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Why Liberals Should Defend the Tea Party

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Only a year ago this was the Tea Party:
Dave Johannes: Tea Party protesters just starting
The inaccurate media coverage and the continued bashing of the Tea Parties by the media has only strengthened our commitment to our message and our cause. We are not a bunch of right-wing extremists trying to be disruptive; we are concerned citizens trying to make our voices heard and participate in our political process. We are not protesting any single person or political party; we are protesting the direction and policies of the current Congress and the new administration.
Our issues are:
•Excessive taxes.
•Out-of-control government spending.
•Nationalization of private businesses.
•Redistribution of wealth.
•The TARP bailout plan.
•Loss of individual freedoms.
•Excessive government regulation.
•Socialized medicine.
•Loss of national sovereignty.

Now Raw Story is reporting this:
Oklahoma conservatives, lawmakers plot anti-federal militia
Frustrated by recent political setbacks, tea party leaders and some conservative members of the Oklahoma Legislature say they would like to create a new volunteer militia to help defend against what they believe are improper federal infringements on state sovereignty.
Tea party movement leaders say they've discussed the idea with several supportive lawmakers and hope to get legislation next year to recognize a new volunteer force. They say the unit would not resemble militia groups that have been raided for allegedly plotting attacks on law enforcement officers.
"Is it scary? It sure is," said tea party leader Al Gerhart of Oklahoma City, who heads an umbrella group of tea party factions called the Oklahoma Constitutional Alliance. "But when do the states stop rolling over for the federal government?"
Thus far, the discussions have been exploratory. Even the proponents say they don't know how an armed force would be organized nor how a state-based militia could block federal mandates. Critics also asserted that the force could inflame extremism, and that the National Guard already provides for the state's military needs.
"Have they heard of the Oklahoma City bombing?" said Joseph Thai, a constitutional law professor at the University of Oklahoma. The state observes the 15th anniversary of the anti-government attack on Monday. Such actions could "throw fuel in the fire of radicals," he said.

In one year the Tea Party has made this transformation. All on it's own? It hardly seems likely.

Sure we're supposed to believe that everyone right of center is completely mad and liable to erupt in gunfire at the slightest provocation.

That doesn't explain the Tea Party stance of a year ago, though.

What happened?

Here's the methods employed by the FBI against the Black Panthers in the '60's Cointelpro:

Infiltration: Agents and informers did not merely spy on political activists. Their main purpose was to discredit and disrupt. Their very presence served to undermine trust and scare off potential supporters. The FBI and police exploited this fear to smear genuine activists as agents.
Psychological Warfare From the Outside: The FBI and police used a myriad of other "dirty tricks" to undermine progressive movements. They planted false media stories and published bogus leaflets and other publications in the name of targeted groups. They forged correspondence, sent anonymous letters, and made anonymous telephone calls. They spread misinformation about meetings and events, set up pseudo movement groups run by government agents, and manipulated or strong-armed parents, employers, landlords, school officials and others to cause trouble for activists.
Harassment Through the Legal System: The FBI and police abused the legal system to harass dissidents and make them appear to be criminals. Officers of the law gave perjured testimony and presented fabricated evidence as a pretext for false arrests and wrongful imprisonment. They discriminatory enforced tax laws and other government regulations and used conspicuous surveillance, "investigative" interviews, and grand jury subpoenas in an effort to intimidate activists and silence their supporters.[18]
Extralegal Force and Violence: The FBI conspired with local police departments to threaten dissidents; to conduct illegal break-ins in order to search dissident homes; and to commit vandalism, assaults, beatings and assassinations. The object was to frighten, or eliminate, dissidents and disrupt their movements.

The Tea Party is only a year old. There hasn't been enough time to apply all of the techniques listed; but a suspicious mind could easily see some have. This most recent step would set them up to complete the list.

This isn't necessarily an FBI operation of course. Our government is rife with secrecy. It really doesn't matter which agency is doing the dirty work.

Why it is being done does matter.

The Tea Party began as a grassroots movement to enact a fundamental change in the direction the Federal government is moving. It should be clear to anyone, regardless of their political leaning, that the government is directed by people with power and money. True grassroots movements of any sort, by their nature, are going to be antithetical to the goals of these people.

Why? Because their goal is more power. It is simple to the point of being stupid. There are people in the world obsessed with power and control. They don't want to share it with anyone and they certainly don't want to share it with everyone. A grassroots movement of any sort is going to drive them crazy; unless they control it and at that point it is no longer grassroots.

The Tea Party needs to root out the elements of the corporate/political power elite in their organization and the rest of us (liberals included) need to cheer them on.

We need grassroots movements.

We need the Black Panthers and we need the Tea Partiers.

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