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In a poll that provides yet more evidence that the post-Obamacare passage environment is extraordinarily inhospitable for Democrats, Americans told pollster Rasmussen that they feel closer to the tea party than President Barack Obama in their views by a 48%-44% margin:
On major issues, 48% of voters say that the average Tea Party member is closer to their views than President Barack Obama. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 44% hold the opposite view and believe the president’s views are closer to their own.
Not surprisingly, Republicans overwhelmingly feel closer to the Tea Party and most Democrats say that their views are more like Obama’s. Among voters not affiliated with either major political party, 50% say they’re closer to the Tea Party while 38% side with the President.
To understand just how incredible this is, remember the tea party did not exist in 2008 at all, yet now holds a 4% lead over the most popular and charismatic political figure in America in decades, President Barack Obama. Apparently, the Democratic strategy to smear the tea party as racist, extremist terrorists has failed spectacularly, as noted by the tea party’s lead over President Obama reported today and even the favorable marks that the last ABC/WaPo poll showed for the tea party.
Here’s some reporting from Rasmussen this morning about whether Americans would feel closer to the tea party or unions:
Last week, Rasmussen Reports released data showing that 47% of voters felt closer to the views of Tea Party members than to Congress. Only 26% felt closer to Congress.
The new polling found that just 33% believe their views are closer to the average member of a Labor Union than to Congress. In fact, a plurality of voters were undecided when asked about that comparison. While 48% of Democrats said their own views were closer to the average union member, most Republicans and unaffiliated voters could not choose between the two.
In a head-to-head comparison, 45% felt closer to the average Tea Party Member while 35% felt closer to the average union member.
Fifty-three percent (53%) believe their views are closer to the average school teacher than to Congress. Teachers scored six points higher than the Tea Party members when compared to Congress.
In a head-to-head match-up, 47% said they felt closer to the average school teacher while 41% said they felt closer to the average Tea Party member. Once again, the results betray a heavy partisan difference. Democrats prefer the school teachers, Republicans are closer to the Tea Party, and unaffiliated voters are evenly divided.
Earlier polling found that just 16% of voters nationwide consider themselves part of the Tea Party Movement. However, views of the Tea Party remain more positive than negative among voters. Just 11% believe Congress is doing a good or an excellent job.
All told, numbers such as these spell near-political doom for the Obama Administration. The main ally of the Obama Administration, big unions, is apparently disfavored by the American people right now, while the main political enemy of the Administration, the tea party, has been able to withstand a constant barrage of Democratic and establishment media criticism to remain popular with the American people. The “conventional wisdom” of the DC and media elites that passing Obamacare would strongly drive Obama and Dem popularity up has now been completely debunked, with only the sole Gallup one-day poll ever showing Obamacare as net approved and all other polls, including Gallup’s own later three-day poll, showing Obamacare actually continuing to sink in popularity after its historic passage.
The political toll that the partisan, acrimonious and essentially un-American means of passage of Obamacare takes on the “Obama Brand” and the Democrats as a whole may end up being higher than even some of Obama’s critics are now alleging, as governing against the will of the American people has apparently forced Obama and Democratic approval down towards American approval of Obamacare as a whole, and as long as Obamacare remains in the news, this dynamic appears set to continue. If the tea party can keep an edge on President Obama amongst likely voters up to and including the November 2010 election, America may see an unprecedented shift in power away from the Democrats for the 112th Congress starting in January 2011.
In a final debunking of the spurious Gallup poll being used by the White House and establishment media to “prove” that Americans turned on a dime to now “support” Obamacare, ABC News and the Washington Post put out a new poll this morning which unequivocally evidences that Americans remain opposed to Obamacare:
In the days since President Obama signed the farthest-reaching piece of social welfare legislation in four decades, overall public opinion has changed little, with continuing broad public skepticism about the effects of the new law and more than a quarter of Americans seeing neither side as making a good-faith effort to cooperate on the issue.
Overall, 46 percent of those polled said they support the changes in the new law; 50 percent oppose them. That is virtually identical to the pre-vote split on the proposals and similar to the divide that has existed since last summer, when the country became sharply polarized over the president’s most ambitious domestic initiative.
The health-care debate galvanized the country to a remarkable extent. About a quarter of all adults say they tried to contact their elected representatives in Congress about health care in recent months, including nearly half of those who say they are “angry” about the changes. In general, opponents of the measure were more than twice as likely as supporters to say they had made the effort.
The ABC News/Washington Post poll found a full 50% of Americans oppose the Democratic health care reform package, while an astounding 40% of Americans “strongly oppose” Obamacare, which matches the all-time high found by this poll in “strong” opposition. The only change since the passage of the bill is a bit of a rally effect of Democrats, with strong support for Obamacare rising to 32%:
8. On another subject: overall, given what you know about them, would you say you support or oppose the changes to the health care system that have been enacted by (Congress) and (the Obama administration)? Do you feel that way strongly or somewhat?
……………….——– Support ——– ——— Oppose ——– No
………..NET Strongly Somewhat ……..NET Somewhat Strongly ……opinion
3/26/10 46 32 13 50 10 40 4
2/8/10* 46 22 25 49 11 38 5
1/15/10 44 22 22 51 12 39 5
*2/8/10 and prior: “proposed changes…that are being developed by”
This polling will finally put to rest the untoward and fraudulent efforts of the Obama Administration and establishment media to use the outlier, one-day Gallup poll showing Americans approve of Obamacare by a 49%-40% margin as it will be difficult to credibly claim that one-day poll, which stands alone showing a major bounce in approval for Obamacare post-passage, is at all realistic. Another interesting tidbit from this morning’s poll is that Americans are more likely to vote for a Congressperson who opposes Obamacare than one who supports Obamacare by 6%-8% margin:
24. Say a candidate for Congress voted FOR the changes to the health care system recently enacted by (Congress) and (the Obama administration). Would that make you more likely to [support] that candidate for Congress, more likely to [oppose] that candidate, or wouldn’t it make much difference in your vote? (IF SUPPORT/OPPOSE) Are you much more likely to support/oppose that candidate or somewhat more?
………………..—- Support —- —- Oppose —– No No
…………………..NET Much Smwt NET Smwt Much diff. opinion
3/26/10 26 16 9 32 6 27 40 2
3/26/10 RV 27 17 9 35 5 29 36 2
1/15/10* 22 12 10 31 7 24 45 2
11/15/09 25 13 12 29 8 20 45 1
Separately, the poll is slightly skewed regarding party ID, showing the Democrats with a 10 point partisan ID edge, which is probably at least a few points over reality, and the largest gap reported by this poll since November, showing the GOP at just 24%, which is somewhat counter-intuitive as the GOP has gained steam in recent months by riding the public’s opposition to health care reform.
Nonetheless, even with that skew, this ABC News/Washington Post poll conclusively proves that the “conventional wisdom” of Democrats and the establishment media that Obamacare would magically transform into popular legislation upon passage was and is completely false. Even the left-leaning WaPo’s writeup on the poll admits that opponents are much more intense than supporters.
Despite the best efforts of the establishment media and Democrats to smear the tea party as racists, extremists and terrorists, Americans view the tea party positively (41%-39%), an improvement from February 2010 (35%-40%) according to this poll.
It would be interesting to know what the partisan leanings of the 20% with “no opinion” on the tea party now are, to determine if the tea party has room to continue to grow in favorability or is reaching its peak.
Finally, this polling also conclusively proves that Americans believe President Obama is lying about the Obamacare legislation every time he speaks of it, with large majorities believing Obamacare will weaken Medicare (not strengthen it), increase the deficit (not “historically” reduce it), worsen the quality of care (not improve it) and finally that many will lose their present plan or doctor (not “if you like your plan, you can keep it”):
More people see the changes as making things worse, rather than better, for the country’s health-care system, for the quality of their care and, among the insured, for their coverage. Majorities in the new poll also see the changes as resulting in higher costs for themselves and for the country.
Most respondents said reform will require everyone to make changes, whether they want to or not; only about a third said they believe the Democrats’ contention that people who have coverage will be able to keep it without alterations. And nearly two-thirds see the changes as increasing the federal budget deficit, with few thinking the deficit will shrink as a result. The Congressional Budget Office said the measure will reduce the deficit.
About half of all poll respondents said the plan creates “too much government involvement” in the health-care system, a concern that is especially pronounced among Republicans.
Senior citizens, who typically make up about one in five midterm voters, represent a particularly valuable but tough audience on this issue. More than six in 10 of those 65 or older see a weaker Medicare system as a result of the changes to the health-care system. Overall, seniors tilt heavily against the changes, with 58 percent opposed and strong opponents outnumbering strong supporters by a 2-to-1 ratio.
All told, it is clear from this ABC News/Washington Post poll, and all other post-Obamacare passage polls other than the spurious one-day Gallup poll hyped by the White House and media, that Americans simply aren’t buying what President Obama and the Democrats are selling regarding their massive new comprehensive health care reform plan. It will be interesting to see if these poll results change the “conventional wisdom” in Washington that continues to linger in the establishment media that Obamacare is somehow transformed into a popular piece of legislation because of its passage.
UPDATE: Ed at Hotair notes the depressing news for Democrats from this poll, even with the partisan ID skew, and the overwhelmingly negative ratings Obama receives on his next big focus: immigration.
With the WaPo survey oversampling by at least five points and perhaps as much as seven, it’s not too surprising to see Obama get a 53/43 approval rating in this poll. It should dismay Democrats to see ObamaCare still losing ground even after the Post had to amp up the partisan gap four extra points from the last survey. The other issue approval ratings won’t be much comfort, either:
* Health care – underwater, 48/49
* Economy – seriously underwater, 45/52, with 40% strongly disapproving
* Budget deficit – 43/52
Interestingly, Obama’s worst issue by far is immigration. Only 33% approve of his handling of immigration issues, while 43% disapprove, 28% strongly so. Obama has expressed interest in taking on immigration with the ObamaCare fight mainly over, but these numbers suggest that he may want to wait until after the midterm elections.
Building upon a tide of rising of discontent throughout America regarding the recent historical passage of the gigantic Democratic comprehensive health reform plan known as Obamacare, tea party activists held a rally in the hometown of Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) today with at least 20,000 gathering to hear headline speaker Sarah Palin. In what many are terming a “conservative Woodstock,” Sarah Palin spoke about the need for the federal government to cut its bloated budget and to rollback the massive Obamacare package, a desire held by many across America and perhaps everyone in the crowd today judging by the cheers. Palin’s key moment came when discussing Democratic control of Congress, when she stated that Americans should say in November 2010 that “You’re Fired”.
The establishment media, of course, is working to delegitimize and smear the tea party movement in the wake of the passage of Obamacare, with the AP clearly putting out this narrative before today’s rally:
Organizers predict as many as 10,000 people could come to tiny Searchlight, the hardscrabble former mining town where the Senate Democratic leader grew up and owns a home. But a light turnout or disruptions could lead to questions about the emerging movements’ credibility and direction.
The rally that’s been called a conservative Woodstock takes place just days after the historic health care vote that ushered in near-universal medical coverage and divided Congress and the nation.
The vote was followed by reports of threats and vandalism aimed at some Washington lawmakers, mostly Democrats who supported the new law.
Police don’t expect problems but the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department is sending dozens of uniformed and plainclothes officers to patrol the crowd.
The AP, of course, fails to mention that the senior Jewish politician in America, GOP House whip Eric Cantor (R-VA), had a bullet hit one of his Virginia offices (as confirmed by Richmond, VA police). Considering the massive turnout today, clearly exceeding the estimates of organizers, Americans now know that the tea party is far from finished and perhaps still building strength after the passage of Obamacare. Live reporting from the scene on cable reports that the main highway into tiny Searchlight, Nevada is hopelessly jammed with other folks trying to make it to the rally while a mile long line to enter the rally area, as all available parking on the scene is occupied and folks are parking in town and having tour buses drop them off near the rally and heading in on foot.
Despite the establishment media’s claims that the tea partiers are an violent, angry mob, today’s event was marred only by attacks from supporters of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), as about 35 Reid supporters lined the street leading into the rally and threw eggs at the passing traffic, including the Tea Party Express buses. Such conduct is clearly a threat to the safety of those traveling on the street and a sign of the extremism rising on the left, despite what the media may report. Further, other Reid supporters actually attacked conservative media personality Andrew Breitbart, throwing eggs at him and threats of violence according to those on the scene:
Supporters of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid staged a counter-protest today in Searchlight, Nevada, the Senator’s hometown. Reid supporters gathered just down the road from the launching point of the Tea Party Express tour, and when Breitbart happened upon them, he was met with threats of violence. At least one protester threw an egg at Brietbart, missing him. Eggs were also thrown at the Tea Party Express bus.
We expect the establishment media to ignore these violent acts and threats of violence by Reid supporters directed at tea party activists, as such incidents do not fit into the establishment media’s narrative of tea party “extremism”. At a minimum, the media should demand answers about what Reid campaign officials organized the 35 Reid supporters to show up on the side of the street and whether the highly dangerous tossing of eggs into a motorway was sanctioned by such officials, and if not sanctioned, what did Reid’s people do to stop it, if anything.
Indeed, the level of enthusiasm necessary to pack a town of only 500 registered voters like Searchlight with 10’s of thousands of people is unlike anything seen in America in many decades. Considering that President Obama’s approval has again begun to decline, dipping back under 50% after a brief post-Obamacare bounce, the conventional wisdom of the establishment media and all Democratic politicians that the passage of Obamacare would lead to a substantial jump in Democratic fortunes appears to be collapsing, one rally and one poll at a time.
UPDATE: The Associated Press this evening filed a story about the tea party rally today in Searchlight, Nevada, and as expected, did not report the fact that Reid supporters pelted passing cars and tea party buses with eggs from the side of the motorway and threatened Andrew Breitbart, as documented by Breitbart’s radio appearance later in the day. Considering the AP’s reporting of the phantom racial slurs in DC that no one in America has any video or audio evidence actually occurred, despite the presence of many network cameras and folks’ video phones that day in DC, it is unsurprising that the AP refuses to report the Reid supporters’ conduct. Amazingly, the AP did report on the Reid supporters’ presence in the area, but did not report on their activities of throwing eggs at passing vehicles or their threats of violence towards conservative activist Andrew Breitbart:
Reid supporters set up a hospitality tent Saturday in the parking lot of a Searchlight casino, about a mile from the tea party rally. The Senate leader planned to spend part of the day at a new shooting range in Las Vegas with National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre.
