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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-01-14 09:15 AM
Original message
Lie #3 that media tell about the Tea Party.
Edited on Sat Feb-01-14 09:24 AM by No Elephants
Lie # 3: Teabaggers outnumber liberals.

Where, you ask, did I hear that lie? Fox News, no doubt?

Nope. PBS. Washington Week with Gwen Ifill, no less.

And therein lies a tale.

As of 2006, National Journal has an agreement with Washington Week which ensures that at least one National Journal reporter is on the show.<11>

In 2010, buyouts were offered to the entire magazine's staff. The magazine was relaunched in October, along with a new, free website.

Now, I imagine that money changed hands, maybe still changes hands, in order for Washington Week to bind itself to having "at least one member" of the National Journal's staff on its panel each week. And, when money changes hands, a conflict of interest is created, or a potential conflict, at the very least. Any responsible program would disclose the existence of a potential conflict, right? And PBS is nothing but a responsible network, right?

I tend not to watch TV, but to listen to TV while I do other things. So, I can't say if any notice about this agreement flashes on the screen while Washington Week is airing. I know I have never heard any mention of the agreement, or of any potential conflict. I checked the show's website this morning and saw no mention of this agreement or of any potential conflict.

I believe that, at one time, the National Journal leaned left. However, the Editor of the National Journal is Ron Fournier. Fournier used to be with AP when AP's stories about Washington D.C. leaned noticeably right. At some point during the administration of Dummya Bush, we learned of emails between "journalist" Fournier and Karl Rove, in which Fournier prayerfully urged Rove to "keep up the good fight." This 2004 email somehow came to light years later, during the investigation of the death of Pat Tillman. The revelation prompted left-leaning Media Matters to write, in 2008, an article entitled The AP has a Ron Fournier Problem.

Apparently, though, Fournier's biased brand of journalism has not changed. Indeed, his bias probably why the Journal hired him. (I am sure he is competent, but competent journalists abound. He was infamous for his lack of objectivity before the Journal hired him. Ergo, I have to conclude that he was hired, not only for his bias, but for his tendency to make it obvious, aka slanting.)

So, anyway, I was listening to Washington Week last night when I heard a woman say that bipartisan agrements between Democrats and Republicans in Washington created problems with their respective bases, or something to that effect.

The woman who said it focused initially on the Tea Party, but added briefly that the same was true of the Democrats and their liberal base, although that was smaller than the Tea Party and less disagreeable. ("Disagreeable" is my word. I don't remember the word that was actually used.)

To be fair, I believe the woman who made the comment was from Bloomberg, not from the National Journal.

Mind you, she did not say that conservatives outnumbered liberals. I believe most Republicans would self-identify as conservative. She said the teabaggers were a larger group than liberals. (I am sticking with how people self-identify, though, when polled on issues, most American give liberal responses. See )

No one on the panel raised any question about the statement that liberals were a smaller group than Teabaggers. I, however, found it difficult to believe that the US has more Teabaggers than liberals. So, I tried to do a little checking. I can't say I spent a lot of time on it, but finding numbers is not easy. Here's what I did find.

The Tea Party website says that its numbers have grown from a small group in 2004 to "tens of millions." /

However, this claim is not substantiated in any way and comes from a source with a great self interest in overestimating the number of Tea Party members. So, take that number with many grains of salt.

According to wiki, the Tea Party Caucus in the House is defunct. (This surprised even me.)

From July 2012 to April 2013 the Tea Party Caucus neither met nor posted news on its webpage, leading observers to describe it as "dead," "inactive," and "defunct."<15><16> In April 2013, Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina filed paperwork to create a new Tea Party Caucus, but found that Michele Bachmann intended to continue the caucus, starting with an event on April 25.<17>

As of October 2013, the Tea Party Caucus and the similar Liberty Caucus are practically defunct.

