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E.J. Dionne Jr. of Washington Post Muses: Can the left stage a Tea Party?
Washington Post ^ | 10/03/2011 | E.J. Dionne Jr.

Posted on 10/03/2011 7:46:05 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

Why hasn’t there been a Tea Party on the left? And can President Obama and the American left develop a functional relationship?

That those two questions are not asked very often is a sign of how much of the nation’s political energy has been monopolized by the right from the beginning of Obama’s term. This has skewed media coverage of almost every issue, created the impression that the president is far more liberal than he is, and turned the nation’s agenda away from progressive reform.

A quiet left has also been very bad for political moderates. The entire political agenda has shifted far to the right because the Tea Party and extremely conservative ideas have earned so much attention. The political center doesn’t stand a chance unless there is a fair fight between the right and the left.

It’s not surprising that Obama’s election unleashed a conservative backlash. Ironically, disillusionment with George W. Bush’s presidency had pushed Republican politics right, not left. Given the public’s negative verdict on Bush, conservatives shrewdly argued that his failures were caused by his lack of fealty to conservative doctrine. He was cast as a big spender (even if a large chunk of the largess went to Iraq). He was called too liberal on immigration and a big-government guy for bailing out the banks, using federal power to reform the schools and championing a Medicare prescription drug benefit.

Conservative funders realized that pumping up the Tea Party movement was the most efficient way to build opposition to Obama’s initiatives. And the media became infatuated with the Tea Party in the summer of 2009, covering its disruptions of congressional town halls with an enthusiasm not visible this summer when many Republicans faced tough questions from their more progressive constituents.

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: coffeeparty; left; liberals; teaparty
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1 posted on 10/03/2011 7:46:12 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

No.

The Tea Party believes in The Constitution

The left does not.


2 posted on 10/03/2011 7:47:42 AM PDT by A_Former_Democrat
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To: SeekAndFind

Dionne doesn’t understand the Tea part, “Taxed Enough Already.” The left can’t have a Tea Party because they believe they are not taxed enough.


3 posted on 10/03/2011 7:48:16 AM PDT by NRA1995 (Obama's presidency is shovel-ready; let's bury it in 2012!)
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To: SeekAndFind

Problem is that the Tea Party is, by its nature, a spontaneous movement. If there were to be a left wing version, it would have already happened.


4 posted on 10/03/2011 7:48:49 AM PDT by rightwingcrazy
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To: SeekAndFind

No, because they are either Commies or Commie sympathizers. They adore government. They are the “King George” of modern America.


5 posted on 10/03/2011 7:49:43 AM PDT by Inwoodian
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To: SeekAndFind

If they try, it will no doubt come out looking like the Chicago Convention of 1968. And just as those events chased the public into the arms of Nixon, the reaction will drive the country further rightward.


6 posted on 10/03/2011 7:50:06 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: rightwingcrazy

The Collective Will would have already been given their marching orders from George Soros...oh wait, they have.


7 posted on 10/03/2011 7:50:47 AM PDT by Pecos (O.K., joke's over. Time to bring back the Constitution.)
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To: SeekAndFind

No more proof needed that the Left has no understanding of Tea Party, the original Boston tea party, the Constitution how it came to be, and the meaning of all three.


8 posted on 10/03/2011 7:51:05 AM PDT by Sir Napsalot (Pravda + Useful Idiots = CCCP; JournOList + Useful Idiots = DopeyChangey!)
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To: SeekAndFind

*****And the media became infatuated with the Tea Party in the summer of 2009*****

I missed that - Just D@mn!


9 posted on 10/03/2011 7:51:05 AM PDT by sodpoodle (God is ignoring me - because He is watching you.)
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To: SeekAndFind

No, they can’t.

The TEA Party is a respectful, constitutional based spontaneous reaction of like minded individuals who’s anger all boils down to a reasoably simple to understand concept. Government overreach.