Luis Salvador, 55, an unemployed fire sprinkler fitter, drove down from Las Vegas to support Reid, who he said has done a lot for the state and doesn’t deserve the protest brought to his hometown.
“You don’t come to a man’s house and start creating a ruckus,” said Salvador, a registered independent. He and several others taped signs saying “Nevada Needs Harry Reid” to the side of a truck near the highway that runs through town.
Another Reid supporter, Judy Hill, 62, said she doesn’t understand the hatred of Reid. The longtime Democrat from Searchlight said she thinks people just don’t know the man she calls a friend.
“They listen to the rhetoric. I think he’s very misunderstood and under-appreciated,” she said.
It is beyond question that this AP reporter, Michael R. Blood, had access to the internet and could have, and probably did, read the release of the tea party organizers which reported the violent activities by the Reid supporters. The AP’s Blood could have easily talked to Breitbart or listened to his radio appearance, or talked to Levi Russell, who issued the release for the Tea Party Express describing the violent conduct of the Reid supporters, and then interviewed others who were on the tea party bus that was attacked. However, the AP’s Blood chose not to pursue this angle of the story, as it would have been damaging to the Democratic Party, which the AP has sworn undying fealty to in all of its reporting, apparently.
Sadly, this cover up of the violent activities and rhetoric of the Democratic Reid supporters, as testified to by Andrew Breitbart, is just another chapter in the biased and slanted reporting of the establishment media, explicitly demonstrating the double-standard employed by the establishment media of always downplaying or omitting any untoward activities by liberals while inventing or exaggerating any untoward activities by conservatives. Indeed, reporter Blood seems somewhat perplexed that there was no violence amongst the tea party’s 10,000+ crowd, saying that the event “appeared peaceful“.
Further, the AP’s Blood makes a curious point in reporting on Breitbart’s speech:
Conservative columnist Andrew Breitbart disputed accounts that tea party activists in Washington shouted racial epithets at black members of Congress amid the health care debate, although he didn’t provide any evidence.
“I know you’re not a racist group,” he told the crowd.
Unmentioned by the AP’s Blood is that the Democrats did not “provide any evidence” that any tea party protester “shouted racial epithets at black members of Congress” other than their own “testimony” in front of the cameras. Indeed, also unmentioned by AP’s Blood is the fact that Breitbart offered a $10,000.00 donation to the United Negro College Fund if anyone could produce any audio or video evidence of the use of any racial epithets:
If we let them get away with Saturday’s stunt — using the imagery of the Civil Rights era and hurtful lies to cast aspersions upon the tea party whole — then they really will have won the day.
It’s time for the allegedly pristine character of Rep. John Lewis to put up or shut up. Therefore, I am offering $10,000 of my own money to provide hard evidence that the N- word was hurled at him not 15 times, as his colleague reported, but just once. Surely one of those two cameras wielded by members of his entourage will prove his point.
And surely if those cameras did not capture such abhorrence, then someone from the mainstream media — those who printed and broadcast his assertions without any reasonable questioning or investigation — must themselves surely have it on camera. Of course we already know they don’t. If they did, you’d have seen it by now.
THOUSANDS OF TIMES.
Rep. Lewis, if you can’t do that, I’ll give him a backup plan: a lie detector test. If you provide verifiable video evidence showing that a single racist epithet was hurled as you walked among the tea partiers, or you pass a simple lie detector test, I will provide a $10K check to the United Negro College Fund.
Of course, no such evidence has been forthcoming or produced because, in all likelihood, the claims of racial taunts by Democrats were simply spurious claims made to distract the American public from the content of the massive Obamacare package and to smear those who oppose it. Recall the story a few weeks ago that Democrats were planning ways to bring down the tea party movement, by perhaps turning one of its leaders into a “mole” and smearing the rest as extremists:
Big Government has learned that Clintonistas are plotting a “push/pull” strategy. They plan to identify 7-8 national figures active in the tea party movement and engage in deep opposition research on them. If possible, they will identify one or two they can perhaps ‘turn’, either with money or threats, to create a mole in the movement. The others will be subjected to a full-on smear campaign. (Has MSNBC already been notified?)
Big Government has also learned that James Carville will head up the effort.
Obviously, there is no love lost between Obama and the Clinton machine. It may at first seem odd that Clinton would rush to Obama’s defense, but the tea party movement poses a threat far beyond the immediate goals of the Obama Administration.
The tea party movement could evolve into a new political realignment, one founded on a belief in limited government and less government interference in the economy. The Progressive agenda, which has been painstakingly built up over the last three decades, could be left in tatters.
As the Clinton’s know, “politics ain’t beanbag.” Expect the counterattack soon. Don’t say you haven’t been warned.
The avalanche of Democratic claims this week of racial slurs and hysteria about “threats” appear to be the very “counterattack” of the Democrats against the tea party that was predicted by Breitbart. Nancy Pelosi and company strolled down the middle of the tea party protest hoping to get a you-tube moment of a screamed slur or even a physical confrontation – but the tea party protesters simply didn’t provide any such video moment to the Democrats. Because of this lack of evidence, the Democrats have been forced to go out on a limb and, in our view, falsely assert that slurs were made that no one managed to get a recording of, despite the rolling cameras of multiple networks and hundreds of camera phones during the walk up to Capitol Hill. It is truly a sad day in America when the establishment media reports as fact claims made by Democrats about racial slurs for purely political reasons without any evidence whatsoever to back them up.
The AP did, however, grudgingly admit that a giant crowd of tea party supporters descended on tiny Searchlight, Nevada:
At least 9,000 people streamed into tiny Searchlight, a former mining town 60 miles south of Las Vegas, bringing American flags, “Don’t Tread on Me” signs and outspoken anger toward Reid, President Barack Obama and the health care overhaul.
Organizers had said up to 10,000 people might come; around 1 p.m., police estimated the crowd was between 9,000 and 11,000.
Note that the first paragraph excerpted above, near the top of the article, uses the low estimate, and only later in the article, near the end, does the AP’s Blood admit that “police estimated the crowd was between 9,000 and 11,000” which was what organizers had hoped for. Of course, earlier in the day, before the rally, AP’s Blood had this to say, trying to set up his ability to write a hit piece on the tea party after the rally:
Organizers predict as many as 10,000 people could come to tiny Searchlight, the hardscrabble former mining town where the Senate Democratic leader grew up and owns a home. But a light turnout or disruptions could lead to questions about the emerging movements’ credibility and direction.
Of course, as Blood reported, the turnout was heavy at the rally and the rally “appeared peaceful“. One might expect Blood to write a story reporting that the tea party showed its building “credibility and relevance” after the passage of Obamacare, considering the rousing success of the rally; one might also expect the AP’s Blood to report upon the press release of the Tea Party Express claimed Reid supporters were engaged in violent acts against the passing tea party buses from the side of the motorway, throwing eggs, or the threats of violence against Breitbart. Sadly, AP’s Blood was not there to report objectively on the facts of what happened, he was there to write a hit piece on the tea party – which, fortunately, he was unable to do because of the indisputable success of the rally today.
