Conspiracy Theories

Tea Party: the Movie

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Last night saw the Washington, D.C. premiere of Tea Party: The Documentary Film. David Weigel was there, and gave a thorough write-up of the movie and event. Excerpt:

"Tea Party: The Documentary Film" is, according to its stars and filmmakers, an attempt to celebrate — and correct — the history of what [Dick] Armey called a movement to "fulfill the destiny of this land." [Producer Luke] Livingston said he and his volunteers paid for the movie, "maxing out our credit cards," for a total of around $500,000. Two more members of Congress, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), joined the proceedings to pay tribute to the activists who organized the 9/12 "taxpayer march on Washington," which drew an estimated 60,000 people to the Capitol to protest the Democrats' economic agenda. […]

Photo by Gene Healy

Price, the sponsor of a resolution paying tribute to the 9/12 march, credited Tea Party activists with giving Republicans "the courage to do what we need to do." After his short remarks, he asked more than a dozen activists to join him onstage to accept framed copies of the resolution, which has been sponsored by 148 members of the Republican conference but has not come up for a vote. […]

In the film's telling, the movement began with anger at President George W. Bush. His voice, announcing the September 2008 Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 with warnings of what will happen "if the free market is allowed to work," is the first sound viewers hear at the start of the movie. Price, the member of Congress featured most often in the film, later argues that Tea Party anger goes back to the March 2008 collapse of BearStearns, and the government's corresponding rescue package.

From there, the Tea Party movement is portrayed as a natural next step in America's history of peaceful rebellion against the government.

Whole thing here. For sure, it will be interesting to track Republicans' ongoing efforts to make or at least portray Tea Partyism as a GOP grassroots phenomenon.

Watch Reason TV's report from the 9/12 protest below. More links here.

NEXT: Don't Sweat Comcast/NBC, Either

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  1. which drew an estimated 60,000 people to the Capitol to protest the Democrats’ economic agenda.

    Didn’t the Reason staff report that there were more attendees than that? Was there ever a final ‘offical’ tally?

    1. Unscientifically, we all thought it was in the ballpark of 100,000. The 60,000 number was, as far as I’m aware, the only estimate ever given by a public official (some guy from the Fire Department?). Usually on big-ticket events, like the inauguration, there are multiple “official” sources (who always differ, since they’re basically making it up, too), and maybe a Washington Post/satellite image estimate. Even with all that, *those* numbers are hotly disputed, and it’s gotten to the point where the Park Service doesn’t even give out estimates any more, because it’s so controversial. (Really!)

      In the 9/12 case, some enthusiasts went bonkers with claims of a million; some debunkers tried to prove that a popular photo showing a flag at half-mast was from another day (it wasn’t); and those pooh-poohing the event latched onto that lone 60,000 number as the gospel truth.

      1. >The 60,000 number was, as far as I’m aware, the only estimate ever given by a public >official (some guy from the Fire Department?).

        The Fire Dept supposedly estimated 75,000.

        >Even with all that, *those* numbers are hotly disputed, and it’s gotten to the point where >the Park Service doesn’t even give out estimates any more , because it’s so controversial.

        except for the Obama Inauguration

        There is a time lapse video of the march that shows the crowd walking curb to curb (six lanes I believe) and it taking us 3.5 Hours from start to finish. How long does it take for 75000 people to walk 1.1 miles? Also, when we arrived, I was near the front of the march, the area around the front of the Capitol Building was mostly full as the person at the mic was asking us to “Fill in” some areas. The best estimate I would accept is ~350,000. Less than that is just an insult to my intelligence and recollection.

        Tea Partier! We party like it’s 1775!

    2. Also, the report was by Weigel. I’m surprised he didn’t say 3 people attended.

  2. WHAT DO WE WANT?

    AUSTRIAN BUSINESS CYCLE THEORY!

    WHEN DO WE WANT IT?

    AS SOON AS POSSIBLE WITHOUT CAUSING UNDUE SHOCK TO THE MARKETS!

    1. I would totally join that chant

  3. What’s great is that when we’re all enchippenfied, counting (and identifying) all of the protesters at such events will be a snap!

    1. I’ll be looking for a hot green to take me to sanctuary at that point.

  4. You mean enchippified with the chip implants that are covered in the healthcare reform bill right?

    1. Probably. In a bill that long, anything is possible.

  5. The Tea Party movement will be neutralized with increasing republican co-ownership. You line up a good thing with one of the 2 major parties and it loses its focus while the party tries to include more ideas to please more people.

    1. If we’ve learned anything from Obama, we gotta hold onto hope, brother…ben

    2. Tea party groups are running their own candidates in GOP primaries and it is making the GOP scared. It should.

      People have had enough of Democrat-lite Republicans. Offer something different, or get out of the way.

    3. Yes, it bother’s me a lot that the movement that was spawned by Ron Paul’s campaign has to a significant extent been co-opted by the Sarah Palin/Glen Beck faction of the GOP. I think it is a deliberate attempt to neutralize it and discredit it. The same people who tried to destroy Ron Paul have jumped in front of this parade.

      1. no apostrophe in bothers. Get a damn edit feature. I’m to lazy to preview!!!

  6. Hmm, I think I would rather watch paint dry!

    RT
    http://www.be-invisible.ua.tc

    1. Hmm, I think I would rather watch huff paint dry!

      FIFY

  7. Hmm, I think I would rather watch paint dry!

    Huffing it all the time, no doubt.

    1. Damn, i didn’t see your post.

    2. Ha ha, word, BP.

  8. Some of the Democrats want to portray this as a GOP grassroots phenomenon, too.

  9. In the film’s telling, the movement began with anger at President George W. Bush.

    You gotta love the way Wiggle tries to undercut the Tea Party as an anti-big-government movement (rather than the racist movement of lefty-lib media fantasy) with that “In the film’s telling.”

    Keep the faith, Davey!

  10. Also, the report was by Weigel. I’m surprised he didn’t say 3 people attended.

    An overwhelmingly white crowd of three, hopelessly fractured by infighting, whose chants failed to note that the first stimulus was enacted by Bush.

  11. “From there, the Tea Party movement is portrayed as a natural next step in America’s history of peaceful rebellion against the government.”

    Classic Weigel buttmunch journalism. Thanks for the reminder.

    1. I’ll have you know that I haven’t written any buttmuch journalism since I left TAINT magazine.

      1. Psssst… The taint ain’t the butt.

        1. Why do you think we fired his ass?

  12. the Tea Party movement is portrayed as a natural next step in America’s history of peaceful rebellion against the government

    I’m hoping for a return of America’s history of violent rebellion, personally.

    1. May Molotov cocktails reign supreme as we water liberty’s tree!

    2. I can appreciate the sentiment, however, I suspect that if internecine warfare developed in this country it would be like Serbia and Bosnia or our own “civil war”- which was not a civil war in a true sense – with resultant horrendous atrocities and not real good guys or bad guys.

  13. “You mean enchippified with the chip implants that are covered in mandated by the healthcare reform bill right? “

  14. I would totally join that chant

    Get to work on that giant papier-mache Hayek puppet head, dude.

  15. Why was any politican allowed to speak at a Tea Party ? Why was Marsha allowed to speak, she is Part of the Problem.

    Marsha Blackburn Voted FOR:
    Omnibus Appropriations, Special Education, Global AIDS Initiative, Job Training, Unemployment Benefits, Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations, Agriculture Appropriations, U.S.-Singapore Trade, U.S.-Chile Trade, Supplemental Spending for Iraq & Afghanistan, Prescription Drug Benefit, Child Nutrition Programs, Surface Transportation, Job Training and Worker Services, Agriculture Appropriations, Foreign Aid, Vocational/Technical Training, Supplemental Appropriations, UN “Reforms.” Patriot Act Reauthorization, CAFTA, Katrina Hurricane-relief Appropriations, Head Start Funding, Line-item Rescission, Oman Trade Agreement, Military Tribunals, Electronic Surveillance, Head Start Funding, COPS Funding, Funding the REAL ID Act (National ID), Foreign Intelligence Surveillance, Thought Crimes “Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act, Peru Free Trade Agreement, Economic Stimulus, Farm Bill (Veto Override), Warrantless Searches, Employee Verification Program, Body Imaging Screening.

    Marsha Blackburn Voted AGAINST:
    Ban on UN Contributions, eliminate Millennium Challenge Account, WTO Withdrawal, UN Dues Decrease, Defunding the NAIS, Iran Military Operations defunding Iraq Troop Withdrawal, congress authorization of Iran Military Operations.

    Marsha Blackburn is my Congressman.
    See her unconstitutional votes at :
    http://tinyurl.com/qhayna
    Mickey

    1. Where does she stand on Random Capitalization of words?

  16. Dave Weigel sucks and is probably an Arab.

  17. Dave Weigel sucks and is probably an Arab.

    Even worse, i heard you were Irish.

    1. What a sickening allegation.

      1. Not if he’s an alcoholic beverage.

        1. Dave Weigel’s name is a killing word.

          1. Damn you, Art!

      2. Bring forth the alligator!

  18. ps- Fuck threaded comments.

  19. Dave Weigel probably likes threaded comments.

  20. Dave Weigel probably likes threaded comments, P.

  21. The Good News: The New Mexico Third Congressional District has a real, live, libertarian-leaning candidate for the 2010 election (Adam Kokesh)

    The Bad News: The New Mexico Third Congressional District is hard-core Demoncrat 2-1.

    .. Hobbit

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