Mob. Not.

I was thinking about the treatment the tea party protests received from the Democrat-Media Party after yesterday’s post and remembered I had a “tea party” tag. When I looked at it, I noticed 51 entries. So, I took a little trip down TOC memory lane.

A large meme in 2009 through 2013 revolved around the phrase “tea baggers,” used to attribute a homosexual activity to tea party supporters. Intended as a slur, the Democrat-MSM Party thought calling someone a member of the LGBTQ group was an insult. How the promoters of “micro-aggression” and “triggering” decided this was permissible under their own rules I have to leave for someone else to explain.

They also used the word “mob,” and they went so far as to say the tea party supporters were terrorists.

Anyway, you probably don’t want to read all the tagged posts linked above, but here are a few you may find interesting:

It begins. 2009
Rick Santelli, the rant that lit the fuse
and
The 5,000 – Michigan Tea Party

Tea party = racist. 2010
Not shocked
and
More on racism and its promoters

“Let’s take these son of bitches out…” 2011
Things you won’t see in the Lansing State Journal

Homeland Security monitored us. 2013
Rein in the IRS Protest, East Lansing MI

If nothing else, the tea party legacy is a standard of civil protest – when people cleaned up their protest sites, blocked no traffic, struck no one with bicycle locks, broke no windows, screeched no obscenities, and committed no arson – against which to measure the Statists and SJWs in their own language.

Mobs

The Democratic Party/Media conglomerate has its panties in a knot about the description of Antifa, #MeToo, et. al. as mobs. Well, they have broken windows, preemptively threatened violence against demonstrations they dislike, committed arson, screamed in the faces of their opponents, physically attacked other demonstrators, injured professors during campus “deplatforming” rallies, and battered cars with steel batons while usurping police powers. That’s not a comprehensive list, and I didn’t include the individuals attacking people like Steve Scalise and Rand Paul, but don’t forget the urging to violence from individuals like Maxine Waters, Kathy Griffin, Cher, Eric Holder, Madonna, Jackson Cosko, or Loretta Lynch.

This is mob behavior. The Dem/Media conglomerate defends it; they don’t like the word. They forget they labelled the tea party protesters as a mob, while the tea party committed none of the crimes listed above.

We even left demonstration sites cleaner than we found them.

If the tea party was a “mob,” then these Progressive objections are right – the current protesters are not a mob. They’re much worse. Maybe we should call them goon groups.

I favor Thuggees, but I’m afraid it’s a tad esoteric for the average CNN/MSNBC viewer.

Areopagitica Lost

The current state of the country and the current state of political and intellectual conversation depresses me in a way that it never has before. You have to understand — I’m never happy with the state of the country — that’s the inevitable fate of holding an ideological position that rarely gets any traction — I’m a classical liberal who’d like government to be dramatically smaller than it is now…

Maybe it’s paranoia but it’s been a long time since I felt the thinness of the veneer of civilization and our vulnerability to a sequence of events that might threaten not just the policy positions I might favor but the very existence of the American experiment.

The main way I’ve been dealing with this feeling of despair is to stop paying close attention. I don’t know what depresses me more — the stupidities and dishonesty and tolerance of darkness that come out of the President’s mouth or the response from those that oppose him. Given that I don’t like the President, you’d think I find the response of his enemies inspiring or important. But the responses scare me too, the naked hatred of Trump or anyone who supports or likes him. And of course, it goes way beyond Trump and politics. The same level of vitriol and anger and unreason is happening on college campuses and at the dinner table when families gather to talk about the hot-button issues of the day. Everything seems magnified.

Read the whole thing, it’s very good. Russ Roberts: The World Turned Upside Down (and what to do about it)

I agree 100% with Roberts’ intro, it feels like he wrote for me. He doesn’t mention some things that cause my angst, why “it’s different this time,” but I think he’d agree with them.

I suppose I shouldn’t be, but I’m surprised at the durability of the vehement response to Donald Trump. I get that Progressives are angry and depressed, but it’s hard for me to imagine they’re more angry and depressed than I was at Barack Obama’s re-election. That was a very dark day and an excruciating 4 more years. You can examine this blog for my criticisms of Barack Obama, but you’ll find nothing like what we hear daily from CNN, MSNBC, or (?) ESPN, or from the hegemony of far left celebrity Twitterers.

