August 7, 2009

TEA Partiers = Gandhi

"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win."
The arc of the TEA parties brought something to mind today: they are living proof of the truth of this quote from Mahatma Gandhi.
When the TEA parties first began earlier this year, there was a collective yawn from pretty much everybody in the media - with the notable exception of Fox News. Perhaps because they have a greater familiarity with actual conservatives, they immediately recognized the significance of so many of them taking to the streets in protest.
Street protests have long been the domain of the Left. With so many union thugs, students, "community activists," race hustlers and underemployed hippies in their ranks; they have always had the available manpower to take to the streets at even the slightest provocation. On the other hand, conservatives have always had higher priorities: jobs, families, and, you know, actual lives to live. But this year things have changed.
It was pretty much assumed that the Tax Day protests across the country were one-off affairs. Oh sure these impotent losers were a little upset at having to pay taxes, but they'll go back to their regular lives soon enough. If we just ignore them, they'll just go away.
But then a funny thing happened: they didn't. And not only didn't they go away, their numbers quickly grew. And got louder. And got angrier at the obvious bias of media organizations who regularly reported on pseudo-protests by Leftists which consisted of little more than press conferences attended by a few solitary figures outnumbered by the number of reporters on hand but yet pretended that protests by hundreds of ordinary Joes were beneath their notice.
Then the next round of TEA parties was held around the 4th of July. Suddenly there were even more of them, and they were getting more organized. Their events were being covered by bloggers and local news, and they were flooding Congress with phone calls. They were getting too big to ignore any more.
The elite punditry who had previously dismissed these citizens as "tea-baggers" (An obscene little joke that they were oh so proud of themselves for telling.) suddenly were forced to take notice of the growing ranks of the TEA partiers. But did they take them seriously? Of course not. The TEA partiers were noticed all right. But only to the extent of being the butt of jokes for every Leftist pundit and blogger who deigned to mention their existence.
Which brings us to today. Now those TEA partiers are seemingly everywhere a congressmen rears his head in public. They're demanding answers and openly mocking the pitiful attempts to lie away reality. ACORN and the AFL-CIO are holding events and finding themselves outnumbered 3-, 5- or even 10-to-1 by tea partiers. The message of the Leftists is getting drowned out by the voices of citizens who have decided that they're mad as hell and not going to take it any more.
To which the Left has predictably responded by calling out the union thugs to surround their mouthpieces, and Obama has issued an urgent call to his cultists to turn in anyone who says anything "fishy" about his attempts to nationalize large parts of the US economy. Those "tea-baggers" have magically been transformed by their opponents into "mobsters." No longer are they objects of ridicule: they are striking fear into the hearts of Leftists across the country.
With the August recess now upon us, the fight is now on in earnest. Just a few months ago the Left thought they were Mike Tyson in his heyday fighting against the patsy du jour. The smart money wasn't betting on whether or not it was going to be a 1st round knockout: it was how many seconds it would take for their opponent to hit the canvas.
But along the way the TEA partiers started training in earnest. They worked harder, sweated more, and studied their opponent's tactics. Leftists are no longer laboring under the delusion that this is going to be a cakewalk, and like a fighter past his prime they're desperately trying to reach back for last year's glory to pull out another victory.
The outcome isn't certain by any means, but - like Gandhi - the TEA partiers have already achieved more than any of their opponents ever thought was going to be possible. And like Gandhi, they may yet win.

Technorati Tags: ,