The violent acts and threats of Reid’s supporters will now fade into the memory hole of unreported facts, despite Breitbart’s testimony, as the AP story on the rally will likely be the only mainstream media reporting to emerge from today’s rally. If tea party supporters had been the ones tossing eggs into oncoming traffic on the side of the highway, or if tea party supporters had been the ones shouting threats of violence, we can be certain that the AP’s Blood would have started and ended his story reporting those facts. All told, the biased and slanted reporting of the AP today is yet another example of the partisan and ideological nature of America’s media in the 21st century.
“When we talk about fighting for our country, let’s clear the air right now about what it is that we’re talking about,” she told a crowd estimated by organizers at 20,000 gathered for a rally in a windswept desert lot about four miles north of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s tiny hometown. “We’re not inciting violence. Don’t get sucked into the lame-stream media lies.”
Palin said “violence isn’t the answer.” She said “our vote is our arms” and encouraged activists not to be discouraged by the passage of the Democratic healthcare overhaul bill last week, but rather to channel their energies into defeating congressional Democrats who supported the legislation.
Democrats this week accused Palin of exacerbating the already tense atmosphere after last weekend’s House vote passing the overhaul by telling her followers via twitter “Don’t Retreat, Instead – RELOAD!” and by singling out 20 House Democrats who voted for the health care bill as targets on her website using a map with cross-hair gun sights on their districts.
The targeting phraseology is commonly used by political pros to indicate priority races, but Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) told a New York television station that Palin’s presentation was dangerous, given the context.
Even left-leaning Politico cannot stomach the Democratic strategy of claiming Sarah Palin is “inciting violence” by targeting vulnerable Democrats for electoral elimination, noting that such “targeting phraseology is commonly used by political pros to indicate priority races”. Perhaps today’s rally will be the turning point where the establishment media stops reporting the ridiculous smears of Palin and the tea partiers fed to them by Democratic strategists and instead begins to actually focus on the substance of the massive Obamacare passage the Democrats have just passed into law.
Amazingly, Politico actually reported the egg throwing at passing tea party buses by Reid supporters and the violent threats upon Breitbart:
Conservative talk show host Mark Williams, an official with the political action committee that sponsored the rally, rejected media reports of slurs directed at House Democrats during tea party rallies in Washington before Sunday’s vote, which were based on first-hand accounts from reporters and members of Congress.
“That’s a crock,” he said, alleging that when his group’s buses – emblazoned with “Tea Party Express” – drove down Searchlight’s main street, they were pelted with eggs by Reid supporters, who lined the sidewalks waving mass-produced placards saying “Welcome to Reid Country.”
Williams declared “Thuggery is a left-wing tactic. We denounce it. We will not stand for it.”
On the homepage of the Big Government site of Internet entrepreneur Andrew Breitbart, who spoke at the rally, a headline reads: “Harry Reid Supporters Attack Tea Party Bus!… Update: Breitbart Attacked!”
Now that an establishment media source has actually reported the violent, unsafe actions by Reid supporters and their violent threats to Breitbart, perhaps the story will gain some traction. Finally, regarding the claims that the GOP engaged in the incitement of aggression or violence by tea party protesters over Obamacare, perhaps the media should take a trip into the way back machine and review these Obama quotes:
Barack Obama, June 2008: “‘If They Bring a Knife to the Fight, We Bring a Gun”
Has any Republican or tea party leader told his or her supporters to “bring a gun” to a fight with political opponents, or told his or her supporters to “argue with them and get in their face” in reference to liberals? Of course not, because if that had happened, it would be front page news in the extraordinarily biased establishment media.
In an editorial that the Obama Administration surely wishes had not been written, American communist newspaper People’s World issued a ringing endorsement of President Obama and the Democrats’ actions in muscling Obamacare through Congress over bipartisan opposition, with the editorial board of the communist newspaper claiming that the “enactment of this bill is an enormous victory for the broad progressive movement in our country” while oddly claiming that “almost every sector of American society” and “ordinary people from throughout the country applauded President Obama” and Pelosi for passing Obamacare. As President Obama has also claimed that the “people” were strongly in support of his health care policies and further he has been labeled a progressive, the praise of his actions by the People’s World editors is sure to stir some interest in tomorrow’s media cycle and conservative talk radio.
American communists apparently have a big problem with the tea party movement, which has a net positive rating (29%-23%, +8) with the general American public, while the Democrats (33%-48%, -15) and Republicans (33%-42%, -9) both have net negative ratings. For instance, despite the lack of any audio or video evidence of the racial slurs allegedly uttered by tea party protesters at Saturday’s 25,000-strong protest in DC, People’s World ridiculously compares the tea party to infamous and violent racist Bull Conner:
Beyond that, its passage is a major defeat for the far right – the Republican Party, sections of Corporate America, and their fascist-like tea party shock troops. The enactment of this bill is an enormous victory for the broad progressive movement in our country. It will give energy and enthusiasm to that movement as it mobilizes and builds for the struggles ahead to advance a pro-worker, pro-people agenda.
The fight isn’t over. The corporate-backed far right will continue to use racism, lies and anti-government conspiracy theories to try to scare and confuse people. We got some ugly glimpses of this just as Congress was on the eve of passing the health care bill.
Tea party protesters in Ohio yelled at and abused a man with Parkinson’s disease because he was courageous enough to show his support for health care reform. In Washington, others yelled racist and homophobic epithets at members of Congress.
Some call it the tea-partiers’ Bull Connor moment. Connor was the racist, pro-segregation “public safety” commissioner in Birmingham, Ala., who used dogs and fire hoses against African American children standing up against Jim Crow in the 1960s.
Just as the American people rejected the Bull Connor segregationists after seeing the fire-hosing of children in Birmingham, the American people will reject the vicious racism and hate-filled attacks of today’s Bull Connors.
After almost a year of lobbying, demonstrations, petitions, rallies, health care story collections, town hall meetings, this is a moment to savor a hard-fought victory. And it’s a moment to celebrate the persistence and tenacity of the people’s movement for progressive change – a good thing since there are many more battles ahead.
Even if the sensational, and unproven, allegations against the tea partiers regarding offensive slurs and conduct are true, that alleged conduct in no way compares to the truly horrific conduct of the likes of Bull Conner, notwithstanding the American communist newspaper’s odd claims above. People’s World’s claim that Obamacare’s passage is “a moment to celebrate the persistence and tenacity of the people’s movement for progressive change”, is uncomfortably close to the President’s own rhetoric in this email to supporters late Sunday night:
My gratitude tonight is profound. I am thankful for those in past generations whose heroic efforts brought this great goal within reach for our times. I am thankful for the members of Congress whose months of effort and brave votes made it possible to take this final step. But most of all, I am thankful for you.
This day is not the end of this journey. Much hard work remains, and we have a solemn responsibility to do it right. But we can face that work together with the confidence of those who have moved mountains.
