Tea Baggers Plotting To Sabotage Union Rallies

Tea CrusadersAmerica is about to learn how the right-wing engages in community organizing. Rather than working to get the support of like-minded citizens to participate in public events on behalf of their agenda, Tea Partiers are planning a campaign of dirty tricks that fails to advance the debate, but succeeds in revealing their own contempt for the democratic process. For a crowd who professes to revere the Constitution, they are openly demonstrating their disrespect for the First Amendment’s guarantees of free assembly and the redressing of grievances.

Here is the plot as laid out by Tea Bagging luminary Mark Williams: [Note: Williams’ website keeps appearing and disappearing so here is Google’s cache of the page]

Here is what I am doing in Sacramento, where they are holding a 5:30 PM event this coming Tuesday: (1) I signed up as an organizer (2) with any luck they will contact me and I will have an “in” (3) in or not I will be there and am asking as many other people as can get there to come with, all of us in SEIU shirts (those who don’t have them we can possibly buy some from vendors likely to be there) (4) we are going to target the many TV cameras and reporters looking for comments from the members there (5) we will approach the cameras to make good pictures… signs under our shirts that say things like “screw the taxpayer!” and “you OWE me!” to be pulled out for the camera (timing is important because the signs will be taken away from us) (6) we will echo those slogans in angry sounding tones to the cameras and the reporters. (7) if I do get the “in” I am going to do my darnedest to get podium access and take the mic to do that rant from there…with any luck and if I can manage the moments to build up to it, I can probably get a cheer out of the crowd for something extreme.

And Williams describes precisely what his goals are for this charade:

Our goal is to make the gathering look as greedy and goonish as we know that it is, ding their credibility with the media and exploit the lazy reporters who just want dramatic shots and outrageous quotes for headlines. Even if it becomes known that we are plants the quotes and pictures will linger as defacto truth.

It should come as no surprise that the Tea Party aspires to manufacture falsehoods that they hope will linger as “defacto truth.” They rarely show much regard for actual truth. And with this project they affirm that their movement is utterly devoid of principle.

Mark Williams is a veteran Tea Bagger with a dubious history. He was expelled as the head of Tea Party Express for composing some overtly racist screeds for his blog. Subsequently, the Tea Party Express was banished from the Tea Party Federation. But the affiliation between these people and groups continues without interruption. Williams’ scheme has been endorsed by the Patriot Action Network, another Tea Party adjunct, whose partners include Islamophobe Pamela Geller’s Atlas Shrugs and, of course, Tea Party Express.

In addition to this, Tea Party Express, which is known for funneling donations into the GOP lobbyist firm that created it, has been embraced by CNN. The network is co-hosting a Republican presidential primary debate with the disreputable organization. And CNN’s affiliation with the phony Tea Party movement also extends to their airing of Michele Bachmann’s Tea Party response to the State of the Union address, and to the hiring of Tea Party flack (and Breitbart’s editor-in-chief) Dana Loesch. CNN’s love affair with the Tea Party has been orchestrated by their new head, Ken Jautz, who will forever be marked as the man who gave Glenn Beck his first job in television.

The Tea Party’s response to the massive week-long demonstrations by labor and others in Wisconsin has been pitiful. Despite Tea Party star-power like Andrew Breitbart, Herman Cain, and Joe the Plumber, their big counter-demonstration last Saturday fizzled as a mere 2,500 Baggers showed up to confront an estimated 70,000 pro-worker demonstrators. And their little affair lasted less than an hour and a half, wrapping up at about 1:20pm although it had been scheduled to go until 3:00. This show of weakness may be why the Tea Baggers are resorting to dirty tricks.

The pro-American worker demonstrators should be on alert for Tea Party saboteurs. They should be prepared to expose them and inform the media of the desperate and unethical tactics. The media, for its part, should also be aware of the misrepresentation that they are being targeted with, and they should not hesitate to reveal it to their audience.

