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Bloggers polls: Health care, Tea parties, and commentators:

This week, the National Journal poll of political bloggers asked a bonus question, about which "columnists, bloggers and television or radio commentators most helped to shape their opinion or worldview." For right-leaning bloggers, the top five were, in order: Charles Krauthammer, Rush Limbaugh, Mark Steyn, Jonah Goldberg, and Eugene Volokh (!). All hail the Master of the Conspiracy.

On the left, the winners were Paul Krugman, Rachel Maddow, Frank Rich, Bill Moyers, and Digby.

As for the regular questions, the first was "How much will Democrats be helped or hurt in the midterm elections if Congress doesn't pass major health care reform legislation?" My answer was "Helped a lot." Over half the Right, but only 6% of the Left, thought that Democrats would be helped even a little.

My answer focused not on Democrats in general, but Democrats in swing districts: "There are plenty of reforms which would cost little and give people more choices -- such as allowing interstate competition in health insurance, or giving Medicare/Medicaid/etc. recipients the option of receiving vouchers to use as they see fit. These reforms would probably be supported by a broad spectrum of voters. However, if 'reform' is defined as federal micromanagement of private insurance, and greater federal intrusion into personal health care choices, then 'reform' will probably be perilous for Democrats in purple or red districts."

The second regular question "How closely should the Republican Party align itself with the Tea Party movement?" A majority of both the Left and the Right voted for at least "somewhat closely." I was among the 50% of the Right who voted for "very closely." As I explained, I would have said the same thing about the Democrats: "The Republicans -- and the Democrats -- should crack down on the institutionalized corruption in their own party, and should work hard to balance the budget, end the kleptocratic redistribution of wealth from taxpayers to politically favored businesses, and sharply reduce federal meddling in people's personal lives. Whichever party does that will earn the support of the Tea Party activists, and the gratitude of generations to come."

Ugh (mail):
God help us.
9.18.2009 12:32pm
24AheadDotCom (mail) (www):
Indeed. As discussed here and at the summary page, the idea that many of the leaders of the TP movement are not corrupt (broadly speaking) is beyond absurd.

Seriously: the latest event was organized by a corporate lobbyist who indirectly waves babies in order to support illegal activity: youtube.com/watch?v=gaqd1qY1KsM

And, instead of encouraging their charges to go to meetings and "interrogate" politicians over their flawed proposals, the TP leaders just encouraged people to act out and put on emotional displays. That was somewhat effective, but it's also one more step on the road to Idiocracy.

P.S. As another sign of those leaders' incompetence, right from the very start they've limited their target market by concentrating on taxes and by having an underlying Randroid philosophy.
9.18.2009 12:42pm
Recovering Law Grad:

The second regular question "How closely should the Republican Party align itself with the Tea Party movement?" A majority of both the Left and the Right voted for at least "somewhat closely." I was among the 50% of the Right who voted for "very closely." As I explained, I would have said the same thing about the Democrats: "The Republicans -- and the Democrats -- should crack down on the institutionalized corruption in their own party, and should work hard to balance the budget, end the kleptocratic redistribution of wealth from taxpayers to politically favored businesses, and sharply reduce federal meddling in people's personal lives. Whichever party does that will earn the support of the Tea Party activists, and the gratitude of generations to come."


This must be satire. There is no other explanation.
9.18.2009 12:43pm
troll_dc2 (mail):
Are the Left voters who want to see the Republican Party aligh itself at least "somewhat closely" with the Tea Partiers thinking that this will marginalize the RP even more?
9.18.2009 12:49pm
rj (mail):
"Whichever party does that will earn the support of the Tea Party activists" and will find themselves with the undying support of a shrinking group of old white people who scare the bejesus out of every growing demographic group in this country.
9.18.2009 12:51pm
Ugh (mail):
I wonder if Eugene is embarassed.
9.18.2009 12:56pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
Ugh. With the exception of EV and perhaps Paul Krugman, the top bloggers on both sides are a sorry lot. Note-- in my opinion, there are two Krugmans. One writes intelligent commentary while the other writes partisan blather. There is no telling before hand when the evil Krugman will take over.

I agree completely with EV-- the Democrats will be helped if the health care (isn't "sick care" a more accurate term?) reform fails. If somehow it passes the public will go ballistic and unleash a rein of terror on the Democrats in Congress. The Republicans best distance themselves from the whole thing. Never in my life have I seen the conservatives so energized. These normally apathetic rubes are taking to the streets. I have never ever seen a demonstration in my neighborhood-- even by liberals. But now I see crowds demonstrating against Obamacare. On the other side of the bay, in Silicon Valley, Republican functions are now well attended after years of apathy. It seems as if a sleeping giant has awakened.
9.18.2009 1:03pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
BTW my "ugh" has nothing to do with the poster named "Ugh."
9.18.2009 1:04pm
rj (mail):
Zarkov,

I disagree. Despite the noise from the Tea Parties, half of the country approves of the president and a majority want something done. The Democrats didn't pass health care in 1994 and they weren't rewarded. Loss on healthcare will simply embolden the right and result in one long filibuster of everything until the 2010 elections. Sixty (or 59) votes and they can't fulfill a campaign promise- why would anyone vote for them?

On the other hand, the more enraged the tea partiers get, the worse it will be for Republicans to be associated with them. The people waving around the Hitler mustache and hammer-and-sickle signs are overwhelmingly old and overwhelmingly white. A lot of their rage comes from seeing their utter irrellavence in the last election; the "silent majority" of the 60s-80s is a minority now. Most people, even those with serious reservations about healthcare resolutions, aren't taking to the street. The rage is concentrated and being blown out of proportion by a media that wants conflict above all else.
9.18.2009 1:12pm
jerry (mail):
"For right-leaning bloggers, the top five were, in order: Charles Krauthammer, Rush Limbaugh, Mark Steyn, Jonah Goldberg, and Eugene Volokh (!). All hail the Master of the Conspiracy."

So uh, Republicans, I think this explains quite a bit about the reality of 2009.

Instead of working to convert us Democratic Jews to becoming Republican ourselves, you have quite a bit of your own work to do....
9.18.2009 1:18pm
byomtov (mail):
For right-leaning bloggers, the top five were, in order: Charles Krauthammer, Rush Limbaugh, Mark Steyn, Jonah Goldberg, and Eugene Volokh

Wow, is that scary (except for EV, of course, but even there he came in fifth).

