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Author Topic: It's time for a Teahad
Parkour
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http://current.com/news/93159160_teabagger-uses-racism-to-explain-that-the-tea-party-is-not-racist.htm
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Rakeesh
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Huh. Video seems to be `bout half a year old. Why is it being resurrected? I mean, it's stupid, racist, and offensive, sure. But I have to admit, slapping it up on 'CurrentTV'.com without somewhere saying '(6 months old)' seems a bit less-than-honest.

It's not as though you've gotta reach to find objectionable, obnoxious, destructive policies by various Tea Party folks anyway.

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Shanna
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This was making the circuit on some the lj communities I watch. My guess is that the recent Tax Day is putting the Tea Party back in the spotlight.
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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
... slapping it up on 'CurrentTV'.com without somewhere saying '(6 months old)' seems a bit less-than-honest.

I haven't watched the video, but I would note that CurrentTV is actually the name of the television channel and doesn't really have much to do with it being "current" or not (If thats why you're quoting it, thats not clear to me).

They actually have an excellent in-house series of documentaries under the name Vanguard (some of their reporters were the ones held by North Korea, and watching some of their videos, you can kinda see them coming close to the line in other circumstances) but most of their content is just junky user-submitted content, like this presumably.

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Rakeesh
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That's what I was (poorly) getting at, Mucus. User-submitted content masquerading as a news article.
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Lyrhawn
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This guy is why conservative changes to history curricula scare the crap out of me.
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Samprimary
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oh man i take it all back, i am so sorry, this video has convinced me how wrong i was to even insinuate the tea party had a problem with racism

Ahem.

despite how ridiculous and doomed I consider the tea party, I feel it is fair to look into whether or not this is a total con job and this guy's setting it up for the sake of discrediting them further.

I guess it's old enough that info might have been forthcoming by now, but for god's sake the video even cuts to clips of tea party signs with butchered grammar and it .. I refuse to believe this is real. I refuse to people are that utterly oblivious both in general terms as well as to their own message.

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Rakeesh
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Yup, that is a fair question-it's just so over-the-top and ridiculous. I was really wondering, "OK, this is getting a bit too sketchy even for fanatics," when I heard the term 'nigra' and 'not a racist' in the same sentence. But the signs actually had some of the same impact.

But then you hold those up against the legitimate t-shirts of 'we didn't come armed...this time' and...man, it's hard to decide!

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Dan_Frank
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For the record, Rakeesh, as someone who likes the Tea Party, I'd say this guy is still absolutely repugnant. I didn't even finish watching it. (I wouldn't be surprised if it was a con, but I also don't know. Tea Parties, like all protests, absolutely do attract a certain number of wackjobs). Whereas I think signs like "we didn't come armed... this time" are much, much less insane and disgusting.
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Rakeesh
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Ahh, this is an argument that's been had before. You're hinting at a bit of equivalency, Dan-"Tea Parties, like all protests, absolutely do attract a certain number of wackjobs"-this is true, but something Tea Partiers and their sympathizers seem uncomfortable considering is the possibility that the pool of wackjobs out there that might be appealed to by Tea Party rhetoric might be larger than, say, far left radical rhetoric.

*shrug*

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Dan_Frank
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Yeah, I know, we've gone down that road before. I disagree with your assessment, but honestly, I'm not even really trying to have that argument again, per se. I just wanted to say that, as one of the few posters here who is pretty strongly pro-tea party, I have no problem whatsoever denouncing this guy as an idiot and/or nutjob.

I would love for him to be a faker trying to discredit tea partiers, but assuming that sans evidence seems like the easy way out. I'm instead going to assume he is, in fact, so stupid and deeply racist that he can't even really see how insane and racist he is being.

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Rakeesh
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Why is it an idea you disagree with, though? It seems, in the abstract, to be pretty sensible to me-socially speaking, far-right conservative ideas are likely to be ideas that are outdated, older, more common in generations past.

Those ideas take time to sort of fade out of human thinking, and so they linger-ideas such as racism. But if you go on over to the very far left, socially speaking, you're sure going to get some crazy wack-a-doodle stuff, but you're not going to have that big old pool of people clingin' to the old and comfortable the way that you can get when you look at the pool of traditional believers.