The Left is a conglomeration of disrespectful, unconstitutional factions which have gathered together to gain political power as a voting bloc. When the enviros protest, the unions will stay home. When the race baiters protest, the gays stay home etc...


10 posted on 10/03/2011 7:51:45 AM PDT by Personal Responsibility (Cain 2012!)
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To: SeekAndFind

Dionne and the Left still do not understand the TEA Party and its nature. They’re projecting themselves yet again since everything they plan and do requires “Vanguard of the Proletariat” style astroturfing. That the TEA Party is a wholly grassroots phenomenon and has not relied upon top-down direction and organizing is completely foreign to them.


11 posted on 10/03/2011 7:52:04 AM PDT by Virginia Ridgerunner (Sarah Palin has crossed the Rubicon!)
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To: SeekAndFind
E.J. Dionne Jr., wringing his panties in frustration, because the media's gone too conservative under Obama.

Reading that wasted 47 seconds of my life that I'll never get back.

12 posted on 10/03/2011 7:52:20 AM PDT by dead (I've got my eye out for Mullah Omar.)
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Comment #13 Removed by Moderator

To: SeekAndFind

They can’t because they already have their protest groups down on Wall Street disrupting, getting arrested, and making asses out of themselves in front of the People while wasting taxpayer money putting up with their childish and selfish BS..

They have the communist party, labor unions, black panthers, you name it, already doing their bidding.

All that happens when the left gets involved is an eye opening of the people watching the anti American screed that spews out of them.

The do best when they shut up.


14 posted on 10/03/2011 7:53:11 AM PDT by dforest
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To: SeekAndFind

They can’t because they already have their protest groups down on Wall Street disrupting, getting arrested, and making asses out of themselves in front of the People while wasting taxpayer money putting up with their childish and selfish BS.

They have the communist party, labor unions, black panthers, you name it, already doing their bidding.

All that happens when the left gets involved is an eye opening of the people watching the anti American screed that spews out of them.

The do best when they shut up.


15 posted on 10/03/2011 7:53:34 AM PDT by dforest
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To: rightwingcrazy

Leftists’ ideology centers around top-down control.
They have no idea how a “movement” can work without elite leaders “organizing” the hoi polloi into vocal protest.


16 posted on 10/03/2011 7:54:01 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter knows whom he's working for)
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To: SeekAndFind

hey E.J., there is...700 of ‘em got arrested this weekend.


17 posted on 10/03/2011 7:54:19 AM PDT by stylin19a (obama..."Fredo-Smart")
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To: NRA1995
SOME FIXING...
The left can’t have a Tea Party because they believe they you and others are not taxed enough.
18 posted on 10/03/2011 7:55:44 AM PDT by SeekAndFind (u)
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To: SeekAndFind

No, the author has no grasp of the differences between the RNC and the DNC.

The RNC is a party of concensus. We have little in common, other than some core beliefs. We want small goverment, low taxes and freedoms to live our lives. We each have our favorite politician, but through exercises of ‘give and take’ we reach a consensus as to which candidate more closely approximates our individual taste.

The DNC is a party of personal promotion. Consider, the Homosexual Party, Automaker’s Unions, Environmentalists and Welfare recipients all want something from the goverment, each for selfish reasons. They cannot justify their own existance financially; they depend upon the Gov’t to forcibly take money from the taxpayer, and then give it to them or to champion their cause. They are parsites - those who consume off their host, and contribute little, if anything back to the good of the host.

So, we have the Tea Party; individuals from all walks of life, across all races, backgrounds, economic strata and lifestyles - spontaneously showing up and speaking with a loud voice; for the GOOD OF THE COUNTRY.

Whereas, the left cares only about what is in the individual’s best self-interests. They are fundamentally flawed, in that they have little or no regard as to what is good for the country; they are focused on their own selfish little world.


19 posted on 10/03/2011 7:56:15 AM PDT by Hodar ( Who needs laws; when this FEELS so right?)
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To: SeekAndFind

Ding-Dong, you ever seen a patriotic, flag-waving, America-Loving left-wing rally?


