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ElRay has posted an interesting diary which sparked some thinking on my part.  Thank you, ElRay.  I started to respond to your diary, but the response got so long I decided that maybe it needed to be a diary standing alone.  However, you get full credit for bringing up the issue and for sending me off on my little tangent.

Not all tea partiers are racist hatemongers.  I'm certainly annoyed at the tea party movement, and have posted my share of criticisms of their simple-minded approach of being "mad as hell and we're not going to take it anymore, but come to think of it we don't actually have any helpful suggestions to fix the problem, assuming that we actually understand what the problem IS as opposed to what our SUPPOSITIONS are."  However, I actually know a fair number of tea party types through other websites.  
More after the jump ...

Quite a few of them are basically nice people, many of them military veterans, and hardworking blue collar types who are often also deeply religious.  In short, quite a few are what could be called rednecks.  That's okay.  I'm basically a redneck, too, just one who went to college and law school and has always thought people should be judged on how they treat others and not on their looks, religion, ethnicity, color, or all the other superficial crap on which people judge each other.

It's plain wrong to assume that a tea partier - or as we at dKos like to derisively call them "teabaggers" - are all racist or unreachable.  What I have noticed first and foremost about my tea partier friends is that most of them are NOT racist, at least not to their way of thinking, but are often blind to the subtle racism exhibited by some members in the hierarchy of their very fractious movement, which in turn flows over into the way they talk about the issues.  They don't necessarily get that racism doesn't only consist of calling African Americans the N word or donning KKK outfits and running them out of town.  In fact, several tea partiers of my acquaintance are deeply offended by the suggestion that they hate black people.  As rednecks have done over the decades they also distinguish between the black folks they know and work with or who served in their units in the military and the "other" black folks, the ones who seem to want so much.  Being strongly in favor of law and order, for instance, they are loath to agree that the police could target someone for racial reasons and not because of some criminal act.  They tend to be harsh in their assessments of people accused of crime, convinced that such people have everything coming to them.  

Due to a family member deploying to Iraq several years ago I started to hang out at a number of military websites.  When military blogging (milblogging) took off during the early days of the Iraq conflict I became a regular reader of milblogs.  More people at dKos would probably benefit from reading milblogs and I would suggest starting with Doonesbury's excellent milblog called "The Sandbox", which acts as a clearinghouse for diaries from other milblogs, but which also accepts original material.  There are also several websites out there devoted to service members, their families, and military veterans.  It is at some of these sites that one can find the most reactionary rhetoric.  Tea partiers are often very active members of these sites.  These aren't astroturfers, but the real grassroots of the tea party movement.

Eventually, I started posting on message boards at these sites under a different screen name than Catzmaw, and made no secret of my liberal/progressive leanings.  This initially got me troll-rated, but interestingly enough, since I kept my rhetoric respectful toward the other members even as I criticized the Bush Administration and Gitmo and all the other stuff that a true blue progressive would be upset about they began to engage me more on the ideas and started to reveal a more personal side to themselves.  Before I knew it I was e-mailing back and forth with people who never wasted any time telling me how dead wrong I was about everything even as they asked after my health, offered me recipes and their favorite LOLCats pictures, and discussed everything from their weight loss programs to their new tattoos to their travel plans.  In fact, at least two of them plan to meet up with me this year as they come to the DC area.  One is meeting family members here for a tour of Washington and environs and the other laughingly told me that he's coming here in a few months with some of his "right wing conservative government hating friends."  He's hoping we can get together for coffee and a meal so I can meet his wife.

So, here is my helpful conclusion:  

  1.  TEA PARTIERS ARE HUMAN BEINGS.  Some of them are actually quite bright human beings, even as those bright ones have sometimes checked their innate analytical abilities at the door of their sincere religious/ideological belief.  Many Tea Partiers are veterans of the U.S. Military.  Among the ones I know are both male and female veterans of every conflict from Vietnam to the present, and some of them have paid a heavy price for their devotion in the form of lasting disabilities and PTSD.  
  1.  TEA PARTIERS ARE AFRAID THAT THE COUNTRY IS ON THE WRONG PATH.  Well, duh, we knew that already, didn't we?  But did we know WHY they think this?  I'm no psychologist, but here's a stab at it.  They like their certitudes.  Most are religious and they like the certitude offered by literal understanding of the Bible or adherence to all the rules and regulations of the more patriarchical aspects of Christianity.  From their point of view there are rules, dammit, and everyone should know those rules and it's beyond comprehension why anyone would even disagree with those rules.  This wouldn't be a problem, except that many belong to churches which preach the paradoxical position that: a) the United States is a Christian nation and should be run as such; and b) the Government should stay out of people's lives because it'll only screw up everything because the gubmint has been taken over by the radical left, which has a secret agenda to socialize everything.  These attitudes are reinforced constantly by their pastors and the only station any of them will listen to, Fox News.  
  1.  TEA PARTIERS ARE OFTEN VERY UNINFORMED ABOUT WHAT PROPOSED LEGISLATION REALLY SAYS, and are often completely unaware of the background behind such legislation.  They think in generalities - they're generally opposed to the government interfering in their lives, they're generally opposed to the government telling them what to do or where to go or how to live, they're generally worried that their children will not have a chance at prosperity and lay the responsibility for this failure at the government's door.  When asked for specifics to support these general feelings which in turn have morphed into their willingness to take action and protest, many cannot get beyond a cryptic example gleaned from Fox News or their leadership but which they cannot actually place in context or explain.  
  1.  MOST GRASSROOTS TEA PARTIERS ARE ACTUALLY GOOD-HEARTED PEOPLE WHO TRY TO GIVE BACK TO THEIR COMMUNITIES.  This is true of even the most anti-government people I've communicated with over the years.  It's a mistake to think that they are driven purely by self-interest or that they are inherently selfish people.  Many of them give a lot of their money and time to their church sponsored charities and to other causes they deem worthy of their time and money.  For instance, the man who's coming to town in a few months.  He's a combat wounded former Marine Vietnam veteran who suffers every day from the effects of his wounds and PTSD.  He'd tell you he hates the government, that he felt betrayed by Bush to such an extent he quit the Republican party, that he'd never vote for anyone who supports "babykilling", that he regards Obama as a socialist/Nazi/abortion-lover, that gay marriage is morally wrong, and that the government has no justification at all to be involved in any way with health care.  Wow, sounds like a hopeless case of teabaggery run amok, doesn't he?  Not so fast.  Peel away a few layers and you find that he has a lesbian daughter whose progressivism leaves me in the dust.  He believes fervently that she's wrong in her political beliefs and he's hopelessly confused about WHY she's a lesbian when he tried so hard to raise her in his conservative faith.  However, he hasn't written her off.  He has in fact welcomed her spouse into his home and is very fond of her.  He condemns abortion, but he also DOES something about it, sponsoring young pregnant women and assisting them with adoption services or with assistance in finding jobs, getting childcare, and learning about child development.  He contributes lavishly to collections for people with catastrophic health issues.  In this way he's very much like the other people I've met online.  Many of them are the first to volunteer money or goods for people in trouble.  Their problem is with bringing the government into the discussion.  Many are oddly, obstinately, convinced that if we simply made health care coverage available to all the government would screw it up somehow because the "government always screws things up."  

So, what to do about the tea partiers?  Once again, I don't mean the astroturfers. They're a bunch of cynics looking after their wallets and exploiting peoples' vulnerabilities.  I mean the ordinary folks with whom the tea party message resonates.  First, and I've been guilty of this too, perhaps we should refrain from calling them "teabaggers".  It's offensive.  Sure, they started out calling themselves that, but it was only because they weren't aware of the term's colloquial sordidness.  Second, ENGAGE them in discussion and debate and not in shouting matches.  Now, I understand it's difficult.  Tea partiers have been seduced into thinking that if they just shout loud enough they'll get their way, even if they're not sure what their way is.  The solution ISN'T to shout louder or to call them names.  It's to appeal to their sense of civility (MANY are Southerners and actually harbor a sense that one should not behave uncivilly toward other people and they just need to be gently reminded of that fact).  Once the shouting has died down we should be searching for common ground.  Tea partiers are often lower income people from states particularly hard hit by the recession.  Many of them and their families are suffering, but they take pride in "not asking the government for any handouts."  The appeal should take into account that we're not asking the government to hand anything to anybody, but to even the playing field.  They understand concepts like fairness.  Since so many are ex-military and/or on Medicare it's perfectly acceptable to point out how well their government run health care services work.  

Third, when I speak of engagement I mean that the debate has to be brought to terms which tea partiers understand and agree with.  Appeal to their sense of obligation to others by asking how a country which was allegedly founded as a Christian nation can turn its back on the poor and suffering.  Appeal to their sense of fiscal conservatism by pointing out how much productivity and flexibility is lost through the current health care crisis.  Tea partiers love small businesses and self-starters.  Talk to them about how much the current health care crisis is impeding the ability of others to go out and START businesses or maintain them due to health insurance costs.  

Of all the things angering me about the way the Democratic Party approaches things it's the reliance on ad agency techniques to develop messages.  Everything has the appearance of artifice and manipulation.  WHY are we using the same methods as the astroturfers?  WHY AREN'T we discussing these bread and butter issues as bread and butter issues?  Why aren't we explaining to tea partiers how their interests actually mesh with what the Dems are trying to do?  I saw an example of this when Al Franken was first seated and he was accosted by tea partiers at some state fair, determined to confront him on the issue.  He responded very respectfully to them, turning the tables on their opposition by using real world examples of failures in the current system.  The video is impressive because he got them to listen to him and understand his position rather than just fighting with them.  

