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Teabagger organizing vs. Left organizing

By Al Schumann on Thursday August 19, 2010 11:33 AM

Organizing Teabaggers is easy, if you have the cash and the stomach for it. They don't represent a radical tendency. Their program for change is satisfied by dog in the manger spectacle, security theater and Fox News bear baiting. Their leadership is satisfied with media attention and a bit of trickle down power. They have well established social networks that closely, and not coincidentally, resemble consumer pressure groups and they're working with structures that want to keep their patronage (cash, free labor, votes). Maybe ten percent of them give a damn about a "small government" that actually governs less. The rest only want to protect privilege and relative status. They're useful to capitalism.

A Teabagger organizing comparison to Left organizing is not really workable, if by Left one is referring to the small percentage of self-identifying lefties who do represent a radical tendency. The best comparison is to subordinate Democratic Party harvesting groups, e.g. MoveOn, which are successful and which resemble them in everything but the content of their marketing.

Comments (29)

In other words, the astroturf is always greener...

Nicely put.

One thing further, the teabaggers employ (or are manipulated by) first rank professional PR and political organizers. That's how they get so much media access. Publicists with news org contacts plying the wires.

The left has to struggle to get noticed. Think how many dfh's marched in the streets not just here but around the world when GWB and the right and the media were banging the drums for war against Saddam. And how little news media attention they got. Then compare how a few loudmouths at townhalls monopolized the news cycles for week—because the media were alerted and knew there would be a story of conflict and 'speakers' with ready talking points were ready to go on the cable shows and shout and argue ad hominem against any gainsayers.

Peaceful marching doesn't have as much zazz!

Jim H.

True, you rarely see Unitarians or Quakers tipping over police cars or tossing Molotovs.

Is it just me, or do the baggers get a lot more personal interviews than, say, war protesters ever have?


"what's our position, here at unichemiagribank? personally i think the tea party activists say it best: 'hey you regulators, GET OFF OUR LAWN!'"

what is the reason to materially support the counterargument? margins are too low to suck money from local real economies. the rent-seeking rose is overseas in that dept.

Al Schumann:

Hapa, precisely! Well said. It would be and is better for any left organizing to fly completely under the radar. Frankly, if it got media attention and institutional fair play I would be very concerned.


"margins are too low to suck money from local real economies"

' seeking margins max '

that motivational corporate lever
moves the planet's hot spots economy
has moved the planet's hot spots economy
will continue to move the planet's
hot spots economy

to electric Al's consistent dismay
we gainsaying jerks of left or right
grazing here
on the metropole's public
big character info-lawn
act like the pissed off consumers
we are


as usual lately i'm inclined not to answer that for fear of giving a wrong impression, positive or negative



as mjs is off somewhere "north"
--fine with me ...so long as its not vermont--
perhaps boxing the sphere
with a whale shark

here's my post in a vest pocket addition inside electric Al's mouthful
--ala jonah ---


"If this disaster were preventable and we knew how to get out of it, why didn't our leaders try to stop it before it happened?"

" Why don't they take the steps necessary now to get the economy moving again?"

two great questions by dean baker
over at counterflush :

his answers ??

well to why the lot bubble wasn't pre empted

he's okay so we're okay:

" The reason that there was little interest in cracking down on the housing bubble is that Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and the rest were making a fortune from the financial shenanigans that fueled the bubble"

he might add the little guy's
mortgage to hell
as short term atm gimmick
added a nice spritz to effective demand
there for a couple of "recovery years "
while the trade gap yawned
but eck ...he gets a big piece of the picture

on the other hand
as to question number two..ie
why the stag party now ...ugh

seems according to dino
"the big money crew".
no wait first he takes a shot from another agnle

"Of course, when the bubble did finally blow and threaten their banks with bankruptcy, the Wall Street crew just ran to the government for help. And they got trillions of dollars in loans and loan guarantees to ensure that they would not be victims of the crisis they had created. Now that they are back on their feet, with Wall Street profits and bonuses both again at near record levels, they see little reason to concern themselves with the measures that might set the economy right for the rest of us."


so stag not recovery for the biggos is why
if not necessary prefered to a fast recovery ??

why is a stag as good as
better then
a recovery for bottom lines at the global reach
glass towers ??

