This is not an April Fools’ Day joke either. David Letterman had Pam Stout, the Sandpoint, Idaho Tea Party President on his show the other night. The result?
A very fair and enlightening interview, showing the real face of the Tea Party to many viewers who may have only been believing the lamestream media spin (Racists! Cuckoo pants! Violent Haters!)
No joke; this is a near-jawdropper. Even an apolitical mag like Entertainment Weekly calls it “quietly remarkable.” I don’t know what Letterman had in mind by booking her. Maybe he thought he was going to lure her into some sort of gotcha that would prove tea partiers are freaks, or maybe he was just interested in engaging someone from the other side’s grassroots — although he’s never done that before, to my knowledge. Whatever the reason, this ends up being one of the most efficient (if possibly inadvertent) debunkings of tea-party craziness to ever hit big media.
Yup. Whatever the motives, the end result is marvelous. She could be your Mom, your Grandma, your neighbor down the road. Sure takes the wind out of the racist, crazy, angry, spitting and epithet hurling narrative, doesn’t it?
Video after the jump.
She’s everything I tried to describe about the movement months ago, after the 9/12 rally:
This was NOT a protest by professional ideologues. It wasn’t attended by some “fringe” element. It wasn’t astroturfed. You simply don’t get it… this wasn’t a convention of wing-nutty partisans who live to drum and dance on weekends. These were concerned people who’ve never had an interest in protests before. It was attended by Americans, Americans who were angry and tired, Americans who were saying No More, and Americans who were taught to respect The Press but saw them blatantly carrying the water for the Left, not only by covering-up stories that didn’t fit a certain narrative, but by outright propagandizing. These were Americans who don’t have the time to endlessly discuss policy points, they react. These were Americans with guts and spines, which have always, throughout history, achieved FAR more than fancy rhetoric. These were Americans who don’t ask for hand-outs, who don’t posture, but rather simply take action and do what needs to be done. These were charitable people who do charitable things resulting in far more good than big government’s failed programs. Their churches and their community centers press on despite the people who snicker at them for their beliefs. These were Americans who employ people, enriching them in ways the Government never could. These good people beat themselves up every time they are forced to lay someone off due to the incessant interference and constant screw-ups by the Government, the very same Government that is now smugly dismissing them, outright ridiculing and mocking them.
You can’t effectively keep using slurs against people who know who they truly are. You can’t “isolate and identify” someone when you have to include a million of his friends. It’s also because they don’t understand us at all. People are fed-up and not just for themselves. Go to town halls or tea parties and see a stay at home Mom with a toddler at her hip, or an elegant older gentleman, gussied up in suit and hat because that’s just what you do when attending a public event, and try not to get a lump in your throat and a resolve in your heart when you hear them being called racists, a mob, terrorists, etc. And it’s in that moment that you realize that you are not on the outside looking in. You are on the inside, in complete solidarity with them, looking out. Collectively we say, “Uh-uh.” We are good people who just want to live our lives as best as we can, who work hard to make the best lives for our families. We are tired of being insulted and sneered at and stepped on and of having our lives controlled by people who have zero interest in OUR actual well-being, who know nothing of our lives and sit in their Ivory Towers disdainfully looking down on their perceived lessers, talking folksily about “kitchen table issues” yet do nothing to actually help their kitchen tables be fruitful.
That is who Pam Stout is and what she represents. And this interview finally makes that clear to anyone who was watching.
(cross-posted at my blog)