Contradistinctively, the House Progressive Caucus has over 60 House members (down, sadly, from about 100 members in 2008, and therein hangs another tale, one of the Party under the leadership of President Obama and the DLCers who have headed the DNC since Obama gave Dean the boot, but that tale is not for this post). While membership has declined, the Progressive Caucus is far from defunct. /

Neither of the above caucuses tells us how many Americans are Teabaggers and how many are liberals. Still, I can't imagine why the Tea Party Caucus rose and fell so quickly. Or can I?

A 2010 article for PBS's News Hour is just about the only thing that a bit of googling brought me with actual numbers. As you know, the Senate passed Obamacare in December 2010 and the final version of the bill was passed by reconciliation in 2010 and signed into law March 2010.

The article says in part:

But how big are those groups really? The tea party protest on tax day in Washington, D.C., may have looked big on camera, but pan back, and you would have seen about 3,000 to 4,000 people in attendance. Thats hardly a groundswell.


The geographic snapshot: According to tea party member databases, there are roughly 67,000 members in counties across America, but the biggest producers of tea-party members in Patchwork Nation, per capita, are the Boom Town counties. These places experienced rapid growth around 2000 and the worst part of the housing crash that followed. /

I think 3-4000 at the demonstration is a very generous estimate. When the cameras pulled back that day, the group looked much smaller to me than that. But, 67,000 members across the entire country? In a nation with a population of aboout 350 million? Why was anyone even pretending a group that small was significant? (Why do they still pretend?)

"But, No Elephants," you say, "that was four years ago. Surely, the group has grown since then."

"Well," says I, "not necessarily. The Tea Party was much less popular in 2013 than it was in 2010. And it was even less popular near the end of 2013 than it was near the beginning of 2013."

(Rasmussen, January 2013: Only 8% of people polled said they were Tea Partiers, down from a high of 24% in 2010.) /

(Pew, October 2013: Tea Party less popular than it was in the spring of 2013)

So, how many Americans self-identify as liberals? That information did not come readily to hand. The issue is also complicated by the fact that both elected Republicans and elected Democrats have worked hard to discredit the word "liberal." It is also complicated by the fact that some left leaners self-identify as "liberal" and some self identify as "progressive." Still.....

While it is difficult to gather demographic information on ideological groups, recent surveys by the New York Times and CBS News, between 18% and 27% of American adults identify as liberal, versus moderate or conservative.<39> In the 2008 presidential election, exit polls showed that 22% of the electorate self-identified as "liberal."

Math was never my strong suit, but I am sure that 22% is greater than 8%. So, why, dear reader, did no one on Washington Week so much as blink when a panelist said that Tea Partiers outnumber liberals?

And, let's not forget the second part of the comment of the Washington Week panelist: Republicans have more problems with their base because liberals don't make as much of a fuss as do Teabaggers. So, my liberal friends who do outnumber Teabaggers, no matter what the meme is, maybe it's time you started making more of a fuss.

Of course, the panelist did not cite the third reason: the lies members of the media like her tell about Teabaggers.
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-01-14 03:40 PM
Response to Original message
1. I will reread this
and give you a better answer when my energy level is higher. All of the sudden I am completely sapped. Ever get that way? Whew. Sorry. I'll do better later.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-01-14 11:59 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. So sorry that you are feeling bad.
And yes, we all feel sapped of energy suddenly sometimes. Nothing whatever for you to apologize for. Posting is supposed to be an enjoyable pastime, something that you do if and when you feel like it.

Maybe I should apologize for writing that exhausts people!

Feel better, friend.
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-02-14 09:08 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. No apology, please. I enjoy your editorials.
I made venison stew, a huge amount. I chopped pounds of venison loin, carrots, celery, potatoes, onions and garlic. My sweetie peeled the potatoes and carrots, which was a huge help. The problem is my knife has finally become dull. I managed get it done but my neck vertebrae had yet to recover from all the chopping I did when I made jambalaya a few days earlier. I didn't complain but I felt like I couldn't hold my head up. I got a neck-shoulder rub that helped for about a minute. My left hand is tingling, half numb and feeling partially asleep.