Our journey began three years ago, driven by a shared belief that fundamental change is indeed still possible. We have worked hard together every day since to deliver on that belief.
We have shared moments of tremendous hope, and we’ve faced setbacks and doubt. We have all been forced to ask if our politics had simply become too polarized and too short-sighted to meet the pressing challenges of our time. This struggle became a test of whether the American people could still rally together when the cause was right — and actually create the change we believe in.
Both the communist editorial and Obama email point towards the great “victory” achieved by the “people” via the passage of Obamacare – despite the fact that a majority of Americans oppose Obamacare, and its passage was animated by vocal popular opposition in and around Congress, and little vocal support of any kind. Considering these facts, it is certainly odd to hear both the President of the United States and the editors of one of America’s leading communist newspapers claim that Obamacare was just swept into law by popular demand – such claims simply to not match up with realty.
Indeed, opponents of Obamacare are very intense about their disapproval while supporters are mainly lukewarm, at best. This is proven, in part, by the fact that 62% of Americans want the GOP to continue to fight Obama and the Democrats regarding Obamacare – hardly a ringing endorsement by the American people.
Further, the American communist newspaper and Obama’s email also share the claim that the much remains to be done by the “people” in the near future. There is something disquieting about the President of the United States using similar metaphors and language to describe the passage of Obamacare as the editors of one of the leading American communist newspapers. Obama’s email on Tuesday, signing day, also refers to the great historical victory of the people:
As I’ve said many times, and as I know to be true, this astounding victory could not have been achieved without your tireless efforts.
So as we celebrate this great day, I want to invite you to add your name where it belongs: alongside mine as a co-signer of this historic legislation. Organizing for America will record the names of co-signers as a permanent commemoration of those who came together to make this moment possible — all of you who refused to give up until the dream of many generations for affordable, quality care for all Americans was finally fulfilled.
Please accept my thanks for your voice, for your courage, and for your indispensable partnership in the great work of creating change.
History, and I, are in your debt.
The People’s Daily’s claim that the tea parties are extremists was also echoed by the Obama Administration, as White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel claimed the tea partiers are a “fringe group” and that the GOP leaders are “afraid of”:
I think The Republicans have a level of energy but inside that energy they have their own problem and fissures. They’re basically at the behest of a fringe group that’s taken control of their own party and their own leaders are scared of it.
Considering the editors of the American communist newspaper the People’s World use similar rhetoric as President Obama to describe the great “progressive” popular victory of the “people” in obtaining Obamacare passage, and further that Rahm Emanuel and People’s World share views regarding the tea party, centrists and independent Americans are left to wonder about what exactly the Democrats intended to accomplish with their 2407-page Obamacare package. Comments by Senior Dem. Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) that the Democrats need time to prepare for the next few years to allow full enactment of Obamacare “to control the people” and VP Biden’s comment that via Obamacare “we’re going to control the insurance companies” add further concern and uncertainty for centrist and independent Americans assessing the newly-passed Obamacare package. In sum, the fact that a leading American communist organization is praising the President of the United States for passing his signature initiative, Obamacare, is a bright red flag for the many Americans reviewing the Obamacare package this week.
If your only source of information was establishment media reporting, it would be easy to draw an altogether false conclusion from the recent attacks by John Patrick Bedell (Pentagon gunman) and Joseph Andrew Stack (suicide pilot) that a wave of “right wing extremism” or “tea party terrorism” is descending upon America. This narrative is being pushed relentlessly by the establishment media, despite indisputable countervailing facts as shown in detail below. An objective review of the writings and activities of the suspects in each of the recent horrific terrorist attacks by Americans on Americans – Joseph Andrew Stack (airplane suicide bomber), John Patrick Bedell (gunman at Pentagon), and Amy Bishop (massacred fellow professors) – unequivocally demonstrates that each of these deranged individuals actually have closer ties to the American left than any right wing group.
First, regarding John Patrick Bedell, the gunman who opened fire outside the Pentagon a few days ago, wounding two police officers in a shootout that cost Bedell his life, the establishment media essentially ignored that Bedell was a registered Democrat as of 2008, a fervent Bush/Cheney hater and a strong believer in the anti-Bush “9/11 Truth” conspiracy theory that claims Bush personally arranged for the 9/11 attacks to be committed. Media coverage has asserted, falsely, that Bedell was a “right wing extremist” based on some anti-government internet postings by Bedell while ignoring Bedell’s indisputable status as a registered Democrat who hated Bush and a 9/11 Truther (a left wing conspiracy theory). The NYT spends several thousand words detailing Bedell’s background but fails to note his status as a registered Democrat as of 2008 or his extreme hatred for former President Bush and VP Cheney. The seminal article pushing the “right wing extremist” narrative in the Christian Science Monitor expressly states Bedell is a right wing extremist while also dishonestly censoring any reference to Bedell’s status as a registered Democrat or Bush/Cheney hater.
Similarly, suicide pilot Joseph Andrew Stack, who flew his small plane into an IRS building in Austin, Texas a few weeks ago, was famously labeled the “first tea party terrorist” by the narrative-setting, highly ideological New York Times. The facts, of course, point in a different direction as Stack’s suicide note conclusion strongly praises Communism while attacking Capitalism – views that no tea party protester hold and views that are certainly more in line with the American left than any right wing ideology. The Washington Post, New York Times, Christian Science Monitor and CNN went so far as to censor the final lines of Stack’s suicide note (which praised Communism and attacked Capitalism) and instead falsely and dishonestly reported that Stack concluded his suicide note with an anti-IRS threat on the day of the incident. The final two lines of Stack’s suicide note, which apparently did not exist according to the American media, were as follows:
The communist creed: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.
The capitalist creed: From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed.
Further, the seminal opinion piece claiming that Stack was the “first tea party terrorist” in the New York Times also dishonestly omits any reference to Stack’s far left statements in praise of Communism as well as Stack’s hatred for Bush and attacks on drug and insurance companies that echo Democratic talking points in furtherance of the false, yet preferred “right wing extremist” narrative.
Accordingly, a casual observer of establishment media reports on Bedell and Stack would conclude, falsely, that both were “right wing extremists” despite the indisputable facts that both men strongly hated the former Republican Bush/Cheney Administration while one (Stack) was a proponent of Communism and another (Bedell) was a registered Democrat. While it is true that both men engaged in anti-government rantings, such rantings alone do not prove that either man was a “right wing extremist”. Neither man was a registered Republican or had any history of tea party activism or right wing activism, yet the establishment media made exactly those claims in its “reporting”. Such intentionally misleading reporting by the establishment media on Bedell and Stack are examples of the most odious aspects of the establishment media’s strong left wing bias in its reporting.
