October 23, 2010

In case anyone cares what a bunch of lefty academics in Berkeley are saying at a conference called "Fractures, Alliances, and Mobilizations: Emerging Analyses of the Tea Party Movement."

David Weigel has typed up his notes for your enlightenment. Good lord, the very idea of a Center for the Comparative Study of Right-Wing Movements makes me want to run in the other direction.

63 comments:

Fen said...

the very idea of a Center for the Comparative Study of Right-Wing Movements makes me want to run in the other direction.

No worries. They're going to rename it the Ministry of Information.

They even mailed me my Emanuel Goldstein Mask.

Kev said...

(the other kev)

Oh, that's gotta be enlightening. Kind of the academic version of Andy Stitzer trying to describe what breasts feel like.

Palladian said...

"Fractures, Alliances, and Mobilizations..."

Ah, one of the most irritating of po-mo academic pretensions: pluralizing everything!

The Hermenutics and Dissolutions of Rousseauian/Socialist Power Structures and Frameworks: Sociologies, Discourses, Taxonomies, Dogmas, Extremisms, Discontinuities, Liberations, Conservativisms and Their Relationships to Heated Steeped Libations.

Palladian said...

Worthless academics also love the word "emerging" and "emergent".

Ann Althouse said...

The title of the conference could just as well be "The Tea Party Movement." Those other words add absolutely nothing!

Ann Althouse said...

"pluralizing everything"

Most irritating in the word "analyses."

jamboree said...

I promise you if you caught a look at these people, or attended the panel discussion and heard them attempt to express a thought, you would no longer be angry, you'd just feel pity...and bored disappointment.

Palladian said...

"Those other words add absolutely nothing!"

To the pretentious, inadequate academic, those kinds of words lend the air of rigor where there is none. Also, everyone knows that any serious academic conference or paper requires a colon.

El Pollo Real said...

Center for the Comparative Study of Right-Wing Movements

They're parodying Limbaugh's Institute for Advanced Conservative Studies right?

Lem said...

If Superman has to go at high altitude would he produce a contrail?

deborah said...

I wonder what kept them from using 'emergent.' It was a natural.

Fen said...

David Weigel: the Tea Party experts are treated to a meal

They have Tea Party "experts". HA!.

Even better, they *think* they have Tea Party experts.


One of the authors of the NAACP's report on "Tea Party Nationalism" is here.

This our your cue to stop reading.


A bunch of people who reverse-engineer Saul Alinsky

Reverse-engineer is not the word you're looking for. Not only is it clumsy, its not accurate. What you mean to say is that the Tea Party learned Alinsky tactics from watching Democrats use it, but you can't say that, because down-page you need to pretend your side never heard of Alinsky.


Prospects for an American Neofascism... research on American right wing groups (including the Tea Party movement, the Minutemen

Right. A bunch of retired police and military who volunteer to be spotters (and spotters only) for the US Border Patrol - "neofascists".


A Macro-Micro Model of Participation in Political Action:

That you guys likely tweaked like a CRU database...


Why are people joining the Tea Party? conservative anger, tracing its history and discussing the "sluicing" that conservatives do to keep people angry by giving them stories that reinforce their fears

Yes, its called "news". Not the censored propaganda coming from your fellow MSM toadies, but the stories you tried to bury coming from Information Brokers you don't control.


The audience, mostly academics and activists but some students, respond to quotes from Republicans with nervous laughter and gasps

Yes, we saw them in action at the Widdener Law School, or somesuch name. They laughed because the conservative hick didn't know the phrase "Separation of Church and State" was in the Constitution...

Like your peers laughed at Palin for not knowing the Boston Tea Party was in 1776...


"How is it that [the Tea Party has] read the Saul Alinsky handbook and progressives haven't?" gripes one activist.

Yes. Weigel really thinks his readers are this stupid. He may be right.


"There is that U.S. DNA that goes all the way back and does provide the conceptual source for this lynch mob mentality," says Steve Martinot, who teaches at San Francisco State University.

Yes. We called them Tories. We tarred and feathered them and ran them out of town on a wooden rail. Thanks for the reminder.


"And that is white supremacy. Shouldn't we be looking at the Tea Party through that?"

Blacks are welcome in the Tea Party. The Tea Party views skin color to be as relevant as hair color. But go ahead and spotlight the fact that 90% of black America chooses to remain on your plantation. Can't really blame them - you've made it very clear what happens when they stray.


