The Weekend Wonk: No, Media – Trump #Resistance is NOT “Just like the Tea Party”

February 25, 2017

Above, a workshop from 2010, training “spontaneous” Tea Party “patriots” on how to skew information on social media.

Especially note, – “80 percent of the books I star, I don’t read. That’s how it works.”

I’m pushing back against the media’s newly minted meme of comparing the current resistance movement against a true home-grown crypto-fascist regime, with the racist, film-flam Tea Party scam of 6 years ago.  Herd journalism is a tough thing to overcome, so just understand this will be require a push, and some very large citizen uprisings in coming months.

Below, Christopher Hirchens on the 2011-ish Tea Party movement.


Raw Story:

Staffers at CPAC quickly scrambled to confiscate Russian flags with the word “TRUMP” written on the front that were being waved by attendees during President Donald Trump’s speech on Friday.

The trouble began when some attendees took out pro-Trump flags to wave during the president’s speech that also happened to have the same white-blue-and-red striped pattern as Russia’s official flag.

Reporter Peter Hamby notes that CPAC staffers quickly realized that its attendees were waving Russian flags, and moved to confiscate them.

“Why Facts don’t Change our Minds” – The New Yorker:

Where it gets us into trouble, according to Sloman and Fernbach, is in the political domain. It’s one thing for me to flush a toilet without knowing how it operates, and another for me to favor (or oppose) an immigration ban without knowing what I’m talking about. Sloman and Fernbach cite a survey conducted in 2014, not long after Russia annexed the Ukrainian territory of Crimea. Respondents were asked how they thought the U.S. should react, and also whether they could identify Ukraine on a map. The farther off base they were about the geography, the more likely they were to favor military intervention. (Respondents were so unsure of Ukraine’s location that the median guess was wrong by eighteen hundred miles, roughly the distance from Kiev to Madrid.)

Now, a little history.

Time magazine recently excerpted  Poison Tea: How Big Oil and Big Tobacco Invented the Tea Party and Captured the GOP – which I guess I’ll have to add to my stack next to Dark Money.

Author  Jeff Nesbit was former communications official at the FDA and George H.W. Bush White House.
He describes his first gig after he lost his White House gig following the 1992 election – working for the Koch Brothers front group, Citizens for a Sound Economy.(CSE)

Nesbit wrote about it in the book “Poison Tea”.


Charles and David Koch—who, if their individual fortunes were combined in one place, would quite possibly represent the wealthiest person on earth—have almost certainly spent or raised more than a billion dollars to successfully bend one of the two national parties in America to their will. The long rise of the Tea Party movement was orchestrated, well funded, and deliberate. Its aim was to break Washington. And it has nearly succeeded, as America saw in the debt-ceiling debacle of 2011, prompted by the Republican Party’s demand that the president negotiate over deficit reduction in exchange for an increase in the maximum amount of money the US Treasury is allowed to borrow. There are no mistakes or accidents in the Tea Party movement. Its leadership has made certain of that.

One of my first assignments as a consultant for CSE was to join the CSE leadership on a New York fund-raising trip to meet with a huge corporate partner with vast experience in building real political muscle who could help CSE reach beyond Koch oil money for their new grassroots efforts. We visited Philip Morris’ headquarters in New York.

poisonteasmallWe were met by several of Philip Morris’s state-based government affairs experts, all of whom had significant experience in building coalitions with an eye toward blocking regulations they didn’t like at the state level. The concept that CSE put on the conference table, which was quickly taken up by the Philip Morris staff, was a bit shocking to me. They proposed an unholy alliance—Philip Morris money commingled with Koch money to create anti-tax front groups in a handful of states that would battle any tax that moved. It would make no difference what kind of tax—the front groups could battle cigarette excise taxes in the Northeast and refined-oil fees at the coasts. Any tax, for any purpose, was bad—and these front groups would tackle them all, with Philip Morris and the Kochs behind them.

