Wednesday, April 15, 2009

April 15th: Time for Some Tax Day Tea Partying!

Not suprisingly, USC's Marc Cooper, at the Los Angeles Times, says of today's Nationwide Tax Day Tea Party rallies: "I can recall only a few outbreaks of such collective insanity as these tea parties in recent years." The article is here (plus the links at Memeorandum). Cooper wraps up thing with this: "The Tea Party movement, more than anything else, is a rather garish display of a Republican right that seems to have lost not only the national elections but also any semblance of political bearings."

The leftist smears are getting old, and they've become more strident as today's big rallies approached.

In any case, Patrick Ruffini has published a great (non-crazy) analysis of the movement, "
Tea Party '09: The Rise of the Right's New Distributed Online Activism":

By the standards of the Obama campaign and MoveOn.org, the Tea Parties happening all across the country are not very organized. Contra Talking Points Memo, no single group "owns" or is instigating tomorrow's events. The closest thing one could call to a centralized Tea Party homepage is Eric Odom's TaxDayTeaParty.com. Freedom Works has popularized a Google Map which has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times that's become the unofficial directory of the event. Newt Gingrich is driving attendance through his American Solutions (a/k/a Drill Now) list, as are a myriad of other groups.

Contrast this to a MoveOn or MyBO (now OFA) mobilization during the election. A single group would send out a call for a single day of action to its massive e-mail list (in MoveOn's case, this would go to 5 million people; in Obama's, to 13 million people). They would direct people to an online event planning tool, which would either have the hallmarks of MoveOn's internal toolset or the Blue State Digital "PartyBuilder" toolset. Host and attendee information would be hosted on a centralized database. Reminder e-mails would be sent at timed intervals through the same technology. It would be a relatively clean, seamless, and centralized process.

Nothing of the sort has happened with the tea parties, at least from a technology and logistics perspective. Organizers have had to self-report their events to various national groups. One group claims credit for putting one set of events; another group for a different set. It's a much messier process that belies the stereotype of the right as a group of mindless automatons.

This is why it's amusing to watch the left try to debate Jon on the charge of "astroturf." MoveOn virtually invented massively replicable online grassroots organizing -- which many would equate with astroturf, in that activity is actually being directed by a few people at the top, and thousands of people on the ground are (willingly) following orders.

If there are talking points, sample agendas, syncronized start and end times, or standard branding and collateral for the tea parties, I haven't seen them. When Tom Matzzie and Eli Pariser did it old school and decided to send an e-mail to drive people to, say, an Iraq War vigil, they instantly created a level of organization we haven't yet seen in the tea party movement.

And that's okay.

The lack of coordination is a sign of a still-young movement that's just learning to organize online in earnest. And arguably, the advantage brought by a massive e-mail list is much impressive now than when MoveOn pioneered the practice in 2002 and 2003, its heyday.
Read the whole thing, at the link.

The Washington Post also has a take on this, "
Tea Parties a Test of Conservative Online Organizing."

But for the best evidence of the collective clarity of what's happening, stayed tuned with
Michelle Malkin and Glenn Reynolds.

I'll have more this afternoon!

12 comments:

Dave said...

Cooper, like his fellow mindless MSM Obamaneers, are doing their very best to completely mis-characterize what the tea parties are really all about.

This is NOT a republican or even conservative phenomenon, but one started at the true grass roots level by ordinary Americans.

Glenn Reynolds has written the best description of the tea parties I have seen so far:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123975867505519363.html#mod=rss_opinion_main

When Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele asked to speak at the Chicago tea party, his request was politely refused by the organizers: "With regards to stage time, we respectfully must inform Chairman Steele that RNC officials are welcome to participate in the
rally itself, but we prefer to limit stage time to those who are not elected officials, both in Government as well as political parties.This is an opportunity for Americans to speak, and elected officials to listen, not the other way around.
-Dave

rbosque said...

I for one am tired of paying for their socialism. Almost 3/4 of the federal budget goes to "charity". Enough!

Righty64 said...

Just got back from the Glendale Tea Party. I would estimate about 500 people were taking up the block in front of City Hall. The people were excited and engaged. A couple of Alex Jones nutbags were trying to strike up conversation with people. I ingnored them. Like the DDBMSOWM in 1978 had their head in the sand on Prop 13, they are doing the same here. This movement is real and needs to be harnessed into electoral success.

Libby said...

i really hope we can keep this energy up by calling & writing our elected people...you know, our employees!

Greeting Card Printing said...

This might be a still- young movement, but for one in its early stages of operations, the reach and response it has garnered is really impressive. If its any indication of success, then this is looking way positive.

Tim said...

I remember the old mantra of businessmen:

You have to spend money, to make money. You have to spend money, to make money...

rbosque said...

I like the idea of spending my own money, not other people's. Obama's 12 trillion dollar deficit to increase the size of an inept government is not my idea of "stimulus".

Tim said...

rb: Yes, it's all your money. Yours and no one else's. Because, in gaining that money, you didn't use a single road, court, library, school, etc. to get it. And the military did not defend you either.

The profundity of the stupidity does not, I repeat, does not surprise me. I merely consider the sources. Fox News, etc.

rbosque said...

The role of the government is to protect its citizens. Paying for the military and infrastructure is one thing, Paying for abortions, food stamps, and for someone else to sit on their ass and make babies is quite another. 3/4 of the federal budget is spent on charity, that's not mandated in the Constitution.

Rick said...

It's obvious someone doesn't understand capital formation, velocity of money, and business enterprise. lol

Why does the left always attempt to stifle opposing views. Could it be that their views can only stand unopposed?

Dave said...

The Atlanta Tea Party was awesome. I haven't seen that many people in town since the Olympics.

I even ran into some Braves fans who decided to skip the game at the Ted to come down and see what all the fuss was about.

I also talked to some people who aren't exactly conservative, but don't much care for what the Obama people are doing to this country.

There were even (gasp!) black Americans there, too, but that won't get reported by the Obama-loving shills in the MSM.

It may be wishful thinking on my part, but I hope yesterday was the beginning of the end for Obammunism in this country.

I hope the next tea party here is held right in front of CNN Center.

-Dave

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