A progressive answer to the Tea Party

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

"The Tea Party has enacted the most collectivist strategy for taking power in the history of the republic. ...and as a result, you now live in their world, 24 months after you thought we changed everything." -Van Jones

Last week, I was at Netroots Nation - the annual gathering of bloggers, online activists, wonks, and hacks. And while the gathering is a great chance to meet up with old friends, make new ones, and pick up a few tips on organizing tactics, it's not often that I hear something radically new and compelling in political strategy.

But on Saturday, former White House green jobs advisor Van Jones blew the doors off the place - and blew my mind - with a lunchtime speech that will someday hopefully be hailed as the start of something very big and important for progressives.

I'll do my best to capture the concept for you here. But if you want the full power of his presentation, watch the video.

First, Van's analysis:

So, is there some overriding brand or theme that we progressives can gather around? Some set of principles that we can all share, without abandoning our own causes?

Yes. It's the American Dream.

"Since the American Dream itself is under fire - Since Doctor King himself said, the very first thing he said about his dream, was: 'I have a dream. It's a dream deeply rooted in the American Dream.' Since we have something that precious that's about to be thrown under the bus so rich folks don't have to pay taxes, maybe we could have a movement to restore, and rebuild, and reclaim, and honor the American Dream. Let that be the common banner we march under."

What does Van Jones mean when he refers to the American Dream? He doesn't mean what conservatives mean when they say "American Dream":

I’m not talking about the American Fantasy, okay? The American Fantasy: everybody’s gonna be rich, you buy a lot of things, you’ll be happy? No, that’s an American Fantasy, which means it’s the American nightmare. That needs to go. That needs to go. We don’t believe in that. We don’t believe in that at all.

I’m talking about something much, much deeper than that. Something that we had in this country until the commercializers turned it into something else. The American Dream was simply the idea that hard work should pay in our country. That you should be able to get up in the morning in America, and if you willing to and are able to work, walk out your front door, go to a dignified job, put in a good day’s work and come back home with a paycheck that you can feed your family with and give your children a better life. That’s the American Dream. That’s what our parents fought for and our grandparents fought for and we should not let it be taken away from us on our watch. That’s the American Dream.

OK, but what does that mean in terms of policy? Well, back in February, Van Jones outlined a few principles:

Will those remain the principles? Probably not. After all, Van's arguing that we need to organizing our principles in a bottom-up, grassroots sort of way. And each of us needs to find our own way to express the American Dream. (For example, he doesn't say anything here about the Dream Act, but I suspect he'd argue that's a critical component of rebuilding the American Dream for immigrant kids.)

It all sounds kinda cheesy, a bit like a bumper sticker. But I think this is actually very important. If all the disparate progressive movements can come together, not in a single organization or formal coalition, but rather to each work and fight toward a broad set of principles that can rebuild the American Dream - whether locally or nationally - then I think we've finally got the answer to the Tea Party.

As Sierra Club chairman Carl Pope wrote on the Huffington Post, "Stay tuned. This could be exciting."

While his speech on Saturday was a preview, the formal kick-off for the effort is on Thursday in New York. Learn more about the Rebuild the American Dream project.

Comments

  • (Show?)

    The Tea Party success is overblown. Yes, they have succeeded in taking over most of the GOP. But they are very unpopular with most Americans and seen as outside the mainstream. They have virtually guaranteed the re-election of Obama, and the possible Dems regaining the majority in the House with their idiotic scheme to destroy Medicare. And now they are bringing back the Bush privatization scheme for social security.

    While the Tea Party has an apocalyptic pessimism about present American history(some of whom actually want to help bring the apocalypse, and they may get their wish if they push the country into credit default), to be a coherent movement Progressives must united around an optimistic vision of progress, with an emphasis on the narrative of the American Dream and opportunity for all, the public interest of regular folks over powerful special corporate interest.

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      Yes, and that's what's so exciting about this effort. If we can marshal a counterpart to the Tea Party, then we can seize back the media narrative - and re-align the public interest with the levers of power, rather than giving up power to the dying gasp of a fading ideology.

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        I got to agree. A person can fail, can get old, can retire, can disappoint. An ideal remains unblemished. More, this is a brilliant idea in that it convincingly grabs back the banner of 'American' from the conservatives. For decades, they have been pushing their agenda and claiming all who oppose it are unamerican. By embracing this, and showing how this actually helps actual Americans, and keeping that American word at the forefront, you effectively steal their thunder or at least prevent them from tarring it as otherwise.

    • (Show?)

      The Tea Party is simply an embodiment of the sentiments that exists for the belief in God Almighty and the Constitution of the United States of America, as well as the desire to restore this nation back to the Constitution.

      The Tea Party is America! America has been a Constitutional nation for going on 235 years now. The people who think like you Bill, believe that number to be 233, from 2009 when Obama took office and "changed" the country through policy shifts in his perception of law, and unfortunately the Constitution. Those perceptions are wrong and that is reflected simply by his recent baffles with the process of Congress, per the Constitution of the United States.

      Obama and his followers are systematically taking our liberties from us, simply in the name of change, and/or National Security interests. For example, which has surfaced all over the news in the last year, are the T.S.A. ignoring our 2nd amendment right to privacy. What about the Constitutionality of mandated Health Care by Obama?

      Your strange views on life and how government should or shouldn't be, are misguided and useless, as well as those that share them with you. I am well aware of the concept that socialists are after, but unfortunately the greed of man will never allow it. History has proven over and over again that SOCIALISM DOES NOT WORK! Your idea of everyone having what everyone else has, no matter how little or big, because it's fair, is an idea that can be obtained through God and the Constitution. You can achieve this by giving an individual the freedom to allow them to make the choices, free from restrictions other than his own innate abilities, giving man opportunity to obtain through pure desire and dedication!

      The Tea Party is America's answer to tyranny and over reaching government! Government has forgotten how they received their power in the first place. The people vote them in office. Therefore the people of this nation, i.e. "We The People," obtain the power! Through the Tea Party, follow the principles taught by God and the Constitution, we will restore our nation!

      If you would recite the Declaration of Independence in the face of Tyranny, holding the Constitution in your mind, while God's moral teachings in your heart, then you my friend are a Tea Partier.

      God/Constitution or Socialism? This is not meant to be an intimidating statement in anyway, but rather an expression of our strict adherent belief in loyalty, honor, and devotion to this great country of ours.

      You can attempt to change our structure, but America will never die, for we collectively represent man's desire to be free. We move out of Mom and Dad's for a reason. Now we have a government to replace that - in all four seasons? No Way! You Can Keep It! I'll take America! I take the Tea Party!

      Dr. W.A.R.

      Stand with America and make your voice heard - http://www.teapartypatriots.org/ www.reverbnation.com/drwartheplan

      • (Show?)

        SOCIALISM DOES NOT WORK!

        Good thing that there's not anyone in government - except Senator Bernie Sanders - proposing socialism.

        And Bernie's not a Democrat!

        (Please take your dittohead commentary somewhere else.)

        • (Show?)