I guess the silver lining is that people have to stop claiming that Limbaugh is really not influential.
9.18.2009 1:21pm
yankee (mail):
There are plenty of reforms which would cost little and give people more choices -- such as allowing interstate competition in health insurance, or giving Medicare/Medicaid/etc. recipients the option of receiving vouchers to use as they see fit. These reforms would probably be supported by a broad spectrum of voters. However, if 'reform' is defined as federal micromanagement of private insurance, and greater federal intrusion into personal health care choices, then 'reform' will probably be perilous for Democrats in purple or red districts.

Do you have any evidence in favor of this theory, or are you just projecting your beliefs onto the voters?

Even if people turn out to dislike the health care plan once it comes into effect (doubtful), most of its provisions would not come into effect for several years. In October 2010, Republicans could try to generate backlash against the health care plan through histrionics about its supposedly horrible future effects, but I don't think this is likely to work.

A classic opposition strategy is to use obstructionist tactics to prevent the party in power from enacting its agenda, and then run against a majority that has supposedly "done nothing." The fact that the opposition is itself responsible for the inaction does not prevent this strategy from working. Thus the failure of the healthcare bill (if the Republicans succeed in blocking it) is likely to help the GOP in the midterms.
9.18.2009 1:24pm
Steve:
Wow, even 24Ahead mocks the tea-party movement. Now that's when you truly know you're marginal.

On the topic of the post itself, this is essentially equivalent to stating that the party which attracts Ron Paul's supporters into its coalition holds the keys to electoral dominance. If tea-party fans didn't have a tendency to wildly overestimate the number of people who share their positions, no one would have thought for a minute that there might have been 2 million attendees at last weekend's rally.
9.18.2009 1:32pm
Constantin:
What's everyone's problem with Krauthammer? I can see not agreeing with him, but he's a respectable columnist.

He's certainly no worse than the Murderers Row of Maddow, Moyers, and Rich.
9.18.2009 1:41pm
24AheadDotCom (mail) (www):
Steve: if you're going to talk about me, at least give me some idea who you are. Do you have a website?

And, I'm not "mocking" the TPers themselves in the way that "liberals" and low-level elitist libertarian hacks are. I'm pointing out how their leaders are grossly incompetent. If they weren't incompetent, they'd have an answer to racists like "rj" above and an answer to videos like the one at the first link in this comment.
9.18.2009 1:49pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
24ahead:

I don't agree with you very often, but I must commend you in being intellectually honest about the tea party folks who are ostensibly on your side of the political fence.
9.18.2009 1:55pm
rj (mail):
24ahead: Where did you get the idea that I'm racist? Is it because I referred to the tea partiers as overwhelmingly old and white? Am I ageist too?

The point is that this demographic group has been pandered to as the electoral holy grail for decades. Now, the "silent majority" of '68 or "Reagan Democrats" of '80 or "Angry White Males" of '94 have been shown that their influence is waning and numbers are declining. That's a discomfiting thing, especially after being told that they alone constituted the "real America." It turns out that the real America is a lot larger than them, and it scares them.

Tea Partiers are loud, but they weren't able to amass as many people on the National Mall than the Washington Redskins do out in the 'burbs at every home game. Their children are far more likely to be embarrassed than inspired by the accusations they scream and the signs they wave.
9.18.2009 1:55pm
PlugInMonster:
rj - you sounds very scared.
9.18.2009 2:35pm
24AheadDotCom (mail) (www):
When it comes right down to it, "rj"'s first comment is just a cleaned-up version of the July 4, 1996 quote here.

P.S. Another chapter of that same group is presented as mainstream by SoniaS's old group here: lideres.nclr.org/content/article/detail/1743
9.18.2009 2:44pm
rj (mail):
Scared? Of violence, yes. Unless the temperature goes down some (and killing healthcare won't do it) somebody will get hurt. Make fun of Pelosi if you want, but all this rhetoric may be wink-and-a-nod hyperbole to the folks feeding the fire, but it takes only one nut to take it seriously.

Does this mean that everyone who goes to these things is a potential Timothy McVeigh? Of course not! It does mean that there is a real risk that some guy who actually believes that we are in the midst of a communist revolution with internment camps and thought police will do something really, really dumb.

Electorally, that isn't my worry. The midterms will rise and fall on the economy.

Everybody has a crazy uncle who forwards bizarre conspiratorial emails. Getting them all on the same lawn at the same time doesn't make them a majority.
9.18.2009 2:45pm
Houston Lawyer:
rj

The only violence being perpetrated is by those brought in by the Democrats.

Many of the teapartiers do appear to be oddballs. Those who protest for either side tend to be excitable types. At this time, however, public opinion favors the protestors rather than those who wish to silence them.
9.18.2009 2:51pm
rj (mail):
24ahead: The cheap shots are indeed cheap today. It's not a racial thing per se, but a demographic thing. In the comments Bernstein's post yesterday about liberal Jews, some commenters said that Jews don't understand conservatives because they don't go camping and watch NASCAR. For decades, we've been told that the "heartland" is the real America and what small town white people do is what real Americans do. Modern America is very different.

This isn't to belittle NASCAR or camping or the rest, but to recognize that the decades of pandering to this demographic is coming to an end and the formerly pandered-to are none too happy about it. Tea parties are not about policy, which is why most of the signs are simply attacks on Obama as a person, they are the death-yelp of a waning era.
9.18.2009 2:52pm
rj (mail):
Houston Lawyer:

1) Who said anything about silencing them. I'm for ignoring them. Big difference.

2) They don't have the public's side. Obama's job approval is hanging on to the high side of 50. Depending on how the question is framed, support for health care legislation jumps back and forth over the 50 percent threshold.

3) Violence by those brought in by the Democrats? And I suppose the most reprehensible signs came from Democratic plants too? You will probably refer to Ken Gladney, merch-seller turned "activist" because his huckster lawyer saw an opportunity (see link).

4) We've already had the guy in Pittsburgh who shot those three cops because he thought they were coming for his guns and the Holocaust Museum shooter (avowed birther).
9.18.2009 3:00pm
Constantin:

Depending on how the question is framed, support for health care legislation jumps back and forth over the 50 percent threshold.


No it doesn't. It's been at least a month since I've seen any poll asking about anything even remotely being concretely proposed that has found 50% support. I'm sure if you ask "Do you think there should be health care reform?" and nothing else you'll get a majority, but that's about it. Might as well ask "Do you support changes in American foreign policy?" for proof that the public wants to invade Canada.

