Tuesday, May 25, 2010

It's my blog and I can do anything I want!

This is something that has been bothering me the last couple of months.

It's the Tea Party constantly telling people who come to their events "Any references to Hitler, Nazis, etc. are not welcome". I'm personally not prone to bring any signs. Still it irritates me all the same.

These events are almost always on public streets. And, those people with the Hitler Nazi signs aren't even tea partiers anyway! They are Lyndon Larouche people.

I have pictures of them at the last Berkeley protest I went to. No Tea Partiers allowed there. It's Berkeley! Why don't they just say - no Lyndon Larouche people? I was under the impression a lot of Tea Partiers were Libertarians.

And anyway....these protests always have spill over groups from all sorts of insanery. I just think it is really odd they are trying to control what signs people bring.

Mr S. of course is completely on the other side of this issue. Debate on Mr S. Debate on.


  1. Mrs S seems to be under a couple of mistaken assumptions:

    (1) the "Tea Partiers" are Libertarians

    (2) that Libertarians think that anything that's not illegal is therefore welcome.

    Tea Partiers are not per se Libertarians, they're just a bunch of people who think the govt should be cutting taxes and spending less, and not bailing out every megacorp and megabank. Such an attitude of course includes libertarians, but it also include mainstream Republicans, moderate Democrats,
    and that vast, undecided middle of the road voter.

    So looking for some kind of idealogical consistency here is silly.

    But even if this were a meeting of the ideologically pure mutant offspring of Ayn Rand and Murray
    Rothbard, her assumption that Libertarians shouldn't try to control what kind of sign you bring to a rally is still wrong-headed.

    The Rally organizers asked people to please not bring any Obama-as-Hitler signs.

    The rally organizers did NOT say that anyone who brought a Obama-as-Hitler sign would be arrested.

    That's a very important difference.

    Libertarian philosophy is that you should be (legally) allowed to do whatever you want as long as it doesn't hurt others.

    That doesn't mean that a Libertarian must approve or welcome anything you do, merely
    that he doesn't try to use the force of law to stop you.

  2. Wow Mr S. That is more animated than you get in real life.
    While I agree they are not using the threat of arrest to make you not bring signs - the original movement was largely more libertarian. Reference Libertarian Party: we had the Tea Party idea first From 2009.

    They claim the "Don't tread on me" flag. Which is a symbol of freedom. Generally. Not just a symbol of not bailing out big banks. It is a symbol of saying leave me alone to do what I see fit as long as it isn't illegal. And let me keep my own money. Although, the message has always largely been about government excess. True.

    I can understand not accepting and plain out shunning the Lyndon Larouche crowd - but those people aren't very dedicated anyway. They've mostly died out on their own.

    The whole thing is just as silly as if they would have said "Don't bring any signs that say mean things".

    If they want to rent a venue and charge people to get in - they can request anything they want. But, it would be meaningless because their core crowd doesn't express those views. It's only the agitators. And they can't control that in a public arena on a public street.

  3. I hate to get into the middle of this (or do i?), but I've gotta agree with the Tea Party people on this.

    The tea partiers put on a rally to protest out of control government spending and limitations on individuals' lives and freedoms. They are composed, as Mr S said above, of conservatives, republicans, libertarians, moderate dems, and the undecideds.

    Then the more radical, liberal, left (you pick the label, I just mean the people on the far other side of the political spectrum from those putting on the party) individuals come to the rally carrying signs and handing out materials that has nothing to do with the philosophy of those putting the rally on. (After all, it's only the very fringe -- if any -- of the tea partiers are burthers, truthers, obama-as-hiterites, ec.)

    Finally, allies of (or the people themselves) those who have "crashed" the rally with their nazi-flags, hitler posters, etc., call the media and say, "Look at those Tea Partiers. Look how they're protesting! Look at how violent they are!"