" the steps necessary to revitalize the economy could mean some inflation."

oh no dean nooooo !!!!
completely aweful stupid assine jerky stick crapola

the fast road to domestic recovery
is not bad for the silk hat's

because "inflation" now
"..would reduce the value of the debt owned by the wealthy. And the wealthy don't see any reason that they should risk any of their wealth just for the good of the economy."

one can only shake one's head

the roar from behind the curtain thrills
but when the curtain is drawn

meet mr field mouse

you'd thionk dean would be curious and voracious enough
to want far far juicier meat to rip apart here

real debt reducing inflation ???

that's a fear for
some thread bare
lace curtain spinster

not even
a rich old victorian thief's
great great great grand kids
fear ...inflation
they got portfolio diversity eh ??

they know how to make
their capital work for em
in high times and low

so gang what's the REAL reason we got a stag here

why be it
yellow flag time
on the cracker barrel speed way



then there's my pen pal
" yer shittin me "
he's blowin the ram's horn again:

"As the stimulus runs out, unemployment will rise, deleveraging and debt liquidation will gain momentum, and the economy will succumb to a second vicious contraction. Digging out will not be easy"

oh do i wish it were ever so ..dear comrade

but alas not to be

mike's studio wrestlin' hype
--honorable fog horn as it always is
...even in bright noon sun shine ---
misses the main point

we got stag here mates
and if we start to recontract
it will be countered ....just enough

mike at one point in his rain dance sings
"Welcome to Japan"
well mike
and that means ...

yup staggering along the zero curb
between inflation and deflation
a drunk stumbling and recovering stepping over and down and then with a waver of the torso
stepping back up and onto the side walk
only to ..a few paces later... .plunk

could go on like this
for quite a spell i reckon.... eh ??


but for most of the global player economies all else is NOT equal. just that same year we saw the trade system beat by oil price and the political system stumble over food price; and few want the weather to worsen. black swans are multiplying like jellyfish.


"black swans are multiplying like jellyfish."

you see beyond my horizon line then happy

progress spawning up ahead
in the depths
i'm sure its there
over the far curve
of the browner planet

Al Schumann:

Owen, at risk of telling you something you already know, the nembutal lurching of Uncle is consistent, but the less well-insulated players are sent reeling by the swans. Localized systemic collapse and the huge migrations that follow change the rules. Uncle can turn to garrison actions for a while, though not forever. The bull goose banksters and their ilk can feed on the little ones, again for a while. The successful counter models, e.g. Chavez, Hezbollah, Fourth World organizing inter alia, are progressive in the real sense of word, but here would require the collapse of Uncle to gain any traction. Is that happening?


"the collapse of Uncle ??"

and for that as father S suggests
we need first
the collapse of the Democrat party


"Disaster Capitalism" sums up a lot of what you blokes are saying. And Disaster Cap easily morphs from profiting on decay to violently suppressing it. And that's where it ends, and resistance begins. Even in Greece, the pig devouring its own cycle isn't over yet. When Albanians return to Albania because it's no worse than Greece, then it starts to get interesting.

Al Schumann:

Senecal, I agree, and would add something. A crisis of rising expectations can provoke resistance too. The failure of Left organizing is grounded in too much attention to raising consciousness, in a context where consciousness makes life harder, and not enough attention to the material framework in which said consciousness could broadly prosper. The atomization of the Left can be traced, in large part, to the fact that when it comes to putting roofs over our heads and food on our families, we're all on our individual own.


"The failure of Left organizing is grounded in too much attention to raising consciousness, in a context where consciousness makes life harder and not enough attention to the material framework in which said consciousness could broadly prosper"

"we're all on our individual own"
these exemplars
come quickest to mind :

isolated or sectified
would be union militants
full of piss and vinegar
but with absurdly little experience
utterly no over arching organization
and no practical strategy

among much else and perhaps most essentially

...we have a party problem

and without a party there can be no cadre

ronin cadre might as well be
young americans for freedom


comment tag as post in absentia

latest installment of
'world historical morphs '
according to
mattchuck cum-woody esq

musical question:

"Where Have All the African Revolutionaries Gone?"

a spur to deep ponderation:

"... armed conflict in Africa has taken on a decreasingly ideological character in recent decades.You still have rebels, but you have fewer revolutionaries. "

after tacit considerations galore
a conclusionary generalization:

"I’d say global politics has in general become less ideological in most places."
(since the collapse of the Soviet Kamp)


"US domestic politics ..."

