The local St. Louis Tea Party, like most on the far right, loves them some James O'Keefe. This is because O'Keefe's highly edited, completely out-of-context, and in fact blatantly dishonest videos seriously damaged ACORN, a group that works in low-income, minority communities. ACORN registers a lot of people to vote in these communities, and since they vote to make their own lives better, this inevitably hurts a Republican Party built to defend the profits of the wealthiest Americans and corporations.
Even after James O'Keefe and three others were arrested in New Orleans, the local tea party rallied behind him. Gina Loudon, a so-called "political analyst" from the Tea Party, had picked O'Keefe as her "Political A-lister" earlier and defended her decision even after he was arrested, writing, "I proudly stand by my friends" and claiming O'Keefe was a "patriotic young prankster that was trying to expose corruption." Bill Hennessy called the people critical of O'Keefe's actions "cowards" and said that O'Keefe and fellow teabugger Joseph Basel were, "patriotic men of character." And Dana Loesch, who somehow manages to be constantly yelling even while online, said, "I’m withholding judgment because all we know comes from the Obama administration – NO ONE else." [italics hers, of course].
So why would anyone think that O'Keefe, who is willing to misleading edit, lie, and apparently even break the law to get a story, is a hero? I'm not convinced that the self-appointed leaders of the St. Louis Tea Party actually believe anything they say, but I'm sure some people actually see O'Keefe as a good person. The justification for such a strange belief would have to be the thought that all of these tactics which normally would be seen as unethical are being used (on tea party mythology) against a big, oppressive force that's trying to take away our freedom. Obviously they believe this about the government. And the Right has successfully portrayed ACORN to it's followers as a dangerous group that engages in all kinds of unethical behavior(such as "stealing elections") and corruption. In other words, they excuse O'Keefe because they think the ends justify the means.
Well, I have a video via my friend Ed Reggi from November 29 that I hope puts to rest all of these claims that O'Keefe is simply a nice young man fighting against the oppressive forces of socialism. James O'Keefe, while he was in town to speak at a St. Louis Tea Party rally, attended a Show Me No Hate Rally organized by people protesting the local Catholic Church's donation of thousands of dollars to oppose gay marriage. No "oppressive forces" here. No "corruption." Just a group of people fighting for their rights. Even if someone didn't agree with them, you certainly would agree that they have a right as Americans to express their beliefs. But even to a group of people just standing up for their rights, O'Keefe and Basel are total jerks:
Clearly, O'Keefe and Basel were ignoring the crowd's request for them to stand behind the line. In fact, the police had told everyone to stand behind the line. Even more ridiculous, O'Keefe and Basel tried to pretend that they were still "undercover" even after everyone knew who they were. Furthermore, several people at the rally saw O'Keefe's group write "free abortions" on one of the signs in an attempt to distort the protesters' message. These "champions of free speech" spent their time maliciously trying to interfere with another group of peoples' right to express themselves.
James O'Keefe is not a "nice young patriot with good character" trying to fight against oppression. He is a completely unprincipled person obsessed with his own fame and willing to trample over anyone who stands in the way of his extreme right-wing ideology. Gina Loudon, Bill Hennessy, Andrew Breitbart, Dana Loesch: you can stop pretending now.
26th Senate District: pass the popcorn
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