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The New Drive to "Delegitimatize" the Tea Party

by Thomas R. Eddlem

The “talking points” memos have apparently gone out, and the salaried left is on the warpath against the Tea Party movement. The Boston Globe weighed in this morning with a protracted whine about radio talk show host Mark Williams, who serves as head of the Tea Party Express and spouts showman-like rhetoric. Williams is hawking “ long-discredited assertions,” according to the Globe, and the Tea Party leaders have not explicitly or sufficiently denounced him.

But the Boston Globe has only vented the latest salvo in a recent spate of attacks against critics of America's swollen federal government.

Last Week, the Boston Phoenix and its New England affiliates ran a cover story “Tea is for Terrorism” that blamed the non-violent Tea Party for stirring up potential terrorists because it has deligitimized the left: “Also wiped away is the line of demarcation between disagreements over policy and claims of illegitimacy. Little is more dangerous — or more effective — than undermining the very legality of those in power. Once you have convinced people that their government has ceased to operate under the rule of law, extreme measures become easily justifiable.”

The Southern Poverty Law Center published an enemies list of sorts earlier this month profiling 35 “patriots” who are supposedly a danger to the nation. The SPLC frets a “popularization of radical ideas and conspiracy theories by ostensibly mainstream politicians and media commentators.”

Former President Bill Clinton warned in a New York Times editorial April 18 against “demonizing” government, adding:  “As we exercise the right to advocate our views, and as we animate our supporters, we must all assume responsibility for our words and actions before they enter a vast echo chamber and reach those both serious and delirious, connected and unhinged.” (Emphasis in original.)

Former National Security Council expert on terrorism Richard Clarke sniveled to National Public Radio on April 19 that: “one of the biggest, certainly the second largest and second most destructive attack in our history inside our borders, was done by these people, American right-wing people. Extreme right-wing, anti-government, violent people. I think the United States has a serious threat today from those people because legitimate public officials are egging them on and legitimate public officials who are conservative and who are Republican aren't criticizing them or aren't criticizing them enough. We need to de-legitimize these people, or we will have another Oklahoma City.”

Timothy McVeith an “anti-government, right-winger”? They might as well classify Leon Trotsky as an “anti-government, right-winger.” McVeigh learned to kill as a government employee in the U.S. Army and was inspired to blow up Oklahoma City by National Socialist author William L. Pierce's Turner Diaries.

The reality is that terrorists are not among those who advocate following the law and restoring smaller government under the limits as enumerated in the U.S. Constitution, nor are they inspired by Tea Party people. It is true that terrorism almost always comes at times when the size and scope of government are growing and advocates of limited government are out of power. Terrorists may be inspired to lawlessness by a lawless government, but they are not inspired to lawlessness by those who point out the lawlessness of the government and call for a return to law. (There's no denying the federal government has exceeded its delegated powers with warrantless wiretapping, secret prisons, denial of trial rights, the new health care mandate, etc.) 

Terrorists are almost always from supporters of big government who are angry and frustrated that their form of big government isn't the faction that's dominant. Whether it's Leon Trotsky protesting against Stalin, or the Red Brigades campaigning against Italy's Social Democrats or the Ayran Nations and it's National Socialism protesting against the big government in Washington, it has nearly always been people who support totalitarian (or at least bigger) government who have been the terrorists.

But Bill Clinton, the SPLC, Richard Clarke and much of the left have embarked upon a crusade to blame the non-violent Tea Party because it criticizes government for exceeding its proper bounds set by the U.S. Constitution. The main goal is to try to undercut the energy of the Tea Party by directing its energy inward toward self-criticism.

The smear tactic should be interpreted by Tea Party acolytes as a sign that big government is afraid and they are on the path to victory. 

Thomas R. Eddlem is a contributor to The New American magazine,, and -- of course -- is an Examiner


  • Liz 5 years ago

    Thank You, Thomas! You deserve a tweet. Very well written by a journalist who does his homework. Very refreshing after all of the garbage I've read today by so-called "journalists."

    My theory is that this administration (our govt elected officials,with the help of the media) is behaving in a purposely dysfunctional way - they know exactly what they're doing - and they know what they want the outcome to be - and who to blame. Dysfunctional people incite violence in others - but the tea partiers aren't reacting. Like Martin Luther King's peaceful marches & demonstrations, they are using their heads & acting in a responsible, civilized, lawful way. Big government is very frustrated with the Tea Party movement. And the media is using every Saul Alinsky/Goebbels tactic they can. And they appear to be very foolish & disingenuous in their mockery & ridicule of decent law-abiding citizens. The Tea Party Movement isn't going away.

  • Jim 5 years ago

    This is perhaps one of the most ludicrous pieces of nonsense I have read in a long time. Consider this literally INSANE statement:

    "Timothy McVeith an “anti-government, right-winger”? They might as well classify Leon Trotsky as an “anti-government, right-winger.” McVeigh learned to kill as a government employee in the U.S. Army and was inspired to blow up Oklahoma City by National Socialist author William L. Pierce's Turner Diaries."

    This statement shows a complete IGNORANCE of reality. Nazis in Germany were of course known as "National Socialists". They were completely RACIST. The Nazi's rise to power was predicated on the FAILURE of "liberalism" and "communism" and "communists" fought on OUR SIDE against these Germans in WWII.

    Apparently this author is too stupid to know this. This author is a friggin imbecile.

  • Jim 5 years ago

    Also, implication that McVeigh was somehow like 'Leon Trotsky' in his philosophy could not be further from the truth. McVeigh was ABSOLUTELY a right-wing nut case. He said so in thousands of comments in his interviews. He HATED the US Government and viewed it as evil. That is why he murdered men, women, and children with a bomb, and why he had no regrets about doing so.

    This attempt to deny this reality, and somehow classify McVeigh as being "leftist" reveals either brain-damage, complete ignorance, or complete dishonesty.

    It seems most likely that the last of these is true. As such, this author is merely a liar. Might be more interesting if the cause was a straightforward neurological disorder however.

  • Scott Templeman 5 years ago

    Let's not forget that Hussein & Bin Laden were once US puppets in the Middle East. Who made the military equipment we were fighting in Iraq? Terrorist is a term used by governments to label people who have become vocal with the opinions said government has tried to suppress. By declaring a War on Terror, big gov has open season on getting rid of any and all opinions which are inconvenient for their citizens to hear and think about.

  • ExTeaParty 5 years ago

    Tea Party has direct ties to oil corporations headed by David H. Koch and Charles G. Koch.

    Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE) was established in 1984 by David H. Koch and Charles G. Koch of Koch Industries. "CSE received almost $5 million from various Koch foundations between 1986 and 1990, and David Koch and several Koch Industries employees serve as directors of CSE and the CSE Foundation.

    Citizens for a Sound Economy/CSE (1984–2004) was a conservative political group operating in the United States, whose self-described mission was "to fight for less government, lower taxes, and less regulation." In 2004, Citizens for a Sound Economy split into two new organizations, with Citizens for a Sound Economy rebranding as FreedomWorks, and Citizens for a Sound Economy Foundation becoming Americans for Prosperity.

    Freedom works and Americans for Prosperity are the key players in organizing Tea Party rallies:

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