I’m not surprised, but I am disappointed at the contrast in the treatment of Antifa with that of the tea party. When the tea party left one of its demonstration sites, the area was cleaner than when they arrived. No fires, little to no profanity, no smashed windows, no beaten Obama supporters. Still, the tea party people were vilified by the media and Democrats, including the charges of racism and Nazism they’ve raised lately to screaming rants. It’s not just free speech, but freedom of assembly, freedom of religion and petitioning for redress of grievances that is under attack – with the implicit support of the very press who wish to preserve their First Amendment right. Apparently, as the only remaining First Amendment right.

When Donald Trump appointee Betsy DeVos comes out in favor of due process, it’s a sexist apocalypse. When Trump rejects the Paris Climate Accord, “we’re all gonna die!” When he removes a few draconian regulations, we can see the Four Horses on the horizon. When Trump turns responsibility for Obama’s unconstitutional DACA executive order over to Congress, it’s Nazism, racism, white supremacism, patriarchal and traitorous. Dial it back people. But they can’t.

Back to Russ Roberts. Given the above, his prescription:

1-Don’t be part of the positive feedback problem. When someone yells at you on the internet or in an email or across the dinner table, turn the volume down rather than up. Don’t respond in kind to the troll. Stay calm. It’s not as much fun as yelling or humiliating your opponent with a clever insult, but it’s not worth it. It takes a toll on you and it’s bad for the state of debate. And you might actually change someone’s mind.

2-Be humble. Shakespeare had it right: There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy. You’re inevitably a cherry-picker, ignoring the facts and evidence that might challenge the certainty of your views. The world is a complex place. Truth is elusive. Don’t be so confident. You shouldn’t be.

3-Imagine the possibility not just that you are wrong, but that the person you disagree with could be right. Try to imagine the best version of their views and not the straw man your side is constantly portraying. Imagine that it is possible that there is some virtue on the other side. We are all human beings, flawed, a mix of good and bad.

…suffers from the fact that the center and the right have been more polite and civil than the left for decades – and see where that’s gotten us.

Donald Trump is crass, undisciplined and devoid of principle; but it is primarily the exquisite sensibilities of the intersectionality cadre who blame America for every evil that make his actual content inflammatory. They say they can identify “dog whistles” in Trump’s rhetoric, forgetting that it’s only the dog who can hear the whistle.

Is Trump complicit in this? Certainly. His comments on Mexican illegal immigrants are similar to this:

“You cannot go to a 7-11 or Dunkin Donuts unless you have a slight Indian Accent.”
“I mean you’ve got the first sort of mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and nice-looking guy.”
-Joe Biden

…but “that’s just Joe.” Still, Trump’s a piker compared to the rest of Democrat leadership:

“Republicans… [would] rather take pictures with black children than feed them.”
-Donna Brazile

“I’ll have those n*ggers voting Democratic for the next 200 years.”
-Lyndon Johnson

“[T]ypical white people,”
“clinging to their guns and religion.”
-Barack Obama

“basket of deplorables”
“You f*cking Jew b@stard.”
-Hillary Clinton

Those aren’t distant historical examples, which would be far worse (Woodrow Wilson, for example, the Progressives’ Progressive). Those aren’t dog whistles, they’re fog horns; but, on the left, nobody’s knickers got twisted. That rhetoric is how we got Trump.

As far as the hoi polloi are concerned, on one side of protest demonstrations we see a marginalized group promoting white supremacy, who have with very few exceptions been non-violent except in self defense. On the other, we see a larger group, promoting black supremacy, that uses violence regularly and indiscriminately. Criticizing the latter group either brings charges of being a “Nazi sympathizer” from mainstream Democrats, or silence, as classical liberals attempting to exercise freedom of speech are under physical attack at our nation’s universities; in collusion with university administrators and local governments who order police to “stand down.”

Which group is actually a threat to freedom? The group trying to use their right to free speech, or the group routinely using violence to shut down free speech?

I’m reminded of this passage from Alan Bloom’s (1987) The Closing of the American Mind: “I have seen young people, and older people too, who are good democratic liberals, lovers of peace and gentleness, struck dumb with admiration for individuals threatening or using the most terrible violence for the slightest and tawdriest of reasons. They have a sneaking suspicion that they are face to face with men of real commitment, which they themselves lack. And commitment, not truth, is believed to be what counts.

