Tea Party Movement

Who had the worst week in Washington? The tea party.

It couldn’t happen to a more deserving political group…

The Washington Post

The Gadsden flag is flying at half-staff this past week.

The tea party — that plucky insurgent movement that, as recently as two years ago, began trying to reshape the Republican Party and politics more generally — finds itself flailing as 2012 draws to a close, buffeted by infighting, defeats and a broad struggle to find a second act.

Consider the following:

●Tea party patron saint Jim DeMint stunned the political world by announcing that he would resign from the Senate at the end of the year to take a job as the head of the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.

●FreedomWorks, a Washington-based political group that is one of the pillars of the tea party movement, has been rent by internal strife. It was announced this past week that former Texas congressman Dick Armey is leaving as head of the group, alleging mismanagement.

●Tea-party-aligned House members, including Reps. Tim Huelskamp (Kan.), Justin Amash (Mich.) and David Schweikert (Ariz.), were kicked off coveted committees after not going along with GOP leaders on several critical votes.

Couple those developments with poll results that suggest the tea party is at, or close to, its nadir in terms of public opinion, and the problem becomes evident. The movement needs to decide whether it can survive as an outside force or whether it can become more aligned with the GOP without sacrificing the principles on which it was founded.

The tea party, for watching a movement turn into a mess, you had the worst week in Washington. Congrats, or something.

Mario Piperni: Monday Morning Tea Party Madness

Tea Party Republican Elephant-2    :     http://mariopiperni.com/

Mario Piperni

The positive aspect of the Tea Party movement is that when you need a conspiracy-minded moron to illustrate exactly what’s wrong with American politics, you now know exactly where to look for one.

“Agenda 21 is an elusive enemy that floats in and chokes you gradually,” said Saul, of the Cedar Valley Tea Party in Cedar Falls, Iowa. “They want to destroy the middle-class way of life.”

“Agenda 21 aims to undermine your property rights and force you” to live in cities, Jake Robinson told Tea Party members at a meeting in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, in April.

For Joe Dugan, leader of the Myrtle Beach Tea Party in South Carolina, “Agenda 21 is nothing short of treason.”

If you don’t know what Agenda 21 is, you’re not alone – only about 15 percent of Americans do. It is a nonbinding U.N. resolution signed by more than 170 world leaders (including Republican U.S. President George H.W. Bush) at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro as a way to promote sustainable development in the face of a rapidly growing global population.

When history finally has a say in all of this, I suspect that it’ll tell us that the ultimate downfall of the the GOP was the day a bunch of Republican hucksters with deep pockets decided to create a ‘grassroots’ movement of misinformed loons they lovingly named the Tea Party. After winning back the House for Republicans in 2010, teabaggers soon became synonymous with intolerance, ignorance and obstructionism and has come to represent everything that is wrong with the Republican platform.

While every political party has a fringe element, few ever allow the crazies to actually dictate policy. Republicans have done exactly that. When buffoons like Allen West are viewed as heroes of the party, you know that the crazies have literally taken over the asylum.

The day Mitt Romney made the decision to cater to the Tea Party’s brand of radicalism, is the day he lost any hope of becoming president.

Tea Party Group Fined For Booking 1,600 Rooms In Vegas, Not Paying For Them

I know that the value called integrity has pretty much left politics in general, but why didn’t the Tea Party head of Las Vegas Operations at the time consider making a deal to pay some portion of the money to the hotel?

The Huffington Post

Apparently what doesn’t happen in Vegas also stays in Vegas.

A judge slammed a now-defunct Tennessee outpost of the Tea Party for reserving more than 1,600 rooms at a Las Vegas hotel and cancelling just weeks before the group’s scheduled event — without paying the bill, according to the Tennessean. The judge ruled that the group owes $500,000 for the cost of the rooms plus more than $200,000 for the accrued interest. In total they’re on the hook for $748,000, according to Bloomberg.

The convention, which never happened, was originally scheduled to take place at theVenetian Casino Resort from July 14-18, 2010, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The meeting was first postponed until October and then later cancelled.

The Tea Party group decided to cancel the event in September, citing the economy. Judson Phillips, the founder of the Tea Party Nation, told the Daily Caller at the time  that there just weren’t enough people willing to pay $399 to spend the weekend watching Laura Ingraham and Lou Dobbs spout their wisdom.

Watch this Bloomberg video here…


Jules Manson, Failed Tea Party Candidate, Calls For Assassination Of Obama, First Daughters

I wrote about this a few days ago.  At that time, the two sources that I got the article from had deleted the article without explanation. I decided to do the same but I did include an explanation.

Now I see that The Huffington Post has picked it up.  I believe HuffPo to be a reliable source and therefore I’ve decided to add their version of events in this post.

