The Progressive Majority vs. the Paper Tiger Tea Party

Next week, One Nation Working Together, which is a coalition of progressive organizations, is holding a rally in D.C. to let our politicians and media know that the American people still strongly support the progressive change that we voted for in 2008.  If you are able to attend, I urge you to sign up here.  If you cannot make it to D.C., you can get involved in one of the many events occurring throughout the country by clicking here.

Many people see the One Nation Working Together rally as a reaction to the tea party rallies that have been held over the past year or so.  But one key difference (among others) is that the One Nation Working Together rally represents a movement of Americans who support making our great country a fairer and more just place to live.  By contrast, the tea party is little more than a paper tiger that is propped up by the billionaires and corporate front groups for whom the tea partiers are unwittingly doing their bidding.

That the tea party is just a paper tiger can be seen from the turnouts at their rallies over the past year or so that the tea party is so famous for.  For example:

  • On the eve of the historic health care reform vote in March 2010, tea partiers managed to turn out only 300 protestors in D.C.

By contrast, progressive rallies have long had substantial turnout.  For example:

  • At least 1.5 million people attended President Obama’s inauguration, which easily beat the previous record of 1.2 million who attended President Johnson’s inauguration in 1964

Too often over the past year, progressives have cowered in fear of the tea party and other conservatives out of an apparent belief that they somehow represent the vast majority of our country.  That fear needs to end because it is based on a falsehood of tea partier popularity.  It is true that as progressives we do not have billionaires and corporate front groups to bankroll us or an entire media network like Fox to promote us.  But what we do have is a large and committed group of millions of Americans who strongly believe in the progressive values that are shared by the majority in our country.  We need to make that clear to our leaders and the media by turning out at the One Nation Working Together events next week, and then by working hard to win the elections in November.

Are you fired up about demonstrating that progressive values are widely held in our country and that the tea party is little more than a paper tiger?  If so, attend a One Nation Working Together rally, volunteer for the Democratic candidates in your area, write a letter to the editor, and talk to your friends, family, and colleagues about why it is important to return a Democratic majority in November.

16 Responses to “The Progressive Majority vs. the Paper Tiger Tea Party”

  1. JohnQ Says:


    Nate predicts 45 seat swing in the House and a net loss of 7 seats in the Senate.

    Paper tiger? Tell that to Mike Castle, Lisa Murkowski or Martha Coakley.

    10/2 seems a bit early to hold the mid-term wake, but w/e. Enjoy.

  2. Arthur Gilroy Says:

    Forget about the numbers at gatherings, winningprogressive. Those numbers are always jiggered to support whatever side is jiggering them. Further, the Tea Party supporters…and I do not necessarily mean the Tea Party members here, I mean those who support many of the memes that seem to float above Tea Partier heads like dialogue balloons in comics…are by their very nature anti-”joiners.” They want to be left alone by any and every group other than their own kind.

    They are white, working class and rural/semi-rural, many of them. They do not generally like people who do not look like them…and not just skin color either. How people dress, how they act. And they are pissed. They are pissed because they feel (accurately or not, no matter) that they are not being adequately represented in the federal government. To them, Washington is all about people in expensive suits who use a lot of big words and look down on them as uneducated hicks.

    And… they are damned well going to vote this time.

    Bet on it.

    The Tea Party?

    A paper tiger?

    More like a big wind, winningprogressive. And the coalition that elected Obama? It’s beginning to look like a house of cards. Like a group of people many of whom are not truly committed to change. Like people who want the easy way out. “Oh, we’ll elect Obama and he’ll change everything!!! And then when he proves unequal to the task over a two-year period…a herculean task, at best…it’s “Oh well. Life sucks” and they’re outta there.

    You do know what happens to a house of cards in a big wind, don’t you?



    The Dems have less than two months to:

    1-Discredit the right-wing leaders.


    2-Motivate the Dem base.

    Think that they can do it?

    The media is behind them. Bet on that as well. The Corporate PermaGov is scared to death by this new Know-Nothing Party.

    The Know-Nothing movement was a nativist American political movement of the 1840s and 1850s. It was empowered by popular fears that the country was being overwhelmed by German and Irish Catholic immigrants, who were often regarded as hostile to Anglo-Saxon values and controlled by the Pope in Rome. Mainly active from 1854 to 1856, it strove to curb immigration and naturalization…

    The PermaGov does not like boat-rocking. Profits tend to slide off the deck in rough seas.

    But have they waited too long? Should they have attacked Sarah Palin when she was just a fledgling starlet instead of a full-blown media star?


    But they didn’t.


    She sold media time.

    And now they are about to pay the price for their own short-sighted, quarterly profits-driven greed.

    I wish that you were right, here. I really do.

    But…I’ve been out and around in the boonies recently.

    Gonna be a lot of pickup trucks parked near the polls this time.

    That is an iron-clad guarantee.