Bloom is writing about people avoiding the messy distractions of understanding their own ‘ideas,’ because “[C]commitment, not truth, is believed to be what counts.” Their rhetoric is excused by their commitment to no more than having unexamined good intentions.

Ronald Reagan had sub-human intelligence. Barry Goldwater was called a Nazi 50 years ago. The KKK is blamed on Republicans when, in fact, it was the action arm of the Democrats. Similarly, racial discrimination by the State: It was, in fact, outright eugenicists and open racists like Woodrow Wilson who reversed integration in the civil service. Even the far left editors at Vox admit this.

Culturally, we’re debating whether your biological sex is dispositive regarding bathroom facilities, while the left insists that any discussion of differences between men and women is absolutely not allowed. Facebook gave up when the number of “gender” choice check boxes available in your profile reached 58, but men and women are indistinguishable.

If you write a polite, scientifically factual memo questioning Google’s discriminatory hiring practices, you get fired. Meanwhile, Google downranks results from websites not fitting their political views.

Meanwhile, we waste blood and treasure half-heartedly defending poppy farmers in Afghanistan, because “homeland security,” while the territory you can visit in Europe is continually eroded by “no-go” zones and our courts plunk down on the side of unrestricted immigration.

And now I’m back to agreeing with the author’s intro, but you can’t remain silent in order to get along. That’s a complete oversimplification of Roberts’ advice, but it’s hard to remember that when some antifa thug is spraying spittle.

This is how you get more Trump. If that isn’t depressing, what is? Well, the thought of Hillary as President may be one thing.

Despite talking points, the IRS did NOT target Progressive groups

Our audit did not find evidence that the IRS used the “Progressives” identifier as selection criteria for potential political cases between May 2010 and May 2012…

The inappropriate criteria used to select potential political cases for review did not include the term “Progressives.”

From,
J. Russell George
Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration
June 26, 2013

Full letter here.

The Democrats’ attempt to make the IRS corruption appear apolitical is worse than the original crime, “We know they did it, but we don’t care.”

Rein in the IRS Protest, East Lansing MI

Warm and overcast, threat of thunderstorms here today.

There were 25 – 30 very polite people, some couldn’t stay long so we averaged about 25 at any given time. Many drove an hour or more to attend. Most were older, but there was a 2 year old with his mother, and these young ladies. Nice to see. They’re all home-schooled, by the way.


We were not allowed on the private property wherein the IRS rents its office space, so we marched up and down West Road in front of the building.

The building manager was nervous, perhaps frightened, and quickly escalated from a firm but polite eviction speech to threatening to call the police. He didn’t, but his mannerisms when he got to that point (about 30 seconds) were quite agitated. I don’t think he understands who it is that shows up for tea party protests.

It wouldn’t have taken long for the police to arrive. There were 2 squad cars the entire time (some others cruised through) and a Homeland Security vehicle.

Update: Thanks to Instapundit for the link.

Obanana Republic

On November 5th, 2008, I said that the Obama Administration would be the most corrupt in living memory. I was wrong. It’s not merely living memory. And it goes beyond simple corruption.

The American people have been subject to a direct, systematic attack by the federal government, accomplished via the tax laws. Extremely complex laws were combined with bureaucratic ignorance, institutional arrogance, a monopoly on the use of force and a leadership competent solely in permanent campaign mode; in a comprehensive effort to punish dissent, interfere in elections and restrict religious freedom. Information was demanded that could only result in limiting freedom of assembly. Confidential tax information was leaked. Lies were repeatedly told to the legislative branch and to all Americans. When it became apparent that the perfidy would be exposed, and before informing Congress, the IRS staged a passive “Mistakes were made” apology by planting a question at a press conference.

[The IRS] acknowledged it was wrong for the agency to target groups based on political affiliation.

“That was absolutely incorrect, it was insensitive and it was inappropriate. That’s not how we go about selecting cases for further review,” Lerner said at a conference sponsored by the American Bar Association.

“The IRS would like to apologize for that,” she added.

OK, go ahead and apologize, you have our permission. When you do, please reference the First Amendment. And then, name names, fire people and bring charges.

Admit that it was not just groups with the words “Tea Party” in their names. Discuss why, after president “Know Nothing” and his cronies specifically named individual Americans who disagree with the president’s policies, that those named individuals were audited. Expand on your understanding of why it’s wrong for the federal government to demand the content of individual prayers, specifically threatening perjury charges for those so questioned. Tell us why “progressive” groups received preferential treatment in the same time period. I think we need more insight than “inappropriate,” or “poor customer service.”

