Monday, March 15, 2010

Baxter Swilley, Astroturf Poster Boy

*** Update, April 3, 2010 - Disgruntled Democrats Join Tea Party (CNN) *** Seems I started a small firestorm with my March 11 post about the astroturfed Coffee Party. In the post "Fake Grassroots, Coffee Party USA National Kickoff Day, March 13" I examined a Coffee Party event in Chicago's ultra-liberal Rogers Park neighborhood and its organizer, Baxter Swilley. Since that post, major bloggers (and friends) John Ruberry of Marathon Pundit, Anne Leary of Backyard Conservative and Warner T. Huston at Publius' Forum, Right Wing News, The Reality Check and StopTheACLU linked to it on March 12. On March 13, Hot Trending Topics picked up on it. On March 14, the Swilley aspect of the story was picked up by these major bloggers: Northern Gleaner, Ed Driscoll, Instapundit, Riehl World, Keyboard Militia and and Strangeness and Charm. also posted about it, even reproducing the Swilley "press release" in full -- I'm the guy who alerted the author of that post to the Swilley Coffee Party and forwarded the Swilley press release to him). Swilley is suddenly a hot topic for national discussion. That's not to say he hasn't gotten a lot of press in the past, but previous mentions were always local or regional for his work with Democrat candidates (such as Scott Lee Cohen) or causes (Citizens for 2016, promoting the Olympics bid). Now, however, Swilley is being written about nationally, and for a dubious reason: Swilley is suddenly a poster boy for astroturfing. He, like many others, sent out a pre-fab form document that was intended to look like a grassroots announcement of a local get-together for people interested in the Coffee Party. The results of the big national Coffee Party caffeine orgy is typified by liberal blog posts such as one from "Yogchick." She professes, in her blog's banner, to be "bipolar + on lots of drugs." What does the drugged out Yogchick say about her Coffee Party experience? Could it be that there is finally a populist backlash against the pseudo-populist Tea Party Movement? I certainly hope so. For the past twelve months, Americans have watched them hijack the country’s collective voice as they marched on Washington with their thinly veiled racist signs and fucked up conspiracy theories. Yogchick also wrote about attending her first Coffee Party, in the tony Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago, on March 14. Amusingly, she wrote this: The Tea Party people resent the Republicans bailing out Wall Street and progressive Democrats resent how their party sold out healthcare reform to the insurance companies while abandoning the public option. We have the same frustrations and can work for the same solutions. This begs an important question: If she's in such agreement with the Tea Party, why swig Democrat Kool-Aid at a Coffee Party? The answer is, in part contained within the question: All that Kool-Aid (and those drugs she brags about taking) have made her compliant and susceptible to the Left's message that the Tea Parties are evil. Therefore, even with "the same frustrations and can work for the same solutions," Yogchick and those like her just cannot bring themselves to associate with those whom they have been brainwashed into thinking of as the Enemy. That, and the fact that the Tea Partiers tend to have more of an affinity for heavy metal rock, as opposed to the granola-crunching folksy music preferred by those who gravitate toward the Coffee Party. Perhaps Yogchick would understand that the Tea Party did not "hijack the country's collective voice," but actually represents a huge swath of the American citizenry. In her drug-induced haze, Yogchick and many like her mistakenly think that there is a single, monolithic "Tea Party." There is not, of course, whereas the "Coffee Party" is just that: A central, controlling authority that pulls the strings and calls the shots. Not so with the Tea Party movement, a loosely associated gaggle of hundreds of groups nationwide - often quarreling with each other - and none answering to a national central committee. Indeed, that's part of the appeal to the conservatives and many moderates who participate in Tea Party groups. On the other hand, Coffee Party members tend to be Leftists and liberals (excuse me, "progressives") who actually take comfort in a central committee, which explains their love of Big Government and, for many, an adoration of figures such as Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez and even Josef Stalin. The Tea Party movement was a spontaneous grassroots phenomenon that caught on like wildfire. The Coffee Party, in contrast, has been highly orchestrated from its inception and continues to be directed in the same way that Organizing for America (OFA) pull the strings of its followers. Central command and control. Emphasis on control. Remember that Yogchick said that she and the Coffee Partiers "have the same frustrations and can work for the same solutions" as the Tea Party? That was a lie on her part, of course. The sad thing about it is that she and her coffee sipping comrades probably do not understand how or why it's a lie. Try this if you're fortunate enough to find yourself engaged in conversation with a coffee gulper: Ask them how they feel about tax cuts. RELATED: Coffee Party Astroturfer Baxter Swilley Has Missouri Roots Keyboard Militia Coffee, Coffee, Coffee... Rogers Park in 1000 words Video: Coffee Party Group Therapy Session at Ironic Surrealism v3.0 Donald Douglas destroys the Coffee Party phonies! 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