party members identify as conservatives but 26% say they are moderate and 8% described themselves as liberal.

And the percentage of Americans who agree [4] with the tea party ideals is higher than that of those who agree with Obama’s socialism:

On major issues, 48% of voters say that the average Tea Party member is closer to their views than President Barack Obama. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 44% hold the opposite view and believe the president’s views are closer to their own.

This also means that 48% of voters are closer to the tea party than the MSM, which might explain the appalling ratings of cable and broadcast news, Fox excepted.

Gallup’s [5] results make the “fringe” and “extremist” canards look rather foolish:

Tea Party supporters skew right politically; but demographically, they are generally representative of the public at large. That’s the finding of a USA Today/Gallup poll conducted March 26-28, in which 28% of U.S. adults call themselves supporters of the Tea Party movement.

Ultimately, it seems unlikely the media will change its story about the nature of the tea party movement, but it does make a difference for activists to have these polls available to counter the claims of a hostile interviewer. It will be interesting if the various activists who regularly make press appearances find that the questions asked have changed.

Anyone who has actually attended a tea party will be able to tell of the diversity of background, views, religion, race, sex, and creed that is featured at these events. Maybe some in the MSM will take off their blinders if they attend any of the thousands of events taking place on the 15th of April.

Meanwhile, the tea party activists shall continue to be as diverse as the country and to reflect their local community in makeup.

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Civil Disobedience is Coming

Palin Takes on Obama and Dems in New Orleans

Palin Takes on Obama and Dems in New Orleans

Posted By Rick Moran On April 10, 2010 @ 12:07 am In . Feature 01, Culture, Media, Politics, US News | 7 Comments

Sarah Palin may have been the headliner at the Friday afternoon session of the Southern Republican Leadership Conference, but there was some maneuvering behind the scenes regarding the Michael Steele controversy that sought to lay the matter to rest — at least with the Republican establishment.

Thirty-one state party chairmen signed a statement of support for Steele — a signal he needed badly before his scheduled speech to the delegates on Saturday afternoon. While the buzz about Steele had subsided somewhat on Friday, the issue loomed in the background.

The statement said in part [1]:

The charge of any national Chairman is to raise money and win elections. With over $100 million raised, victories in Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts, and victories in 29 of 37 special elections, Michael Steele has demonstrated that under his Chairmanship the RNC has the ability, focus, and drive to lead Republicans to a sweeping victory in November.

The RNC under Chairman Michael Steele is a full partner with state committees, responsive to our needs, and intensely interested in providing the support necessary for victory. That process is not an easy process. Technology has had a great impact on the art of politics. That impact has required the RNC to adapt and change to work effectively in this modern environment. Change can sometimes be difficult. But the changes Michael Steele has brought to the RNC were essential for our party to adapt, and win, when we do not, for the moment, hold the White House or Congress.

We stand behind Chairman Steele as he continues to lead us on the path victory in November.

By papering over the controversy, party leaders are hoping the focus can return to where they think it belongs: on the Democrats and President Obama. On that score, Sarah Palin did not disappoint.

Indeed, Steele can thank Palin for sucking the oxygen out of any other storyline at the conference. And that includes the retirement of Justice Stevens; not one speaker has mentioned that yet. The atmosphere in the Grand Ballroom prior to Palin’s entrance was thick with anticipation and excitement. She followed Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, whose speech proved that while cultural issues like abortion may have been downgraded by some — or, more accurately, de-emphasized by some of the more pragmatic Republicans — the pro-life issue is still near and dear to the hearts of most in the GOP. Perkins received a prolonged standing ovation for his rousing defense of the pro-life position. Some Republicans may wish the issue to merge into the background, but that wouldn’t be the choice of most attendees at this conference.

Palin seemed at times to rush her address a little, stepping on applause lines so that the flow of her speech was a little choppy. But she made up for it with some real zingers tossed at President Obama, including a sarcastic response to the president’s dismissal [2] of her knowledge regarding nuclear weapons:

“And President Obama, with all that vast nuclear expertise he acquired as a community organizer, a part-time senator, and a candidate for president, has accomplished nothing to date with Iran or North Korea,” she said.