          What would you therefore call the "progressive" economic model? State Capitalism? Corporatism?

        • (Show?)

          Jesus Kari ... I thought you were supposed to be one person who was at least somewhat informed around here. I can't beleieve no one called you out for making such a ridiculous statement and shameless lie ...Here is the list of the other 70 Socialists in the US House/Senate you forgot to mention

          http://state-of-the-nation.com/694/list-socialists-congress-today-democrat-socialists-america/.

      • (Show?)

        The Tea Party is for people who failed to pay attention to the 8 years prior to the Obama Administration. Where were you then?

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          Actually the Tea Party was for all of those people who stood by with their jaws on the ground while the press, and the left, and women voters, elected a man to the highest office in the world they knew nothing about (and refused to even look) as they all ran like lemmings towards the nearest cliff with our economy in tow. All it took for people to come out of the woodwork to support the ideals of the Tea Party was to threaten their country with a man hell bent on destroying it...and while those same people weren't always 100% happy with everything Bush did ...they didn't reflect on his 8 years in office then decide to take their country back ... they saw what you guys were doing and planned to do and stood up and said enough is enough

  • (Show?)

    Wouldn't the Pacific Green Party work as the organization envisioned here?

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      I think the answer is no.

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      In a way, yes. This is many of the ideals that the PGP has made central.

      ...but unless there is a major overhaul of the political system, there is simply no room for a third party at the table.

      What is needed is a system to force the liberal party to act in ways that are actually liberal. If we could get the DNC to adopt this, or start up a 'Tea Party Left' (a party without candidates, organization, or anything but leverage) then even greens (Myself included) can get behind it.

    • (Show?)

      you saw it in 2006 when grassroots activists took the Congress for the Dems. the 2008 hammered home the scope of what was possible. and then the activists decided the rest of the work was Obama's. so while the possibilities have been clearly demonstrated, there is still a lot of work to be done to keep the effort going.

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      Jack, the tea party is more astro-turf than grass roots, being financed by the multi-billions of Koch industries through the organization of Freedomworks. We beat the pants off the GOP in 06' and 08' and we can outorganize and outmotivate again, Especially as the public learns more and more about the extremist radical agenda that GOP has assembled

      • (Show?)

        What really sells the Tea Party is the branding. They have a reputation as being 'real' and 'more conservative then thou', forcing all Republican candidates to answer the question "What will the Tea Party think?"

        If a "Tea Party Left" is to be successful, it has to force all liberal candidates to ask "What would they think?"

        By the way, first order of business is to get a good brand. I vote "Patriot Party".

        • (Show?)

          Van's argument is the brand should literally be "The American Dream", or to put a verb in it, "Rebuild the American Dream".

          • (Show?)

            It disturbs me to even think of Van Jones up there pounding the table and hijacking the words and intent of MLK - ( a pro-life, pro-marriage, anti-gay marriage Republican) and then trying to overlay his values onto the valueless left lol

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        Boy, you've really bought the line huh? Good ... keep thinking like that ...

        • (Show?)

          The Koch->Freedomworks thing was definitely critical to the start of the Tea Party, but I tend to agree with Van Jones that this a real movement - albeit one that represents a tiny minority in this country.

          They may be small, but they are unified, they have a clear message, and they are loud.

          Therein lies the power of the Tea Party -- and the lesson for the American Dream Movement.

          • (Show?)

            Tiny minority that swept away the progressive grip on the Congress AND, finally restored some sanity to Salem. Youre on the wrong side of history Kari, you might want to pick up David Horowitz's book, "radical son" -- I thhinl it could help you get your mind right. Take care brother, praying for you.

      • (Show?)

        You are in dreamland. The extrmeist radical agenda you are talking about includes things like ...protecting our borders and enforcing our laws (shocking!) unwinding the attack on medicare by the left vis a vie obamacare and the 500 billion it plans on taking from seniors...the master radical plan is too save the elderly from the left ( How cruel and heartless), the other extreme and radical whacked out idea that has voters everywhere tremblingwith fear is the TP's insistence that this country STOP spending money it doesn't have to support an entitlement class of people who think they are owed a living by the rest of us. (U*nheard of!! How could they!) After 4 years of the most irresponsible leadership the world has ever seen the only progressives that will be left in congress after 2012 will be the 1 union janitor who sweeps up. You need to do some reading and get caught up

  • (Show?)

    "the American Dream" could be the preamble made concrete and more specific: "to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity ..." Doesn't overlap much with the Tea Party or present-day conservative mantra, but could work for Democrats.

  • (Show?)

    While Jack is right about the grass roots conservative activists working together, it is only when they are out of power that it really works. As Bill mentioned, they are only 20%+ of the U.S. population and they turn off the majority. The reason they have power is that they are the majority of the Republican party. However, they cost the party votes, think Delaware, Alaska, and Nevada in 2010. I also expect that they will splinter the Republican vote in 2012. Maybe it is wishful thinking, but I see a scenario where Romney wins the nomination, but a sizable splinter of the Tea Party defects and tries to run a 3rd party candidate.

    We all know what Will Rogers said about the Democratic Party. It is a coalition and that is frustrating, but it also is how we get to a majority.

    • (Show?)

      I also expect Romney (the corporatist) to be nominated by the repubs and then to see one of the even further right-wing candidates run also, making a 3-way race including Obama. If so, should the left nominate a progressive candidate and make it a 4-way race? In a 4-way, a progressive could win.

  • (Show?)

    The idea of a meta-brand must start with a "meta-theme", a kind of mission statement. I believe the best starting point for that conversation is "The definition of freedom" or "real freedom". The Right has done a great job of building a box for the Left called "anti-freedom" and we obediently crawl in and sulk. I think expanding the concept of freedom to fit the real world in an intuitive way can crack the code. Is a man truly free to pursue his dreams in today's world without an education? Are people who have gotten cancer from an unsafe, unregulated product "free"? Are folks who can't eat because of shocks to the food system caused by climate change "free" to be anything other than hungry? Can a minority woman with no real access to capital "free" to start a business? In a complex and constantly changing new world some regulation and broad access to opportunity are the foundations of real freedom, not the end of it. This is a truth that folks can understand in their gut, this is how we sculpt out a vision that enforces people's American identity instead of challenge it.

  • (Show?)

    Google Agenda 21 and tell us what you think.

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    Agenda 21 will surely bring out the paranoia mongers and enhance the standing of Glenn Beck. "Black helicopters" will be back in style.

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      Bill, you can't use black helicopters as an icon of paranoia anymore, Dept of Homeland Security actually does use unmarked black helicopters now! Indeed, during the last crisis test run in Portland they created a stir by making high speed, low-altitude runs over neighborhoods. There were guys hanging out the doors, fully armed! Funny or scary? You decide!

    • (Show?)

      Ah, the ol' "rugged individualism" garbage rears its ugly head.

      There's no such thing in modern society. If you're a rugged individualist, get yourself dropped naked in the wilderness.

      We all rely, to greater and lesser extents, on others.

      CEOs may think they've pulled themselves up by their bootstraps, but where would they be without customers to buy their products and services, employees to make their products and services to available to those customers, and the government to provide the infrastructure to get those goods and services to their customers?

      And how about those employees? There needs to be an educated pool of employees for most companies to succeed in the modern world.

      Those customers need to have sufficient income to be able to buy those goods and services.

      The problem with libertarianism is it assumes that success happens in a vacuum, and it doesn't. Success happens to people partly through their own efforts, but also through the efforts of many others.

      • (Show?)

        CEOs may think they've pulled themselves up by their bootstraps, but where would they be without customers to buy their products and services, employees to make their products and services to available to those customers, and the government to provide the infrastructure to get those goods and services to their customers?

        ... and without toilets that flush and magically remove the solid human waste that they - and each of us - produce every day?

        That's government at work, folks. Ain't no "market based solution" for that.

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          Ain't no "market based solution" for that.

          Unless we have pay toilets in our homes.

          And there are also the government regulation that have created the limited liability enjoyed by corporations, so when they screw up and lose more money than they are worth, the owners aren't forced to pay up.

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            Please tell me you guys aren't as misinformed as your comments suggest? Surely one of you must have a basic understanding of... never mind

    • (Show?)

      ...actually Steve, yes, "Rugged Individualism" DOES preclude cooperation between individuals and groups. That's what the word 'Individualism' means.

      Next you will argue the benefits of an Atheist Catholic or a Minimalist Decorator and everyone's heads will explode.

  • (Show?)

    I'm not excited by these principles for two reasons (I think). First, what they aspire to seems more like the past than a good guide to the future. And second, I find them playing more to mainstream Democratic constituencies (some good, some not so good, I'd argue) than articulating a clear governing vision for the future.

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      David, I don't think "China is the future" is an attractive governing vision, nor an internet course in Chinese for every American a winning governing platform. :-)

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        Bill, you are right, and that's central to the election winning /governing dilemma. Although dealing with China successfully is a part of any future one can imagine, it is not, as you say, a winning governing platform. So I find these principles lacking because they are like old cliches designed to win elections rather than thoughtful strategies for the future. It is, of course, useful and important to win elections, but then what?

  • (Show?)

    The opportunity for inter-generational socioeconomic mobility is part of the American Dream that has helped make this country great. Dems can get the narrative back on that and tie it into the meta-branding efforts for rediscovering the American Dream but I would not seek to cast this as the left's answer to the tea party. If done right, rediscovering the American Dream will be much bigger than what the tea party has done and not be such a let down either, like some feel of the president's first term has been.

    It's not about privilege, fantasy or greed. What I read ya'll talking about is much deeper than just being concerned with one's own monetary wealth or even that of your families'. What I read is, we are in this thing together and with our dreams, anything is possible.

    I'd vote for that (again) in 2012.

  • (Show?)

    FYI, I've updated the post so that the video clip is just Van's speech, not the 18 minutes of introductory comments.

  • (Show?)

    So you're saying that the Coffee Party movement isn't the answer?

    I know, how about we take the agenda of the movement that I am most active in, and make that the meta brand of the Democratic party?!? After all, as an activist and campaigner for my organization and my movement, that is my job: To get "everyone" to adopt my agenda ((especially Democrats and the Democratic party)...but I'm not supposed to say that officially)).

    What about the Apollo Alliance? Remember that? Clean Energy and Good Jobs. Wasn't that supposed to be an over arching organizing meta brand for the Democratic Party?

    The Tea Party is just the latest incarnation of the libertarian wing of the Republican coalition. Like any good movement or interest group, they've done a good job increasing their influence within their coalition. I'm not so sure they are as headless and bottom up as they are given credit for. Dick Army's Freedomworks and Glen Beck deserve a lot of the credit. But I'm nitpicking.

    The Democratic coalition certainly does need a meta brand that isn't based on the charisma of one person, and that isn't just an eloquent listing of every coalition member's top priority, or a clever re-packaging of one coalition member's agenda.

    And it needs to be less vague and more substantial than a presidential campaign slogan such as "Building a Bridge to the 21st Century" or "Winning the Future."

    Republicans always have "lower taxes, less government" as a very simple, easy to understand meta brand that unifies the vast majority of the Republican coalition. Four words.

    Democrats have nothing to compete with that. The closest competitor is something like the seven bullet points Kari listed above. But that doesn't quite roll off the tongue and galvanize passion the same way the Republicans' four words do.

    I challenge anyone to come up with four words that capture and unify what the Democratic coalition stands for, the same way that "lower taxes, less government" captures and unifies the Republican coalition. How about one bullet point? One sentence?

    Democrats need a new 10 second elevator pitch. Will Van Jone's Rebuilding the Dream end up being the new unifying meta brand for the Democratic coalition?

    Will it be something that endures and lasts decades, well past this election cycle? Or is it just a slogan for this election cycle's organizing effort?

    We will see what happens.

    I love Van Jones and I hope he succeeds.

    • (Show?)

      Excellent. I was going to mention the Coffee Party as well. And I agree that as soon as you start making lists of "core principles" that get into double figures, you've got a problem

      The Tea party has succeeded largely because they started off without a long list of principles. They were angry about the growth of government which they believe impaired their freedom. They got people initially involved who weren't that active in politics, so maybe it was easier to organize people who had no particular specialized policy interest. So their list of core principles was, lower taxes, less government, more freedom.

      Now I'm still not sure what Van Jones is suggesting. Is it to form a movement that is to the left of the Democratic center and frame an agenda that forces the Democratic party to the left? Or is it to build a coalition left to center movement that has a singular purpose, to rebuild the American working and middle class.

      I hope its the latter. If so, then the one sentence mission needs to be broad enough to be acceptable to more than just the left of the left.

      Here is my meta tag. 50 at 50. That means I'd like to see the median wage for a full time worker in this country to be $50,000. Right now it's about $35,000. How we get there? I don't know. but if we could develop policies that increased the wages of our citizens think of the reduction in government services. Less need for two income families, less social assistance required, more consumer spending for the economy, less redistribution through taxes, less need to increase taxes and tax rates. While developing policies and environments that would achieve that goal may be a challenge, it seems like it is a worthy goal and very similar to the American Dream Van Jones espouses. And without a long list of specific policies that will alienate a large number of potential allies. Even tea party supporters may be able to support the basic principle.

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        Rob, the reason the tea party was so easy to organize,; in fact it more or less self organized was because they had some very basic and very heartfelt policy biases, not because they didn't. On the "50 at 50' theme, wouldn't the progressive positions on illegal aliens, amnesty, dream act, open borders, etc tend to be at cross purposes with the goal of having wage rates rise the average worker? In fact isn't it hypocritical to say "I am for livable wages for the average worker" and then in your next breath advocate an amnesty plan that sets 10 million additional (mostly) unskilled workers into the marketplace to compete with the same people who's wages you claim to be wanting to increase? which we all can hopefully agree is what keeps those wages down ... supply and demand remember? How do you have it both ways? How do you tell an unemployed citizen of this country why the open borders amnesty poaitions of the lib prog's isn't anti american and anti worker and as a matter of economic principle destined to keep american workers in poverty ??

