We’ve all seen the tea bag party’s stupid, misspelled protest signs. No surprise there. We all immediately recognize the painful hypocrisy of those misspelled signs that demand we make English America’s “offical” language. We all also recognize by now the anti-anti-war protester of a few years ago who called us all “morans,” which some thoughtful person has turned into a delightful motivational poster. The illiteracy of the tea baggers party is depressing; it just underscores how these people are victims exploited by astroturfing corporate interests. So depressing. Now, to be fair and balanced, the left has its own share of misspelled posters. My fave: “Will sombody please give Bush a blowjob so we can impeach him.” Misspelling aside, the sentiment is funny. Anyway, these tea party folks work against their own interests, which makes the motivational poster’s point all the more salient. They really are “kind of impotent.”
Ok, so today, a Facebook friend of a Facebook friend posted a series of pictures with misspelled signs, prompting me to hunt for some more. I found some funnies and some disturbing things. A funny: “No pubic option.”
The disturbing ones? The Obama SS image on a survivalist forum is not a protest poster, I admit. My response to this image was visceral, though, which is the point. The common discursive tactic to equate Obama with Hitler, a tactic that I find overwhelmingly offensive, is a problem. Yeah, I know, some leftists did the Bush=Hitler thing too. It wasn’t ok for us either, and many progressive leaders were very vocal critics of us. Deployed by the left or right, either way, equating political leaders with Hitler denigrates who we are as a country and erodes civil discourse.
I also have a big haet on for Michelle Malkin (and who could blame me???). In her typically obnoxious style, she writes a post entitled “How to Dress Like an Authentic Grass-roots Activist.” In the post she implicitly criticizes the left’s accusations that tea baggers are astroturfers. Her method is to deconstruct the “authenticity” of left wing protesters’ fashion sense. She provides a series of images with pithy, style-conscious one-liners that make fun of the outfits worn by supposedly “genuine grassroots” activists (or models on runways….seriously). The opening volley is a picture of two black men with the caption: “Dreadlocks, black power fists, and militant berets are de rigeur.” The closing picture is Michelle Obama wearing a pair of expensive (and admittedly ugly) designer sneakers that give her the “street cred” she’s been missing. Basically we either have to agree that Michelle Obama no longer has any claim to authentic protest because she wears expensive sneakers or we have to agree that people in Brooks Brothers suits are authentic grassroots activists. Now, I haven’t been to any town hall meetings, but none of the pictures of tea party protesters I’ve seen splashed around the web have folk wearing designer clothes. They are, for the most part, working class people who are getting exploited by corporate lobbyist.