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Travis Rowley: Who’s Extreme?

Friday, July 29, 2011


All throughout the current debt-limit debate Democrats have been insisting that the “radical” and “extreme” Tea Party base of the Republican Party is being unreasonable with their opposition to tax increases as part of a solution to the nation’s debt crisis.

First off, this is how out of touch the modern Democrat Party is. You can’t even oppose tax hikes without having Democrats think of you as an “extremist.”

More important to the moment, however, is the fact that the constant handling of these phrases represents the Left’s most common political strategy. In two and a half years, never once have Democrats articulated precisely what makes the Tea Party so “extreme.”

This shouldn’t surprise anyone, though. The modus operandi of the Democrat Party has always been to tarnish the reputation of their opponents, rather than debate their ideas. And within this center-right democracy, the Democrats’ decrepit subculture of thuggery, political correctness, and character assassination has done wonders for their progressive agenda.

When political newcomer Rory Smith (R) decided to drop out of the 2010 gubernatorial race former RI Democrat Party Chairman William Lynch jumped at the opportunity to convince Rhode Islanders that it was because Smith was revolted by the “ultra right-wing ideologues” who dominated the RIGOP and who were “grossly out of touch with the average voters of this state.” Lynch was calling attention to the fact that Smith was socially moderate, finding the moment ripe to further the myth that Republicanism represents some sort of ideological extremism. Interestingly, nobody from the press found it curious that gay marriage was only still illegal in Rhode Island because so many Democrats were standing against it. There were simply too many “ultra right-wing ideologues” within Mr. Lynch’s party.

A rare conservative and honest Democrat, Rep. Jon Brien (D-Woonsocket) recently mocked his own colleagues for the rhetoric they incessantly hurl at their political counterparts. On A Lively Experiment, Brien explained how the National Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee contacted Ocean State Democrats in order to urge them to reject the recent Voter ID bill. According to Brien, they didn’t want to “pass this legislation because you will mess up [the Democratic] paradigm. The paradigm is…the Republicans, those nasty people, are trying to bring us all the way back to the Jim Crow laws.” Brien further described how the Democrats planned on convincing people that Republicans are racist and “nasty” with their manipulation of the Voter ID issue: “[Democrats are] saying that the Republicans are trying to suppress votes in the states. If you guys [pass the bill], you’ve messed up our argument. So please don’t do it.”

One wonders just how pathetically insignificant the Democrat Party would be without their shallow ethics, and without the media’s willingness to give them all the cover they need.

The Democrats’ Propaganda Prowess

In order to observe the Left’s effectiveness in these operations, one only has to notice the fact that there are few successful conservatives remaining as credible public spokesmen. If you ask the average politically-detached American what he thinks of George W. Bush, he will repeat the media’s mantra – the 43rd President of the United States is a moron. The former Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin? Even dumber than Bush. Glenn Beck? A nutcase. Rush Limbaugh? A bigot. Talk Radio? Hate speech. Fox News? A biased news organization. The Tea Party? Racist political astroturf.

Barack Obama? “The smartest guy ever to become President,” who sends “thrills” down people’s legs.

Imagine a public debate between a conservative and a liberal before an audience made up of a cross-section of the American population. The liberal, naturally outmatched, asks the conservative to disclose where he attained his information. “Fox News,” the conservative may respond, just before being laughed off stage. Yet, with the situation reversed, the liberal could safely respond, “I saw it on the news” or “I read it in the newspaper” or “My professor said so.” Yet, the conservative could never retain his credibility by admitting that he attained some of his information from Rush Limbaugh.

Despite their overwhelming success with news junkies, the resounding reputation conservatives suffer among those Americans who only have the time to pay half-attention is most often a negative one. The large majority of the nationwide media simply remains under progressive control, offering Democrats an advantage in all upcoming quarrels. All of the Right’s trusted sources – even the label “Republican” itself – will be discredited beforehand with their passage through the media haze.

The unflattering premise that Democrats believe they have established regarding the Tea Party – well before the current debt-limit debate ensued – is what enabled Senator Harry Reid (D) to deliver this gem last week: “Unfortunately the Republicans who used to run Congress, the two Republican caucuses, are being driven by a radical right-wing that is so in-tune with the Tea Party…We should not let these extremists dictate the outcome of this debate for the direction of our country. The time for ideological extremism should end.”

Of course, Harry Reid has never explained why anyone should consider the Tea Party such an extreme movement. And he never will.

We’ll just have to assume it’s because they don’t believe in raising taxes.

Travis Rowley (TravisRowley.com) is chairman of the RI Young Republicans and a consultant for the Barry Hinckley Campaign for US Senate.


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Very true about the liberal media bias. I can barely watch the major stations anymore. The New York Time/Boston Globe/Washington Post are even worse.

Comment #1 by Chris O. on 2011 07 29

So, RI Democrats observe voter fraud in their state and decide to do the right thing and finally pass a voter ID law. And the national Democrats beg them not to, because it would mess up their "paradigm" that Republicans are racist? Keep it classy, Democrats.

Comment #2 by Tom R. on 2011 07 29

"In two and a half years, never once have Democrats articulated precisely what makes the Tea Party so 'extreme.'"

I don't know. I say Taibbi did a pretty good job of it.

"The Truth About the Tea Party"

So how does a group of billionaire businessmen and corporations get a bunch of broke Middle American white people to lobby for lower taxes for the rich and deregulation of Wall Street? That turns out to be easy. Beneath the surface, the Tea Party is little more than a weird and disorderly mob, a federation of distinct and often competing strains of conservatism that have been unable to coalesce around a leader of their own choosing. Its rallies include not only hardcore libertarians left over from the original Ron Paul "Tea Parties," but gun-rights advocates, fundamentalist Christians, pseudomilitia types like the Oath Keepers (a group of law- enforcement and military professionals who have vowed to disobey "unconstitutional" orders) and mainstream Republicans who have simply lost faith in their party. It's a mistake to cast the Tea Party as anything like a unified, cohesive movement — which makes them easy prey for the very people they should be aiming their pitchforks at. A loose definition of the Tea Party might be millions of pissed-off white people sent chasing after Mexicans on Medicaid by the handful of banks and investment firms who advertise on Fox and CNBC.
[end quote}

Comment #3 by Russell Conway on 2011 07 29

This maggot Rowley, who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, just wants to see the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. The good news is he's hooked up with another idiot Hinckley, who stands as much chance of getting elected in Rhode Island as Osama Bin Laden.

Let's hope once this jerk Hinckleyt gets his behind handed to him in the election, he and his fellow idiot Rowley will dry up and blow away.

Comment #4 by johnny jones on 2011 07 29

Okay, so Russell and Johnny are just trying to prove Rowley correct I guess.

Russell, I imagine that Taibbi excerpt is precisely what Rowley is referring to. Nowhere in that screed does Taibbi say what makes the Tea Party extreme. He just lists groups of people like "libertarians" "gun-rights advocates" "fundamentalist christians" "pseudomilitia types like the Oath Keepers" and disaffected "mainstream Republicans" ...Oh,and "white people"!!!

Then Taibbi does exactly what Rowley described in his column. He implied that Tea Partiers are racist: "chasing after Mexicans"...And stupid/brainwashed by banks and investment firms that advertise on, uh-oh, FOX NEWS!!!

I don't think it's possible for you to have provided Rowley with any better evidence than what you just posted in the Comments Section of his article. What a dope.

Comment #5 by Jared D on 2011 07 29

haha Good post Jared.Don't forget that the Tea Partiers believe in the US Constitution...Those people are insane!

Comment #6 by Tom R. on 2011 07 29

"Nowhere in that screed does Taibbi say what makes the Tea Party extreme... Then Taibbi does exactly what Rowley described in his column. He implied that Tea Partiers are racist..."

Clearly you haven't read the article. Taibbi provides numerous examples and actually makes the point that he doesn't think the movement is racist. Here's the section:

It would be inaccurate to say the Tea Partiers are racists. What they are, in truth, are narcissists. They're completely blind to how offensive the very nature of their rhetoric is to the rest of the country. I'm an ordinary middle-aged guy who pays taxes and lives in the suburbs with his wife and dog — and I'm a radical communist? I don't love my country? I'm a redcoat? F*** you! These are the kinds of thoughts that go through your head as you listen to Tea Partiers expound at awesome length upon their cultural victimhood, surrounded as they are by America-haters like you and me or, in the case of foreign-born president Barack Obama, people who are literally not Americans in the way they are.

It's not like the Tea Partiers hate black people. It's just that they're shockingly willing to believe the appalling horsesh** fantasy about how white people in the age of Obama are some kind of oppressed minority. That may not be racism, but it is incredibly, earth-shatteringly stupid. [my edits for language]
[end quote]

I say Rowley kind of makes Taibbi's point by being completely tone deaf to how offensive much of the Tea Party rhetoric is. I mean, you don't see how over the top rhetoric like this is?


It’s disturbing how mainstream the leftist ethic has become. All forms of dishonesty now consume the Democrats’ political culture. From political correctness to union thuggery to shouting down campus speakers, progressives have instilled their Machiavellian code simply by “working within”...

The bottom line is this: Rhode Island elections need to be safeguarded from progressive sleazebags.
[end quote]

Nothing extreme about calling about progressives Machiavellian sleazebags? I'm with Taibbi on that one.

Comment #7 by Russ C on 2011 07 29

If you want to have a contest on overheated political rhetoric, both sides have some zingers (the Dems would probably win, though). At least Rowley backs up his insults with argument.

Comment #8 by Chris O. on 2011 07 29

The second Taibbi excerpt still doesn't explain what makes Tea Party ideas extreme.It just says that they're mean. Is that all you got?! Travis, keep writing. Everyone else is pathetic.

Comment #9 by Tom R. on 2011 07 29

"The second Taibbi excerpt still doesn’t explain what makes Tea Party ideas extreme."

Look, read the article if you like or don't. Doesn't matter to me.

Comment #10 by Russ C on 2011 07 29

I just read it. Doesn't say anything. Go figure.

Comment #11 by Tom R. on 2011 07 29

Case point... "they’re completely blind to how offensive the very nature of their rhetoric is to the rest of the country."

Comment #12 by Russ C on 2011 07 29

Yup. He says that within the same article that he implies that the entire Tea Party movement is dumb and racist. Unreal.

Comment #13 by Tom R. on 2011 07 29

Actually, he said the idea that "white people in the age of Obama are some kind of oppressed minority" was NOT racist, just stupid. That's not at all the same as your statement, but I can see you're not overly concerned with what Taibbi actually wrote.

Comment #14 by Russ C on 2011 07 29

While he did say that the Tea Party wasn't racist, as usual, liberals just can't help themselves: "A loose definition of the Tea Party might be millions of pissed-off white people sent chasing after Mexicans on Medicaid by the handful of banks and investment firms who advertise on Fox and CNBC."

Everyone knows what this means. Except maybe you?

Comment #15 by Tom R. on 2011 07 29

This article is awesome and Russell Conway might be the biggest loser in the world. (MIGHT BE! I didn't say IS.) From those links and videos it's like the progressives shifted their criticism about the Tea Party from calling them racist (this lie was running out of steam) to saying, "There's just something....something...OH I HATE THESE PEOPLE!" They're "narcissists" now. HAHA. Oh that unholy allegiance between Wall Street and the Alabama rednecks. HOW DID THEY PULL THIS ONE OFF?! Russell, you are unhealthy.

Comment #16 by Kevin O'Connor on 2011 07 29

So Mr. Rowley complains about the Dems disparaging the Tea Party by disparaging the Dems? anybody else see any irony there?

Comment #17 by Lynn I on 2011 07 30

No, Lynn, Mr. Rowley points something out that has become fairly obvious over the years. The "left" often refuses to engage in argument, and instead chooses to create overall myths about Republicans via a sympathetic liberal media - "greedy" "rich" "silver spoon" "corporate jets" "racist" "sexist" "homophobic" "stupid" ..... Mr. Rowley cited a few solid examples within his article to help you understand this.

Comment #18 by Jared D on 2011 07 30

Exactly. This isn't about name-calling or disparagement....that's gonna happen naturally, from both sides, within debates. As travis observes, democrats rarely explain what they disagree with the tea party on. All we can assume is that the dems are afraid of the tea party because they kicked their ass in the 2010 elections....so they're resorting to their old tired tricks: make people think they're racist, extreme, etc....this truly is how the dems have always conducted themselves

Comment #19 by Tom R. on 2011 07 30

"the Democrats’ decrepit subculture of thuggery, political correctness, and character assassination" - This just about says it all. Without these three tools, the leftist Democratic Party probably wouldn't be able to thrive here in the center-Right democracy of the United States.

Comment #20 by Jared D on 2011 07 30

Well travis any press is good press!
Made the Projo. Who promptly called you an exaggerating liar.


Comment #21 by Real Clear on 2011 08 02

You are all insane! Have any of you Tea Party bashers ever taken the time to attend a meeting of your local Tea Party groups? It seems as though you just swallow the little pills given freely by the main stream media and blindly belive the crap they feed you....take a few minutes of your busy day and actually attempt to educate yourselves before spewing misguided and inaccurate opinions...

Comment #22 by jane jones on 2011 08 02

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