Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Wag the Blog Redux: Did the Tea Parties Succeed?

In last week's Wag the Blog, you were asked to weigh in on the effectiveness of the tea parties launched by conservative activists nationwide to protest the growth of government under President Barack Obama.

Specifically, we asked Fixistas whether the tea parties were an indication of a revived conservative movement, a reflection of the lack of true right-wing enthusiasm or something in between.

Boy did you ever respond! The post drew over 500 comments, which ran the gamut from lucid and insightful to Unabomber-esque rants.

Washingtonpost.com politics intern Ethan Klapper waded through each and every one (or so he tells us) and picked some of the best.

"Did the tea parties succeed? Well, if they change votes in future elections they did. Here's a straw poll of one (me). I'm an independent voter, the kind of voter that the tea party folks need to swing. Holding signs that say 'Fascist' and 'Communist' and 'Where's Obama's Birth Certificate' aren't persuasive arguments to me." --Cyclopsina

"The tea parties are but an indication of what is to come. These parties signal the beginning of the end to liberal control of Congress, our lives and our money." --rudeford

"If the goal of the tea parties was to have a forum for middle-aged white people to gather in relatively small numbers to hold up anti-Obama signage, then yes, it was a success."
--JohninMpls

"The tea parties were successful in rallying and energizing a defeated party base. However the tea parties also finished the redefinition of the Republican base that began in the 2008 elections. The Republican base has moved even further to the right whereas the last election shows the country has moved more to the left."
--peteywheatstraw

"The 'bought and paid for' tea bag parties just demonstrated how ignorant a small group of hard core right wing conservatives are. Those with the gold made the rules and these dupes followed. Their arguments and signs made no sense."
--saami

"They were a success in the sense that they solidified the far right alliance against Obama and Congress, and for right wing media's Nielsen/Arbitron ratings. They were a failure in the sense that they convinced the mainstream that this 'movement' is just a farcical construction of right wing demagoguery...."
--mike85

"The tea party worked as intended for all involved. Right-wingers got their word out and got some people to turn out and demonstrate not everyone is in love with Obama.

Left-wingers marginalized it enough to make it seem trite. So, the right can say it succeeded wildly and the left can say it was a dismal failure. Overall, everyone won. Especially the tea manufacturers who have been given an impromptu 'tea bailout'."
-- Overdenkotten

"I agree that any event that has ruffled the feathers of the liberal media, bloggers, etc as much as this has should be qualified as a roaring success."
--Jahswim

"I do not think it was a rebirth of the conservative movement for one reason: the people in attendance were not all Republicans. That said, I do think that this could hurt the Republicans because of some of the comments made. For example, Rick Perry and his like minded Texans love America so much that they are willing to leave the union and form their own country. WOW! We'll see how long they last when the don't have the few U.S. border agents stationed there and no money to fund education." --kristilj

By Washington Post editors  |  April 21, 2009; 4:45 PM ET
Categories:  Wag The Blog  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Can Republicans Win Back Congress in 2010?
Next: White House Cheat Sheet: The Gore-acle's Influence

Comments

It's very obvious that they were successful..not of their own magnitude.. but rather the resounding reaction displayed from the Left's Mouthpieces. Anytime the race card is pulled out.. it's a win for the Right.

Posted by: newbeeboy | April 23, 2009 7:55 AM | Report abuse

Here are 3 guys that Mombo Napolitano should go after as tea party extremist types.

George Washington - A veteran of 2 wars, The French and Indian War and Revolutionary War, he would be suspect.

Thomas Jefferson - He would certainly be a suspect. He was adamant that States rights should not be overshadowed by Federal rights

James Madison - He must be included too. A staunch supporter of religious freedom and also concerned that individual rights might be overshadowed by the Federal Government, thus he insisted on adding the Bill of Rights.