A final example, mass murdering Professor Amy Bishop, also demonstrates the establishment media’s strong left wing bias in its reporting of terrorist or extremist attacks in the United States by Americans against Americans. Bishop opened fire on her longtime professorial colleagues in a department meeting at an Alabama university, killing three and wounding several more until her gun jammed and she fled the horrific scene. Bishop came from a well-connected liberal family in Boston and was “a far-left political extremist who was ‘obsessed’ with President Barack Obama to the point of being off-putting.” It bears mentioning that if either Bedell, Stack or Bishop were registered Republicans or strong Bush supporters, those facts would have probably led the establishment media’s reporting of the incidents themselves. While ignoring Bishop’s political leanings in all of its reporting on Bishop, and declining to issue editorials about “left wing extremism” regarding Bishop’s horrific rampage, the NYT did report on the execution-style murders by Bishop, halting only when her gun jammed:
In an e-mail message describing the event, another professor, Joseph Ng, wrote, “She started with the one closest to her and went down the row shooting her targets in the head.” He continued: “Blood was everywhere with crying and moaning. We were in a pool of blood in disbelief of what had happened.” The message was published on the Web site of The Orange County Register after Dr. Ng, who had not intended to make it public, sent it to a friend.
Dr. Ng, Dr. Moriarity and the others on the far end of the room dove under the conference table. Dr. Moriarity crawled over to Dr. Bishop and grabbed her by the leg, yelling, “Amy, think about my grandson! Think about my daughter! I helped you, I helped you before, and I’ll help you now,” she said.
Dr. Moriarity said she had often acted as a “sounding board” for Dr. Bishop and had given her advice when she came up for tenure.
But in the room, any such relationship seemed forgotten. Dr. Bishop shook Dr. Moriarty off, turned, and pointed the gun down at her. “She looked at me and fired — and it clicked,” Dr. Moriarity said.
Dr. Bishop did not speak, Dr. Moriarity said. “She just looked angry,” she said. “The expression on her face never changed. Until the gun jammed — the last expression I saw was more of a perplexed look.”
Indeed, the NYT spends literally 1000’s of words describing every detail of Bishop’s life, yet somehow fails to even address Bishop’s political leanings. This glaring omission of reporting by the NYT in the Bishop case, as compared to the NYT’s relentless pushing of the “right wing extremist” narrative regarding the Stack and Bedell cases, clearly demonstrates the left wing, ideological filter the NYT applies to its reporting. Following the lead of the Times, in contrast to the Bedell and Stack reporting, which primarily focused on the political leanings of the deranged attackers, the Bishop establishment media coverage ignored Bishop’s indisputably left wing political leanings and express, enthusiastic support for President Obama.
While we believe that no political party or politician deserves any blame for the actions of deranged individuals such as Bedell, Stack and Bishop, the American left’s use of these recent terrorist or extremist incidents to “prove” that a wave of “right wing extremist” or “tea party terrorist” attacks are hitting America is intentionally dishonest and appears motivated by a left wing ideological desire to use the tragic incidents to score political points against Republicans as the high-stakes partisan debate over health care unfolds in Washington, D.C. Considering the dishonest cherry-picking of facts by the establishment media in their relentless efforts to portray Stack and Bedell as “right wing extremists”, the media’s failure to report, let alone pursue, the clear indications that Bishop was a “far left political extremist” is clear evidence of untoward ideological left-wing bias and screening at work in today’s media reporting to the American people. One can only hope that Americans are not taken by the dishonest, ideological narrative creation engaged in by the likes of the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN and Christian Science Monitor and instead the media is shamed into reporting all the facts on these matters.
UPDATE: The Christian Science Monitor is now trying to back away from its ridiculous claim that Bedell is a “right wing extremist”.
The New York Times’ Frank Rich takes a stab at smearing the tea party movement this morning, claiming tea party groups have “common cause” with McVeigh-era militia groups, and concluding that Joseph Andrew Stack, the anti-capitalist/pro-communism suicide pilot, somehow demonstrates his point. These outlandish claims emanate from the Times despite recent mainstream media recognition, even by the left-leaning Associated Press, that the tea party movement is a non-violent, “antiestablishment, grass-roots network motivated by anger over the growth of government, budget-busting spending and Obama’s policies.” Here is Rich’s ridiculous smearing of the tea party movement as the latter-day successors to the militias of the McVeigh era:
It is not glib or inaccurate to invoke Oklahoma City in this context, because the acrid stench of 1995 is back in the air. Two days before Stack’s suicide mission, The Times published David Barstow’s chilling, months-long investigation of the Tea Party movement. Anyone who was cognizant during the McVeigh firestorm would recognize the old warning signs re-emerging from the mists of history. The Patriot movement. “The New World Order,” with its shadowy conspiracies hatched by the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission. Sandpoint, Idaho. White supremacists. Militias.
Barstow confirmed what the Southern Poverty Law Center had found in its report last year: the unhinged and sometimes armed anti-government right that was thought to have vaporized after its Oklahoma apotheosis is making a comeback. And now it is finding common cause with some elements of the diverse, far-flung and still inchoate Tea Party movement. All it takes is a few self-styled “patriots” to sow havoc.
Rich’s NYT editorial then continues on with unsupportable fear mongering that the tea party’s “ideology is far more troubling than the boilerplate corporate conservatism and knee-jerk obstructionism of the anti-Obama G.O.P. Congressional minority.” Basically Rich is saying here that the GOP has no control over the tea party, and they are so crazy that their very existence is “far more troubling” than the national Republican party. While this runs counter to Pelosi’s claim of GOP control of the tea party movement in her interview on ABC’s This Week today, the hysteria in his commentary is particularly odious as the “ideology” Rich is so troubled by is simply a limited government, low spending, low tax, strong national defense point of view – hardly revolutionary ideas. It seems the real problem for Rich is that he considers the national GOP “domesticated” to some extent regarding big government policies, and therefore preferable to the explicitly anti-big government stance of the tea party movement.
It seems clear that Rich’s NYT column today comparing the tea party to terrorists and McVeigh-era militia groups and Robert Wright’s NYT column last week entitled “The First Tea Party Terrorist” are part of a coordinated push on the American left to demonize the the party as terrorist-linked extremists in the runup to the November 2010 elections. Indeed, last week reports surfaced that James Carville, a senior Clinton-era Democratic strategist (who coincidentally used the McVeigh bombing to successfully demonize Newt Gingrich while working for Clinton) is apparently pushing the strategy. One huge problem with Carville and the Democrats’ attempt to recycle the demonization strategy that was so successful for former President Clinton in 1995 is that the tea party movement is not violent nor a militia. No serious violent incidents by tea party protesters were reported despite hundreds, if not thousands, of such tea party protests occurring across America in the past year.
Accordingly, desperate for some facts to hang the Carville smear strategy on, the left has turned to suicide pilot Joseph Andrew Stack, who flew his plane into a federal building earlier this month in Austin, Texas, killing one IRS employee and wounding many others. Rich and Wright both claim that Stack was a tea partier because of his anti-IRS views, but those views seem to be created by the decades of disputes Stack had with the IRS personally, not an outside ideology of anti-government as a whole. Further, Stack’s suicide note manifesto concludes with the following two sentences in praise of Communism:
The communist creed: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.
The capitalist creed: From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed.
By all accounts, the tea party movement draws its ranks from the centrists, independents and above all, conservatives – folks who are not exactly supportive of Communism. Regardless, by omitting these comments in his column today, and following the lead of the NYT’s Robin Wright, CNN, the Washington Post and Time, Rich misrepresents Stack’s actual views as expressed by Stack in order to utilize the tragedy of Stack’s horrific suicide attack to push Carville’s political messaging. Such conduct by Rich and Wright, pushing a smear campaign against the tea party movement with very questionable facts in support, as sanctioned by the NYT editorial page, represents the worst of the establishment media.
Finally, Rich gets in a shot at Sarah Palin by concluding that her association with the tea party movement is “enough to make you wonder who is palling around with terrorists now.” Here Rich is referencing Sarah Palin’s campaign 2008 comment that Obama is “palling around with terrorists” based on Obama’s relationship with Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dorn. Ayers and Dorn admitted engaging in terrorist acts in the 1960’s and 1970’s, while there are no tea party terrorists, despite what the NYT and James Carville would have you believe. The smear of Palin as palling around with terrorists because of her speech at the tea party convention is truly over the top, and should have never made it past the NYT’s editors. Here’s Rich’s conclusion in full:
In his Times article on the Tea Party right, Barstow profiled Pam Stout, a once apolitical Idaho retiree who cast her lot with a Tea Party group allied with Beck’s 9/12 Project, the Birch Society and the Oath Keepers, a rising militia group of veterans and former law enforcement officers who champion disregarding laws they oppose. She frets that “another civil war” may be in the offing. “I don’t see us being the ones to start it,” she told Barstow, “but I would give up my life for my country.”
Whether consciously or coincidentally, Stout was echoing Palin’s memorable final declaration during her appearance at the National Tea Party Convention earlier this month: “I will live, I will die for the people of America, whatever I can do to help.” It’s enough to make you wonder who is palling around with terrorists now.
It appears from Pelosi’s “astroturf” smear today, and the two NYT editorial pieces that explicitly label tea party members as terrorists, the Carville demonization strategy is in full gear, using the tragedy of Stack’s horrific suicide attack as the “evidence” to back the terrorist smear. Considering the recent even-handed reporting by other mainstream media sources about the tea party, it will be interesting to see if the “tea partiers are terrorists” smear gains life beyond the pages of the NYT editorial page and left wing new media sites.
UPDATE: Welcome to the readers of theAtlantic.com who came over from the “Defining the Tea Party” post, thanks for the link John Hudson. Please take a look around, leave a comment or two and let’s have a debate. Thanks.
Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appears to be reading from the summer of 2009’s talking points, smearing the tea party movement as “directed” by the GOP and “astroturf, as opposed to grassroots” this morning on ABC in remarks taped earlier this week, echoing her remarks from the summer of 2009:
And Pelosi still believes Washington Republicans are trying to quietly influence the tea party movement through well-funded, fake grassroots organizations, referred to as “astroturf.”
“The Republican Party directs a lot of what the tea party does, but not everybody in the tea party takes direction from the Republican Party,” Pelosi said. “So there was a lot of, shall we say, Astroturf, as opposed to grassroots.”
And she said she’s not worried about the threat the movement present to her party.
“We’re fully prepared to face the American people with the integrity of what we have put forth, the commitment to jobs and health care and education and a world at peace and safe for our children and with the political armed power to go with it to win those elections,” she said.
Speaker Pelosi appears to be behind the times, even in liberal circles, as while her summer 2009 “astroturf” comments were backed by the mainstream media, in 2010 the media has shifted gears and reports on the tea party movement as an authentic grassroots movement, as in this AP article covering Sarah Palin’s speech at the tea party convention a few weeks back:
Her audience waved flags and erupted in cheers during multiple standing ovations as the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee gave the keynote address Saturday at the first national convention of the “tea party” coalition. It’s an antiestablishment, grass-roots network motivated by anger over the growth of government, budget-busting spending and Obama’s policies.
Palin’s 45-minute talk was filled with her trademark folksy jokes and amounted to a pep talk for the coalition and promotion of its principles.
An AP story this morning also outlines the Pelosi claim on ABC’s This Week that the tea party movement is not an authentic grassroots movement:
WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is questioning whether the conservative “tea party” coalition truly represents a grass-roots movement.
In a broadcast interview, Pelosi calls tea party voters the “astroturf” movement. She says many of those voters have good intentions but that the Republican Party has hijacked the movement for its gain.
Speaker Pelosi is also forgetting the impact the tea party movement had in pushing the GOP to victories in Virginia, New Jersey and most recently Massachusetts, all of which occurred after her original “astroturf” comments in the summer of 2009. If the tea party movement actually was just an artificial, shallow creation of the GOP, and not a true, broad-based, grassroots movement, the surge in voting for GOP candidates since the tea party emerged probably would not have occurred. As tea party activists from all around America contributed to Scott Brown’s Massachusetts Senate election campaign, and when some even made the trek to Massachusetts to work in phone banks, knock on doors and plant signs all around Massachusetts, it is unreasonable to claim such a movement is artificial and fake as the facts simply do not support the claim.
Amazingly, despite smearing them as astroturf, Pelosi also claimed that the Democrats are on the side of the tea party movement at one point in the interview as well:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi believes the tea party movement shares a common enemy with Democrats — the entrenched special interests that feed money into the political system.
“We share some of the views of the tea partiers in terms of the role of special interest in Washington, D.C.,” Pelosi said in a taped interview airing Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.” “It just has to stop. And that’s why I’ve fought the special interest, whether it’s on energy, whether it’s on health insurance, whether it’s on pharmaceuticals and the rest.”
Perhaps Pelosi is not keeping up with the news, because Democratic President Barack Obama, not the GOP, made the backroom deal with Big Pharma, and others, and such backroom deals is a source of disgust to most tea party activists. Further, Obama also lined up almost all of the Fortune 500 behind his cap and trade plans, hardly evidence of Democrats fighting special interest influence. Pelosi also omits any reference to the Democratic kowtowing to unions, who after all are also special interest groups using big money in politics, and Obama most recently evidenced his undying allegiance to unions by placing a pure union political operative, SEIU boss Andy Stern, on his “bipartisan” deficit commission.
Finally, any claim that the Democrats and Obama are trying to combat special interest and big money influence was made inoperative by Obama’s appointment of Julianna Smoot as his White House Social Secretary in the wake of Desiree Rogers’ resignation in disgrace over the party crashers debacle. Julianna Smoot was the President’s chief fundraiser for Obama 2008, and as such was the main point of contact for Obama’s bundlers and big money donors. Now, as Social Secretary, Smoot is in charge of controlling access to the White House, which can only be seen as “good news for wealthy donors to President Obama’s campaign, for whom Smoot — the chief campaign fundraiser — is friend and point of contact.” Smoot also has close ties to convicted bigwig Democratic fundraiser Norman Hsu as Hsu was “one of the most reliable donors from her tenure as finance chair for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.”
All told, Pelosi’s appearance today on This Week, with the renewal of the “astroturf” smear of the tea party movement, is unlikely to bolster Democratic fortunes in the short term or in the November 2010 election. While Pelosi puts on a brave face and declares the Democrats will retain their majority in the November 2010 elections, the continued smears of America’s most vibrant political movement as of today will probably move the needle in the opposite direction.
According to federal officials who spoke with CNN, a pilot intentionally flew his plane, at full speed, into a federal building in Austin, Texas today:
The pilot of the plane had set his house on fire beforehand….a federal official told CNN.
