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Author Topic: Occupy Wall Street and the sad state of American protesting
Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
I'm okay with it for now. It's not even a movement yet, it's just a bunch of pissed off people gathering together and voicing their anger.

And frankly, if I'd been co-opted the way the Tea Party has been, I wouldn't be looking down my nose at a new protest movement in the making that specifically wants to avoid that fate.

Co-Opted? Man, I know we disagree, but do you really need to make controversial statements as if they're obvious, undisputed facts? It seems kind of rude.
Apologies if I offended you. It wasn't meant to be a personal attack. If you require a qualifier, you can feel free to add an "I think," or "I feel" wherever appropriate in that statement.

And speaking of rude, thanks for editing your original post. [Smile]

We're cross-posting a bit here, so if I double post my apologies. Just wanted to say: You're welcome, and I apologize that you caught the original version of the post. I realized immediately that the language was stronger than I wanted.

Edit: Guh, what a terrible post for the new page. Sorry people! Read the bottom of the old page!

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
especially early on they were covered only to be dismissed, and/or relentlessly and mercilessly mocked, by nearly every major news outlet.

I enter that this is your contention, not an established fact. The motives behind covering the early Tea party demonstrations, I doubt you actually know. The reactions of the newspeople who covered those events would be more clear. You are on firmer ground make claims about those reactions, not about the motivations that the networks had for covering them.

For instance, my supposition is that the tea-partiers were initially mocked by the networks because their demonstrations were *stupid*. And before the Tea Party became an actual political vehicle for specific politicians who would be construed as among the mocked, networks felt free to cast dispersion on the idiocy represented therein. Just my own supposition.

Edit: and in regards to coverage of *these* protests, the sparcity of coverage is unsurprising to me. The media is chiefly intellectually lazy. The tea party demonstrations were easy to cover because the story they were presenting was almost pre-packaged for the media. These demonstrations are not organized by serial-chain-lettering, with a finely honed lexicon to be used for interviews.

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
Yeah, I do. Because while they might not be organized like a political party, they clearly have some organization.

So do flash mobs, and I don't think they're newsworthy either.
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
Yeah, I do. Because while they might not be organized like a political party, they clearly have some organization.

So do flash mobs, and I don't think they're newsworthy either.
Clearly you're interested in discussing this like an adult.
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Orincoro
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Clearly you are a poopy face.
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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
Clearly you're interested in discussing this like an adult.

Clearly you are taking things in a way I did not intend. I'll be bowing out now.
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
especially early on they were covered only to be dismissed, and/or relentlessly and mercilessly mocked, by nearly every major news outlet.

I enter that this is your contention, not an established fact. The motives behind covering the early Tea party demonstrations, I doubt you actually know. The reactions of the newspeople who covered those events would be more clear. You are on firmer ground make claims about those reactions, not about the motivations that the networks had for covering them.

Oh for sure! I was only intending commentary on what they said.

When I say "relentlessly mocked" I don't mean to imply subtle mockery motives, I mean reporters covering Tea Parties using an endless litany of innuendo and mockery.

When I say "dismissed" I don't mean to imply some sneaky motive to get people to dismiss the tea parties. I mean people literally covering them by saying "these are offensive Fox-News sponsored astroturf"

Edit: I don't object to people thinking tea parties are/were stupid. I was just expanding on Lyrhawn's comment that the tea parties received coverage early on, while OWS did not. I agree with his assessment of the facts, I just think we may disagree a little on the why of it.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
I could see why it would be so easy to ignore (though given how early Tea Party rallies were covered is a stark contrast).

Well, to be fair, left-wing protests are much more common, as a general rule, and nothing about OWS initially indicated that it was different or more noteworthy than your typical run-of-the-mill protest.

By contrast, early Tea Parties were covered, certainly, but not it wasn't usually positive coverage. Conservatives don't usually protest, so it was a surprising thing to most people, and especially early on they were covered only to be dismissed, and/or relentlessly and mercilessly mocked, by nearly every major news outlet.

quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
But once the police brutality issues started (and have continued), and now that the protests have grown to thousands of people with a very distinct anti-corporate message, I don't see how that doesn't qualify as newsworthy.

This evolution would be what made it qualify as newsworthy, in my opinion.

Much more common? I suppose if you're counting fringe groups that are out there. The recent one-off protest in Wisconsin is a big example of traditional leftist groups protesting, sure. Otherwise what are you referring to in recent memory? WTO and G8 protests or other fringe groups?