Posted by: leapin | April 22, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

SWAMPYPD - So the Republican's duped all sorts of voters and those voters, listening to the promises of the Democrats, ran to them... and got DUPED! Where is the Obama that ran as a populist? Where are all of those Democrats that were going to do something about job outsourcing? Where are the Democrats about ending the H1-B visa. Oh, yes, and we hear dam* little these days from the Democrats about taxing the wealthy, standing up to corporations and banks. Instead, we see Feinstein cozying up to them, taking millions of dollars in either direct donation or in "business" for her husband. Geithner and Summers take millions more from Wall Street banks, investors, the very companies they "bailed out". And those same companies, via there credit businesses, have been busy jacking up credit card interesest rates on consumers, wrecking credit scores, playing game with whether they will even allow them to make direct payments from their local bank! This latest scam is running amuck right now. Millions of people who formerly were able to make a credit card payment to (say, and an actually real life example) Juniper Bank for their Apple Card, suddenly have had their payments refused. Juniper, without any sort of notification at all, suddenly wont accept those payments and hasn't let the poor slobs who fell into the trap know until their payment would be late! ANd the bank is making money hand over fist by charging late fees and penalties, raising interest rates, etc. The sam scam is, now, being used by other credit card companies and guess who is looking the other way in Washington, is actually taking donations from these outfits? Yep, THE DEMOCRATS - Schumer, Frank, Dodd, Obama's ongoing campaign, and on and on. So, excuse me!, if you want to talk about being duped, about frauds and jerks and scum that are self serving swine, look to the Democratic Party.

Obama and these clodhoppers now own this economy. They cannot point to Bush any more. They bought it, they've made it even worse, they own it! They bailed out GM and it's financial arm, Di-tech, a nest of snakes by anyone's estimation; they help Barkley's (who owns Juniper Bank' credit card division) under their "globalization" Ponzi Scheme; they own it all! Duped? You've been duped and are either too stupid or too knuckle headed to know it.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | April 22, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

To margaret10: Amen to your comments.This tea party thing is over.Soon,and very soon,this farce will find its way to the dungheap of American history...like its 43rd president.I cringe at the thought of the next round of right-wing psychoantics...but we know it's coming.God save America.

Posted by: klowry57 | April 22, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

The Fix to weigh-in on Tea Parties why does it seem like your poll is FIXED/// you say you asked 500 liberals that never attended these Tea Parties what they thought?? President DumBO never heard of the first or second Tea Parties// Tuscon Ariz the third Tea Parties July 4th come out and see for yourself!!!

Posted by: horsun4tjsLEFTY1931 | April 22, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

The republicans DUPED the church community in 2004 and now the republicans DUPEd the radicals and the misunderstood in 2009. Anyone with a fourth grade education could see the free dounuts, coffee, half price ice cream, banners and signs all furnished by Faux News and the republican party was just to stir up about 1% of the people. Rush and company will bring another landslide victory for the democrats.

Posted by: SWAMPYPD | April 22, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

It is amazing to me that, in OUR democracy, an election means nothing to the Party that is not in power. We are behaving like we're living in third world countries where citizens have no respect for the Party in power. Like Condoleeza Rice said: the "Republicans had their chances to make their marks, now the Democrats are in power. Give them a chance to deal with the problems that the country faces". Instead, you have the Republicans lashing out every chance they get because they lost the election. The only thing is they think that the campaign is still going on. That is anti-American. That is not Democracy at work. What are they going to do: overthrow the government. If the Republicans knew so much, why did they let the country fall into a ditch while they were in power for 8 years. They need to be quiet and enjoy the financial success that Bush gave them in taxcuts the past eight years, all the fringe benefits given to lobbyists and big corporations through deregulation. They will have their chances again in the next 4, 8, 16, 40 years when or if they ever recover from their slump.
Today, it was reported in the news that a Freddie Mac CFO killed himself... What's wrong with these people?

Posted by: margaret10 | April 22, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

The tea parties succeeded in bringing me to tears (of laughter). Best laugh I have had in a LONG time. Keep it up! Between teabaggers, racist comments (lookin at you, JakeD) and Cheney, things haven't been this rosy for the good guys in a looong time. Could it be that Repubs will soon be as relevant as the Whigs or Tories? Better polish your monacles and take a good look at yourselves. Muahahahahaha....

Posted by: avidwpreader | April 22, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Just like every rodeo needs clowns, we have the republicans to thank for bringing humor to a very serious time in history. Thanks for the laughs "tea baggers".

Posted by: dutterback2000 | April 22, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

"It's time to IMPEACH OBAMA for failing to prosecute Cheney!"

You really think you're clever, don't you?

Posted by: nodebris | April 22, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

JakeD wrote: "if they ran out of eggs for the Annual Easter Egg Roll, I was simply trying to suggest something else they could use instead."

Next canard?

Posted by: nodebris | April 22, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

I appreciated that Fox News (Hannity, in particular) finally admitted that it is the vehicle of the right-wing lunatic fringe.

Hannity stated that the "mainstream" media is pooh-poohing the so-called tea parties. By doing this he admitted Fox does not represent Mainstream America.