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      I challenge anyone to come up with four words that capture and unify what the Democratic coalition stands for

      We're all in this together.

      Five words.

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      I agree--higher taxes, more government is the right formula. It clearly works, for example, in the Scandinavian countries and for our other NATO allies. Working people who are secure in their full medical coverage and retirement plan (not to mention at least a month of annual vacation) can actually enjoy their after-tax disposable income.

      It's not popular to say so here at BO, but we urgently need social democracy in the US. The existing oligarchy and imperialism have exhausted our working people and our resources and have us locked in a downward spiral.

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        Higher taxes, more government... That was the formula Greece followed and look at how that worked for them. I have a daughter who tried that logic to solve her debt problems. She had no job but she had credit cards. Kept charging them higher and higher. Telling everyone it was how we should all live... until the cards were canceled and her car repossessed. Then her home was foreclosed on and she was left with nothing. Sounds like what we see happening in Greece and other Socialist based countries. Tax and spend never has worked and never will work.

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          Sorry, but you have this upside down. I can understand that you are distraught about your daughter's behavior, but it provides no parallel to what has happened to Greece and other countries world wide. Start with reviewing the Wall Street bankster crimes that caused the worldwide recession and then study up on the Greek crisis. You'll be surprised at what you learn . . . .

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          Wait, what? Your example and motto are exact opposites. If your daughter did 'more taxes, more government', then she would have had a better-paying job AND would have made more use of social programs. As is, your description is of... well, lower taxes and smaller government.

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        Completely true. Van speaks about those of us sitting on the couch due to unemployment and I suspect he realizes that implicitly after that support is gone comes nowhere to sit (or eat, etc.) which is not an empowering life. If we go homeless, in a sense THEY win.

        We can't let that happen. If it's really a small but powerful group controlling policy we've taken on harder issues in the past. He also knows there is strength in unity.

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      The difference is of course, one of branding. Conservitives scream low taxes, less government, then turn around and increase government while making a big deal of cutting minor taxes. (Remember BushII and the Inheritance and Marriage tax cuts?) Liberals don't want to raise taxes to raise taxes. They want to make conditions where you, I, or anyone else can make it. As our government doesn't produce goods, how do you propose paying for those services?

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      See, the typical teapartier definition of Democrats is always a gross exaggeration. Very few are true socialists or communists. Tea Partiers have a clear, extreme ideology while most Democrats are economic centrists. Democrats don't completely disagree with limited government. It's just a matter of degree.

      Most Democrats are Democrats for social issues like being pro choice and pro environment or pro civil rights. Not because they really believe in socialism per se. Sure, the rich should pay a few % more in taxes to help balance the budget. Cut corporate welfare tax breaks. That hardly makes me a socialist. It makes me a pragmatic realist instead of an ideologue.

      Most people are fiscal centrists and socially liberal. Basically, they are libertarians. So why isn't the Libertarian party the dominant party in the US? Because they are just too damn extreme on everything. They are nihilists, anarchists. Not just limited government, but no government. If they were just more moderate and mainstream in their positions and rhetoric, they could win over unaffiliated voters as well as big chuncks of both major coalitions. They would rule America. But they prefer to be ideologically extreme and pure. Same with the so called Tea Party.

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      Notice how you describe this? A battle. Just sayin' that there are the majority of BO posters, who even when they disagree with an idea, comment on the idea. ...Then there are the thinktank trolls.

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    Oh, we're all impressed at the deep understanding and force of argument when you replay the Cold War and call the people you disagree with as "communists." The teabaggers seem to be intent on creating a new "Red Scare". Name calling and fear mongering are pretty passe' and a thin cover for an agenda to take away from govt. what the American people love best. John Birch will rise again...

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        "Honesty" is not a description of teabaggers and their use of propaganda language. Those are the same folks holding the health care signs "keep govt. hands off my medicare."

        I am fine with socialism. Calling someone a "communist" means you are designating they want a centralized state controlled economy with no personal human rights, with a ideology of Marxist Leninist theories of revolution. If Socialism is a publicly owned enterprise that is non-profit, like our public utilities, water, policy, fire, highways, military service, etc. I am all for Socialism, and think we should have more of it, especially in health care. But just tossing around labels dishonestly, conflating labels like fascism, communism, socialism, etc, like the teabaggers do, without any regard for historical reference. And it's ineffective and simply desensitizes people to the usage of those labels. The truth is the American people like their socialistic programs like medicare, medicaid, social security, armed forces, police and fire protection, and public water and sewage service. They will reject your extremist agenda to destroy those programs.

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          This is one of the best brief attempts to align political terminology with social reality that I have seen. It will have no effect on the trolls who have shown up, such as Mr. Kuzmanich and company, who would have to start over with 6th grade US history to approach coherence.

          But you provide a good reminder for the rest of us that socialism is the accurate term to describe the most successful and functional public structures that we enjoy. Political discussion will improve in clarity and impact when more progressives show your calm courage in talking about democratic socialism--as enjoyed by our NATO allies, for example.

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          Using the term "teabagger" when knowing its derogitory implications are clear signs of undeveloped adolescence and are homophobic in nature. You now run the risk of offending not only some of your co-workers, family or neighbors, but the gay community as well. Refraining from name calling is something the radical progressive left just doesn't seem to grasp as intellectual. You comments would demand a little more respect and possibly taken a little more seriously if you used the term "tea partiers", but you decide.

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            Umm... I've heard Palin and Beck call them 'teabaggers'. It was one of their first tactics, sending tea bags into the White House and politicians. That said, using their own (really not well thought out) term against them is nothing new. Heck, "Yankee Doodle" was a derogatory song during the Revolutionary War, but adopted as a badge of honor by the Americans after. While there is much to say about taking the middle ground, letting conservatives (especially Tea Partiers) call liberals name, and just meekly accepting it, doesn't really help much.

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        Ah, leave him be Rachel, Bill is one of those special progressives that we love because he makes there entire movement look like a bunch of hypocritical tools and, we like him for that. Thanks Bill!

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    Hiding a agenda of Tax and Spend behind a new label you want to call "The American Dream" will fool no one but those already indoctrinated into the Progressive mindset. But please do give it a try... exposing the lies of the Progressive Socialist Democrats has become so easy these days due to the internet and vast information about your movement at every persons fingertips.

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      You bet. The American people are tired of the wealthy not paying their share. And when Obama is re-elected the Bush tax breaks on the wealthiest 2% are going to lapse. The American people would love to have the kind of ecomomy we had under Bill Clinton, and the kind of optimism of running tax surpluses. Your side started two wars and a massive increase in the Medicare program and put it all on the credit card. Call it "borrow and spend."

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        Clinton years? wasn't that when the GOP controlled congress and the senate starting in 1994 two years into Billy's first term. The budget surpluses started in 1998 until 2001. The president may have power, but congress/senate control the spending, so saying Clinton balanced the budget is a stretch. He signed the budget, but the GOP made it happen.