Anyway, I have to admit, from a registered Independent perspective, Dan, it really looks like there ain't much that would sway you out of your liking for the Tea Party, or from acknowledging that the Tea Party has a problem with racism. Not that it is inherently racist, but even only that it has a problem with racism. Because - and admittedly this may be because of the venue here - it seems your support of the Tea Party takes the tone of, "Yeah, but..." and when that's all that gets mustered up, it leads me to think, "There's probably not a whole lot to like."

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Wingracer
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But is the far left really saying anything new either? I mean many of the ideals they support have been around for a century as well.

And what if there are a few percent more whack jobs on one side or the other. Does that make the slightly less whacked side any better? Since it is often the whack jobs that are the most vocal and therefore the face of the movement, I don't see where it makes much of a difference.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Does that make the slightly less whacked side any better?
Yes. Definitionally.
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Rakeesh
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quote:
But is the far left really saying anything new either? I mean many of the ideals they support have been around for a century as well.
Let me rephrase what you're suggesting: you're suggesting that liberal ideas have been around for as long as conservative ideas, that conservative ideas are as new as liberal ideas.

Wingracer, that doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

quote:

And what if there are a few percent more whack jobs on one side or the other. Does that make the slightly less whacked side any better? Since it is often the whack jobs that are the most vocal and therefore the face of the movement, I don't see where it makes much of a difference.

It makes a difference when one camp applies politics and rhetoric that appeal to a base that contains a larger number of whackos than the base of the other side, and gains greater traction with them. It doesn't really matter if, other things being equal, that other side would if it had the opportunity do the same.

Liberals don't have that opportunity in this country at this time. They can't start talking about, or have supporters talk about, an invasion at the border and suddenly have a whole lot of groups perk up and say, "Yeah, that's right!" But when conservatives such as Tea Party groups do it - just as an example - they're going to get a lot of traction with a lot of people for what is a legitimate political issue.

The problem, among others, is that one bunch of groups they're gonna get traction with is, well, racists. But instead of announcing policies that actually aren't and don't even appear to be racist, what actually happens is things like efforts to get brown people to have to carry papers being especially popular among far-right political groups...where Tea Parties are also quite popular.

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Wingracer
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
Does that make the slightly less whacked side any better?
Yes. Definitionally.
Haha, agreed.

Let me try to be a bit clearer.

Imagine you could actually put a number on the level of wackiness a person has. Anything over 90 is considered extreme wackiness.

Group A = 50% of its members rate over 90 on the whack job scale.

Group B = 55% of its members over 90.

Now going just by those numbers, group B is clearly slightly more nuts than group A. For the purposes of this discussion, we will ignore the possibility that the remaining members of one group or the other are far less whacked, which would change the average level of wackiness.

But now, what if BOTH groups have 100% of their leaders coming from the over 90 group? Since its the leadership that makes all the statements, determines policy, etc., would not both groups be just as wacky in action, even if one group was clearly more wacky in membership?

That being said, I am afraid that I would have to agree that the tea party movement has gone to the clearly nuts side of the scale. Its a shame as I feel there was much promise there. Unfortunately, it is a message that appeals to racists (even if not inherently racist) and that just ruins the whole thing.

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Rakeesh
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Whereas I tend to think that the 'message that appeals to racists' is a big warning sign that it probably didn't have promise as something worthwhile.
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Foust
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Right. Like that line about Fox News - "Not racist, but #1 with racists."
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
But if you go on over to the very far left, socially speaking, you're sure going to get some crazy wack-a-doodle stuff, but you're not going to have that big old pool of people clingin' to the old and comfortable the way that you can get when you look at the pool of traditional believers.

If I'm reading you right, I'd actually say I disagree. Despite the basic idea of conservatives being, well, conservative, and liberals being progressive, I would actually say that there are plenty of exceptions. I think you do have a lot of leftists clinging to old comfortable wack-a-doodle stuff that is just as dangerous as racism.

For example: A lot of leftists have at least a sort of fondness for communism, even if they don't really want it implemented, say, here. "Great in theory but it just doesn't work in practice!" is a description I've heard re: communism many, many more times than I can count. And, in my opinion, that's a pretty fundamentally horrible statement. Communism, in my view, is reprehensible in theory as well as practice.

So there's that.

quote:

Anyway, I have to admit, from a registered Independent perspective, Dan, it really looks like there ain't much that would sway you out of your liking for the Tea Party, or from acknowledging that the Tea Party has a problem with racism. Not that it is inherently racist, but even only that it has a problem with racism.

