Friday, August 13, 2010

Because "Progress" Is The Real American Party

The Interwebs have been buzzing lately about the new "F*ck Tea" campaign from the Agenda Project. The goal, of course, is "to dismiss the tea party and promote the progressive cause." That's according to the group's founder, Erica Payne, "a veteran consultant to progressive groups [and] a co-founder of the Democracy Alliance, the low-profile group of liberal mega-donors who helped build the Center for American Progress and other new organizations that grew in the Bush years."

Well, as the last few years have shown, nothing promotes the progressive cause among voting Americans concerned about trillion-dollar deficits, a failed Stimulus, ObamaCare, and higher taxes more than responding to those concerns with a hearty, dismissive "F*ck you!" Or a video (not safe for work) featuring attractive twenty-somethings in "f*ck tea" shirts, scary protest signs that seem almost quaint after seven civility-lowering years of "Chimpy McHitler," and a picture of George W. Bush himself apparently eating a live kitten. (See the also not-safe-for-work video response here.)

Honestly, I wish I could share the high dudgeon and righteous indignation that so many of my conservative friends feel over this. Sure, it's offensive, but the Agenda Project is selling mugs and t-shirts, after all. And they did have enough sense to at least use an asterisk in their profanity, unlike this guy. And sure, it's lousy politics, intended to make your own side feel better about itself rather than persuade those who don't already agree with you, but considering the electoral blow-out their side is facing come November, I won't begrudge them what small and snarky comforts they can find.

What really catches my attention is the list of "TEA PARTY FACTS" on their website. Like this one:

64% of Tea Party activists think that America's best years are behind us.
Reading that, I immediately thought, "Well, I see why they don't given any link or source for these 'facts' of theirs."* Obviously, this is worded to protray the Tea Party as full of reactionary, backward-looking curmudgeons, but if it's one thing that characterizes the Tea Partiers I know, whether activists or just supporters, it's an unflinching and unapologetic optimism. Do we think America is on the wrong path and heading for decline if the current policies don't change? Absolutely. Do we think American has seen better years than the last two? Guilty as charged. And do we have our occasional moment of despair? Of course. But we don't think that the future is already written or inevitable. We think our best days can still be ahead of us, not behind, which is why we're speaking out and, apparently, annoying the "f*ck tea" people so greatly.
66% think global warming does not exist or will not have a serious impact.
And how many of that 66% actually think global warming does not exist? Who cares?! Because if we lump them in with however many think that global warming does exist but won't lead to a catastrophe of Al Gorean proportions, we can get a really scary number.

And just what does "serious impact" mean anyway? Are we talking my air-conditioning bill going up, or do this mean redrawing all the maps because Colorado is now underwater? Clearly, these 66% of Tea Partiers need to watch The Day After Tomorrow again, because nobody peer reviews science like Hollywood. They even gave Al Gore an Oscar!
57% think George W. Bush was a good President.
Did I mention their video shows a picture of George Bush eating a kitten?
40% think Sarah Palin would also be a good President.
Wait! That means that 60%—a landslide in any election don't think that Sarah Palin would be a good President! Scary!
32% think that violent action against the government could be justified.
This has to be the most incompetent push-poll ever. They actually gave people steeped in American Revolutionary history (and, yes, sometimes myth) a hypothetical "could" question, and 68% still said that violent action against the government could not be justified?
42% want to decrease legal immigration.
So 58%—another landslide in any election—don't want to decrease legal immigration? Oh, scary Tea Partiers, of whom a minority hold a minority view!
41% believe that gay couples should have no form of legal recognition.
So 59% do believe... oh, you get the idea...
45% believe that abortion laws should be stricter than they already are.
And when "stricter" means changing the law so that if a 14-year-old girl has an abortion, one of her parents would be notified after the fact, this is the scariest percentage they could come up with?
59% like Glenn Beck.
Not "agree" with Glenn Beck, mind you. We're talking "like" Glenn Beck.

And you know what? I like Glenn Beck. I disagree with him probably 85% of the time, and I've taken my own shot or two at him here on this blog, but I have no doubt an afternoon BBQ with him would be a lot of fun. Because unlike the "f*ck tea" people, I don't have to agree with someone's politics to like him.

*I actually e-mailed them last night and asked for the source of these facts. No response as of yet.

UPDATE: Three days and change later, still no response about the source of those "TEA PARTY FACTS."