  3. JoeThePlumber Says:

    How did this election become a progressive vs. tea party fight? How about all of the independents who voted for “change” and didn’t get much.

    Obama won in 2008 because of the Independent vote. Democrats will lose in November also because of the Independent vote.

    Democrats are now making tax cuts their number one issue because they can’t run on health care, stimulus or anything else they’ve passed into law. Now they want to tax companies immediately on foreign profits, and this is just another dumb idea that will force companies to move overseas as the foreign corporate tax rates are so much lower than here in the US.

    And you see Obama and others now personally going after people like Boehner. Why? Because they’d rather use talk points like “Bush era policies” instead of actually debate the issues.

    This election won’t be won by just saying it’s a choice between “fear vs hope”.

  4. Winning Progressive Says:

    Welcome back, Joe! We missed you.

    JohnQ, yes, thank you to the tea party for giving us the Delaware Senate seat and giving the Dems a fighting chance in Alaska.

  5. JoeThePlumber Says:

    I’m glad you missed me. But I didn’t go anywhere – I’ve been here the whole time waiting for your response to the survey of economists whom the majority of think it’s a good idea to extend current tax rates for everybody!

    And waiting for you to explain how it was the “Bush policies” that drove us into a ditch. If you’re speaking about the tax cuts, wars, prescription drug programs, etc…all of those were in place during the early 2000′s yet our deficit in 2007 was less than $200 billion and unemployment was low. So how exactly did those Bush policies cause our current mess?

  6. Bill Says:

    I’m a conservative card-carrying Republican fed up with the right wing media and the rebel rousing tactics that inflame hate and ignorance. The GOP is a windbag of platitudes that appeal to those who are either too lazy to figure out the truth or have short term memory loss. We needed to stimulate our way out of this recession, but when the Democrats did, the only thing the Republicans declared was that Obama was a tax and spend liberal. When we bailed out the banks and the auto industry to prevent economic collapse, the Republicans declared that it was a government takeover. The GOP did nothing to help unite our country and try to help Obama get us out of the hole THEY dug. Instead it was politics as usual. This message needs to get out loud and clear, over and over and over, till it sinks into the heads of independents. The Republican teaparty is not what this country needs right now. They do not have a plan, except to bash the Democrats to gain power so they can extend the Bush tax cuts. First time in 30 years I’m voting Democrat. I’ve finally seen the light.

  7. JoeThePlumber Says:

    Bill – how exactly was it a hole that “THEY” dug? Only Republicans are to blame for the credit bubble and housing bubble? What exactly caused the hole?

  8. Bill Says:

    The GOP drove the car into a ditch, got out alive, and are now complaining the way the tow truck is handling the crashed vehicle. Oh, and they want the rest of us to pay their hiked insurance premiums. Flush that down your toilet Joe.

  9. JoeThePlumber Says:

    Bill – care to provide any more specifics? How exactly did the GOP dig the ditch by themselves without any help from Democrats?? I assume you agree that the mess we’re in is a result of the popping of credit and real estate bubbles…

  10. Bill Says:

    Joe-By providing insufficient oversight during the Bush administration and failing to heed the warnings of Alan Greenspan. Unfortunately, the powers in charge take responsibility for what occurs under their watch. That’s the way it works. All else is speculative,

  11. JoeThePlumber Says:

    Insufficient oversight of what? As for Greenspan, what exactly was he warning about that we didn’t react to? He was the guy in charge at the Fed, we can thank alot of the prolonged low rate environment and ensuing bubbles to Greenspan himself!

  12. JHall Says:

    Though Tea Party gatherings may be relatively small, they are happening. And they are dominating the news. Where are the liberal and progressives gathering in public to change the course of the nation and the debate? Nowhere. And there lies the problem. Along with the cowards who make up the Democratic side of the aisle in Congress.

  13. Bill Says:

    JTP-Greenspan testified in front of congress several times warning of the impending collapse of the housing market. In his book, he admits that he was wrong on de-regulation and tried to convince the President (Bush) and the congress to act.

    JHall- Agree with you totally. Where is the left???? Why are they bowing down so easily to Republicans???

  14. JoeThePlumber Says:

    Maybe Greenspan should have raised rates if he was so worried about the housing bubble. And maybe CONGRESS should have acted too – since GUESS WHO regulates the banks??? It’s not the POTUS, it’s Congress.

  15. Craig Says:

    Joe, if you seriously think this all started in 2007 when the Democrat congress took over, you are sorely mistaken.

  16. JoeThePlumber Says:

    Started in 2007? No. You’re right. Greenspan kept rates too low for way too long in 2004, 2005 and 2006. And Democrats are as equally to blame as Republicans for promoting home ownership to people who couldn’t afford it. Both parties are responsible for out of control spending which still hasn’t been brought in enough in a commensurate fashion to the drop in revenues.

    But to say it was just the GOP that “drove the car into the ditch” is not honest.

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