I'm really sorry I've given you that impression. Because the tea party is sort of amorphous, I'll admit it would be hard for me to summarily condemn everyone associated with it. But it's depressing that I gave the impression I have a problem confronting racism.

And yeah, I definitely am aware that some issues that matter to the tea party are also issues that matter to racists, like immigration. I do think it is dangerous to say that because racists are for tighter immigration laws, anyone for tighter immigration laws "has a problem with racism."

(as an aside, I'm a pretty libertarian guy, so I don't tend to have as much problem with immigration as, perhaps, your average tea partier)

Again, to flog a dead communist horse, I think that some leftist causes, like, say, higher taxes for the rich, are also goals that a communist would get behind. But that doesn't mean (despite what some reactionaries on the right would say) that everyone who is in favor of raising taxes on the rich is a communist. Or even that any leftists need to "acknowledge that they have a problem" with communism.

Now, if communists crash a leftist protest (as they are wont to do) and brandish blatantly communist signs, one would hope that more moderate leftist protesters would try to draw a distinction between the groups. And I would hope that, likewise, tea party protesters would do the same if racists showed up with blatantly racist signs. The fact that most protests I've seen have a hard time with this, I think, reflects more poorly on protests than it does on either the right or the left.


quote:

Because - and admittedly this may be because of the venue here - it seems your support of the Tea Party takes the tone of, "Yeah, but..." and when that's all that gets mustered up, it leads me to think, "There's probably not a whole lot to like."

[Frown]
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TomDavidson
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quote:
But now, what if BOTH groups have 100% of their leaders coming from the over 90 group?
But this is clearly, far and away, not the case here. While Republican party leadership is being infiltrated by Tea Party crazies (and some sensible Tea Partiers, too; they do exist), Democratic party leadership is made up of a bunch of compromising, moderate blowhards.

In other words: some Republican leaders are crazy, and mean it. The Democrats, by comparison, don't really care one way or another.

--------------

quote:
Communism, in my view, is reprehensible in theory as well as practice.
You're trying to argue against conservative extremists being crazy, right?
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katharina
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Let us never forget: the most important issue in politics is to make sure that your team is better. Nothing matters nearly as much as bragging about things you personally have nothing to do with.

Forget actual solutions; this is TEAM PRIDE we are talking about. There's no place in civil discussion for people who aren't keeping score.

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Wingracer
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
[QUOTE]But this is clearly, far and away, not the case here. While Republican party leadership is being infiltrated by Tea Party crazies (and some sensible Tea Partiers, too; they do exist), Democratic party leadership is made up of a bunch of compromising, moderate blowhards.

In other words: some Republican leaders are crazy, and mean it. The Democrats, by comparison, don't really care one way or another.

Do you really believe that? Dig a little deeper, there are plenty of nutcases in the Democratic party as well. They just seem a little better at keeping their mouth shut when the cameras are on. [Big Grin]
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TomDavidson
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quote:
Dig a little deeper, there are plenty of nutcases in the Democratic party as well.
Leftist extremists? In the Democratic Party leadership? Not a one.

Heck, I would say that there isn't a single idealist in the party leadership. Kucinich, maybe, but he's as fringe as Ron Paul.

-------

quote:
Forget actual solutions...
The day you offer a solution, Kat, is the day this criticism is meaningful coming from you. [Smile]
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Stone_Wolf_
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quote:
Is that being raciest when I ask that question? Well Ben I'm sorry, but that's a fact.
Well which is it, a question or a fact?
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Geraine
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
Leftist extremists? In the Democratic Party leadership? Not a one.

Heck, I would say that there isn't a single idealist in the party leadership. Kucinich, maybe, but he's as fringe as Ron Paul.


Tom, how would you define a left wing extremist? What ideals would they have to subscribe to?
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TomDavidson
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Well, at the barest minimum, they would need to support nationalizing healthcare and abolishing the concept of corporate personhood. We'd also be looking for someone recommending a 80% top marginal tax rate (or a similar equivalent, like a VAT subsidized on the low end), massive cuts to military spending, relaxed immigration standards (with a proposed amnesty for currently illegal immigrants), a significantly higher minimum wage, the legalization of marijuana and same-sex marriage, resumed enforcement of church/state boundaries (particularly re: education and charity funding), considerably more stringent environmental standards than were in place ten years ago, tighter interpretations of the War Powers Act, stronger oversight of the FCC and SEC (particularly the revolving-door lobbies), and federal trade union laws designed to cut across state lines.