H/t: Yankee Clipper

The Huffington Post

Jules Manson, a failed Tea Party candidate for local office in California, recently called for the assassination of President Obama and his daughters in a racial epithet-ridden Facebook screed.

The post, originally about his opposition to the recent passage of the controversial National Defense Authorization Act, which includes a measure allowing the indefinite detention of suspected foreign terrorists, referred to the president as a “monkey.” Then it got much worse.

“Assassinate the f—– n—– and his monkey children,” Manson commented on his own post, according to a screen shot uploaded by Facebook group “Americans Against the Tea Party” and relayed by Your Black Politics blog.

The post has since been scrubbed from his Facebook profile, replaced with an explanation that the comments were “careless, emotionally driven remarks that had no real substance.”

Manson, an avid Ron Paul supporter and libertarian, also writes that he has since been visited by the Secret Service, with whom he says he cooperated fully as he “was hiding nothing.”

According to the New York Daily News, Manson, who lost his 2011 bid for a City Council seat in Carson, Calif. with only 4 percent of the vote, has also posted pictures of Obama dressed as Hitler from his Facebook account.

In a post listed since the latest flare-up, Manson derisively announces a 2012 run for California’s 28th State Senate district as a Democrat.

“I intend on representing the Democratic Party with due dignity, and loyalty for my campaign contributors which will happen to be public-sector labor unions and other collective bargaining institutions that help keep the poor man down and dependent on government,” he writes. “I will also strongly advocate for the raising of taxes to meet the growing unsustainable demand for pensions and compensation packages for state workers despite California being the second highest taxed state in the union.”

The Daily News reports that it was unable to reach Manson at the phone number listed for his residence in a Carson trailer park.

Occupy Wall Street Demographic Survey Results Will Surprise You

TPM IdeaLab

We now know what they want, what social networks and online tools they use and who doesn’t like them. But just who are the Occupy Wall Street protesters?

Over a month since the demonstrations began in New York’s Zuccotti Park, two demographic surveys of the movement and its supporters are now available online, both of them containing surprising, perhaps even counter-intuitive findings about the makeup of the movement and its supporters.

Survey One: Visitors to Occupy Wall Street Website

The first survey, the results of which appear in an academic paper written by Héctor Codero-Guzmán, PhD, a sociology professor at the City University of New York (CUNY), used visitors to the Occupy Wall Street movement’s website (www.occupywallst.org) on October 5th as its sample size. The paper was published online on the Occupy Wall Street website on Wednesday.

Politically independent
Among other striking findings, Codero-Guzmán discovered that 70 percent of the survey’s 1,619 respondents identified as politically independent, far-and-away the vast majority, compared to 27.3% Democrats and 2.4% self-identified Republicans.

“That finding surprised me based on what I had heard in previous conversations about the movement” said Codero-Guzmán in a telephone interview with TPM on Wednesday. “I wasn’t expecting many Republicans, but I was expecting more self-identified Democrats. In recent years, there’s been an increased interest in who political independents are and what political views are and what are their levels of interest in particular issues, which will only continue as the election cycle progresses.”

Other findings in the paper include:

Participation level: Relatively weak
Less than a quarter of the sample (24.2%) had participated in the Occupy Wall Street protests as of October 5, 2011. (But as Codero-Guzmán pointed out to TPM, the movement was still in its relative infancy at that stage.)

Age varies widely
64.2% of respondents were younger than 34 years of age, but one in three respondents was over 35 and one in five was 45 or older.

Wealth varies widely
A full 15.4% of the sample reported earning annual household income between $50,000 and $74,999. Another 13% of the sample reported over $75,000 , and 2% said they made over $150,000 annually, putting them in the top 10 percent of all American earners, according to theWall Street Journal’s calculator. That said, 47.5% of the sample said they earend less than $24,999 dollars a year and another quarter (24%) reported earning between $25,000 and $49,999 per year. A whopping 71.5% of the sample earns less than $50,000 per year.

Highly educated
92.1% of the sample reported “some college, a college degree, or a graduate degree.”

They have jobs
50.4% reported full-time employment, and “an additional 20.4% were employed part-time.”

“Dr. Cordero-Guzmán’s findings strongly reinforce what we’ve known all along: Occupy Wall Street is a post-political movement representing something far greater than failed party politics,” read a blog post on the paper posted on the Occupy Wall Street website Wednesday. “We are a movement of people empowerment, a collective realization that we ourselves have the power to create change from the bottom-up, because we don’t need Wall Street and we don’t need politicians.”

Cordero-Guzmán told Idea Lab that he and Occupy Wall Street’s webmasters planned to release more findings of their initial data sample this week and would conduct future studies in the coming weeks with a much wider sample size.

“I can tell you about 6.3 million people visited the [Occupy Wall Street] website within the last 30 days,” said Cordero-Guzmán. Not bad for its first month of launch!