In a more serious vein, [3] Palin criticized the administration’s policies toward friend and foe:

Meanwhile, this administration alienates our friends. They treated Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai poorly and acted surprised when he reacted in kind. And they escalated a minor zoning decision into a major breach with Israel, our closest ally in the Middle East.

Folks, someone needs to remind the President: Jerusalem is not a settlement. Israel is our friend. And the critical nuclear concerns of our time are North Korea, who has nuclear weapons, and Iran, who wants them.

So, “yes we can” kowtow to our enemies and publicly criticize our allies.

Yes, we can. But someone ought to tell the President and the Left that just because we can doesn’t mean we should.

Following her speech, Palin lingered a bit to shake some hands and sign some autographs. It struck me that her security situation, both in the ballroom and out in the lobby when she was mobbed making her way to her car, should be a concern. Louisiana state troopers were there but, whether by her request or not, failed to keep the enthusiastic crowds from pressing forward and thrusting camera phones and copies of her book toward her for her signature.

Following Palin was a real corker of a speech by Texas Governor Rick Perry. Governor Perry is, without a doubt, one of the strictest of strict constructionists in the party. Perry believes the federal government’s responsibilities should be limited to:

Have a strong military, secure our borders, and deliver the mail on time. And that’s it. …

And until you can get those three right, how about leaving everything else alone?

His defense and support of the Tenth Amendment is, if anything, even more a reflection of his belief in first principles:

Basically, what it [the Tenth Amendment] says is that the federal government was created to be an agent of the states — not the other way around.

Perry has a knack for getting liberals’ blood to boil when he talks like this. I think he was exaggerating a little about what should be the responsibilities of the federal government. Texas is dependent on Washington as much as any other state. But Perry is a shrewd operator, having just dusted off a serious challenge from Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson, easily beating her in their recent primary. He seems a near lock for reelection.

Might he be a candidate for president in 2012? He wouldn’t be the first Texas governor to make a run.

Finally, a word about Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal’s address. He repeated his disinterest in national office and jabbed indirectly [4] at Michael Steele with a little joke about Bourbon Street:

Jindal took to the stage and welcomed conference-goers to New Orleans. He told them to “enjoy our great food, our great music, our great culture.”

Then this: “A word of warning to RNC staffers: You may want to stay away from Bourbon Street,” he said. “Just a word of advice.”

The joke drew laughter and applause from the crowd.

If the GOP can laugh at their own folly, that may be a sign that the controversy can be laid to rest with no further damage to the party’s prospects in November.

Jindal was much more animated and at ease than he was in his disastrous response to President Obama’s State of the Union. He still has a way to go to recover from that performance, however, and it would appear that while he is still an attractive and intelligent potential candidate with a terrific personal story, he has some convincing to do regarding his ability to connect with an audience.

That may come with time. Until then, he is doing well as governor and should have a strong case to make for reelection when he runs in 2011.

UPDATE:

Fifty-eight RNC members have now signed the letter in support of the embattled RNC chair. As Allahpundit [5] points out, Steele’s job appears safe at the moment

Decimating the Left: Plan of Attack*

Decimating the Left: Plan of Attack*

There are some promising signs for an opportunity to double decimate the left-wing in November. With any luck, Congressional Democrats might even be triple decimated in the next election. That’s the potential good news.
Now the bad news: It’s time to come to terms with the fact that we’re not just fighting leftists and Democrats.
We’re fighting lazy, cowardly Republicans who see how unpopular the Obama agenda is, but who are afraid do anything about it.
We’re fighting Republicans who think that conservatism means conserving Obamacare.
We’re fighting Big Pharma, the AMA, the American Hospital Association, the AARP, the Business Roundtable and individual companies such as Wal-Mart.
American Thinker has some good suggestions for the fight ahead. These suggestions were designed for Tea Partiers, but they apply to all conservatives:

1. To paraphrase Bill Clinton advisor James Carville, “It’s the primaries, Stupid.” Tea Partiers should focus only on primaries now, and not focus on the upcoming November elections just yet. In the primaries, challenge every establishment, big-government incumbent. Conservatives winning in primaries will make the November elections a more significant chance for meaningful, long-term change. Over half of the filing deadlines have not yet passed.
2. Support candidates who will vote to fire their party leaders.
3. Withhold support from all national committees, and give your donations directly to principled conservative candidates.
4. In addition to running and supporting candidates for public office, run for every possible party office. The best way to get a political party to change is to take it over.
5. Read and study the Constitution, the Federalist Papers, and other writings of the Founders, as well as the writings of great but more recent conservative thinker-activists such as Mark Levin…and others. Tea Partiers will then better know who they are politically, will better understand what they believe, and will possess even better clarity about why they believe it. By reading conservative thinker-activist writings from the past half-century, Tea Partiers will be better able to educate, enlist, convert, and successfully debate others.
6. See where politicians stand on key issues (remember, though, that politicians will tell you what you want to hear)
7. Get ten to twenty-five other people involved; and
8. Make sure that the ten to twenty-five are registered and vote.
9. Be sure to vote on November 2.

Obama’s Health Care Comedy Tour

Obama’s Health Care Comedy Tour

Posted By Duane Lester On April 10, 2010 @ 12:00 am In Column 1, Health Care, US News | 16 Comments

George Carlin once said, “I believe you can joke about anything. It just depends how you construct the joke, what the exaggeration is. Every joke needs one exaggeration; every joke needs one thing out of proportion.”

That’s really the key to humor. The exaggeration.

On March 25, President Obama began his American Health Care Comedy Tour in Iowa City, Iowa. In his speech, he spoke [1] about the fears vocalized by those opposed to health care reform:

There’s been plenty of fear-mongering, plenty of overheated rhetoric. You turn on the news, you’ll see the same folks are still shouting about there’s going to be an end of the world because this bill passed. (Laughter.) I’m not exaggerating. Leaders of the Republican Party, they called the passage of this bill “Armageddon.” (Laughter.) Armageddon. “End of freedom as we know it.”

So after I signed the bill, I looked around to see if there any — (laughter) — asteroids falling or — (applause) — some cracks opening up in the Earth. (Laughter.) It turned out it was a nice day. (Laughter.) Birds were chirping. Folks were strolling down the Mall. People still have their doctors.

The crowd of Obama myrmidons found this to be hilarious. Obama nailed Carlin’s rule. No one opposing health care reform called it “Armageddon” or suggested the Earth would be destroyed.  That’s the exaggeration.  He took the concerns of those against the Democrats’ “reform” and blew them way out of proportion.

On April 1, Obama again repeated the asteroid joke, but added a new bit to his standup [2]:

Every single day since I signed the reform law, there’s been another poll or headline that said “Nation still divided on health care reform — polls haven’t changed yet!”

We’ll yeah. It just happened last week. It’s only been a week!

Can you imagine if some of these reporters were working on a farm? They planted some seeds and they came out next day and they looked “Nothings happened! There’s no Crop! We’re gonna starve! Oh NO! It’s a disaster!”

It’s been a week folks. So before we find out if people like health care reform, we should wait to see what happens when we actually put it into place. Just a thought.

If he is writing this comedy, he’s good.

It’s interesting to note that in one comedic bit, he’s saying nothing negative happened after he signed it and the concerns of the opposition were therefore foolish. Yet in another bit, he says it’s foolish to think that anything positive would really happen this soon after signing it. He’s essentially saying: “See. Nothing bad happened. You guys are idiots.” Then he follows this up with: “What did you expect? Rainbows and unicorns right out of the gate? This thing hasn’t even really started yet, so nothing good is going to happen for a while. But when it does, you’ll love it.”

There seems to be a pretty big flaw in his logic. How can he honestly say bad things aren’t going to happen with this health care reform when he openly admits it hasn’t been fully implemented yet?

The answer is, he doesn’t have to. This isn’t about logic or forming a coherent argument. This is about ridicule, “man’s most potent weapon.”

Those are the words of the granddaddy of community organizers, Saul Alinsky. In his book Rules for Radicals [3], Alinsky wrote: “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. It is almost impossible to counteract ridicule. Also it infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage.”

