Skip to comments.Teaparty.org, Minuteman Project and Occupy D.C. Organizers hold a beer summit at CPAC.
Posted on 02/13/2012 4:36:56 PM PST by Blue Collar Republican
It would have been just any mundane clash of civilizations with points thrown and missed until a Mad Hatter in the form of the gregarious Tea Partier appears in the thick of the stand off between Occupiers and Conservatives and says - hey stop shouting at each other - you got at least 60% in common - so lets have some beers (many beers) and discuss this. And so began the Beer Summit an initiative between possibly the minuteman wing of the Tea Party - attendees at the CPAC and some of the Occupiers who came to protest CPAC.
At the CPAC-Occupy beer summit Over drinks, foot soldiers of the left and right explore what they agree on: more than you'd think BY JEFFERSON MORLEY http://www.salon.com/2012/02/13/at_the_cpac_occupy_beer_summit/singleton/
I bet I can guess which ones paid the tab.
Politics makes strange bedfellows.
Anybody who says I have 6% in common with a rat-ass ‘occupier’ just uttered fighting words.
Coming to general agreement on a few issues is one thing (eg crony capitalism, Washington D.C. insider trading, political corruption, etc), but agreeing on what needs to be done to “deal” with the issues is quite another.
This is an interesting set of circumstances. The Tea Party people have beliefs set in stone. The ‘fleabaggers’ are just tools and useful idiots.
Tools and useful idiots WILL respond positively to intelligent, coherent logic and reason. I’ve had those discussions myself.
The fleabagger’s biggest disappointment is THEIR OWN PEOPLE!
Like a moth to a flame, the fleabaggers JUST MIGHT find truth.
And, I know for a fact, beer works miracles. Just ask Ben Franklin and all the colonials who brewed and drank and discussed politics over a brewski or twoski.
After all, the US Marine Corps were conjured up in TUN TAVERN! Over beer, of course.
Beer works wonders.
I am paraphrasing, because I just can’t remember the original quote, but it goes something like this: (Attributed to Ben Franklin) “Beer is the proof that a knowing God loves us.”
Or something of the such.
Ben did say such a thing. Anyone with the for real quote, please correct me.
And you would be right, but they were good guys and, as it turns out, the Occupiers hate the unions! They were telling us that hired union thugs show up, cause trouble and leave the real occupiers to get beat up by the police for something they didn’t do.
Wonder if it ever occurred to the Occupiers that both the beer they were consuming and the pub they were eating and drinking in are businesses that make money courtesy of our capitalist system?
They were our guests, it would have been rude to point that out.
It would be easy to dismiss this as the extreme left and extreme right meeting on the far end of the political spectrum with no relevance to the real world.
That would be a mistake.
We're conservatives. Go back to our history.
Three generations ago after World War II ended, conservatives decided that they could work with the non-Communist Left, on the grounds that they shared common commitments to free speech, representative government, and the rights enumerated by the Constitution. Yes, there were lots of differences, but it suited the purposes of pragmatic conservatives to divide the radical left from the moderate left based on whether they supported the Soviet Union and its denial of basic freedom.
That cooperation bore fruit in two ways.
One was the academic development of the neoconservative movement. Much has been written about that, but the key point is that when liberal intellectuals actually talked to conservatives, they found out that some of our arguments made sense and conservatives weren't knuckle-dragging troglodytes who couldn't think. The result is a fair number of liberals, even if they didn't agree with us, respected us. Men like Buckley and Gingrich are the fruit of that work, and hundreds of top conservative leaders today are former liberals who realize their liberalism was wrong because they personally examined the arguments being made by intelligent conservatives.
The other was at the blue-collar level and was most obvious with the rise of the Reagan Democrats. The attempt by the Soviet Union to crush the Solidarity free trade union in Poland was a wake-up call for many American liberal intellectuals that the Soviet Union really was evil, and for lots of American union workers and conservative Catholics, sent a strong message that the Republican anti-Communist agenda might not be all bad after all.
It's easy to demonize unions in the modern conservative movement, and in today's environment I understand that. Unions today are not doing a lot of good for anyone, but there was a day when unions were regarded by the average blue-collar factory worker as the reason his job lifted him into the middle class. I'm not saying they were right, but that's how unions were perceived by members. A generation ago, lots of union workers made up the backbone of the Reagan Democrats, voting for the former union president Ronald Reagan who supported the Solidarity trade union and religious freedom against the Soviet evil empire.
I don't know that the Occupy movement has a future. I'm inclined to think it's a flash-in-the-pan.
But if not, and if it's a true populist movement with staying power, events like this at CPAC may be of real help to conservatives in building the kinds of bridges that are needed to govern.
