Astroturf: On Heels of Failed 'Coffee Party,' It's 'The Other 95%'
Marco Ceglie has been a busy, busy man.
Ceglie is now executive director of a non-profit called Vote 18, a "get-out-the-vote" organization that harvests the liberal lean of many young voters for the benefit of the Democratic Party. Ceglie spent the second half of the Bush administration as campaign director for the "Get on the Limo" tour, a project by the satirical "Billionaires for Bush" group. They hoped to keep alive the left-wing meme that Republicans only care about the very richest Americans (while studiously avoiding where Democratic candidates such as Barack Obama filled their coffers).
Ceglie now also teaches a variation of Andrew Boyd's "Culture Jamming 101" course, which attempts to refocus and counter movements and beliefs with which they disagree:
Many Culture Jams are simply aimed at exposing questionable political assumptions behind commercial culture so that people can momentarily consider the branded environment in which they live. Culture jams refigure logos, fashion statements, and product images to challenge the idea of "what's cool," along with assumptions about the personal freedoms of consumption. Some of these communiqués create a sense of transparency about a product or company by revealing environmental damages or the social experiences of workers that are left out of the advertising fantasies. The logic of culture jamming is to convert easily identifiable images into larger questions about such matters as corporate responsibility, the "true" environmental and human costs of consumption, or the private corporate uses of the "public" airwaves.
Ceglie's latest project is something called "The Other 95%," which he touts as an activist group to counter the acceleration and rise of the tea party movement. The group -- such as it is -- only recently came out during last week's tea party protests, where Ceglie and allies were among a relative handful of counterprotesters that claimed to represent "that 95% of working Americans [that] received a tax cut from Obama."
It is an interesting angle Ceglie is promoting, to be sure, but no more interesting than the timing of the group's sudden coming out. The group seems to be a scrambled effort to make up for the failure of the watered-down and bitter "Coffee Party," a previous effort of another group of pro-Obama liberal activists to counter the tea parties. The Coffee Party received unwarranted accolades and interest from the left-leaning mainstream media as it was founded, but the group quickly fizzled out. As Democrats in Congress continue to be excoriated for their partisanship and more Americans continue to identify with the tea party movement in recent polls, left-wing activists had a desperate need for a countering organization, which Ceglie and his allies seem intent on creating.
Ceglie casts the group as being good-humored moderates -- hoping to attract Democrats, Republicans, and independents who are thankful of the Obama "tax cuts."
Unfortunately for him -- and like the founders of the Coffee Party before him -- Ceglie makes the unforced error of publicly proclaiming his hate-filled left-wing radicalism on his Twitter page.