(About the pic, I like just about any art in which hatchets are used to break things open. Call it catharsis.)
The tea parties began simply enough. In 2009, before Obamacare, I described them as simply a husband and wife, or maybe friends sitting around in the den drinking beer, suddenly realizing a fact that apparently has still not dawned on the GOP Establishment and far too many conservative writers and analysts; if it walks like a socialist and talks like a socialist, it’s a g-d socialist…with takeover, not compromise, on its mind.
What they did next still has the media befuddled. They didn’t immediately turn on Rush and talk radio. Many didn’t even know who he was. They didn’t rush to the computer to find Malkin, RedState, or Hotair. What they did was go outside to find hundreds more just like them wandering around, then form what turned into little more than constitutional study groups, just like the Methodist men’s Thursday evening Bible-study group, only beer and burgers were involved. Some tea parties numbered fewer than 20 in size, and most never called themselves “tea parties”, although it did have a catchy ring to it.
But they instinctively understood what was going on, just like the constitutional citizens of yore, just as the Founders imagined them to be…while their so-called “protectors” had spent years pushing those instincts into the darkest recesses of their souls, so as to be better able to navigate a world that was controlled largely by optical and linguistic legerdemain. Their politicians were all actors in a theater, only one which was no longer of the Founders’ design.
Not much was known about what the tea parties were doing, other than talking to one another and reading up on subjects they’d mostly slept through in 10th grade Civics. It was a strange sight. Like the 45-year old who’d wasted most of his life drinking and swearing then suddenly found himself in a tent meeting, lunging from his chair down the aisle, Obama gave the tea parties a sudden reawakening, a real come-to-freedom moment. Born-again Americans.
No matter what the age, discovering America for the first time is much like that. For some it comes on like a clap of thunder, for others like warm water rising up to the shoulders, the most soothing immersion imaginable. Anyway, for reasons that can’t be explained these men and women set out to save America simply because, in that moment of self-discovery, the true meaning of America overcame them. That was what they were supposed to do.
So, without the help of any internet minister, they seemed to be able to widen their reach, to other like-minded people in other towns. And before you knew it, there were busloads showing up at rallies against, you guessed it, ol’ debbil socialism. Now it was personal.
And as you also know, they didn’t push old ladies in wheelchairs down stairs, they didn’t swear, not a single “boo-sickem”, or show off tattoos on their breasts or behinds, defecate on police cars, or pee on the grass. In fact, unlike buffalo in Kansas moving through sweet prairie grass toward water, when the tea parties passed by, they never left a trace that they’d ever even been there.
As the King of Siam might’ve said, they were “a puzzlement.”
And as we know, by the end of November 2010, they may have altered the trajectory of all those g-d socialists’ plans, who, but for these tea parties, might have achieved everything they wanted to do then.
But once understood as a real danger to the Left, as nature would ordain it, the media needed to demystify them, then demonize them. They wanted “a Tea Party” not “the tea parties” in order to be able to paint them as monolithic and mind-numbed, moving ponderously and a little slow-witted, a mass of marionettes, with Big Business pulling their strings; an army so dull the media could accuse them of almost any crime, from bigotry to anti-gay to pro-tobacco, even anti-slut, without their really having the presence of mind to be afraid of the slur.
Seems you can accuse a man of just about anything, but if he doesn’t watch the mainstream news, it doesn’t sink in.
They were certainly not Republicans in the ordinary sense.
So the media needed a Judas goat. And dozens applied.
Early on it was the self-made millionaires, all fine conservatives, mind you, who wanted to bring all these people together, via seminars and round tables, charging them a hundred bucks a head so they could teach them the same tricks of the trade that made Bill the king of sawdust recycling in Oregon.
At one time I was on the mailing lists of at least six of these fellows, and God Bless ’em, they meant well. They wanted to design the counter-attack on socialism the same way they cured (and profited from) the sawdust problem in Oregon. They assumed all these tea party people were just out milling around looking for a leader, so appointed themselves, while actually what tea parties did best was talk among themselves and vote, without anyone’s help, as 2010 proved.
Natural-born small unit ops guerrillas, partisans who blended into the topography like a Marine sniper, Bill in Oregon wanted to put them under the management of his trained subalterns and march them around in close order drill. Remember the old Bill Cosby routine about having referees and a coin toss at battles? In the Revolutionary War the Brits lost the toss, and the ref told the British, “…the Americans are all going to wear any color clothes they want and hide behind trees and rocks, while you have to wear red coats and march in a straight line.”