You have no claim on the violent rhetoric front after the last six years. I know you guys know this. Pelosi literally cried because she's not getting her way, embodying the rest of this nonsense that's being charged. It's a tantrum from people who have no leg to stand on, and a president who has no idea what to do when someone stands up to him. He is lost right now, and you know it.
9.18.2009 3:20pm
rj (mail):
Over the last 6 years, I didn't see anybody showing up to Bush rallies with guns.
9.18.2009 3:23pm
Steve:
Steve: if you're going to talk about me, at least give me some idea who you are. Do you have a website?

I'm Steve, just like you're 24Ahead.
9.18.2009 3:39pm
PlugInMonster:
rj:


Tea parties are not about policy, which is why most of the signs are simply attacks on Obama as a person, they are the death-yelp of a waning era.


Keep dreaming about that. This soon-to-be tea partier is a Jew. I don't camp or go to NASCAR either, but I hate big government. I have never protested in my life, but you lefties have gone too far this time.
9.18.2009 4:09pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
rj:

"Despite the noise from the Tea Parties, half of the country approves of the president and a majority want something done."

You bring up a lot of points, and while I can respond to everyone of them, I'm going to concentrate on the degree of public support for health care reform. I highly recommend you listen to Stanford Professor of Sociology David Brady's podcast on EconTalk here. The polls that indicate support for Obamacare don't ask the right questions, and are extremely deceptive. It turns that once costs are factored into the questions support collapses. You can read summaries on the same page. From the summary:
"... if the poll includes a measure of the likely increase in taxes necessary to pay for expanding coverage, support for expanding coverage drops dramatically compared to generic polls that ignore costs."
Not only that people are generally happy with the status quo.
Politics of change, and in particular the politics of health care change. Going back into the 1990s, polls indicate a desire for health care reform, yet little change gets made. Why? Two reasons. People say it needs change, but if you ask people, "How is your health care?" in the 1990s about 87% felt their health care was either very good or good; small proportion thought not so good. Even at present time, 83% pretty satisfied with their health care. Anything that shifts the status quo is problematic. Second, most surveys don't properly value or ask the tradeoff.
More specifically
"... Article with Kessler coming out, ran a sample of 1000 Americans three times, doing contingent valuations converting into dollars, asked how if people are willing to pay this much: turns out everybody's in favor of reform but no one's willing to pay for it."
Please take the time to listen or read all the summaries, and I think you will see why health care reform is likely to fail unless somehow the government crams it down our throat. If they do that, the blow back in 2010 will be spectacular.

My time is limited today because I'm going to Rosh Hashanah services tonight, so I can't make any more posts for today.
9.18.2009 4:26pm
rj (mail):
You mean people want government services but don't think that they should pay for them? That's the oldest story in the book. The same goes for the "keep government out of my Medicare!" crowd you see at town halls and tea parties.

OK, enough of this, I have services too.
9.18.2009 4:39pm
wm13:
the "silent majority" of '68 or "Reagan Democrats" of '80 or "Angry White Males" of '94 have been shown that their influence is waning and numbers are declining.

This is quite wrong. What happened in 2008, as in 1992, is that significant numbers of white working and middle class voters thought (correctly) that the economy was doing badly, and switched their vote from R to D to punish the party in power. If the economy isn't doing better by 2010, they'll switch right back. I can't imagine a party being dumb enough to write off a demographic group (white people over 30) that constitutes an absolute majority of the country. In fact, I doubt that the Democratic leadership is that dumb, though evidently some of their voters are.
9.18.2009 4:58pm
Angus:
Whichever party does that will earn the support of the Tea Party activists
A crazy statement by Kopel. From what I've been able to tell from websites, news articles, etc., the Tea Partiers are about 99.5% die-hard conservatives and Republicans who wouldn't vote Democratic even if Democrats balanced the budget, led the country to 0% employment and inflation, achieved world peace, caused incomes for everyone to skyrocket, ended crime for eternity, all while getting us to 100% renewable energy.
9.18.2009 5:15pm
24AheadDotCom (mail) (www):
While Angus is slightly on the right track, the fact that a majority of Republicans support NewDealPrograms doesn't square with the massive intellectual heft of the "parties" as illustrated here and here. Remember when Instapundit used to promote GoingGalt or similar signs at the parties? It's kinda odd how he stopped highlighting things like that, isn't it?
9.18.2009 5:28pm
geokstr (mail):

Angus:
...99.5% die-hard conservatives and Republicans who wouldn't vote Democratic even if Democrats balanced the budget, led the country to 0% employment and inflation, achieved world peace, caused incomes for everyone to skyrocket, ended crime for eternity, all while getting us to 100% renewable energy.

BS. I'm a die-hard conservative and I'll go on record as saying as saying I'll vote for every Democrat if I thought for an instant they were ever even attempting to do most of that.

The problem with your over-the-top hypothetical is that in order to do that, they'd have to start standing for conservative principles. They sure as hell aren't going to even get close by going in the current direction.
9.18.2009 5:43pm
zuch (mail) (www):
geokstr:
[Angus]: ...99.5% die-hard conservatives and Republicans who wouldn't vote Democratic even if Democrats balanced the budget, led the country to 0% employment and inflation, achieved world peace, caused incomes for everyone to skyrocket, ended crime for eternity, all while getting us to 100% renewable energy.
BS. I'm a die-hard conservative and I'll go on record as saying as saying I'll vote for every Democrat if I thought for an instant they were ever even attempting to do most of that.
That's a concession of no cost or consequence. The flaw with this is that the TPers wouldn't accept that the Dems were trying to do this, even if that's what they explicitly said, and would deny that the Dems had achieved this even if they were to accomplish such. See, e.g., the "birfers", "tenthers", "deathers", etc., not to mention the way they treated Clinton when he actually did many of these (at least in part). In fact, they're deathly afraid that the Dems might actually mean it, and worse yet, may accomplish some serious progress on these things....