Whether or not this childish prank succeeds is still up in the air. One thing that Williams gets right is that the press can be astonishingly lazy. That means it’s up to citizens to make sure that the press do their jobs. So if you are attending any rallies, be aware, be vigilant, and be careful. These instigators have been primed by the rhetoric of Glenn Beck and other purveyors of hate. They have been deluded into thinking that the giant. multinational corporations who despise workers’ rights are actually representing their interests. And they are capable of anything in pursuit of their anti-union, anti-democracy mission.

Tea Party Caucus Forms As Tea Party Fractures

Michelle Bachmann (TP-MN) has received acceptance of her request to form a Tea Party Caucus in the House of Representatives. In a report on Fox News it was heralded as a “victory in Congress for the Tea Party.” It was further stated that the approval was acquired in record time for a new caucus.

I’m sure that Democrats around the country are sending their congratulations and best wishes to Bachmann. This may be a masterstroke of self-destruction for the Minnesota Republican. She would be wise to consider why the Committee on House Administration, with six Democrats and three Republicans, would so quickly sign off on her collective.

It will be interesting to see how many of her colleagues she recruits into her caucus. Membership will present a measure of risk as the decision to join will require a difficult political choice: Do you associate yourself with a controversial army of right-wing extremists and radicals by joining? Or do you suffer their unforgiving wrath by snubbing them? That dilemma is likely going to limit the growth of Bachmann’s Baggers.

Tea Party RacismAlliance with the Tea Party is becoming more hazardous with every day. The NAACP just passed a resolution calling on Tea Party leaders to renounce the overtly racist elements of their movement. That was met by flurry of outraged Tea Partiers who insisted that there was not even a trace of racism in their curiously mono-toned ranks. Then they switched to offense asserting that it was the NAACP that is racist.

In the course of this debate, the founder of the Tea Party Express, Mark Williams, posted a “parody” on his web site that was so offensive he was summarily booted out of the Tea Party Federation. Only right-wingers have the audacity to swear up and down that there are no racists among them even as they are kicking out a leader for being a racist. And Williams isn’t the first racist Tea Party leader to get the hook. Dale Robertson, founder of TeaParty.org was ousted earlier this year for sporting a sign with the “N” word (misspelled). We have yet to see Williams’ response to his ouster, but it may provide some more fireworks.

So as Bachmann is putting together her congregation of Tea-publicans in DC, a fissure is widening in the heartland. And they were never a particularly harmonious faction to begin with. Earlier this year there was a Tea Party convention that was roundly criticized by fellow Tea Partiers for being a for-profit event. They even committed the sacrilege of bashing keynote speaker Sarah Palin for participating. Bachmann herself was scheduled to speak, but bailed out with a lame excuse blaming the House Ethics Committee.

The followup to that convention was supposed to have been this past week in Las Vegas, but they claim to have rescheduled it for an unspecified date in October. That was a month ago and they still have no announced venue or dates.

It is notable that the Tea Party advocates responded to charges of racism by denying them, feigning ignorance (OK, maybe not feigning), and hurling back similar charges. I’m going to let Benjamin Jealous of the NAACP show them how it ought to be done. When confronted with allegations about the New Black Panther Party’s offensive and racist rhetoric, Jealous unhesitatingly replied…

“You know, bigots come in all colors. We absolutely denounce the New Black Panther Party. But they aren’t in our group. These folks are in your groups.”

What would have been so difficult for the Tea Baggers to simply respond that they don’t believe that racism is rampant in their movement and that they agree with the NAACP’s goal of stamping out racism wherever it is found? The reason they do not respond in that way is that they know that racists are a prominent and influential component of their coalition and they don’t want to alienate them. The action they are taking now is merely a consequence of the bad PR they are hoping to constrain.

As the truth about the Tea Party continues to be revealed. Bachmann’s campaign for legitimacy will flounder. And while she is getting attention from the press for her promotion of the Tea Party, I’m more interested in whether they will provide the same level of coverage a few weeks or months from now when her caucus meets and she brings her gavel down on an empty room.