Death And Taxes (And Tea): The Top Right-Wing Protest Moments Of 2009

Hell hath no fury like a conservative scorned. Or over-taxed. Or “under-freedomed” or whatever.

From the August town hall meetings to Michele Bachmann’s very own Tea Party a couple of weeks ago, here’s a look back at the special moments that have defined this year’s right-wing protest meme.

9. Y’all Ain’t From Around These Parts, Is You?

We got one of our first tastes of the town hall melee on August 3, when we heard the story of one Texas representative whose town hall meeting featured a lot of faces he’d never seen before. He told the story all of America came to know well during August:

Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) said his health care town hall this weekend was a “mob scene” filled with people from outside the neighborhood who were brought in by the Republican and Libertarian parties.

Their purpose was not “just to get their own voice heard, but to ensure other people weren’t heard,” he told Chris Matthews on Hardball. “I think these folks are really desperate to stop health reform.”

8. Subtlety Need Not Apply


Coming soon after Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) died, the 9/12 Tea Party showcased the movement’s commitment to class.

7. Joker’s On You

Never mind that it was created by a Palistinean-American college student who thinks calling Obama socialist is “stupid,” that Obama-as-Joker photo was just too perfect (somehow) to not become a defining image of conservative protests.

6. I Like My Metaphors The Way I Like My Nuts: Mixed

Some say Obama is a socialist-Nazi-Muslim. Others claim the Democrats are Communist-Facists. Or, in the case of this man at Glenn Beck’s 9/12 protest, the Statue of Liberty is going to die for your sins if Obama has his way. Which is, of course, just what Stalin would want.

5. You Say Racism, I Say Cultural Sensitivity


Even trained neurosurgeons can forget to use their brains when health care reform is on the line, as Dr. David McKalip of Florida taught us this July.

4. Sing, Sing A Song

There’s more to fighting health care reform than just making signs and writing emails, as we learned at Bachmann’s tea party this month:

3. Taking The Obama-Is-Hitler Meme A Bit Too Far


We also learned at Bachmann’s tea party just what it is that qualifies as “too far” for the leaders of the conservative protest movement. Bachmann herself went so far as to say “I agree” to complaints that signs comparing health care reform to Auschwitz were “wholly inappropriate.”

2. Guns Don’t Kill People…

Would you take a loaded weapon with you to a peaceful protest of a Presidential appearance? Back in August, one right-wing protestor from New Hampshire gave us the answer.

1. …People Kill People


Another golden oldie from August. Faced with counter protests from progressive groups at town halls in New Mexico, one right-wing protestor decided the time for talk was over. Luckily, the plan has yet to catch on.

Research by Selena Hill