If "the left" has to own that, then "the right" has to own protests at abortion clinics, some of the more homophobic protests at things like funerals. (just as, unfortunately, the left would have to probably own Code Pink's ugly style of protesting). If we're counting these sort of groups there is more than enough to go around on both sides, and the idea that the right hardly ever protests is a misleading one.

I don't recognize the mocking you're referring to among major media outlets. MSNBC probably did, that wouldn't surprise me. But I highly doubt CNN did, and I KNOW Fox News didn't.

And the news coverage that followed that evolution was delayed by several days. The media has been dragged kicking and screaming into covering this.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
Clearly you're interested in discussing this like an adult.

Clearly you are taking things in a way I did not intend. I'll be bowing out now.
Your two sentences of replies came across to me as curt, dismissive straw man arguments. It's not what I would expect from you, but I don't see any indication that you were being tongue-in-cheek, so I took it seriously.

You didn't leave a great deal of room for interpretation. If I'm wrong, tell me why.

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
You didn't leave a great deal of room for interpretation.

As you like.
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
I could see why it would be so easy to ignore (though given how early Tea Party rallies were covered is a stark contrast).

Well, to be fair, left-wing protests are much more common, as a general rule, and nothing about OWS initially indicated that it was different or more noteworthy than your typical run-of-the-mill protest.

By contrast, early Tea Parties were covered, certainly, but not it wasn't usually positive coverage. Conservatives don't usually protest, so it was a surprising thing to most people, and especially early on they were covered only to be dismissed, and/or relentlessly and mercilessly mocked, by nearly every major news outlet.

quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
But once the police brutality issues started (and have continued), and now that the protests have grown to thousands of people with a very distinct anti-corporate message, I don't see how that doesn't qualify as newsworthy.

This evolution would be what made it qualify as newsworthy, in my opinion.

Much more common? I suppose if you're counting fringe groups that are out there. The recent one-off protest in Wisconsin is a big example of traditional leftist groups protesting, sure. Otherwise what are you referring to in recent memory? WTO and G8 protests or other fringe groups?

If "the left" has to own that, then "the right" has to own protests at abortion clinics, some of the more homophobic protests at things like funerals. (just as, unfortunately, the left would have to probably own Code Pink's ugly style of protesting). If we're counting these sort of groups there is more than enough to go around on both sides, and the idea that the right hardly ever protests is a misleading one.

I don't recognize the mocking you're referring to among major media outlets. MSNBC probably did, that wouldn't surprise me. But I highly doubt CNN did, and I KNOW Fox News didn't.

And the news coverage that followed that evolution was delayed by several days. The media has been dragged kicking and screaming into covering this.

First of all: I was thinking of Code Pink etc. You've completely got me nailed on abortion clinic protesters and Westboro baptist style protests. I live in the SF Bay Area, and I see lefty protests on a very regular basis, whereas until the occasional tea party I never saw conservative protests out here. So, I'll cop to that here. I definitely don't own those guys (social conservative protests), and I don't expect you to own Code Pink or World Can't Wait or ANSWER. I'm glad you don't want to! [Smile]

I do think that with the Wisconsin protests, and perhaps one or two of the higher profile Anti-War protests during the Bush Era, relatively mainstream lefties still have a greater propensity towards protesting, but I concede that when you dismiss the nutbags on both sides the disparity is much less than I originally stated.

As far as the mockery... I posted some links above. MSNBC was definitely the worst in that regard (Shuster manages to cram about fifty incredibly dirty innuendos into a few minutes, which is as funny as it is despicable). But there's a pretty hostile CNN piece linked as well. Or at least, it seems hostile to me. That one might be a grayer area though... you may think it seems perfectly reasonable.

Re: coverage of OWS... I'll take your word for it, as I myself didn't notice it till a few days after it had started. I haven't followed the media coverage at all.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
You didn't leave a great deal of room for interpretation.

As you like.
I don't know what you expect from me at this point. Nothing, I would gather, since you're not inclined to clarify what you meant.

Clearly I didn't understand you, and I'm trying to, but you're not willing to help me out here.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
From Dan Frank
I do think that with the Wisconsin protests, and perhaps one or two of the higher profile Anti-War protests during the Bush Era, relatively mainstream lefties still have a greater propensity towards protesting, but I concede that when you dismiss the nutbags on both sides the disparity is much less than I originally stated.

As far as the mockery... I posted some links above. MSNBC was definitely the worst in that regard (Shuster manages to cram about fifty incredibly dirty innuendos into a few minutes, which is as funny as it is despicable). But there's a pretty hostile CNN piece linked as well. Or at least, it seems hostile to me. That one might be a grayer area though... you may think it seems perfectly reasonable.

