Friday, June 25, 2010

Bill Hennessy Distances Himself From Other Tea Party Members

The Atlantic political blog has a post up about tea party members wearing the shirts of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). The Atlantic cites a couple of my posts, stating the following:
Two blog posts at St. Louis Activist Hub, a progressive website in St. Louis, purport to show local Tea Party leaders Adam Sharp, Bill Hennessy (who runs the St. Louis Tea Party), and Jim Durbin (who runs the conservative blog 24th state) wearing SEIU gear.
Durbin and Sharp were wearing shirts, but I actually only said of Hennessy in my original post that he "posed with" people wearing the shirts. The Atlantic post goes on to say the following:
The reasons for dressing up in SEIU garb are unclear. Yes, handing out SEIU shirts is like handing out TSA uniforms in Kabul, and the anonymous consultant said the purpose was to cause mayhem. In the above photos, it doesn't appear much legitimate impersonation is going on. It seems more ironic--like the peace sign on Pvt. Joker's helmet in "Full Metal Jacket"--or, maybe in Sharp's case, just meant to confuse. Then again, it's hard to glean from these snippets.

There's another upshot of this seed of doubt: it's that if you see someone in an SEIU t-shirt causing trouble, they may actually be a Tea Partier. As Tea Partiers and liberals clash in public, one can no longer believe one's eyes.
However, what's really interesting from my perspective is the update of the post where Hennessy makes sure to deny that he was wearing a shirt:
UPDATE: Hennessy says he's never worn an SEIU t-shirt.
I'm sure this is true, but why exactly does Bill Hennessy think it's so important to deny that he was involved? Is he ashamed to be associated with Durbin and Sharp? And is he trying to suggest, in his non-denial denial, that he had nothing to do with the tea partiers dressing up in SEIU shirts. Because that is clearly false, as seen in photos from the event (Hennessy is in the black shirt in front):

Given that Hennessy is clearly encouraging the others to wear the shirts, why is he so quick to distance himself from them in the Atlantic? Seems consistent with a pattern of behavior with Hennessy where he tries to ratchet up the rhetoric to encourage other people to act obnoxiously, then tries to present himself as honorable when he interacts with the press.

1 comment:

  1. Is not Hennessy St louis tea party INC!