Bringing a teabag to a knife fight
With all due respect to Stephen Stromberg, whose life is difficult enough having to work for enormous douche bag Fred Hiatt, I think his distress about the teabag infiltrators is dangerously close to “concern troll is concerned’ territory:
But Levin and his band are now trying to out-distort the death panel crowd. And the right is trumpeting news of this “crash the Tea Party” effort, because it gives Tea Partyers a way to blame the ugly antics at their rallies on malicious outsiders. Americans might be more willing to believe that the clownish behavior they see at Tea Party rallies is actually the work of Manchurian candidates. Also, representatives of the movement, such as Connecticut organizer Bob MacGuffie, get to say things such as this to the Associated Press: “[Tea Party opponents] can’t actually debate our message.” Actually, Bob, they’re not even trying to take you on intellectually — though that is surely doable. Which is exactly why this tactic is so despicable.
In some ways, this episode reminds me of the ACORN gotcha tapes, the mastermind of which later got caught allegedly sneaking into the office of Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.). Both involve individuals cutting ethical corners to kneecap those they see as ideological opponents. The Tea Party movement, too, feeds off of this preference for angry, ill-considered reaction over constructive engagement.
I think what Stephen fails to see is that the Teabaggers are equal parts stupid, racist, homophobic, with an extra dollop of more stupid simmering in a steaming broth of paranoia. While their self-proclaimed leaders of the Tea Parties (who are quite the brain trust) are blaming everything on outside agitators, the rank and file will be going buck wild on anyone who is the slightest bit suspect because they don’t hew to the ever-shifting goals of an ill-defined movement whose only consistent belief is that government is bad… particularly when it is run by a Kenyan usurper.
As it is now, a car back-firing by a teabagger protest is likely to result in a stampede of out-of-control mobile chairs, a sea of crushed walkers, and more soiled Depends than a David Vitter lost weekend.
(Added) I had completely forgotten about this.