It made good business sense—and good political sense as well. You could relabel just about anything as a tax, and heaven knows the American public hates taxes. This, at its core, was the beginning of the American Tea Party revolt against the power of the government to pay for its programs. They could recruit average citizens from a variety of ideological groups to their cause. They would work side by side with corporate-directed workers and employees, providing real boots on the ground when enough activists weren’t readily available. And no one would be the wiser—or even care— that these “grassroots” anti-tax groups would be jointly created and funded by the largest private oil company and the largest cigarette company in the world.

Over the years, Rich Fink, Charles Koch’s political adviser, and his various Koch protégés have occasionally talked publicly about what would be needed to take over one of the two national political parties from the outside and place Libertarian, free-market principles at its center. It would take:

• an extensive academic network to support it intellectually;
• policy networks in every state to draw on that intellectual underpinning from hundreds of American universities;
• a true political grassroots alliance that extended to all of those state capitals and worked closely with the academic and policy network;
• a propaganda arm that could bring tightly controlled messaging and narratives to the fore in the state networks in a way that looked
like in- dependent journalism;
• and a national coordinating group that could enforce discipline in what would otherwise be a chaotic, unruly, wildly disconnected political
network that ran the gamut from the patriot movement to American exceptionalism.

As luck—or careful, strategic planning—would have it, just such a highly leveraged network with these very pillars was in place as the Tea Party movement appeared to emerge from nowhere at the start of President Obama’s first term in office. That Tea Party movement looked an awful lot like the efforts the Kochs’ CSE had led in the Clinton and Bush years—just with more money, broad state-based causes, better-trained leaders, and a willingness to integrate and coordinate more efficiently with each other.

A recent study from the University of San Francisco catalogued the connections between what became the Glenn Beck era “Tea Party”, and a long history of Koch, Oil, and Tobacco funded efforts to create just such a bogus “movement”.

Consider further,  the so-called “Climate Gate” would-be scandal of 2009-10 – that was ginned up on climate science, following the upload of stolen climate science emails to, you guessed it,  a Russian server.

Note the activation here of the early “Alt-Right”, and climate denier Marc  Morano’s deployment of the “Stochastic terror” meme – “…no one’s advocating violence, but”..

The power of weaponizing emails, of course, played heavily in the 2016 election, as this word cloud of news accounts in regard to Hillary Clinton shows.


Almost as if someone was road-testing disinformation tactics to use on a grand scale.

Finally, Samantha Bee, (comedian who does the media’s job) in Russia interviews professional internet Trolls, like those involved in distorting public perceptions in the lead up to the 2016 US election.


23 Responses to “The Weekend Wonk: No, Media – Trump #Resistance is NOT “Just like the Tea Party””

  1. Tom Bates Says:

    Wow, you are really going off the deep end with the big lie and distortions. Koch did not invent the Tea party and they are not some tool of the vested big money interests unless you live in bizarro land. They represent a lot of people who are not happy with the way things are going, just like you.

    You continually distort when you use immigration in place of illegals and you know it. The issue is illegals and being blown up walking down the street. That is why you keep losing, a whole lot of people think you are lying and distorting.

    Take Obamacare, marketed as keep your own doctor. That was a lie Obama and the dems knew from the beginning. It is only affordable if you make less than about 35000 a year and have a family as the taxpayers pay the rest. If you are a young person with few health problems it is cheaper to simply go to emergency care at the hospital and not pay the bill than pay the tax for not having insurance. That is cheaper than the monthly premiums. When you get into the higher income ranges and lose the subsidy the costs go threw the roof. The real problem is the Dems in return for about 200 million in campaign cash from the medical industry refused to put any caps on cost and have no mechanism to reduce costs so costs are increasing in the double digit range. That cannot continue. It needs to be fixed.

    Instead of fixing problems like jobs, security and medical care you simply riot and distort and or lie usually both. That may win you votes from people who think that is okay but it turns off the rest.

    • So Tommy Poo,

      Have you figured out the difference between the stratosphere and the troposphere yet? If you are having trouble with that, call your local elementary school. I’m sure lots of students there could explain it to you, and an language that you may be able to understand (no guarantees on that, though).

    • Keep waving those Russian flags Tom!