Survey Two: Face-to-Face With Protesters

The other demographic survey of the movement was an in-person questionnaire of some 198 protesters on the ground in Zuccotti Square, conducted by Fox News analyst Douglas Schoen’s polling outfit on October 10th and 11th.

The results were published online Tuesday and used to bolster a Wall Street Journal column by Schoen in which he maintained “the Occupy Wall Street movement reflects values that are dangerously out of touch with the broad mass of the American people—and particularly with swing voters who are largely independent and have been trending away from the president since the debate over health-care reform.”

Still, a closer examination of the results of Schoen’s survey by The Wall Street Journal’s Aaron Rutkoff on Wednesday revealed some findings that Schoen glossed over or misconstrued to further his own perspective.

Participation split between veterans and rookies
Schoen’s survey found 48% reporting it was their “first time getting involved in a protest/rally/march etc.,” compared to 52 percent who said they had a “history of past participation,” about an even split.

Age varies widely
As Rutfkoff explained: “While 49% of protesters are under 30, more than 28% are 40 or older,” roughly coinciding with Cordero-Guzmán’s findings.

Some employment, but overall difficulty finding work
When it came to employment, Rutfkoff explained that “33%… are struggling in the labor market. That percentage is double the U.S. Labor Department’s broader measure of unemployment, which accounts for people who have stopped looking for work or who can’t find full-time jobs.”

Politically independent
As for political leanings, Schoen’s survey recorded that the largest group of respondents, 33 percent, “do not identify with any political party,” followed by 32 percent that identified Democratic and zero respondents who identified Republican. A further 21 percent, again the largest cohesive group, said “both parties” were to blame for the “failure to address our problems.”

And although Schoen’s column maintained that “An overwhelming majority of demonstrators supported Barack Obama in 2008,” his survey doesn’t exactly support that assertion. As Rutkoff found, ” according to the survey data, just 56% of protesters voted in 2008, and of those 74% voted for Obama. Crunching the numbers, it would appear that only 42% of the Zuccotti Park crowd has ever cast a presidential ballot for Obama.” Another 35 percent reported that they “somewhat approved” of President Obama’s job performance while 24 percent “somewhat disapproved” and 27 percent “strong disapproved.”

Overall, Rutkoff says, the survey indicates that “Zuccotti Park protesters are underemployed at twice the national rate, lukewarm to warm on Obama and broadly in favor of taxing the wealthy and encouraging a Tea Party-style populism on the left.”

Correction: This article originally misquoted Cordero-Guzmán’s statement about the visitors to the Occupy Wall Street website as 6.1 million unique visitors. In reality, there were 6.1 million visits to site in last month (since Sept. 18) and 4 million unique visitors. It has since been corrected.

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VIDEO: Republicans Change Their Tune On The 99 Percent Movement

The GOP are such hypocrites!

Think Progress

ThinkProgress has already reported on the disdainful reaction the 99 Percent Movement initially received from the mainstream corporate media, as well as the notable double standardin the right-wing media’s coverage of the movement versus the Tea Parties.

But as the protests have demonstrated their staying power, and polls have shown Americans support the movement, a number of Republican politicians have come around on the 99 percent. After leading the denigration and belittling of the movement, some softened their tone, offering understanding and compassion for those in the 99 percent movement. ThinkProgress has the video report.

Watch it:

Tea Party Movement Getting Americans Steamed

No surprise there, especially after the debt ceiling debacle…


The debt ceiling fight turned out to be a damper on the American economy, and for the approval ratings of political leaders in Washington. But it’s starting to consume the same political entity that decided to make raising it a major issue: the Tea Party. Last week saw the release of three separate polls that showed Americans are not just more skeptical of their movement, but growing tired of their role in the political process, which builds on previous evidence that the Tea Party is being pushed away by independent voters.

The Tea Party movement, as an idea, was originally about anger at the way things turned out after 2008. Congress had been taken over by Democrats, and President Obama came into office after a change election with high approval ratings and the political capital to make that change. Then, surprisingly, those Democrats didn’t work to enact Republican policies, they proposed and passed a few of their own. This was not how government is supposed to work, according to some very conservative Americans.

So they got some signs and some bags of tea and a few video cameras followed. They protested what they called an oncoming wave of socialism perpetrated by the Democrats who controlled the legislative and executive branches of government. Then they went to some town halls and yelled about the possible reforms to the American health care system. When that passed, they started supporting candidates for Congress that not only advocated the policies they wanted but also held the same contempt for the government process that they did. Then some of those candidates won, and they had to govern.

That’s really when more Americans started to have a more formed opinion on the Tea Party, and over the last few months that opinion has been turning increasingly sour.

