When the going get’s crazy…

People have tried to tell me that the Tea Party movement is somehow an echo of America’s revolutionary past, a group of a good, honest, and hard-working citizens out to make their voices heard and to enact change. Or, maybe not “change,” seeing as that is Obama’s word and will now forever leave a bitter taste in the mouth of any God-fearing conservative, but you understand what I mean. The only real issue with claiming the Tea Party movement is revolutionary and intrinsically American is that, well, a pronouncement like that assumes that this movement is organic in nature, which I find hard to believe (and even if it did somehow start organically, one cannot ignore the affect that national media attention has had), and that it is a popular and necessary movement, which is also hard to believe. The American Revolution was about ousting the British, not about bitching about everything a duly elected President does, twisting facts into ridiculous rumors (remember those Death Panels?), and claiming that everyone against you is somehow associated with either the Nazis, Canadians, communists or socialists (for serious laughs, ask a Teabagger to differentiate between the two).

I’m sure there is a kernel of truth in that distorted image somewhere. Were I interested in painting an accurate portrait of the Tea Party movement… well, but I’m not, so let’s not get carried away. It would be much easier for me to care if their presence carried with it even the faintest whiff of legitimacy. As it is, they don’t. The only feelings I have for them are of annoyance and disdain. The Tea Party movement is like an insufferable rash that boggles the mind of even the most highly trained medical professionals. To believe that this is a distinctly American uprising is sickening and an insult to those who believed and still believe in this country. Perhaps I am misguided and these right-wing zealots have it all right; if that is the case, I am glad I have been forever de-Americanized to the Tea Party by the near-decade I spent in Europe.

Ravings aside, there is actually a point to this post — someone has a plan to bring these idiots to their knees. His name is Jason Levin and his group is called Crash the Tea PartyTPM had the good sense to cover this story, if only to legitimize the threat Levin’s group poses to the Tea Party. Basically, the plan is to infiltrate the Tea Party movement by talking and acting just like them, and then exaggerate the Tea Party’s message during the upcoming rallies and in front of television cameras, to, as Evan McMorris-Santoro reports, “manipulate them right out of relevance.”

This story has everything: crazies, pranksters, reactions and overreactions, and a general sense that a bunch of misguided fools are starting to fear for their flimsy platform’s integrity. And this is all part of Levin’s plan: “The lower the public opinion of them goes, the less coverage they’re going to get in the mainstream media… Then the GOP stops listening to them and they disperse and they go back to their militias and cabins in the woods.”

Sadly, we all know the plan won’t unfold as seamlessly as Levin hopes. The man has had threats made against him — one of those harassing Levin “associated him with the abortion doctor, George Tiller, who was shot and killed last year,” according to Anita Kissée’s KATU News story. We all know that old adage about wild animals being backed into corners.

With the 15 April rallies only a day away, one can only hope that Levin’s pranks and counter-protests do not have serious consequences for anyone, be they faux- or authentic Teabaggers. It’s ironic that free speech is being threatened by a group who claims to stand for America’s best qualities. I just hope that in the next few days we’re not left wondering if Levin should have left the Tea Party alone to destroy itself.


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