Cheers,
9.18.2009 6:24pm
SSD (mail):
Has a 'teapartier' poll been conducted to guage party affiliation? I wouldn't be surprised if a significant minority reported dem.
9.18.2009 6:40pm
Joan in Juneau (mail):
zuch, you are wrong. I saw and still see Clinton's presidency and more centrist than anything else. The economy was on an upswing when he took office and he gets credit for the economy partially because of that but then again he did nothing to damage that and that is a plus in his column also. I cannot compare the president we have now to Clinton or the congress we had then to the one we have now though. I am not a birfer, tenther or deather as you call them but believe that the country is going in the wrong direction, government is totally out of control and not just the Dems, the whole lot of them and I will say that while the economy was booming and stocks rising that everyone just went along for the ride and let things slide when perhaps they shouldn't have. It has nothing to do with party affiliation, it is a corrupt government that has stopped listening to the people that pay their salaries.
9.18.2009 7:50pm
Bruce Hayden (mail):
A crazy statement by Kopel. From what I've been able to tell from websites, news articles, etc., the Tea Partiers are about 99.5% die-hard conservatives and Republicans who wouldn't vote Democratic even if Democrats balanced the budget, led the country to 0% employment and inflation, achieved world peace, caused incomes for everyone to skyrocket, ended crime for eternity, all while getting us to 100% renewable energy.
Then, again, the odds of that ever happening are zip. I can see them achieving the renewable energy one, but their policies work counter to the rest.
9.18.2009 7:50pm
Bruce Hayden (mail):
Scared? Of violence, yes. Unless the temperature goes down some (and killing healthcare won't do it) somebody will get hurt. Make fun of Pelosi if you want, but all this rhetoric may be wink-and-a-nod hyperbole to the folks feeding the fire, but it takes only one nut to take it seriously.
If true (and I don't think it is), I think that Ms. Pelosi should have first thought through the hair brained schemes that she and her people have been involved in this year. Health care really is the worst, because a lot of people (IMHO rightly) think that it is a life and death issue. The 83% or so who are reasonably happy with their health care are being asked to sacrifice it for the common good, for the benefit of 20-something males who would rather buy beer than insurance and illegal aliens (yes, I know that they are now finally out, but too late, I think to change the debate). And this has the likelihood that some unelected bureaucrats will deny them needed treatment at some point in their lives, without legal recourse.

Sorry Nancy, but think things through next time.
9.18.2009 7:58pm
Bruce Hayden (mail):
A crazy statement by Kopel. From what I've been able to tell from websites, news articles, etc., the Tea Partiers are about 99.5% die-hard conservatives and Republicans who wouldn't vote Democratic...
I think this is wishful thinking on your part, and that when the smoke clears, you will find instead that a lot of them are the swing Reagan Democrats. We shall see.

But if elections were held today, while Obama might squeak through (as noted, his job approval ratings, while continuing to head down, are still above 50%), many of the Democrats in the House sitting in swing districts would likely not be so lucky. Maybe not enough yet to take Pelosi's jet away from her, but closer every month.

The big thing that would kill the Democrats today if there were Congressional elections is passion. Obama and the Democrats won last November because their base was far more fired up than their opponents were. It is just the opposite today. There are a lot of people who would crawl over hot coals to vote the bums out, while the Democrats are resorting to paid (through political favors) union thugs to counter the health care opponents, after failing miserably to get their net crazies energized.
9.18.2009 8:11pm
Sarcastro (www):
I will never vote for the party I hate! The party I hate will never do anything good! That, of course, makes me hate them more.

But I might vote for them if they somehow did something good, which they will never do, so I will never vote for them.

My life is so nice and simple.
9.18.2009 8:13pm
San Francisco Liberal:
Boy, you guys are way out of touch.

I'm a 36-year-old woman, a card-carrying ACLU member, I live in San Francisco, I protested against the Iraq War, I have undergraduate and graduate degrees from Yale and Harvard, and I'm going to a Tea Party in Sacramento.

Dave Kopel is right — whoever can "crack down on the institutionalized corruption in their own party... work hard to balance the budget, end the kleptocratic redistribution of wealth from taxpayers to politically favored businesses, and sharply reduce federal meddling in people's personal lives" will have the enduring gratitude and support of Americans for generations.

This is the popular undercurrent captured by the Tea Party movement. Attempts to mock it as a racist, neo-Confederate, rear-guard action by a bunch of gun-crazed, ill-bred, aging white guys is needlessly polarizing the country. It's also leading to a long-term electoral disaster for the Democratic Party — not unlike the one caused by Jimmy Carter.

Apparently, many of you would also be surprised to know who goes camping (and hunting!) these days. NASCAR, on the other hand, is an acquired taste...
9.18.2009 8:21pm
zuch (mail) (www):
San Francisco Liberal:

If you think the Glenn Beck tea parties are about stopping corporate kleptocracy (you know, like for-profit health insurance companies?), you've got another think coming. Here's some poop on Glenn Beck.

As for who's there, try this. More here.

<*sniff-sniff*> Do I smell a "concern troll"?

Cheers,
9.18.2009 8:48pm
San Francisco Liberal:
re: Glen Beck and Tea Parties

Sure, Glen Beck is nothing but a pandering entertainer.

But the popular undercurrent — or grass-roots — nature of the Tea Parties has nothing to do with cable TV personalities, ex-congressmen or corporate PACs. Most people attending Tea Parties could care less about what these people think.

Slinging derogatory epithets at people you don't understand or disagree with is pretty narrow-mined behavior. Sort of like calling professional women "girls", or sincere commenters "trolls".
9.18.2009 9:26pm
jrose:
As Nate Silver has pointed out, the fate of the mid-terms depends in very large part on Obama's approval rating. Seems to me if health care reform goes down in flames, Obama is seen (rightly) as weak, his approval rating tanks, and Democrats are hurt.
9.18.2009 9:28pm
Melvin H. (mail):
It seems that everyone is missing the main--or other--reason for the Tea Parties and the anger at Congress: Besides this huge bill (bills?) on changing health care/health insurance, in the first 6+ months up to August 1st we have seen:

-- A court decision which zeroed out the stocks of thousands of stockholders of GM and Chrysler...only to have the unions put at the front of the line for Chapter 11 purposes;
-- 32 unelected "czars";
-- Bailouts and/or outright takeovers of some of the larger financial and stock institutions AND two of the Big Three automakers;
-- Cap and trade;
-- the second ($787 billion) stimulus bill;
-- Congress members who admit that they did't read bills before voting on them (!);
-- Disrespect by Congress members to constituents in town hall meetings that THE CONGRESS MEMBERS organized, such as calling constituents names; talking on cell phones and Blackberrys while being asked questions, or not even organizing town hall meetings in their districts.
-- And, even simple arrogance by Congress members (i.e complaining about corporate jet travel by executives while trying to get $$$ to buy....corporate jets for the Congresspeople; claiming that they are the "only thing that stands between them and the pitchforks"; etc.)