20 posted on 10/03/2011 7:56:28 AM PDT by TexasCajun (Fast & Furious , Solyndra & Light Squared would be enough to impeach any White President !!)
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To: SeekAndFind

Classic. The politics of envy writ large.

What is this, “movement envy”?

I thought the left were the Progressives, the ones with all the new ideas, the ones with the high-class educations, the ones who came out of our most elite schools.

I thought the left were the winners, the ones who didn’t have to worry about the knuckle-dragging throwbacks who only wanted to lynch Blacks from lampposts.

I thought the left was the party of the little guy, the working man, who rejected the clenched-up intolerance of Conservatism for the enlightenment of mankind.

Whaaaaat...?? We are going to reject all this now?

Oh, and above all, I thought the left was the party that stood up for and stayed true to its’ many principles.


21 posted on 10/03/2011 7:56:57 AM PDT by Attention Surplus Disorder (Madoff screwed the rich. Bernanke screwed us all.)
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To: SeekAndFind

The answer to that is no, because the TEA Party is an entity that backs limited government, anathema to the democrats.

But none of that matters, because in Dionne’s dutifully liberal mind, the only question about anything is... “will it please Obama.”


22 posted on 10/03/2011 7:57:04 AM PDT by ScottinVA (With "successes" like the Libya adventure, who needs failure?)
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To: SeekAndFind

Yes, probably. Well, they would serve tea, BRITISH tea, to each other. They would discuss the latest in Liberal Intelligentsia Elite “thinking”, better known as the L.I.E., and of course talk about their Expert Counterculture appearences on the tabloid Main Stream Media - - - .

HEY! I believe that I am describing the present ! They already have THEIR “T.E.A.” Party and it stands for TAX ENTERPRISE AMERICA !


23 posted on 10/03/2011 7:57:16 AM PDT by Graewoulf ( obama"care" violates the 1890 Sherman Anti-Trust Law, AND is illegal by the U.S. Constitution.)
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To: indylindy

That’s another reason that they can’t organize an analog to the Tea Party.

Just like with talk radio and Fox News, the Tea Party is a COUNTER to the prevailing ubiquitous leftist/secular humanist culture in America.

You can’t gain a following or market share when what you’re selling is available wherever else you turn.

It’s like selling snow to eskimos.


24 posted on 10/03/2011 8:00:12 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter knows whom he's working for)
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To: SeekAndFind
And the media became infatuated with the Tea Party in the summer of 2009, covering its disruptions of congressional town halls with an enthusiasm not visible this summer when many Republicans faced tough questions from their more progressive constituents.

BTW, this is a clear admission that the Left's astroturfing attempt to replicate TEA Party anger at townhall meetings was a complete and dismal failure.

25 posted on 10/03/2011 8:00:18 AM PDT by Virginia Ridgerunner (Sarah Palin has crossed the Rubicon!)
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To: Virginia Ridgerunner

“We are Spartacus”


26 posted on 10/03/2011 8:01:15 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter knows whom he's working for)
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To: Virginia Ridgerunner
Dionne and the Left still do not understand the TEA Party and its nature. They’re projecting themselves yet again since everything they plan and do requires “Vanguard of the Proletariat” style astroturfing. That the TEA Party is a wholly grassroots phenomenon and has not relied upon top-down direction and organizing is completely foreign to them.

Nicely put. Despite the mountain of evidence to the contrary, Dionne continues his unwavering faith that Obama is some sort of "moderate" or "centrist" which allows him to automatically label any opposition as radical or extreme. He just doesn't get it and never will.
27 posted on 10/03/2011 8:01:34 AM PDT by rockvillem
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To: SeekAndFind

The Left could never match the Tea Party because they are pigs and do not clean up after themselves. They also are very violent and that will not go over well with folks. The left is also angry whereas the Tea Party is resolute.