If the Dems want their message heard then they're going to have to start explaining it on a far more basic, understandable level.  Progressives should inform themselves on the issues, read the polls AND the crosstabs and be ready to explain in cogent English just why and how tea partiers should support what they're trying to do.  It would be helpful if we didn't lump them all together into a monolithic block called "teabagging racist haters", too.  There are always fringe elements in every movement.  Ever attend an anti-war rally with its little clumps of self-styled anarchists, socialists, communists, and conspiracy enthusiasts sprinkled about?  Agree with all of them, did you?  No, of course not, any more than everyone at a tea party necessarily agrees with the racists and the haters who also attend.

Originally posted to Catzmaw on Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 11:06 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Not racist "to their way of thinking?" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      irishwitch, KroneckerD

      The vast majority of racists aren't racist "to their way of thinking," so using this as the standard to determine whether or not the teabaggers are racist is meaningless -- and while I will grant you there probably are some teabaggers who are not racist, to suggest that racists are some minor fringe of the teabagger movement is absurd to anyone with a functioning set of eyeballs and a television.

      In any event, whether or not every teabagger is a racist, what is beyond dispute is that every teabagger is a shithead, and I have no interest in forming alliances with shitheads.

      •  "A set of eyeballs and a television" (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        leftyboy666, DAO

        Are you serious?  You think you're getting a complete and accurate picture from TELEVISION?

        •  If you think teabggers aren't racist... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          irishwitch, KroneckerD

          ...then I am obviously getting a vastly more accurate picture than you are.  And while I know that television is the favorite whipping boy of pseudo-intellectuals everywhere, TV is in fact quite useful for certain kinds of news events -- for example, those many teabagger gatherings in which flat out racist signs and slogans are a regular and ubiquitous feature.

    •  nice try, but unfortunately (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenomanic

      people on this site are not ready to cooperate with anyone who disagrees with them or has divergent perspectives... sad.

  •  Common cause? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pollbuster, CParis, jfromga

    It's like asking a duck to make common cause with L'Orange, 'cause they both want to get out of the kitchen.

    My spiritual advisor is the Reverend Horton Heat.

    by Jaxpagan on Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 11:08:36 AM PST

    •  You couldn't possibly have read the diary (6+ / 0-)

      you responded too fast.  Thanks for the knee jerk reaction without consideration of my point.  

      •  Why take the time to read (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pollbuster

        a diary with such an outrageous hypothesis.  F-em all I say.

      •  The problem: (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pollbuster, Clues, CParis, jfromga, cwsmoke

        If you mean to say simply: "we should make common cause with rank-and-file red-state folks, mom-and-pop conservatives", I not only agree, I've advocated such for a while -- and taken some flack on this site for doing so, btw.
        The Tea Party Movement, however, is no such. It's an engineered, special-interest backed con game. That wouldn't be making common cause with good-hearted folk on the right -- it would be making common cause with the machine that's grinding them into sausage.
        We can extol the very real virtues of luring them out of the Tea Party Movement, by appealing to bread and butter issues, but we never could and never should try to finagle some kind of diplomacy with the Tea Party Movement as an entity.

        My spiritual advisor is the Reverend Horton Heat.

        by Jaxpagan on Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 11:15:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I DIDN'T advocate making "diplomacy with the Tea (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          leftyboy666, greenomanic, CoEcoCe, cwsmoke

          Party Movement as an entity."  I'm saying we should try to reach these people AS PEOPLE and stop demonizing them all as I can see from the cascade of horrified comments to this diary.  READ some of these comments and ask yourself if it isn't possible that people on the left should perhaps stop acting as if THEY'RE all one big monolith with all the right answers.  

          •  Most are closed minded (0+ / 0-)

            I have the distinct "privilege" of living in tea bag land and I can tell you most of them are not reachable. I have come to the conclusion that it is what they are against that drives them and it is mostly government aid to those whom they believe do not deserve it like minorites and single mothers. To them if there were not those people that feel entitled to support and would work then we would not being taxes to support them.

            Of the ones I have met (middle age white men) if they even suspect that I disagree with their views then I am dismissed and treated rudley. Of course their actions only get the same reaction from me.

            There is one man that is a client so I have to tip toe around him that sends us nasty emails about Obama and liberals, etc.. Of course I just delete and do not respond. This man is an ex Marine and totally a sexist, racist, gun loving, god fearing Merican. So I do get the shit tea they are coming from and it is nasty.

        •  saying "no" is easier the saying "yes", (0+ / 0-)

          so, since everyone says that the teabagger movement is all sponsored by special interest political organizations (as opposed to a true grassroots org) then it's safe to assume that most of the teabaggers are playing the persona available to them. give them an option to be productive, and i'm sure that their american spirit would emerge...

        •  I've stated this before - the special interests (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          greenomanic

          are laughing all the way to the bank that some natural allies (not the bigots, the crazies, and the astroturfed) are opposing each other. Find common ground and make alliances where we can to elect more progressive candidates. I agree with this diary one hundred percent.

          Time is the best teacher. Unfortunately it kills all its students. - Berlioz

          by cwsmoke on Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 01:13:18 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I actually saw what the teabaggers (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        denig, CParis, dougymi, KroneckerD, PeakRaider

        were all about at numerous town halls this summer, and believe me it's not a pretty sight. Certainly it isn't one that we should ever consider being a part of, or even make any type of overtures too.

        With Obama's Presidency, I feel the enduring pain of every teabagger, and believe me, I completely enjoy it.

        by pollbuster on Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 11:20:18 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  A brief whiff of dog shit tells you it's dog shit (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Clues, CParis

        Eating the entire pile yields no additional information.

    •  If populist Dems and Repugs could get around... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      leftyboy666, greenomanic, cwsmoke

      the cultural barriers that have IMHO been built up intentionally over the years to divide and conquer, they could smash the corporate apologists and terrified centrists in a heartbeat.  Centrists, besides being TPTB with all their fiscal and media support, are nothing more than the people so vested in the current system, that they cannot envision a different path.  Fearful and tepid, they believe incremental change is the only path, because true change is too disturbing...too disruptive.  Populists, on the other hand, embrace change and demand change. We are on the brink of a tidal wave of populist anger.  If we're lucky, it won't leave us with an angry/stupid Rush/Palin face.  Dems better figure out how to harness populism, otherwise they'll be crushed.  It was their natural constituency, before Clinton tried to out Repug the GOP.  Fiscal austerity for the proles and continued bailouts to the fat cats - not gonna happen.

  •  We both like tea. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Southside, ukit, Niniane, KroneckerD

    However, I like Earl Grey.

    Iuris praecepta sunt haec: Honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere. - Ulpian, Digestae 1, 3

    by Dauphin on Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 11:09:48 AM PST

  •  that's nice and all, and yes (6+ / 0-)

    they are human beings, but those folks will never be Democrats.

    There's a number of reasons you yourself highlighted in your diary, the main one being religion. Even though the vast majority of Democrats are in fact Christian (I mean they'd have to be, with this nation's religious statistics), Democrats in general prefer secular policy over faith-based (i.e. Christian) policy because the former is fair to all, the latter is not.

    Sure, I can find common humanity with them, but I can (as my partner's family has some Beck fans and teabaggers within...ok more then some--a lot) also keep my relationships with them extremely superficial.

    BlackKos Tu/Fri. It could be worse for progressives. We could be in Port-au-Prince.

    by terrypinder on Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 11:13:00 AM PST

  •  Common cause with tea baggers? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    denig, millwood, Finck II, Miggles

    I'm sorry, but it's embarrassing enough just having to be in the same country as they.

    With Obama's Presidency, I feel the enduring pain of every teabagger, and believe me, I completely enjoy it.

    by pollbuster on Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 11:13:11 AM PST

  •  Nope. (9+ / 0-)

    I don't care how good these people think they are, if they're identifying with a movement that thinks our president is not legitimate, but Sarah Palin is a "real" American, they're a bunch of fucking morons, and no, I don't want to share common ground with them. I want to mock and ridicule and deride them for the flaming fucktards they are.

    And as to whether they are racist?  Yeah, you betcha.

    •  I know. I can't believe that there are still (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Angry Mouse, KroneckerD

      diarists trying to make this argument, again and again. Anyone who will accept being identified with a movement that is routinely photographed holding up racist posters and shouting bigoted slogans is still a vile person with whom I will not find common political ground.

      Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it, misdiagnosing it, and then misapplying the wrong remedies. -- Groucho Marx

      by LeanneB on Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 11:21:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, we should all give up trying to see the (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        leftyboy666, Tuscarora

        nuanced view.  Of course, you understand by pushing this idea, that it's acceptable to slap a single label on a mixed bag of people and turn them into one dimensional cardboard images for all to hate that you are validating this same behavior on the part of the tea partiers and others who are so vehemently opposed to the left?

        •  There IS no nuanced view of a movment (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cacamp

          that is grounded in racism. I'm sorry you're incapable of admitting that.

          Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it, misdiagnosing it, and then misapplying the wrong remedies. -- Groucho Marx

          by LeanneB on Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 11:32:27 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Oh brother. First off, the movement ISN'T (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            leftyboy666

            grounded in racism. There's no doubt a large racist element among some members of it, but what you're saying is you've given yourself permission not to engage in any analysis of the question because YOU'VE decided everyone in the movement is racist and that means you don't have to question any of your assumptions or consider any of my proposals.

            You've made my point. You've put a label on these people and now you don't have to think about anything but your hatred of them, and you've decided that it's okay to hate them because they're ALL racists.  

            •  I didn't put a label on them. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              denig

              They allowed the label to be put on themselves. Their granting of that permission is, yes, all I need to know. No further analysis is necessary on my part.

              Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it, misdiagnosing it, and then misapplying the wrong remedies. -- Groucho Marx

              by LeanneB on Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 11:45:10 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  How does one "allow a label" to be put on (0+ / 0-)

                oneself?  You think the tea partiers AGREE that it's okay to call them racist?  Most of them are appalled and truly offended at the label and believe it was applied to them in order to JUSTIFY demonizing them.  

                •  Okay, this is positively the last time I'm (5+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  denig, Clues, CParis, cacamp, KroneckerD

                  going to try to explain this to you, okay?

                  They are voluntarily marching with people who carry signs with racist pictures and words. With people who scream racist epithets. With people who say that Obama isn't really an American and isn't really the president.

                  By voluntarily associating with that kind of BULLSHIT, they are ALLOWING the label of RACIST to apply to themselves, as well as to their ostensibly racist fellows.

                  I really cannot make it any plainer than that.

                  Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it, misdiagnosing it, and then misapplying the wrong remedies. -- Groucho Marx

                  by LeanneB on Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 12:08:59 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Yeah, and as I explain below, the last (0+ / 0-)

                    time I went to an anti-war demonstration I ended up voluntarily marching with people who were carrying signs extolling the virtues of anarchy, socialism, communism, and 9/11 conspiracy theories.  I walked with people carrying PETA signs and placards and others advocating "revolution".  I didn't happen to like or agree with any of these signs, but they were there and I was there and the only choice was either to march and show that I was personally against the Iraq war or to just let it become THEIR demonstration against the war.  

                    Why do you think you have to explain anything to me?  I understand what you're trying to say.  I'm just telling you that you're wrong, that YOU don't understand, and I'm finding YOU remarkably dense about the point I'm making.  

                    •  ROFLMAO. (0+ / 0-)

                      Right. Whatever. I went to look up your history and find... you have none. So I'll be on my way, since your motives on this site are becoming rather apparent to me now.

                      Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it, misdiagnosing it, and then misapplying the wrong remedies. -- Groucho Marx

                      by LeanneB on Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 12:51:24 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •   Oh god, the pomposity is KILLING me. (0+ / 0-)

                        You're being a pissant and apparently believe that if someone doesn't have a long history on Kos that means they must be evil or something, so here it is.

                        I actually DO have a history on this site. Have been a member for a long time, now, but haven't been terribly active.  I did have a few diaries posted, but they were all about the Virginia Governor's race and before that a bit about Jim Webb's first year in office in the U.S. Senate.  I deleted them a few days ago.  I supported a losing candidate in the Dem primary in Virginia and hated seeing those diaries every time I looked at my page.  

                        I ran a blog called Catzmaw's Commentary, which was pretty active until I got hit with a serious medical problem.  This medical problem required surgery and radiation treatment, which led me to create a non-political blog awkwardly monikered the Radiation Therapy and Parotid Tumor Blog.  

                        While involved in that treatment I became very active on the Raising Kaine blog focusing on Virginia's political issues.  You can go to the archive and search for me there.  No doubt you'll find thousands of posts.  On another level I was still extremely interested in military issues after having a relative go through two tours in Iraq and that's when I started hanging out at military websites.  I'm a frequent poster at two sites, but under a different screen name.

                        Google my screen name.  You'll get about 19,000 hits, all of them for me. Far as I can tell I'm the only Catzmaw in the whole blogosphere.

                        Satisfied?  Or do other bloggers only exist for you if they've been active on Kos and Kos alone?  Judging someone's motives on the basis of a brief search on one blog shows a serious lack of imagination on your part, not to mention makes you look foolish for being so presumptuous.  However, it does nicely illustrate my point that your assessment of this whole tea party issue is way too limited.  Here's a suggestion:  I won't make assumptions about your motives if you won't make any about mine.  As they say, when you ASSUME you make an ASS out of U and ME.  

                •  They are fine with the racists in their midst (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Finck II, KroneckerD, LeanneB

                  Racists are always offended by the term racist. It is a hallmark of the racist mentality.

                  I don't think you can be a success at anything if you think about losing, whether it's in sports or in politics. ~Edward Kennedy

                  by denig on Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 12:44:02 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Exactly so. (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    denig, KroneckerD, LeanneB

                    ALL teabaggers are either racists or are comfortable associating with racists... which is passive racism at best.

                  •  Like in Salem. (0+ / 0-)

                    Since the hallmark of witches was that they didn't burn, you had to burn a few non-witches just to be sure you didn't miss any.

                    •  how bright and beautiful of you (0+ / 0-)

                      Calling out racists and their enablers, is analogous to burning witches?

                      In which winger universe?

                      I don't think you can be a success at anything if you think about losing, whether it's in sports or in politics. ~Edward Kennedy

                      by denig on Wed Jan 27, 2010 at 07:50:18 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  It's the logic in your conclusion (0+ / 0-)

                        that I'm drawing the comparison to.  You know they are a racist because racists deny being racist.  You know they are a witch because a witch won't burn so let's just burn them and find out.  Either way, you have in all probability an innocent person either being burned as a witch or being called a racist.

                        •  Oh no dear (0+ / 0-)

                          you have it backwards.

                          You were the one who said they are not racist, because they are offended, by being called racist.

                          I said that doesn't mean anything. Because racists are offended by being called racist, doesn't mean they aren't racist.

                          It was your ridiculous logic, that I was shining a light on.

                          I never said that people who were offended by the term racist, were racists.

                          Comparing burning women to death, to calling out racists and their enablers, is so extremely nutty, I am not surprised you have turned this around in your mind.

                          you fail, big time.

                          I don't think you can be a success at anything if you think about losing, whether it's in sports or in politics. ~Edward Kennedy

                          by denig on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 12:59:14 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                •  The wounded feelings of racists... (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  denig, KroneckerD, LeanneB

                  ...do not overly concern me.

              •  both racist AND anti-American (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                denig, LeanneB, PeakRaider

                I know a whole bunch of these asshats and everyone of them are racist. In my home state of Oklahoma they are indistinguishable from the KKK and indeed have many cross members. The hard core of their so called 'movement' is born of the opposition to civil rights and minorities. Because normal people detest their underlying racism they've morphed into various anti-everything as excuses. They claim to be anti-tax but Obama cut their taxes while Bush cut their bosses taxes...but Obama's black so no way can they support him... it's about his skin color no fucking matter what they say to you and the others they're trying to fool.

                I doubt very much they'd like to introduce their wives to a black person in DC like they do you.

                They're anti-Americanism is shown by who and what they support. Their leaders are against the voting rights acts and the members are in lock step with them. Most want to use the MILITARY against all us "misfits" who support freedom and demonstrate under our Constitutional Rights. How un-American can one be?

                I'll bet one thing with you. Next year you'll be one of them... after the coffee and after you can't convince many kossacks to join up in "common cause" with them.

                •  Huh? (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  denig, cacamp

                  I think you probably meant this comment for the diarist, maybe?

                  Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it, misdiagnosing it, and then misapplying the wrong remedies. -- Groucho Marx

                  by LeanneB on Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 12:15:13 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  You've been attending the meetings? (0+ / 0-)

                  Maybe took a poll?  Have a basis for extrapolating YOUR experience in Oklahoma with EVERY OTHER tea partier in EVERY OTHER state in the Union?  Just trying to clarify.  It appears that you're telling me that YOUR experience is that tea partiers ARE a monolith, that their positions on everything are all in lockstep with each other, that people who DON'T attend their meetings (you don't, do you?) know exactly what is said at ALL of them because they're all so interchangeable with each other.  

                  Criminy, they're NOT the tea party.  They're the BORG!

              •  They didn't just allow it. They did it (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                LeanneB

                to themselves. The sheep doesn't just allow itself to be led. It actively, follows and in turn leads others.

                I don't think you can be a success at anything if you think about losing, whether it's in sports or in politics. ~Edward Kennedy

                by denig on Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 12:42:23 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  where were the Tea Partiers were GWB (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Clues, Southside, dougymi, PeakRaider

              and his cronies were driving our country into the ditch with $billions spent off the books on wars, no-bid contracts, ruinous tax cuts, etc?

              Did they protest on April 15 2008 about personal income taxes?  Even though the rate was the same in 2009?

              Funny how this bunch didn't seem to be too concerned until Barack Obama became president...

              Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake. ~ Naploeon Bonaparte

              by CParis on Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 12:02:56 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  to this day, there still isn't an answer to that (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                denig, CParis

                The moment a 'bagger opens it's mouth and starts in with Democrat/Obama bashing, it's still a great way to shut said mouth. Just the mention of bush's name is usually enough to suffice. I think that's one reason it's so essential for the right to rewrite history and make bush better than he actually was. I see that effort coming more and more; and not just from the rageosphere. It's becoming more and more prevalent in the mass media as well.
                http://thinkprogress.org/...

                You're going to see it coming to more than just fox news very soon. There's going to be a major effort to rehabilitate bush.  It's in the corp media's interests to do so, since one goal is to elect his brother in the future.

                A learning experience is one of those things that says, 'You know that thing you just did? Don't do that.' Douglas Adams

                by dougymi on Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 12:13:26 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Oh? Did it by himself did he? (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                leftyboy666, greenomanic

                Where the hell were the DEMOCRATS when Bush was doing all that?  Seems to me he managed to push through most of what he wanted by intimidating, sweet-talking, and cajoling the Dems into going along with him and voting for his moves.  Don't go after THESE people if OUR people were no better.

                Look, the tea party movement began to come together after Bush came out one day in October 2008 and announced that our economy had one foot in the grave and one on a banana peel.  It was a horrible shock to a public whose biggest exposure to financial information was Jim Cramer urging them to buy, buy, buy and Maria Bartiromo conducting softball interviews with the same people who so mismanaged these companies.  If our financial gurus couldn't see it, why should the ordinary American?  Where were WE, the progressives, when GWB was doing all that?  

        •  Please explain "nuance." (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          denig, BennyToothpick, KroneckerD, LeanneB

          I see no nuance in their movement. I see unbridled racism mixed with a stunning level of ignorance from the very same assholes who spent eight years telling the rest of us that criticizing Bush policies was treason.

          •  Okay, here's a question (0+ / 0-)

            How many tea partiers do you actually KNOW?  I mean, people with whom you've had real conversations (not shouting matches)?  Every single person in the tea party movement is a racist?  Every single person in the tea party movement is an asshole?  Every single person in the movement spent eight years telling you that criticizing Bush was treason?  What, you took a poll and like the Great Leader in North Korea you found out your description is 100% true for ALL of them?  Do tell.

            •  Oh, gimme a break. (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Clues, KroneckerD, LeanneB, PeakRaider

              Anyone who would willingly identify with a party like this is not someone I want to know. It's great that you've personally met a nice-and-cuddly teabagger in real life, but that doesn't mean the whole movement is just terribly misunderstood.

              They are racists. They are morons. I want nothing to do with them.

              •  A party like what? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                CoEcoCe

                You said "a party like this", so please explain.  Do you think the first tea party organizers were running around saying "hey guys, we're a racist, right-wing reactionary organization dedicated to spreading racist hate and homophobia.  Wanna join?"

                Look, most of the people I've talked to strenuously deny any racist sentiments - and some of them are actually IN mixed race families - and say it's about the "takeover of the government by the left" and their sincere concerns that the government is profligate and spending their childrens' futures.  They sincerely believe that Democratic legislative proposals are socialist and that socialism is bad, even though they may not be able to explain why.

                The answer is to reach out and educate them, not to categorize and despise them.  

                •  Of course they deny being racists! (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  denig, Clues, CParis, LeanneB

                  Are you for real?

                  And as for this:

                  their sincere concerns that the government is profligate and spending their childrens' futures

                  Again, I say BULLSHIT. If they're so fucking concerned, where the hell were they during the Bush years? What a convenient coincidence that they discovered their concern when Obama won the White House.

                  I really can't make up my mind about whether to take you seriously. At this point, I'm thinking no.

                  •  Gee, it's like YOU can read their minds (0+ / 0-)

                    better than they do. Snark.

                    As for the Bush years, as I noted above, the issue came to a head very suddenly when Bush announced in October 2008 that our economy was doomed.  The collapse of the bubble came very suddenly.  If we weren't talking about it before then why are we saying the tea partiers should have seen it?

                    •  Yes she can read their minds better than they (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      LeanneB

                      Reading and minds, should be the dead giveaway.

                      I don't think you can be a success at anything if you think about losing, whether it's in sports or in politics. ~Edward Kennedy

                      by denig on Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 12:53:20 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                •  they do not want to be educated. Because (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  LeanneB

                  they don't want to listen and they especially do not want to think. They love an authoritarian.

                  I don't think you can be a success at anything if you think about losing, whether it's in sports or in politics. ~Edward Kennedy

                  by denig on Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 12:51:31 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  I know many, they're racist as hell (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              denig

              I'm from Oklahoma and I know a bunch of baggers, some are my neighbors. Most are KKK sympathizers and militia types who are racist to the core. But most also deny it and try to blame their racism on black people... the "one who want so much" as you mention. But there are one or two who are just fooled by their rhetoric. pity

            •  I know 4 of them. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              denig

              They are all racists, they are all ignorant about the actual dynamics of the issues they rant about, they all watch FOX and love Beck, they think anyone who isn't a radical nihilist like them is a "socialist" and they all have no problem saying, in public and loudly, that Obama should be shot.  

              I guess they are lucky I haven't fed them their teeth yet.  Catch me on a bad day and I might.  I've embarrassed in front of others and them and told them to shut the fuck up but you know how it is...the ignorant voice is often the loudest and most persistent.

              So fuck 'em.  Understand them?  Ha.  There's a lot of things I'd like to do to them, but understanding them isn't among them.

            •  Why don't you respond above to the people (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              LeanneB

              who specifically say they know tons of teabaggers?

              You just go round and round in circles, saying absolutely nothing.

              I don't think you can be a success at anything if you think about losing, whether it's in sports or in politics. ~Edward Kennedy

              by denig on Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 12:49:33 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Um, because I already EXPLAINED in my diary (0+ / 0-)

                that I know lots of tea partiers?  How many times do you want me to repeat it?

                •  Here's the problem with that (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  LeanneB

                  We don't believe you.

                  We also know teabaggers, we have also seen and read news reports of their attempts to prevent discussion at town hall meetings.  We have seen footage of their rallies where they spew idiotic nonsense.  We have seen photos of their racist, and ignorant signs.  We have heard the dumbass rallying cries and dogwhistles from Glenn Beck, and the morons on talk radio.

                  So, really...who should we believe, you, or our own lying eyes?

                  The crux of our disagreement with you is that we don't believe your premise.  If you could, however, provide some proof to us that teabaggers are really intelligent, non-racist people who want many of the same things we do and would be willing to discuss matters with any degree of civility, then by all means provide your proof and we'll re-think our positions.

                  Oh..and just to let you know...your personal anecdotes don't constitute proof.

                  •  are also saying that teabaggers (0+ / 0-)

                    are biologically different from us ? or genetically different ?
                    why are they so different ??
                    arent we all americans ?

                    •  I'm sure you have a point somewhere (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      denig, LeanneB

                      but I fear your hat covers it.

                      Please, have another non-sequitur.  It's on me.

                      •  insisting that they are "different" then us is (0+ / 0-)

                        just another excuse not to work together.
                        they are just our fellow americans.

                        •  Did I insist that? (3+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Rieux, CParis, LeanneB

                          Did I say anywhere that it was a bad idea to work with someone solely because they are "different" than us?  I work with different people all the time.
                          Or are you participating in some imaginary discussion?

                          No, what I said was that there is nothing to be gained from allying yourself with racist, ignorant people.

                          I'll go even further and say that we have a hard enough time controlling our own message and being effective at communicating what we stand for.  If we decided to cultivate the teabaggers, we'd have NO message left.

                          How to you convince people you're working hard for civil rights while marching alongside people screaming racist and homophobic epithets.  Hell, for many of our community, the teabaggers object to our very existence.  Why don't you try asking them if they'd like to have a nice sit down with our group which consists of 3 gay guys, 4 atheists, 2 feminists, and 6 people of color.

                          Get back to me on their response.

                      •  How's what she said a nonsequitur? (0+ / 0-)

                        Seems more like what you say is a nonsequitur.  You're the one demanding proof, proof I tells ya, that there are tea partiers out there who might be reachable.  You dispute it because you read ... stuff ... you know, stories of how THEY are.  They're ... uh, different, you know ... not like you and me.  Yeah, just different.

                        Your protests sound a lot like the birthers demanding proof of Obama's birth in Hawaii because what was before them wasn't enough.

                •  Well there's a cop out for ya n/t (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  LeanneB

                  I don't think you can be a success at anything if you think about losing, whether it's in sports or in politics. ~Edward Kennedy

                  by denig on Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 01:05:43 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

        •  they turned themselves into one dimensional (0+ / 0-)

          pieces of cardboard. No one did it to them.

          They are the ones full of hate. We are full of teh snark.

          Being vehemently opposed to death threats and hating violence, is not the same as threatening death and violence.  

          It is a bullshit argument.

          I don't think you can be a success at anything if you think about losing, whether it's in sports or in politics. ~Edward Kennedy

          by denig on Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 12:40:21 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  same stuff was said about dems after bush got in, (0+ / 0-)

      forget the reasons , it was the same rhetoric.

    •  golden rule violation !!!!!!!!!! (0+ / 0-)
  •  You are right. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    irishwitch, LeanneB

    Not all Tea-Partiers are racist hatemongers.
    Only about 95% fit this description.

    The rest are just ignorant, misinformed or intellectually deficient.

    "As God is my witness, I thought wingnuts could fly."

    by Niniane on Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 11:17:28 AM PST

  •  there is very little common ground (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BachFan, CParis, Niniane, jsfox, KroneckerD, LeanneB

    with tea partiers, yes they are human, they may love their families, give to their churches and other select charities, but that doesn't mean we will find common ground in politics.

    And they stand and watch the hate and take no action.   That's repugnant.   When they realize that the hate that is the public face of the group they support undercuts whatever sterling personal qualities they have because their presence supports that hate regardless of their personal beliefs and they drop out, maybe we can find some common ground.

    •  Given that.. (0+ / 0-)

      ....they are basically the Republican base, doesn't that imply that there's no common cause with the Republican Party, and that all attempts at bipartisanship are for naught?

      It's the policy, stupid

      by Alec82 on Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 11:21:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  the tea partiers aren't the base (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        millwood

        the tea partiers represent the right activist edge aided and abetted by corporate sponsors.

        They are part of radicalizing the party, the unity purists who threaten and force the Republicans further right.  

        Right now, there is little common ground with the base or the tea partiers. Much of the Republican base is in the south and they are racist more often than not.  There are also places in the midwest with some pretty strong racial hatred, KKK was and is not just a southern institution, sundown towns are scattered across this country. The diarist asserts much based on military members, some of whom may have good reason never to admit to any bias on blogs, etc.  

  •  It is difficult to make common cause (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CParis, LeanneB

    with people incapable of listening to understand rather than just respond. It is difficult to make common cause with supposed bright people, who can't tell what racism is. Sort of flies in the face of the they are quite bright argument.

    How do make common cause with someone who actually thinks Glenn Beck speaks the truth, hell that thinks Fox News speaks the truth.

