If you’re wondering about this Playboy article about the crazy BAMFs plotting and doing black-bag operations under the concealing shadow of the Tea Party movement: well. I would say, based on what I know already, and who I’ve talked to in the past, it’s:
- 20% BS;
- 40% pure gold;
- and the rest I can’t swear to.
And that’s in terms of claims, not factual details; the article gets the facts pretty much right (again, at least the stuff that I know myself*). For example, everything that Aaron Gardner quoted (H/T) is perfectly accurate.
*I’m not really a go-to guy for the black-bag stuff. I hear things, but mostly I just do my candidate interviews and the odd piece on zombies and so forth. Hell, I probably don’t even know the person who wrote the article in the first place…
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But the whole narrative is that of an “astroturf” top-down organization – and that’s 100% BS. This guy may have been “black bag”, but on the trailing edge of the wave, looking for a score and base advantage, rather than part of the movement and looking to promote the ideals. YMMV.
All that I said above and the fact that I really don’t want the Tea Party movement to have been a cynical political move in the first place.
Jeff: it was definitely spontaneously-generated, bottom-up activism. Still is, in fact; but there are a lot of people out there that have been pounding their heads against the wall of the existing GOP establishment. They wouldn’t get funded, they wouldn’t get supported, they wouldn’t even get encouraged to go out and play; so when a national group showed up that would at least provide volunteer support and who knew something about social networking the monkeywrenchers perked right up.
Mind you, I’m not in this life, so take this stuff with a grain of salt.
The thing that surprised me was how respectful of the right the article was. I mean, this is Playboy. And the article definitely rings mostly true, at least from an outsider perspective. For example, the buzz that came from nowhere around the guy that Lech Walesa endorsed, and the absolute shunning that happened to Debra Medina when she showed herself a truther. I mean, I’m not really plugged in and I got a bunch of emails/messages on it when it happened, here in Texas.
I still hate the insinuation from the article that this was NOT grass-roots.
I have no problem with those who perked right up – any port in a storm. But it doesn’t belong to them, and they know it. So does Playboy. Yet the “astroturf” meme stays floating out there.
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