When I recover I will be sharpening that knife. I can really put an edge on it to where one could shave with it. But that edge only lasts about six months or so.

That was interesting about the liberal-conservative-Tea Party demographic. I have mostly given up on PBS(and NPR). The goal of the .01% is to propagandize us and they are now in control of what we used to consider reliable information sources like 60 Minutes. Part of that propaganda includes telling us we are reliably conservative as a nation. But polls on the issues do not bear this out. The nation is still liberal whether they acknowledge it or not. The righties are still trying to demonize the term liberal. And their efforts have not gone unrewarded. I feel like my response is somehow deficient. Or insufficient.

Nice to see you this morning.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-02-14 06:12 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Your response is fine and appreciated, just as it always is.
Edited on Sun Feb-02-14 06:51 PM by No Elephants
We agree on all the important things, anyway.

Always good to see you, too!

Demonization of the word "liberal" may have started with the right, but it is now very much a bipartisan endeavor, thanks to organizations like the DLC, Third Way, etc.

Maybe it was always a bipartisan endeavor: There was always a conservative wing of the Democratic Party, mostly white Southern males. It is from that wing, for the most part, that DLC arose. Hillary and Lieberman were notable exceptions to that general comment, she as to gender and he as to geography.

And most of them were thought to have Presidential nominee potentil as well, at the time the DLC formed officially--Bubba Clinton, Lieberman and Gore ran and Hillary probably will. Others, like Warner and Robb were mentioned as having potential, and so on. And, if you think about it, it's hard for Republicans to dissuade Democratic voters about anything. Unless influential Democrats help the Republicans with the discrediting, Democratic voters will just dig in their heels all the more. Besides, I never noticed any push back from elected Democrats to defend the word "liberal."

We know that the discrediting had begun before JFK's Presidential campaign because he apparently felt compelled to explain why he was proud to get the nomination of the NY Liberal Party. /

The word "liberal" has lost its meaning at this point, anyway. Saw someone post at DU3 that he or she heartily approved of the job that Obama is doing and that poster called himself or herself "extremeliberal." I also see the pro-Obama, pro-Hillary wing there describing themselves as "liberal."

If they are liberals and even extreme liberals, what the hell am I? I feel a lot more kinship with Democrats like FDR, Truman, LBJ, et al. I do not agree with them on everything, nor do I consider them saints. To the contrary, I consider heinous some of the things for which they were responsible, like internment of the Japanese. However, I recognize them as Democrats. Bubba, Hillary, Obama--I have no clue what they are. But, again, if they are "liberal," as so many claim they are, what am I?

Another thing that is making the word "liberal" meaningless is that it has always meant something very different outside the US than it means in the US, more of a pro-business stance. I won't say "free market" because free markets seems to cost taxpayers a hell of a lot. The existence of two very different definitions of "liberal" becomes more of a problem as the world gets smaller. I've been berated for being liberal by Europeans whom I would consider liberal by the American definition. They and I agreed on issues, but the word alone tripped us up. They thought I was pro big business. And I had no other word to use for myself.

And then the fricking word "neoliberal" further dilutes and confuses the meaning of "liberal." Not wure what to do about all that, even if I could do anything.

The word "progressive," which the DLCers foisted on us, is also meaningless, IMO. I think many people who use it think it means what "liberal" used to mean in the 1960s and 1970s. I think they intended to be meaningless and, almost for that reason, acceptable to everyone.

Will Marshall helped found the DLC, signed the PNAC letter and also founded the Progressive Policy Institute--which used to describe its website as "the place for pragmatic progressives"--as distinguished, I supposed, from the wholly impractical liberals--as if the New Deal were not a pragmatic response to the Crash of 1929 cum Dustbowl.

Didn't seem to stop FDR and other D.C. Democrats from getting elected, either. If FDR had been blessed with eternal life, he'd probably still be President. And Democrats controlled Congress almost continuously for 40 years. But, hell, if you really believe that the only way Democrats can get elected is to be culturally liberal Republicans, why don't we just have one party and work to make it more culturally liberal?

