April 2, 2010

Digby told she watched Pam Stout, a tea party activist who was interviewed on David Letterman the other night. If anyone in the media is still confused by who and what ideas the Tea Partiers represent, they should watch the entire Letterman interview. (And the media should get a copy of our new book when it's released in June). Pam is hep to the fact that the Tea Party wants to take over the Republican Party, because a third party wouldn't help their cause and hey, they are arch-conservatives. Her hero is Jim DeMint and she wants us to leave Big Business alone and believes people really want to live off welfare checks. So, there you go.

This is part 2 of the interview. Digby has all three embedded in her post.

Digby nails it:

Watch the videos here if you have the time. She was the best tea party representative I've ever seen --- a perfect face for the angry Bircher club to which she also belongs, the Friends of Liberty.

I was blown away by this interview and frankly, a little bit chilled. She's mild-mannered, reasonable, utterly sincere, decent and true. Yet, she watches Beck because he "makes her think" and she reveres Jim DeMint, the most radical of all the rightwing Senators. This lovely woman believes in the raw, violent politics of the Hobbesian jungle in which it's every man for himself. I'm sure she doesn't see it that way.

Her politics aren't grounded in real life but in abstract concepts. She certainly doesn't seem defensive or even aware that her political heroes are considered radical extremists. But then if you only watch Fox news, listen to talk radio and live in the town known for its proximity to Ruby Ridge and the Aryan Nations compound you probably don't realize that your views are not held by the majority of Americans.

People like Pam show us how powerful the right-wing noise machine is. She's clearly living in a Fox News Universe; people like this have been converted to believing in essentially an alternative universe. Grover Norquist would be very happy after he watches this because he believes that the more anti-government people that are created (and believe me, he helped create a great deal of them), the more votes the conservative movement gets, all of which helps to eradicate the left entirely, which is their ultimate goal.

The NY Times had a great piece featuring Auntie Pam some months ago (and Dave discussed it here). Her views resemble the John Birch Society, only she has no clue that's where she is politically.

The Future

Pam Stout wakes each morning, turns on Fox News, grabs coffee and an Atkins bar, and hits the computer. She is the hub of a rapidly expanding and highly viral political network, keeping a running correspondence with her 400 members in Sandpoint, state and national Tea Party leaders and other conservative activists.

Mrs. Stout forwards along petitions to impeach Mr. Obama; petitions to audit the Federal Reserve; petitions to support Sarah Palin; appeals urging defiance of any federal law requiring health insurance; and on and on.


Their task seemed endless, almost overwhelming, especially with only $517 in their Tea Party bank account. There were rallies against illegal immigration to attend. There was a coming lecture about the hoax of global warming. There were shooting classes to schedule, and tips to share about the right survival food.

The group struggled fitfully for direction. Maybe they should start vetting candidates. Someone mentioned boycotting ABC, CBS, NBC and MSNBC. Maybe they should do more recruiting.

“How do you keep on fighting?” Mrs. Stout asked in exasperation.

Lenore Generaux, a local wildlife artist, had an idea: They should raise money for Freedom Force, a group that says it wants to “reclaim America via the Patriot movement.” The group is trying to unite the Tea Parties and other groups to form a powerful “Patriot lobby.” One goal is to build a “Patriot war chest” big enough to take control of the Republican Party.

Not long ago, Mrs. Stout sent an e-mail message to her members under the subject line: “Revolution.” It linked to an article by Greg Evensen, a leader in the militia movement, titled “The Anatomy of an American Revolution,” that listed “grievances” he said “would justify a declaration of war against any criminal enterprise including that which is killing our nation from Washington, D.C.”

Mrs. Stout said she has begun to contemplate the possibility of “another civil war.” It is her deepest fear, she said. Yet she believes the stakes are that high. Basic freedoms are threatened, she said. Economic collapse, food shortages and civil unrest all seem imminent.

“I don’t see us being the ones to start it, but I would give up my life for my country,” Mrs. Stout said.

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