Well, I want to say that part of that is just because liberals had more to protest during those years. Republicans in total control of those respective governments (US and Wisconsin), something major happened that they clearly disagreed with, so they got out there. Now with a Democratic government in power, the Tea Party rose up and started to complain. Now it's mixed government and BOTH sides are protesting.

I do find it somewhat curious that the Tea Party only materialized after Obama was elected and suddenly discovered they didn't like what Bush had been doing for eight years. Was there some sort of mass delusion whose haze only lifted after Obama was elected?

As for that CNN piece, that was awful. My problem comes from trying to draw a larger conclusion from a few scattered pieces of evidence. It's a 24 hour news service, you're going to find bad examples no matter what. But wow, whoever that is, she's a terrible reporter. It's one thing to engage a random person in a discussion, but that was an incredibly dishonest woman with a clear agenda.

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
quote:
From Dan Frank
I do think that with the Wisconsin protests, and perhaps one or two of the higher profile Anti-War protests during the Bush Era, relatively mainstream lefties still have a greater propensity towards protesting, but I concede that when you dismiss the nutbags on both sides the disparity is much less than I originally stated.

As far as the mockery... I posted some links above. MSNBC was definitely the worst in that regard (Shuster manages to cram about fifty incredibly dirty innuendos into a few minutes, which is as funny as it is despicable). But there's a pretty hostile CNN piece linked as well. Or at least, it seems hostile to me. That one might be a grayer area though... you may think it seems perfectly reasonable.

Well, I want to say that part of that is just because liberals had more to protest during those years. Republicans in total control of those respective governments (US and Wisconsin), something major happened that they clearly disagreed with, so they got out there. Now with a Democratic government in power, the Tea Party rose up and started to complain. Now it's mixed government and BOTH sides are protesting.
That's a pretty fair assessment.
quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:

I do find it somewhat curious that the Tea Party only materialized after Obama was elected and suddenly discovered they didn't like what Bush had been doing for eight years. Was there some sort of mass delusion whose haze only lifted after Obama was elected?

Hah! I know, right?

I think the answer is... yes! Basically. As best I can tell, during the Bush years conservatives were more focused on foreign policy. Some free-market fiscal conservative bloggers criticized Bush consistently on his domestic policy, but for the most part it sort of took a back burner.

Fiscal issues have been on everyone's mind much more since the 2008 bank collapses. Hence people started paying more attention, and a lot of conservatives said "Hey, what the hell was Bush doing all this time?"

Oh, a quick edit: The beginnings of what would become the tea party was there at the end of Bush's term, too. I'd say the bank bailouts were the event that first cracked the mass delusion.

quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:

As for that CNN piece, that was awful. My problem comes from trying to draw a larger conclusion from a few scattered pieces of evidence. It's a 24 hour news service, you're going to find bad examples no matter what. But wow, whoever that is, she's a terrible reporter. It's one thing to engage a random person in a discussion, but that was an incredibly dishonest woman with a clear agenda.

Yeah, Susan Roesgen is a piece of work. I love this little stroll down memory lane. Though in fairness to CNN, shortly after her tea party coverage, they chose not to renew her contract. Which actually does a fair bit to support your point. [Smile]

[ October 06, 2011, 03:52 AM: Message edited by: Dan_Frank ]

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Dan_Frank
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Hey Lyrhawn, I dunno if the email on your profile is up to date, but if it is, you should check your email.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
By ">" I assume you mean "is even more crazy and unable to present a cohesive, valuable message"

Put on your adult hat and give me a better guess as to what I might mean!
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
Hey Lyrhawn, I dunno if the email on your profile is up to date, but if it is, you should check your email.

Got it, responded, and thank you very much. [Smile]
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
By ">" I assume you mean "is even more crazy and unable to present a cohesive, valuable message"

Put on your adult hat and give me a better guess as to what I might mean!
My actual guess was something like "bigger/better/more significant" etc. Although now I feel like I must have genuinely missed your intention. I have a hard time conceiving of that at this stage... not to say that the OWS crowd can't do it.

It's just that, love 'em or hate 'em, the tea party has changed the political landscape pretty significantly and managed to put several people in office who are pretty dedicated to tea party ideals. Whether you think this is a good thing, or a minority who has hijacked the Republican party and driven them further and further right, it still happened.

