President Obama was elected democratically, according to the doctrines set forth by the Founding Fathers. The Tea Party movement represents a real danger to the tenets of democracy Americans have embraced for centuries.The editors of the San Francisco Examiner (I thought it was out of business, no?) put this fearful title on an otherwise reasonable article explaining how the liberal bias of the mainstream media has blinded them to the tea party phenomenon: Tea parties are flash crowds Obama should fear. One commenter, who apparently read the headline but not the article, commented: "Many of those signing on to these tea parties are from the militia movement groups. They are scary and potentially violent."
Media Matters is on the case, to prevent the revolution led by FOX News: "Despite its repeated insistence that its coverage is "fair and balanced" and its invitation to viewers to "say 'no' to biased media," Fox News has frequently aired segments encouraging viewers to get involved with "tea party" protests across the country ...."
The Huffington Post is organizing "citizen journalists" to attend the protests, allegedly to "report." Which means that they will try to find someone in a crowd who says something stupid, will post it on the internet, and build an argument around it trying to demonize the movement. And left-wing bloggers will react in unison like dogs responding to a whistle, about the "dangerous" and "violent" and "racist" tea parties. This tactic is as old as time; or at least as old as the internet.
Expect counter-protestors: "This may be really, really short notice, but those tea parties really make me angry! I'd like to go and protest - would anyone be interested in joining me?" Nothing wrong with that, but if it turns into fight-baiting, you know who will get the blame.
Others are in full denial, and think ridicule is the way to go: "As a liberal, I desperately fear the great big Tea-Bag Party scheduled for April 15, in the sense that I may just crack some ribs laughing. Will this sort of thing ever get old?" I think Eugene Robinson would call such a post "snarky" (or is it "snarly"?).
But not to worry, the tea parties are just "Lots and Lots of Wingnut Weird." Sounds like Obama in San Francisco talking about all those racist, bible-clutching, dumb-ass people from the countryside. The people sure is scary.
UPDATE: And So It Goes In Shreveport has a great post: I'm a PO'd Red Meat Eatin' American
UPDATE No. 2: Not Tea Party related, but worth noting, CNN had a pretty reasonable segment on Obama bowing down to the King of Saudi Arabia, and here is the reaction from the aptly named Crooks and Liars: "OK, what the heck is CNN doing in this segment? Is there something wrong with Blitzer and their news department? For them to waste almost three minutes of their biggest news show on something as trivial and ignorant as the conservative kerfluffle over Obama's bow to King Abdullah is quite shocking."
You can imagine the shrill screams if CNN and other networks do a fair job of reporting on the Tea Parties.
Update No. 3: Andrew Sullivan, of Trigg Palin hoax hoax fame, adds this to the debate: "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."
See, this movement is not as organized and intellectually neat as Sullivan would prefer; that's what happens when movements are genuine, not cooked up in a community-organizer play book.
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