Perlstein moves around the question. "The idea that everyone has an opinion of about what they're hearing is both the glory and the tragedy of American democracy."

Shorter Perlstein: "Its a tragedy that everyone is allowed to express their opinion. Especially *them* "


racial animosity is key to the Tea Party. It's cold comfort for people like Hardy Frye, but it does suggest that Obama's ability to form some grand populist coalition was always limited.

Yes, thats it. Obama's outreach to conservatives and his promises of bipartisanship were stymied by racists. Please keep fighting the current war with the last war's tactics.


This is useful stuff for the gathered academics...This crowd, steeped and marinated in radical politics, is struggling to understand the Tea Party.

Academics.. struggling to understand.

I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Its so pathetic. Has he always been this desperately dishonest?

Dark Eden said...

So basically this is a contest to say 'they're racists' in the most difficult to understand way possible yes?

Jim B said...

It's nothing so noble as any of the commenters have ventured forth thus far:

It's merely the academic circle jerk to precede the post-electoral thumb-sucking explaining why it can't possibly be Democratic policies which are the reason that they got shellacked in November 2010.

Lefties like garage, 1jpb, et al will then authoritatively cite the circle jerk as proof that all Tea Partiers are racists, thus completing the second ring of the multi-layered circle jerk for which liberals are already queueing to participate.

But hey, they've got a bunch of meaningless degrees that they've spent a lot of years awarding to each other for pulling each other's puds in perfect ideological synchronization, so they've got that much going for them....

PatCA said...

Wonder who is funding the Center for Wingnutogogy.

Synova said...

"Yes. Weigel really thinks his readers are this stupid. He may be right."

I donno.

If he was trying to make the conference seem legitimate he failed pretty badly.

I mean, true believers will be nodding in agreement at the mystery of it all, but anyone inclined to see both sides of the established political dichotomy with skepticism will likely extrapolate that to both fringe ends... the Tea Party *AND* these clueless adults reveling in their cluelessness.

What Weigel describes is disjointed confusion and a sort of strange distancing from participation in life but without the objectivity to observe. The participants are all partisan and Weigel illustrates that pretty clearly.

YoungHegelian said...

Whenever you hear some lefty fool talking as if there is actually now or ever was an "American NeoFascism" it's time to make for the exit.

There has never been in this country a fascist or national socialist movement that was anything but fringe. To pretend otherwise is to mangle the meaning of fascism (a political system expounded on at detailed length by its past adherents) into What Lefties Don't Like.

That there exists a "right wing" that consists of (from left to right) Liberal Capitalism -> Aristocratic Oligarchy -> Fascism is one of the greatest lies the postwar marxist left inflicted on the western world.

bgates said...

Most irritating in the word "analyses."

Might as well be "analice", because it's nothing but irritating little nuggets they pull out of their asses.

research on American right wing groups (including the Tea Party movement, the Minutemen, the Boy Scouts, ROTC, the Chamber of Commerce....

conservative anger, tracing its history and discussing the "sluicing" that conservatives do to keep people angry by giving them stories that reinforce their fears

Most notoriously in the secretive cabal of the "JournoSluice".

"How is it that [the Tea Party has] read the Saul Alinsky handbook and progressives haven't?" gripes one activist.

It's funny, given the number of relevant authors that are more widely read by TPers than by progs (Friedrich Hayek and James Madison in particular) that the prog would manage to find an author to lie about like that.

Fen said...

Yah, you know its bad when even our resident Libtards refuse to defend it.

dick said...

"Prospects for an American Neofascism. Initially the project would consist of a review of recent research on American right wing groups (including the Tea Party movement, the Minutemen, and the Christian right); and of trends in national and transnational political economy that bear on our subject (such as cyclical and structural economic crises, corporate/government interpenetration, and the explosive growth of the military/industrial/security complex)."

Funny that they just cannot wrap their heads around the idea that there are a lot of right wingers (I am one) who are not religious. We are not in the right wing so much on social policies as on financial and monetary policies. As usual with the left, all are tarred as if we were all religious nuts in their view. Meanwhile they are in such lock step that they hold morning telephone conversations and have groups such as Journolist to ensure that they agree on the latest talking points. The academic leftists are a crew you just could not make up. I keep thinking of the Group of 88 from Duke and their attitude towards the lacrosse team, that they were athletes with a lot of testosterone and might have hired a stripper to put on a show so therefore they were guilty even if they did nothing. They were young white males so there was no doubt that they would do what Crystal said they did even though it was definite that they could not be guilty. Same logic with this crew about the Tea Partiers. They did not agree with the received wisdom from these academics so obviously they were guilty of whatever the academics could dream up. After reading a story such as this one I really wonder how anyone could believe in the left in the first place.

