Tea Shirts

August 3, 2009 10:10 a.m.

When members of Congress hold ‘town hall’ meetings in their districts, they should expect to hear from their constituents, many of whom won’t agree with what they’re selling. And it’s not just that hypothetical, unconnected-with-interested-parties ‘citizen’ we’re talking about. But union activists who want to ask about EFCA or health care or right to lifers who want to press the issue of abortion funding.

But here’s something to watch closely over the next few weeks.

It now seems clear that ‘tea party’ movement types, organized by highly-funded corporate backed outfits like “Freedom Works” are putting together a plan to disrupt and shut down as many town hall events as possible. That’s entirely different from making sure you’ve got a lot of activists at events with t-shirts or protesting with pickets outside the venue or making sure one of your activists gets to ask a question.

This amounts to a sort of civic vigilanteism.

But watch closely whether reports covering these events recognize the difference.

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  • |
    April 11, 2021 4:10 p.m.

    From TPM Reader DG … I too have experience as a union organizer. What XX says is right on target….

  • |
    April 10, 2021 9:56 a.m.

    From TPM Reader LV … Like the previous reader, I too was a union organizer earlier in my career. His/her…

  • |
    April 10, 2021 9:03 a.m.

    With your indulgence I wanted to re-up this appreciation of Ulysses S. Grant I wrote back in January 2018. It’s…

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