If the OWS crowd manages to do the same (whether that's "fix what is broken in the system" or "drive the Democratic party further to the left" may be debatable, but results like "put X number of OWS-sympathetic congressmen in office" would be nice and tangible) then I'll certainly concede the point.

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Bokonon
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Great discussion guys, I've enjoyed it all. Kicking it old school today!
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Lyrhawn
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Thanks for de-lurking to say hey. I miss your voice around here, Bok.

Whatever happened to our big debates over immigration and what not? Those were the days.

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Bokonon
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You ended up agreeing with me in the generalities on that issue [Smile] (which is the most I ever hope for in these kinds of discussions). Once people agree on a direction, I'm willing to bend on how we get there quite substantially. And my ideas for immigration reform were DOA anyway.
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Lyrhawn
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I feel like being contrary just to spark another debate. Surely there's something else we disagree on.

Don't make me start parroting Perry's call to invade Mexico to keep the border secure.

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Bokonon
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Oh, c'mon, you can guess my thoughts on that (aside from the fact that that was just a silly off-the-cuff answer to a question he was unprepared for; he's caught flak from everyone on that one).
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Dan_Frank
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Oooh, immigration!

I'm slightly less open-borders than a capital L libertarian! Maybe we could have a rousing debate. In broad terms, I think that we should have much looser immigration laws, and do a better job of enforcing the ones we end up having.

Is that controversial enough for you?

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Bokonon
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Oh, and if you miss my voice, you can always check out the dude [Cool] thread on the other side; I post there once a month, at least. [Smile]
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Dan_Frank
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Also I am in favor of invading Mexico. While we're at it, we should probably annex Canada for their natural resources.
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Bokonon
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
Oooh, immigration!

I'm slightly less open-borders than a capital L libertarian! Maybe we could have a rousing debate. In broad terms, I think that we should have much looser immigration laws, and do a better job of enforcing the ones we end up having.

Is that controversial enough for you?

I don't have time to elaborate, but not really, that's my opinion as well. And almost (but not completely) Lyrhawn's, I think. If you do a search, you might still find the thread, it's several years old now. Either me or Lyrhawn started the thread.
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Blayne Bradley
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
I feel like being contrary just to spark another debate. Surely there's something else we disagree on.

Don't make me start parroting Perry's call to invade Mexico to keep the border secure.

I suspect the cartels would win in the long term.
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AchillesHeel
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Flexibility, anonmitity and a complete disregard for loyalties and human life usually do.
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Orincoro
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So you're saying the Republicans are bound to win?
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Dan_Frank
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Ba-Dum Tish!
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pooka
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quote:
I do find it somewhat curious that the Tea Party only materialized after Obama was elected and suddenly discovered they didn't like what Bush had been doing for eight years. Was there some sort of mass delusion whose haze only lifted after Obama was elected?
I don't really get that aspect of Tea Partyers, but I guess the election made them feel like the Republican party had lost it's fire (typified by McCain) and needed to be reborn (typified by Palin). Me, I always liked McCain, and I've stayed loyal to the memory of the Bush administration. I was open-minded on Palin (Who McCain picked, after all) until she resigned from the Alaska governorship when I decided she was a blight. But I try to avoid talking politics with my associates who are aligned with Tea Party.
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BlackBlade
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The Tea Party forming when it did does not seem very curious to me. The party they broke out of was not doing what they wanted, and when the other party came into power, the went even further in the direction the conservative party had already gone.

When you don't feel like anybody represents your interests at all, you mobilize.

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TomDavidson
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You might also want to look at corporate donations when trying to decide why the Tea Party suddenly took off.
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Orincoro
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The tea-partiers found religion about fiscal responsibility when it became clear that their political clout and ability to magically have everything work out perfectly for them evaporated in the wake of the housing crisis. Wait? You mean I can't retire with a net worth many times the amount that I could ever actually have saved in my lifetime, because some hapless rube will buy my debt-pit of a house out from under me and spend his life paying the money that I borrowed to get it in the first place? You're saying that *wasn't* a viable plan for the future?

What have I done??

Never mind, my pretty... Taxes are the blame.... mmyesss... muahaha, it was taxes all along! Damn you TAXES!!


Also, there's the small matter of the democrats electing a black man President. That doubtless got a few people off the couch.

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Dan_Frank
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Have fun with that guys.
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BlackBlade
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I think of this now every single time people talk about taxes these days.
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Rakeesh
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I think it's pretty silly to suggest (if you are) that a Democratic black man with a 'Muslim-sounding' name had *nothing* to do with the Tea Party's (lumping together there) success, or that it had little to do. I think it's about as silly as suggesting that that is *the* reason.

