Bigotry and Insanity On Parade at Denver's "Tea Party"
"Astroturf" organizing effort by out-of-state lobbyists results in more shameful displays of ignorance and racism by local Republicans, headlined by Senate Minority Leader Penry
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
CONTACT: Michael Huttner at 303-931-4547
DENVER: ProgressNow Colorado staff once again braved a crowd of belligerent right-wing protesters at today's "Tea Party" protest event at the Colorado State Capitol. And once again, ProgressNow recorded for posterity shameful displays of both ignorance about President Obama's agenda and overt racism.
"These protesters were exercising their First Amendment rights to assemble and say whatever they want, but Americans need to understand who was really organizing these 'protests' and what attendees were actually saying," said ProgressNow Colorado Founder Michael Huttner. "We believe that most Americans, even many who may disagree with the President's policies, would never identify with what was on display at the Capitol today."
Billed as "citizen-organized" and "spontaneous" events, the "Tea Parties" were in fact chiefly organized by well-known right wing D.C. lobbyist groups such as FreedomWorks and the Club for Growth. Not to mention the Fox News Channel, who according to a report from Media Matters "provided organizing details, publicized the rallies on their website, used news anchors to invite people to attend the rallies, interviewed protest organizers, publicized the appearance of news hosts as special guests of the tea parties, and Fox News host Glenn Beck even called the gatherings 'FNC Tax Day Tea Parties.'"
"This is what happens when out-of-state 'astroturf' groups push demagogic events like this in our state," Huttner continued. "It brings out the worst elements in our political culture, people who embarrass the event's organizers more than anyone else. What does Senate Minority Leader Josh Penry, the keynote speaker at this event, think of the young kid carrying the 'Obama monkey' sign? Or the many pictures of Obama dressed up as Hitler? Is this the kind of political discourse he wants to foster by headlining at these rallies?"
"This insanity isn't going to convince Americans that Obama is on the wrong track. According to a Gallup poll released just yesterday, 71% of Americans have confidence in the President to bring about an economic recovery. To answer that overwhelming majority, Dick Armey and Josh Penry managed to scare up--quite literally--a few hundred crazies and racists on a beautiful April afternoon."