But these small-time self-made men couldn’t hold a candle to the corporate millionaires who had commanded much larger, more complex enterprises, so of course, entered the battlefield as Field Marshals instead of brigadiers. They knew better how to marshal assets from across the economic spectrum, to better herd these cats called “the tea parties”. So while high-binders from Oregon were using the internet to lure by the dozens anyone who would listen into seminars to beat back the devils of the Left, these captains of the modern corporate world were hiring personages of the highest pedigrees and name-recognition to hawk their special brand of Tea Party to a thousand times more.
At which time I recalled, with the help of LadyImpactOhio, the many scandals of the 1990s, post-Bandaid, when promoters and big name stars (Dionne Warwick one of the worst, plus some rock bands) would put on high-dollar benefits for a worthy cause, then leave with 90% of the gate.
My nose began to twitch.
Now, it’s not for me to say that FreedomWorks has a better strategic plans than Bill from Oregon. But they certainly have better organization, and can afford to pay Limbaugh and Beck a million apiece to say nice things about them, so they can raise even more money. (According to Dick Armey, former chairman of FreedomWorks.)
But strategy? The 2012 election tends to lean in Bill from Oregon’s favor, almost by default, for whatever the corporate Tea Parties were doing with those millions they’d raised didn’t seem to work. In all likelihood Bill had just as good a plan, just poorer outreach and assets.
How many corporate tea party groups are there, anyway? I count five at least. No matter, but much like the Left after the failure of every welfare program they ever tried, the corporate Tea Parties simply said, “We just didn’t have enough money. So give us more.”
I have a thing or two to say about that, and having worked at the higher and lowest levels of industry…at the time same…I can say with some authority about what works and what doesn’t. I can also speak to all the people in the modern corporation who can neither make a thing well nor sell a thing well (the only two real missions in a business), yet still think the world revolves around their role in the company. And I’m not just talking about lawyers. Any retired Army, Navy, Marine, maybe even Air Force, E-6 to E-8 knows who I’m talking about. Teats on a boar hog.
So I didn’t have to go inside any of the corporate Tea Parties to understand why they missed the mark in 2012. All you have to do is read Matt Kibbe’s daily briefings and endless money bombs.
None of them seem to understand the essence of “the tea parties” and seem to know little of moving them into a genuine resistance movement. Top-heavy command and control seem to be a higher priority than winning.
Simple. You don’t send a lawyer to a knife fight.
But what the big corporate Tea Party (more than one) did accomplish was enable the media to hang an icon around “the tea parties” as tools of corporate fat cats, seeking to destroy the meek and innocent Occupy Katzenjammer Kids and other affiliated carbuncles on the behind of humanity.
That said, this article is actually about money, which has been a sore subject with me for several years now, watching as I have, millions of deep pocket GOP dollars being misspent since the 2010 Uprising , trying to beat back the armies of the Left with briefcases, while the Left had been using switchblades since 2004. I even wrote a little monograph at Amazon Kindle entitled “America’s Epitaph, Death by Skinflint” outlining this in 2011. (At 4.99 I think it sold 2 copies. But if you want a free PDF copy, just ask me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d like to know who you are.)
Now, I’m not picking on FreedomWorks, as I think they are in some respects the best of an over-rated lot, while there are a couple of genuine Dionne Warwick -type phonies out there. But the split-up between FreedomWorks and Dick Armey oxes my gore. (sic). On the evidence I tend to favor Armey’s argument (if true), but then Armey turns and runs to left wing blogs to air his grievance (see the first Armey link, above.) So, I’m not impressed with either.
But what REALLY oxes my gore is that Armey was paid $400K a year for 20 years to quit FreedomWorks, all over a book deal by Kibbe, which, if anything like Erickson’s book at RedState, won’t ever be worth a tenth of that, even if they turn it into a movie.
This just doesn’t compute, if the money behind these corporate tea parties have their priorities in order. That’s eight (8) million dollars, and you know what, by my troth, that same $8 million, over the next three years could virtually bring down the entire leftwing cause, utilizing the best assets of “the tea parties” as God endowed them, while committing not one single felony, nor using one single lawyer, attending not one single seminar, and not even wearing one single blue suit.
I know this to be true. I’ve seen the Plan. I even had a hand in it. A million a year for three years would have the Left on the run. Enough said.
So, tell me where I’m wrong.