This is, mind you, just about the least it would take to be considered an extremist. In almost any other developed country, a person holding these opinions would be considered a sensible moderate.

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Mucus
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Or in party terms, at least the equivalent of the NDP (which BTW, is currently projected at 20% of the popular vote and 13% of the ridings)

Handy platform comparison here http://www.kpmg.com/Ca/en/IssuesAndInsights/ArticlesPublications/TNF/Pages/tnfc1116.pdf

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Rakeesh
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Dan,

quote:

For example: A lot of leftists have at least a sort of fondness for communism, even if they don't really want it implemented, say, here. "Great in theory but it just doesn't work in practice!" is a description I've heard re: communism many, many more times than I can count. And, in my opinion, that's a pretty fundamentally horrible statement. Communism, in my view, is reprehensible in theory as well as practice.

This is exactly the kind of thing I mean: how long has communism as a political idea been around? Quite awhile less than, y'know, race baiting politics for example. The well is potentially larger.

quote:

Now, if communists crash a leftist protest (as they are wont to do) and brandish blatantly communist signs, one would hope that more moderate leftist protesters would try to draw a distinction between the groups. And I would hope that, likewise, tea party protesters would do the same if racists showed up with blatantly racist signs. The fact that most protests I've seen have a hard time with this, I think, reflects more poorly on protests than it does on either the right or the left.

And this is the other thing I was talking about. Just ask yourself, quickly without reflecting or justifying the answer: which group of people has more political power in this country? Racists in general or communists in general? Isn't it true that communists are pretty, well, toothless? One can perhaps get some policies implemented that people claim are communist-based (that's a different discussion), but for actually being communist, that's basically a complete non-starter. And on the rare occasions it does happen, what you're likely to hear is something like, "Great in theory." However much you may think that's wrong-headed and silly, you have to admit that's pretty benign. 'Great in theory'.

Racism, on the other hand...that's far from toothless in this country. It wasn't so long ago that actually being a racist, an out-of-the-closet card-carrying racist was far from being a bad thing was actually a bonus politically speaking in many places. The number of generations ago when it wasn't a bad thing indicates that there are many voters from that period that're still alive. (It was even worse to be a communist or have communist ideas then than now).

There's a political party in this country that happily draws water from this well, Dan-and when they're criticized for it they've got a litany of excuses. It's not just the protests. It's not just the fringe that leads people to think the Tea Party has a problem with racism. There's also their troubling immigration policies, and then of course the way their fearless leader delights in making statements that skirt the line of anti-Semitism.

------

Katharina, could you tell us what exactly a civil discussion looks like? I have a feeling it will be important to know for future reference.

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TomDavidson
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I'm also intrigued by the claim that communism is inherently reprehensible, to the point that people who propose things that communists might support should avoid doing so lest they be considered communist sympathizers and therefore bad people.

Does this sort of moral value get applied to all socioeconomic theories? I mean, is there a socioeconomic theory that is inherently good?

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katharina
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By all means, continue with the keeping score and with the nyahnyahing. That's the exactly the audience that's worth the research and writing effort.

Clearly a civil discussion involves back and forth about barely understood histories and the ever important attributing the extremes to the majority. Andrew Sullivan and Glenn Beck are the appropriate models.

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TomDavidson
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I'm curious, Katie: what value do you think your Greek chorus adds to the conversation? Do you derive some emotional satisfaction from it, or is there more that you're hoping to achieve?
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katharina
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Fame. Honor. Eternal glory. Nothing less than a Demosthenes revolution.
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TomDavidson
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Excellent! Keep on keepin' on, then, and more power to you.
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katharina
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I am rapt for the next installment of "My team is better than your team, even though we have lost the ball."
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TomDavidson
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Personally, if I am asked to choose between aimless, flailing sincerity and empty, spiteful sarcasm, I will always prefer the former. That you are criticizing powerless critics for not modeling the behavior they claim to want to see, but rather engaging in empty criticism of others, adds irony but not much pathos.

The righteous man, it appears, apparently snorts "as if" as he strides by. And then strides by a few more times to make sure everyone knows he's dismissing them. I missed that part of the verse in Proverbs, but then I've only read the translations.

