Posts Tagged ‘Tea Party protests’

Did the IRS Win the Election for Obama?

June 24, 2013
Official photographic portrait of US President...

The President? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One rather alarming possibility of the consequences of the IRS delaying tax exempt status and otherwise harassing Tea Party groups is that they were unable to organize as effectively in 2012 as they had been in 2010 and so were less able to bring needed voters to the polls and defeat President Obama. In this article in RealClearMarkets, Stan Veuger discusses the possibility that the White House was behind a deliberate attempt to neutralize political opponents using the power of the state.

The controversy over the IRS’s harassment of conservative groups continues. President Obama’s team continues to blame low-level bureaucrats. Some conservatives suspect a more sinister explanation: that the levers of government were used to attack an existential threat to the president’s 2012 reelection. The president and his party dismiss this as a paranoid fantasy. The evidence, however, is enough to make one believe that targeting Tea Party groups would have been an effective campaign strategy going into the 2012 election cycle.

It is a well-known fact that the Tea Party movement dealt the president his famous “shellacking” in the 2010 mid-term election. Less well-known is the actual number of votes this new movement delivered-and the continuing effects these votes could have had in 2012 had the movement not been de-mobilized by the IRS.

In a new research paper, Andreas Madestam (from Stockholm University), Daniel Shoag and David Yanagizawa-Drott (both from the Harvard Kennedy School), and I set out to find out how much impact the Tea Party had on voter turnout in the 2010 election. We compared areas with high levels of Tea Party activity to otherwise similar areas with low levels of Tea Party activity, using data from the Census Bureau, the FEC, news reports, and a variety of other sources. We found that the effect was huge: the movement brought the Republican Party some 3-6 million additional votes in House races. That is an astonishing boost, given that all Republican House candidates combined received fewer than 45 million votes. It demonstrates conclusively how important the party’s newly energized base was to its landslide victory in those elections, and how worried Democratic strategists must have been about the conservative movement’s momentum.

The Tea Party movement’s huge success was not the result of a few days of work by an elected official or two, but involved activists all over the country who spent the year and a half leading up to the midterm elections volunteering, organizing, donating, and rallying. Much of these grassroots activities were centered around 501(c)4s, which according to our research were an important component of the Tea Party movement and its rise.

The bottom line is that the Tea Party movement, when properly activated, can generate a huge number of votes-more votes in 2010, in fact, than the vote advantage Obama held over Romney in 2012. The data show that had the Tea Party groups continued to grow at the pace seen in 2009 and 2010, and had their effect on the 2012 vote been similar to that seen in 2010, they would have brought the Republican Party as many as 5 – 8.5 million votes compared to Obama’s victory margin of 5 million.

President Obama’s margin of victory in some of the key swing states was fairly small: a mere 75,000 votes separated the two contenders in Florida, for example. That is less than 25% of our estimate of what the Tea Party’s impact in Florida was in 2010. Looking forward to 2012 in 2010 undermining the Tea Party’s efforts there must have seemed quite appealing indeed.

 

The emphasis is mine. Is it possible that the Obama White House and the Obama reelection campaign (which were really the same thing) used the power of the government to suppress voter turnout? Liberals are always accusing conservatives of seeking voter suppression. Given their habit of projection, isn’t it possible that this was their strategy for the 2012 campaign?

Veuger goes on.

Unfortunately for Republicans, the IRS slowed Tea Party growth before the 2012 election. In March 2010, the IRS decided to single Tea Party groups out for special treatment when applying for tax-exempt status by flagging organizations with names containing “Tea Party,” “patriot,” or “9/12.” For the next two years, the IRS approved the applications of only four such groups, delaying all others while subjecting the applicants to highly intrusive, intimidating requests for information regarding their activities, membership, contacts, Facebook posts, and private thoughts.

As a consequence, the founders, members, and donors of new Tea Party groups found themselves incapable of exercising their constitutional rights, and the Tea Party’s impact was muted in the 2012 election cycle. As Toby Marie Walker, who runs the Waco Tea Party, which filed for tax-exempt status in 2010 but didn’t receive approval until two months ago, recounted recently: “Our donors dried up. It was intimidating and time-consuming.” The Richmond Tea Party went through a similar ordeal, and was only granted tax-exempt status in December, right after the election–three years after its initial request. Its chairman explained the consequences: the episode cost the Richmond Tea Party $17,000 in legal fees and swallowed time the all-volunteer network would have devoted to voter turnout, outreach in black and Latino neighborhoods and other events to highlight the constitution and “the concept of liberty.”

