This past weekend, Americans from across the country gathered in Richmond, V.A. for the Virginia Tea Party Patriot Convention. Attracting conservative leaders and activists alike, the gathering featured training from a number of organizations including American Majority.
However, many participants may have been unaware of the quiet smear campaign that has been spreading for weeks by Obama’s old employer, Project Vote.
“As what is purported to be one of the largest Tea Party gatherings in Virginia gets underway in Richmond this weekend, a new poll clearly shows that Tea Party sympathizers hold minority views on most issues regarding government, government spending, and the budget.
What Happened to Hope and Change? A Poll of 2008 Voters was conduced by nonpartisan voting rights group Project Vote, surveying 1,947 randomly selected Americans who cast ballots in 2008. The poll is unique in that it not only surveys the historic 2008 electorate as a whole, but also includes special samples of black voters, low-income voters, and youth voters, and compares these groups to self-identified Tea Party sympathizers.”
The press release clearly attempts to characterize the convention as a “whites only” event for angry Tea Partiers to complain.
“Contrary to the claims made by event organizers that the Tea Party frustrations are shared by a wide cross section of America, the results of the new poll show that Tea Party sympathizers — who are overwhelmingly likely to be white, older, and more affluent — are out of touch with the views of both average Americans and the surge voting groups who so decisively increased their participation in 2008.
‘Black voters, low-income voters, and youth voters together represent roughly a third of the electorate, and they will play an increasingly important role in American politics in the years to come,’ says Project Vote’s executive director Michael Slater. ‘Yet over the past two years the opinions and values of these populations have been drowned out by the anti-government rhetoric of more affluent, older, and mostly white Americans who have organized under the Tea Party banner.'”
Project Vote’s report was released in mid-September to much fanfare and liberal media attention. A conference call was planned, and among the featured participants was Frances Fox Piven. Piven is a professor of Political Science and Sociology at the City University of New York. Piven and her husband Richard Cloward are the same socialists responsible for the Cloward-Piven Strategy.
This reporter listened in on the conference call as elitist liberal whites claimed to understand the concerns of “real” voters, the blacks, and other minorities Project Vote used for this “study.” Piven was praised for her insight and her socialist connections were never mentioned. During a brief question and answer session, one caller expressed some dismay about the availability of the information that Project Vote had accessed. This comment was laughed off by Project Vote’s Michael Slater.
Sensing an opportunity, I inquired as to how Project Vote had obtained the information of all those voters. Micheal Slater had admitted that some of it was public information, but the rest? Slater refused to answer a directly if the list had been obtained through officials connected with Obama’s administration or his campaign. The call was quickly ended and all callers placed in a conference or holding status.
Project Vote uses the tried and true standard of the Left: instigating racial animosity. According to the report, a minority of whites are controlling the national debate and silencing the true majority, progressive and liberal blacks and Latinos. Among their findings:
“Together, the three “surge” groups represent a larger portion of the electorate than those who self-identify with the Tea Party. Project Vote’s analysis reveals that black voters, low-income voters, and young voters have starkly different views about the role of government, federal spending priorities, and the budget deficit than Tea Party sympathizers, and in fact are far closer to the views of the 2008 electorate as a whole. Key findings include:
- Nine in ten Tea Party sympathizers are white; they are predominantly older, more affluent, and more conservative. Their views on the role of government and government spending are not only starkly different from black voters, young voters, and low-income voters, but from the majority view of a representative sample of all 2008 voters.
- Tea Party sympathizers, while almost universally dissatisfied with the way the country is going, report they themselves are doing very well: more than three out of four say their personal economic situation is fairly good or very good. 76% are married; 78% went to college; 84% are working or retired.
- Majorities of black voters, young voters, and low-income voters, as well as a majority of all voters, support spending the same or more on income support programs such as Food Stamps for less well-off Americans. Two-thirds of Tea Party sympathizers support spending less.
- Strong majorities of black voters, young voters, and low-income voters agree that government should work to provide for the needs of all citizens. Half of all voters agreed with that sentiment, while only one in five Tea Party sympathizers agreed.
Democrats, like the Chair of the South Carolina Democrat Party, are taking these “findings” to heart:
“These studies found that young and minority voters will be a key factor in the midterm elections.
According to Project Vote, the policy preferences of African-American, low-income and young voters are more closely aligned with the mainstream than with the far right and the tea party.
This segment of the electorate turned out in record numbers in 2008. I believe they will turn out again to support candidates who can put partisanship aside and turn our state around. They are tired of Republican hypocrisy and ready to move South Carolina forward with Democrats”
Project Vote and ACORN have a great deal of help from the media who are always willing to carry water for the group. Lefty blog sites like the Raw Story couldn’t resist jumping on the story with a racially charged headline, an obligatory attack on Fox News, vulgar references, and ending with pinning the blame on Bush:
“The findings seem to indicate that corporate networks like Fox News have largely ignored majority views in America, instead dedicating large amounts of time to covering the wealthy, vocal tea party minority.
‘Analysis of the findings from around the net also underscores what we’ve long argued,’ blogger Brad Friedman opined. “[The] Tea Baggers don’t actually give a damn about ‘the deficit’ or even the Constitution. If they did, they wouldn’t have waited until after Republicans lost the elections in 2008 to start marching and decrying the deficit explosion (and supposed concerns about Constitutional rights) brought about under the previous Administration.”
The liberal bloggers are not the only one demonizing the Tea Party movement. Over at The Nation, a writer laments about Obama’s “forgotten base” and paints the Tea Partiers as pessimistic when compared to this courageous and put-upon demographic.
“We’ve all spent so much time dwelling on the slights and accusations of the Fox News crowd, there’s been shockingly little attention paid to the views, frustrations and convictions of what we might call the forgotten electorate, otherwise known as Obama’s base.
“Which is why a new poll from Project Vote of 2008 voters is such a refreshing corrective. According to the poll, Tea Party sympathizers constitute 29 percent of 2008 voters, while black voters, those under 30 and those making less than $30,000 a year together make up 32 percent….
That is the tragic and perilous irony of this political moment: the people with the most faith in the president and the Democratic Party are the hardest hit by the continuing economic disaster; it’s this brute fact that’s driving the so-called enthusiasm gap between liberals and conservatives.”
The fact is most Americans understand the liberal slant of the media and tend to overlook such attacks. The report published by ACORN “affiliate” Project Vote started off as a quiet murmur among bloggers, but the message was clear. It’s time to paint ordinary Americans as selfish, angry and out of touch with reality. By inciting racial and class divisions Project Vote uses a classic Alinsky technique, marginalizing the enemy.
For a long time, the Left was unable to address the issues of the Tea Party and thus resorted to name calling and derision. When that tactic failed, the liberal elitists at Project Vote – presumably with the encouragement or help of Piven – decided to change the dialogue.
“Yesterday the Post reported that their own new survey finds—as Project Vote’s poll did—that there is strong support for government programs that provide a social safety net and protect ordinary people from the predations of the market. Although Republicans, and many Democrats, have tried to demonize Washington,’ write Jon Cohen and Dan Balz, ‘they must contend with the fact that most major government programs remain enormously popular…’
According to the Post/Kaiser Family Foundation/Harvard University poll, large majorities among the public say that Medicare (96 percent), Social Security (95 percent), food stamps (82 percent), federal aid to public schools (91 percent), unemployment benefits (91 percent) and environmental protection (89 percent) are important government programs.”
Allah Pundit weighs in here. You can bet that in a few days this story will be accepted as fact and repeated by the likes of Rachel Maddow. However, the biggest danger is in how ACORN/Project Vote has decided to frame the message. Acting as agent of misinformation, Project Vote tries to pretend that the mainstream media has been anything but a willing helper in pushing Obama’s unwanted agenda.
“But it has been a difficult story to convince the media to tell. For more than a year now, the media’s fascination with an apparently ‘angry’ public rising up against alleged government tyranny has seemingly taken priority over the first principles of responsible (objective) journalism. The spectacle of older white people dressing up in Revolutionary War garb and railing against ‘Obamacare,’ has held many in the mainstream media hostage to their own prejudices. And the herd mentality of our modern, 24-hour news cycle has only made things worse.
By locking in the distorted-but-dominant media frame on the Tea Party as representative of the electorate, the skepticism we expect from good journalism has been locked out. As a result, the mainstream media has not just reported or investigated the news: in beating the drum, it has unwittingly emerged as a vital supporting player, playing in the rise of the Tea Party movement itself.’
That said, we are encouraged by the Washington Post’s initiative in digging beneath the surface of apparent voter anger to independently confirm our findings about attitudes toward government.
The preceding statement will rankle any American who has witnessed the distorted reports, downplayed crowd sizes and hostility towards the Tea Party movement. Project Vote actually credits the mainstream media with the rise of the movement. Their statements are an insult to those who have labored tirelessly for the cause.
In the days leading up to November 2nd, groups like ACORN and Project Vote hope to tap into the well of racial discontent and class warfare to once again divide this country for their own political goals. And, as usual, will be aided by the mainstream media.
Cross-posted from American Majority.