Indeed, the GOP continues to ignore the election results of 2008 and continues its rush (pun unintended) to the right like a pack of lemmings.

These so-called tea parties highlighted how ill-informed, ignorant and just plain whacky the right wing is today. They are just laughable now.

I hope their numbers continue to dwindle. I hope they keep going to the right. As Latinos, African Americans and other minorities continue to grow in voting strength, I can foresee a future for America that really does resemble Jefferson's dream of "all men are created equal".

Go Hannity ! ! ! Go Rush ! ! ! CHARGE ! ! ! To the cliff ! ! !

Posted by: AdrickHenry | April 22, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

What I saw of the tea parties were a show of both Democrats and Republicans who are tired of working hard for their paycheck and having the government take more and more to support those who choose not to work. People who were tired of responsibly balancing their household budgets while the government grows and spends as if they had an endless budget. The thing that gets me the most is the continued use of the race card. If you do not like Obama's policies you are considered racist. I was never considered a racist when I disagreed with any other presidential policies but now that our president is not white; a peson is called a racist should they not agree. The real racist are the ones out there making this an issue of race. I would have loved to have seen Colin Powell run for office and would have voted for him. I do not like Obama because he lacks experience and a viable plan at a time when we need it more than ever. The tea parties were the working Americans way to say stop taxing us to death. Maybe the turn outs were lower because so many were at work to support those entitlies that think we should work to support them. I do not mind helping anyone who is trying to help themselves but you have to draw a line at some point or we will all be broke. Who ends up taking congress in 2010 will depend strongly on the number of working class verses the entitled that get out to the polls. The next election choices will be strongly based on the economy and taxes.

Posted by: MyOwnThoughts | April 22, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

NO NOT AT ALL ------ BUT ONE MIGHT WONDER WHO IS BEHIND THIS?

In my home state Oklahoma I was informed that less that 200 participated. Now guys and gals tell me where does that small a number of folks draw national attention to be recanted, revisited, rewritten rebroadcast over and over again NOW WHERE but here in our USA.

So then one with a brain would ask WHY? The fat cats own the press too in our USA.

Dwight Baker Chairman THE VOICES FOR WE THE PEOPLES ADVOCATES ---WTPA for Grass Roots Actions needed for forming our own truth filled lobby in Washington DC to power punch our VOICES and VOTES of the people for our rights to life in acts of equity with Justice.
Co-founder Bondservants of Christ Jesus Ministries serving the needs in the DR CONGO
PO BOX 7065 Eagle Pass, TX 78853
Tel/fax 1-830-773-1077


Posted by: dbaker00711281944 | April 22, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

ddawd writes
"The Boston Tea Party would have been a footnote if not for the tyranny of the British government. People got on board when conditions went south. Conditions are bad now, but no one blames Obama for it. If things improve, no one will remember those tea parties."

If things don't improve, nobody will remember the 'tea parties' either. They're pointless. If somebody demonstrates some actual leadership and presents a viable alternative, history might remember that. But these childish tantrums where people buy tea and dump it out in 'protest' are ridiculous. What's the point?

Posted by: bsimon1 | April 22, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

"Reading 500 comments would be beneath the dignity of a mainstream journalist.

Buying a dead tree paper at the going rate would be beneath the budget of a mainstream human being."

Wow, what a sniveling little prick.

Posted by: DDAWD | April 22, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

From this perch it looks like demonstrators succeeded in making a big splash and in convincing onlookers that all Republicans are teabaggers.

Posted by: FirstMouse1 | April 22, 2009 8:16 AM | Report abuse

The puppet of the left is at it again. His statements now have an expiration date shorter than milk. Another victory for killers. Another step weaker for America.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | April 22, 2009 7:18 AM | Report abuse

The next time you read something to the effect that mainstream media like WaPo any NYT are dying, consider:

"Boy did you ever respond! The post drew over 500 comments, which ran the gamut from lucid and insightful to Unabomber-esque rants.


"Washingtonpost.com politics intern Ethan Klapper waded through each and every one (or so he tells us) and picked some of the best."

Reading 500 comments would be beneath the dignity of a mainstream journalist.

Buying a dead tree paper at the going rate would be beneath the budget of a mainstream human being.

Posted by: douglaslbarber | April 21, 2009 10:10 PM | Report abuse

"The real effect is the number of people polled who sympathize or agree with those protestors -- 53%. And THAT, drindl and the rest of you, ought scare the h*ll out of you."