Tell us if you believe that the root problem is allowing corporations to practice free speech, and whether more regulation is needed. Why is current legal complexity insufficient unto hiding the IRS agenda? Explain why the reasons you gave for the “enhanced scrutiny,” don’t even hold up.

Finally, do you think the IRS transgressions are irrelevant if no one can prove that Obama is directly involved? Do you agree that if the president was involved, it shows that he is the most corrupt, tyrannical leader in American history, and that every branch of the executive division in our government is suspect? If the president wasn’t involved, can any number of straw men, any amount of ad hominem political hackery, any quantity of ignorance pleading – change the fact that it is his Administration?

Before answering, think about what it means if Obama wasn’t involved: The IRS, an agency with the power to destroy every person in America, did all of this on its own initiative.

Explain, please, why your actions did not violate each and every term of the following:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

There is a nascent protest scheduled at IRS locations on Tuesday May, 21st. At noon, I will be at:

EAST LANSING, MI /DET IRS OFFICE
3100 WEST ROAD
EAST LANSING, MI 48823

Let us see what happens.

Things you won’t see in the Lansing State Journal

…nor elsewhere in the statist media.

Jimmy Hoffa warming up the crowd for our president yesterday:

We got to keep an eye on the battle that we face: The war on workers. And you see it everywhere, it is the Tea Party. And you know, there is only one way to beat and win that war. The one thing about working people is we like a good fight. And you know what? They’ve got a war, they got a war with us and there’s only going to be one winner. It’s going to be the workers of Michigan, and America. We’re going to win that war.

President Obama, this is your army. We are ready to march. Let’s take these son of bitches out and give America back to an America where we belong.

To be clear, the LSJ, et. al. did report on the Detroit rally, they simply fail to mention Hoffa’s “incivlity.”

No one in the MSM seems to recall our president’s comments following the Tucson shootings:

But at a time when our discourse has become so sharply polarized – at a time when we are far too eager to lay the blame for all that ails the world at the feet of those who think differently than we do – it’s important for us to pause for a moment and make sure that we are talking with each other in a way that heals, not a way that wounds.

Of course, we can’t talk in a healing way to people whose motivation is asking the national government to live within its means. That’s crazy talk. As the Vice President has indicated, such people are terrorists – unworthy of civil discourse

If the tea party are Hobbits, John McCain is Boromir

Nominations for Grima Wormtongue are open.

John McCain quoted the Wall Street Journal the other day to the effect that tea party aspirations for an end to fiscal insanity resemble a J. R. R. Tolkien fantasy.

…[T]he tea-party Hobbits could return to Middle Earth having defeated Mordor.

Yesterday, the Journal found it expedient to explain the obvious:

These columns drew much notice after John McCain quoted our July 27 “tea party hobbits” line on the Senate floor. Senator (sic) Sharron Angle responded that “it is the hobbits who are the heroes and save the land.” Well, okay, but our point was that there’s no such thing as a hobbit.

Serious debt reduction achieved in a bi-partisan kumbaya outbreak is a fantasy. It’s right up there with belief in the Tooth Fairy and the Social Security ‘Trust’ fund. And it will forever be a fantasy, absent some major shake-up. The Journal’s core assumption is that not raising the debt limit is the worst thing that could happen. Perhaps not.

As to fantasy, the same could reasonably have been said, and was, of the Declaration of Independence. The difference between the Revolution and the debt ceiling question is the immediacy and level of perceived risk.

If you do not think resolution of the Federal spending question involves an imminent, existential threat to the Republic, why would you think Hobbits are imaginary?

If you assume we will return to fiscal sanity at some later date – savings and investments intact, ‘social compact’ reformed – because the GOP will fix it all when they take the Senate and Presidency in the next election: You may be indulging in a fantasy. As Senator McCain has demonstrated, we wouldn’t even be having the debate if we hadn’t elected the Hobbits.

If you assume the Democrats will seriously address spending, or even co-operate in so doing, you are beyond fantasy.

The WSJ‘s analogy could be extended. The Hobbits didn’t want to take on Sauron, they were forced to. They got little aid and no little betrayal from a corrupt establishment. They won, despite terrific odds which would only have become worse had they decided the problem could wait for an election in Mordor.