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The Tea Tantrum Movement
The Atlantic ^ | April 10, 2009 | Andrew Sullivan

Posted on 04/11/2009 3:21:50 AM PDT by Zakeet

I spent the better part of an hour earlier today scanning the various sites and blogs to try and understand what specifically the Fox-Pajamas tea parties are about. Having absorbed about as much of the literature as I can, I have to say I'm still befuddled.

Option 1: It's a protest of the bank bailouts orchestrated by Bush and now Obama. But surely these tea-partiers understand what would happen if we didn't bail the banks out. Are they advocating letting major banks fail? Or are they advocating a Krugman-style government take-over? No idea.

Option 2: It's a protest against tax hikes. But there have barely been any!

[Snip]

Option 3: It's a protest against illegal immigration. Ok, so why the tea? Weren't all the original tea-partiers illegal immigrants?

Option 4: It's a protest against government debt. Yay! I will leave aside the somewhat awkward fact that Fox News and Pajamas Media barely covered the massive debt racked up by the Republicans during a period of economic growth.

[Snip]

What it looks like to me is some kind of amorphous, generalized rage on the part of those who were used to running the country and now don't feel part of the culture at all. But the only word for that is: tantrum.

These are not tea-parties. They are tea-tantrums. And the adolescent, unserious hysteria is a function not of a movement regrouping and refinding itself. It's a function of a movement's intellectual collapse and a party's fast-accelerating nervous breakdown.

(Excerpt) Read more at andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: communist; democrats; economy; idiotalert; leftists; liberalhate; liberalnazis; liberals; nancyboy; socialist; spending; stuckonstupid; tantrum; taxes; teaparty; teatantrum
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To: Zakeet

SO....the Oligargch’s response to this will be to pretend its a “non-issue” ...which it is if you’re a (D) that does’nt even pay taxes!!!


101 posted on 04/11/2009 6:45:41 AM PDT by mo
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To: capt. norm
To quote Woody Allen:

Now there's the place to get philosophical justification...

I would like to hear your plan and what you are going to do about it, if anything but gripe about it.

I don't have to be Michelangelo to know when at paint job sucks.

102 posted on 04/11/2009 6:54:03 AM PDT by papertyger
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To: papertyger
Would you rather have news coverage of your tea party, or mandate the office of every elected representative maintain an internet forum with user evaluations of that offices responsiveness?

Good luck with that. Meanwhile some people are actually having their voices heard.

103 posted on 04/11/2009 7:01:43 AM PDT by Always Right (Obama: more arrogant than Bill Clinton, more naive than Jimmy Carter, and more liberal than LBJ.)
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To: papertyger
I don't have to be Michelangelo to know when at paint job sucks.

Roger Ebert has proven how easy it is to be a critic.

If you never DO anything, you can't fail, but it's fun and easy to criticize and make fun of those who decide to get off their butts and actually make an effort.

We're not trying to create a masterpiece....just a gathering of like-minded Americans taking a stand.

It remains the best plan on the table until you come up with a better one.

Like I said, it's easy to be a couch potato critic and do nothing...no way to fail at that, but, in a way, you've already failed.

104 posted on 04/11/2009 7:09:15 AM PDT by capt. norm (Never underestimate the power of very stupid people in large groups.)
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To: paulycy
I think these tea parties will accomplish exactly nothing.

I think this post of yours will accomplish exactly nothing. You still bothered to create it though, didn't you?

105 posted on 04/11/2009 7:10:21 AM PDT by Minn (Here is a realistic picture of the prophet: ----> ([: {()
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To: paulycy
But this is another journey of a thousand miles, isn't it, and conservatives haven't given up. That, in itself, is encouraging.

So how do you judge failure, when it's illegal to have babies?

It took less than ten years to go from Griswold to Roe. Conservatives HAVE given up, they just don't know it. Here's a newsflash for you though... the liberals damn sure know it! Why do you think they start tossing around terms like "extremist," "militia," and "Timothy McVeih" everytime we do something that runs the risk of being effective?

106 posted on 04/11/2009 7:11:24 AM PDT by papertyger
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To: Always Right
Good luck with that. Meanwhile some people are actually having their voices heard.

GREAT!

