Skip to comments.Tea Party crash fizzles out
Posted on 04/16/2010 5:25:45 AM PDT by Second Amendment First
After several days of hype and hand-wringing about liberal plans to infiltrate Thursdays tea party rallies, the great 2010 Tax Day Tea Party Crash did not produce much of a bang in Washington.
To be sure, a handful of obvious crashers engaged in some mostly non-confrontational back-and-forth with tea party activists at a Thursday evening rally that drew thousands to Washingtons National Mall near the Washington Monument. And some less overt crashers subtly mocked activists from amidst their ranks at both the evening rally on the Mall and an earlier event at Freedom Plaza near the White House. And there could have been other infiltrators who evaded immediate detection.
But activists and organizers interviewed by POLITICO said the mischief was nowhere near as widespread or disruptive as they feared earlier in the week, when a wave of attention focused on a website called CrashtheTeaParty.org that encouraged liberals to pretend to be tea partiers, attend rallies and voice fringe sentiments to marginalize the movement (the website appears to have been stripped of most of its content Thursday).
The group that organized the Thursday evening rally, the small-government non-profit FreedomWorks had devised plans to deal with any infiltrators who mixed among the crowd and expressed racist, homophobic, threatening or otherwise offensive rhetoric through chants, signs or t-shirts. FreedomWorks distributed signs reading Leftist Infiltrator to be used to identify alleged impostors and FreedomWorks president Matt Kibbe urged the thousands who gathered for the evening event to take photos of offenders to be posted online to embarrass them.
We had like tornado drills to practice responding to suspected infiltrators, said FreedomWorks spokesman Adam Brandon. But as the last of the speakers took the stage Thursday night, Brandon said it turned out to be really much ado about nothing. He speculated that anyone who showed up with the intent of pulling such a stunt might have backed down after deciding they didnt want to embarrass themselves in front of all these nice people.
Not everyone was discouraged, though.
A small group of folks from CrashtheTeaParty were rumored to be in the crowd on the Mall Thursday night with a sign disparaging lower income people.
And a group of five American University students, who were on average probably at least 25 years younger than most attendees at the FreedomWorks rally, waded through the crowd with signs ranging from the direct and challenging (Embrace the state) to the satirical (I have a sign and Loud noises) to the malapropically mocking (No $ 4 educatoin. I dont wnt it).
Were really just more protesting for the sake of humor, said Thomas Bollerman, 19, of Ridgefield, Conn., who identified himself and his cohorts as part of a Protest Club at American.
Plenty of rally attendees werent amused. The protest club was repeatedly photographed (per Kibbes instructions), but also peppered with shouts including Grow up and Get out of here. And one man wearing an Albany Tea Party shirt and a long braided gray ponytail, who identified himself only as Spider, menacingly followed them through the crowd.
I have a problem with you pretending to be one of us, he told Bollermans crew, his voice quivering with anger, after they made a beeline for a cluster of police vehicles.
When Spider parted company with the infiltrators, Bollerman conceded he was frightened. Im still kind sweating and nervous, he said.
Kurt Beyer, a 21-year-old student at Pennsylvanias Muhlenberg College wearing a short-sleeve flannel button down open wide enough at the collar to expose an infinity cross tattoo on his chest, was a little more subtle.
He attended with two of classmates and held aloft a sign reading Palin 2010. One people. One Nation. One Leader. Not only is Palin not running for anything in 2010 (shes rumored to be considering a presidential bid in 2012), but the slogan is a translation of one used by Adolph Hitler in 1938.
Im just trying to mess with people, he said, though few bothered him, perhaps because he was less confrontational than the Bollerman crew.
And a self-described infiltrator at the afternoon rally, who dressed as a monk and carried a sign reading God Hates Taxes, said many tea partiers lauded him for his sign.
I thought Id be getting drummed out of here by somebody who just thought I was here to agitate and start trouble, he told a POLITICO videographer. In fact, it turns out its very empowering. People really love this sign, he said, adding the whole idea that God hates taxes is an absolute absurdity, however its always good to know that God is on your side.
But some asserted the evidence of infiltration plots could work to the tea partys advantage by corroborating tea partiers allegations that various bad behaviors that have been attributed to them from vandalism to offensive or threatening rhetoric may actually have been the work of plants working to further a critical narrative casting tea partiers as intolerant bigots more upset with President Barack Obamas race than with his administrations ambitious policy agenda.
After a speech to the afternoon rally, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), a hero of the tea party movement, told POLITICO ultimately, it will fall on its face, because any time something weird happens at a tea party gathering, they can say well say well, hey, theres the left for you.
And Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), in a speech at the afternoon rally, welcomed any infiltrators.
Im hoping that youll learn something, he said. And Im hoping that you realize and come clean that the only misbehavior that youll see at a tea party rally is caused by infiltrators and not members of the tea party.
Brooks Alexander, a 23-year-old Olney, Md., hotel worker and Obama supporter who wore an Obama t-shirt to the evening rally, said infiltrators were being disrespectful.
Theyre doing a disservice not only to themselves, but to the people who are here trying to express their views, said Alexander, who is African American and said he traveled to the rally to verify for himself liberal accounts blasting the tea party as racist.
All my friends told me I was crazy to come down here in an Obama shirt, he said. Obviously I have political disagreements [with the tea party], but I cannot lie. I cannot say that people have been anything but nice to me. They have been shaking my hand. One guy told me I had a lot of [guts] for coming down here. I will definitely walk away from this with a new understanding of the tea party.
And how much talk was there in the Pravda Press about "racism", "hatred", and "calls for violence" at the Tea Parties that never materialized?
Shove it up your bigoted rump, Pravda Politicos.
It was John Edwards who claimed "there are two americas".
It was Barack Obama who claimed he would "unite the American people".
It is Barack Obama who is called "The One".
The hamfisted infiltrators have done a great service to the tea parties. Folks are now on their guard for agent provocateurs and are thinking about strategies to counter them. That’s good news.
Folks who have never heard of Saul Alinsky are now reading his books and learning about what we’re up against. That’s even better news.
Paying taxes does not absolve you of your mandate to tithe.
Tax collectors were a corrupt and reviled lot in Jesus' day. Not much has changed.
They have helped greatly in casting doubt on the earlier reports of racism at the rallies. They have outed themselves to our advantage.
Just because you see a picture on the internetz does not mean it was a genuine protest photo.
The media dismissed all reports of antisemitism, calls for violence, comparisons between the president and hitler, etc when the Left was holding their Communist Party USA funded “antiwar” rallies while Bush was in office.
We were told about the marches but not about the extremist rhetoric or nutty truther conspiracies that motivated them.
We had a handful who stayed on the periphery of our rally at the state capitol in Hartford, Connecticut. One idiot held a sign with the phrase Tea Party KKK. I was told this fruitcake has attended other tea party rallies in the state. Another small group tried to hold up some sign but they, like the KKK idiot were lectured by the Connecticut State Police and were surrounded by a group of big veterans/bikers wearing leather jackets, who all were holding either the Stars and Stripes, the Gadsden flag or other types of Americans flags.
Very astute observation. The left have become real artists in the craft of propaganda. The nuances, descriptive adjectives, etc. all point to their real communication.
People in the Soviet Union had to learn how to read between the lines of TASS (news agency) for clues as to the truth. We must learn to do the same. We can glean a lot of info from how the left deceives. Someday, this will come in handy.
I wouldn't want a $4 education, either. You get want you pay for.