A year after it turned Congress' August town meetings into battle zones, the Tea Party movement is battling for power -- in the Republican Party, and the nation -- in the 2010 mid-term elections.Note the subtle allusion to a non-incident in which a single individual (ill-advisedly but legally, mind you) carried a gun to a townhall meeting. The story doesn't mention, of course, that his behavior was roundly condemned in Tea Party circles.
It's mostly downhill from there.
In outlining the Tea Party's views (as if there were such a thing as the Tea Party), the penultimate paragraph states:
ROUGH JUSTICE: "How many of you have watched the movie Lonesome Dove? What happened to Jake when he ran with the wrong crowd? He got hung. And that's what I want to do with Patty Murray." -- a speaker, name never disclosed, at Asotin Fairbrounds Tea Party rally.This could have been said by a plant, by a journalist, by a lone whacko, by anybody. The author doesn't know, and probably doesn't care.
And people say objective journalism is dead.
There are a few quotes mixed in that actually convey a flavor of real Tea Party sentiments, though the author obviously intends them to be damning. For example,
NEW DEAL: On Franklin D. Roosevelt: "His policies stripped the free market system and actually prolonged the Depression." Glenn Beck.Careful, there, Mr. Connelly. You might encourage someone to look into this and find it's perfectly true.
Most interesting, though, is what's missing from this list of 18 items: there's absolutely no mention of the essentials that characterize nearly every Tea Party organization around the country: the desire for more liberty, an advocacy of limited government constrained by the Constitution, and keeping the government more out of citizen's pocketbooks. As usual, it's what Progressive journalists refuse to talk about that's the most important.
No, it wouldn't do for them to recognize that the Tea Party's leaders are not people, but a set of ideas. If they must reach for leaders, they might look to long-dead men like Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. Those are the leaders whose ideas are driving the Tea Party movement, as is plainly evident by many of the signs carried at actual rallies where Joel Connelly would almost certainly not be caught dead. (That, after all, would require actual investigative journalism.)
Well, one thing is clear. Progressives are running more scared than I've seen them in my entire life. Reagan during his candidacy didn't get this kind of low-life distortions (though some statements were close). You'd have to go back to the Big Lie about Goldwater's wanting to nuke the world to reach this depth.
The author does state at the end one true thing: "Will these folks populate the corridors of power? We'll know in November."
Indeed we will. As Shakespeare said in Hamlet, "Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished."