Thursday, September 2, 2010

Tea Party mentality: their own reality

Glenn Beck's tent revival on the Washington Mall was hyped up by the Tea Party, who claim hundreds of thousands of attendees. A professional company and a consultant were hired by CBS news and estimated 87,000 ± 9000 were there. But crowd estimates are contentious. As noted by the consultant,
Because of the wild pre-inauguration predictions of how many would attend in person -- up to 5 million! -- my reality-based estimate was ignored by many left-wing commentators and embraced by those on the right..... I am amused to see that those who embraced my Obama inauguration estimate as soberly realistic are now attacking the Beck rally estimate, produced using exactly the same methods, as deliberately biased."
More disturbing, the company has received "hundreds of hate mails and angry phone calls" about their crowd estimates from angry tea-partiers.

Hate mail. Over a sober technical calculation.

In the days to come, I'll be posting some ruminations about the air of suppressed violence that seems to accompany the tea-partiers.


Fred Schwartz said...

Can someone please explain how Sarah Palin can quit and still get air time? Let's be clear, she lost (probably sunk McCain's chances of winning any election, goes home to Alska, stares down the Russians, quits the Governor's post, fires her would-be son-in-law and becomes the darling of the tea party goers? I want to drink what they are having -- must be neat to live in an alternative universe.

Kevin K said...

Dear IT,

The quote you provide seems more to be about criticism the estimator received from the left rather than the right. I am not sure that conservatives embraced high end estimates of the Obama administration attendance.

I went to the link about hundreds of hate mail from tea party members. The article does not indicate that the hate mail received was from tea party supporters. Rather, the link provided just indicates that he got hundreds of complaints without saying who complained or why.

Kevin K.

IT said...

Kevin, if you read the quote, it says my reality-based estimate [of the inaguration] was ignored by many left-wing commentators and embraced by those on the right..

Those who thought he was "soberly realistic" were the conservatives, who didn't think there were 5 million people in DC for that event.

Those same conservatives who applauded what some thought was a "low-ball" estimate of the Obama inauguration, are now outraged that he counted 87,000 at the Beck tent revival, because BECK et al claim 300,000.

Kevin K said...

Dear IT,

I see your point about that quote. However, it does support the notion that the squawking is done by the people who perceive that their political ox is being gored. The fact that the estimates in both cases are "scientific" does not seem to have any impact on the people objecting to the estimate.

The liberal-progressives who applaude [these results] were outraged that he counted fewer people at President Obama's inaugaration becasue his supporters et al claimed 5,000,000. I suspect that there were some fairly hateful e mails about this estimate and more than a few who questioned his motives. In any group numbering into tens of thousands there are probably several hundred wack jobs and a smaller number who, if the wrong button is pushed, might use violence.

There was a tea party gathering on the court house lawn which is right outside of my office a while back. They were mostly middle aged + and mostly white people. I walked by at one point and could hear the speeches from my office. I have to admit that I did not perceive any feelings of suppressed violence on their part.

I suspect that you could put on an American Flag T-shirt and a tri corner hat and pass for a tea party member. Why don't you go to one of their events and see what they are saying? Hardly scientific but it might allay (or confirm) your fears.

Kevin K.

IT said...

You mean like this?

Kevin K said...

Dear IT

People are often saying stupid things on the internet without realizing how dumb or violent they sound or are. Recent twitters or e mails by democrat candidates for public office wishing Governor Palin had been on Senator Stephens flight are a good example.

I doubt that the authors of those comment would kill Governor Palin if the opportunity arose. I am sure they thought they were being funny and no one would take the comment seriously. They may have been deranged killers, but I doubt it. I also doubt that all democratic candidates for public office actually yearn to seek Governor Palin dead.

In the same way, this person might be a deranged killer, but I tend to doubt it.

I have met a few tea partiers and, while not my cup of tea, (pun intended) they certainly don't seem any more inclined to violence than other people. I think if you actually met some of these people, it would be the best way to evaluate if they are truly violent.

Kevin K.

IT said...

I don't think they are all violent. But they engage in violent rhetoric, and appear to have a disconnect from reality.

JCF said...

Recent twitters or e mails by democrat candidates for public office wishing Governor Palin had been on Senator Stephens flight are a good example.

Can we get a citation on this "good example"?

I consider myself as doctrinaire and Palin-loathing a leftist as they come, and this is the first *I've* heard of this.

Every liberal commentary I heard on Stephen's death was that it was a tragedy (in the same vein as the air-crash deaths of Sen. Paul Wellstone and others)---not mentioning "Oh, I wish [Palin or anyone else] had been on it!"

[Need I add: if there WERE such jokes, they were disgusting and reprehensible. Then again, that's why my people are called "Bleeding Hearts": we think death is SAD, not funny.]

Fred Schwartz said...

I think if you actually met some of these people, it would be the best way to evaluate if they are truly violent.

Kevin is referring to tea party members. You may be correct but why would I want to? (meet these people?)

Paul (A.) said...

Jed Lewison over at Daily Kos presented an analysis including per-person equivalents for airplane seats and for queen-sized mattresses.

Kevin K said...


I wasn't suggesting that you would generally want to meet tea party members. That seems unlikely. I suspect that you would find tea party members as uninteresting as they would likely find you. However, if you wanted to evaluate if tea party members were generally violent and/or dangerous, I think meeting at least a few of them would provide the best means to evaluate this issue.


Two democrats in New Hampshire made jokes which centered on wishing Governor Palin was on the crashed airplane. One was Keith Halloran who was running for some office. I think he withdrew after the joke became public.

The other was Timothy Harrigan who is, I think, a member of the legislature. If you google palin death joke some articles about this come up.

Kevin K.