28 posted on 10/03/2011 8:01:41 AM PDT by vicar7 ("Polls are for strippers and cross-country skiers" Sarah Palin)
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To: A_Former_Democrat

A “left” teaparty would be to the TEA Party what Air-America was to the likes of Limbaugh, et al.

Pure astroturf. The TEA Party movement is something that is uniquely conservative. It is because they have logic and reason - and a civilized attitude - on their side.

The left has emotion. Cut through that and they have nothing. It means their events need to be powered by emotion and, when the stakes are high, that is never pretty.


29 posted on 10/03/2011 8:01:57 AM PDT by cuban leaf (Were doomed! Details at eleven.)
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To: SeekAndFind
The left has the power of illusion - and the power of hate.

They can send fake letters to everyone and look like there's millions of activists - when in fact it's three paid professionals in a 'war room'... Those three people and their political bosses can't have a 'Tea party'.

There's two sections to the 'hate' section of of liberal elites. 'rent a crowds' - where Union goons, ACORN members, citizens working off court ordered speeding tickets, protests.

And the street riots bunch - bored citizens who think it's still 1968 - who want entertainment and excitement. They can't do 'Tea Party' either...

30 posted on 10/03/2011 8:02:25 AM PDT by GOPJ (Bibi would go toe to toe with the devil if it was the only way to save his beloved Israel.)
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To: SeekAndFind

“Stage”?

LOL man, talk about starting out on the wrong foot.


31 posted on 10/03/2011 8:03:21 AM PDT by cripplecreek (MLB Playoff thread http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/2786167/posts)
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To: vicar7

—The Left could never match the Tea Party because they are pigs and do not clean up after themselves.—

I gotta admit that every time I think of leftist events and their aftermath I think of the mess at the end of the movie Woodstock. That pretty much says it all.

And it hasn’t changed. Some of the old hippies are now TEA partiers, and they don’t leave that kind of mess any more. They grew up. :-)


32 posted on 10/03/2011 8:07:02 AM PDT by cuban leaf (Were doomed! Details at eleven.)
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To: SeekAndFind

How far can a Coffee Party go on the platform of “tax us more, abort our children, make us all debt slaves and destroy our military”.

It’s just not a very catchy platform.


33 posted on 10/03/2011 8:07:24 AM PDT by DaxtonBrown (http://www.futurnamics.com/reid.php)
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To: SeekAndFind

They tried. It was called the “Coffee Party.”

I recall seeing the video of their first mtg on TV. Complete with Susie Benjaman of Code Pinko in attendance.


34 posted on 10/03/2011 8:11:00 AM PDT by sauropod (William Kristol does NOT choose my presidential candidate!)
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They did...it was called the “Coffee Party”

It was so wildly successful that apparently, nobody remembers is


35 posted on 10/03/2011 8:12:37 AM PDT by dsrtsage (One half of all people have below average IQ...In the US the number is 54%)
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To: DaxtonBrown

RE: It’s just not a very catchy platform.

How catchy is the platform — MAKE THE GREEDY RICH PAY MORE FOR THE NEEDS OF SOCIETY?


36 posted on 10/03/2011 8:12:37 AM PDT by SeekAndFind (u)
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To: SeekAndFind

The answer to dionne’s question is an emphatic “no.” The Tea Party movement is already the response from the right to what the left has been doing for decades. They have been “organized” by their “leaders.” We are self-activated and self-organized.


37 posted on 10/03/2011 8:13:15 AM PDT by RobinOfKingston (The instinct toward liberalism is located in the part of the brain called the rectal lobe.)
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To: SeekAndFind
"Conservative funders realized that pumping up the Tea Party movement was the most efficient way to build opposition to Obama’s initiatives."

Where do these people get this sort of stuff? Dionne tries to make it sound as though deep pockets on the right have thrown large sums of money at the Tea Party movement to build it up, when nothing of the sort has happened.

