Thursday, January 7, 2010

No Tea Party for You Liberals


The Tea Party Nation is planning a convention in Nashville next month, and so they’re getting all organized, including setting up a website and sending out advertising.

The group bills itself as “a user-driven group of like-minded people who desire our God given Individual Freedoms which were written out by the Founding Fathers.”

“We believe in Limited Government, Free Speech, the 2nd Amendment, our Military, Secure Borders and our Country!” they write in advertising the convention.

Except they don’t want any liberals even looking at their site.

Tea partiers beware: “You can and will be banned for being a liberal.”

Organizers behind the upcoming Tea Party Nation convention […] told members today that MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow tried to join the group and “we banned her 7 minutes after she joined.”

That’s par for the course for conservative sites. I have been to many of them where you have to register in order to comment, and I don’t mean just logging in to the commenting software like JS-Kit or Disqus. Years ago I was banned from a conservative site for just registering and entering my blog URL. I did not even get a chance to comment; since I was a liberal, I was banned. (The site has since folded.)

Most blogs have policies regarding commenting, and most liberal sites are tolerant of different points of view. That does not mean the folks who express different points of view won’t be engaged in active discourse. The limits are usually vulgar language or comments intended to derail the thread, but I don’t know of any liberal sites that preemptively ban someone even before they make a comment.

Isn’t it ironic that a group that professes to be in support of “limited government” and “free speech” invokes memories of Big Brother and censorship? Then again, we’re talking about tea-baggers. Hypocrisy is what they do.

Update: Rachel Maddow says that she didn’t try to join their site.

We asked MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow for a response to the Tea Party Nation banning her from their site, and she suggests the idea is so ridiculous they made it up as a publicity stunt.

“I used to be an activist, too, so I understand the strategy of using the name of a well-known person to try to get publicity,” Maddow told TPMDC in an email.

“Of course, this idea of me trying to join their listserv is completely made up, but still — I’m flattered the Tea Party folks think I’m well known enough to help their cause,” Maddow wrote. “I wish them all best luck with their conference.”