I don't know about scaring the hell out of me, but that is a worrisome figure. You have to wonder about it, though. It's not like Obama is doing a whole bunch of stuff out of the blue. All this was hashed out during his campaign.

Perhaps people are fickle? Nooooooo

Posted by: DDAWD | April 21, 2009 9:14 PM | Report abuse

In Maine's largest city, Portland, 250 protesters showed up. In Bangor (in the top 3 largest cities in Maine!), 300 showed up.

What a success! LOL

Posted by: KayInMaine | April 21, 2009 9:03 PM | Report abuse

The plans of the F-35 Lightening that were hacked have been going on for 2 YEARS NOW. How is this Obama's fault? Oh that's right! You ninnies are blaming everything that happened over the last 8 years on Obama instead of Bush! Nevermind.

Go to your tea party. Bring a dunce cap. You're gonna need it!

Posted by: KayInMaine | April 21, 2009 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Today's news is an embarrassment of riches. CNN is reporting that *all* of the plans and technical data for our newest fighter jet, the F-35 Lightening, has been "hacked". Now it is being reported that those hacks and that data theft was from India guest workers, H1-B workers, actually, who were working here on that project. It seems the Russian's and India have a top secret joint project to build a jet that they mean to sell on the international arms market and the stole the plans for our F-35 for "business reasons". Ah, and Obama issued another 198,000 H21-N visas just last month so we can be crawling with more Indian spies. AND we get to pay for it, too! Those "guest workers" will result in 198,000 American technology workers loosing their jobs. Thank you President Obama!

And... Obama's Justice Department is dropping espionage charges against two Israeli because, ta-dah!, a Democratic Representative from California was caught conspiring with them! Well, that's one way of avoiding a trial for treason.

Tea Party's indeed! Where do we sign up?

Posted by: mibrooks27 | April 21, 2009 7:57 PM | Report abuse

mibrooks27:

I was getting my info from participants self-reporting on their web site (which has inherent flaws as well).

Posted by: JakeD | April 21, 2009 7:34 PM | Report abuse

...another poll, this time Rassussen, "51% View Tea Parties Favorably, Political Class Strongly Disagrees":

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/general_politics2/51_view_tea_parties_favorably_political_class_strongly_disagrees

I would remind the chattering class here, the "True Believers" in Obama, that you can either be out in front of movements, leading them, or you can get in the way and simply be run over. The Tea Protests are a movement and sophomoric name calling on the web, idiotic pronouncements by fools like Rob Emmanuel that these protestors are "dangerous fanatics", and smug self serving pronouncements by none too clean Democratic politicians and media hacks, and a whole of other foolishness, is going to result in wrecking Obama's entire agenda and the rapid dismantling of the Democratic Congressional majority.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | April 21, 2009 7:32 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure where ANYONE gets ANY figure for the number of attendees at the tea protests. No one, other than the NYT's in New York, did anything like a count and you can be certain that the Times invents their numbers. Nope. The real effect is the number of people polled who sympathize or agree with those protestors -- 53%. And THAT, drindl and the rest of you, ought scare the h*ll out of you. Through a series of missteps, Obama has alienated an increasing number of voters. If he keeps it up, his approval numbers (and chances of any legislative action) will be gone before this summer. To be sure, there are a lot of hysterical left wing nuts, like that lunatic Democratic Chairman from New England, calling for war crime trials, gun control, open borders and amnesty for the illegal immigrants we have now, and much much more that is abhorrent to anyone but their fellow left wing nuts; all of that is merely waving flags and attracting headlines that are making the matter worse.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | April 21, 2009 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: JakeD | April 21, 2009 6:53 PM | Report abuse

"If there were "only" 200,000 participants at the TEA Parties, that's still a success. The Boston tea party in 1773 was "only" a group of 30 to 130 men."

What's the over/under on whether we'll be reading about this in 200 years?

The Boston Tea Party would have been a footnote if not for the tyranny of the British government. People got on board when conditions went south. Conditions are bad now, but no one blames Obama for it. If things improve, no one will remember those tea parties.

Posted by: DDAWD | April 21, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

It's time to IMPEACH OBAMA for failing to prosecute Cheney! If Articles of Impeachment won't force Obama's hand, then maybe the NEXT President will ...