This is NOT about racism, race, "code words", or even one party; this looks more like it does cross party, generational, gender, political belief, and all other lines; they may not agree on a whole lot, but when you start getting 55-60% against the health plan, it ain't just Republicans, conservatives, or the so-called "right wing" anymore. People are frustrated, worried, and angry--the townhalls proved that--and they don't need a specific leader or lead group to get them out to a meeting; they just need to know WHERE and WHEN, and can they get their question answered (either their own or listening to someone else who has a similar question). [On that part I agree with San Francisco Liberal and SSD above.]
9.18.2009 10:09pm
24AheadDotCom (mail) (www):
Bruce Hayden's idea that a lot of them are the swing Reagan Democrats is pretty funny. The TP "movement" has nothing to do with foreign policy, and their leaders would work to tamp down any opposition to illegal activity. And, I've heard zero interest in social issues. While many of those there might be informed by Beck about various other things, they're almost all focused on financial matters to the exclusion of things that are, at the end of the day, more important. They're Randroids, or useful idiots for Randrois and corrupt industry lobbyists.

As for "San Francisco Liberal", tell me another one. Then again, she might for real and in good company: the ACLU is collaborating with a foreign government in a scheme that would help that foreign government make money from illegal activity inside the U.S. Would DickArmey even go that far? Well, the company that used to employ him included several RFA's and did work for that same government so you never know.

See the links I've left above for much more about this issue.
9.18.2009 10:27pm
Steve:
"It's not about Glenn Beck, it's just honest outrage at all the CZARS!!!"
9.18.2009 10:38pm
~aardvark (mail):

These reforms would probably be supported by a broad spectrum of voters.


Did Kopel even look at polls? The Dem proposed reforms are being supported by the majority of the population--it's just hard to see that because of TV coverage of teabaggers (or if you watch only Fox News). The problem is not the reform ideas that Dems have--the problem is that, so far, the independents would strongly prefer (by about 2:1) if Republicans were included on the shaping of the reform. This is bad for Dems, but not because they have not been trying to negotiate a compromise--no matter what they put out, all but one (in the most extreme case--two) Republicans will vote against the package. In other words, no matter how much Dems reach out across the isle, there is not going to be a bipartisan reform bill unless they agree to drop all of their proposals and replace them with nearly all Republican ones. This is the dictatorship of the minority that many political philosophers have always been afraid of in a democratic system. Of course, they often counted on rational minority--not a case like this one.

So the Dems will be helped not if they fail to pass the reform but if they do pass it and shift the blame for lack of bipartisanship on Republicans. It's not an easy task when most news organizations are out to lunch, but it is possible that they will pull it off. However, if they fail to pass the signature reform, it will be a slaughter at the polls in 2010. They would have had a dominant majority and failed to move an inch. Although the reasons for this would be 1) total obstructionism on the Right and 2) greater diversity within the party than Republicans could ever hope for (Blue Dogs basically refusing party discipline and striking out on their own). Both of these should favor Dems, but that would be assuming rational voters. That's a bet one will always lose.
9.19.2009 2:43am
Cornet of Horse:
Sarcastro,

"My life is so nice and simple."

You forgot to turn on your non-sarcastic tag for that one. I voted for seven Democrats at the last election, have done so before, and likely will again. I'm still behind Obama but would like to see how he does with a Republican Congress, as our last Democratic President did pretty well in that situation.

And ~aadvark, your fidelity to the catechism is truly touching. Get back to me when meaningful tort reform, relaxing state-line restrictions, and a true catastrophic-only option are part of the bill, and when the jihad against HSA's is called off.

Can a bill pass in the current congress without such things? Sure can. Good luck retaining congress with it. Republicans have nothing to do with that reality.
9.19.2009 6:24am
Cornet of Horse:
Dilan,

"I don't agree with you very often, but I must commend you in being intellectually honest about the tea party folks who are ostensibly on your side of the political fence."

When the evil aspies start singing my tune, my first reaction is to check my pitch. If you haven't noticed, there's one guy on 24ahead's side of the political fence, and I sincerely hope that you're not that guy.

To look at it another way, for a guy as attuned to what is popular as you have been, I don't think the contrarian side is the place you really want to be, and 24ahead is, without fail, contrarian. It kind of goes with the whole mad scientist territory.

Did it ever annoy you that the crazies sucked up all (or a great deal of) the coverage of the anti-war marches? Did that strike you as an accurate portrayal of what got all those people out there?

Now those marches were organized by ANSWER, an organization I happen to trust far less than, say, FreedomWorks. I understand that we differ on that point (although that difference might be something for one who considers oneself a liberal to ponder), but did you believe that ANSWER had much to do with why those people were out there either?

If you're not paying attention to what dissenting voices have to say about the march, why not?
9.19.2009 6:39am
Angus:
Melvin,
I noticed how you listed right-wing talking points--many of which are factually incorrect and others of which ignore realities. Then you conclude unilaterally that these right-wing talking points cut across all party and political lines. Magic, and no proof needed.

I imagine that if anyone polled the people at the 912 rally about who they voted for in 2008, the results would look something like:
McCain Palin: 91%
Obama: 1%
Other/Non voter: 8% (collection of Ron Paulbots, Constitution Party, Libertarian, and conservatives who stayed home)

If the most popular individuals at Tea Parties are Sarah Palin, Joe Wilson, Glenn Beck, and Michelle Malkin, that pretty much pegs the movement as strictly right-wing.

Frankly, the outrage I feel right now is over the mindless, inaccurate, and dishonest talking points of right-wing critics and their refusal to actually try and solve any problems rather than playing partisan games. That, and the weak-kneed response of Congress and Obama to all of it.
9.19.2009 7:06am
Cornet of Horse:
Angus,

Thanks for sharing the ruminations of your imagination. Facts would likely be of more use in a public forum, however. I wasn't at the D.C. rally, but this Obama-voter has been to a couple TP's so far and I'm generally in sympathy with the concerns expressed there.
9.19.2009 9:58am
LN (mail):
I am about as hard left as it comes. I am a card-carrying member of the ACLU, I donate money to the Communist Party, I support the abolition of our military, I think abortion is the most sacred sacrament, I support mandatory gay marriage for all (especially children), I think terrorists should be pampered and coddled so that they can get over the traumatic events that led them down their unfortunate path.

But I have to admit to being somewhat dissatisfied with the Obama Presidency. First, there should be no taxation without representation; does Obama think he is some kind of king? You know, King George didn't listen either. Second, I'm concerned about all the Czars that the President has appointed. I don't want my country to turn into Russia.

