Posts Tagged ‘Tax Day Tea Party’

Tea Party Leader says movement “in a very disconcerting position”

May 5, 2009

Eric Odom, the web administrator at taxdayteaparty.com, may be wisening up.  After helping to launch several of the tea parties from around the nation, Odom recently has taken a back seat.  Why?  Odom seems to have been disillusioned by the protests themselves.

There are better things to do with a tea bag than throw it into the Potomac River.

There are better things to do with a tea bag than throw it into the Potomac River.

When there are 189,000 people who are fighting President Obama on federal issues, nothing happens.  It is a relatively small group of people when you consider the President’s 70% approval rating.  Odom says that teabaggers need to concentrate on local politics rather than national politics.

This is the Howard Dean approach to politics and worked extraordinarily well for the Democratic Party.  In fact, because of Dean’s decisions as the leader of the DNC, Democrats were able to win several local elections in states as conservative as Texas.  When this happens, people in the community start to get used to the Democratic Party and are more likely to vote them into higher office.

Here is the complete letter released by Odom:

Hi [Name],

If you’re concerned about the direction of the Tea Party effort, it is VERY important that you take a few moments to read and digest this entire email.

I’m writing you because I find the Tea Party effort in a very disconcerting position at the moment. I’ve been on vacation for the past few days, so I’m a little behind on all the news, but from what I’m reading it sounds like there has been a lot of things said internally, within the effort, that probably should not have been said.

For the record… I’m not writing you as a representative of any organization or coalition. I’m not writing you as director of this org or that org; Rather, I’m writing you as Eric Odom. Eric Odom the activist, the tea party organizer, and the concerned American.

I now recognize that I should have written to you about this sooner. I know that many of you are emailing me and calling my cell phone to try and figure out which “group” I am joining or which “coalition” I support, so I thought I would address that question, and follow it up with a full explanation of what I’m personally doing post April 15th.

To give you some quick background… I’m the guy who developed both the site and concept for the February 27th Chicago Tea Party as well as the April 15th Tax Day Tea Party. I’m not in any way suggesting this was all my idea, but I am asserting that I’ve been HEAVILY involved since minute one of everything that has happened in the movement to date.

This has given me a very unique and humble perspective on the Tea Party effort. Unique because I have numbers and data that no one else has. I mean, I know exactly how many visitors we had, what they were searching for, who contacted us, what they were asking, how many contacts we made, and how many media mentions we were privy to (among MANY other things). Humble because I’m the kind of guy who likes to sit behind the scenes and work to facilitate an environment where true grassroots activity can occur, which has provided a much different view of this movement as it unfolded as opposed to what many others have seen happen.

Since day one, I’ve strongly held the opinion that there should never be an “official” coalition or group to “oversee” the Tea Party effort. In fact, my belief is that doing so is impossible.

This caused problems between myself and a couple other national organizers because some of us shared vastly different opinions on how this movement should function.

Yes, we had a website. And yes, our website had sponsors (some of which, by the way, I was not very happy about), but I believe our sponsors did help us get an early nudge that we needed for mass attention, and in turn, mass collaboration.

But to me that should have been the end of it. In my view, our goal should have always been to simply facilitate an environment where local organizers could take the lead in this movement.

Sure, our website had difficulties… but that was a learning process for us and one we learned great lessons from. That said, we did everything possible to stay out of the way of local organizers. We didn’t try and tell organizers what to do or say, we just tried to provide advice and help others share their experiences.

Essentially, our function as a website was solely to market local Tea Parties and help organizers collaborate. That was it!

Now I understand that some out there are saying “there is poor leadership involved within the group who originally started all of this”, but to those folks I would remind them that I never wanted to be THE leader of this effort. Nor did I believe any of us at TaxDayTeaParty.com should try and become THE leader of this effort.

I constantly stated my desire to see all 800+ local organizers take a leadership role at the local level and begin developing local coalitions, taxpayer groups, lobby networks, citizen action groups, etc. It has been and always will be my opinion that a top down model fails every time in the modern day free-market movement.

So why on earth should we try and do it again?

And as a side note, we at some point need to understand the VITAL importance of regaining control of our LOCAL government. I get that fighting Federal battles is sexy and everyone is doing it, but I also get that we’re losing our asses in our own back yards!

So I cringe when I see people claiming to be “leaders” in this movement make statements about the Federal government and how that is where all of our energy needs to be spent.