We're very close, generationally, to outright segregation in this country. The prospect of electing a black man (or a white woman, in the primaries) mobilized the left two years ago. Why is it so strange to suggest that wouldn't *also* help mobilize the right?

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Raymond Arnold
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Interesting article:

[url=http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2011/10/matt-stoller-the-anti-politics-of-occupywallstreet.html]Matt Stoller: The Anti-Politics of #OccupyWallStreet[url]

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SenojRetep
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I see four alternative explanations given in this thread for the rise of the Tea Party: (1) government bank bailouts (Dan_Frank), (2) astroturfing (Tom), (3) loss of political power (BB and Orincoro) and (4) racism (Orincoro and Rakeesh). Of course, these motivations aren't mutually exclusive, and probably all of them played a role, but I think some of them are significantly more relevant than others.

I'd say that (1) and (3) led eventually to (2), and that (4) played a marginal role at best. If you look at the summaries of rallies on this list, you see a fairly marked shift in focus from early 2009 to later 2009. As the numbers swelled, the focus shifted from protesting bailouts and the stimulus, to more general dissatisfaction with the government "taking away our liberties" and "implementing socialism." This really accelerated with the shift of focus to protesting ACA. I would say this is where (1) and (3) transitioned to (2), as national organizations that received large amounts of funding began to drive the agenda more and more.

On (4) it's perhaps instructive, although certainly not dispositive, to note that claims of racism at Tea Party rallies didn't emerge until early 2010, a full year after the rallies began. I imagine racism played a role in some (perhaps many) of those joining the protests in late 2009 to express general dissatisfaction with the government, but I don't see any evidence to believe that such motivations were of primary importance to any but a small portion of those protesters.

Further supporting (3) as a persistently motivating force is the fact that Tea Party rallies fell off dramatically both in frequency and intensity following the 2010 midterm elections. If Tea Party animus were really driven primarily by (2) or (4), one would expect the protests to have continued unabated.

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by SenojRetep:
... If Tea Party animus were really driven primarily by (2) or (4), one would expect the protests to have continued unabated.

I don't follow in the case of (2). If the protests were motivated by astroturfing, then the protests end when the puppet master says. Whether the protests end or continued demonstrates nothing unless we can show that this is contrary to what the (proposed) puppet master wanted.

quote:
Originally posted by SenojRetep:
On (4) it's perhaps instructive, although certainly not dispositive, to note that claims of racism at Tea Party rallies didn't emerge until early 2010, a full year after the rallies began.

I think they emerged almost a full year before early 2010.

quote:
Dangerous Censorship From the Left
By Noel Sheppard
Published September 17, 2009
| FOXNews.com

...

Since the early days of the Tea Party movement, attendees have been called racists. No one will ever forget Janeane Garofalo’s disgusting comments on MSNBC’s “Countdown” back in April:

"You know, there's nothing more interesting than seeing a bunch of racists become confused and angry at a speech they're not quite certain what he's saying. It sounds right and then it doesn't make sense. Which, let's be very honest about what this is about. It's not about bashing Democrats, it's not about taxes, they have no idea what the Boston tea party was about, they don't know their history at all. This is about hating a black man in the White House." --



[ October 07, 2011, 01:50 PM: Message edited by: Mucus ]

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SenojRetep
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The Garafalo statement is about intent, not action, which speaks more to her normative position than anything going on at the rallies. Is there more to the quote where she makes specific claims that the protesters are acting in an overtly racist manner?

I would say the confluence of the birther movement into the Tea Party movement, which I believe largely happened consequent to the ACA outrage in mid-late 2009, marked the beginning of racist and xenophobic elements exerting influence over the Tea Party agenda. And, even at its height, I think the role such racism played was marginal.

I agree that (2) ends when the puppet masters say it does, and maybe they were so satisfied with the outcome of the elections that they didn't feel the need to keep plowing money in. However, I don't think that the money spigot has really turned off. The Koch-class still seem to be funding conferences and workshops; they just aren't getting the attendance they used to.

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
I think of this now every single time people talk about taxes these days.

And now, so will I.

I love that movie.

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Dobbie
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DwZ9IqJO7e4&feature=related#t=0m37s
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natural_mystic
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quote:
Originally posted by SenojRetep:
I see four alternative explanations given in this thread for the rise of the Tea Party: (1) government bank bailouts (Dan_Frank), (2) astroturfing (Tom), (3) loss of political power (BB and Orincoro) and (4) racism (Orincoro and Rakeesh). Of course, these motivations aren't mutually exclusive, and probably all of them played a role, but I think some of them are significantly more relevant than others.

