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August 23, 2010

Ground Zero Tea Party

Chris Hondros/Getty Images
Chris Hondros/Getty Images

Who’s treading on who, now?

So much for the focus on economics, as well as individual liberty, freedom of religion and private property rights. Besides demonstrating how much the Tea Party goes where the wind blows, its flag flying above these anti-Muslim, anti-Park 51 protesters captures how much the so-called movement is preying on fear, looking to scapegoat and is terminally distracted from real issues.

(caption: Opponents of an Islamic cultural center and mosque planned to be built near Ground Zero in lower Manhattan gather during a demonstration on August 22, 2010 in New York, New York.)

  • serr8d

    The Gadsen flag is appropriate, because this fight is just another front in the great Conservative vs. Far-Left socialist fight that’s splitting this nation. Whether the immediate fight is against the Blue Mosque of Manhattan or (as happened over the weekend) protesting at ‘Code Pink’ Jodie Foster’s Jerry Brown fundraiser in California, the commonality is the desire of some of us to want to preserve the Republic from those Ben Franklin, polymath, warned us of: “When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.”

    It might be closer than you’d like.

    • tommo

      This country is filled with stupid bigots like you. You have no idea what the Constitution really means. You sold the soul of our nation FOR NOTHING under Bush Juior. Torture, no habeus, crackers like you make me sick.

      Thank goodness people like you will soon been gone like the dinosaurs.

    • Jeff

      That’s what I thought in 1975. (In fact, I think most people thought so.) Instead they brought up a whole new generation of them.

    • gmoke

      _The First American; The LIfe and Times of Benjamin Franklin_ by H. W. Brands
      New York: Doubleday, 2000

      page 149: “… Franklin helped arrange the construction of a new building (prosaically called the ‘New Building’) for the express purpose of hosting preachers unwelcome in the regular pulpits of the city. Franklin spoke his desires rather than strict reality when he declared in his autobiography that ‘if the Mufti of Constantinople were to send a missionary to preach Mahometanism to us, he would find a pulpit at his service.’”

      page 623: “When tax resisters justified their opposition on grounds that the government was taking money out of their pockets, he countered that they were fundamentally mistaken. ‘Money, justly due from the people, is their creditors’ money, and no longer the money of the people, who, if they withhold it, should be compelled to pay.’”

      page 708: “Propertied groups were trying to revise the Pennsylvania constitution to grant special privileges to property; Franklin responded much as before: ‘It is supposed that wisdom is the necessary concomitant for riches?’ Far from claiming special privileges, property ought to accept special responsibilities. He recapitulated his earlier argument about the origins of property, and asserted, ‘Private property therefore is a creature of society, and is subject to the calls of that society, whenever its necessities shall require it, even to its last farthing.’”

      So which is Franklin, a Conservative or a Far-Left socialist, serr8d, and why are those the only two choices you can see?

  • bks

    Damn, those people are fat! And not in a good way.


    • black dog barking

      Minus the flags and signs this pic could be half-price night outside the Golden Corral.

  • black dog barking

    If this picture is representative this is a lily-white, of a certain age gathering, a living flash-back. Looks like a lot of these folk are old enough but missed out on Woodstock, probably ‘Nam too. Starting at the left and noting the BMIs as we move along the fence one gets the impression that Tea is embraced in the abstract, not a reality for this crowd.

    What do we want? DENIAL. When do we want it? NOW.

    • Twinky P*

      I love how these bussed-in Jersey racists pretend they’re defending the Constitution, when what they’re calling for is to abandon it. Also, you gotta love how the photos are all cropped to pretend there were more people there than there actually were, based on first hand accounts. Of course, for these people, truthiness has replaced truth long ago; why they think they’ll be spared the ravages of the banana republic they endorse, I’ll never know. Eventually, even the brownshirts get swept away in the melee.

  • Megan

    In my eyes, the flag connects the crowd with the building, which is so much more solid and patient. The building is planted (with those columns coming down to root). It will remain in New York when the noise of the moment disperses. The flag also sent my eye to the horizontal running motif. Waves, washing endlessly? After a fair amount of searching, turns out that motif is a Greek key. It was around when democracy was born. It appeared in China, too.

    New York has solid patient buildings that reflect the whole world. Even the flags of a noisy bigoted mob can’t hide them.

  • Wayne Dickson

    Bin Laden(or his ghost) must be rubbing his hands with glee. At the WTC he destroyed a couple of buildings and those inside. The far right continue the project, shredding the fabric of our democracy. Bin Laden weakened some buildings. These sheep are weakening our entire nation.

  • Enoch Root

    “the so-called movement is preying on fear, looking to scapegoat and is terminally distracted from real issues.”

    Which is exactly why they make the perfect tools. This non-controversy (“reactionary radicals hate moderate muslims”) has occupied the news cycle for what seems like years. Plenty of legitimate news goes down the memory hole as a result.

    The most ironic part is not the ‘don’t tread on me’ flag. The ironic part is the ’sharia’ signs. These are people who want to cast the infidels out of Manhattan, using a bloody-writing critique of sharia. I guess they think there’s only room for one type of conservative-radicalism in the US.

    • black dog barking

      Plenty of legitimate news goes down the memory hole as a result.

      Eg — Operation Iraqi Freedom ends as last combat soldiers leave Baghdad

    • Jeff

      That tends to be the case when you’re a conservative radical. Too bad we can’t turn them against each other in a way that leaves the rest of us in peace–oh, no, they’ve got to drag the rest of us into it, too.

  • Marsupialas

    It’s always been my belief that since the initial push of 9-11, those advocating terror had to do nothing more because we did it all for them, from shredding the Constitution, to creating an atmosphere of fear and repression. Bravo to the Republicans for continuing this marvelous trend!

  • gmoke

    Flags in front and market, market, market behind. Sounds like the lowest form of Americanism.

  • Michael

    Subtracting for the moment the flags and placards: this is a crowd, with the emphasis on crowding, jamming together, and so solidarity. Everyone is oriented in the same direction. For someone averse to crowds, there is probably a fear factor in the sheer asphyxiating bulk of the participants. If crowds and sheer mass solidarity are your flavor, though, it could be quite a warming sight. Intoxicating even. Then if you add back in the flags, banners, etc., and so the mutually reflecting and enhancing emotion — nobody’s smiling, so it seems pretty damned serious — then you’ve got a nice hot bath of sentiment. I think any observer would tend to see that sentiment as composed largely of ill temper, with the eventual suggestion that the most frequently displayed symbol, the flag, is itself a congealed and compressed expression of anger.

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