Here’s a memo for you… the current administration as well as the current congress are doing a fantastic job of defeating themselves. Not to say we just ignore them, but if we devote all of our time to the Federal fight yet lose our states… we do so at our own peril.

I think this is why I have always gotten along so well with Stacy Mott of Smart Girl Politics and Ned Ryun over at American Majority. They get it. They’re a part of a group of free-market movement folks who understand the value in fighting out-of-control government at the local level and how it in turn affects government at the federal level.

So, I think a part of what I’m trying to say here is that I never personally left the Tea Party Movement. In fact, I would suggest quite the opposite. I would, however, admit that I lost interest in being a part of a national “brand” that centers around planned protests in a top down format.

Also, I was never once a fan of trying to brand the free-market movement as the “Tea Party Movement.” The DontGo Movement already learned a hard lesson from trying to do just that (http://dontgomovement.com). Last August we had a HUGE groundswell of action related to the energy debate, and through Twitter our campaign was branded “DontGo.” The reason for that word is because our message is that we were paying extremely high gas prices and congress needed to stay in session to find a solution to the problem BEFORE going on vacation.

Just like with the Tea Party effort, many media outlets and political pundits put pen to paper claiming the “DontGo” campaign was officially a movement. This is what became the DontGo Movement.

The problem, however, is that there was an error in the way DontGo was viewed. DontGo was not a movement; Rather, it was a campaign within a movement. The real movement is much larger… the real movement is the nationwide free-market movement. DontGo shouldnt have been branded as a movement. Instead, it should have been branded as a national grassroots campaign within the movement.

I believe this should be the case for the Tea Party effort as well. The movement already existed, we just needed to be called into action. The Tea Party effort is not the movement… the Tea Party effort is a campaign we launched within the movement.

So what are we up to now?

I’m currently working with a coalition of folks that have opted to take a quieter, more strategic approach to the energy surrounding the Tea Party effort. We’re developing a two pronged plan for long term political activity within the free-market movement, and I want to invite you to be a part of this effort.

1) Federal
At the Federal level, we believe we’re looking at three very significant fights coming up that our coalitions and networks should be heavily involved in. It is our opinion that these are fights that we can not only play a major role in, but we think we can actually influence the outcome.

–Socialized Healthcare
–Internet Taxation
–Union Card Check
(and a few other free-market related issues as well)

2) Local/State
Our goals at the local level are as follows (not limited to):
–Revitalize and strengthen the initiative & referandum process
–Heavily support and push through Term Limit legislation
–Identify candiates for school board, city council, county boards, state legislatures and state constitutional offices… and arm them with the tools and knowledge needed to succeed at running for office
–Develop a large scale fifty state network of independently operated grassroots networks/coalitions that can effectively combat extreme local taxation
–Identify potential leaders and groups within the movement and provide them with the tools needed to expand and become politically successful

3) Long term planning for a large scale 50 state Capital protest on tax day of 2010

We hope to kick this effort off on June 1st, 2009, and we would love to have you as a part of the team.

Consider this a special invitation to a private, national strategic planning conference call that will take place on Tuesday, May 12th, 2009. In order to accept the invitation, you MUST send an email to info@taxdayteaparty.com and tell me why you desire to be a part of this conference call.

We’ll reply with call credentials once we’ve reviewed your response and approve you as a participant (sorry for the long process… trying to block those who simply wish to disrupt what we’re doing).

In the meantime, in regards to the Tea Party effort… keep doing what you do. We need lots more of it and I think we’ll get it. But let’s not lose focus on the bigger picture, and let’s make sure we’re thinking about the entire movement as we head into an important 2010 election cycle.

We the People have the power to take back our country. We need to get back on track and do the work that needs to be done to fix this broken system.

Best Regards,
-Eric Odom

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Michelle Bachmann returns to idiocy, angry at disinvitation to government orgies

May 4, 2009

With all the innuendo in the following video, you’d think that Michelle Bachmann was gunning for the lead role in Milf Fuckers 39 instead of reelection in Minnesota’s 6th district.  On Saturday, Bachmann and Governor Tim Pawlenty gave speeches at a tax day tea party.

Bachmann is angry that the government is having an orgy without her and that it has already “spent its wad.”  To be fair, Bachmann simply wasn’t the prettiest girl at the party and the government just couldn’t hold out when they heard this speech by North Carolina congresswoman Virginia Foxx.