I'd say that (1) and (3) led eventually to (2), and that (4) played a marginal role at best. If you look at the summaries of rallies on this list, you see a fairly marked shift in focus from early 2009 to later 2009. As the numbers swelled, the focus shifted from protesting bailouts and the stimulus, to more general dissatisfaction with the government "taking away our liberties" and "implementing socialism." This really accelerated with the shift of focus to protesting ACA. I would say this is where (1) and (3) transitioned to (2), as national organizations that received large amounts of funding began to drive the agenda more and more.

[Deleted paragraph]

Further supporting (3) as a persistently motivating force is the fact that Tea Party rallies fell off dramatically both in frequency and intensity following the 2010 midterm elections. If Tea Party animus were really driven primarily by (2) or (4), one would expect the protests to have continued unabated.

A significant event in the rise of the Tea Party was Santelli's rant, delivered in response to rumors of bailouts for homeowners. Tea Partyers complain about bank bailouts, but they also have not been supportive of legislation aimed at preventing the need for future bailouts.

Whatever the genesis of the Tea Party, whether genuine Ron Paulites or whatever, it is hard to view it now as much more than a re-branding of the far right of the Republican party.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
I think of this now every single time people talk about taxes these days.

And now, so will I.

I love that movie.

I laugh every time I see that.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by SenojRetep:

On (4) it's perhaps instructive, although certainly not dispositive, to note that claims of racism at Tea Party rallies didn't emerge until early 2010, a full year after the rallies began. I imagine racism played a role in some (perhaps many) of those joining the protests in late 2009 to express general dissatisfaction with the government, but I don't see any evidence to believe that such motivations were of primary importance to any but a small portion of those protesters.

Further supporting (3) as a persistently motivating force is the fact that Tea Party rallies fell off dramatically both in frequency and intensity following the 2010 midterm elections. If Tea Party animus were really driven primarily by (2) or (4), one would expect the protests to have continued unabated.

Race was never on the official agenda for Tea Partiers, but I think it would be foolish to dismiss that aspect as being minor. It was a catalyst. It served , I think, as a clear manifestation for many politically inactive people that *they* and people *like them* were not in charge, and that *others* were gaining some political power. I just don't think a lot of these people would care nearly as much if there weren't a black son of a Muslim in the white house. You've seen the polls on the ridiculous birther issue. A lot of people believed in that- alot of the same people who are suddenly against all government spending. Where were they when a rich white man was spending rivers of money on wars and defense and cutting revenue as he did it? Because they trusted that guy, for no other apparent reason.
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Samprimary
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quote:
You've seen the polls on the ridiculous birther issue.
Can still see, too. Polling tea party members is always a little bit surreal, to see what they believe.
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Lyrhawn
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Cantor and Bloomberg speak out against protests

Most everyone in the GOP establishment is joining them.

Cantor says the protests are full of mobs, and "pit Americans against Americans." That seems like a sort of bizarre statement considering what Cantor does for a living. Does he not work in politics? I don't know what he was thinking when he said that, but I can't help but laugh when I read it.

Bloomberg said some protesters are out to destroy American jobs, and complained that some of the unions should stay out of it because their incomes are paid for by taxes collected from the people the protest against. That strikes me as yet another bizarre argument considering most everyone there is complaining about high unemployment, and it's not like having a public sector job means you can't complain against anyone who pays taxes. That's a bizarre concept to me.

Cantor seems to be closer to a successful attack line by portraying them as mobs. He's going for the revolutionary, French Revolution sort of imagery, but I can't take any of is seriously. With all the rhetoric that has come out of the right in the last few years about taking back the country and all that pseudo-revolutionary crap, and the role that the Tea Party has played in protesting, I can't take anything they say about Occupy Wallstreet seriously.

It all comes down to "you're only allowed to protest if you agree with me," and it makes me even less inclined to try to engage them, since they clearly don't think the same rules should apply to everyone.

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BlackBlade
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I have found that all protests have to obtain some critical mass. The forces of resistance can't contain them forever, and if they endure, they eventually burst through, and become a truly national movement.

At that point, politicians immediately try to co-opt the movement, pretending they were on board all along, and that they can lead that movement to fresh water. I hope Occupy Wall St managed to keep going. I'm very tempted to visit Occupy Salt Lake.

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