Our history is not an infallible guide to the future, but it is a helpful guide, and in any case, much can be learned by talking to our opponents on the other side of the political spectrum.
TEA Party is NOT “on the right”.
This is fantastic news and well overdue, IMO. The government has become the Ruling Class (Mark Levin) and corporations have learned they have to pay to play in D.C’s sandbox. The rest of us are left to pick with the chickens.
It’s about time we come to an understanding that we need to DEVOLVE government, i.e. Term Limits! Throw the ba$tards out of office, elect Citizen Representatives who serve at the WILL OF THE PEOPLE and go home when their terms are up! Put a stop to all the back room deals. We need to take our power back and it won’t happen until we’re all on the same page.
We’re ALL fed up!
Cooperation between the groups accomplishes one major goal, to make the Whitehouse nervous. In 1775, several groups that had little in common also came together for one goal, to make George III nervous. Tea Party and occupy agree on jobs, crony capitalism, ending the Fed, no more bailouts and a distain for the administration and Irish beer.
LOL. THAT'S what the two sides have a problem with. Who works and pays everything, and who claims to be Constitutionally entitled to a free ride for life.
It started as a lark; Jim Gilchrist of the Minuteman Project, author Hudson Flynt and I decided to leave the comfort of the CPAC convention and see if the Occupiers protesting outside would be willing to engage in constructive dialogue. We walked down the long driveway to a crowd of people with signs standing around an inflatable Fat Cat and chanting something about Racist Teabaggers.
From the start the conversation tended to focus on the things we agree on rather than things we dont. The topics included jobs, no more bailouts, an end to crony capitalism and an end to the Fed. There was no shouting or personal attacks.
After an hour or so we invited a few of the organizers to come have a beer with us at the pub in the Marriott hotel. Although the security guards tried to stop them from entering the lobby, we explained that we were guests at the hotel as well as conventioneers and the Occupiers were our guests for dinner. After a quick walk through the lobby the beer summit began.
At the start there were eight of us sitting at two pushed together tables, but we were soon joined by Steve Eichler and Dale Robertson of TeaParty.org and several curious conventioneers of CPAC. One occupier identified as Rusty (real name withheld by request), jokingly mentioned that his side was beginning to be outnumbered, so he and I went back to the sidewalk and got a few more occupiers that looked like they could use a meal and a beer. We did our best to keep the numbers even.
Some of our discussions focused on the media; all three organizations had been portrayed badly by reporters. It is they that have painted Tea Partiers as racists and Occupiers as communists. It is the media that focuses its cameras on uninvited skinheads at the Tea Parties and Union bully thugs at the Occupy rallies. Movements are easily discredited by undermining interests and their media lapdogs; on that we completely agreed.
After about three hours Rusty and I went back out again to fetch his backpack and tent. I walked straight into the Occupiers lines without a single word or even a dirty look. As I waited for Rusty to gather his belongings a loud argument between a CPAC conventioneer and some of the Occupiers ensued to my immediate right. What happened next was captured on video at http://youtu.be/eDEnQ27v39s .
About an hour later, while we were getting along and enjoying good company in the Pub, several thugs from the local pipefitters union showed up outside and began causing trouble. These union protesters were bused in and paid to protest according to our occupy friends. To quote Rusty, They show up, cause trouble and leave before the cops do anything. Its us real occupiers that end up taking a beating from the cops, not them.
The summit lasted until the bar closed. We all took away from it an understanding and the hope that we could work together; at the very least we could support each others right to protest.
In the 1770s, a group of people met in a tavern with a lot less in common than we have. Together these rabble rousers, statesmen and patriots had but one goal, to make the British Crown nervous. What would happen if Minutemen, Occupiers and Tea party members stood united against the government? Do you think it might make the Whitehouse nervous?
There was a time when, however thuggish they may have been, union leaders did actually work for the betterment and protection of their members.
That has not been the case now for quite some time. Just in the past few decades we’ve seen union leaders sell out their members to support the no borders crowd in bringing in more illegal aliens for whatever reasons that certainly didn’t protect the members jobs.
Perhaps they thought they’d eventually get those aliens as members as the aliens established themselves in this country or more likely the leaders saw themselves as getting points with the increasingly established international big boys or maybe (definitely in some cases) the leaders were committed communists devoted more to their own goofy ideology than to their members.
In all of those cases the leaders put their own interests not just ahead of their members’ interests but often in direct conflict with them. Why the members put up with it or couldn’t see it, I can’t imagine. Personally I don’t like getting screwed over, but an awful lot of union people have tolerated it for decades.
We would do very well indeed if we could find a way to get through to the actual members and make their own union exploitation clear to them.