????????????????????????????????? ...!!!!

that aside here's
Matt's roll call of non ideolgical conflicts :

"...the domestic politics of European countries ... geopolitical rivalries
... intrastate conflict in Africa."

poor woodhead he mistook kold war form
for substance ...and now ??

wait first an insight :

" My impression is that politics wasn’t especially “ideologically” before the late 18-th century .."

we can blame it all on ...the french revolution !!!!

hoper projects:

" perhaps post-1991 we’re just returning to the long-term norm "

seems substance once more eludes
our gopher hole merlin
and to think its by the same old stunt
a simple change of form

comrades do you hear that other voice
---a blast from the past--
in frisky youthful mode
responding ???

"The history of all hitherto existing
is the history of class struggles"

*** state centered society


"My sense, obviously, is that a lot of the people who want monetary tightening start from a prejudice — they just dislike the idea of easy money — and then look for some arguments to back up that prejudice. And that’s no way to do economics."
that's paul krugglenacht
playing dumb ???
or does he really think all these ace reactionary pro corporate econ cons
are prescirbing we suffering the harrows
of stagnation
out of ....personal "prejudice " ???

a Polinian knee jerk
to easy money

no links provided while
the perry white cat's away
philandering with yellow jackets
and the skirts of pine boughs
my response to calls for refences
"hey don't ya trust me ??
fee simple creep "

"Disaster Capitalism" sums up a lot of what you blokes are saying

Oh jesus k. riced... Thank gawd for Glossy Karl's little grand-niece, who packaged Glossy Karl in a nice Consumerism-Friendly (TM) gift basket. Tell us, Naomi, how many "disasters" your family fortune is premised upon!

I'm pretty sure that the truth is a lot uglier than Ms Klein would have us believe. She can't abide the death of Nordstrom!

Oxtrot, you never have a point, except ad hominems. What a colossal turd you are. Why are you lurking on these boards, in fact? Betty F. put you in the FBI for lesser sons program?



oxy is our resident oscar
i find him soothing

and i suspect he hides are more insightful side
because here
where the vitriole never burns thru
he likes expressing this side of himself

but who knows maybe like me
he really is an ass hole
with an undivided nasty heart

One also wonders what's "glossy" about Herr Marx, who was probably the least smooth and shiny personage in human history.

Dawson, you should note from your own comments on mine how it is you (and others like you) who provide the gloss.

Thank you. Buff him up nicely, now. Remember, there was no truth before The Karl, there is no truth after The Karl... there is only The Karl. In Gloss be his name. Hallelujah.

Yeah, he's not glossy because ... because ... because .... Oh yeah, because you were defending Naomi "credit cards are glorious!" Klein... sorry.

Al Schumann:

Credit cards are glorious. Or could be, anyway. Karl Marx had dozens of them. As soon as he maxed one out, he'd have Engels get him a new one. What a rascal! Walter Bagehot was appalled by that, miserable moralist that he was, and arranged for his library privileges to be revoked. But that couldn't stop the Old Moor. Naomi Klein's great great grandfather was a dear friend and arranged to have him smuggled into the Round Reading Room after hours. Sometimes they'd dress funny and pull practical jokes on the Young Hegelians (n longer young by then, but still sorely in need of cream pie and whoopy cushion treatment).

I'm not sure where glossy comes into it, but certainly the Left can do no harm in attempting to emulate their jolly style. I've made a point of it, myself.


oxy oxy oxy


just what about this gal gets you hairy ??

Oxy has a jealousy issue. He doesn't quite know how to do what Klein, Chomsky, and Marx do, so he tries to crap up on them.

Crapping upward rarely works.

Dignified Dinner bell:

The link posted by op on 8/24/10 at 10.34pm doesn't work, or perhaps works only for members of some inner circle.

What about the news that Ken Mehlman has a sexual orientation!
Who da thunk it?

Wait, wrong comment area.

Al Schumann:

Ken Mehlman doesn't have any such thing! And it's a mistake to anthropomorphize him. He's a wingnut apparatchik. As such he may make use of his genitals, with or without company, but this can hardly be called sexual, regardless of how it's oriented.

Here's a copy that broken link picture.

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