Probably the most disturbing aspect of the multifarious effects of Fox News' right-wing propaganda machine and its Tea Party offspring is the way it has utterly taken over the lives of so many senior citizens, who lap up every word as the gospel truth and have become increasingly radicalized by talking heads like Glenn Beck.
Even as they project their own intentions onto the likes of the unions, the Fox acolytes and the Tea Partiers have effectively become a brownshirt corps of mean-spirited, vicious thugs. It's deeply disturbing to watch people in our parents' generation viciously attacking liberals with increasing venom and violence.
The latest example took place last weekend in the quiet little retirement town of Roseburg, Oregon. It's a pretty little burg on the I-5 corridor in western Oregon that is mostly populated with senior citizens of various stripes. Via Carla at Blue Oregon, we happened upon this story in the local paper:
A small political gathering of about 18 liberal thinkers at River Forks Park Sunday afternoon erupted in conflict when about 35 members of the conservative tea party intruded upon the meeting, waving flags and holding signs accusing the rival group of being communists, Marxists and socialists.
The liberal group — organized by MoveOn.org — decided to leave the park and move its potluck to a nearby home. Members of the conservative group followed, parking at the entrance of a private lane leading to the home to continue their protest.
Roseburg Democrats Dean and Sara Byers said Monday they told tea party members who followed that they were not welcome to drive down the lane to their home.
The Byerses said they got out of their car to stop vehicles from entering the driveway and one tea party member almost ran them over.
Sara Byers said she was so shaken she called 911. She said a Douglas County deputy called about an hour and a half later and said he had been unable to respond because of other incidents. Byers said she was still considering filing a criminal complaint against members of the tea party for harassment.
A leader of the tea party group, Rich Raynor of Roseburg, disputed the liberal group's version of events.
“They are liars,” said Raynor, director of Douglas County Americans for Prosperity. “That is what communists do.”
The latter confrontations were not videotaped, but the Tea Partiers themselves proudly posted the video of their invasion of the MoveOn picnic. Moreover, it clearly documents how they effectively broke it up -- by threatening the attendees with intimidating speech and making it clear they wanted the group to clear out. What it doesn't show, of course, is that they followed these folks to someone's private home and tried to invade the gathering on private property as well.
Here's the script the proud authors of the video provided:
Self professed communist Van Jones teams up with MoveOn.org to promote the American Dream Project, aka I want what you have worked for. Promoted here by the Douglas County Democratic Central Committee members. Challenged by Americans who love freedom!
I have an idea. Let's end class warfare. If you want more, get up earlier and work harder. It works wonders for your self-respect.
We had to disable comments. They were vile, vulgar, threatening...typical Chicago thuggery stuff.
One thing that's clear from both the script and from the video is that what has the Tea Partiers especially exercised about MoveOn is the fact that Van Jones is now working with them to promote his Rebuild the Dream project. The Tea Partiers kept repeating "Van Jones!" "Van Jones!" almost mantra-like, and then calling MoveOn a bunch of "communists."
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