So yes, I am a proud Tea Partier. Don't write us all off as right-wing kooks.
9.19.2009 11:40am
A. Zarkov (mail):
Angus:

"I imagine that if anyone polled the people at the 912 rally about who they voted for in 2008,..."

You have to do more than imagine. How about some facts about the people who attended the 9/12 Washington DC demonstration? We see that a lot of Obama voters are having buyer's regret from his plummeting approval ratings. You can't automatically assume that over 90% of the attendees voted for McCain. It's possible, but you have to provide some evidence beyond your speculations before we can take your assertions seriously.
9.19.2009 12:07pm
LN (mail):
Right. In the absence of evidence, it makes sense to assume that the 9/12 ralliers were evenly distributed across the political spectrum -- perhaps they are even more left-wing than a random sample of Americans. This is the natural default view. If you want to assert otherwise, please show facts.
9.19.2009 12:14pm
Darleen Click (mail) (www):
I've skimmed the first few comments and will come back after the blood pressure goes down, but I'm shocked at how little you all know, or even care to know about the rank-n-file of those who show up at Tea Party events. You even buy into the rank fantasy that "only" 70,000 showed up in DC. No, you all don't engage in steretypes or take the Legacy media at face value do you?

argh.
9.19.2009 12:29pm
Darleen Click (mail) (www):
typo

steretypes = stereotypes
9.19.2009 12:32pm
Angus:
We see that a lot of Obama voters are having buyer's regret from his plummeting approval ratings.
And your evidence for that is? He got 53% of the vote in November, and his current approval rating is 53%. Looks like people who opposed him in November oppose him now.


You can't automatically assume that over 90% of the attendees voted for McCain. It's possible, but you have to provide some evidence beyond your speculations before we can take your assertions seriously.
No survey evidence, but we do have a lot of anecdotal evidence.
1. Sponsors: Conservative advocacy groups + Fox News
2. Speakers: All conservatives
3. Cheers for: Sarah Palin and Joe Wilson
4. Boos for: All Democrats
5. Signs: Equating Obama and Democrats with socialists, Nazis, and communists. Signs I've seen criticizing Republicans: zero.

Anecdotal evidence, yes. But the only evidence we have so far points to these being conservative events attended by conservatives who will not support Democrats and liberals no matter what. There is pretty much zero evidence that these protests are spread broadly in political views.
9.19.2009 12:45pm
Angus:
I've skimmed the first few comments and will come back after the blood pressure goes down, but I'm shocked at how little you all know, or even care to know about the rank-n-file of those who show up at Tea Party events. You even buy into the rank fantasy that "only" 70,000 showed up in DC.
So, are you saying 3 million people showed up and they were all former Obama supporters?
9.19.2009 12:53pm
Darleen Click (mail) (www):
Angus

NBC reporters at the envent pegged it at the "hundreds of thousands". Take at look at this

picture

and tell me it is only 70,000.

Reports also have it that this was the most polite "angry" crowd that also picked up all the trash after itself that DC has ever seen. All those "Obama=Hitler" signs? Um... does the name Lyndon LaRouche ring a bell? The vast majority of signs (and I watched the even via streaming video) were NON-partisan, aimed mostly at Congress and the overwhelming sentiment was stop stealing all our earnings and our kids earnings and telling us it is for "our own good". It is the arrogance of people like Dem. Baron Hill who sneered at his own constituents "you don't get to tell me how to run my Congressional office" that has people who have never marched for anything come out of their homes.

I attended a Tea Party back on April 15 in Rancho Cucamonga...purely "organized" via email (no permit, no speakers). Close to 3,000 people turned out. I walked the crowds talking to families, individuals and most were people who pretty much ignore politics save for election time. But the bailouts and the "stimulus" and the huge URGENCY of the Democrats in pushing a statist agenda caused them alarm.

Marginalize them if you will. I rarely expect anymore intellectual honesty from people who consider themselves superior to the hoi poloi.
9.19.2009 1:10pm
Cornet of Horse:
From the horse's mouth.
9.19.2009 1:11pm
Angus:
Cornet,
Thanks for the video confirming that this is a conservative phenomenon.

Darleen,
Yes, that photo you linked shows about 70,000 people. Here's a photo of LSU stadium, which holds 92,000. The people in your DC photo could easily fit into the LSU stands.
Photo
Furthermore, the DC metro system showed a very small ~70k rise in ridership, and the traffic was not much worse than a typical Saturday.
9.19.2009 1:23pm
Darleen Click (mail) (www):
Angus

Obviously you didn't pan to the right/heft nor are familiar with USA Today's graphic from Obama's inauguration that would peg the DC Tea Party crowd at minimum 250,000.

And what makes you think that most of the people going to that march came via the DC metro station.

So what if this is mostly a center right movement. That country is majority center-right. But yes, continue to be dishonest that this is nothing but a bunch of lizard brain people who must be taken care of by the superior Leftists who micromanage their lives down to the light bulbs in their homes and how they will be required to separate their trash and HEAVEN FORFEND they cannot be trusted to buy handmade or second-hand toys for their children. Liberty and personal responsibility are SO over-rated, eh?
9.19.2009 1:32pm
Bart (mail):
On Obamacare, the Dems are facing degrees of damage because the damage is largely already done.

If the Dems fail to enact Obamacare as they failed to enact Hillarycare, it will not save them in 2010 any more than it did in 1994. The Dems have spent months tying themselves to Obamacare and cannot suddenly escape those bonds by failing to pass their preferred program. The conservative GOP and Indis are energized and will not be mollified. Failure to enact Obamacare might depress turnout on the left, but then again most supporters of single payer are in safe Dem districts and should not affect the 84 Blue Dogs in districts carried by Bush and/or McCain. Under this scenario, it is probably even money whether the House goes GOP.

If the Dems manage to muster majorities (which they currently do not have) to ram Obamacare through using reconciliation, the conservative GOP and Indis will go completely nuts and the House will go GOP for sure.

In an essay for National Journal, liberal political analyst Ronald Brownstein describes how the Rocky Mountain West GOP is energized and the Indis are turning against Obama and the Dems for portraying themselves as moderates during the election and then governing from the hard left as soon as they get into office. Brownstein rattles off several Dem gains over the past two cycles that are in danger out here.