What did that accomplish for the pro-life movement?

107 posted on 04/11/2009 7:17:25 AM PDT by papertyger
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To: capt. norm
If you never DO anything, you can't fail, but it's fun and easy to criticize and make fun of those who decide to get off their butts and actually make an effort.

This is not an effort: this is a pep rally.

The citizens of Florida preventing Gore from stealing the 2000 election... now THAT was an effort!

108 posted on 04/11/2009 7:23:12 AM PDT by papertyger
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To: papertyger
What did that accomplish for the pro-life movement?

I respect the pro-life movement....and the fact you've even heard of them proves they have accomplished something.

The fact that you and the MSM are calling it a "tantrum" (you couldn't agree more) reminds me that "tantrum" is exactly what Peter Jennings called it when the Republicans gained control of Congress in the 1994 elections....."Well the voters have thrown a tantrum...."

Nothing wrong with going through life as a spectator/critic. If you never actually DO anything, you're less likely to get it wrong.

Just because one might make a mistake is no reason for not trying something. A lot big things start out small. I am reminded of the parable of the mustard seed.

Like I said, this is the best plan on the table until you come up with a better one (other than sitting on your duff and doing nothing).

109 posted on 04/11/2009 7:27:54 AM PDT by capt. norm (Never underestimate the power of very stupid people in large groups.)
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To: papertyger

I will be at our local tea party passing out copies of HR-450 and asking people to contact their representative and ask them to co-sponsor the bill and badger the committee chairman that is blocking it. You can criticize our efforts if you like but you won’t stop anyone.


110 posted on 04/11/2009 7:31:53 AM PDT by antisocial (Texas SCV - Deo Vindice)
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To: papertyger
This is not an effort: this is a pep rally. The citizens of Florida preventing Gore from stealing the 2000 election... now THAT was an effort!

"Pep rally" is just fine for me!

"citizens of Florida from stealing the 2000 election WAS and effort and it worked. (what did you do in that one?) Had it not worked, you wouldn't have considered it an "effort". You wait, like the Monday morning quarterback to place your bets after the game.

111 posted on 04/11/2009 7:35:12 AM PDT by capt. norm (Never underestimate the power of very stupid people in large groups.)
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To: Zakeet

The “massive debt racked up by Republicans” is pocket change compared to what the 0 has done and will cintinue to do to the taxpayers of this country.


112 posted on 04/11/2009 7:36:51 AM PDT by freeangel ( (free speech is only good until someone else doesn't like what you say))
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To: SkyPilot

Is he the Mommy or the Daddy?


113 posted on 04/11/2009 7:38:34 AM PDT by Rappini ("Pro deo et Patria.)
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To: SkyPilot

Is he the Mommy or the Daddy?


114 posted on 04/11/2009 7:42:22 AM PDT by Rappini ("Pro deo et Patria.)
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To: papertyger

“What exactly does anyone expect to change because of the tea parties?”

Besides making a point to the msm, Atlanta is going to be handing out “pocket” Constitutions to everyone who attends. Perhaps if more people read the Constitution, they would be upset with where congress has taken us and be willing to make the changes necessary to be more aligned with the foresight our founding fathers had.


115 posted on 04/11/2009 7:42:31 AM PDT by freeangel ( (free speech is only good until someone else doesn't like what you say))
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To: antisocial
I will be at our local tea party passing out copies of HR-450 and asking people to contact their representative and ask them to co-sponsor the bill and badger the committee chairman that is blocking it. You can criticize our efforts if you like but you won’t stop anyone.

I'm with you.

I read a post yesterday from Pajamas Media about the various types of posters and I think it well describes papertyger in this instance:

"The Dismisser — The ultimate arrogant commenter, this person never actually engages with the topic, but merely declares it beneath anyone’s interest, already resolved, or improperly stated - and thus hardly worth the bother. The Dismisser’s only real message is: " I’m smarter than you and you need to acknowledge that fact."

Article is at: http://pajamasmedia.com/edgelings/2009/04/10/a-commentor-bestiary/

116 posted on 04/11/2009 7:46:29 AM PDT by capt. norm (Never underestimate the power of very stupid people in large groups.)
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To: All
Mrs. Pope and I are in our 80’s — and we are going to both the Tea Party in Kalamazoo on the 15th — and the follow-on March on Washington, later in the year !!!