We certainly can’t have outreach in Black and Latino neighborhoods. That might conflict with the narrative that the Tea Party is composed of middle-aged White racists.

It might be purely accidental that the government targeted precisely this biggest threat to the president. It may just be that a bureaucracy dominated by liberals picked up on not-so-subtle dog whistles from its political leadership. Or, it might be that direct orders were given. In any case, it doesn’t take a conspiracy theorist to note that the president’s team was competent enough to recognize the threat from the Tea Party and take it seriously. The Obama campaign has made no secret of its efforts to revolutionize turnout models for the most recent campaign. Its remarkable competence turning out its own voters has been widely discussed, and it seems quite plausible that efforts to suppress the Republican vote would have been equally sophisticated.

We may never know to what exact extent the federal government diverted votes from Governor Romney and thus, how much it influenced the course of a presidential election in the world’s oldest democracy. At the very least, however, Americans of all political persuasions can be forgiven for a little cynicism when the president has the nerve to say, as he did on May 5th in his commencement address to graduates of the Ohio State University: “You’ve grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s at the root of all our problems. You should reject these voices.” And that cynicism, that lack of trust in the country’s governing institutions, becomes harmful quite easily: when the people are asked to have faith in the NSA’s efforts to protect the nation from terrorist threats, for example.

Concerning the revelations of the massive surveilance programs of the NSA, I would think that some such program would be necessary to protect us from terrorists, yet the obvious disdain that the current president has for the concept of liberty and the temptation that any president would have to abuse the access to the kind of information that the NSA has been gathering makes me wonder which is the greater threat, the terrorists or our own government. Also, with the analyses that show that President Obama won re-election by harassing his opponent’s supporters,can we regard the election of 2012 as a stolen election and Obama as illegitimate?

 

Advertisements

Occupy Movement has an Impact

December 12, 2011

There are some who contend that the Occupy Wall Street Movement has had a bigger impact that anything that the Tea Party has had. I wouldn’t argue with that. Consider the impact that the occupy people have had on the Rose Kennedy Greenway in Boston. Here is the story in the Boston Herald.

The Utopian dreamers of Occupy Boston are leaving behind a disgusting field of filth on the formerly scenic Rose Kennedy Greenway, where trees will have to be replanted, grass resodded, sprinklers repaired or replaced and the entire area power-hosed in a massive cleanup that could take weeks.

“We’re close to the end of it, which is very good news. Soon, the park can be repaired and open to the general public,” Nancy Brennan, executive director of the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy, said late yesterday. “We hope everyone makes a voluntary decision, and this can be a good, dignified end.”

The conservancy has been pushing the city to take action to remove the protesters, sending a letter to Mayor Thomas M. Menino’s office last month expressing frustration at rampant deterioration of the site, plus health and safety issues, including “disturbing” instances of drug use and interference of a farmers market. A judge this week lifted a restraining order on the city, giving it the green light to boot them out.

And none too soon, as far as Brennan is concerned.

“Occupy Boston was really good about listening and moving tents that encroached on plant material, but there were some days where there were tents where they shouldn’t have been,” she said.

Conservancy maintenance and landscape workers have inspected the Dewey Square encampment almost daily since the protesters set up their tents more than two months ago.

Brennan said the grass, which has turned into a mud pit, will need to be completely resodded, and she fears several trees that have been damaged will have to be replanted.

“Three or four trees might be lost. There’s browning of the foliage, and there are some broken and bent limbs,” she said. “Part of what we need to do is check on the root systems, and that is just going to take a little bit of time.”

Brennan also expects that the sprinkler system was damaged so much it will have to be repaired or replaced. Also in need of replacement are about 20 percent of the shrubbery and the pebbles from a pedestrian walkway that runs along Purchase Street.

She also said the wall of the large air intake tower for the O’Neill Tunnel will have to be power-hosed to remove markings and messages left behind by the squatters.

“The grass crete has really taken a beating,” said Brennan, referring to the concrete-type material covering the delivery truck driveway that allows grass to grow through. “We need to see if we can restore or replace it.”

Brennan couldn’t provide an estimate for what the final repair bill will be, but local landscapers pegged it at upward of $50,000.