        Now we have a president starting more wars, throwing away billions on wasteful things like turtle tunnels, shrimp treadmills or programs teaching Africans how to wash their testicles and calls that "stimulus"?? Anyone who looks at the spending in the stimulus and where the money went can not deny most of it was wasted "borrowed" money.

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    The fact that Van Jones uses the word "collectivist" to describe the Tea Party is proof positive that you progressives wouldn't get the point if we poked you in the eye with it. You lose this debate, because we are not even having the same conversation. The Tea Party movement has grown so exponentially because millions of motivated, disgusted individual Americans are uniting behind the cause of righting the ship of state and getting back to basics, as in, the constitutional strictures on what a federal government shall or shall not have the power to do. All you have are the same tired, shopworn progressive platitudes that have never worked, and are failing in spectacular public fashion as we speak. As for "meta-brand," jeez... (barnyard expletive deleted) Here's Bill Hicks on what we think of you tagging the Tea Party as a "meta-brand." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDW_Hj2K0wo

    Besides, dear comrades, you are horribly, horribly mistaken if you frame the salvation of our republic as left/right, Dem/GOP. It is US and THEM, and all you true-blue types are US, along with the Tea Party. You are being taken for a ride by the naked emperor, who is MORE OF THE SAME. Witness the revolving door between the White House and Wall Street that has been spinning madly since at least Kennedy. The executive branch is loaded with Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley mercenaries who all went to the same schools, as it has been my entire life. By focusing your anger and rage at individuals who merely want to return this country to the timeless principles of individual liberty and limited government and improve YOUR life in the process, you never feel the gentle pressure of their hands on your wallet. They are dividing and conquering, and if you believe it's all because The Other Guy From That Other Party screwed everything up, and that Our Guy will fix everything, then YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM. And please go back and read some writings by the Founders; they predicted with astonishing, laser-like accuracy exactly how our then-young republic would be bastardized and bankrupted. I would say they're rolling over in their graves, but they're merely shaking their heads and tsking at how prescient they were. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

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      You started a bit aggressive, so I was about to write you off as yet another Thinktank Troll. But by your second paragraph, you had hit on some truth. There is a packaging of politics as winner/loser us/them good/evil. And both sides play it. This I totally agree with. However, your solution is off. We aren't supposed to remove those who break with the trust of the American People..? Then how do you suggest it get done?

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    "...to be a coherent movement..."

    "...we can seize back the media narrative - and re-align the public interest with the levers of power..."

    "...What really sells the Tea Party is the branding... first order of business is to get a good brand."

    "The idea of a meta-brand must start with a "meta-theme", a kind of mission statement."

    "Dems can get the narrative back on that and tie it into the meta-branding efforts for rediscovering the American Dream..."

    "The Democratic coalition certainly does need a meta brand..."

    If you do not understand why such tripe as the aforementioned makes us howl in uncontrollable laughter, then you do not even understand the basic nature of the Tea Party enough to ever mount an effective effort against it. Just keep on sucking that big finger, kids, while we examine which way it POINTS.

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    Rather than state your positions and defend them in open debate with facts, which is indefensible failed progressive socialism, you tend to state what you're not or incorrectly what our positions are when we are right here, and all you have to do is listen if you want the truth.......but let's play it your way: here's what the American Tea Party Movement isn't.......we aren't Marxist like you hiding behind the name progressive democracy, and here's why: Marxism: The economic, social, political, pseudo-scientific philosophy, theory, belief, or system based on the works of Karl Marx of Germany. The theory seeks the elimination of the notion of private property in order to gain control of the economic "means of production" by taking it from the bourgeois (the wealthy or propertied class) for the benefit of the proletariat (working class.) His philosophy of history was called "historical materialism" in which his goal was to bring about the end of history, by means of an eventual perfect, classless, utopian society he called Communism.

    Marxist notions of collectivization and redistribution of the property of the bourgeois puts it on a collision course with the economic philosophy of Capitalism and free markets, and also with the social-governmental philosophies related to Democracy, in the oldest, pre-Marxism sense of that word.

    Marxism seeks to promote class warfare or, today, at least, class strife, and succeeds best where clear, major delineations exist between classes. Since the USA has an enormous natural "middle class" and little or no obvious delineation between classes, Marxism has only made inroads there among the Secularist Liberal Intellectual Media Complex., which represents a very small but vocal minority that has a very high visibility, and a lot of influence. At the moment, the majority still rules in the USA. (Except when representative law is overruled and when new unrepresentative law is established by the unrepresentative courts.)

    In the intermediary phase between Marxism – the conquest of Capitalist-exploiter Bourgeoisie and “The State” – and Communism, which is called, alternatively, Socialism or the "dictatorship of the proletariat", the "Party" rules. Marx referred to this Socialism, or Dictatorship of the Proletariat, as an unpleasant but necessary phase until the population and the workers were “perfected” and ready for the next phase, the worker’s paradise of Communism.

    As a point of historical fact no nation that ever entered the “temporary phase” of Socialism ever got out of it on their own. There is no next phase. Socialism is, in reality, almost definitively, dictatorship, pure and simple. It is the death of representative government. No Marxist will ever admit it, but permanent dictatorship is the true but hidden ultimate goal of the Marxist movement. A devout Marxist is necessarily a Marxist Ends-Justify-The-Means Liar, who must and who will promote the great Communist Lie to others.

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    Perfection is not of this world, but the next, and so a perfect or "pure" Socialism is quite unlikely to exist. Under the definition of Marxism, Socialism, remember, is a mere stepping stone leading to Communist Utopia. Communism – in which history stops and everyone is perpetually happy in a worldly worker’s paradise - is, of course, nothing but a silly pipe dream.

    And so is the false notion that Marx presented to the world a system of “Natural Social Evolution” in which Capitalism is a mere stepping-stone or link “species” along the evolutionary way into Socialism and eventually Communism. America became the recognized America she is not by gradual evolution, but by violent revolution. It started July 4 1776, and it was a very big deal at the time. It was even in all the newspapers. Most Marxists missed it completely, or pretend it didn’t happen.

    The false Utopian claim that Communism will eventually “feed all the people” and eliminate hunger from the world is the seemingly moral bait that draws in the young, the idealistic, the naive and the inexperienced. Communism does not exist, and Socialism is among the most closed, menacing, inhospitable, uncharitable and impoverishing government systems in existence.

    Marxism, is so antagonistic to the American Constitution as to render them mutually exclusive ideas and ideals. One may serve Marxism or the American Constitution, but not both. Constitutional America and Marxism cannot be merged and cannot coexist. Only one may survive; the other must die. It is not possible for any Marxist to swear any oath to uphold the American Constitution without giving a false oath. Not an oath of office; not an oath of American military service; not an oath of naturalized citizenship; not any oath to support, protect or defend the US Constitution. A Marxist may not honestly profess the pledge of allegiance to our flag. But then, Marxists are not honest.

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      As I've told you before, John, when you lift long passages like this in their entirety from other sources, it's really not kosher to pretend they're your own.