One only has to study history to see vivid examples of what inactivity and acquiescence by the citizenry has wrought:

Rome, 250 AD and Germany, 1933, etc...

If we think for one minute that we cannot lose our Republic to Obama’s definitive agenda for Socialist Globalism, we deserve our collective fate !!!

Obama and his Marxist cohorts will destroy our Republic before our very eyes, unless timely, aggressive action is taken by our fellow citizens to thwart this mortal threat to our liberty — and national survival as a Republic.

Act without hesitation; and definitively demonstrate the courage of our forefathers — who risked fortune, life and limb for this privilege.

Thank you, Fellow Freepers, very much.

/Captain and Mrs. D. K. Pope IV

117 posted on 04/11/2009 7:54:55 AM PDT by dk/coro
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To: dk/coro

Your eloquent post expresses my sentiments exactly!


118 posted on 04/11/2009 7:59:08 AM PDT by capt. norm (Never underestimate the power of very stupid people in large groups.)
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To: papertyger
This is not an effort: this is a pep rally.

I have no problem with that: we are in desperate need of pep rallies right now. Without them as starting point, I doubt whether organized opposition and action would ever follow.

Many Americans are today disheartened, discouraged, alienated and angry. That is not a recipe for a successful movement. Among the projects of the Left during the past 50 years was a determined effort to dismantle the cultural institutions that have traditionally bound Americans together, and replace them with Government. These institutions are families, neighborhood, communities, churches, synagogues, membership organizations, and charities.

It is an index of the Left's success that so many Americans today feel "siloed" - isolated from one another and powerless to act. Many have turned toward the State for nourishment and security, as has been the plan. But many others understand the dangers inherent in statism/socialism and have resisted, even in the absence of political leadership. What they desperately need are means of connecting with others who agree with them, and share their ideas and perceptions, and the Tea Parties are a fine way of accomplishing this objective.

Now: Andrew Sullivan is an obnoxious and pusillanimous twit who enjoys nothing more than creating limp-wristed little straw men for him to blow down. And then, he congratulates himself for his perspicacity as though the artful construction of lies were a Pulitzer Prize category, as in this day and age, it may well be.

Nonetheless, those of us who insist on speaking plainly recognize very real threats that others may ignore at their own peril:

- Massive, unprecedented levels of debt, monetized by trillions of dollars of fiat currency and soon, by withering tax increases;

- Uncontrolled illegal immigration that creates nationwide social pathologies and imposes economically-damaging costs and leaves our borders open to attack by...

- A growing and irridentist radical Islamic movement that preaches and conducts violence against those who refuse to submit before it.

- A Congress utterly out of touch and out of control whose members revel not in solving problems but in building personal empires with other people's money, and which routinely violates the U.S. Constitution in pursuit of whatever ambitions it imagines it can get away with.

These are not small problems, nor will they be solved easily. To deny them, as Mr. Sullivan does, is petulant and self-serving. But to deny the importance of people wishing to gather together to share their concerns is to miss the necessity of personal connection and validation as a precursor to organization in pursuit of common goals.

119 posted on 04/11/2009 8:03:13 AM PDT by andy58-in-nh (You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life.)
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To: capt. norm
I respect the pro-life movement....and the fact you've even heard of them proves they have accomplished something.

But not what they wanted to accomplish.

Like I said, this is the best plan on the table...

Like I asked, to do what?

Meet likeminded people? You don't need to wait on a tea party for that. Be heard? We've been heard. We've also been ignored.

Kf you want change, you're going to have to do something more constructive than hold a glorified block party.

120 posted on 04/11/2009 8:05:11 AM PDT by papertyger
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To: antisocial

If you need a tea party to do that it’s no wonder we’re where we’re at...


121 posted on 04/11/2009 8:10:09 AM PDT by papertyger
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To: papertyger
If you want change, you're going to have to do something more constructive than hold a glorified block party.

And we are all waiting with bated breath, for you much better plan.

The world already has enough "wet blankets" and those who only sit in judgment of others' efforts.

I have a feeling (ESP if you will) that entire parties have been called off because they found out you were in town.