We need some real opposition in this country.  Not some fire and brimstone, good versus evil nutjob that believes the second coming of Christ will happen the second we have single-payer healthcare in this country.  The ideas are so archaic that you have to go back to 18th century, Salem Witch Trials logic in order to wrap your head around the idiocy.

For the love of Nathaniel Hawthorne and all reasonable people, get Bachmann the hell out of Congress.

RWP Rating: Strange

California GOP cries racism over popular Tea Party sign

April 23, 2009

At the tea party I attended, I saw little to no racist signs.  One loon in the corner that was yammering about Obama’s birth certificate aside, the protest mostly focused on demonizing the Democratic leadership.  I know that isn’t what the teabaggers wanted me to get out of it, but that is what it ultimately was.

Several days after the tea parties have ended, the California GOP is actually accusing tea baggers of racism.  Who saw that coming?  Anyway, the sad part about their cries is that the sign in question is simply not racist.  Apparently, their just not as used to playing the race card as the Democrats are.

This is it.

This is it.

Aside from being one of the only truly bipartisan signs, this is an odd message for any Republican to be delivering.  But that’s the point.  This sign was actually created by Ron Paul supporters.  The GOP in California wants to back as far away from this sign as possible.

If Israel didn’t have a Star of David on their flag, then maybe this sign could be considered racist.  But the first thought that went through my head upon seeing it was this:  We give money and weapons to Israel who end up killing a whole bunch of Palestinians.  That isn’t an opinion.  That’s fact. The last scuffle between the two ended with several hundred dead Palestinians and two dead Israelis.

You could make a similar sign using hands from Hezbollah and Hamas dumping cash into a funnel with a Palestinian flag on it and ending with dead Israelis.  That’s not racist.  It’s fact.   People have a right to be mad about shit like this.

The bottom line is that the word “racist” is thrown around far too much these days.  If the California GOP deems this sign “racist” then that stops all real discussion about the policies that the sign is critiquing.

RWP Rating: Bizarre

Full Story:  Concord Monitor

Janeane Garofalo claims all teabaggers are racists, delegitimizes real criticism

April 20, 2009

Janeane Garofalo needs to shut her organic free-trade pie-hole before she ends up as the token liberal douchebag on Fox News.  During an appearance on Countdown with Keith Olbermann, Garofalo pulled the racism card faster than George W. Bush repealed the Kyoto Protocol.

Olbermann started the segment by showing a video of a liberal blogger pwning a bunch of eager teabaggers with memories that can only be measured in nanoseconds.  Here is the video:

After the video was played, Garofalo immediately pulled the race card, immediately delegitimizing any real criticism:

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. This is racism straight up. That is nothing but a bunch of teabagging rednecks. And there is no way around that.

When will progressives realize that branding any dissenters with the racist label is a losing strategy?  It doesn’t convince anyone that you’re right.  It’s stupid, childish, and easy fodder for the anti-PC crowd.   Fox then uses videos like this (of course, without showing the above video) to show that the criticism coming from the left is from the “usual suspects” of PC nutjobs.

Stop making the rest of us look bad.  If they break out the white sheets and lynching supplies, then we can start breaking out those words.  But until then, let’s attack substance and not resort to ad hominem.

RWP Rating: Unusual

Full Story: News Busters (Video)

Lazy conservatives hold Tea Party on Second Life

April 16, 2009

These motherfuckers really aren’t used to protesting.  After 8 years of quietly attempting to defend their vote for the worst President in the modern era, conservatives are only slowly regaining their ability to defy authority.   In this spirit, hundreds of conservatives virtually gathered on Second Life and held their own Tax Day Tea Party.

Fraud Paine!

Fraud Paine!

Baby steps?  More like fetus steps with this one.   Check out all the pictures on Wonkette.

RWP Rating: Strange

Full Story: Wonkette

Full impressions and tons of photos from Tea Party Protest in Eugene, Oregon

April 16, 2009

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There wasn’t a Tea Party protest in the city of Eugene and I suppose that is appropriate.  Eugene, known for raucous WTO protests in the early 90s, violent members of the Environmental Liberation Front, and more aging, balding, dread-locked hippies than a Bob Dylan concert, wouldn’t look kindly on right wing protests.  The protest was ultimately held in neighboring Springfield, known for its incessant insistence that it is the true Simpsons Springfield.

