At the Tea Party: The Wing Nuts, Whack Jobs and by Laura Flanders

By Laura Flanders

Fresh 342-page exchange softcover anthology of articles concerning the Tea get together Movement's ramifications.

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Additional info for At the Tea Party: The Wing Nuts, Whack Jobs and Whitey-Whiteness of The New Republican Right...and Why We Should Take it Seriously

Sample text

And this is the arrangement that the GOP appears to be establishing with its base today. From an organizational point of view, the Tea Parties are a prime example of “astroturfing,” top-down machinations operating under the guise of a faux grassroots movement—like a phony, conservative version of MoveOn, but operated by a corporate puppet master. S. House Majority Leader Dick Armey; the free-market group Americans for Prosperity, and the online-oriented, freemarket group DontGo Movement, which was born out of last year’s offshore drilling debate in Congress.

There was also plenty of animus toward Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Ted Kennedy—I saw several attendees carrying a sign that said “Bury Obamacare with Kennedy,” which had been printed by a group called the American Life League, a leading Catholic anti–abortion rights group. ”1 There were many signs devoted to the idea of purging Congress, and not a few marchers carrying brooms, symbolizing the desire to sweep clean the halls of the Capitol. Across from the National Archives Building—a nine iron away from the revered documents we read so differently—I ran into (actually, he, and his baby stroller, almost ran into me) Grover Norquist, the influential head of Americans for Tax Reform, the conservative lobbying and advocacy group and one of the cosponsors of the march.

This is hardly surprising, given the increasing homogeneity of the GOP in recent decades, as most moderates from New England and elsewhere have left the party. But it is striking to see elected officials staying silent in the face of extremism or even egging it on, as are the eleven Republican cosponsors of a House bill that would require future presidential candidates to produce their birth certificates when they file their statements of candidacy, an obvious sop to the so-called “birther” movement whose adherents claim that Obama is not an American citizen.

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