Mark of New Jersey

Mark is a Founding Editor of The League of Ordinary Gentlemen, the predecessor of Ordinary Times.

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11 Responses

  1. From my last comment in the “We’re All Mad Here” post,

    On the flip side, there is an argument to be made that people protesting about disparate things at the same protest are as much building a community and demonstrating how these disparate issues are connected based on some relational qualities underlying the system against which they’re dissatisfied. I’m not entirely sure that that level of analysis is at work with every instance of an errant Mumia protesters, but neither is there anything saying that it is always missing, either. In some senses, this element of community building is the most noble and praiseworthy element of protests.

    In the case of the tea parties, I think one has to recognize that people are coming together to demonstrate that there is an opposition to what seems like a massive tide of liberal awakening in the country. Those who oppose the Obamenon probably feel pretty isolated and irrelevant, so it makes sense that they would all come together to demonstrate both to themselves and to the country that they’re not some marginal minority. Doing so states their own case while at the same time bolstering their confidence.

    That their messaging is all over the place is partly about defining that community and partly, one has to also admit, because Obama, Congress, and the Senate have put so many different points on the board so quickly.Report

  2. I have to echo what Ross Douthat said today. Protests bring out all sorts of crazies. Just watch a protest of the G20 or the G8 or the World Bank meetings. You will see a wide-spectrum of grievances. Where’s the rule that protests have to be laser-beam focused? I thought the issues-shotgun approach was a halmark of the Left. That makes me wonder: is the frustration with the Tea Parties at least partially because we expect conservatives to be more organized?Report

  3. Mike:

    To be honest, I’ve been just as critical about protests on the Left for exactly this reason in the past. I just think that large protests are inevitably ineffective for the very reason that they ultimately wind up attracting a bunch of people – who particularly crave and obtain attention – who make the protest more about their pet issues than about any kind of focused issue.

    Scott – a response is in the works.Report

  4. Copy that, Mark. I think the ideas presented there within are similar to those presented in the post, but take it a step further. As always, look fwd to yr response.Report

  5. Jaybird says:

    It’s like watching your uncle dance to Moby at a wedding reception. No, Uncle Bob, you scream inside, you’re in accounting! You’re supposed to be square! You’re not supposed to be starting a “what do we want?” chant!

    The economy can’t be fixed quickly enough for my tastes. We need to hide these people in office buildings where they’ll be less embarassing.Report

  6. E.D. Kain says:

    Were there tea party’s during FDR’s totalitarian reign, I wonder? Or were people just happy to find work, any work, to put food on the table?Report

  7. That kind of fascinating role bending is precisely what draws me to the tea parties on at least an intellectual basis (at this point).Report

  8. Jaybird says:

    Tea Parties? I’d say that tea parties are descendants of the Baby Boomers’ protests more than anything else.

    Might there be an Ur-protest in the 1940’s against FDR? Well… I’d quite expect any reference to such a protest be referred to as being organized by people with suspected Nazi sympathies (why else would they fight against FDR at a time like this? What’s their *REAL* agenda?).

    We might point to the Birchers and their response to Ike, maybe… is that close enough?Report

  9. Mark,

    I don’t so much resent the size, lack of foucs and the hangers-on at these things so much as the co-option of the libertarian cause. While I am definitely not a libertarian, I appreciate their honest opinion on economic policy, which I view as mostly free of partisan baggage. That message needs to be heard and these protests obscure it or make it be taken less seriously. That’s what ticks me off the most. The other potential negative side-effect is that it may push libertarians further towards the Democratic fold, which is the last thing the GOP needs.Report

  10. Mike:
    Since I’m a libertarian, I think you’ve struck exactly the reason why I’ve been so incessant about this topic the last few days.Report