It seems that the tea party organizers finally learned what a “grassroots” group looks like and how to pretend that that’s what they are. The key is to combine clumsy theatrics with a manufactured chance meeting.
It amounts to a lot of free press, which is why I didn’t necessarily want to jump on the “look at how adorable those teabaggers are being right now” bandwagon again. But it is kind of hilarious. From the Tax Day Tea Party Web site (emphasis mine):
So here’s the plan. On Tuesday, December 15 at 8:45 AM thousands of us will meet in Washington, DC at the fountain in Upper Senate Park. From there we will march to the Senate offices, go inside, and demonstrate our opposition to the government takeover of health care. We call this plan “Government Waiting Rooms”. The intention is to go inside the Senate offices and hallways, and play out the role of patients waiting for treatment in government controlled medical facilities. As the day goes on some of us will pretend to die from our untreated illnesses and collapse on the floor. Many of us plan to stay there until they force us to leave.
The organizers urge those who cannot attend, because they are too busy Christmas shopping, to donate “MUCH NEEDED FUNDS to help us fight the government takeover of healthcare.” Presumably, such funds will pay for the grape Flavor-Aid or perhaps a pizza party at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill.
In all seriousness, I’m reminded of a walk-out I helped organize in the fourth grade. Thing is, I can’t quite remember the cause. But man, was it dramatic.
However, that whole part about staying “until they force us to leave” is probably bull. As I’m feeling rather Nostradamus-like today, I’m going to predict that at precisely 1:24 pm ET, all the “dead” teabaggers are going to rise up, zombie-style and meet their makers in the place from whence they came: Upper Senate Park.
Indeed, they wouldn’t want to miss the chance to shake hands with teabagger lover Sen. Jim DeMint. The junior senator of South Carolina will be joined by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) and radio talk show host Laura Ingraham for a “Code Red” rally at 1:30 pm. The event is sponsored by several right-wing organizations, including Americans for Prosperity’s Patients First, Concerned Women for America, 60 Plus and Conservatives for Patients Rights.
In order to give the appearance of grassroots organizing, and more importantly to guard their mythological independent status, the teabaggers must make this look spontaneous. Though, it might end up being tougher than they thought.
After all, the Code Red people are asking participants to dress up in — how’s this for a burst of creativity — red! So the Santa suit will have to go on underneath their zombie gear. Oh, and I hope the teabaggers have been warming up their caroling voices, because they’ve got to learn this terribly-written piece of a parody, which I double dare you to try singing:
On the eighth day of Christmas, Harry Reid gave to me:
a Medicare expansion we can’t afford,
politics over patients,
an individual mandate,
$500 billion in tax increases,
a slash in senior home health care,
a “public option” only liberal Democrats want,
a job-killing bill,
and a $400 billion cut in Medicare.
Oh, how I wish I could be in D.C. just to see DeMint try lay that goose egg!
So who are these Astroturfers that the teabaggers are so scared to be seen in public with?
Well, of course Americans for Prosperity (the industry-funded umbrella group behind Patients First) will be there. And these guys are experts. After all, they’re the geniuses who figured out how to mass-produce “handmade” signs to combat their notorious Astroturfing reputation.
Another Astrotuf sponsor of the Code Red event is known as 60 Plus. Even though the organization was revealed by the AARP to have operated as a front group for Big Pharma as far back as the beginning of the decade, they still try to play themselves off as a seniors advocacy group.
Another sponsor, Conservatives for Patients Rights, was founded by former hospital CEO Rick Scott just this year with the express purpose to stop healthcare reform of any kind.
All of these groups have been active in the town hall and tea party protests this year. So we shouldn’t be surprised that they’re planning this secret rendezvous with the forbidden fruit that is the teabaggers.
Ultimately, though, the separation of powers here is pretty pointless. After all, the Tea Party Patriots themselves have long ago been revealed to the free-thinking world to be puppets of FreedomWorks and Dick Armey. The effort to appear grassroots will always be futile, until they dump their current name and apply another thin layer of obscurity.
Of course, that won’t stop them from trying. A recent example includes this teabagger lady, who would like to remind you that not only is the word “teabagger” not at all funny, the Tax Day Tea Party movement has “no affiliation with Dick Armey or FreedomWorks” except the fact that they’re always co-sponsoring the same events (oh, and they basically founded the whole Tax Day Tea Party thing together. But whatever).
The lady doth protest too much, methinks.
In light of Tuesday’s festivities then, I’m calling on the teabaggers of America to drop the charade. Stop putting yourself through the hell of denying your one true love of Corporate America’s many front groups. Just be yourselves. There’s nothing worse than being in the closet; it just makes you hateful and cranky.
But then, what would the teabaggers be without their hate? I guess the movement would probably die off…
Ohhhh, I get it. OK, carry on.
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