“The Tea Party has become somewhat less popular over time, even before the current debt crisis,” said Carroll Doherty, Assistant Director of the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. Pew itself had released some data showing as much: in April of this year there had been a fifteen point jump in the negative rating of the Tea Party amongst all voters in a Pew survey, up from a similar survey in March of 2010.

Continue reading here…

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New York Times / CBS Poll Shows Negative View Of Tea Party Is On The Rise

No surprise here…

A poll organized by The New York Times and CBS has sought to measure the American public’s general impression of the Tea Party movement. According to poll results, people have gained a deeper awareness and knowledge of the movement over the past year and, with that, a more negative view. Specifically: Forty percent of Americans polled this week described their view of the Tea Party as “not favorable,” a substantial rise from 18 percent when the poll was conducted last year. Additionally, in April of 2010, 46 percent of those polled said they were not familiar enough with the movement to form an opinion, whereas, this year, 21 percent felt they had not heard enough about the Tea Party. Democrats were most likely to hold a negative view of the movement, although 40 percent of Independents polled said the Tea Party had “too much influence on the Republican Party.”

As Americans learn more about the Tea Party and the aims of the (many) factions within the movement, it appears that they feel a disconnect — particularly, it would appear, where the debt discussion is concerned:

The debate over the debt ceiling gave people a more concrete picture: Tea Party groups and members of the Tea Party caucus in the House and Senate — many of them elected in the Republican sweep of 2010 — insisted that they would not raise the debt ceiling under any circumstances. Members of the American public, meanwhile, including Tea Party supporters, were telling pollsters that they wanted compromise, not inflexibility.

Tea Party groups and lawmakers made debt reduction their priority, but many Americans said creating jobs was more important. And while many Republicans, influenced by the Tea Party, insisted that they would not allow any increases in tax revenue, a majority of Americans said debt reduction had to include higher taxes as well as lower spending.

And, now, a few questions for all of you: What are your feelings concerning the Tea Party? Has your awareness of the movement increased drastically in the past year? And what role do you think media coverage of the movement has had on your view?

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Poll: Tea party support shrinks by half since 2010 elections

Good!  I suspect it’s because people have come to see what kind of right-wing mutants these crazies really are!

Raw Story

CBS/New York Times poll released Friday (PDF) shows that support for the tea party, the arch-conservative wing of the Republican party, has been cut virtually in half since the 2010 elections, even as their elected representatives seem to be growing in clout.

The survey’s historical data shows that tea party support peaked at 31 percent around the time of the 2010 elections, but has since declined to just 18 percent.

The steepest drop-off in people identifying themselves as members of the tea party came in just the last two months, as tea party Republicans in Congress held hostage an effort to raise the nation’s debt limit until Democrats agreed to severe budget cuts.

As a consequence of that debate, the percentage of respondents who said the tea party had too much influence spiked, going from 27 percent in April to 43 percent in August.

Overall opinions of the tea party also sank dramatically during the same period, with 29 percent saying in April that they had an unfavorable view of the tea party, and 40 percent in August.

The survey also found that 63 percent of respondents wanted to see higher tax rates for the wealthiest Americans: a sticking point for the tea party and other Republicans, who’ve risked their political futures on keeping taxes for the very rich at historic lows.

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Bachmann and Palin outraged at Biden’s Tea Party ‘terrorist’ jab

The weird Sisters, hand in hand, Posters of the Sea and Land…~ Shakespeare’s Macbeth

When I see Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann or Liz Cheney cackling over anything the Obama administration says or does, I’m reminded of the three witches in Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

My apologies to good witches everywhere!

The Hill

Vice President Biden found himself under fire Tuesday from Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R), who condemned alleged comments he made attacking the Tea Party.

Bachmann, a GOP presidential candidate, and Palin, a potential candidate, each reacted with outrage at a report that Biden, at a closed-door meeting with Democrats yesterday on Capitol Hill, said that Tea Party Republicans had “acted like terrorists” in negotiations over a debt-ceiling compromise.


Bachmann, who identifies heavily with the Tea Party, emailed supporters late Monday night to ask them to sign a petition demanding an apology from Biden. She joined Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus in asking Biden to apologize.

“Only in the bizarro world of Washington is fiscal responsibility sometimes defined as terrorism,” Bachmann wrote.

Palin also expressed outrage during an interview Monday night on Fox News.

“What we’re feeling is that growing more debt isn’t going to get us out of debt, and raising taxes in a down economy is a bad idea, and we’re taking a stand in light of those,” she said. “And so to be called a terrorist because of our beliefs from the vice president, it’s quite appalling. It’s quite vile.”

Whether other Republican presidential candidates join the pile-on is yet to be seen. Both Bachmann and Palin are seen as political figures whose own political fortunes are heavily tied to the Tea Party movement, the ascendant group of grassroots conservatives that Palin in particular has especially encouraged.

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