    • schwadevivre Says:

      More vile emissions from Master Bates

      The Koch brothers funded the tea party.

      Immigration is immigration whether legal or illegal. Illegal immigrants are more law abiding than non-immigrants because they do not want to attract attention and be deported,

      Obamacare is better than the fuck all that the Republicans want to impose. The ONLY reason why some few people could not keep their doctors was because the medics in question would not or could not accept Affordable Care Act insurance

      How many more lies are you going to tell?

    • Torsten Says:

      TB writes: “The issue is illegals and being blown up walking down the street.”

      You are a simpleton.

      • Andy Lee Robinson Says:

        Terrorism is like a flea that causes a dog to scratch itself to death.

        I lived in London while IRA bombs were going off regularly and sometimes even rattling the windows.
        I even found one in a litter bin and called the bomb disposal squad.

        The chances of actually being in the wrong place at the wrong time were so infinitesimally small that I didn’t let it bother me.

        Obviously, terrorism isn’t good, but using it to whip up the population into a frenzy of fear and destroying your country is far far worse.

        By enabling Trump’s rise to power, ISIL won even when they are defeated.

      • What is it, 12,000 American citizens slaughtered by American Citizens with the profitable assistance of the NRA EVERY year.

        How many have been killed or injured by foreign terrorists in the last 40 years and where were those terrorists from. ?

        How many by American terrorists that have no connection with foreign interests. ?

    • Lionel Smith Says:

      Koch did not invent the Tea party and they are not some tool of the vested big money interests unless you live in bizarro land.

      More wilful ignorance from the master bater.

      Have you never heard of Tim Phillips and Americans for Prosperity?

      A visit to Sourcewtach can turn up more and there are plenty of books on this topic which lay out the evidence as to why it is you inhabiting ‘Wonderland’,

      and check out Robert Brulle of Drexel whilst you are at it.

      • dumboldguy Says:

        Also check out Give Us Liberty: A Tea Party Manifesto by Dick Armey & Matt Kibbe (2010). And Dark Money by Jane Mayer. The Kochs and other “big money interests” may not have invented the tea party, but they soon co-opted it with their dirty money.

        (PS Armey is quite proud of the fact that the Tea Party adopted the tactics of Saul Alinsky and used them so well against the left).

        • Lionel Smith Says:

          I have, and have read Mayer’s ‘Dark Money’ and also Nesbit’s ‘Poison Tea’. Bates should act similarly.

          Shawn Otto also has the number of the Tea Party and the Kochs in his ‘The War on Science’ .

          Sourcewatch has more specifics

          New Study Exposes Flood of Dark Money Feeding Climate Change Denial

          The data also indicates that Koch Industries and ExxonMobil, two of the largest supporters of climate science denial, have recently pulled back from publicly funding countermovement organizations. Coinciding with the decline in traceable funding, the amount of funding given to countermovement organizations through third party pass-through foundations like Donors Trust and Donors Capital, whose funders cannot be traced, has risen dramatically.

          One has to be a livid shade of ignorant denier to come out with the crap we see from the master bater.

  2. Gingerbaker Says:

    the nattermaster:

    “Wow, you are really going off the deep end with the big lie and distortions.

    My irony meter just exploded. Which caused me to stop reading right there. The very first line.

    Not a bad thing. Not a bad thing at all.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      You needed an “irony meter” to deal with Bates’ babbling? If you had untruth, distortion, ignorance, and misinformation meters also hooked up, you would have blown out a wall of the house long ago.