Apparently, the Republican Party has at least four wings already, anyway. If that is the way to go, we've been wasting billions of dollars and work hours on ginning up a fake electoral division. Cause I sure ain't recognizing the New Democrats. (Even the fact that they dubbed themselves the New Democrat Coalition, rather than the New Democratic Coalition seems more of a Republican choice than a Democratic one.)
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-03-14 05:33 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. I believe there is a clear effort to confuse
the term liberal. It serves the .01% when people are ashamed to call themselves liberal. It keeps us from becoming united as a political force, and they know it.

I have noticed many of the paid infiltrators on DU3 have the really faked up ultra-liberal names. Maybe there is actually one named "Ultraliberal". However, they can't hide because we can read what they say. Duh.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-03-14 07:09 AM
Response to Reply #6
9. I agree, as to the US.
Edited on Mon Feb-03-14 07:12 AM by No Elephants
On the other hand, I think we have to recognize that it has become a muddled meaning mess. (Say that six times fast).

I don't know if coming up with another word is a solution because, the minute that new word starts to catch on will be several minutes after the PTB begins to discredit the new word.

Let's face it: The one percent and those who serve them do not like things like free speech or humane safety nets.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-02-14 06:42 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. PS Sharpen that knife!
I know a little of what you are going through because my knives are not very sharp and I have a bum shoulder.

Coincidentally, I made stew today, too, but it's beef stew. Mine turns out almost more of a soup than a stew, but the liquid is very tasty, so I have never tried to correct my original error.
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-03-14 05:42 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. The knife will be sharpened.
My hand is still quite numb and tingly.

That is the thing about stews. How much liquid do we want? There is that wonderful broth with the more liquid stews. Venison is so lean that we must add a tablespoon of water before we nuke a bowl.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-03-14 06:51 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. Lean is healthier, but fat is yummy.
In fact, most things that I find delicious are less healthy. Sigh.

I usually add some water to my stews when cooking, but yesterday, I added only chemical-free beef broth and chemical free vegetable broth. Besides, I started it with garlic, bacon, butter and extra virgin olive oil, then seared the beef cubes in that and went from there. So, while it was healthier because of lots of veggies, it was not exactly a healthy dish. It was a tasty one, though. Then again, I made a big potful. So, the amount of bacon fat and butter per bowl is very little.

Thing is, I enjoy the broth and the veggies more than I like the meat. Especially if I have some yummy bread on hand. (Didn't yesterday, will for the leftovers, though.) So, for me, a really good homemade soup (or soupy stew) is optimal.

Two older women (talking late 80's) were having a fight about whether one adds chicken broth or water to make chicken soup. The one advocating for broth knew that I make mine with broth, so she appealed to me to chime in. Diplomatic responses are not my strong suit, but one came to me then: when cooking, it's literally a matter of taste. The only right or wrong is how the people who will eat the dish enjoy it most.

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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-03-14 10:39 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. We added 32 ounces of
gluten-free chicken broth to our venison stew. Beef broth would have been more in keeping with the theme I guess. But it turned out yummy anyway. :)
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-04-14 05:17 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. I add both beef broth and chicken broth to some soups,
Edited on Tue Feb-04-14 05:19 AM by No Elephants
along--sometimes-- with veggie broth.

For instance, pasta e fagiole is a pancetta based soup. Beef is not like pancetta; neither is chicken. But, if I combine them, they seem to me to be closer to pork than either of them is on its own. However, I recognize that this may be my imagination.

If I had to choose beef or chicken, though, I would choose chicken because it seems to me to be the less intrusive flavor.

I think a really tasty broth, homemade or commercial, really lends a lot to soups and stews. It really would not take a lot of money or effort to make a big batch of veggie broth and freeze it, but I just never do. Also, I don't have a separate freezer or any place to put one; and space in my freezer is usually limited.

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