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    The American Tea Party Movement on the other hand, represents the will of the American People, the best of our American heritage, & the finest liberating philosophy the world has ever known....... and that confuses you folks here on BlueOregon. We stole your claim to legitmately represent the will of the American people. You've all become nothing more than lackeys for special interests and the unions with a beggar thy neighbor philosophy, unbecoming class warfare, ie marxism, although you call it "progressive democracy".....and it's failing the world over, and you have no new ideas. We on the other hand, own all new ideas and innovation because we know innovation, growth, jobs, and prosperity comes from the private sector, us. Sadly, you all sound ridiculously silly to all of us. We have a job problem, caused by a debt problem, caused by a unsustainable government spending problem, and your idea is to TAX a private sector that is suffering and should be the only concern of our leaders. Instead all your solutions are to increase spending, increase taxes, increase the debt, and exaserbate the problem, rather than address the root cause, irresponsible wasteful government spending, a mistaken belief in central planning, and a now structural lack of private sector jobs, growth, and a future for our children.

    We are the future. We are America. We believe in Constitutionally Limited, fiscally responsible Government, and economic Liberty.......all the ideas I hear expounded here on BlueOregon are of a failed european progressive socialist variety.

    Our message is consistent and true, your's rings hollow and unsure, and that is why our movement is growing in spite of a constant barrage of hypocrisy & establishment attacks......it actually rallies people to our cause. Anything you do makes us stronger. Your best bet is to attempt to marginalize our Movement.......but then that would mean a slow surrender as you abandon the field to us. We'll win either way. The only way to confront the growing Tea Party Movement is to legitimately beat us on the field of ideas.....and we've already won that one too. :)

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    So you Tea Party trolls, put aside the ideological blather and show us some real cases -- Democratic Socialism inevitably leading to dictatorship? Where? Modern day Germany? Sweden? Denmark? Countries that not only have much more vibrant and effective democratic institutions than we do, but have much lower poverty rates, a much more stable middle class, and where upward economic mobility (that old American Dream again) is now more prevalent than here in the US? And those small government, low tax, market paradises? Pakistan? Somalia? Or how about that mythical American past the Tea Party seems to be invoking--but its so hard to pin down. It seems to be the 1950s --but then you had the strongest unions in American history, and 90% marginal tax rates on the wealthiest, so that can't be it. OR maybe pre-New Deal America? When the average worker made poverty wages, child labor was the way that most families made ends meet, and the middle class as we know it (since the New Deal) didn't exist? The truth is that the "tax and spend" "big government" policies that you decry gave us the best economy and the most vibrant democracy we ever had in the country, and are still the basis of the most broadly prosperous democratic societies today.

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    Now that the teabaggers and their troll buddies are more unmasked in their true intent, how's that plan for getting rid of medicare, social security, Medicaid, environmental protection, and more tax breaks for Donald Trump working out for you? It seems like the American people even want to keep the Affordable Health Care Act long enough to see how it's going to work, 62% that is. (today's poll) Fear mongering has its limitations. Maybe folks aren't that anxious to have that apocalypse that your Glenn Beck is craving so badly.

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    Oh, Elizabeth, I’m going to say “trolls” is a little harsh considering I’m a Former U.S. Congressional Candidate and the Chairman of the Oregon Tea Party, Geoff Ludt is the Founder of OTP, Steve Buckstien is the Founder of the Cascade Policy Institute, and Jack Roberts is a State Legislator.....and this blog post was on what the self-professed Communist Van Jones thinks about matching the Tea Party’s organization, legitimacy, and therefore our principles . Since most of us, myself included possess at a minum a degree in economics or finance, or a Masters or higher, I think we can say we are more than competent to comment on the socio-political and economic condition of our nation, and the nature of the American Tea Party Movement. No apologies for messing up your one party circle jerk here on BlueOregon. So let analyze your comments and attempt to shed some much needed light on your ignorance, shall we?

    (and Jack you're an idiot. I don't listen to Glenn Beck, and Rasmussen, the most accurate polling company in the last twenty years puts support for unconstitutional socialized Obamacare in the 30's, with between 51-60% of America against it) Now back to Elizabeth.........

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    • So you Tea Party trolls, put aside the ideological blather [SO IDEOLOGY IS BLATHER? ISN’T THAT WHAT YOU BASE YOUR WORLD VIEW ON, AND ISN’T THAT AT THE CORE OF YOUR MISSUNDERSTANDING OF THE TEA PARTY, WOULD YOU LIKE TO DEBATE IDEOLOGY? YOU’D ACTUALLY HAVE TO START BY DEFINING YOURS, & SO FAR YOU SEEM TO BE SUPPORTING SOCIALISM, WHICH IS A FAILURE] and show us some real cases -- Democratic Socialism inevitably leading to dictatorship? Where? Modern day Germany? Sweden? Denmark?[I’M GLAD YOU PICKED THOSE COUNTRIES, AS EVERY ONE OF THEM IS A FAILED SOCIALIST EXPERIMENT. YOU SHOW YOUR IGNORANCE. WITHOUT THE U.S. SACRIFICING 400,000 MEN AND MILLIONS FIGHTING ALL OF THEM WOULD BE UNDER TOTALITARIAN NAZI RULE(National Socialist workers Party, by the way), AND WOULD NO LONGER EXIST, LEST YOU FORGET. NONE OF THEM COULD OF HAD A MODICUM OF SUCCESS SINCE, WITHOUT THE MASSIVE OFF-SET OF THE U.S. MILITARY PROVIDING THE BULKWARD AGAINST THE TOTALITARIAN SOCIALIST AND NOW DEFEATED SOVIET UNION, ANOTHER SHINING EXAMPLE OF SOCIALISM’S SUCCESS. YOU CAN THANK THE CAPITALISTIC EXCESSES OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE FOR THAT, AS WE PROVIDED THE MILTARY, ALLOWING THEM TO SQUANDER ON OTHERWISE FAILED SOCIALISM. GERMANY TODAY IS ONE OF THE MOST CAPITALISTIC OUT OF ALL OF EUROPE AND HAS THE MOST VIBRANT PRIVATE SECTOR. THE MOST SOCIALIST, LIKE SPAIN & GREECE ARE THE BIGGEST FAILURES] Countries that not only have much more vibrant and effective democratic institutions than we do[WE ARE NOT A DEMOCRACY, WE ARE A REPESENTATIVE REPUBLIC], but have much lower poverty rates, a much more stable middle class[LOL, WE HAVE THE LARGEST, MOST UPWARDLY MOBILE MIDDLE CLASS AND THE HIGHEST STANDARD OF LIVING IN THE INDUSTRIALIZED WORLD. SOCIALISM IS THE ONLY THING BRINGING IT DOWN], and where upward economic mobility (that old American Dream again) is now more prevalent than here in the US? [LIE, TRY TO BACK IT UP WITH FACT] And those small government, low tax, market paradises? Pakistan? Somalia? [HUH, YOU SOUND LIKE AN IDIOT, AS SOMOLIA IS LAWLESS, AND PAKISTAN? LOL, YEAH, US TEA PARTY FOLKS HOLD PAKISTAN UP AS A LIMITED GOVERNMENT FREE MARKET PARADISE, THAT’S THE FUNNIEST STRAWMAN I’VE EVER HEARD.......DO YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT LIMITED CONSTITUTIONAL GOVERNMENT MEANS, DO YOU UNDERSTAND RULE OF LAW, YA DUMB SOCIALIST, LOL]