Revenant said...

Is this an Onion article?

Swede said...

Since they can't stop the Tea Party these academicians must become "experts" so that they can define and explain what the Tea Party "really" is.

Disregard what the Tea Party is saying: Smaller government, less taxes, less intrusion.

Rather they are fringe, racist, uneducated bitter-clingers who don't understand that government is here to help them and that the role of the citizen is to rely on the largesse of government.

I just saved these folks a lot of time and money.

You're welcome.

Zach said...

The title of the conference could just as well be "The Tea Party Movement." Those other words add absolutely nothing!

I disagree. If the title were "The Tea Party Movement," you could expect to see talks on the goals, motivations, methods, etc. of the movement itself. "Analyses of the Tea Party Movement" puts the movement itself out of bounds. It's about the way to pigeonhole the movement without reacting to it.

Do all projects in the humanities have such grandiose titles?

Prospects for an American Neofascism. Initially the project would consist of a review of recent research on American right wing groups (including the Tea Party movement, the Minutemen, and the Christian right); and of trends in national and transnational political economy that bear on our subject (such as cyclical and structural economic crises, corporate/government interpenetration, and the explosive growth of the military/industrial/security complex).

How on earth would you ever get anything interesting about such a poorly defined topic?

If you really wanted to say something useful about the Tea Party, why not start with its motivations and goals? The paper would practically write itself:

The Tea Party Movement: a reaction to radical and unwanted change.

1) Opposition to TARP
2) Opposition to Stimulus
3) Opposition to Bank Bailouts
4) Opposition to Auto Bailouts
5) Opposition to Health Care Bill

Unifying themes are that debt and bailouts are undermining traditional American values. They can be opposed by reasserting traditional values and by stopping the contested policies.

You don't have to agree with the movement to write a paper like that -- you could potentially do a better job if you had some critical distance. But you would have to deal with the subject matter of the movement and the reasons for its appeal

Youngblood said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Youngblood said...

I think that it's absolutely hilarious that they invited Rick Perlstein as a Tea Party expert!

That's some funny shit!

I mean, this is the guy who was going around in the Spring of 2009 that the 2008 election was proof that the Conservative movement had become the Whigs of our time. He was really sold on the idea that the Conservative movement would be relegated to the political wilderness for decades.

And here we are, just a year and a half later, and he turned out to be exactly wrong. At the very same time he was speaking, a populist Conservative movement was already starting to coalesce.

And this guy is being brought on as an expert on the Tea Party!

The Drill SGT said...

For those that have forgotten, David Weigel was the mutt who was hired by WaPo to cover the conservative movement from the inside, but who turned up on JournoList disparaging all the conservatives he met.

Bartender Cabbie said...

no one cares.

damikesc said...

Serious academic papers do require a colon in the title.

As do video game sequels.

Decide for yourself which is more intellectually challenging.

that-xmas said...

Fen: The Tea Party views skin color to be as relevant as hair color.

Wait!?! The Tea Party hates gingers?

Bob_R said...

This fits well with Charles Murray's editorial in the Post this morning. Murray uses Tea Party populism to sell the thesis of cognitive elite / new class / creative class isolation that he has been pitching since The Bell Curve. Weigel certainly presents this as a very isolated group with very fixed and unshakable preconceived ideas.

Murray's ideas are, of course, terrifying to some. They imply that our elite educational institutions might be great places to narrow, technical subjects - the hard sciences, banking, law - or abstract subects - religion, philosophy, mathematics - but they are terrible places to study a subject that requires knowledge of larger society - business, politics, government, sociology. And they are terrible places to look for leaders of a democracy.

that-xmas said...

I like this bit:

He blew up!" sighs Postel. "He was saying the Birchers haven't done anything in 40 years!"

"They have a fully staffed office!" laughs Chip Berlet, a well-traveled political researcher with a cane propping him up before his scheduled March 2011 knee surgery. "They were at CPAC!"


Of course, if I'm going to pick a fringe group that just keeps hanging around to tar the whole range of people with, I'd point out that the Larouche followers are still out there, pushing their agenda. They have scores of volunteers that show up at progressive rallies and demonstrations.

Bob_R said...