If you live in Boston and would like to visit the Rose Kennedy Greenway, too bad. You’ll have to wait until the city can clean it up. And, you will get to pay for the cleanup through your taxes. I guess that is the motto for the Occupy Movement, someone else can pay.

Don Surber has some words about these cretins.

As Glenn Reynolds noted: “By contrast, I’ll note once more that the Tea Party protesters left things cleaner when they departed.”

Perhaps because the Tea Party crowd actually knows what work is like and that city workers are not “maids,” but rather expensive clean-up crews. Working has a way of teaching one the value of money, which is why on their 16th birthday, we should hand every teenager in America an apron and a mop and assign them to work at the nearest fast-food joint for $7.50 an hour, 40 hours a week.

Now let us get a few things straight about who these loony goons are. For the most part they are spoiled rotten brats who took out huge loans to pay for four years of self-indulgence at some over-rated liberal arts college. Somehow, they were able to spend a few months in the fall camping out and protesting against the working class while not working themselves.

They are in that upper 1% who do not have to work.

Wall Street brokers do. 12-16 hours a day, 5 days a week. Maybe they do some work at home over the weekend. Much of their pay is based on merit — called bonuses as if the money weren’t earned. It’s a tough business. The risks are many. The rewards great.

I get a paycheck every week. Guess what? How big a bonus some stockbroker gets or doesn’t get has zero impact on my pay stub.

The Democratic Party indulged the Occupy Army this fall. Let’s not reward the party with a re-election next year, no matter how hard we must pinch our noses in the voting booth.

Meanwhile in Los Angeles, these fighters for social justice and income equality left 30 tons of debris for someone else to clean up. I think that it is interesting that these people claim to be fighting for the 99% against the evil, greedy 1% and yet their antics are hurting the working people. Here is a story from last month.

For the 99% — and the 1% too — the dawn-to-dusk demonstrations from Zuccotti Park to Union Square made getting around lower Manhattan a 100% disaster.

Truck driver Bill Crespo found himself motionless for an hour at the corner of Pine and Nassau streets as the demonstrators surged toward the stock exchange Thursday morning.

“I’m praying they don’t ro

“This is the most annoying thing ever in my life,” a frustrated Reignold, said. “I couldn’t get into my building. I couldn’t get through the crowds.”

“If you want wealth equality and income redistribution, you might as well live in a communist country,” she said.

The massive disruptions and civil disobedience didn’t play well with some of the men in suits.

“Out of my way!” barked another businessman swimming upstream against the demonstrators on Nassau St.

Another approached a cop for help.

“I’m all turned around,” he explained. “How can I get to Chase Bank?”

Indeed, the widespread angst among both bulls and bears had little to do with the Dow Jones on this brisk November morning.

Workers exiting the Wall Street subway stop found a maze of NYPD barricades before they were forced to show IDs for access.

“I’m going to lose my job if I can’t get to work,” griped Allen Fenton, 54. “These people are a disgrace.” He asked a cop, “Aren’t you going to do anything?”

The officer responded with a shrug as protesters shouted, “Wall Street is closed!”

Trashing public parks, preventing people from going to work, leaving hazardous messes for sanitation workers to clean up, harassing small businessses, they are the true and authentic voice of the People. I say they are a disgrace.

 

Maxine Waters and the Tea Party

August 22, 2011
Maxine Waters (D-CA), Member of the U.S. House...

As far as I am concerned, she can go to Hell

From (where else?) The Drudge Report. I think it would be fair to say that Rep. Maxine Waters is not a supporter of the Tea Party movement.

“I’m not afraid of anybody,” the California congresswoman told constituents in footage that appeared on ABC affiliate KABC in Los Angeles, not backing down from comments made about President Obama earlier in the week. “This is a tough game. You can’t be intimidated. You can’t be frightened. And as far as I’m concerned — the tea party can go straight to hell.”

Here is what she had to say about the L.A. riots back in 1992, according to Wikipedia,

Waters described the riots as a rebellion, saying “If you call it a riot it sounds like it was just a bunch of crazy people who went out and did bad things for no reason. I maintain it was somewhat understandable, if not acceptable.”

So, just to make things clear, in the liberal la-la land that Democrats like her inhabit, people peacefully assembling to petition the government are bad, people burning buildings and looting are good.

Glad we have that straight now.


%d bloggers like this: