With all the "tea bagging", "birthers", and corporately organized protests, I'm tempted to merely mock them. Their fake outrage is dangerous. It is ironic they use their first amendment speech to disrupt the same rights of other Americans. They have changed the course of events, and not in a good way.
The "Brooks Brothers Riot" of the 2000 Bush-Gore recount in Miami-Dade is a perfect example. The polling headquarters was flooded with "plants" demanding the vote count be stopped. Republicans always want to stop the vote count; it's a part of their strategy. When there is a large turnout, or when all the votes are counted, that usually bodes well for Democrats. At least ten of the Brooks Brothers Fake Rioters were staffers from Washington DC. Full name roll here.
Number 8 is Duane Gibson. He has some close Alaskan ties, and is admitted to the Alaska Bar. Duane Gibson was a former top aide to Sen. Ted Stevens and was also a top aide to Rep. Don Young. When he left Don Young's office in the summer of 2002, Gibson was senior counsel. He joined Jack Abramoff at the lobbying firm of Greenberg Traurig.
According to this website:
Gibson was named in grand jury subpoenas of documents relating to "agents and associates" of Abramoff. [Records Expose Young-Abramoff Ties, Anchorage Daily News, 4/20/2008]
Gibson received public money via Ted's earmarks for the Alaska Fisheries Marketing Board, which awarded grants totaling $293,000 to the Alaska-based dog-treat company Arctic Paws, owned by Duane Gibson and his brother, Brett. [Stevens Stops Backing Controversial Board, Roll Call, 5/9/2007]
In 2005, Gibson sponsored a "coffee break" as part of the pro-mining convention and is a registered lobbyist for the Pebble Mine. He is listed as a guest at two "Kenai River Classic" fundraisers as part of the Livingston Group.
Mr. Gibson has a right to make a living, just like everyone else. I don't agree with his political position, and that's fine. His participation in the disingenuous "protest" that helped bring us George W. Bush, is a vulgar display of anti-patriotism. The faux mob wasn't there to make sure their votes were counted; they were liars, manipulating the democratic process.
The astro-turfing of protests is dangerous. Locally, we had bus loads of Wasilla, gay-fearing X-ians flood Anchorage Assembly meetings to protest a LGBT protection ordinance in a town they don't reside. Fox News sponsored the Tea Bagger Tax Protests. Corporate lobbying-run groups like Freedom Works and Americans for Prosperity are creating the illusion of grass roots protests at the health care town hall meetings. The "Tea Party" movement flies in the face of what the true patriots in Boston stood for. Where were these citizens when the previous administration was spending trillions of citizen tax dollars on an illegal war? Or when billions of dollars-cash on pallets delivered on C-130s to Iraq disappeared -- a fraud now thought to be bigger than Madoff's ponzi scheme? Where were they when the loop holes for corporations slid through?
Monday, the Alaska legislature will meet in Anchorage for a special session prompted by the resignation of the governor. The schedule includes over-riding the veto of the federal stimulus funds for weatherization and energy assistance. $28.6 million dollars are at stake for Alaskans -- the same Alaskans Palin awarded $740 million in "energy assistance" not even a year ago.
Once again, there is a "Tea Party, Decaffeinated -- say no to stimulus" planned.
Their flier reads:
"The purpose of this rally is to insist Alaska's legislature sustain the governor's veto of the federal stimulus energy funds. This action will reduce Alaska's responsibility for the national debt and assert Alaska's right to reject intrusion by the Federal government into State and Local affairs"
Newsflash, Teabaggers. The governor quit. It won't lessen our responsibility for national debt; California could spend it, and we'll still pay it back! For every dollar Alaskans submit in taxes, we get back $1.83 from the federal coffers. Stop pretending like you didn't vote all those years for Ted Stevens and Don Young because they stood up for reducing federal funds spent in Alaska! BTW, you wear seat belts, have car seats, wait until 21 to legally drink, and have speed limits set by federal guide lines...what's wrong with putting some weatherization around your door? Really? Oh, that's right, the president is black. I guess warmer homes and jobs aren't really needed in Alaska.
The flier goes on:
"Bring your signs, flags, and friends."
How about this, bring your signs and your friends, but leave the flag out of it. I'm sick to death of the xenophobic, fear-based, blather wrapping itself in the flag and carrying a cross. Jesus wasn't a Republican. I know, shocking. His works included "healing the sick" and "feeding the poor." I'm sure you would have hated his health care plan, it was free. Socialist! Jesus wasn't an American. There are brave soldiers buried in Arlington under the Muslim Crescent. Their blood for your hate speech. That's rich.
The rallying cry of the astro-turfed crowd is simply "No!" Many citizens show up because of their ideology, and I support their right. The posers, like Mr. Gibson almost a decade ago, have abused and eroded our civil discourse into mob scenes.
There is a group of pro-weatherization, energy stimulus money folks showing up the morning of the special session at the Egan Center. If you are inclined to show up as a body of support, please do. Please email your state representatives and ask them to cast their vote to make Alaska better, warmer and employed.
You should know who is behind the faux outrage. Follow the money. Here is just one example.
Here's an update from MoveOn:
All across the country, right-wing extremists are disrupting congressional town-hall meetings with venomous attacks on President Obama's plans for health care and clean energy.
- Friday night in Tampa, Florida, a town hall meeting erupted into violence, with the police being called to break up fist fights and shoving matches.
- A Texas Democrat was shouted down by right-wing hecklers, many of whom admitted they didn't even live in his district.
- One North Carolina representative announced he wouldn't be holding any town-hall meetings after his office began receiving death threats.
- And in Maryland, protesters hung a Democratic congressman in effigy to oppose health-care reform.