Sunday, September 19, 2010

Slate's Jacob Weisberg Slurs Tea Partiers as Anarcho-Terrorists

Here's yet another example of how totally FUBAR is today's MFM. Behold Jacob Weisberg' s piece at Slate, "The Right's New Left: The Tea Party Movement Has Two Defining Traits: Status Anxiety and Anarchism." Here's the screencap. The image looks like Ben Franklin throwing a Molotov cocktail:


And after an obligatory introduction on the recent primaries and how the Republicans are getting sucked in by the movement's "gravitational pull," Weisberg adds this:
What's new and most distinctive about the Tea Party is its streak of anarchism—its antagonism toward any authority, its belligerent style of self-expression, and its lack of any coherent program or alternative to the policies it condemns.

In this sense, you might think of the Tea Party as the Right's version of the 1960s New Left. It's an unorganized and unorganizable community of people coming together to assert their individualism and subvert the established order. But where the New Left was young and looked forward to a new Aquarian age, the Tea Party is old and looks backward to a capitalist-constitutionalist paradise that, needless to say, never existed. The strongest note in its tannic brew is nostalgia. Tea Partiers are constantly talking about "restoring honor," getting back to America's roots, and "taking back" their country.

Besides throwing out allegations of racism, Weisberg doesn't add much more than smear tea-partiers as anti-constitutionalist bomb-throwers. Basically, he's looking to brand the tea parties as an anarcho-terrorists movement about to reach hair-trigger status. He's also offering a revisionist history of the '60s-era "New Left." These so-called young Aquarians included folks like William Ayers and Bernadette Dohrn. The Weather Underground was a Marxist-Leninist totalitarian movement on the left. It used violent direct action in attempting to destroy the United States and the world system of U.S.-backed "imperialism." Prairie Fire: The Politics of Revolutionary Anti-Imperialism was the movement's key manifesto, which states: "Our intention is to disrupt the empire, to incapacitate it, to put pressure on the cracks, to make it hard to carry out its bloody functioning against the people of the world, to join the world struggle, to attack from the inside."

I have yet to find any tea parties advocating an agenda resembling anything remotely like those of the most violent '60s-era revolutionaries. At most we've had activist groups looking for a renewed federalism that dramatically weakens federal power. This is not about destroying the constitutional order. It's about restoring some originalism in American politics, and resisting the further encroachment of the European Welfare State Leviathan.

And of course, Weisberg omits the real anarcho-terrorists who have been mobilizing over the last couple of years, especially in California.

Last March saw a wave of anarchist violence in the state, with UC Berkeley becoming ground zero for some of the most intense campus resistance seen in decades. The City of Oakland was beset by riots and the local Insterstate 80 was shut down by anarchist demonstrators. Last December, Chancellor Robert Birgeneau's home was attacked by torch-wielding mobs. In November 2009, Berkeley's Wheeler Hall was seized by student radicals demanding a rollback of tuition hikes.

And the same coalition of radicals, students, faculty, and outside agitators is preparing for another round of mobilizations in October. See, "National Actions to Defend Public Education, October 7th 2010." If you want the New Left, or the Left's New Left, this is it. There is no anarchism on the right, or at least not among the tea partiers. Weisberg's mistaking tea party constitutional libertarianism for the violent ideologies of the anarcho-radical left. It's a pathetic smear that spreads cheap and damaging disinformation. Par for the course these days, considering how badly the Demcratic Party's bureaucratic-socialist complex is holding up.


Added: See also Lonely Conservative, "Oh, Now They’re Calling the Tea Partiers Anarchists." Also, at JammieWearingFool, "Angry Mob Beats Up Politician."


RightKlik said...

It's obvious Jake has never directly observed any Tea Party gathering.

Tania said...

I wonder if Weisburg consulted Matt Lewis on this post?

I made contact with real anarcho-terrorist at the 2008 RNC Convention.

Wrote about the experience:

Grizzly Mama said...

How interesting - and completely off the mark and out of touch. LOL.

Throwing labels around like this, without knowing what they're talking about, it pretty typical of the left. A lefty called me a commie last year - - now I'm being called an anarchist. Can they make up their minds, please?!

Small federal government advocates generally believe in the rule of law. How is that so terribly difficult to grasp?

Dave said...

Defend public (government) education (indoctrination)?

Yeah, right.