In the aftermath of the passage of their draconian health care bill, it has quickly become clear that the Democrats are seeking to capitalize on their victory and strengthen their position for the fall election by a campaign of disinformation and smear attacks on their opponents on the political right, particularly targeting their vocal critics in the Tea Party movement.
What is unusual in this instance is that their attempt to weaken their opponents through a “dirty tricks” campaign in the Nixonian tradition is backfiring because of exposure in the new media which some mainstream media outlets have followed up on, giving the lie to the party-line coverage provided by partisan media outlets like MSNBC and the New York Times.
The thrust of the propaganda from the left is that the Tea Party movement is full of violent racists, that they shouted racial epithets at members of the Congressional Black Caucus, spat on one black Representative, have been making threatening phone calls to members of Congress who voted for the health care bill, and have been committing acts of vandalism against Democratic party offices.
Further investigation of these claims suggests that some of them are untrue and, even more, that violent incidents may be the work of Democratic party operatives who are hoping that their actions will help to discredit their opponents who are fingered to take the blame.
It starts with the general claim that the tea parties are a racist, all-white movement, a position which Tea Party activist and blogger at blacksphere.com, Kevin Jackson, has eloquently countered with his many appearances and repeated insistence that he has seen “not one single racist event” at the hundreds of Tea Party protests he has attended. Despite the evidence to the contrary the disinformation that the Tea Partiers are racist is all over the media and the blogosphere, repeated again and again by leftists who desperately want it to be true.
Then there is the claim from members of the Congressional Black Caucus that when they went through a crowd of Tea Party protesters on Saturday the 20th, members of the crowd shouted the “N” word at them and that ultimately one member of the crowd spat on Representative Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO). Cleaver claimed that after spitting on him the protester was arrested. This kind of accusation might have been taken at face value a few years ago, but multiple eyewitnesses came forward to deny that any racial slurs were uttered and videos have been released on YouTube clearly showing that the claim is untrue. What’s more, the Capitol Police say that no protester was arrested, though one was detained briefly and then released with no charges filed.
Finally there are many questions surrounding the claims of threatening phone calls and acts of vandalism against Democratic offices. While there is evidence that these calls and attacks have taken place, there has been little success in identifying the perpetrators. What’s more, the militant left has a history of engaging in violent protests against Republicans and of staging false attacks on their own offices to attract attention and stir up controversy. Last year a Democratic activist was caught vandalizing a Democratic Party office in Denver. Given the peaceful nature of the Tea Party protests many have expressed suspicion that the Democrats are engaging in “dirty tricks” and that the calls and vandalism are being carried out by Democrats against their own people to build up anger against conservatives and health care opponents.
All of these things together are part of a pattern, apparently a deliberate strategy intended to sway public opinion by making Democrats look like victims and painting their opponents as violent, racist fanatics. This despite the fact that many of these assertions are clearly untrue and others are suspect and supported by scanty evidence. The Democratic strategy appears to be based on the belief that these claims don’t need to be true to change public opinion and that if they can throw enough mud it will obscure the truth and they will be able to divert the tide of voter anger which seems likely to sweep them from office in November.
Yet if anything has become clear in the past year it is that more and more of the people are no longer buying the bullshit. Their eyes have been opened, they realize how they have been tricked and cheated in the past, and they aren’t going to stand for it. Dirty tricks and smear tactics are part of the corrupt politics which people are rebelling against, and seeing them used here will only reinforce the anger directed at the party of tyrants and oligarchs.