Posted by: JakeD | April 21, 2009 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: JakeD | April 21, 2009 6:23 PM | Report abuse

For all those who don't think the TEA Parties "succeeded" how about this: I am (honestly) willing to support impeachment of Obama if he doesn't turn Cheney over for prosecution. Will any of you sign a petition for that or not?

Posted by: JakeD | April 21, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

drindl:

I am actually "retired" with plenty of time to waste on the WaPo threads.

Posted by: JakeD | April 21, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

It certainly wasn't "overt" and my intention was only to comment on WaPo threads on the subject (I was not bringing it up). Back on topic:

If there were "only" 200,000 participants at the TEA Parties, that's still a success. The Boston tea party in 1773 was "only" a group of 30 to 130 men.

Posted by: JakeD | April 21, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

I see Jake has taken over for zouk as the otherwise unemployed village idiot here.

Posted by: drindl | April 21, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

LOL, Jake. Good one, you slimy little creep.

Posted by: drindl | April 21, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

That remark (as JRM2 knows) was in the context of using eggs to trap actual racoons on the White House grounds, and if they ran out of eggs for the Annual Easter Egg Roll, I was simply trying to suggest something else they could use instead. Oranges, grapefruit, limes would have worked too.

Posted by: JakeD | April 21, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse

"I also have never made any overt racist remarks, lately or not.

Posted by: JakeD | April 21, 2009 5:19 PM "
----
Really, it wasn't even very clever, just tired old bigot-speak.

Posted by: JRM2 | April 21, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Ugh, typical. watermelons. It's so predictable. Every so-called 'conservative' is a racist. It's all about hate to them... nothing else.

Posted by: drindl | April 21, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

"Instead of the Easter Egg roll, are they going to use watermelons this year?

Posted by: JakeD | February 25, 2009 4:40 PM"
-------------
Anybody else here think this is a racist remark?

Posted by: JRM2 | April 21, 2009 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Less than 200,000 attended all tea parties, which considering the weeks of free 24/7 promo they got on fox and MSM outlets, pathetic.

What they did succeed in doing however, other than amusing us with the photos of fools bedecked in tea bags, was demonstrating that the republican party is now reduced to incoherent ranting and empty slogans they repeat but don't even understand the meaning of.

Ever see the movie 'Idiocracy"? That about sums up the state of the party today.

Posted by: drindl | April 21, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

JRM2:

Even if my taxes went down, and Social Security payment went up, I'm not that selfish to refrain from point out the government taxes and wastes too much. I also have never made any overt racist remarks, lately or not.

Posted by: JakeD | April 21, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone else read a recent article about former President Bush adjusting to his new life in Dallas? I can't seem to find it on-line.

Posted by: JakeD | April 21, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

"I'm too busy hunting bees.

Posted by: JakeD"
---
Thrown out any more overt racist remarks lately JakeD?

Posted by: JRM2 | April 21, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

These parties only succeeded in solidifying Fox News as the extremist voice of the GOP and as the number one cable news network (thanks to its mindless right wing viewing base). That's it.

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: parkerfl1 | April 21, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

If the TEA party attendees truly represent the American populace then 95% of the people in attendance just received the biggest middle-class tax cut in over forty years.

So their point was?

Posted by: JRM2 | April 21, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

JRM2:

I'm too busy hunting bees.

Posted by: JakeD | April 21, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Jaiello78: Isn't that convenient that your new found religion coincides with Obama's election?

Posted by: JRM2 | April 21, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Why don't you ask Neil Cavuto?, he's good at coming up with numbers.

Posted by: JRM2 | April 21, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

The Tea parties were a beginning of a grassroots movement to bring back responsible government to this country. The framers never expected that we would have a professional ruling class. Our representatives would be our neighbors and they would only be in government for a brief time and then they would return to their farms and businesses. But, now we have a ruling class that makes laws they don't live by. They pass tax law that exempts them or they just ignore them.

The real goal of the tea parties was not to protest taxes but the misuse of the taxes by wasteful government spending. The next round of tea parties are planned for July 4th. Taxes will not be the issue but out of control spending will be. We will continue to hold these tea parties until our representatives realize that we are watching and want change.

If you agree, I invite you to visit my website at www.nobailoutsforgrasshoppers.com or post a comment at http://nobailoutsforgrasshoppers.blogtownhall.com

An Angry Ant

Posted by: Jaiello784 | April 21, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Have we decided whether it was 250,000 or 650,000+ that attended TEA Parties?

Posted by: JakeD | April 21, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

I will have to vote: YES!

Posted by: JakeD | April 21, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company