An example might be the WI teachers who got laid off because the union cut big deals with local governments that outrageously (and ultimately destructively down the road) profited some union members at the absolute loss of newer members. (Remember, if the local governments had insisted on reasonable cuts to all the union members, NONE would have had to be laid off.)
Maybe small get togethers like the one in this article are the way in. I sure hope so.
Hope you keep in touch. Maybe a small group representing each group could appear on a couple of networks together.
Wouldn’t that make the establishment nervous.....
This is one of the most interesting threads that I’ve ever been on in my time here.
So does barleywine.
18 posted on Wednesday, February 15, 2012 8:32:05 PM by hoosiermama: “Hope you keep in touch. Maybe a small group representing each group could appear on a couple of networks together. Wouldnt that make the establishment nervous.....”
Could be interesting. As Blue Collar Republican said, at the absolute minimum the two groups can agree on their right to protest, and while that may not be a big deal for liberals to grant, it would perhaps reduce the “stop hate speech” screams from the left and reduce the “shut up, pinko” screams from the right.
The First Amendment recognizes that people have rights to advocate views with which we may strongly disagree. As conservatives, we are hypocrites if we ignore the original intent of the Constitution's plain language, just as liberals are hypocrites if they claim free speech rights for themselves while denying free speech to people whose speech they dislike.
Perhaps the most important benefit I see from this is recognizing that Blue Collar Republican is definitely right about the history of the American Revolution being disparate groups with a common enemy but not much else in common.
The liberals and libertarians are not entirely wrong when they point out holes in the typical conservative narrative of America as a Christian nation founded on God and limited government. Franklin and Jefferson were among the Founding Fathers, too, and while their radical views on human freedom were either modified or muted by the subsequent excesses of the French Revolution, it is a misreading of history to draw a straight line from Plymouth Rock and Massachusetts Bay all the way to the American Constitution as if there were no differences between North and South; between urban manufacturers, mercantile shippers, southern planters, and frontiersmen; and between even the founders of the different colonies on key issues of culture and religion.
The Constitution is a compromise document. It works. Following it is a really good idea.
A note for Sal: I'm not saying much because I think we agree, at least on the main points.
The fights between “rank and file” union members and the leaders of their unions used to be a much bigger deal. That difference was a key to the rise of the “Reagan Democrats.” Much could be said about that, but it's now less relevant than it used to be because much of our American manufacturing capacity has been exported to other countries, and much of what remains in the United States is now in Southern states with “right to work” laws allowing workers who don't like their union leaders to vote with their feet by leaving. We can debate whether those two developments are good or bad things, but what can't be debated is it's led to a radicalization of union leadership in ways that have not been helpful to unions, their members, or their companies.
Great discussion, thanks.
“We may not like that the whole country does not have OUR moral values but that is also freedom & we must respect it.”
— Mark T. Grove
I believe (from memory) it goes, "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
An edited version of this video has gotten over 35k views on the CNN website. Lots of positive feedback.
This video was not a true example of what the "Occupiers" are really about - anarchy and socialism. THE only thing that the TEA Party and Occupiers have in common is crony-capitalism. If you follow the video to the end, it shows some liberal white woman complaining about racism and being the reason she joined the protest. Sheesh, will they never get past it?!
THEY ARE THE RACISTS! THEY BRING IT UP IN EVERY DISCUSSION! We need to start calling them on it. Every time some lib/soc brings up race, ask them how that even matters anymore. If they mention the numbers of black men in prison, then respond with yes, they commit more crimes per population. Sorry, but it's a statistical fact. You might also want to make the point that black boys/men attack blacks boys/men more than anyone else.
It's time to start fighting back with simple statistics!
Puhlease, so you met some few rational Occupiers. Do you really believe that they are the core? Gawd, look around the country to see what their agenda is. Their signs and the mess they leave everywhere is the biggest statement of their intent.
I would love to see Occupiers, TEA Party, and others join against crony-capitalism and fedgov intrusion, but it won't happen. Mainly, because most Occupiers are anti-America...as in socialist/communist. However, kudos to you for being civil and same to those few Occupiers who would listen.
I've said since they showed up, I agree with their problem about crony-capitalism (think bailouts), but stopped when they morphed into socialists/anarchists who just want stuff (think Greece).
Their signs, chants, and behavior in every demonstration I've seen or read about shows what they want - everything for nothing. They should be living in Greece, because that is their mentality, not to mention the anarchist/communist hangers on that the core never denounces.
The Occupiers are class-warfare cry-babies and will never be satisfied, even if the power of "large corporations" was reduced. Some may be approachable for a beer, but the vast majority will never be satisfied until this Nation is based on Euro-socialism. Don't lose site because a few seemed friendly. Who do you think they will vote for this November? The person who promises them the most stuff.
Keep in mind that what the leadership of OWS wants is not necessarily what the low-level members want.
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