February 28, 2009

RICK MORAN THINKS THE “TEA PARTY” PROTESTS are amateurish and disorganized. At Playboy, on the other hand, they think they’re suspiciously well-coordinated. Both are right!

Of course they’re amateurish. Most of these people have never organized a protest before (hence the tendency to do things like forget bullhorns). That’s what you get at the beginning of a movement. But it’s much bigger news when 200 people with jobs who’ve never protested turn out, than when 20,000 of the usual suspects organized by ACORN or ANSWER march with preprinted signs. If this keeps up (and I think it just might) the amateurishness will fade away soon enough. Then Moran will probably complain about the loss of authenticity.

The Playboy folks, meanwhile, miss two things. One is that, as reader Miles Wilson noted, these protests predate Santelli. The other is that modern technology allows a bunch of people who don’t know each other to coordinate a nationwide campaign “suspiciously” well. Somebody should write a book on that subject some day.

UPDATE: Some related thoughts here.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Robert Crawford writes: “I get the feeling that if the tea parties were organized by a group as far-right as ANSWER is far-left, *THAT* would be the major story.”