Two F-16’s were scrambled to the Austin, Texas area in the aftermath of the explosion, but it appears now that no other planes are involved. No official word as of yet regarding the identity of the pilot, however, CNN, Fox, and other media are now reporting that the pilot set fire to his own home before taking flight in a plane earlier today, a fire that continues as of 1PM today. The tragic spectacle of an unhinged pilot intentionally flying a plane into a building in America sadly reminds Americans of the horror of 9/11, albeit on a much smaller scale. The plane involved, Cirrus SR22, is a single-engine four-seat aircraft, much smaller than the airlines hijacked by the 9/11 terrorists on that awful day.
All told, it appears the unnamed pilot had a suicide wish, and he proceeded to implement that twisted desire by flying a plane at full speed (as reported by the Austin Statesman) into the side of a building which houses the IRS and other agencies in Austin, Texas. Whether this incident is a terrorist incident or whether there is any connection to overseas organizations is an open question at this hour.
UPDATE: The suicide pilot has been identified as Joseph Andrew Stack, and a lengthy suicide note was left on Stack’s website in which Stack attacks former President George W. Bush with “Bush and his cronies are puppets of plutocrats” and states his disapproval of the “joke we call the American medical system … [that’s] murdering tens of thousands of people a year”. Such sentiments clearly indicates that Stack strongly disapproved of former President George W. Bush and further strongly disapproved of the present American health care system. Indeed, the leftwing new media, the leftwing old media like the NYT and Democrats have often used the same line used by Stack regarding “tens of thousands” of deaths per year caused by the lack of reform of the American health care system.
The primary motivation, however, appears to be Stack’s vitriolic hatred for the IRS, as the building attacked housed IRS agents and his statement in his suicide note that “Well Mr. Big Brother IRS man… take my pound of flesh and sleep well.”
Predictably, the leftwing netroots new media contingent is in full dander, explicitly claiming that Stack was a “teabagger” associated with the Tea Party movement, with the Daily Kos attempting to set the media narrative that the suicide attack by Stack was a result of ideas pushed by “Teabaggers”:
This guy may not have been a member of any organized Tea Party, I have no way of knowing. He may have been a nut with a beef against the IRS. But the kind of crap he spews in this manifesto is just the sort of thing you will hear at a Teabagger rally. Will this be the beginning of further such events, or will the Teabaggers renounce this kind of violence?
Another large leftwing site, Democratic Underground, is also running with the “Suicide pilot is a teabagger” narrative. Of course, none of the leftwing new media sites mention Stack’s attack on former President George W. Bush or his use of the Democrat health care reform talking point regarding the “thousands” who die every year because of the present system. Considering recent reports that the Democrat Party is planning on digging up dirt on Tea Party leaders and otherwise smearing the Tea Party as unhinged extremists in the leadup to the November 2010 elections, it makes sense that the leftwing new media is pushing the clearly unsubstantiated claim that Stack was a tea party member or sympathizer.
However, the most telling part of Stack’s suicide note may be the part that appears at the very end, in bold, regarding the virtues of communism and the vices of capitalism:
The communist creed: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.
The capitalist creed: From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed.
Stack’s clear denunciation of the capitalist system and praise for the communist system, in the last two lines of his suicide note, appear to definitely state a portion of Stack’s ideological makeup. Whether the mainstream media takes its cues from the Daily Kos and Democratic Underground in reporting this horrific attack as the work of a deranged tea partier or whether the mainstream media instead actually reviews Stack’s words and reports on the evidence of his potential motivations objectively will be an interesting test of the media’s level of left wing bias as America moves into a general election season.
UPDATE #2: CBS News becomes the first mainstream media organization to report Stack’s praise of Communism at the conclusion of Stack’s six page long, rambling suicide note. CNN continues, via Rick Sanchez and others, to falsely report that the anti-IRS statements were the conclusion of the Stack suicide note. CBS News headlines the anti-IRS speech, and only reports the conclusion of Stack’s letter in the last paragraph of his suicide note:
He ended with,” The communist creed: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need. The capitalist creed: From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed.”
Coming hot on the heels of Indiana Democratic Senator Evan Bayh’s announcement today that he would not run for reelection in November 2010, speculation is mounting that another senior Democratic Senator, Barbara Mikulski, will herself announce retirement plans this week. Considered a safe Democratic seat before today, Mikulski’s possible announcement later this week could further enhance the GOP’s chances for Senate pickups in the 2010 midterm elections. A tea party-affiliated blogger breaks the news:
I’ve just heard from an impeccable source that Barbara Mikulski, the Democratic Senator who is up for reelection this November, will choose to retire. Mrs. Mikulski is expected to make her formal announcement in the next few days.
Mrs. Mikulski seriously fractured her right ankle last fall just prior to Edward M. Kennedy’s death. Due to the severity of the fracture, she had to have open reduction surgery, that included the insertion of pins, as well as the use of special surgical boots, during recovery. She had tried to arrive in time for Mr. Kennedy’s funeral but was turned away.
Her recovery has been exceptionally slow and she is evidently still in a great deal of pain. Reportedly, she has told her physician that she does not desire to seek reelection. Additionally, friends and family have been saying in the near future she will announce her retirement. Because of the very slow recovery, she has been forced to use a wheelchair, a walker or a cane in order to get around.
One of her complaints is that the health insurance that is provided for Congress is “poor” with high deductibles and “limitations” on coverage. My contact tells me that she told an aide that she should have inserted in the ObamaCare bill an amendment to improve Congressional health insurance!
Mrs. Mikulski was first elected to the Senate in 1986, and thus is a very senior member of the Democratic caucus. Despite this seniority, she has never been offered any important chairmanships or leadership positions. Born on July 20, 1936, she is 74 years old, come July…it is perhaps fitting that she has choose this year to retire.
Her possible announcement along with that of Evan Bayh and Byron Dorgan of ND will the third Democratic Senator announcing plans to retire. This gives the estimate of Michael Barone, a statistician and columnist for the Washington Examiner much more “legs” than previously. Especially when tied to the election of Scott Brown, (R) of Massachusetts.
Mr. Barone has looked closely at the all of the 435 Congressional districts as well as the 33 Senatorial campaigns from the 2008 election. He then took the gubernatorial elections from last November in New Jersey and Virginia as well as the Senatorial campaign in Massachusetts from last month. His conclusion is that only 103 of the 259 Democratic Party’s seats can be considered to be “safe”. Additionally, by his calculation, only 1 of the 17 Democratic Senator’s up for reelection this year can be considered to be “safe” as well (Charles Schumer of NY).
Should Mikulski actually retire, the field would be wide open, and it is expected that former Republican Maryland Governor Robert Ehrlich would enter the race and perhaps instantly become the front runner in the November 2010 race. As of now, former Governor Ehrlich is considering another run at the Governor’s mansion in Annapolis, these considerations would surely change should Mikulski retire. It is clear that the political reverberations from the Scott Brown victory in the Massachusetts Senate special election race continue unabated as seemingly safe Democratic Senate incumbents like Mikulski seriously ponder retirement instead of a facing an incumbent-unfriendly fall race.