122 posted on 04/11/2009 8:11:44 AM PDT by capt. norm (Never underestimate the power of very stupid people in large groups.)
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To: GodBlessRonaldReagan
Weren't all the original tea-partiers illegal immigrants?

Stupid Brit needs to brush up on history. Massachusetts Bay Colony was founded in 1630; Tea Party was in 1773. I think the people living in Massachusetts in 1773 were certainly native-born, not illegal immigrants.

Besides..."But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism" perfectly describes what we are living under today. And we all know it's not just Obama, but the growth of the federal government leviathan ever since FDR. This is most definitely a "long train of abuses and usurpations."

123 posted on 04/11/2009 8:16:55 AM PDT by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: bert

My observation about the tea parties from the start is their message was fuzzy and all over the place. I went to the website and it has a page of 10-15 items. I’ve been reading about them for months and I’m still not sure what exactly it is they are protesting.

If you can’t simplify the message down so it will fit on a protest sign it will not resonate and the effort will be lost.

I hope the parties have some positive effect, but I’m concerned it has been a situation of ready, fire, aim.


124 posted on 04/11/2009 8:18:48 AM PDT by Bob J ("For every 1000 hacking at the branches of evil, one strikes at it's root.")
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To: Zakeet

I don’t take political advice from pillow-biting bottom boys ...


125 posted on 04/11/2009 8:18:58 AM PDT by spodefly (This is my tag line. There are many like it, but this one is mine.)
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To: capt. norm
Had it not worked, you wouldn't have considered it an "effort".

What possible justification could you have for such a petulant speculation. And there's any wonder about the term "tantrum?"

You wait, like the Monday morning quarterback to place your bets after the game.

No. I don't "bet" on things that determine how fast I can drive, how much pay I keep, and what my kid learns.

If you "bet" you don't know enough about the game to play.

126 posted on 04/11/2009 8:21:10 AM PDT by papertyger
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To: SkyPilot
That's Sullivan on the left.....

Oh barf!

127 posted on 04/11/2009 8:23:41 AM PDT by nutmeg (DemocRATs: The party of tax cheats and other assorted crooks)
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To: Zakeet
The Tea Tantrum Movement

Didn't people say the same about the Stonewall boys? Andrew Sullivan should understand real grass roots movements - and their power.

Sometimes major movements aren't stated in ACORN offices with paid "activist". Real movements are born of a deep feeling of outrage - feelings that "enough is enough" ... The Universe might not be fair, but no longer an excuse for people to not being fair to us.

Righteous indignation.

Tea parties will gel into what they are to become. It was tinder waiting for a spark.

A woman doesn't give up her seat on a bus - and the "movement" to come isn't a twinkle in an eye... yet it's real.

This is the same.

128 posted on 04/11/2009 8:26:06 AM PDT by GOPJ (Iraq trip: Obama should have bowed to the troops - not to King Abdullah.)
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To: freeangel
...Atlanta is going to be handing out “pocket” Constitutions to everyone who attends.

Do you think people haven't read their Constitution for lack of access?

129 posted on 04/11/2009 8:26:32 AM PDT by papertyger
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To: Bob J
The Tea Tantrum Movement

Didn't people say the same about the Stonewall boys? Andrew Sullivan should understand real grass roots movements - and their power.

Sometimes major movements aren't stated in ACORN offices with paid "activist". Real movements are born of a deep feeling of outrage - feelings that "enough is enough" ... The Universe might not be fair, but no longer an excuse for people to not being fair to us.

Righteous indignation.

Tea parties will gel into what they are to become. It was tinder waiting for a spark.

A woman doesn't give up her seat on a bus - and the "movement" to come isn't a twinkle in an eye... yet it's real.

This is the same.

130 posted on 04/11/2009 8:27:25 AM PDT by GOPJ (Iraq trip: Obama should have bowed to the troops - not to King Abdullah.)
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To: capt. norm
I think it well describes papertyger in this instance:

Then you haven't understood what you've read: there or here.

131 posted on 04/11/2009 8:30:20 AM PDT by papertyger
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To: GOPJ

I hope you’re right. But it would have a much better start if the message was clearer.