    In the choice between changing ones mind and proving there's no need to do so, most people get busy on the proof.

    by jsfox on Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 11:20:16 AM PST

    •  You're right! Much better to CEDE the ground (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenomanic

      to such as Beck. That'll larn 'em.  Nope, shouldn't even TRY to wean them away from such viewpoints.  After all, they lack the superior intellects and all around wholesome goodness of the left.  I mean, people on the left NEVER rush to judgment, never misunderstand others, never lump entire groups of people together into one monolithic entity; the only entity which it's safe to hate and despise and ridicule without having anyone call one out.

      •  Now where did I say cede the ground? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CParis

        I can certainly push back, but again pushing back does not mean making common cause.

        In the choice between changing ones mind and proving there's no need to do so, most people get busy on the proof.

        by jsfox on Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 11:32:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The way you push back is by showing them (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          greenomanic, Catte Nappe, CoEcoCe

          what's in their interest which happens to mesh with what's in yours, and which hopefully meshes with what's best for the rest of the country.  You don't push back by calling people names and accusing them of being sub-human monsters.  Read the comments here.  How many people do you see here even acknowledging that tea partiers may have just plain old reachable, teachable human beings in their numbers?  Seriously, I didn't think I'd find THAT many people arguing that it's okay to hate them because they're "all assholes" and apparently sub-human, but that's the tenor of a lot of these comments.

          Hate's great when you have a sense of your own justification in feeling it.  Coming from others?  Not so much.

          •  So how many teabaggers have you converted (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Clues

            to Democrats?

            I assume you expound the same sort of talking points to them, as you are to us.

            You know, telling them they are full of hate and manipulation, just like you are telling us.  

            Does that work for you?

            I don't think you can be a success at anything if you think about losing, whether it's in sports or in politics. ~Edward Kennedy

            by denig on Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 01:02:04 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Even if not all teabaggers are racist (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Clues, CParis, LeanneB

    hatemongers, the term racist hatemonger defines 95-99% of the movement's participants including its founders!  The teabaggers deserve to be shut down, ridiculed, parodied and everything else to make sure that they remain a small, ineffectual fringe group of people totally out of touch with the country.

    Having a policy does not mean receiving care. -- Tzimisce

    by Miggles on Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 11:21:17 AM PST

  •  i keep saying it, to the few who will listen (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    leftyboy666, Catte Nappe, Catzmaw

    but i really believe a certain percentage of the tea party people, maybe even a majority would be on our side regarding the citizens united decision, once they understand what its implications are.  
    the libertarian types agree with SCOTUS on the merits of the narrow view of the principle.
    the tea party types don't want corporations interfering with their rights of self-determination, and more than they want government doing so.
    so yeah, i think, as you sense, there's a natural alliance there, at least on that issue.

    •  The teabaggers can't even see that their own (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Southside, CParis

      movement is bankrolled by totally corporatist astroturf organizations.

      Having a policy does not mean receiving care. -- Tzimisce

      by Miggles on Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 11:24:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  i keep hearing that tea partiers (0+ / 0-)

      don't like (or at least are skeptical) of corporations.  What's the evidence that this is true?  I'm genuinely curious.

      •  they're generally NOT skeptical at first (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Catzmaw

        and they are ignorant of history.  but try talking to some of them, on your local RW blogs or newspaper web site.  they will be unaware of 100+ years of protections and controls designed to keep corporations from having undue influence over policy.  they don't see why people are upset over SCOTUS's decision [why shouldn't corporations enjoy freedom of speech?].
        it's pretty easy to change their minds, though -- do they really want each and every candidate to be hand-picked by corporations with an international reach and limitless money?  
        put it to them in terms they can relate to -- gun ownership, property rights.  they understand how the senate, electoral college, etc. protect the interests of rural, red-state areas.  they're not against these artificial constructs [despite that jabber about 'socialism'], if their own interests are being protected in the process.

  •  i love how this sort of diary is treated (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenomanic, Catzmaw

    as heresy  by so-called progressives....
    it's so much easier to hate one's "opponents" then to work with them on common issues. seems like most people forget that we're still all americans.

    •  what common issues? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Clues

      i'm genuinely curious about this.  I can't think of many issues we have in common with tea baggers.  There are many that we don't, such as healthcare, climate change, immigration reform, gay marriage, etc.  There are some that everyone agrees on, such as having a good economy, we have very different views about what this means.  They want tax cuts (for them) and cutting spending (for everyone else).  I honestly can't think of any real common ground.

      •  personal freedom, jobs, clean water, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        greenomanic, Catzmaw

        better schools, (fewer abortions?), budget deficit, trade deficit, ...

        those are some that i can think of, i'm sure that if i talk with a self identified teabagger i could find many more common issues we agree on.

        •  not when you get right down to it (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          denig, CParis, BennyToothpick

          Tea Partiers are for better schools for THEIR children.  Better schools in urban areas are "government welfare".  Fewer abortions?  Try no abortions.  Budget deficits?  Sure, they're against them when there are Democrats in the majority.  They seem to just love em when a Repub president causes them in order to start wars, and lift taxes on rich people.

          When you get underneath any of these issues, we don't have much in common at all.

        •  "personal freedom" isn't an issue (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Clues

          and people have very different views about what personal freedom is and which ones are most important.  If liberals and tea baggers agree on the value of "personal freedom" does that mean they have common ground on real issues like abortion and gay marriage.  Not likely.  And while we might agree on the value of "better schools," are tea baggers likely to support high taxes to fund these schools?  Not likely.  We might agree in abstract on the value of clean water, but would they support more regulations to bring that about?  Not likely.  So while it's nice to think that we can agree on warm and fuzzy ideals, when you get down to it, the actual scope of common ground is very small.

          •  seems like we disagree on the likelihood factor, (0+ / 0-)

            also, we disagree on the 'personal freedom' as an issue.

            the point is that you dont need to agree on all issues to work on the ones that you do. and on the issues we agree with teabaggers, just because we disagree on approach, or strategy should not be a reason not to work to solve those problems regardless.

            •  we can all agree that we shouldn't screw over (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              CParis

              our children.  So I would sure love to work with tea baggers to do something about climate change.  But how do they respond?  By sticking their heads up their asses and denying that it's happening.  I would love to work with them to come up with a market-based approach to reducing carbon emissions.  Are they interested?  Nope.  They go on TV characterizing cap-and-trade is "cap-and-tax."

              Sorry, but there's just no common ground there.  I see a group of people who willfully choose to be ignorant about the danger posed by climate change, presumably because doing something about it threatens their pocketbooks.  So at the end of the day, it's hard not to view tea-bagger climate denialists as anything other than a bunch of greedy bastards who don't give a shit about how their actions affect future generations.  Personally, I think it's more worthwhile to expose them for what they are than to try to reach out to them, which is just an exercise in futility.

              •  dont apply what you see on tv to (0+ / 0-)

                all teabaggers. also, no one said this is going to be easy.
                but your options are to engage or to ignore.
                i prefer to engage.
                in many ways it's a lot more fun to communicate with people who have a totally different perspective.

          •  not saying you're wrong (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            CoEcoCe

            but you just play right back into the divide and conquer tactic that is backsliding all of us into a corporotocracy.  
            as progressives, we have a better chance of siding with certain RW groups, on certain issues than doing anything productive with centerist dems on those same issues.

  •  There is lots of common ground with Ron Paul (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenomanic, Catte Nappe, Catzmaw

    I won't speak for Tea Partiers because I'm not sure they have a coherent political philosophy.  

    But I think the reason Ron Paul is able to work well with "radicals" on the left like Alan Grayson is because they both recognize a fundamental truth: that public programs completely run by government agencies AND public programs completely run by private corporations are both not as bad as the situation we have now: private corporations given preferential treatment by government policies and no-bid government contracts.

    The essential evil in today's government, the march towards fascism if you will, is the buddy-buddy relationship between politicians and lobbyists and the corruption and favortism that results.  Libertarians and Liberals may have fundamentally different ways they wish to separate the private and the public, but they both agree about why this is unacceptable.

  •  No thank you. I know a few "Tea Partiers" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CParis, Phthalo, PeakRaider

    who live near Pittsburgh.  Two of them are neo-Nazis, three of them are in the KKK, and a few others who are just ignorant Glenn Beck fans.  They all think that African-Americans*, homosexuals* and Jews* have stolen the country from them.

    I'm sure that most of the Teabaggers aren't neo-Nazis or in the KKK, but they happily associate and join with those who are.  If you think for a second that you share any political values other than the very superficial, you're kidding yourself.

    *They don't use these terms, that's for sure.

    "I know this defies the law of gravity, but you see, I never studied law." -Bugs Bunny

    by KroneckerD on Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 11:38:31 AM PST

  •  I think Stockholm syndrome (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Clues

    explains most of the desire for common ground with a group that was spawned by a Santelli rant against bailing out people over their head on mortgages on CNBC,  promoted by Fox News and Glenn Beck,  organized by Dick Armey's PR firm, funded by the Koch brothers (of Swiftboat Vets) and spreading their message through racist emails (I know because a lot of my family are teabaggers).      They can manipulate liberal/progressives by saying they are on the same side re some issues or by being the guy next door --but at its core it is a racist corporatist movement.  

    I saw this coming several years ago - listening to Glenn Beck radio show railing against "corporations" and at the same time pushing Mitt Romney.    

    I recommend not getting sucked in by them.  

    •  strange, i have all of the same anger and (0+ / 0-)

      resentment exactly, over the way HCR was eviscerated by the nelsons, landrieus, liebermans and baucuses of the world... the same corporate agenda, minus the racism, i guess.

    •  You're saying I have Stockholm syndrome? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenomanic

      Pompous ass much, are we?