On this, he’s right. Ridicule is a very potent weapon. In his book Fighting the War of Ideas like Real War: Messages to Defeat the Terrorists, J. Michael Waller explains why ridicule is such an effective weapon against one’s enemies [4]:

  • It sticks;
  • The target can’t refute it;
  • It is almost impossible to repress;
  • It spreads on its own and multiplies with each re-telling;
  • It boosts morale at home;
  • Our enemy shows far greater intolerance to ridicule than we;
  • Ridicule divides the enemy, damages its morale, and makes it less attractive to supporters and prospective recruits; and
  • The ridicule-armed warrior need not fix a physical sight on the target. Ridicule will find its own way to the targeted individual. To the enemy, being ridiculed means losing respect. It means losing influence. It means losing followers and repelling potential new backers.

By mocking the concerns of the opposition, Obama rebrands them as fools. He puts his opponents on the defensive. While they spend time trying to use sound logic and facts to refute Obama’s claims, he simply shrugs it off and moves on to the next joke.

Rather than try to refute Obama’s ridicule, Republicans leaders need to help every other American worried about health care reform recognize that he is ridiculing them as well.

Polling shows that after just a week, over half of Americans want the health care bill repealed.

Obama is mocking them.

Nearly 50 percent think the new plan will lower the quality of health care.

Obama is mocking them.

Over 80 percent feel the plan will fail to lower the cost of health care.

Obama is mocking them.

A majority of people think the plan will increase the cost.

Obama is mocking them.

The purpose of Obama’s tone is to neutralize all opposition. If he can intimidate people into not speaking out because they fear being ridiculed, he makes his propaganda campaign that much easier. His American Health Care Comedy Tour is as much about shutting people up as it is about firing up his base. He tames one while galvanizing another.

The opponents of tyranny have to recognize this tactic and neutralize it by shining a light on his contempt for the everyday American’s strongly held beliefs. In this instance, Obama’s greatest strength, his ability to communicate, can be used against him.

Obama tries to persuade voters that government is good

Obama tries to persuade voters that government is good

April 9th, 2010

AP

 Obama is now arguing that government is not evil

As a candidate, Barack Obama pledged to “make government cool again.” After a year that gave birth to the anti-government tea party movement, the president can hardly claim to have succeeded.
Now, Obama appears to be embracing a humbler goal: making the case that government is necessary.

Obama has always advocated a role for government in improving people’s lives. But with anti-government sentiment boiling over amid continued high unemployment — and tax-filing day approaching, likely touching off renewed tea party protests — Obama has been addressing the issue more pointedly. He’s not just speaking in favor of what government can do and offering gentle defenses of government intervention. He’s also taking direct note of the rhetoric on the other side, calling it out and trying to shoot it down.

“You’re hearing a lot of talk these days about government, and government is terrible, and bureaucrats, and they’re taking over and all this stuff. Look, I don’t want government any more than is necessary,” Obama told voters at a town hall in North Carolina last week.

He noted there’s a limit to what private companies can do — and it doesn’t include building roads or paying for public defense.
“That’s where government comes in,” he said.

Read More:

Obama: Student Radical

Obama: Student Radical

April 10th, 2010

By Andy McCarthy, National Review

During the campaign, I wrote a piece called “Why Won’t Obama Talk About Columbia? — The years he won’t discuss may explain the Ayers tie he keeps lying about.” So now, nearly six months into the Obama presidency, the mainstream media has finally done a bit of the candidate background reporting it declined to do during the campaign — other than in Wasilla — and whaddya know?  The New York Times unearthed a 1983 article called, “Breaking the War Mentality,” that Columbia student Barack Obama wrote for a campus newspaper. The article shows that Obama dreaded American “militarism” and its “military-industrial interests,” while effusing enthusiasm for the dangerously delusional nuclear-freeze movement.

Moreover, while indicating a preference for the political wisdom of reggae singer Peter Tosh over Ronald Reagan or Scoop Jackson, Obama bewailed the “narrow focus” of anti-militarism activists, worrying that they were targeting the “symptoms” rather than the real “disease,” namely, America’s underlying economic and political injustice:

Generally, the narrow focus of the [Nuclear] Freeze movement as well as academic discussions of first versus second strike capabilities, suit the military-industrial interests, as they continue adding to their billion dollar erector sets.  When Peter Tosh sings that “everybody’s asking for peace, but nobody’s asking for justice,” one is forced to wonder whether disarmament or arms control issues, severed from economic and political issues, might be another instance of focusing on the symptoms of a problem instead of the disease itself.

Obama nevertheless did see some advantage in homing in on a small target:

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