132 posted on 04/11/2009 8:34:55 AM PDT by Bob J ("For every 1000 hacking at the branches of evil, one strikes at it's root.")
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To: papertyger
I think it well describes papertyger in this instance: Then you haven't understood what you've read: there or here.

There you go again, demonstrating the article's description is a close fit. You may find a loophole or so in it because it's in you nature to find fault, but that's the whole point.

I'm too stupid to get it, but you with your superior intelligence, pointed out that I am wrong.

You fit that description much better than you want to believe.

133 posted on 04/11/2009 8:38:34 AM PDT by capt. norm (Never underestimate the power of very stupid people in large groups.)
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To: StarFan; Dutchy; alisasny; BobFromNJ; BUNNY2003; Cacique; Clemenza; Coleus; cyborg; DKNY; ...
FYI to all Tea Party participants. Andrew Sullivan has been trying to pass himself off as a "conservative" for years.

Check out the photo of Sullivan and his spouse (?) in #11...

134 posted on 04/11/2009 8:40:37 AM PDT by nutmeg (DemocRATs: The party of tax cheats and other assorted crooks)
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To: andy58-in-nh
But to deny the importance of people wishing to gather together to share their concerns is to miss the necessity of personal connection and validation as a precursor to organization in pursuit of common goals.

I agree with everything you've said, including above, but that's not what I'm denying. I'm denying the efficacy of "being heard."

135 posted on 04/11/2009 8:41:22 AM PDT by papertyger
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To: papertyger
Do you think people haven't read their Constitution for lack of access?

No, but according to your commenter profile (dismisser) you believe they're all too stupid, mainly because they're not you.

Unless success is guaranteed, you don't want any part of it.

We have athletes who give their very best in every game even if the naysayers, such as yourself, keep saying they don't stand a chance of winning. I admire that. We would still be under British rule if a handful our ancestors hadn't risen above your attitude and took on the most powerful military force in the world at the time..

136 posted on 04/11/2009 8:47:18 AM PDT by capt. norm (Never underestimate the power of very stupid people in large groups.)
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To: papertyger

What’s funny about this is even though Sullivan’s rant is hilarious, he offers the movement some advice...their message isn’t clear.

But rather than look deeper into his screed for whatever insight can be gleaned, insight that might help make the effort more effective now and in the future, all many can do is make gay/dick jokes.

And that is what is alarming. As you’ve pointed out this effort seems to be one more of lashing out rather than offering a cogent message with a gameplan for the future. In that case, and again as you’ve pointed out, 95% of the participants will go home thinking they’ve done their duty and then complain when nothing changes.

I hope I’m wrong.


137 posted on 04/11/2009 8:47:28 AM PDT by Bob J ("For every 1000 hacking at the branches of evil, one strikes at it's root.")
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To: papertyger

BTW - As we have seen with the lefty media effort against this so far, that is is EXACTLY the position they are going to take to try to deligitimize it.

But to be honest, the organizers have no one to blame but themselves. As I said, I’ve been reading about them for months and I’m confused. And I’m a hardened conservative who spent 8 long years in th trenches of conservative activism.


138 posted on 04/11/2009 8:51:54 AM PDT by Bob J ("For every 1000 hacking at the branches of evil, one strikes at it's root.")
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To: Bob J
That's my point. Real movements create messages over time. Fake one have a "statement" put together by a committee in advance. It's the reason ACORN has to pay their "activists" and tea party people come together naturally. Sometime in the future people will step in front of the parade and say they were leading all along. It won't be true. But the Santelli's of the world felt deep rage - and it touched things deeply in others. A movement was born.

Jesse Jackson tried to ride a natural movement after it's time had past. NOW did the same with the women's movement. The Obama so-called Alinsky radicals have done the same. And they wonder why there aren't large crowds behind them.

It's easy - the real movement - the one that touched people - moved on... and those who wanted to cling to the power of the movement, stayed. They became a corruption.

The tea party movement appears real. We'll have to see where it goes.

139 posted on 04/11/2009 8:54:34 AM PDT by GOPJ (Iraq trip: Obama should have bowed to the troops - not to King Abdullah.)
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To: Bob J
And I’m a hardened conservative who spent 8 long years in th trenches of conservative activism.

And was that "activism" a group in search of people to follow them? Do you see the difference?