  3. BL Brown Says:

    Mr. Bates, you’re beyond wrong here. The structure of the ACA represents the only way to achieve broad, affordable coverage without a state-funded health care plan for the entire population. It was modeled on Romney’s plan for Mass., as proposed by a well-known right-wing think tank. The key aim is to ensure everyone has access to affordable coverage– which can only happens if healthy people who refuse to buy coverage pay a tax penalty that can be used to subsidize coverage for those too sick (or too poor) to buy affordable coverage. Absent this, coverage for people with low incomes and/or prior conditions on a private market is completely unaffordable (and those people wind up receiving, at best, limited, last-minute care at pubic expense in hospitals that don’t turn people in desperate condition away).
    The ‘keep your own doctor’ thing couldn’t be guaranteed, since private insurance does limit which providers are allowed, and coverage plans change all the time– but there was nothing in the rules that prevented people from keeping their own doctors– if they had to seek a new doctor, it was because the company they bought their plan from didn’t include that doctor in their new plan. And (compared to whether or not you have access to affordable care) this is a pretty feeble complaint. Needless to say, you and other Republicans made a meal of it (something about motes and beams comes to mind here).
    Finally, of course healthy young people can usually do better financially by not taking out any insurance at all. But if they’re unlucky enough to get sick, who pays the bill when they go into emergency? The public, of course, through taxes that fund the public hospitals that suffer these losses (hence the financial troubles of many such hospitals in states that have refused the medicaid expansion).
    In short, your complaints are BS and your politics are dishonest and ugly.

    • indy222 Says:

      This is entirely too much fact-orientation and fidelity to accuracy for Bates to handle. I’m sorry for the care you put into this response. Only the “choir” read it, well done though it is. The Tom Bates’s of the world DO NOT LISTEN. We need to be thinking of how to save this planet by going AROUND these people, not THROUGH them. We’ll all die waiting for them to change their “minds”. Logic and evidence have nothing to do with their actions. Recall the study showing that the more evidence and logic you provide to Republicans – even nominally “well educated” ones, the MORE they are against the notion of human-caused global warming. More facts will not change them. We need to talk to the “choir” and organize them to take back the country and stop wasting breath and ink on those who’s only mission is to squeeze every last dollar out of Nature while they still can, in service of their petty ego and attempt to prove to themselves they’re “winners”.

    • Lionel Smith Says:

      Mr. Bates, you’re beyond wrong here….

      Spot on and exceedingly well put. Shame I couldn’t give that more than one thumbs up but then I wouldn’t game the system. I don’t even vote my own posts – what would be the point?

      What is described there has its parallels with the externalities of resource extraction and fossil fuel burning. Which also both have an impact on health with those involved at the front of those industries and the laid off by closures are hit by a double-whammy, low finances and poor health from pollution. Those down stream of contaminated water courses, of all sizes, are also adversely affected.

      I cannot understand the poor logic of such as Inhofe, McConnell, Cruz, Trump (and Trump’s little helpers) who somehow think they and theirs are going to be immune from the all pervasive pollution of which levels are growing, often invisibly.

  4. BL Brown Says:

    Some conservatives (genuine ones– rare though they are) must be truly horrified to find that what their supporters really wanted all along was Trump…

  5. Sir Charles Says:

    Trump supporters are falling for this:

    What Faux “News” doesn’t achieve, Putin’s trolls will sort it.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      First clip wouldn’t play—-try this one

      • Sir Charles Says:

        Funny. It’s working fine for me in Europe. Maybe you have an NSA problem in the “Land of Freedom”.

        • dumboldguy Says:

          It came through with “The uploader has not made this video available in your country”. As to whether it’s the NSA, Putin, the “media murderers” in the White House, or Al Jazeera behind the “unavailability”, it I wouldn’t venture a guess.

          • Sir Charles Says:

            Some four years ago I watched “bombspotters” from Belgium. Guys showing how easy it was to enter NATO areas where nukes are positioned. It was short before a NATO meeting in Germany. Guess where you couldn’t watch this vid. Of course it was only in Germany. Reason: SONY would have complained about “copyright infringements” of their music. The clou: There was no such infringement. All music was created by the makers of the vid. Now you can make up your mind. Why would Al Jazeera block just the one video? Get used that the US and Russia are getting more and more similar. They’re both run by oligarchs. And maybe in a short time you can’t host (or even see) sites like Peter’s one any more in the US. The war on freedom has long begun. And it’s typical for Fascists that they argue their war would be the defence of freedom. The Nazis did it exactly the same way some 80 years ago. History is just repeating itself.

Leave a Reply to dumboldguy Cancel reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: