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Dems Desperate Tea Party Smear Campaign

August 14, 2011

Dems’ Risky Tea Party Smear Strategy

By Paul
Kengor

I was sitting in my office, checking my email, minding
my own business, when I was suddenly assaulted by a most bizarre news item:
Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) had blamed the Tea Party for S&P’s downgrade of
America’s credit rating. No, Kerry didn’t blame President Obama, or Congress,
whether the current divided Congress or past Democrat or Republican Congresses,
or even President Obama’s favorite culprit: George W. Bush. He blamed “the Tea
Party.”

My initial thought was that Kerry’s allegation was
fortunately so absurd that even the most emotional, robotic liberals would not
buy this whopper. But then it happened:

Mere seconds later, I started reading the responses to
an article I had just posted on
Vice President Joe Biden allegedly calling Tea Party members “terrorists.” And
there, at the top, was this reader response:

 

The Tea Party is responsible for our country’s credit
rating being downgraded because they are unwilling to offer a solution to our
current budget problems. They can’t offer a plan to cut enough money to balance
our budget, and they won’t compromise on any tax increases to add revenue. Now
we are faced with poor credit that is going to cost taxpayers even more money,
making the already terrible situation even worse. They in fact are terrorists.
They are doing everything they can to destroy
America.

I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. The reader’s
comment shows the power of influence that resides with public officials. When
they make extreme allegations — no matter how unfounded – -they have a direct
impact on the public, especially those blindly loyal to their political
party.

Of course, what’s worse is that Kerry, Biden, and
other Democrats are intending precisely this impact. As Senator Charlie Schumer
(D-NY) recently let slip in a radio interview, there’s a concerted effort by
Democrats to demonize the Tea Party.

But what of such a campaign? Will it
work?

In part, yes. The Tea Party has been steadily
declining in favorability rankings by polling groups, particularly since the
Democrats’ spring offensive. Liberal Democrats have raised themselves a demon,
and with considerable success.

And why wouldn’t their efforts be a success? After
all, what, precisely, is “the Tea Party?” Who runs it? Where is it
headquartered? Where are the membership cards? How do members pay dues? Who is
their candidate for president in 2012? Who is their candidate for vice
president? Who is their candidate for local dog-catcher?

If I were a producer at NPR or CNN or Fox, and I
wanted the “Tea Party person” on my show to ask the location of the party’s
terror cells, who would I call as an official spokesperson?

Or consider the logical extension of the reader’s
comment above: How do “they” in the Tea Party “offer a solution” or “plan” to
the “current budget?” How do “they” “compromise on any tax increases?” Are there
official Tea Party members in Congress, working aside members of the Republican
Party and Democratic Party, who could do this?

Granted, there are a couple of Tea Party websites,
which I didn’t know until I searched: teaparty.net and
teapartypatriots.org.
But who runs them?

My point is that the Tea Party isn’t really a
political party, certainly not when it comes to the kind of enormous powers
liberals are magically ascribing to it. It is a movement more than a party. And
rarely has a movement been so anonymous, so faceless.

Alas, that leads me to two
conclusions:

First, this anonymity is a key reason why the
Democrats’ demonization campaign is bearing ugly, bitter fruit. After all, “the
Tea Party” can’t respond to the character assassination. There’s no character
who can respond.

In that sense, the Democrats’ strategy seems
smart.

Yet, there’s also a major risk in the Democrats’
gambit, which brings me to my second conclusion:

As initial survey data showed (click here), a
sizable portion of the Tea Party movement is non-Republican. A Gallup poll from March 2010
found that 50% of “Tea Party identifiers” were Republicans while 43% identified
as independents and 7% as Democrats. That’s a perfect 50:50
split.

Of course, it was the huge swing group of oblivious
independents/moderates who in November 2008 made Obama president, and elected
the Pelosi-Reid Democratic Congress.

Well, in part, it’s these individuals — so-called
“crossover voters” — that Democrats are assailing when they trash the Tea
Party. If Democrats lose these folks in November 2012, as they did in November
2010, they’ll lose the presidency and Congress. I know people in the Tea Party,
and they are hardly terrorists and racists;
they are very offended at being so maligned.

If you’re a conservative Republican, the Machiavellian
in you might say, “Keep it up, Democrats!”

Well, they’re keeping it up. In fact, they’re ramping
it up.

Gee, whatever happened to those calls for
civility?

It looks like Democrats have decided the best thing
for their party and their country right now is to tar and feather the Tea Party
— whatever they imagine it to be. Good luck, folks. Be careful what you wish
for.

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