“If you can’t blind them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit.”
Seemingly out of any ideas of substance or brilliance when it comes to combatting the political tide of the grassroots Tea Party movement, Portland, Oregon’s Jason Levin has come up with a new means for ensuring that these Tea Party rallies are seen in the worst media light possible: infiltrate them.
At his website, CrashTheTeaParty, Levin describes his group as a “nationwide network of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents who are all sick and tired of that loose affiliation of racists, homophobes and morons; (sic) who constitute the fake grass-roots movement which calls itself ‘The Tea Party.'” Per Levin, the goal of the group is to “dismantle and demolish the Tea Party by any non-violent means necessary.”
At turns, the movement sounds both silly and sinister. Silly, in that they say that their methods will be to carry misspelled signs and make wild claims in television interviews in order to “distance them from mainstream American and damage the public’s opinion of them.” Sinister in that he darkly states, “We have already sat quietly in their meetings, and observed their rallie,” planning to “use the inside information that we have gained in order to disrupt and derail their plans.”
Is this kind of guerilla politics what we’ve come to in America? Is there that much fear that a particular idea might have so much merit that it requires sabotage by its opponents rather than offering a more palatable rebuttal?
There exists, of course, the possibility that this is simply a wild publicity stunt. Levin has certainly not shied away from making hay out of all the negative press, twittering each and every headline mentioning his organization as tpartycrasher. It’s the sort of story you’d expect out of Dick and Tom Smothers (or, these days I suppose, Stephen Colbert.) But it certainly puts another ugly twist on an already ugly political season.