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    Or how about that mythical American past the Tea Party seems to be invoking[PAST? I’M RIGHT HERE.....WE ARE ABOUT THE FUTURE, WE ARE ABOUT THE PRIVATE SECTOR WHERE PROGRESS AND INNOVATION COMES FROM, WE ARE ABOUT THE IDEALS AND PRINCIPLES LAID OUT BY OUR FOUNDING FATHERS THAT SET IN MOTION THE MOST FORWARD THINKING, GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT IN THOUGHT, SCIENCE, PRODUCTIVITY, AND ADVANCEMENT UNMATCHED IN HUMAN HISTORY.....PULLING BILLIONS OUT OF UNTOLD POVERTY. IT’S AN IDEOLOGY THAT ALWAYS LOOKS AHEAD, BUT I KNOW THAT KIND OF HISTORICALLY SUCCESSFUL IDEOLOGY IS BLATHER TO YOU, LOL]--but its so hard to pin down. It seems to be the 1950s[WHERE’D YOU COME UP WITH THAT? I WAS BORN IN 1968 AND HAVE NO INTENTION GOING BACK TO THE 1950’s] --but then you had the strongest unions in American history, and 90% marginal tax rates on the wealthiest,[SOUNDS LIKE YOUR PARADISE NOT MINE] so that can't be it. OR maybe pre-New Deal America? [PRE-NEW DEAL WAS THE ROARING 2O’s WHERE WE HAD AN EXPLOSION OF PRODUCTS AND INNVENTION NEARLY UNMATCHED, PROVIDING RELIEVE FROM THE DRUDGERY OF DAILY LIFE WITH NEARLY EVERY MODERN APPLIANCE AND CONVIENCE USED TODAY. IT WAS THE UNFETTERED RESULT OF OUR FREE MARKET PRIVATE SECTOR BOUNCE BACK FROM A SHORT BUT SEVERE DEPRESSION, UNLIKE THE GREAT DEPRESSION WHICH WAS EXACERBATED BY THE SOCIALIST FOOLISHNESS OF THE NEW DEAL. YOU SOUND HISTORICALLY IGNORANT...PLUS YOU JUST TRIED TO KNOCK DOWN AN IMAGINARY STRAWMAN THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE TEA PARTY, BUT I THOUGHT I’D GIVE YOU A HISTORY LESSON]When the average worker made poverty wages,[COMPARED TO WHAT? POVERTY OR LIFE’S STRUGGLES WAS NOT CAUSED BY CAPITALISM, CAPITALISM INHERITED IT, AND THEN IMPROVED THE STANDARD OF LIVING, INFANT MORTALITY, AND LIFE EXPECTANCY OF THE ENTIRE NATION, & THROUGHOUT THE WORLD.WHY DO YOU THINK PEOPLE MOVED TO THE CITIES? THAT’S WHERE BETTER OPPORTUNITIES WERE. MOST PEOPLE WORKED THEIR CHILDREN THEMSELVES PRIOR TO THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION. YOU SHOW AN ASTOUNDING IGNORANCE OF HISTORY] child labor was the way that most families made ends meet, and the middle class as we know it (since the New Deal) didn't exist?[WRONG, MUCH OF AMERICA WAS AGRARIAN, THE MIDDLE CLASS YOU ARE COMPARING IT TO DIDN’T EXIST ANYWHERE. YOUR COMPARISON IS TO AN IMAGINARY STANDARD THAT DIDN’T EXIST THEN. THE CONCEPT OF ‘MIDDLE CLASS’ CAN NOT BE COMPARED TO TODAY’S STANDARDS]

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    The truth is that the "tax and spend" "big government" policies that you decry gave us the best economy and the most vibrant democracy we ever had in the country, [YES, AS THEY BORROWED FOR DECADES AT THE EXPENSE OF OUR CHILDREN AND OUR FUTURE PROSPERITY.THE BILL FOR LIVING BEYOND OUR MEANS IS NOW DUE, AND YOUR IGNORANT SELF CAN’T IMAGINE THE ECONOMIC SCALES THAT SPAN A LIFETIME CAN BE AT AN END. YOU REMIND ME OF THE PEOPLE IN THE STREETS OF TODAY’S GREECE. YOU SADLY THINK BECAUSE WE LIVED BEYOND OUR MEANS FOR DECADES, WE CAN CONTINUE TO DO SO. DO YOU READ THE NEWS? I MEAN BESIDES WHAT YOUR IDIOT CIRCLE WRITES, BECAUSE WE HAVE A UNSUSTAINABLE GOVERNMENT SPENDING PROBLEM, A MASSIVE DEBT PROBLEM, AND IT’S ALL CAUSED BY MAKING POLITICAL PROMISES THAT ARE NOT SUSTAINABLE, AND GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION IN THE FREE MARKETS. WHEN UNSUSTAINABLE SPENDING & CRIPPLING DEBT, MASSIVE STRUCTURAL UNEMPLOYMENT, INFLATION, CNETRAL PLANNING, RECORD BANKRUPCIES, FORECLOSURES, AND FOOD STAMPS COMBINED WITH AMERICANS SEEING THIER HOME VALUES PLUMMET MORE THAN THE GREAT DEPRESSION, WIPING OUT TRILLIONS IN AMERICAN WEALTH, YOUR SOLUTION IS MORE OF THE POISON AND TO PILE ON TAXES, INCREASE UNSUSTAINABLE SPENDING, AND EXPAND THE DEBT, DEVALUING ALL WE HAVE LEFT PUNISHING FRUGALITY, DESTROYING THE VALUE OF OUR PAYCHECKS, SAVINGS, AND OUR OPPORTUNITY] ....YOU SOUND LIKE A FOOL. LET ME KNOW WHEN YOU WANT TO TALK IDEOLOGY] and are still the basis of the most broadly prosperous democratic societies today.[WRONG, WE ARE A REPUBLIC] I like to do the caps thing, mostly to give you folks a chance to disparagingly comment on it, as I know it irritates you, and you usually need something innocous to reference and criticize, as you are afraid of actual honest discourse, but it serves another purpose...........it highlights the important relevent part of an otherwise worthless dialog, allowing a few observers to learn something.

    LIMIT THE GOVERMENT, TO MAXIMIZE THE FREEDOM.

    Communism proposes to enslave men by force, socialism - by vote. It is merely the difference between murder and suicide.

    LOTS OF LOVE, FROM THE AMERICAN TEA PARTY MOVEMENT!

