Imitation is, as always, the sincerest form of flattery... but I must ask: is it really too much to require that the flatterer at least try to understand what he or she is attempting to imitate? Even if it's just a little?
Case in point. 9/11 Troofer and general Leftist Van Jones would like to start his own version of the Tea Party - and there's three things wrong with that plan from the start:
- Van Jones would like to start his own version of the Tea Party. The Left still doesn't get that you can't get a general populist movement started by a generalissimo. Take it over? Sure. Start it? Nope.
- Van Jones would like to start his own version of the Tea Party. The Left still also doesn't get that there's absolutely nothing stopping them from going to existing Tea Party groups and making their case that those groups should adopt the causes that the Left likes. There's quite a bit stopping the Left from succeeding, mind you - but that's a different issue; the point is that as long as the Left keeps telling themselves that the other guys are somehow not authentic, the Left is going to keep messing up their imitations*.
- Van Jones would like to start his own version of the Tea Party. With a media roll-out and focus groups drawing from economists (who are representatives of one quarter of the people who got us into this mess in the first place) and activists (the second quarter) to try to turn the whole thing into a set of requirements for Democratic politicians (the third) to ignore**. Trust a Leftist to put the cart before the horse: you don't start with media attention, you make them give it to you. "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they attack you, then you win?" - Geez, did I really have to write out that quote?
Anyway, here we go again. But I'm a nice guy, so I'll even help with some outreach on their behalf. Hey! Are you wondering whether you want to join the American Dream Movement? Well, here's a quick test! If you can read the following paragraph from the WaPo article without giggling, pounding your head against the wall from the sheer Lacking of a Clue over our true current economic woes, or having a brain aneurism at the sight of so much bad logic heaped up in one place...
They hope to motivate unemployed veterans, struggling homeowners and other alienated Americans who are angry at Republicans’ desire to drastically cut government spending in Washington and collective bargaining rights for state employees in places like Wisconsin. And to lure those people simply struggling to find a job while worried about their unemployment benefits ending.
...then you're probably the type of person that Van Jones is looking for. Just have a major credit card handy, because I suspect that he's going to be asking for it right off the bat.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
PS: Glenn Reynolds is even less impressed, but happy to help out with slogans...
*If you think that Van Jones' group is actually different, consider this: they don't want to primary existing Democratic politicians. Which makes sense if you're a liberal advocacy group right now - after all, 2010 cut the Democrats in Congress largely back to the hard core anyway - but does not if you're serious about wanting to create a generally populist movement. Nobody believes that the Tea Party won't go after their own side, if need be. Nobody. Even the mere threat of it happening has notably tightened up Republican voting records.
**Who's the fourth quarter? We the American electorate, of course. We're the ones who let the first three quarters run happily amok through the budget for so long, after all.