26 thoughts on “My Afternoon with Sara, Michelle & Tim

  1. Joe Loveland says:

    Justice and free speech issues aside, I don’t even understand the short-term tactical reason to interogate and bar liberals like Jihad Jon at the gate. If the liberal holds up a sign, the sign holder is still outnumbered a thousand to one. If the liberal heckles, the rudeness and shrillness of the heckler almost always discredits the liberal heckler’s viewpoints. If the press wants to talk to a liberal after the event, they’ll find one 100 feet away from the building if they aren’t available in the building. And tales like Jon’s distract and detract from the event’s key messages, and make the event sponsors look like freedom-hating thugs. Along with being anti-free speech, I just think it’s crappy, self-defeating advance work.

    1. Juan says:

      Do you really believe his account?
      It sounds so patently false, so convenient, that it is impossible it is true.
      “Oh, my, you are a strong DFLer!” – from a private citizen searching the internet, you can instantly find out how somebody voted (secret ballot) for all past elections??
      Come on, this is typical leftist propaganda, where the end of hurting the other side is more important than the means (lying).

  2. Newt says:

    Austin – you have to understand they’re a little sensitized to militant freaks from Pink, ActUp, MoveOn, etc.

    You raise some red flags.

  3. Newt says:

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Tax Day is a dreaded deadline for millions, but for nearly half of U.S. households it’s simply somebody else’s problem.

    About 47 percent will pay no federal income taxes at all for 2009. Either their incomes were too low, or they qualified for enough credits, deductions and exemptions to eliminate their liability. That’s according to projections by the Tax Policy Center, a Washington research organization.

  4. werle says:

    That’s my zip code as well. Which begs two questions. How the hell did I end up in the same neighborhood as Austin? and does that paint me with the same liberal brush as you or did they somehow cross-reference your name and zip code to better ID you?

    Oh, and of course, what loveland said.

  5. PM says:

    damn, Jon, if i had known you had an interest, i would have given you one of my extras…living in 55419, we get lots of tickets. Clearly, being on the bottom of the lake isn’t helping you at all….

  6. Joe Loveland says:

    Strib’s lead says “…basked in the adulation of thousands of supporters.”

    No mention of ideological purging at the door.

    “‘Let me ask you, Minnesota, do you love your freedom?’ Palin boomed to a rapturous response.”

  7. PM says:

    I suppose that the real question is if the association with Palin and Hannity will help or hurt Bachmann?

    Clearly, she will raise $$$ (depending on what kind of a cut Hannity and palin get), which always helps, and she will ensconce herself with the more extreme end of the spectrum…but could she alienate support that she will need in order to get elected?

    Palin seems to get more and more face time as people in general become more critical of her–her popularity goes up as her credibility (as a candidate for high office)goes down. Which (popularity or credibility) will rub off on Bachmann?

    1. PM says:

      Personally, i am hoping that it is Maureen Reed who defeats bachmann, but I’d accept Clark….

  8. Newt says:

    From an AP story …

    Thousands streamed into the convention hall in the hours before the rally started, sporting buttons that read “Hands off my Healthcare” and “Change: I’d Like Mine Back.”

    “I came because I wanted to hear them without the media filter,” said Andrew Peterson, 27, the co-owner of an excavating company in Lindstrom.

  9. Juan says:

    This leftist activist claims that a Bachmann volunteer was able to instantly check a database online that shows every citizens voting record and the level of their involvement in partisan politics, and then excludes them from a mass rally..
    That would be great copy for a story meant to rile up fellow leftists…
    So convenient, huh?
    So false. Such a typical example of propaganda, and the little lie meant to further a greater belief..
    Do you really believe the door people were checking everybody’s political history, voting record, etc??
    Come on people, falling for this proves you would believe anything that makes you feel on the right side!
    It is similar to focusing on some nutjob’s racist incident as an explanation for anybody who disagrees with you. A cop out and a lazy way to think.

    1. Dennis Lang says:

      Hey– I just think dispatching Austin to cover this event live is a great idea, ranking right up there with Benidt fearlessly reporting on the RNC from the oak-paneled bar at the Lex, or the Summer Olympics from a sub-terranean lounge in Madrid. Let’s have more of it!!

    2. Well, Juan, sorry you don’t believe, but that’s how it went down. Don’t know if he was a Bachmann volunteer or not, but a polite young man asked for my last name, my zip code and then identified both my first name and my daughter’s. He didn’t ask for an ID so I guess I could have pretended to be my GOP neighbor. The two ladies in front of me went through the same process but only one of them got a look-up; she was then allowed to “vouch” for her companion. I suspect it was a MN GOP database that they’ve compiled from their tracking polling and such things.

      Now, had I been able to get a ticket, the folks at the door weren’t conducting additional screening so it wasn’t like this was terribly sophisticated or safety related.

      The line at the screening table persisted until well into the beginning of the event (it was there when I left). Given that, along with the inside-the-hall reports that the place was not full, I’m guessing that while 11,000 tickets might have been distributed, less than that turned out. And, while everyone has talked about the energy in the room, folks were pretty calm and quiet – very Minnesotan – going in.

      – Austin

  10. 108 says:

    It is something of a technological triumph. They seem to have tied the right threads around mailing lists and voter registration DBs to come up with a query that profiles for sardonic misanthropes looking for You Tube / blog fodder.

  11. Don’t forget elitist and condescending. Snarky, too.

    I don’t think it’s particularly tricky technology at work here; the GOPs have been investing in building good voter files for years. I think it’s a little embarrassing – for them – that they’re so unsure of their positions that they feel comfortable only when taking to people who already believe as they do, but that’s their right. So much for that “big tent” thing.

    For what it’s worth, there was no litmus testing at last year’s health reform rally at the Target Center. I didn’t notice many opponents in the building, but they could have come in. And, when I went to the George Bush rally (2004) – also at the Target Center – there was no checking of party affiliation either.

    But, that’s not to say that advance people – of all political stripes – don’t orchestrate these events to the limits of their abilities. I noted, for example, the pictures of all the “handmade” signs already waiting for attendees yesterday; back in the old days, we made up those same sorts of ersatz signs but we were a little more circumspect in handing them out.

    – Austin

  12. 108 says:

    I’m kidding…mostly.

    They’re not unsure of their positions. I don’t think anyone’s unsure of their positions. One thing we got plenty of is stridency.

    It is almost certainly to prevent staged disruptions, maintain control of the narrative, etc.

    1. PM says:

      Sure–they are managing it for the real audience–the cameras. Couple thousand people attend, hopefully a couple million watch the video. The results get magnified manyfold, so the pressure to produce the hoped for results are intense.

      The world is a stage….and that is true regardless of political party. But at some point people stop believing, because the managed product gets just too far out of whack to be believable. That is why we all gravitated towards “town hall” style events rather than political rallies–they were seen as more “real”. Of course, they have been manipulated just as much.

      Wonder what the next step in that evolution (of real and managed) will be?

  13. I’m sure you’re right. The young man at the table wasn’t gleeful about the rule and Ms. Bachmann and Palin do seem to excite the passions of the left and the right in equal if opposite ways so it’s not unreasonable to think protestors might show up. That said, the notion that one or two opponents could do much to disrupt a gathering of thousands of the faithful is a stretch.

    And, in truth, I’m almost as disappointed that I didn’t see more of the political spectrum down there trying to get in there and see for themselves what all the hoopla is all about. I think first-person observation and participation is important and that it’s actually a good thing to listen to people with different opinions other than your own.

    Oh well, would have been fun. Maybe we should invite Sarah and Michelle to visit us here!

    – Austin

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