Teabaggers in the Mist

Republican Think Tank (Photo: OliverWillis.com)

Republican Think Tank (Photo: OliverWillis.com)

Glenn Beck once insisted that he started his “9/12 Movement” to recapture the sense of unity in the nation the day after the terrorist attacks in 2001. That idea lasted about four minutes Saturday morning as evidenced by the signs held aloft at the event he and a group of well-funded astroturf organisations in Washington created.

Thanks to Oliver Willis’ website, we have a disturbing record of just how disturbed and out-of-touch the ragtag and often racist crowd of batty birthers, deathers, tenthers, climate change deniers, Federal Reserve haters, anti-abortionists, pro gunners and the just plain kooky turned out to be.

Like Sen. Jim DeMint (R-Crazyland). He actually autographed a sign that reads “We Are A Christian Nation.”


I realised that one of the most disturbing things about Willis’ photo essay is that the people whose signs he captured on film – OK, I’m showing my age; he probably captured them on disc – are allowed to own checking accounts, sign contracts and have children.

Charley James
The Progressive Curmudgeon


  1. PJBurke says

    Good comments. The photos, the abject ignorance — both misinformed & deliberately disinformed — coupled with such vituperative certainty and uncorked vitriol… and all of it sponsored by corporate money and stoked by conservative media is truly disturbing… and concerning.

    In recounting violent incidents thus far, I think important not to omit from our memories — and from the additive recounting of such incidents — the shooting in Knoxville, TN at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church.

    From Wikipedia:

    On July 27, 2008, a politically motivated fatal shooting took place at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee, United States. Motivated by a desire to kill liberals and Democrats, gunman [name deliberately deleted] fired a shotgun at members of the congregation during a youth performance of a musical, killing two people and wounding seven others.


    According to a sworn affidavit by one of the officers who interviewed [gunman’s name deliberately deleted] on July 27, 2008:

    “During the interview [gunman’s name deliberately deleted] stated that he had targeted the church because of its liberal teachings and his belief that all liberals should be killed because they were ruining the country…”

    LINK: Wikipedia article on Knoxville Unitarian Universalist church shooting

  2. Mike Mansfield says

    People are not only armed; but in the last year at least we’ve had two policemen executed, an abortion doctor assassinated, and several church members gunned down by these kinds of folk.

    They need to be taken seriously; but they can’t be taken as right. I don’t think most liberals are going to weaponize their homes to keep the uninformed and misinformed away, though.

  3. says

    A BrownBear – Thanks for the comment and your very real fear. After I wrote a critical piece here on Palin during the campaign, I was attacked and threatened by everyone from Michelle Malkin to RedState to many of the people who posted comments at the article.

    What we are all witnessing is the same kind of hate and vitriol that preceded the assasination of Pres. Kennedy. It was so off-the-deep-end that Adlai Stevenson, America’s ambassador to the UN who’d been violently attacked earlier in Nov., 1963, pleaded with Kennedy to cancel his trip.

    Nothing good will come from the demogaugery and hate speech that Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and friends put out over the airwaves every day to an audience that includes, as Nancy Pelosi put it so aptly, people who are totally unbalanced.

  4. says

    These signs are good for a laugh, but I agree with Sharon that there is also cause to be very frightened – especially since many of these folks are armed. It is only a matter of time before they escalate to violence and this violence will surely be aimed at minorities and “demorats”.

    Actually they have escalated to violence as seen in the fatal shooting at the holocaust museum. I am very afraid these types of attacks will continue. Obviously there needs to be a higher body count than one African American security gaurd for this violence to be taken more seriously. Will it take a whole museum full of murdered children for people to take this violence seriously?

    What struck me during the presidential campaign – as I worked to educate people about Palin’s destruction of the Alaskan ecosystem – was how violent her supporters were. Death threats (via email) with graphic details of my torture were received almost daily. I was stunned that political discourse had turned into a fight to the death – literally – for a lot of people. Mixing such a high level of political agression with the ubiquity of guns in this country can only result in violence.

  5. Charley James says

    UPDATE – I’ve decided that my two favourite characters from Saturday’s Mad On Washington are the old lady carrying a sign reading “Keep Government Out Of Medicare!” and a fellow in his late 60s who is in a YouTube video declaring to a questioner that he’ll stop cashing his Social Security cheques when the government stops interfering in his life.



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