He's subtly trying to reinforce the 'astroturf' claim by some on the left, including Nancy Pelosi. It was a lie when she said it, and it's still a lie. The Tea Party is effective because it's not owned by any financial interests.

No, Dionne, the most efficient means to building opposition to Obama's initiatives was Obama's initiatives, you moron.

38 posted on 10/03/2011 8:14:02 AM PDT by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: SeekAndFind

It would definitely be “staged”


39 posted on 10/03/2011 8:14:44 AM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Happiness)
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To: dsrtsage

RE: It was so wildly successful that apparently, nobody remembers is

Does anybody remember the NO LABELS movement?

See here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_Labels


40 posted on 10/03/2011 8:15:20 AM PDT by SeekAndFind (u)
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To: sauropod

Don’t forget Vann Jones, he has his wildly popular movement.


41 posted on 10/03/2011 8:15:47 AM PDT by phormer phrog phlyer
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To: SeekAndFind

What concern is that of yours E.J.? It almost gives the impression that The Washington Post has a left-wing bias.


42 posted on 10/03/2011 8:15:56 AM PDT by Texas Eagle (If it wasn't for double-standards, Liberals would have no standards at all -- Texas Eagle)
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To: SeekAndFind
E.J. Dionne Jr. of Washington Post Muses: Can the left stage a Tea Party?

Of course, Mister Dionne, the left can certainly stage a tea party, as a matter of fact they are drinking tea right now on Wall Street.


43 posted on 10/03/2011 8:16:28 AM PDT by nathanbedford ("Attack, repeat, attack!" Bull Halsey)
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To: MrB

This is of course the correct answer.

What would they do - form a teachers union ....? Whoops!

The fact this moron can’t see the forest for the trees is a perfect example of modern left media. He - literally - does not understand the world he is reporting on.


44 posted on 10/03/2011 8:17:00 AM PDT by Eldon Tyrell
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To: A_Former_Democrat
Exactly! Limited government, personal liberty, freedom and responsibility.

There can be no "tea party" for the left, only a "red party." (or perhaps a "green party") :)
45 posted on 10/03/2011 8:18:03 AM PDT by Sudetenland (There can be no freedom without God--What man gives, man can take away.)
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To: SeekAndFind

No Labels:

“We’re tired of people using a simple label like ‘liberal’ or ‘progressive’ or ‘leftist’ to identify us as a socialist/communist movement, so we’re going to demand that we have ‘no labels’ so that we can’t be so easily identified.”


46 posted on 10/03/2011 8:18:30 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter knows whom he's working for)
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To: GOPJ
The left has the power of illusion - and the power of hate.

Just like their ideological "father".

47 posted on 10/03/2011 8:19:51 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter knows whom he's working for)
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To: SeekAndFind

The left is soooooo jealous.

Here’s why the left fails: when they throw a party, the FREAKS come out. The anarchists, the socialists, the communists, the Black Panthers, the Earth-firsters...

It’s embarrassing. No one *normal* wants to be associated with these losers.

The Tea Party, on the other hand, *is* normal people. So naturally, people aren’t ashamed to be seen with them.


48 posted on 10/03/2011 8:20:53 AM PDT by bolobaby
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To: SeekAndFind

They already have one, it’s called the media.

Pray for America


49 posted on 10/03/2011 8:21:44 AM PDT by bray (Sarah is hated by the establishment of both Parties. Winner!)
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To: rightwingcrazy

Problem is that the Tea Party is, by its nature, a spontaneous movement

The left does NOTHING spontaneous - it has to be by their socialist handbook and in lock step coordination. Besides, their issues run the gambit of social order - if a crowd of lefties are interviewed each one would have a different social agenda to gripe about and believe in. The Tea Party just wants what our forefathers fought to give us - our constitution, smaller government, lower taxes, etc. - too simple for the vast intelligence of the left/s.


50 posted on 10/03/2011 8:25:34 AM PDT by Bitsy (!)
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