140 posted on 04/11/2009 8:55:47 AM PDT by GOPJ (Iraq trip: Obama should have bowed to the troops - not to King Abdullah.)
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To: SkyPilot
That's Sullivan on the left.....

That picture makes my skin crawl....

141 posted on 04/11/2009 8:56:43 AM PDT by SteamShovel (Global Warming, the New Patriotism)
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To: SIDENET

#37 - good one!


142 posted on 04/11/2009 8:57:47 AM PDT by SkyPilot
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To: Zakeet
Option 2: It's a protest against tax hikes. But there have barely been any!

Andrew Sullivan should come to the People's Socialist RepubliK of Illannoyed where:


143 posted on 04/11/2009 8:58:35 AM PDT by usconservative (Attention Homeland Security: Obama Is A Terrorist - Don't Let Him Back Into America!)
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To: GOPJ
The tell me what is the message of the tea parties, one that can be put on a protest sign, a sign that will be photographed and show up in every newspaper and TV news show the day after?

Because that is the message and image millions of Americans will see. And if they don't understand it, if they don't get it within 3 seconds, the effort may not only be in vain but written off in the minds of millions of potential supporters and advocates.

144 posted on 04/11/2009 8:58:48 AM PDT by Bob J ("For every 1000 hacking at the branches of evil, one strikes at it's root.")
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To: Caipirabob
"Tantrums! You're throwing tantrums!"

This line of argument is old ... to the tune of better than 15 years.

There's very little difference between it and the "Angry White Male" (as personified by the Michael Douglas character in 'Falling Down') smears from circa 1994.

Sullivan needs to do something other than boost stale material and come up with something new.
145 posted on 04/11/2009 8:59:32 AM PDT by tanknetter
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To: capt. norm

Okay, let’s be specific, because as long as you don’t have a particular target you will never have to admit you missed.

What legislation do you expect to have enacted or repealed as a result of this heroic effort I keep poo-pooing? Judicial appointments? Regulatory changes? Bureaucracies toppled? Editorial policies?

Give me something, anything, by which we can measure your success or failure in influencing government and/or the press.


146 posted on 04/11/2009 9:01:16 AM PDT by papertyger
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To: GOPJ

“And was that “activism” a group in search of people to follow them?”

By not giving them something the mentally grab on to, you haven’t given them anything to follow.

And the problem with “groups of people” is most of the time you only get one shot at them and then the write you off.

I’mnot saying the TP’s aren’t a good idea, I’m not saying the effot isn’t worthwhile, I’m looking for the easy to grasp message you’re trying to convey.


147 posted on 04/11/2009 9:02:10 AM PDT by Bob J ("For every 1000 hacking at the branches of evil, one strikes at it's root.")
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To: Bob J
And I’m a hardened conservative who spent 8 long years in th trenches of conservative activism.

How'd that work out for you? I must have missed your success in the NYT.

148 posted on 04/11/2009 9:02:33 AM PDT by Glenn (Free Venezuela!)
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To: Zakeet
I think we got every right to throw a tantrum after the government has s**t all over our liberties and our economy. Its because of idiots like Sullivan that we are in the mess now.

Surprisingly but not so surprisingly, he supports taking our money and giving it to fat cats who evict homeowners and send jobs overseas. Whatever happened to the left having compassion for the poor? oh! That's right, liberals don't give a f*** they just use them to trash America.

149 posted on 04/11/2009 9:05:27 AM PDT by mainestategop (MAINE: The way communism should be)
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To: papertyger
See, I don't think we will be heard, not at this point, that is, and not by the people who really need to hear it. Instead, we'll observe the usual suspects in the mainstream news media running interference for their quarterback Obama, as they endeavor to mischaracterize, misreport, deny and denigrate; you know: all the things they do best.

For their part, congressional leaders will continue to turn a blind eye to the Tea Parties, when they are not sniping from the rooftops of the Sunday talk show circuit.

The importance and vitality of these events, then, I believe will be to create a sense of community and begin to build a momentum toward real organization which itself is unlikely to occur until more dramatic events unfold. And trust me: they will.

150 posted on 04/11/2009 9:08:30 AM PDT by andy58-in-nh (You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life.)
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