      It's one thing to disagree, and quite another to label an opponent's position as an example of some sort of psychological defect.  Stockholm syndrome is usually suffered by youthful, low ego, high anxiety individuals who identify themselves with the strong thugs who have taken over their surroundings and are frightening them very much.  It's a coping mechanism for people who feel overpowered.  

      That ain't me, so kindly refrain from armchair psychoanalyzing and pomposity.  I sure as hell ain't youthful and nobody would accuse me of lacking ego.  You must be taking Psychology 101 or something.  Bet you're in your twenties, probably younger than 25.  It shows.

      •  Maybe it ain't you... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Phthalo

        low ego, high anxiety individuals who identify themselves with the strong thugs who have taken over their surroundings and are frightening them very much.  It's a coping mechanism for people who feel overpowered.

        But that describes teabaggers to a, well, "T."

      •  Are you are really a fake? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        irishwitch, Phthalo

        You go on and on about finding common ground and "talking" with teabaggers. Yet you have reduced yourself here, to name-calling, sarcasm, put downs and derogation. All the things you are pissed about people doing to teabaggers.

        talkin the talk, but can't walk the walk?

        I don't think you can be a success at anything if you think about losing, whether it's in sports or in politics. ~Edward Kennedy

        by denig on Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 01:18:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Itemize, please. The only putdowns I've done (0+ / 0-)

          are against idiots trying to psychoanalyze me and others accusing me of having foul ulterior motives.  I'm reading one comment after another mostly consisting of people claiming that we should avert our eyes upon encountering tea partiers and never, ever talk to them because they're eeeevvvviiiilllll!

          Such rhetoric lends itself to putdowns and snark.  Don't want to be put down?  Then give me an argument with some substance, not a silly pronouncement of all tea partiers as the spawn of Satan.

          •  ha ha ha ha ha! (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Phthalo

            Don't want to be put down?  Then give me an argument with some substance, not a silly pronouncement of all tea partiers as the spawn of Satan.

            Again I ask, is this the way you communicate with teabaggers?

            They will not be kinder, less idiotic. They will accuse you "of having foul ulterior motives." They say Democrats and even Republicans of a saner bent, are eeeevvvviiiilllll!

            So do you put them down? And do you tell them they deserve it, because they are idiots?

            Isn't that what you are criticizing?

            Why can't you do, what you are describing? This is perfect venue to illustrate how productive it can be, to not call people idiots and get all offended, no matter what they think of you or you politics.

            What do you say when teabaggers, say these things?

            I am curious.

            I don't think you can be a success at anything if you think about losing, whether it's in sports or in politics. ~Edward Kennedy

            by denig on Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 01:47:47 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  You know NOTHING about ME (0+ / 0-)

        as you CLAIM and call me a pompous ass and try to COMMAND me to refrain  from posting my opinion on a topic that you started on an open forum.     I didnt say you were suffering Stockholm syndrome -- I said that I think that explains a lot of make nice with the Teabagger sentiment.     Bet I  hit a nerve or you just cant tolerate other opinions.    Whichever it is it shows.

        •  Hey, take a look at what you wrote (0+ / 0-)

          Here it is:

          I think Stockholm syndrome explains most of the desire for common ground with a group that was spawned by a Santelli rant against bailing out people over their head on mortgages on CNBC,  promoted by Fox News and Glenn Beck,  organized by Dick Armey's PR firm, funded by the Koch brothers (of Swiftboat Vets) and spreading their message through racist emails (I know because a lot of my family are teabaggers).

          Maybe you ought to be more careful about the meaning of what you write, because the plain meaning of what you wrote is clear.  WHO expressed a desire for "common ground"?  It was the whole point of the diary, so your comment was clearly AIMED at me.  Now you're saying you're being misunderstood.  Next time do a better job of proof-reading.

  •  You can't find common ground with someone (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CParis, BennyToothpick, PeakRaider

    who doesn't listen, and never gives an inch.

    Hell, even the mainstream Republicans are the party of "NO".

    Any efforts in this direction would meet the same fate as Obama's failed attempts at bipartisanship.

    Finding common ground and working together requires two parties each willing to negotiate.

    Also, I take exception to your definition of Tea Partier.  To me, this term denotes people who go to the tea party rallies, and disrupt town hall meetings by shouting meaningless slogans, with no intention of listening or discussing anything anyone has to say.  According to my definition of the term, you'd have to knock these people out with a 2 by 4 to get them to shut up long enough to even have a conversation, and even then it would be like talking to a two year old having a temper tantrum.

    Useless.

    •  what you could realize is that (1+ / 1-)
      Recommended by:
      Catzmaw
      Hidden by:
      irishwitch

      everything you say about teabaggers they are saying about "you".
      this is a typical ideological counter-projection.
      both sides are accusing the other of the same things in mirror.

      •  That doesn't mean we're both right. (3+ / 0-)

        Fair and balanced doesn't apply when one side is racist, inconsistent, selfish, and uncommunicative.

        •  this is so out of control... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Catte Nappe

          yes, racism is awful and ugly and we all wish it would disappear forever from the face of the earth.  [except we should remember it, and all of the destruction it caused.]
          but putting up with endless compromises by corporate dems, while ignoring natural potential alliances with populist RW groups, because some of them are racists... i don't get that.
          it's a little like being fixated on bill clinton's marital infidelity.  i should like george w. a lot better, because he sleeps with his wife?

          •  Being racist is a fucking fundamental flaw. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Clues

            That's why.

          •  You're kidding, right? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            CParis

            You're comparing a personal matter (marital infidelity) with racism?

            Explain to me how these people are my natural allies.  Please also include an explanation of how I should phrase my new rant against my taxes being raised (when they weren't), and how I can best express my new concern that FEMA is going to put us all into "camps".  I'm not sure how to make those arguments, and I'll need them if I want to be allied with teabaggers.

            •  you have to start (0+ / 0-)

              slowly, with issues where you really do have common ground.

              •  and which would those be? (NT) (0+ / 0-)
                •  try these two diaries (0+ / 0-)

                  on for size...
                  both in regards to citizens united.
                  they don't get all the way there, but beginning to explore the shifting political landscape.

                  •  Oh, I see the problem (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    CParis

                    Both these diaries are about talking to Republicans.  Not Teabaggers....Republicans.

                    You do know there's a difference, don't you?

                    Teabaggers are the lunatic fringe element of the Republican party.  Many Republicans with very conservative views try to disassociate themselves from the teabaggers because of their infantile message, overt racism, and general idiocy.

                    I have no problem with talking to Republicans.

                    •  you understand their divisions better than i (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Catzmaw

                      in one of the linked threads, somebody said that libertarians and country club repubs agree with SCOTUS on citizens united, and the rest of them don't, when pressed.  
                      i would guess you'd find tea partyers on both sides, and more of them taking the anti-corporate stance [based on their stated aversion to astroturfing, if nothing else] once they know the score.

            •  The place to start is (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              greenomanic, Catzmaw, CoEcoCe

              Getting away from a mind-set of "these people", and have conversations with Bill, the guy who services the soda machine in the break room; and Linda who cuts your hair; and Cynthia over in sales.

              None of these people screams and waves signs when I talk to them. They are misinformed about some things (well quite a few things in some cases) but they are amenable to conversation and differing viewpoints. I've succssfully had one conversation with a fellow who was freaking out over HCR because of what it would do to his Medicare Advantage plan; but who admitted I had given him "something to think about" when I explained what I understood about that aspect. I had an utterly satisfying lunch some time ago, "chatting" with some ladies who were utterly against gay marriage. As our lunch progressed, I did way more talking than eating and ended up getting nourished with "I didn't know that" and "I hadn't thought of it that way before".

              •  Exactly what I've encountered (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Catte Nappe, CParis

                I start out by talking to people as people, not as representatives of a monolithic evil sent here to destroy our democracy - which happens to be the way the OTHER side often views people on the left.  

                Personally, I'm sick to death of hearing about "real Americans" from the right and about "the only reality" or some other such bullshit from the left.  Both positions specialize in creating cartoon versions of each other, straw men to set up and knock down in their eagerness to win the argument.

                It's nothing less than intellectual sloth.

              •  Again, I submit (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                irishwitch

                that you're speaking of Republicans here..not necessarily teabaggers.  (Unless you happen to know they're attending the rallies and marches?)

                •  I know one who attended one (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Catzmaw

                  And one who wanted to, but had a scheduling conflict (his day to help prepare supper at a shelter for run-away youth)

                •  That's it? That's all you got? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Catte Nappe

                  Killer argument there.  And no, I AM speaking of people I KNOW who actually attend tea parties.  How about addressing the substance of what I've been saying, which is that there is no such thing as a monolithic movement where no one is capable of suasion and all are obstinately obtuse in the face of every appeal?

                  I'll bet you go all nuts on people who suggest to you that Muslims are all part of a monolith.  I'll bet when someone starts lecturing you about Islam and how all Muslims want to destroy Christians and our way of life you probably really go to town on them for being so unfair.  

                  So tell me, how does some right wingnut dissing ALL Muslims as Islamofascists differ from YOU dissing ALL tea partiers as brainless twits incapable of being persuaded to revisit their own assumptions?

                  •  Because (0+ / 0-)

                    I simply can't imagine a sane person with rational intelligent views looking at a group like that and thinking, "Oh I need to sign up!"

                    I can't imagine a non-racist, non-homophobic, pro-choice, anti-corporate,defender of the poor, and supporter of civil rights and healthcare reform saying to themselves, "I'll just ignore that picture of Obama's children as organ grinder's monkeys, because these people are against the deficit and so am I."

                    Now you may claim that this is a failure of my imagination.  I'd disagree.  I think it's a failure of your rationality.

