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Were You at the March on Washington?

by Alias Sunday, Sep. 20, 2009 at 4:55 AM

Two websites designed to energize Tea Party volunteers.

WERE YOU AT THE MARCH ON WASHINGTON?



That is the question going out over cyberspace to demonstrators on the right, as their leaders try to sustain the momentum of a large rally this past weekend in the nation's capital.

For a better understanding of the tactics and mind-set of the Tea Party movement check out these two websites whose purpose is to energize right-leaning volunteers: http://www.teapartyexpress.org/index.html and http://www.freedomworks.org/.

With its homespun graphics and folksy tone, the former site offers a fascinating self-portrait of the modern day freedom riders who joined The Tea Party Express national bus tour, which hosted a series of nationwide rallies beginning in California and culminating in the Sept. 12 "Taxpayer March on D.C.” The latter is the Internet headquarters of the Washington, D.C.-based Freedom Works Foundation, headed by former U.S. House Majority Leader Dick Armey.

There is nothing down home about this sucker. It is all business: a robust, attractively designed, easy-to-navigate online destination for a powerful and effective Republican lobbying outfit disguised as "a nonprofit, nonpartisan education and advocacy organization" under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. "FreedomWorks fights for lower taxes, less government and more economic freedom for all Americans," with a straight face. The home page introduces the two arch enemies in the War on Freedom: Cap and Trade and - surprise! - Obamacare.

Drilling down into the Obamacare sub-site is the closest an outsider can get to a graduate course in conservative political strategy. It soon becomes obvious how a minority party's pro-business/anti-big government frame continues to dominate the public policy debate: these guys are flat-out smart. The Health Care Action Kit, a 9-page Pdf document, is proof positive of their marketing chops. (For an interesting comparision, check out Organizing for America's Health Care Action Center http://www.barackobama.com/.)

In addition to a rally-the-troops letter from Armey ("Dear Friend of Freedom"), there is a Legislative Feedback Form with Three Big Questions Politicians Must Answer before They Vote on Obama's Proposed Government Takeover of Health Care. There also is a Sample Letter to the Editor that includes the following "Pointers":

•Follow the KISS Rule: Keep It Short, Simple

•Send them to multiple newspapers in your area or state

•Only one subject at a time

•Urge friends to send in letters along with you

The kit comes with a petition form so constituents can let their lawmakers know that "We the undersigned oppose socialized medicine and ask you to vote against it, and the higher taxes necessary to fund it." And then there is our personal favorite: Obamacare Translator: Interpreting the Spin. Sample counterspin, on the contention of leading CEOs that government-funded healthcare would make American business more competitive: Employer provided health care is a method of compensation. If government provided the healthcare and companies did not increase compensation, fewer people would work because marginal compensation from employment would decline.

Hmm. Lemme see if I got that straight. In the midst of the steepest economic decline since the Great Depression, if government suddenly took over responsibility for healthcare and my company didn't give me a raise, I'd tell them "Take This Job and Shove It!" Yeah, right.

Finally, who said conservatives don't have a sense of humor? Better take a stand against health-care reform now before we all end up having to carry an ObamaCare Card in our wallets. In another clever gimmick, the kit includes a two-sided facsimile of the ObamaCare card issued to one Nancy P. Pelosi. Lest the faithful confuse the gag cards for the real thing, there's a handwritten note in the margin of the printout that reads "Print this and the following page back-to-back for a fun handout to distribute to friends."

The card - which shows an American eagle with a bandage on one wing and what appears to be a thermometer in its mouth - spells out the terms and conditions of "A collective plan administered by the politicians and bureaucrats of the U.S. government": HOSPITAL ADMISSIONS REQUIRE PRIOR APPROVAL, FORM 11G SCHEDULE 44 IN TRIPLICATE, A PHOTO ID, TWO OTHER FORMS OF ID, PAY STUB, AND COPY OF CURRENT TAX RETURN.

The reverse side of the card carries a warning sticker on the evils of health-care reform.

THIS CARD ENTITLES THE BEARER TO THE FOLLOWING:

•Rationed healthcare •Higher taxes

•Long waits •Growing debt

•Less choice and control•Zero innovation

•Poorer Care•Rising costs

•Fewer doctors and drugs•Waste, fraud and abuse

•Massive government•Anxiety, pain, risk of death

Getting back to the Tea Party Movement, its National Sponsor (FreedomWorks)is asking the Capitol Hill freedom riders to share their experiences because "to help document this monumental event, over the next few weeks, FreedomWorks will be putting together an online archive of the 9/12 March on Washington."

Why wait, we say. Let's listen in on their blog right now for a taste of what the Tea Party Nation has on its mind (names omitted in the interest of privacy):

hello,…the march was awesome as was the energy and decency of the people. I saw a few signs that hurt us a little w racial or nazi slogans, but for the most part I think the march /tea party was a resounding success, and did my heart and patriotism alot of good. I got 130 pics, and took them in an unprejudiced way to show what all I saw. God bless all you God fearing , hard working Americans that participated! It was amazing to realize that most ALL there, were hard working, tax paying citizens! Thank you all again, it gives this Vietnam era Vet a warming of his heart. Keep up the PATRIOTISM, and dont give it up till “they pry it from under our cold dead fingers!” In GOD we trust!!...

Fellow 9/12 Rally Attendees,

In the last day or so, Congresswoman Maxine Waters has called on the media to “get to the bottom” of why we were marching on 9/12 in Washington DC. She is directing the journalists to investigate and uncover the real reason(s) we were in attendance. In the first place, the journalists will have to climb out of the presidential Sleep Number to get this done. So as not to disturb them and their “activities”, I am suggesting that we who were at the rally contact Ms. Waters direct. This will prevent any revising or twisting of our personal stories as to why we were there. Of course she along with other left wing nut jobs and ex-presidents are suggesting that we were there because of one reason, we are all racists. We have been called every name in the book and I personally find their recent attack to be the most outlandish and ridiculous...

There were representatives of many races at the march, I saw European American, Asian American, Native American, African American, Hispanic Americans, Middle Eastern Americans and various other racial blends the entire point is we are ALL Americans. In addition, there were several people who were formally from Russia that were VERY vocal. I was able to get 2 pictures of WWII veterans holding signs who fought for our freedom and that of the Jewish people in that great war. I have lived with several biracial people and still remain best friends with one of them, this is not an anti-race movement, it is a movement that opposes tax increases and/or any policy that disregards the Constitution...

This was a first protest march for me, and I found that most of the people I talked with had never taken part in a protest, either, except for the Tea Parties in their home areas. We talked to people from almost every state in the Union, and the breadth of the source of protesters also amazed me. People who work, have families and have communities that they actively support took their valuable time and money to be here for the 9/12 march on the Capitol. There were hecklers, sure, but for the most part people were mature enough to ignore them and not get caught up in pointless arguments. They were trying to start trouble, but we wouldn’t have any part of it. We also brought trash bags to avoid leaving a mess that would be expensive to clean up. We were raised to clean up after ourselves, after all. The lack of trash left behind was testament to the type of people who were there.

I didn’t see one heckler all day. Seeing a lefty that day was like winning the lottery. You must be one ucky thing . Take care, God bless. See you next time (if they make us come back)...

Fight Socialism!!! Repeal MEDICARE and SOCIALism SECURITY NOW!!!...

There you have it. Right from the horses' mouths. Snicker at your peril.

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