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I showed up just minutes before the protest started, following a Nissan SUV sporting an NRA seal and a yellow Support the Troops ribbon in heavy traffic all the way to the event.  It was held just outside Gateway Mall in Springfield, right next to a United States Post Office, in a park paid for by state and local taxes.

Eugene and Springfield host a population of approximately 210,000, not including the 20,000 students that attend The University of Oregon.   I’m not great at crowd size pinpointing, but I would guess that the attendance was between 500-800.   Local media did show up, but their reports can’t be trusted.  They were about as inconspicuous as an orange-vested hunter in a barren forest.  They didn’t mingle with the people, they didn’t speak to the people, they filed their report in thick make-up and black whore boots and went home to watch Dancing with the Stars.

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The atmosphere was like a County Fair.  Middle-aged professionals with their children and seniors with their oxygen tanks crowded the sidewalks, while their 20 to 30 year old neighbors stayed home.   Opportunists sold t-shirts out of their cars.

A man from the Americans for Prosperity organization dressed up as Thomas Paine, a man he has little to nothing in common with ideologically, and spouted platitudes of Freedom, Liberty, Free Markets, and Fair Taxation.  It was like being at a fucking campaign speech.  Do we really need to subject ourselves to this bullshit more than once every two years?

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Of course, the main thing that Fraud Paine talked about was the horrors of earmarks and the out of control spending in Washington.  Next on the docket was lower taxes.  Of course, the majority of the electorate doesn’t see the inherent paradox in this philosophy.  We have to pay for tax cuts.  If the Republican party wants more Defense spending, we need to pay for that through taxes.  But what the hell am I thinking?  I’m trying to bury this in an article that is too long for many of the Tea Baggers to consider reading.

That brings us to the true “substance” of the Tea Party Revolution.  The substance is the sheer number of slogans and issues represented by the protesters.  There is no unity here.  It’s not the rage against the WTO that made Sublime immortalize Eugene in April 26, 1992.   It’s a mish-mash of right-wing talking points that all lead to a few basic underlying messages.

  1. Congress doesn’t read bills.
  2. Barney Frank and Chris Dodd are the only people to blame for the current economic crisis.
  3. Barack Obama is not “one of us.”
  4. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are dictators in Congress.
  5. Debt = “fiscal child abuse.”
  6. Democrats are godless.
  7. Democrats and Republicans are responsible for mess in Congress (even though they only single out Democrats)
  8. Advertisements for Glenn Beck.

I think I can fit all of the signs I saw today into each of those categories.  The problem is that there is no discussion at these events.  Because the attendees believe everything Fox spews, they accept these slogans as righteous.  Further exploration of these ideals needn’t be taken.  The people who attended the Tea Party today aren’t intellectuals who devour every word of George Will and David Brooks.  They listen to O’Reilly, Rush, Glenn Beck, and Neil Cavuto.  Additional research is unnecessary.

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What’s wrong with the youth today?  It’s a popular motto for many people in the twilight of life.  Today, I ask a different question.  What’s wrong with the baby boomers?  Why have they lost their taste for good, investigative journalism and rational facts?  We can have a real debate in this country if they would accept that their taxes are not increasing if they make under $250,000.  We can have different opinions about what we are going to do in the future.  We cannot have different opinions on facts.

The big takeaway from this is that right-wingers aren’t used to protesting.  When they do protest, they want to protest 10,000 different things at the same time so that they never have to do it again.   Abortion, Cap & Trade, Obama’s legitimacy as President, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, the Stimulus Bill, the Bailout, the Budget, Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Gun Laws, “Christian” values, Earmarks, the free market, spending, Joe Biden, Janet Napolitano, Ron Paul, Bob Barr, the Federal Reserve, the renegotiation of home loans, Obama’s bow to the Saudi prince, terrorism, the Department of Homeland Security, the Employee Free Choice Act, NAFTA, the Death Tax, and the IRS were all targeted today.

When you have 800 people with 800 different reasons for protesting, the message is lost in the crowd.  But the real reason they’re there is simple.  Mass media and lobbying firms have a hell of an influence.

More pictures:

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Craziest Photos from Tax Day Tea Parties

April 15, 2009

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Like the videos, I’ll keep adding more as I find them.  What the hell are they protesting?  It seems to be a smorgasbord of right wing ideas that have been rejected by the electorate.  Check out videos as well.

Special Thanks to HuffPo, Wonkette, PolioGazette, The Washington Independent, etc.