                    I don't intend to be one of these people that joins hands with a group like that, just because they SAY they are against the recent supreme court decision.  There are a lot of people we need to convert, to converse with, and to get to support our views.  We could start with some Blue Dogs.  At least some of them do agree with us on some things.  And they don't require us to hold our noses...at least not as much.

                    Oh, and by the way, please stop YOUR imagination from extending to how I would behave or what I would say in different situations.  You know very little at all about me, and it's childish and insulting.

                    Look..if you want to change the world, one teabagger at a time, be my guest.  Don't think for a minute though that there will ever be some grand kumbayah moment for the progressive blogsphere and teabag central.  The first time they made a comment about the bible and fags, we'd have to deck them.

              •  If I discussed politics with (0+ / 0-)

                the woman who cuts my hair, I'd end up looking like Curly of the Stooges.  I have learned NOT to discuss politics or religion down here in GA, Home of the Happy Teabaggers.    I tuck my pentacle inside my shirt if possible (I refuse to take it off) and had to ask my new dentist, before we made an appt., whether he felt comfortable treating a non-Christian.  WHy? Because being a WIccan automatically puts me at odds with most people in the Bible Belt.

                The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

                by irishwitch on Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 01:56:34 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  that might be true (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CParis, irishwitch

        but one side seems to have views grounded in reality and the other side seems to be either incomprehensibly ignorant about policy or is simply delusional (remember the whole "death panels" thing).

        •  i'm sure you know that "reality" is (0+ / 0-)

          one of the more subjective features of human....
          to you "death panels" is what "single payer" it to others....
          the point is that hate is not a very effective tool, if we want to improve our well-being (as americans)...

          •  no, i'm sorry (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Clues, CParis, irishwitch

            the presence or absence of death panels in the health bill is not subjective.  At all.  "Death pannels" isn't some code for "singer payer."  There are and never were death panels in the bill.  If tea baggers can't acknowledge this, then they are not grounded in reality and are no better than holocaust deniers.

            •  if you choose to function based on fear, (0+ / 0-)

              so be it. i'm glad you're not responsible for representing other citizens or governing over people.

              •  fear? what are you talking about? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                CParis

                i function based on reality.  the tea baggers function on willful ignorance and self-delusion.  That's why it's impossible to find common ground.

              •  Now I'm really curious (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                irishwitch

                Benny said

                the presence or absence of death panels in the health bill is not subjective.  At all.  "Death pannels" isn't some code for "singer payer."  There are and never were death panels in the bill.  If tea baggers can't acknowledge this, then they are not grounded in reality and are no better than holocaust deniers.

                And you accused him of functioning on fear.

                Exactly what in his comment indicated to you that he was fearful?  It was a very odd thing to say.

                (Especially for someone who is advocating sitting down to negotiate with someone whose entire contribution will be to shout READ THE BILL at you, and fling spittle everywhere.  You would have no problem with that, yet Benny makes a reasonable statement and he's "fearful"?)

                •  the fear of letting go of your own ideals, (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  greenomanic

                  the fear of consensus, the fear of dealing with someone you think you really hate, the fear that fills in the gap left over by the lack of love...

                  •  and this has to do with (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    irishwitch, BennyToothpick

                    equating "death panels" with a single payer....how?

                    It seems reasonable to me to be able to have a discussion of this issue on its merits alone.  There are facts to be examined, and conclusions can be drawn.

                    If someone disagreed with you on whether the earth revolved around the sun, would you bring up the "lack of love" as a valid discussion point?

                    Really, psychoanalyzing someone who disagrees with you on a topic like that is a very dishonest way of debating an issue.

                    Are you always this afraid to discuss a topic on it's merits that you must retreat to soggy amateur psychology?

              •  And do you say this same thing to the teabaggers? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                irishwitch

                Because that's the sort of talk you are criticizing.

                I don't think you can be a success at anything if you think about losing, whether it's in sports or in politics. ~Edward Kennedy

                by denig on Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 01:21:11 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  we dont have many in my area, (0+ / 0-)

                  ( i live in a big city), but this is exactly the sort of stuff i would say when i talked to many during the 08' campaign. respect, include, empower.

                  •  i'm glad you're not responsible for representing (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Clues, irishwitch

                    i'm glad you're not responsible for representing other citizens or governing over people.

                    Really? that is what you said to them? I am trying to grok how that encompasses:

                    respect, include, empower

                    enlighten me.

                    I don't think you can be a success at anything if you think about losing, whether it's in sports or in politics. ~Edward Kennedy

                    by denig on Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 01:33:26 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Heh, so you have little experience (0+ / 0-)

                    with the breed you admit.

                    The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

                    by irishwitch on Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 01:53:17 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  from the experience i have, (0+ / 0-)

                      i learned that the trick is to be able to listen, not to tell.
                      it's not about convincing them, it's about really trying to understand their concerns. as americans, citizens, humans...

                      •  Oh, I did LOTS of listening. (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Clues, BennyToothpick

                        That's why I know it doesn't work. After you've been called names to your face or overhead unpleasant comments about people like yourself, you kinda learn not to  listen.

                        And listening is fine--but if you cannot change their minds by giving them facts--what's the point? The diarist is talking about attempting to win hearts and minds to our side, while you seem to be interested in doing either phone terhapy or a sociology paper viw the phone.

                        The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

                        by irishwitch on Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 02:11:13 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

          •  No. "Death panels' means (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            CParis

            someone is deciding who will receive treatment and who won't for reasons that are not strictly medical.  Their idea of death panels is a compilation of the most effective treatments. The real death panels are run by private insurance companies who decide what they will allow based on cost,not effectiveness.  Point this out to a teabagger and they willa rgue about it--even if you show them the bit in the bill, which was added by a REPUBLICAN SOUTHERNER,  my Senator, they'll dispute it.

            There are facts, and there are beliefs.  Most liberals base their  beliefs on facts. Teabaggers base their beliefs on the Bible and what Rush and Sarah, the current Prophets, have muttered today, without any regard to facts.

            The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

            by irishwitch on Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 01:52:37 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  The difference is, he's right. (0+ / 0-)

        I've tired and given up.  Got tired of migraines from being told facts don't matter, and I can't know anything because I am not a Christian.

        The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

        by irishwitch on Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 01:48:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  our constitution doesnt value (0+ / 0-)

          being "right" or "wrong"...
          and i dont think it even talks about those sort of concepts....

          •  Facts are right or wrong. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            denig

            Period.

            My MiL handed me a book by John Hagee. She wanted my opinion. I told her I couldn't read past page 40, because there were so many inaccuracies--things he claimed were int he Q'oran that weren't, etc.

            She said he was entitled to his opinion.

            I told her something's either in the Q'oran or it isn't.  That there is a difference between fact and opinion.

            She turned on her heel and stalked off in a large cream-colored huff.

            You cannot have a rational discussion with someone who doesn't know the difference between fact and opinion.

            THAT is why I gave up discussing religion or politics--down here in GA, they are one and the same-- and no longer have migraines.

            The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

            by irishwitch on Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 02:00:20 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  so because you chose to give up (0+ / 0-)

              does that mean others should also give up ?
              you came into a diary about finding common ground just to tell people "what's the point" ??
              i prefer to find a way, and the more difficult it is the more interesting it is as well.

              •  Simply making the point (0+ / 0-)

                that it doesn't work. You can't have a conversation with someone whose immediate response to a question is "..my preacher says."  You can't. Even pointing out that  the Sermon the Mount would favor healthcare for all, doesn't move them, because they mostly ignore the NT in favor of the darker passages of the OT (and the more unpleasant epistles of Paul). Respect has to go both ways--and they don't respect anyone who isn't 110% like them. I HAVE had productive discussions with REPUBLICANS of a mroe liberal sort, but not with teabaggers.

                And I have a right to think the diarist is hopelessly quixotic in his quest to find common ground with these folks. I think he means well, but isn;'t really a progressive or even a Dem.

                The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

                by irishwitch on Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 02:08:42 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  maybe you can't.... (0+ / 0-)

                  you can always try harder.

                  •  I've tried. (0+ / 0-)

                    I know when to stop banging my head against a brick wall. If others wanna try--fine. But I expect they will eventually end up either unconscious from a concussion or give up.

                    As I said, I tried the local Dem group--and they are moderate Republicans, anti-healthcare, anti-abortion, anti pretty much everything the Dem platform stands for. They're only Dems because they're not racists and they can't stomach the churchy feel of Georgia GOP rallies.  

                    Down here, so long as you teach Sunday School, it doesn't matter if you   had a bill passed at 5 minutes to midnight the last night of the legislative session  to exempt you from  income tax on a land deal (100K worth of taxes). Out current governor did that. He admitted to it on a call-in radio show.  Didn't matter. He taught Sunday School so that made him all right with the teabaggers here.  I was not surprised when his reaction to the draught we suffered  for several years was to hold a prayer session (only invited preachers, priests and rabbis, though we have Buddhists, Hindus and Wiccans in the area).  Talking to people who'd vote for him is a waste of energy. You can't see it, but hen, you don't live amongst these people, while I do.

                    The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

                    by irishwitch on Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 02:40:35 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                •  I'm a she, not a he (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  greenomanic

                  and no, I'm not some dewy-eyed idealist out frolicking among the daffodils.  I'm a 52 year old trial lawyer who's been practicing mostly criminal defense and family law for the last 24 years, so spare me the patronizing comments about how well-meaning I am.  My thoughts come straight from a lifetime of watching people misunderstand and mischaracterize each other, sometimes to horrible effect.  If you really want to know why I take the stand I do it's that I have discovered that even someone who fervently thinks he knows what he believes can be reached and gotten to think in a different direction, even if that thought process doesn't get him to come all the way over to my side of the equation.  What I've learned from a lifetime of trying to reach people who do not want to be reached is that there is always something out there that can reach at least some of them, and the secret is not to think that everyone is exactly the same or that a particular political philosophy or set of beliefs makes that person unreachable and unteachable, but that the secret is figuring out what makes them tick.  

