Not that the “tea parties” didn’t have their downside. Some demonstrators displayed signs calling for assassinations of Democratic lawmakers or making Holocaust and other comparisons that might strike one as an excessive reaction to overtaxing and overspending in a democratic republic.
Of course, liberal bloggers played this up and conservative bloggers played it down, but the posters were there to be played up or down.
In one of its most-read pieces as of Monday morning, the Huffington Post had “the 10 Most Offensive Tea Party Signs,” saying things like “The American Taxpayers are the Jews for Obama’s ovens” and “Barack Hussein Obama: The New face of Hitler.”
“The brain behind this strategy must belong to that 13 year old wnderkind who wowed ‘em at CPAC. One can only speculate about what brilliant maneuvers are waiting in the wings. A mass sticking-out-of-tongues and going ‘Nyah, nyah, nyah’? It’s all so high school,” wrote Steven Weber at the Huffington Post.
An amazed Steve M. at No More Mister Nice Blog was not nice, noting that the “ovens” picture “was posted on a pro-tea-party site. This was posted by someone who’s proud to be allied with that guy,” he said, later realizing that the same person “defended his Obama-as-Hitler sign to an interviewer on CNN today (dude showed up with a lot of signs, I guess).”
Not that the protesters weren’t prepared. Freedom Works, one of the rallies’ co-sponsors, advised its people in a flyer reproduced around the liberal blogosphere to “admonish the offensive: If crashers or your fellow rally-goers bring off-message or offensive signs, get yourself on video politely telling them you believe their signs are inappropriate, then post the video to YouTube. Show the public that you don’t approve, regardless of what the netroots folks get on video.”
Not a tea item
Topping Memeorandum all Monday afternoon was a report in CQ Politics that Rep. Jane Harman, California Democrat and former House intelligence panel chief, has been “caught on an National Security Agency wiretap telling a suspected Israeli agent that she would lobby the Justice Department to reduce espionage-related charges against two officials of the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee.”
“Harman was recorded saying she would ‘waddle into’ the AIPAC case ‘if you think itll make a difference,’ according to two former senior national security officials familiar with the NSA transcript,” reported CQ SpyTalk columnist Jeff Stein.
Mr. Stein said the “quo” in “quid pro quo” was that the suspected Israeli agent would raise money for and lobby Nancy Pelosi, then the House minority leader, to keep Ms. Harman on the intelligence committee in the event Democrats took control of the House in 2006, as was expected.
In a statement, Ms. Harman called the report “an outrageous and recycled canard” and has “no basis in fact.”
“I never engaged in any such activity. Those who are peddling these false accusations should be ashamed of themselves,” she said.
Mr. Stein explained that while charges of pro-Israel lobby helping raise money for Mrs. Pelosi on Ms. Harman’s behalf are several years old and prompted an FBI investigation, which the bureau dropped for “lack of evidence.”
The tapes with Ms. Harman’s voice on them, if genuine, could contradict that reason and give credence to other reports of political fixing, perhaps involving then-Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales.View Entire Story
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