I should add that it looks like at least some of the participants are doing the things that political scientists should be doing: headcounts, surveys, interviews, tracking fund raising and voting patterns. There is little chance that anyone really knows what the Tea Party movement means at this point. Collecting hard data isn't as sexy as thumbsucker articles, but it has a chance of actually being valuable.

edutcher said...

At least they can keep all their paranoia in one place and impress each other with all the pseudo-intellectual academic jargon they use.

tim maguire said...

Could be quite funny. I've never in my life met a liberal who had the slightest clue who conservatives are, what they believe or why they believe it. (For context, I live in one of the bluest areas of the country, my thoughts on liberals come from personal interaction with liberals.)

Jason (the commenter) said...

Althouse: The title of the conference could just as well be "The Tea Party Movement." Those other words add absolutely nothing!

1. They keep Tea Partiers from showing up by accident.

2. They make it safe for liberal academics to be there. None of them are going to want to admit to their colleges they went to something called "The Tea Party Movement". Their ideological purity might be questioned!

Jason (the commenter) said...

I found it interesting that Conservatives thought racism meant treating different races differently, while Liberals thought racism meant not giving preferential treatment to minorities.

damikesc said...

ust think how much of a students woefully overpriced tuition goes to keep these morons in their cushy jobs?

As has been pointed out, there isn't much resentment of professors of hard sciences. Its THESE idiots that cause the term "intellectual" to be an epithet.

...and its sad since virtually none of the "scholars" qualify as "intellectual"

Paco Wové said...

"Worthless academics also love the word "emerging" and "emergent"."

And subtitles! There must be subtitles!

Paul Zrimsek said...

"n=3" might be a usable sample size if the Tea Party movement were taking place on Gilligan's Island.

garage mahal said...

The title of the conference could just as well be "The Tea Party Movement." Those other words add absolutely nothing!

The Tea Party is made up of people that have trouble with movements.

bagoh20 said...

I don't know, maybe attending such an educational experience would help me figure out why I prefer freedom and responsible fiscal policy.
Maybe I can learn what's wrong with me. I clearly need help with it, cause I just ain't getting it.

Kevin said...

Not going to read it. Can't trust Weigel, why waste time?

El Pollo Real said...

The Tea Party is made up of people that have trouble with movements.

Mid-morning vowel movement Garage?

At least you're regular.

Fen said...

this lynch mob mentality

That reminds me, does anyone have their targeting list handy?

I lost the page with the 6 digit grid of Berkeley.

garage mahal said...


Mid-morning vowel movement Garage?


Heh.

rcocean said...

The Tea party movement has already been analyzed:

It's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant

Of course, the professors can probably some details - lots of TP's living in Berkeley.

lemondog said...

Youtube video from conference:

Chip Berlet - Right Wing Populism in America

Panel 3: Tapping into Fear, Anger and Resentment: The Tea Party and the Climate of Threat
Presenters:

Lisa Disch, Professor of Political Science and Professor of Women's Studies, University of Michigan

Charles Postel, Associate Professor of History, San Francisco State University

Chip Berlet, Senior Analyst, Political Research Associates

Devin Burghart, Vice President, Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights

roesch-voltaire said...

I do not know how in touch this group is, but when you have Republican candidates like Stephen Broden threatening to over throw the government by any means for his perceived loss of liberty, combined with the packages of white powder sent to Grijalva, one can think that something in blowing in the wind from the right side and needs to be considered. That said, I realize a grass root movement like the Tea Party can attract a wide variety of people and beliefs and should not be discounted or feared based on the opinions of a few.

EnigmatiCore said...

That really is a chilling article to read. Those people are nuts.

Charlie Martin said...

There has never been in this country a fascist or national socialist movement that was anything but fringe.

No, though it pains me to agree with Glenn Beck on this, the argument is pretty strong for Woodrow Wilson being a pre-fascist and an inspiration to the real fascists, and that early FDR was very inclined to it.

It's just that Americans suck at following orders.

Charlie Martin said...

[T]he very idea of a Center for the Comparative Study of Right-Wing Movements makes me want to run in the other direction.

I think making people run in the other direction from the Right is more or less the point.

George Grady said...

"What [Obama] needed was a job program that addressed the inner cities. It didn't even have to cost that much.... I think he really believes this bipartisan shit."

Yeah, that's Obama's main problem. He's just not partisan enough. And wasn't the stimulus bill supposed to be a jobs program?

LonewackoDotCom said...