If the GOP is at all smart (a quality that cannot be assumed), they will get back to their Reagan conservative roots and attach themselves at the hip to the Tea Party movement - largest libertarian conservative political rebellion since the Revolution.
9.19.2009 1:55pm
Angus:
Darleen,
In case you hadn't noticed, that is a graphic of the mall, not the 912 tea party. The tea party did not fill in all the shaded areas of the "240,000" area since they were not on the mall at all and their stage was significantly forward of the Capitol Building. (The USA today 240,000 includes a stage on the Capitol steps and the crowd filling the lawn. On 9/12, the stage was down on the lawn.) These pictures show the stage and roped off area eating up a substantial part of the lawn.
Photo
Photo

Here's the really jam packed crowd around the Grant memorial pool, which is a little less than halfway back in your "240,000" section.
Photo
Photo

Y'all should be happy with 70,000. That's a good crowd. Almost as many as a college football game.
9.19.2009 2:25pm
Cornet of Horse:
Angus,

"Cornet,
Thanks for the video confirming that this is a conservative phenomenon."

Um, you are aware that your majority depends on the support of conservative Democrats? Right? Newnan? How many of the people interviewed in the video would admit to being Republicans? Why do you think that might be?

You are aware that a substantial number of people voted out the GOP in 2006/08 because of concern over their profligate spending, right? Do you imagine that your majority is now so large that you can afford to piss them off even more than the R's did?


Bart,

"If the GOP is at all smart (a quality that cannot be assumed), they will get back to their Reagan conservative roots and attach themselves at the hip to the Tea Party movement - largest libertarian conservative political rebellion since the Revolution."

Well, that's the thing. Based on the evidence of this thread, the only saving grace for the R's is that hardcore D supporters seem bound and determined to make libertarians and conservatives forget just how far the R's strayed from those roots under Rove and friends.
9.19.2009 2:39pm
Cornet of Horse:
Angus,

As for ridership figures, can you point me to a link that debunks this?
9.19.2009 2:41pm
ricky:
I would like to thank the leftists for, while eagerly stereotyping and smearing the Tea Party protesters, at least having the decency to refrain from using the childish "teabaggers" slur. Except for ~aardvark, of course.
9.19.2009 3:14pm
LN (mail):
Who was the last conservative President who cut spending?

Dum dum dum dum...
9.19.2009 3:45pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
Did it ever annoy you that the crazies sucked up all (or a great deal of) the coverage of the anti-war marches? Did that strike you as an accurate portrayal of what got all those people out there?

I hated ANSWER. I don't want to free Mumia (and it always seemed like people were standing up and calling to free Mumia at those rallies). And I frankly think they discredited the anti-war movement when what we really need was marches by the large number of anti-war liberals who WERE NOT Trotskyites.
9.19.2009 4:18pm
Angus:
Cornet,
It's refuted right in the comments. Heritage chose to compare 9/12/09 to 9/6/08, which is a bizarre choice. Why not 9/13/09, which was also a Saturday? The reason Heritage chose the 9/6/08 for comparison is because ridership was way down that day from Tropical Storm Hannah hitting Washington, DC. Here are some other DC metro ridership figures.

2008:
8/30: 335,945
9/06: 202,528 (Tropical Storm Hannah)
9/13: 362,773

2009:
9/05: 300,063
9/12: 437,624

For extra comparison,
Monday 9/14, 704,000

So, there was a bump on 9/12 of somewhere between 75,000 and 137,000 extra Metro trips. Factor in a round trip for each person and you get 37,500 to 68,500 extra riders. And that also would include anyone coming to the National Black Family Reunion on the Mall.
9.19.2009 4:43pm
Angus:
BTW, the link for DC Metro rider numbers going back to Jan 2008 is DC Metro
9.19.2009 4:45pm
ricky:
"Who was the last conservative President"

Good question!
9.19.2009 6:09pm
Cornet of Horse:
Angus,

Thanks, that was what I was looking for. Any info on the flag at half-staff time lapse pics?

LN,

Yeah, no kidding. Hence the disinclination of the marchers to call themselves Republican. These people helped elect our current President and Congress, if by nothing else than not voting R. Where's the love?

See also.
9.19.2009 7:04pm
Cornet of Horse:
Dilan,

"And I frankly think they discredited the anti-war movement when what we really need was marches by the large number of anti-war liberals who WERE NOT Trotskyites."

Wasn't that in fact what we had? Didn't those anti-war liberals indeed swing a couple elections their way? Sure, ideologues on the Right saw what they wanted to see - the Trotskyites. How did that work out for them? You really want to follow that example?
9.19.2009 7:11pm
geokstr (mail):

zuch:

geokstr:

[Angus]: ...99.5% die-hard conservatives and Republicans who wouldn't vote Democratic even if Democrats balanced the budget, led the country to 0% employment and inflation, achieved world peace, caused incomes for everyone to skyrocket, ended crime for eternity, all while getting us to 100% renewable energy.

BS. I'm a die-hard conservative and I'll go on record as saying as saying I'll vote for every Democrat if I thought for an instant they were ever even attempting to do most of that.

That's a concession of no cost or consequence. The flaw with this is that the TPers wouldn't accept that the Dems were trying to do this, even if that's what they explicitly said, and would deny that the Dems had achieved this even if they were to accomplish such. See, e.g., the "birfers", "tenthers", "deathers", etc., not to mention the way they treated Clinton when he actually did many of these (at least in part). In fact, they're deathly afraid that the Dems might actually mean it, and worse yet, may accomplish some serious progress on these things....

Wow.

Not only do you claim that these "birfers" are so rabid they want the country to go down the tubes, but that they think that what the Dems are doing is going to succeed in that utopian scenario you postulate.

I would contend that it is the opposite, that they think that the Dems are going to ruin what is left of this economy by going down the present path.

Let's turn your inane hypothetical around - if Bush had done all those things, would you have stopped calling him Adolph for even one second?
9.19.2009 7:13pm
Cornet of Horse:
Geo,

"Let's turn your inane hypothetical around - if Bush had done all those things, would you have stopped calling him Adolph for even one second?"

