Lies about tea party come true in Wisconsin

The public-sector union protests continue in Wisconsin and other Midwestern states. James Taranto,who writes the Best of the Web Today column at, finds it “quite striking the way almost every lie the left ever told about the Tea Party has turned out to be true of the government unionists in Wisconsin and their supporters:

Extreme rhetoric. The Wisconsin Republican Party has produced what calls an “incredibly effective” video juxtaposing liberal complaints about allegedly extremist Tea Party rhetoric with unionist signs likening Gov. Walker to Hitler and other dictators. Left-wing journalists are making similar invidious comparisons: “Workers Toppled a Dictator in Egypt, but Might Be Silenced in Wisconsin” read the headline of a Washington Post column by Harold Meyerson last week. The other day on CNN we saw scenes of a Madison crowd chanting, “Kill the bill” — which was said to be violent and invidious a year ago, when “the bill” was ObamaCare.

Violence. Blogress Ann Althouse, a state employee based in Madison, posted a video of municipal salt trucks blowing their horns in support of the unionists. A YouTube commenter responded (quoting verbatim), “whoever video taped this has no life and should be shot in the head.” Unlike Frances Fox Piven, Althouse has never advocated violence, but don’t expect the Times to give this the kind of coverage it gave Piven’s claims that she had received threatening emails.

Partisan AstroTurf. That’s the Beltway term referring to a fake grassroots movement. Politico reported last week that “the Democratic National Committee’s Organizing for America arm — the remnant of the 2008 Obama campaign — is playing an active role in organizing protests.” A blogger at the OFA website,, writes: “To our allies in the labor movement, to our brothers and sisters in public work, we stand with you, and we stand strong.” …

Refusal to accept election results. Although Republicans have a majority in the Wisconsin Senate, Democrats have fled the state, taking advantage of the body’s rules to deny the majority a quorum. The Indianapolis Star reports that Democrats from the Indiana House are employing the same tactic. Even Barack Obama, when he was an Illinois senator, usually voted “present.”

Stupidity. Remember “Teabonics,” a photo album of misspelled Tea Party signs? The unionists can’t spell any better — and some of them are teachers! Althouse got one photo of what we think is a woman holding a sign that reads ” ‘Open for business’ = Closed for Negotiatins [sic].” Also, some of the teachers’ tactics — in particular, fraudulently calling in sick and exploiting other people’s children by enlisting them as protesters — seem not only unethical but calculated to repel the public. One blessing of low standards for public school teachers is that it ensures many of them are not bright enough to stage an effective protest.

The one exception: So far we haven’t seen any evidence of racism by the Wisconsin unionists. But we’re watching for it.

If only the tea partyers had been accused of getting fake doctor’s notes to excuse their absence from their (private-sector) jobs, it’d be a total match.

The tea party movement didn’t suffer much from the false accusations against it. Will the union protesters’ cause suffer because they’ve actually done these things?

– By Kyle Wingfield

Find me on Facebook

169 comments Add your comment


February 23rd, 2011
5:40 am

Mark Montgomery

February 23rd, 2011
5:50 am

This is part of a concerted nationwide attack by Republicans on workers’ bargaining rights, a direct attack on the middle class. The Republicans will not be happy until every worker is homeless and on food stamps. Fight the governor to the death. Mark Montgomery NYC, NY


February 23rd, 2011
5:59 am

“The Republicans will not be happy until every worker is homeless and on food stamps.”

This is the type of rhetoric that makes the left so credible.

george bedula

February 23rd, 2011
6:00 am

mr. wingfield are you on the payroll of the koch brothers, as is your false hero governor walker.

your opinions in a newspaper that once had nationwide impact is a hallmark of its demise.

i am neither a democrat nor a union supporter, but it has been clearly shown in available media during the last several months that the koch brothers are the creators of the so called tea party.
coupling your apparent ignorance of this fact with your quotation of anti Us tax thief rupert murdoch
makes us wonder if your newspaper has any objectivirty whatsoever

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jeremiah Reeves and Tea Leaf Times, kwingfieldajc. kwingfieldajc said: Lies about tea party come true in Wisconsin [...]


February 23rd, 2011
6:24 am

I’m with Finn: #Fail… and not even funny to boot.

A better reality check comes from Jon Stewart:—revenge-of-the-curds

The whole thing is just the Tea Party from the other direction, with the same over-the-top rhetoric. The difference this time is that it’s working-class people protesting and not old white people trying to protect their government handouts.

Keep up the idea you had a “mandate”, Republicans! You’ll see what that looks like after two years of stepping in your own poo.


February 23rd, 2011
6:29 am

Kyle, the only lie being perpetrated here is the one the Governor is selling. I have no allegiance with unions and believe they’re a big part of some of our toughest problems in reforming education, for example. That being said, this has nothing to do with balancing the state budget and everything to do with creating a political advantage for republicans for the next decade or more.

Once again, a politician takes a serious issue and, instead of solving it, lies to the public and uses it for his own political gain. This is repugnant behavior by the Governor and dolts like you should be calling him out for what it is.


February 23rd, 2011
6:30 am

This is just silliness. You obviously haven’t been in the meetings with irrational, overemotional hotheads (Tea Partiers) trying to control the conversation and then storming out like children when they didn’t get their way. This is a crass attempt at union busting. Nothing more. Nothing less.

JF McNamara

February 23rd, 2011
6:30 am

I’m not sure those were lies about the tea party. I think they were quite true as many bloggers on the other side gave the same anecdotal evidence you just provided.

The Republicans started this garbage, now we all have to deal with it because Democrats will change their tactics since it evidently worked for Republicans. Its a downwards spiral that both sides are working diligently to make go even lower.