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    Some of the lengthiest, most contempt-laden rants I've seen here in a long time. Doesn't take much to get the tea-bagger-bot, Ayn Rand worshipers all stirred up. I can tell they really miss the Cold War and having that old demon Communism to whip on when you don't have a real program of governance that is salable, or enactable, then that's all you have. Rock on, Birchers, if that's what floats your boat.

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      By this time Mr. K seems to be approaching apoplexy, which may be the only way his logorrhea will be contained so that we can resume something like responsible, not to say rational, discourse here.

      It's interesting, however, to discover him as a spokesperson for the tea partiers. I can imagine the impression his impotent rage would have made on my no-nonsense working class parents.

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        Pat, can I call you Pat? Your an ass, nothing of substance, just an ass blowing wind. And I say this with the utmost respect for asses, since they are the birthplace of progressive liberalism. Normally I reserve name calling for those who really deserve it, but since your so free with it, I just felt compelled to give back for all you give.. peace brother..

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    Are you against freedom, individual rights, and liberty, Bill? LoL

    LIMIT THE GOVERMENT, TO MAXIMIZE THE FREEDOM.

    Communism proposes to enslave men by force, socialism - by vote. It is merely the difference between murder and suicide.

    LOTS OF LOVE, FROM THE AMERICAN TEA PARTY MOVEMENT!

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    The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza has Rachel Weiner write in The Fix, today:

    Can liberals start their own tea party?

    Discusses some interesting viewpoints about past efforts.

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      I think they already tried. If i remember right, it is called the coffee party. Stupid name and a silly attempt to start an emotionally charged movement with "here are our ideals for you to get behind". You cant "create" spontaneous individual patriotic passion unless your ideas are patriotic.

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        Actually, the Coffee Party was a reaction and a poke at the Tea Party (which shares a similarly silly name. However they chose it (more likely focus grouped it) with full intention, not satire in mind.)

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    Interestingly, when Mr. K finally wears down, his real intentions--or those of the Koch brothers that he is mimicking--become clear. "Socialism by vote - . . . suicide." Likewise, Nixon and Kissinger claimed that the Chilean people could not be permitted to "irresponsibly" vote in socialist president Allende. And so they engineered the bloody coup that killed Allende and installed the murderous dictator General Pinochet, who in turn fostered state capitalism in Chile, which in Europe is known as fascism.

    And so now we can discern Mr. W's contempt for a democratic election if he happens to disagree with the outcome.

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      Somewhere above, Mr K lauds Germany as ultra-capitalist. Here's another opinion:

      David Leonhardt, The New York Times economics columnist, wrote recently that Germany owed its edge in global competitiveness to a range of policies that could not be more different than ours: limiting homeownership, improving education (including vocational and technical education) and keeping unions strong -- which is why "middle-class pay," he noted, "has risen at roughly the same rate as top incomes."

      BTW, I made a typo in my previous post: second to last line should read "Mr K." And OK, I'm gonna get off this topic now.

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    Unregulated capitalism will destroy itself quickly. That's why government is needed to moderate the capitalist form of economics. FDR saved capitalism in America.

    But I'm not so sure the biosphere can stand "An American Dream", government-moderated, successful capitalist economy, when the model is projected out to the entire population of the planet.

    So, I think we need Gandhian economics. Keep it local; keep it austere (less consumptive). "Cultivate poverty like a garden herb".

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    Calling for re-distribution of wealth I$ NOT in the constitution and I$ NOT an American ideal.

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      Agreed. Which is why we need to crack down on those abusing the system so that they pay their fair share just like the rest of us.

      ...well, maybe not all of us on here. I understand those thinktanks pay well.

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    @Randy Probasco: Warren Buffet favors progressive taxation. Is he not American, in your opinion?

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    Hey,

    The Koch Bros. just sent me an update......you progressives/Marxists are losing every single political engagement.

    After having a super majority in Congress & the White House, no budget has been passed in nearly 800 days, the wars continue, the patriot act has been re-signed, Gitmo is still open, unconstitutional Socialized Medicine is a complete failure that not one Democrat ran on in 2010, immigration reform wasn't touched, Obama's entire Cabinet besides the tax cheat Geithner & the loser Jarrett have abandoned ship, "recovery summer" was even more stupid than "mission accomplished", debunked Keyesian economic stimulus stimulated nothing but the unions, the unions, pitted against all the tax payers are losing everywhere, we are now structurally stuck at an extremely high unemployment rate, unsustainable entitlement programs are bankrupting the government causing a break down, government subsidized choo choo trains, electric cars, and windmills are a complete joke, green shoots never were, the public education system is abyssmal, inflation is crushing the middle class with high gas and food prices, housing, the root cause of the financial crisis is still declining & a chaotic mess, and all your progressive solutions are laughable, as all they offer is more of the same....more unsustainable spending, which causes more crippling debt, which causes more FED money printing, which causes more inflation, which punishes the lowest on the economic ladder the most. We have record numbers of bankrupties, forelosures, food stamps, debt, instablity, uncertainty, job loss, pain and suffering, and it's all the fault of progressive policies that all of history have shown to be utter failures...........and the funny part is, you folks continue like a pack of lemmings to repeat the same failed progressive/marxist mantra as the rest of America looks at you like you’re speaking Greek. The reality.........no one is buying any of it, and it makes you look stupid, as you ignore the fact that the entire nation abandoned the Democrat Party last November, 2010.

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    You lost everything. The independents left, the middle class left you, middle America sees you as liberal elitists that have no clue about economic realities, you lost Congress in a historic election, and you are doing nothing but securing yourselves a permanent minority status as you've already lost the hearts and minds of the majority of America, and are set to lose the White House and the Senate. You offer no real world solutions. The American Tea Party Movement, in the finest of Independent American traditions, takes on all the problems sincerely, and that is something you can not emulate, because what you believe in regardless of the name you give it, is Marxism, and Marxism is a lie, and a failure every time it’s tried. It’s a time for Choosing................Marxism or Capitalism, the STATE or the individual, oppression or liberty. Economic slavery or freedom. The only way you’re going to win this fight is by abandoning your failed progressive ideas, and joining the American Tea Party Movement..........anything else just makes us stronger. Limited Government, fiscal repsonsiblity, & free market economic Liberty >>CAPITALISM 

    While you fight strawmen and look silly, We are winning every debate.

    Let me know if you weant to talk about progressive left's hypocrisy...........we can gladly get into April 15th at Pioneer Square. www.OregonTeaParty.org

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      Wait. I've heard this one before...

      "These are criminals. The whole word can hear the warning sirens. This criminal sitting in the White House is a pathetic criminal and his Defense Minister deserves to be beaten. These criminals lie to the world because they are criminals by nature and conditioning. They consider this a military site! Shame on you! You will forever be shamed! You have ruined the reputation of the American people in the most terrible way! Shame on you! And we will destroy you!" -Muhammed Saeed al-Sahaf (Former Iraqi Information Minister)

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    Portland's LEFT at it's best:

    Racist, homophobic, astroturf, violent, anti-american, with no respect for the 1st Amendment rights of others while being massive hypocritical extremists

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7l-pEBYeLI

Video

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