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katharina
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Please, continue with the argument over which crazies are more shameful. It is both riveting and enlightening.
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TomDavidson
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Yeah, see, that's more of the empty sarcasm I'm talking about.

If you don't consider it a worthwhile discussion -- and, frankly, I do think it is worthwhile for society to identify dangerous social movements and try to isolate them before they can do real harm -- then I think you might consider a) starting a separate discussion; or b) ignoring this one.

I don't particularly enjoy discussions of sports or anime, for example, but I will not post in a thread to sniff disdainfully at the people who do.

Another alternative: if you truly find this conversation distasteful enough that you believe it should not be happening at all, and that it's a good use of your time to post in an attempt to stop it from happening, perhaps you would be well-served by a post or two that, beyond simply making your opinion known, builds a case for that opinion. It might well be more persuasive.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
Clearly a civil discussion involves back and forth about barely understood histories and the ever important attributing the extremes to the majority. Andrew Sullivan and Glenn Beck are the appropriate models.
Alright, well this hectoring on civil discourse will be very helpful on your next descent into deeply personal, bitter chilly insult. I think it's been awhile, so we're probably about due.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by katharina:
Please, continue with the argument over which crazies are more shameful. It is both riveting and enlightening.

And your empty sarcasm and the refusal to offer substantive support of your drive-by position is, expectedly, neither.
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katharina
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I'm breathlessly awaiting to see who gets stuck holding the Crazy Stick. Please continue.
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Raymond Arnold
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No. You're not. You're being petty and annoying (as far as I know, purely for the sake of it). What you said in the other media thread was productive. This is not. Please stop.
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katharina
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I'm just waiting now. *taptaptap*
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Raymond Arnold
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Please, stop.
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Parkour
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katharina, please grow up or go away.
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Samprimary
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I think if this forum's taught me anything about crazy sticks, it's a The Lady Doth Protest Too Much parable on the part of those who demean the observation of their more sympathized-with side, or offer false equivalence arguments. Either-or.
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The Genuine
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In the first five seconds of that video, where he goes "MMM MMM MMM" that's exactly what I do when eating fried chicken.

(Irrationally hilarious.)

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Samprimary
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Well, I've looked. I can't find anything where this guy's been found out to have been a plant.

He has also received no real denouncement/disassociation from the attached Tea Party where he's at, nor from the national movements.

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Destineer
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Where is he from?
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Samprimary
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His name is Grady Warren and he runs a site called Conservative Sportsman. He's from Florida.
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Geraine
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
Well, at the barest minimum, they would need to support nationalizing healthcare and abolishing the concept of corporate personhood. We'd also be looking for someone recommending a 80% top marginal tax rate (or a similar equivalent, like a VAT subsidized on the low end), massive cuts to military spending, relaxed immigration standards (with a proposed amnesty for currently illegal immigrants), a significantly higher minimum wage, the legalization of marijuana and same-sex marriage, resumed enforcement of church/state boundaries (particularly re: education and charity funding), considerably more stringent environmental standards than were in place ten years ago, tighter interpretations of the War Powers Act, stronger oversight of the FCC and SEC (particularly the revolving-door lobbies), and federal trade union laws designed to cut across state lines.

This is, mind you, just about the least it would take to be considered an extremist. In almost any other developed country, a person holding these opinions would be considered a sensible moderate.

That is quite a list!

While I don't agree with some of the ideals listed I don't believe someone that subscribes to one (or all) of those ideals is an extremist.

To me, an extremist is someone who acts on those ideals in such a way that hurts or brings others down.

Is this Tea Party guy an extremist? In my book he is. It is likely I probably share some of the same views on social issues as he does. That doesn't mean I agree with all of them. It doesn't mean I condone what he has done. It does mean that we can all agree on some subjects and disagree on others.

This is the reason I don't like the "Tea Party is racist" mantra. There are people of all types in all parties, and generalizing an entire group's membership because the wackos are the loudest (even if they are in leadership positions) is not fair. The Tea Party is made up of hundreds of indivdual groups that share some ideals. It doesn't mean all of these small groups agree on everything.

There are gay Republicans, pro-life Democrats, etc. My own grandparents are registered Democrats and are pro-union and pro-choice, but also anti big government, anti illegal immigration, and anti-gun control.

Someone that believes in stringent environmental laws is not an extremist. Someone who bombs an oil rig because of those ideals however is.

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