                  You've run into a few determined bigots and have extrapolated that to include virtually everyone of that persuasion.  You THINK that you know what makes them tick, but your inability to reach them tells me that you don't really.  You think this is about getting people to like and understand you.  It's not.  It's about the issue, not about you and not about them.  It's about making an appeal that they can comprehend within their own framework. It's about making sense on their level.    

                  •  I've lived here in the South for 7 years. (0+ / 0-)

                    I spent the first two listening and discussing. I have a pretty damned good idea what makes them tick. I just got tired of being called names or hearing them call others names for being the least bit different.

                    I am a librarian who's worked in the south. I was also a military wife for 15 years.  Both are similar social groups.  And I learned the hard way after nearly giving myself a concussion that if I completely lack the ability to dumb myself fown--and I truly doubt that someone who believes in death panels and worships Sarah Palin can be convinced of anything. It's a WHOLE LOT like trying to convert someone to a different religion or even trying to get them to respect a different one.   My MiL had known me for years and even asked me several times what Wiccans believe--but she still banned me from practicing my faith anywhere or any  time while we were under her roof because it was "devl worship".  I had made it clear that I respected her Christian beleifs and didn't see them as incompatible with my own--but that wasn't good enough. It's the same thing with politics.

                    Maybe they'll listen to you because you self-identify as a redneck. I have a definite East coast accent (actual;ly, I sound like newscasters with no accent other than American). I am also not a Christian, which is strike two. I am a Yankee, educated, and not a Christian. Three strikes and I am OUT.

                    The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

                    by irishwitch on Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 07:19:55 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

              •  then find common ground with irishwitch ! (0+ / 0-)

                that appears to be "the more difficult" and therefore, according to you,  "the more interesting".  

                I don't think you can be a success at anything if you think about losing, whether it's in sports or in politics. ~Edward Kennedy

                by denig on Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 02:22:53 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  btw, what's up with that -1 ??? (0+ / 0-)
  •  Tea bag this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Clues, irishwitch

    Yes, I know several self-described tea baggers and I work with several more. You want common ground with willful ignorance then you're going to have to go to a Palin rally. You want simple-minded viewpoints on complex social, political and philosophical issues than go hang out with a tea bagger. If you want to leave a meeting stupider than when you entered, attend a local tea bag rally and ask simple, straight forward questions. You'll immediately strip away any shred of decency this collection of pig-ignorant, unabashedly racist human beings attempt to cover with pseudo-populist notions about Socialism (not a one of them can define the word or the idea) Marxism (ditto) or their favorite standby -- free markets!

    Sorry, the onus for common ground lies with people who support an admitted secessionist like Palin, the same dipwad quitter who made it a point to draw distinctions between "real Americans" and those not-so-real Americans. When you can explain Palin, Bachman and the racism, we can talk about common ground. Until then, may they enjoy their self-exile.

  •  I think it's time for some proof (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    denig, irishwitch, Phthalo, PeakRaider

    because I'm just not buying this claim that most teabaggers want the same things we want, or that they're not racist, manipulated morons.

    If you really want people to believe what some of you are saying, go find us some links to conversations by members of teabagging groups where:

    Some of them are telling the rest of them to put down the racist signage, and stop yelling racist slurs.

    Where some of them are holding forth intelligently on topics that we all care about in the same way.

    Where some of them point out to the others that their taxes were not increased under Obama, and that they have lost no "personal freedoms".

    Go find some examples and bring them back here, and maybe some of us might change our minds.  Until you do that, we don't believe you, and in fact we have to wonder what your motives are for defending these people.

  •  This diary reeks of fail. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Clues, Phthalo
  •  you talk nicely to teabaggers but not to liberals (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Phthalo

    I am trying to wrap my head around your logic.

    You are trying to convince people to change their attitude and words towards the teabaggers.

    Yet you are unable to speak with us in the fashion, you evidently speak to them.

    Why is that? Why can't you do the very thing, you are espousing?

    I don't think you can be a success at anything if you think about losing, whether it's in sports or in politics. ~Edward Kennedy

    by denig on Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 01:24:20 PM PST

    •  or : why is world not perfect ? (0+ / 0-)
      •  what a lazy cop out! (0+ / 0-)

        you can now stop lecturing people, on how they should communicate.

        And you can stop holding yourself up as an example. Because you're not.

        I don't think you can be a success at anything if you think about losing, whether it's in sports or in politics. ~Edward Kennedy

        by denig on Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 01:38:09 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's hilarious that your signature includes a (0+ / 0-)

          quote from one of the most successful bipartisan Senators of all time, Teddy Kennedy, and you're advocating a position with which he would definitely disagree.  If Teddy were alive he'd be telling us to do whatever we could to try to reach out and convince the tea partiers.  Teddy may have hewed very strongly to his positions, but he never lost sight of the fact that he could get a lot more with honey than with disdain and disrespect for his opponents.

  •  I live in GA, HQ for Teaprty Central. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    denig, Clues, Phthalo

    As a deeply religious but lowkey Wiccan (I had to ask my new dentist if he minded treating non-Christians; I've had problems before with medical folk who saw my pentacle and started foaming at the mouth and making crosses out of their fingers to ward off my evilness) who is well-educated in north East Coast colleges, loves NCY cna Boston and finds Atlanta boring, pretentious and snobbish with little reason to be, the only thing I have in common iwth rednecks or teabaggers is my husband--he's the Cuckoo's Child in a family who pretty much agree with all you've said.  For this reason, we don't have a lot to do with them, and plan to get the hell out of GA as soon as he gets his degree (after 23 years in Unca Sam's Navy, he's unemployable in three different fields, so is becoming an R.N.)

    I've lived up and down the  east coast from Miami to Maine, and this is the ONLY place it's been impossible to make friends. When social life revolves around the church--that makes it difficult to meet like-minded people. Even tried the local Dem group, but they're actually conservadems of the Ben Nelson type, and I was creeped out.I can't even go to the Y because mine has. I've been followed through a craft store because of my pentacle. Sure, I could take it off and "pass" as Christian--but that means denying who I am.

    After years of attempting to explain my beliefs and po9litical stances to teabagger in-laws, I have learned you can't change their minds or even pry them open a bit, even withfacts.

    The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

    by irishwitch on Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 01:36:22 PM PST

  •  This pretty much explains the problem (0+ / 0-)

    with trying to talk with teabaggers.

    They like their certitudes.  Most are religious and they like the certitude offered by literal understanding of the Bible or adherence to all the rules and regulations of the more patriarchical aspects of Christianity.  From their point of view there are rules, dammit, and everyone should know those rules and it's beyond comprehension why anyone would even disagree with those rules. his wouldn't be a problem, except that many belong to churches which preach the paradoxical position that: a) the United States is a Christian nation and should be run as such; and b) the Government should stay out of people's lives because it'll only screw up everything because the gubmint has been taken over by the radical left, which has a secret agenda to socialize everything.

    Allow me to translate this into English.  These folks KNOW they are right because their Holy Book says so. No other Holy Book matters. Anyone who disagrees--even other Christians with more liberal interpretations--are flat-out wrong and shouldn't be allowed int heir small-government states-rights CHRISTIAN Nation. Essentially, the first amendment--freedom of speech and of religion--apply only to them because the FF were all Southern Baptists and any attempt to prove they weren't is a lie, even if you use primary sources because they don't know what a primary source is.

    How does someone like, a Wiccan, even try to communicate with them? Answer: She doesn't.

    The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

    by irishwitch on Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 01:46:00 PM PST

    •  Have you ever asked them this? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenomanic

      If the government is so bad, why do you want it to teach religion?  Why would you want the government to be the final arbiter of morality or your personal relationships?

      I've used this argument even with deeply religious people and they've been stumped.  A few have even acknowledged the sense of what I say.  

      It isn't about comparing Holy Writ.  It's about understanding the essence of their motivations and working around it.  You don't have to AGREE on substance with each other, just on process or on the rules.  

      People forget that before Jerry Falwell the evangelical fundamentalist fringe deliberately stayed out of politics.  They didn't want to be entangled with the government because that meant the government could tangle with them.  What's wrong with pointing out that when you invite the government in, it can end up taking far more territory than you originally intended to give?

      •  Yes, I have. (0+ / 0-)

        I have asked them .They want it to teach religion ONLY if it their version of Christianity because they know it's RIGHT because their God said so.  THEY will be in charge of school boards and thus decide who's hired (hell. they do that now; try getting hired down here if you don't belong to a Christian church).The idea is quite simply that this is a Christian Nation founded by Christians FOR Christians (and they assume that the FF's Christianity was the same as theirs--ignoring the fact that Southern Baptists weren't founded till just prior to the Civil War).

        The essence if quite simple: they want America to be just like the South and are determined to make those of us who don't tow the right line Biblically into second class citizens. They also believe that if they expose children early and often to their flavor of religion., the kids will bow to peer pressure. Social life revolves around the church (and athletics)--and without a church, you're locked out of half the social stuff.  My husband grew up here and got ostracized by Youth Group because he pointed out that Jesus was a Jew to the YG minister.

        I suspect you've never been a Wiccan or a Hindu in the Deep South. Or a Goth for that matter (and for info on what that's like, google West Memphis)--my BiL referred to his neighbor's son who dyed his hair blue as "a Goth Satanist" because he was unaware that the vast majority of Goths are Christian, and some are evangelical Christians.

        The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

        by irishwitch on Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 07:27:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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