March 29, 2013

Oh, Tea Party Patriots. How many times must you be reminded that you are, for the most part, irrelevant? Make all the scary movie trailers you want to fire up the last vestiges of paranoid Americans, but rest assured the only ones it resonates with are paranoid right wing Americans.

RJ Eskow picked up on this little gem of a movie trailer which was, according to him, a hit at CPAC. Somehow I am not surprised. Here is RJ's short summary of the movie they're promoting:

These films portrayed centralized government as Evil incarnate. Their scriptural source was the Book of Revelations, whose cryptic, evocative prophecies have fascinated and frightened believers for millennia. The same message resonates in “Movement On Fire,” which opens with a young woman staring across a river toward a city. “It was created to give us freedom,” she says in a voiceover as a torch burns beside her. “Our city became a great beacon of liberty and hope to the world.” The wind lightly ruffles her hair. “It was a shining city on a hill,” she adds, quoting the phrase that passed from the Bible to Puritan minister John Winthrop before winding up in Ronald Reagan’s 1976 concession speech.

“But 15 years ago,” says the narrator, “something happened.” Shadowy hooded figures creep up behind her. “Freedom died.” In a shot that moves so quickly we barely see it, one of the figures covers her eyes.

News anchors report on the rise of the “Development Party,” which took control of the city after winning control of its “Senate.” (Hmmm. Cities don’t have “Senates.” Who could they be talking about?) We see a gray-haired man with large, black, nearly pupil-less eyes. “All must contribute,” the dead-eyed “Troy Marcus” intones, “because from each, everything shall be given to all.”

As RJ notes, the imagery and themes are commonly used to fire up fundamentalist Christians, who have been filled so full of Tim LaHaye hooey they don't really know how to distinguish truth from fiction.

The logo for the "freedom fighters" used in their film is interesting, too, especially when compared side by side with the Tea Party Patriots' logo:

From the movie trailer


Gosh, I wonder who the 'freedom fighters' are, and who the 'freedom haters' are? There are some clear similarities between the logo in the film and FreedomWorks' logo. Maybe they have the same designer?

There's no question that this movie is intended to stir up the archetypes roiling around in fear-stricken people of the end times, the beast, and the victory of "good" over "evil" as seen through the paranoid and distorted lens of these fundie types.

RJ writes:

The electronic music swells as her fate is slowly sealed. “It can only be assumed,” says the American leader, “that those who refuse to be identified are working against the Imperium … In the interests of world safety, all people who do not bear the mark of UNITE are subject to arrest and prolonged inconvenience.”

The word “inconvenience” betrays the film’s amateurishness. But the message is a grave one,

The tea party as a collective whole is desperately working to gin up fear and another set of foaming-at-the-mouth crowds to flood town hall meetings and generally increase their public profile as a way to stop any progress on any issue as long as President Obama is in office. They plan an April 15th rally to protest taxes and launch their initiative for a "New Fair Deal" which involves repealing the Affordable Care Act and even more. From their email:

Conservative stars like Representatives Mick Mulvaney, Tom Price, and Mike Pompeo are leading the efforts to write and pass conservative legislation. Conservative firebrand C.L. Bryant and Fox News Contributor Deneen Borelli will join these Reps in front of the Capitol to unveil the New Fair Deal and push the future of limited government. We need you to be there to take a stand.

The New Fair Deal is a legislative package that will get real results, and it’s based on our shared values. Stop corporate welfare – tax fairly – stop wasteful spending – empower individuals. Tea Party 3.0 is all about getting our solutions passed into law, and it all starts on Tax Day when we make the world hear our voice.

The Tea Party Patriots' effort to scare CPAC attendees was really their way of scaring up some support. Since the very public, acrimonious split between Mark Meckler, JennyBeth Martin and other leaders of the organization, they've been irrelevant and impotent. They're looking for a revival, just like the Republicans and other Republican groups (whether they call themselves Tea Party or something else). Like the mainstream national Republican party, they haven't figured out yet that when people look closely at what they're selling, they reject it. Hence the play for the conspiracy theorists and fundamental Christians.

Mark Meckler, by the way, has moved on to other, more lucrative positions, including serving as head of Citizens for Self-Governance, a group funded by mainstream Texas Republicans.

RJ wondered aloud who funds the Tea Party Patriots, and the answer is the same: mainstream Republicans. Perhaps not Texas Republicans, but mainstream GOP nevertheless. Their fundraisers, advisors, and lobbyists are all from the same stable that those calling themselves Republicans use.

The name Tea Party is a distinction without a difference. They're all mainstream GOP, playing the different core pieces of their constituencies.

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