Wednesday, July 14, 2010

One Down

You know that OBAMA=HITLER+LENIN!!!1! billboard the teabaggers paid to put up out in Iowa? Good news: after a brief interlude where it was covered up (via), it's now been taken down and replaced with a "public service announcement."

This appears, unsurprisingly, to be less of a moment of clarity on the part of the North Iowa Tea Party than it does a response to heat from above:

A national Tea Party representative had called the controversial poster a waste of money, time and resources.

"It's not going to help our cause. It's going to make people think that the Tea Party is full of a bunch of right-wing fringe people, and that's not true," Shelby Blakely, of the national Tea Party Patriots group, told the Associated Press agency.

And a grudging response at that:

The North Iowa tea party folks apparently don’t want to talk about the billboard’s message, but John White, state coordinator for the overall Iowa Tea Party, says the image goes too far.

Well, sort of.

“While he doesn’t agree with posting the billboard, White says he agrees that Obama has followed several of the same principles as Hitler,” reports Radio Iowa. “He says everything Obama has done is ‘lock-step’ with what Hitler did in his day, but the sign goes into an area where the Tea Party doesn’t want to be.”

Okay then! And now we will look forward to a wingnutosphere full of cries of CENSORSHIP!!!1!

Ah, well. In addition to a small gain being won for decency, there may be a bonus to be had here: people who have better things to do than track the hatred and hysteria that I think is disturbingly close to becoming what we will politely call core GOP thought may be starting to recognize that we're not just talking an unrepresentative far right fringe here. KK, who sent me the "taken down" link by email, added these thoughts:

I have to say that one of the first things that popped into my mind was "...the Democrats must be doing this to show that the tea party movement is driven by racists..." but now I think that the tea party movement is driven by racists.

Seriously, I do think the more such things show up, and are exposed in the media, the better it is for the moderate Republicans and Democrats. I do think that there are enough well-meaning people who feel some empathy for the stated ideas of the tea party movement who will withdraw in horror when the racists' unstated agenda becomes more apparent.

Another guy who sounds like he pays the same sort of attention I do appears to feel the same way:

One person who welcomed the billboard was Dean Genth, a Democratic activist from Mason City, a city of 30,000 people just south of the Minnesota border, who said he thinks the sign lays bare the views of tea party supporters.

"I welcome them to continue to spew that kind of stuff because I think it's going to do a lot of good for the good Democrats around the state," Genth said.

Know hope?


[Added] Happened across this letter to the editor published yesterday in the local paper in the city where the billboard had been posted:

By CAROLYN BRAASTAD, Mason City | Posted: Tuesday, July 13, 2010 11:45 pm

Are we so polarized in this country that the billboard on Federal Avenue is to be tolerated? Free speech? I think not.

It is a hate crime and not to be tolerated by fair-minded citizens, no matter your party affiliation.

This billboard goes way beyond common decency and respect for one another. It is offensive and distasteful.

Do we really want Mason City, Iowa, and our country seen as such a bigoted place to live?

Please take down the billboard. State your opinion in a less offensive way, if there is one.

Get your facts right. Read. Study.

And finally, shame on you.

And here's another, from the same paper:

By MICHAEL SERVANTEZ, Mason City | Posted: Tuesday, July 13, 2010 11:45 pm

In regard to the Tea Party billboard: I am so appalled at the sign and everyone who supports the Tea Party in putting up that sign.

If the Tea Party and all its members don’t like it here in the United States, just leave it, go someone else. We don’t need them here.

This sign is a disgrace to all veterans and people who enjoy living in these United States. All countries have their faults, but personally I would not live anywhere else in the world.

I was born here, am a veteran and I will die in these United States. It just makes me sick to see this sign.

Okay. I know a little hope now.

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