    And not to be paranoid (remember Rule 40) but guess which narrative gets spread by the msm? Is it Tea Partiers are nice young people, grandmas, of all walks of life etc., who just want to limit government? or Look at those nasty, racist, white, middle-aged male, homophobic teab*****ers who say bad things about our president?

    CNN, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, PBS, etc., etc., etc. all tell the same story.

    John from Pomeroy on the Palouse

  4. OMG. You just made Mr S. so happy.

    I invited you in. Your opinion is welcome here. It's always good to see you pop in.

    I completely agree with the views you express. I agree with the hazard. Yet on some level it is a self fulfilling issue. They lost control of their image pretty much right from the start. And, it wasn't because the Nazi/Hitler crowd, it was because they are the most boring protesters ever. It isn't meant as a slight in any way. Just factual. I mean, it just isn't news to report on a protest where people are hanging out in lawn chairs and being polite citizens. So that left the mainstream media to mold whatever image they wanted to about them.

    90% of what I read about them is completely off the mark.

    I've been to a couple of the protests that had none of the fringe crowd. The news trucks just drove away or didn't show up at all. In large part - the only reason they have gotten any press at all - is because of the fringe element. IMO.

    In fact it seems more like they've made a concerted effort to not have any press. Which I don't get. On one hand they want the attention, on the other they make it hard to attend gatherings.

    I understand this is their attempt to distance themselves from the fringe, but I think it comes off thin skinned. They aren't going to be able to control the message at this point unless they start holding more controlled events. Then, the interest level of the media might not be high enough to garner any coverage.

    The media has scared them into being more mild than they were - which only makes the feedback loop more exaggerated. The media will pick out that one guy who looks a little like a hardass just to prove their point. Even when no objectionable signs are present.

  5. "...they are the most boring protesters ever." I think you hit it on the head. I still think what I wrote, but you've got some real good points to think about. After all who's gonna read about or watch a story about several hundred or thousand (more or less) quiet, peaceful protestors? We'd end up with that awful phenomenon of (I think) the 80s -- the "only GOOD News" news broadcasts. And we all know how long that lasted. No one wants to watch boring news.

    "Our side" (mine anyway, don't want to put words into your mouth, as they say) doesn't want to bus 500 loud, obnoxious protestors to Reid's or Pelosi's or Obama's house to scare the crap out of them. And if we did, the D.C cops wouldn't be escorting them in, they'd be carrying them off in cop cars and cop buses. And it'd get plenty of press if "we" did it.

    You're right on the keep the meetings/rallies secret idea, too. I think I commented here several months ago on how long it took me to find the location of one in our area that my wife and kid were going to. They went and it turns out the press was "locked out" because at the previous meeting it was reported that a speaker had "threatened" some politician. So no press allowed.

    So Mrs. S, then how does the tea party side get the message out? "Protest" quietly and we are not covered because we're boring. Get "loud and proud" and we get labeled as devisive and scary and nut-cases. Either way, the media defines and broadcasts/prints our story THEIR way.

    Oh, well... Youve given lots for thinking about.


    (I tried to make sense above, but it's tough to type and read back to check what I typed in this 40 character wide box .)

  6. Oh! I still think what you wrote too. ;)

    I don't really know what the answer is. Which is completely unhelpful.

    IMO I think they need to decide if they are a political movement or a protest movement. And in either case they need to be more creative without being Hitlery. Like the Larouche crowd. They are going to get crashers, and they have to adapt and move the message in their direction.

    I guess I think they need to open up the ability to attend these events to a wider audience.

    Through something like yelp events. And be prepared for what comes. They will either be surprised that they have more supporters than they thought they did - or they might be overwhelmed by crashers. Whatever it turns out to be will dictate the direction they move. I guess.

    This group isn't used to having bad things said about them. They are mostly older and have moved to a place in life where they don't have to put up with that crap. But they are trying so hard to be non threatening it is painful unless you are a super die hard supporter.