Is the Left’s Tea-Party Demonization Strategy Changing?

HarryReidThumbby CCWriter
It’s been reported that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid recently said two things on Nevada Public Radio: “And I hope, I hope that it’s — and I say this seriously — hope that their – [opposition is] based on substance, not the fact that he’s African-American.”

“Who is the Tea Party? Well, understand [that] when I was in school I studied government, among other things. And prior to World War I and after World War I we had the anarchists. Now they were violent, you know, some say that’s what started World War I, the anarchy movement. But they were violent. They did damage to property and they did physical damage to people. The modern anarchists don’t do that, that’s the Tea Party. But they have the same philosophy as the early anarchists: They do not believe in government. Any time anything bad happens to government, that’s a victory for them.”

I thought about these two remarks in juxtaposition, and came up with a theory, two versions of which have been deleted from comments to the NRO story Reid Hopes GOP Doesn’t Oppose Obama Because of His Race.

Analyzing the undercurrent of Reid’s remarks, I find it interesting that he is even allowing for the possibility that people might be opposing Obama based on substance rather than race. I detect in that a possible shift in demonization strategy for specific political reasons. It seems to me that “Raaaaacist!!” has been the primary mischaracterization used against the Tea Party. I felt the NRO story buried the lead, which is that there may be a new party line dropping the race card—it may be losing effectiveness anyway—and focusing on anarchy. It would go something like this:

“Tea Partiers are [not racists, they are and always have been] anarchists. Anarchists are opposed to any government whatsoever, even our fine Constitution, and I have even seen some of the Tea Partiers burn it, yeah, that’s the ticket! Of course not all of them are violent…at least not yet…but we know historically those guys throw bombs and start wars…so we must keep an eye on them…doing so is certainly not scandalous….”

I am no political tea-leaf-reading expert, so I could be wrong, but wouldn’t the “anarchists” meme lay a new line of defense of government overstepping in the public mind as the IRS targeting investigation expands and becomes more difficult to dismiss? • (1249 views)


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13 Responses to Is the Left’s Tea-Party Demonization Strategy Changing?

  1. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    At some point I always expect the common man (or woman) to think, “Hey…these people are full of excrement.”

    But that day doesn’t seem to come. Pretty soon Harry Reid will be telling everybody that the Tea Party is actually made up of extraterrestrials from Planet Zoom who want to abolish electricity and Crest tooth paste. I mean, at some point doesn’t people’s common sense trump their desire for grievance and paranoia?

    • CCWriter CCWriter says:

      That’s why I threw in the bit about Tea Partiers burning the Constitution. That part would be even more of an outrageous lie than anarchism, and ridiculous if you know anything about the Tea Party. Falsehood doesn’t seem to be a reason not to say anything, as long as it fits the storyline as told from their end.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        As Rush might say, this kind of propaganda works for the low-information voter. It’s all they hear on the five minutes they devote to gathering news each day. It’s all they know.

        That, and I think the average American mind has been dumbed-down. Many people are not taught how to think. They are simply taught this process of regurgitating cliches in place of thinking….and they think this is thinking. But then who cares? Who has time for worrying about anything other than what stupid sweet-nothings you are texting to someone?

    • Kung Fu Zu says:


      To quote H.L. Mencken; “no one in this world has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people. Nor has anyone ever lost public office thereby.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Perhaps. But it seems it’s not so much the great masses as the great dumb-asses of the media who, instead of informing people, propagandize them.

        Yes, we are all responsible for being informed. But the mainstream media has done a very good job of getting people to believe that they are informed when, instead, it is typically the exact opposite that is happening, thus the reason for this site.

        • Kung Fu Zu says:

          It is true that healthy people are responsible for themselves, but I think a German saying pretty well describes a large section of the American population i.e. “young, dumb and glutinous.” Gee, I keep coming back to the college demographic we used to discuss on NRO.

          Still I think this site is doing its best to educate those willing to learn. Some would say, “doing God’s work”

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            God’s work and Coulter’s work, as I like to think of it from time to time 😀

            That’s right, I said it.

            (Oh, and also Levin’s work.)