The academics are almost as stupid as the partiers themselves: they're basically meeting to find out why the left's race-baiting hasn't worked and to come up with new ways to race-bait.

Next time they should try a pro-American opposition to the tea parties. The TPers are extremely vulnerable to a good argument that doesn't involve race-baiting, but the left seems mostly like a one-trick-pony nowadays. Instead of making a pro-American argument against TP lunacy, they smear millions of Americans just like the TPers smear anyone who opposes them.


--------------
Now, since this comment is anti-stupidity, expect partiers to lie and smear about me. They aren't capable of making a valid, logical argument against anything I've ever written about them; all they can do is lie and smear.

Ask the teaparty "patriots" why they almost completely ignored immigration for over a year.

Synova said...

"For those that have forgotten, David Weigel was the mutt who was hired by WaPo to cover the conservative movement from the inside, but who turned up on JournoList disparaging all the conservatives he met."

It could be that he disparages everybody.

Fen said...

Synova, I read it again this morning [sans weed] and can't decide: is David Weigel merely reporting on this radical nonsense, or is he supporting it? Some of the language he chooses makes it appear to be both. At some points he appears to note the irony of their position, at others he appears to be pushing their talking points. But I'm open to your opinion on it.

What's your take?

PatCA said...

This think tank was founded in 2009. They seem to have tons of money to award to their bien pensant scholars.

No word though on how they are funded. Hmmm.

http://ccsrwm.berkeley.edu/programs

JAL said...

... Center for the Comparative Study of Right-Wing Movements ...

Does Berkeley have a "Center for the Comparative Study of Left-Wing, Progressive and Post Vietnam Radical Movements?"

Just askin'

Revenant said...

Does Berkeley have a "Center for the Comparative Study of Left-Wing, Progressive and Post Vietnam Radical Movements?"

Yes: "the University of California at Berkeley". :)

LonewackoDotCom said...

It's real easy to search my site, and if synova had he/she would have easily found my Dave Weigel coverage.

Even if calling him a liar is beyond one (due to the "controversial" topic about which he's lied and misled), pointing out his lack of journalistic ethics (not giving a right of reply) shouldn't be beyond anyone.

Since Weigel's smeared the 'partiers and others, it'd be in the 'partiers' best interests to link to and direct his viewers to that page. Yet, that's beyond their mental and emotional abilities.

Bart DePalma said...

Ann:

When I read this stuff, I can only smile and shake my head. These folks are a walking cliche of the disengaged elite left.

What is singularly unamusing and a bit scary is that this drivel sounds very much like any number of comments from President Barack "bitter clinger" Obama and his Administration. According to our President, the tsunami of voters heading his Congress' way are simply too deluded and scared to appreciate all of what he and Congress have done for us.

Memo to the White House and academic loons everywhere from the voters outside of DC and Berkeley: We most certainly do appreciate every last thing this government has done. That is why we will be issuing around 70 to 80 pink slips in a little over a week.

Youngblood said...

JAL asked:

"Does Berkeley have a 'Center for the Comparative Study of Left-Wing, Progressive and Post Vietnam Radical Movements?'"

Pretty much every college and university does -- it's usually the entire social science department and a good portion of the history department.

The amount of navel gazing that the Left does in that area is astonishing. There are whole books on groups as obscure as the Up Against The Wall Motherfuckers, and academic powerhouses like Theda Skocpol have devoted a significant portion of their careers to building a template for a radical Left-wing movement that actually works.

They are always mystified when the radical movements that they champion inevitably fail, and they are always baffled by the success of non Left-wing movements -- the American Revolution, the rise of a multi-faceted but fractured Right-wing movement in the second half of the 20th century, and so on.

The possibility that their ideas are simply unpopular and discredited is never sufficient to explain the failure of their movements and the success of their opponents and their movements.

Mark said...

The function of such a Center is to provide a safe environment for reinforcing all pre-existing assumptions and prejudices regarding "right wing" thought.

God forbid our credentialed youth should become curious and actually listen to Tea Party leaders, read their essays, or worse, pick up source materials like "The Road to Serfdom." That how promising young minds get corrupted.

Marshal said...

"If you look across the board here, true skeptics of the Tea Party, 49 percent agreed with the proposition that blacks ought to work their way up without any special favors," says Parker. "But if you look at the true believers, that goes to 92 percent."

This is cited as proof of racism, that racial groups should NOT be granted preferential treatment.
Once you understand the standard used to define "racism", it becomes much clearer why the left asserts anyone who disagrees with them is a racist.