Hate on Parade in Our Nation’s Capital

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The story on the 9/12 tea festival in DC is a few days old now, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t post something, anything, on the fear-based, hate-fueled ignorance that came out of our nation’s capital over the weekend.I actually won’t circulate the sometimes racist, sometimes hate-fueled, always conservative signage being held at the event any more than I have to, but for a taste of what went down you can check out a particularly ignorant, race-based sign at Wonkette. I’m sure you can google “9/12” and “tea party” and find plenty of unsavory images.

The thing that actually got me to finally write a post was a Huffington Post post about Anderson Cooper lighting up a tea party leader who claimed that the people in attendance who were carrying admittedly racist signs were part of the “fringe” when in fact the leader himself had a blog saying President Obama was an “Indonesian Muslim turned welfare thug and a racist in chief.”

Hate speech is nothing new to conservative gatherings. Remember when Americans for Prosperity put on an event in Madison and a team member of One Wisconsin Now was verbally attacked by a gentleman holding an “I am AfP” sign bellowing “YOU’RE A FAGGOT!”?

Conservotalkers guesstimated the number of attendees in DC at around like 8 trillion or something. Actually, Glenn Beck cited a very scientific estimate from the very prestigious University of I Don’t Remember that put the number at 1.7 million. Crazy person Michelle Malkin wasn’t there, but she had no problem circulating a 2 million figure from someone crazy enough to read her blog and e-mail her about it. The person cited ABC. ABC refuted. Serious estimates were around 60,000.

But gross over-estimates aren’t anything new to conservative talkers either. Remember when the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s conservative community columnist Kathy Banaszak cited AfP’s Mark Block in claiming One Wisconsin Now had a staff of 47 and a budget of $3.2 million. Actually, One Wisconsin had a team of 3 (we’ve since added a fourth, but we’re getting’ there Kath!) and our budget isn’t even a fraction of that claimed by AfP-Wisconsin’s top official.

You know in the end, though, if conservative leaders want to exaggerate the number of people who were among those carrying fear-based, hate-fueled and sometimes racist signs, that’s totally their prerogative.

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Cody currently oversees online communications, web development, and graphic design at One Wisconsin Now & the Institute, having served previously as Deputy Research Director.