I don’t know, should I do it?

Recieved an interesting comment on my article “Looking for Hate in All the Wrong Places” from its link at Care2.

Just Carol wrote:

Just Carole (503)
Wednesday April 14, 2010, 6:09 pm
I hope you’ll accept this gesture with the grace with which it is offered. I’ve always thought that we could do so much more if we could concentrate on our commonalities.
 
(And, honestly? I don’t think I have any Tea Party members on my friends list.)
 
At CODEPINK, we are extending an olive branch to Tea Party activists. While we don’t support the goals and tactics of the Tea Party, there is an area where we are seeking common ground: endless wars and militarism.

I responded:

I appreciate your offer and your grace. However, I think that your attempt at a connection is misguided. The tea party movement (which I don’t speak for, though nor does anyone else, I guess) is about reducing the size of government, reducing government spending, reducing government control of our everyday lives, and reducing taxes. There appear to be a large number of veterans in the group. I do not believe that it would be in the group member’s interests to join forces with a group focused exclusively on anti-war efforts. However, if members of your group are interested in those things I listed, they are more than welcome to join the Tea Party movement; it’s very open. Just search for (your location) tea party, and you will certainly find an event that you can attend.

I do have a problem with what you said about not “support[ing] the goals and tactics of the Tea Party.” As for the goals, why would a group want to join with a group that explicitly does not support it’s goals? As for the tactics, I am not sure what tactics you are referring to, however, I would note that there are a lot of alleged incidents that are being reported as fact, when they have no support (despite hundreds of video cameras being nearby the alleged incidents). This was addressed in my article. The Tea Party has been explicit that it does not support racism or violence, regardless of what you might hear from those who stand to lose from its success.

I do, however, have a large problem with many of CodePink’s tactics. If you can tell me that the reports are mistaken or that the actors behind them do not speak for the group, I will reconsider, but I was extraordinarily dismayed when I heard about, for example, Code Pink’s disgusting attempt to psychologically torture little kids who have parents at war, as I described here . While I can understand an anti-war stance, I find the idea of Code Pink supporters calling for support for people who are killing our soldiers to be disgraceful. There are many other similar stunts that have been done under the name of CodePink that I certainly would want no part of, and I suspect that most Tea Party members would agree. Although, once again, I am not part of the group and do not speak on its behalf. Thank you for your grace. You are more than welcome to add me to your friends list, as I am always fond of interacting with people with whom I disagree.

I can see the logical connection between government spending and reducing our defense spending, but, knowing what I know of CodePink, I am certainly wary of this sort of “outreach.”  And, while it appears that she meant to be polite, I can’t accept the backhanded swipe at the Tea Party’s “goals and tactics,” particularly given the outrageous tactics employed by CodePink.  Any thoughts?  (I’ll add, just to be clear, that I am not a member of the Tea Party and have never been to an event (although I will be going tomorrow), so I couldn’t join forces in the name of the Tea Party even if I wanted to.  I’m just blogging it because it was interesting.)

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2 Responses

  1. I don’t know if it is even possible to be a “member” of the tea party. The tea parties across the country involve probably about a dozen or so loosely-held grassroots tea party organizations, but the vast majority of attendees are like us — regular people who agree with the tenants of small government and want to take the opportunity to express our dissatisfaction with the government.

    When I call myself a “member” of the tea party movement, I mean that I identify with the limited government values that the tea parties express, and yes, I have attended a (one) tea party event. I was recruited by a friend, not contacted by any organization.

    Hillbuzz (hillbuzz.org) talk often on their blog about trolls, and this is what the Codepink comment looks like to me–a troll. They’re often paid to write comments on conservative blogs, and the tactics they use are designed to place doubt in the minds of the writer/readers.

    Anyhow, you were much nicer to the codepink troll than I would have been. My response would have been more along the lines of F-off. Codepinkers are horrible people.

    • Since I know that a lot of people are very sure that Tea Parties are horrible people based on untrue things that they have heard, I thought that I should at least give her a chance to show me that what I’ve heard about her group is not true, but I’ve seen the pictures, so I’m pretty skeptical. (she hasn’t responded, and I doubt that she will).

      I’m with you, in that I’m generally in support of the ideals of the Tea Party. After today, I’ll probably call myself a member, but since I’ve not been to any of the events, I feel like that would be misleading now.

      The troll thing facinates me. I’ve seen that allegation a lot. Who on earth pays for this sort of thing? What do they think that they are getting (accomplishing) for the money? How does a person get a job like that? It’s crazy. Maybe someday I’ll try to do some investigation into this sort of thing.

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