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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

AstroTea Central

Tomorrow we’ll be hearing lots about the so-called “tea parties” being held in conjunction with tax day. If you follow the festivities on Fox, you’ll be under the impression that the “tea party movement” is a vast grassroots phenomenon on the brink of halting socialism in its tracks and turning governance of the country back over to its rightful, rightwing owners.
In reality, of course, the tea parties aren’t in the least spontaneous, and have been organized, financed and promoted by the usual suspects of hard-core conservatism. That’s why the best place to follow the tea parties is at a new site, www.savetherich.com, devoted to exposing the “astroturf” (i.e., fake grassroots) nature of these events.
Here’s some pertinent info from the site’s “open letter to media”:

The evidence of astroturfing is everywhere:
Corporate lobbyists and their consultants are organizing behind the scenes. Many of the events are being run by staff from think tanks like Americans for Prosperity, Freedom Works and American Solutions for Winning the Futures (ASWF) an organization run by former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
Fox News is encouraging turnout, sponsoring, and covering “Tea Parties” across the country. They’re coordinating much of the information for organizers on-line. Fox News hosts — Beck, Cavuto, Hannity, Bruce, Van Susteren, Malkin and Gingrich — are featured guests at some of the largest gatherings.
Protesters have no idea what they’re talking about. At Tea Parties that have taken place over the last few days, attendees are more concerned with Obama’s birth certificate than high taxes or government spending. Fringe gun groups, secessionists, anti-immigration activists and neo-Nazis are out in force.
Republican officials are driving turn out. Sen. David Vitter is even sponsoring a bill to honor the protests. At least 12 Republican members of Congress will be featured guests at the Tea Parties. 11 of the 12 Members of Congress attending the events voted against limiting excessive bonuses just two weeks ago.

So buckle in for a day of rage, much of it manufactured.

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