            • CCWriter CCWriter says:

              Ooh! Ooh! Speaking of Coulter–and chickens and eggs: Meant to bring up an exchange on RedEye that aired last night during a discussion of a new breakfast offering from Taco Bell (quoting from memory):

              Gutfeld: If the government made waffle tacos, it would make them out of soap.

              Coulter: And they would cost $1000.

        • ladykrystyna says:

          When it comes to responsibility for being informed, it really is a chicken and egg thing.

          To me, the Left took over the media and education, and before there was Fox News and internet and talk radio, there weren’t too many places to get alternative information.

          Nowadays, the alternative information is out there (Fox, internet, talk radio) and yet people are still afraid to or resistant to watching, reading and listening.

          I was one of those. I knew I didn’t agree with the Democrats, but it took 9/11 for me to actually LISTEN to what the other side was saying, straight from their mouths, rather than what the MSM was telling me they were saying.

          The Left has poisoned the well so badly, that I can’t blame everybody for not being properly informed.

          Perhaps it’s one of those things we do on an individual basis – changing one mind at a time.

          Or I always try to use a bit of psychology: what if you have someone who basically does believe the same things the Tea Party believes in, they just haven’t labeled it that way. So instead of approaching it as a Tea Party matter, you use common sense.

          I, for one, never believed in affirmative action. I was never a feminist. And things went from there until I realized I was always a conservatarian, I was just unwilling or afraid to say it. Or just didn’t know how to express it.

          And people don’t need to be “Tea Party” or “Republican”.

          Many of us are “independents” in every sense of the word; we simply tend to vote Republican because that is where we find more people who agree with our values and our politics.

          I don’t know – it worked for me. Perhaps it can work for others.

          • CCWriter CCWriter says:

            I like the word “conservatarian.” I have been thinking of this new place of ours is one where libertarian-leaning conservatives and conservative-leaning libertarians can get together, because I think that’s particularly important.

            Of course I wouldn’t want to slap anyone with a label that they don’t feel comfortable with. Let them make up their own. Sometimes I change my label depending on how I feel that day.

  2. ladykrystyna says:

    I must have missed this post at NRO. Thank you for pointing it out, CC.

    I think you definitely are onto something here. They will throw whatever they can at the right in general, and the Tea Party in particular. We all must be demonized in order for them to succeed.

    Of course the meme about the right wing being for “anarchy” is an old one. They say it all the time – we want “no government”, we want “no regulations”.

    And the only thing we can do is just not even address them directly, but direct ourselves to the people by explaining what limited government means. It is obvious that too many Americans have forgotten what it measn (and we can thank the Left for that).

  3. Kung Fu Zu says:

    If Reid went to any government class which claimed the anarchists started WWI he should get his money back. It is more likely that he is simply an ignoramus or liar. I’ll bet on the combination of the two.

    In a nutshell, WWI was started after the Austro-Hungarian empire was given the excuse to invade the Kingdom of Serbia after Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the A/H throne was assassinated by Gavrilo Princip, a young member of the Young Bosnia group. This group was affiliated with the Serbian Black Hand the goal which was to unite all southern Slavs under the rule of the Kingdom of Serbia. The Black Hand was formed and led by Serbian solders and were in no way anarchists.

    Most of the anarchists in America, at that time, had been chased out of Europe and had nothing to do with getting America in the war. The sinking of the Lusitania and then the Zimmermann letter from Germany offering to return the American Southwest to Mexico for joining the Axis powers were more important reasons used for going to war.

  4. Kurt NY says:

    This is just another instance of the left being incapable of accepting dissent from their dicta as being anything other than ignorance or malevolence. Some folks think government is too big, it taxes too much, and reaches too far into our lives, so it can’t possibly be they actually think that – the movement must be astro-turfed – no they’re racist – and violent – and ignorant – and…

    As for the foolishness of Harry Reid’s screed, well, the big lie is a well enough established technique that we shouldn’t be surprised by it anymore. Throw enough garbage up against the wall and some of it’s bound to stick. And when people are discussing whether Tea Partiers are racist swine, they won’t be talking about their platform. Put ’em on the defensive and smear the heck out of ’em.

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