After he stopped beating his wife, no doubt. Geo, you just can't do that. Zuch, for all his frequent vapidity, has more sense than to compare Bush to Hitler. You can't take the worst behavior of an entire class of people, then assume that each member of that class engages in such behavior. To do so puts you in the same category as those you decry.
9.19.2009 7:41pm
PlugInMonster:
Angus - you sound scared and frightened as the horror of it all dawns upon you. You start to realize that the tea partiers are not 99.9995% conservative ReTHUGs, but a lot of conservative Democrats and swing-voters. Be very afraid.
9.19.2009 8:05pm
Angus:
Cornet,
The time lapse march picture of the march down Pennsylvania Street is real. The problem is, too many conservative sites are comparing that to the mall. Pennsylvania avenue is much more narrow than the Mall. There is also the additional factor that moving crowds spread out much further than stationary crowds. Examples of wide space between people on 9/12 in the march down Pennsylvania Avenue:
Photo1
Photo2
The time lapse photo does not show the big gaps and the empty sidewalks because the camera is too low res and too far away.
9.19.2009 8:15pm
Angus:
Angus - you sound scared and frightened as the horror of it all dawns upon you.
Oh, the horror of 70,000 white conservative birthers protesting incoherently in Washington DC. Whatever shall I do?

The whole thing amuses me, which is why I continue to follow it.
9.19.2009 8:44pm
Cornet of Horse:
Angus,

"70,000 white conservative birthers"

Dehumanize much?
9.19.2009 10:18pm
theobromophile (www):
Angus: apparently, it took 2-3 hours for the entire group to march down Pennsylvania Avenue.

When the March for Life (100,000 or so) marches down PA Avenue, it takes us about an hour.

Do the math.

As for the DC Metro ridership: first of all, the supermajority of people came in via bus or car. These aren't college kids who crashed on their friend's couch; these are adults who drove with their families or organised buses.

Now, as for your little canard about "The reason Heritage chose the 9/6/08 for comparison is because ridership was way down that day from Tropical Storm Hannah hitting Washington, DC."
Aside from the charming fact that your ridership figures included, um, Labor Day weekend and a workday as a comparison, there's nothing wrong with using the past year (with Hanna). Hanna officially dissipated entirely on 07 September, so it's not like some fearsome storm was hanging over DC. Moreover, the 912 weather wasn't fantastic, either; in fact, IIRC, there are no satellite images of the crowd precisely because of the gloom.

Finally, as for the Black Family Reunion issue: shouldn't it be easy to tell, via picture, who is there for the racist celebration and who is there for the Black Family celebration? I mean, y'all tell us that the Tea Parties are full of old white guys, so a simple ratio of old white guys to black family members ought to suffice.
/deadpan
9.19.2009 10:48pm
Angus:
thebromophile,

The fact that you think these two days comparable speaks volumes of your inability to seek the truth.
9/6/08: 40 mph winds, 8 inches of rain, Tropical Storm Warning
9/12/08: 3-4 mph winds, no rain, partly cloudy, 75F high.

Indeed, the day before Hanna hit city officials warned people not to come into Washington, DC because they feared the city might have to shut down all transportation due to unsafe conditions.Link

But other than that, the days are exactly alike and therefore fairly comparable.

And if hundreds of thousands of people came by bus and car, they must have used magic invisible vehicles, because traffic wasn't much worse than a typical Saturday.
9.19.2009 11:09pm
ChrisTS (mail):
Constantin:
What's everyone's problem with Krauthammer? I can see not agreeing with him, but he's a respectable columnist.
He's certainly no worse than the Murderers Row of Maddow, Moyers, and Rich.


Hmm. Perhaps your way of describing the 'liberals' might help you answer your question.
9.20.2009 12:31am
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
When the March for Life (100,000 or so) marches down PA Avenue, it takes us about an hour.

Or maybe pro-life groups-- who have a history of dishonesty and of overstating their popularity-- don't draw the crowds they say they do.
9.20.2009 1:31am
Angus:
According to sources I've seen, the March for Life takes 3+ hours to march, and theirs is organized as a march per se that you expect would move faster than the tea party on 9/12. If the tea party on 9/12 had over 100,000 people in it, it should have taken at least 5 hours to march down PA avenue. Instead, their march was all over in 2 and a half hours.
9.20.2009 2:26am
Cornet of Horse:
The whole discussion misses to point in two ways.

(1) Either the movement continues and grows to the point where the Angus's will be forced to take notice, and we make our own Velvet Revolution, or it will dissipate and it won't matter how many people showed up the one time. If you're sympathetic but worried (happy?) that the protesters were too amateurish/sidetracked then get out there and do it better!

(2) It's unclear that these people are enemies of Angus', Dilan's, et. al.'s professed aspirations, or even of their preferred means for achieving them. If the lion's share of funds going to the federal government currently go directly into the paychecks of an army of Linda Tripps; the SS checks of rich, white, retirees and/or their end-of-life care bills; or Chinese investors, why should the Left continue to clamor for money to be sent that direction instead of embracing a Jeffersonian limited-government movement that might as an added bonus prevent future foreign wars and the attendant abuses of civil liberties? Do you imagine that George Washington would have invaded Iraq? Why are these people your enemies again, to the point of dehumanization?

There are horse trades to be made here for those who haven't been divided and thus conquered.
9.20.2009 9:11am
Cornet of Horse:
And Angus, if I were the one carrying the supposed banner of truth, I think I might be careful not to blatantly crop photos previous posted in the same thread in order, to, what, confirm your preconceived notions?

I thanked you because it helps me get a sense of the truth to get people from conflicting perspectives together to try to hash it out, sort of like our courtrooms do. Liberal concept - might want to try it sometime.
9.20.2009 11:23am
Angus:
I did not crop anything, and I resent the insinuation. All of the photos I used are linked directly to those who took them. The photo I think you are accusing me of cropping (the one from behind the stage) is in fact directly linked from the FreedomWorks page. FreedomWorks Coverage
9.20.2009 1:50pm
PlugInMonster:
Angus:


Oh, the horror of 70,000 white conservative birthers protesting incoherently in Washington DC.


Got racist?
9.20.2009 3:11pm
Cornet of Horse:
Darleen's photo.

Yours'.

Considering that hers' came first, that doesn't remind me much of the behavior of most truth seekers I've known. YMMV.
9.20.2009 3:17pm
Angus:
If you believe it to be a cropped version of the photo (which it is not since the angles are different), take it up with FreedomWorks, the organizers of the thing. Mine was to show that the stage was down on the lawn rather than on the steps. I gave you the link to where I got the picture, and you can see it yourself. Of course, that would mean you using your brain, so I won't hold my breath.
9.20.2009 3:47pm
Cornet of Horse:
I'm not saying anyone doctored anything. I'm saying you chose a version of the same photo that Darlene had just posted that was more consonant with your preconceived notions. If that's a habit, and you've shown nothing here to indicate otherwise, your searches for truth will be brief indeed, and not particularly fruitful.

But at least you'll be amused. So there's that.
9.20.2009 6:46pm

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