Joel Edge

February 23rd, 2011
6:34 am

Good article, Kyle. The more this goes on, the worse for the cowardly Wisconsin Senators and their supporters. They might want to start looking for jobs in Illinois.

j smith

February 23rd, 2011
6:44 am

Allowing public sector unions makes slaves of the taxpayer. Your elected officials are supposed to represent and be held accountable by the voters not the unions. It makes a mockery of our democratic republic to allow government workers to unionize. What we need is a constitutional amendment that outlaws public sector unions. Those that support public sector unions are no better than those that supported slavery.


February 23rd, 2011
6:45 am


Sorry, this article is very lightweight (regretfully, typical of your reporting style). The issues in Wisconsin (and other states) are hard, require joint efforts and need to be above politics. Unfortunately, that is not the case (and unfortunately your article captures none of those dynamics). I really expect more from the AJC Editorial staff.



February 23rd, 2011
7:03 am

Oh, RIGHT, Kyle, the spontaneous protests in Wisconsin are the exact equivalent of the front group known as the Tea Party, which is wholy subsidized by the Kochs. Meet REAL people power! Whatever makes you feel better.

What a Crock

February 23rd, 2011
7:04 am

The Republicans in Wis. that are trying to bust up the union are being driven by the same kleptomaniacs that run Georgia. They actually believe that since anyone can play the game and they just play it better, then the are owed these riches. Cobb EMC is the perfect example of doing what they damn well please. Cobb’s defense, “my lawyer told me to”. Brock is the leader of this pile.

Road Scholar

February 23rd, 2011
7:13 am

Kyle, have the repubs/conserves ever left Wisconsin or other states to not allow a quorom?

jsmith: “It makes a mockery of our democratic republic to allow government workers to unionize.” It’s a democratic republic…you know where we pull our insufficient revenues from all to pay for two unfunded wars that all do not support. The people have a right to collective bargaining; just like the politicians have a right to agree/disagree on the conditions requested for the peoples’ continued employment!


February 23rd, 2011
7:14 am

Uh, let’s see. The Liberals have a problem with the Kochs using their personal resources to advance their cause but support George Sorros and Pot, meet the kettle!

Road Scholar

February 23rd, 2011
7:15 am

Oh Kyle, up at 4:56 this AM? Union busting won’t let you sleep?


February 23rd, 2011
7:17 am

It’s ironic that the state where the public sector unions were first organized and embraced would be the same state where Republicans launched their all-out assault of the right of association and the right of self-determination!! All this is is the initial salvo in the fight to maintain the American middle class…..and inform the oligarchy that “we’re mad as hell…and we’re not gonna take it any more!”

Wisconsin Student Organizor

February 23rd, 2011
7:27 am

Students of Wisconsin….UNITE!
Now is the time to Strike.

Pizza and/or 100% Meat Hamburger option EVERYDAY.
NO MORE surplus government cheese in the Macaroni.
Fast-food style beverage bar(with chipped ice).

There is NO WAY our controlling authority teachers could admonish us for striking.

Scheduled for Friday.


February 23rd, 2011
7:29 am


Actually, there is no irony there.

Thank you.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

February 23rd, 2011
7:30 am

Hard for me to not enjoy Taranto – great wit.

Kris Purzycki

February 23rd, 2011
7:30 am

Here’s the difference Fred. One works to promote oligarchy. One promotes equality. I’ll leave you to figure it out.


February 23rd, 2011
7:33 am

Elections have consequences. When you go crazy, like 53% of the population did last November, this is what you get.

koch bros

February 23rd, 2011
7:35 am

oh my, the libs have figured out our plan to take over the world. maybe we should have created a public sector union.


February 23rd, 2011
7:44 am

Kyle, like all the other 12-year old boys who get somehow hired to write columns, shouts at the world “Yeah??? So’s Your Mother!!!”

Well played, sir. Well played indeed. Come back when you’re ready to discuss things like an adult. Rent a grown-up view on the world if you cannot create your own.

Here Spot

February 23rd, 2011
7:45 am

Kill the Unions.

Real American

February 23rd, 2011
7:46 am

Kyle is nothing but a “quota” hire by the AJC to rile up the Deliverance crowd on a daily basis.

Real Athens

February 23rd, 2011
7:52 am

Please explain what are “the lies the left ever told about the Tea Party”? Aren’t you referring to instances and anecdotes documented by “liberal” bloggers — pictures, video, etc. etc.? How can the instances of which you write, having been documented be lies?

Tit for tat. It happens in elementary schools across this nation everyday.

Misleading headline. Innocuous column.

What if

February 23rd, 2011
7:58 am

have to agree with your critics this time, Kyle. The evidence is pretty clear that the “Tea Party” is comprised at least to some extent by less-educated and relatively immature individuals with poor control of their emotions who are very easy dupes of the right wing (most certainly not to be confused with conservative) manipulators. The governor gave away the farm in breaks for his rich private sector buddies and wants to pay for it by running ordinary people into the ground. My guess is that if the many people like Walker treated others like fellow human beings rather than slaves more worthless than dirt we wouldn’t even HAVE unions. Wouldn’t need ‘em.


February 23rd, 2011
8:00 am

wondering which middle class is being attacked, the unions that do not want to pay for their own benefits, or the taxpayers that are forced to.


February 23rd, 2011
8:01 am

Kyle, you’re right on the mark! But nothing is spontaneous any longer about these demonstrations. Lot of money flowing in the state from all the unions because so much is at stake. People on this blog are in denial and some are quite delusional when it comes to the reprehensible conduct taking place in the name of peaceful demonstration that is more like thuggery. Enjoy the great show!


February 23rd, 2011
8:02 am

Unionist are such cry babies….their contribution to their own retirement funds and insurance premiums amount to almost ZERO. They have been asked to step up just a little and contribute an amount, that in most cases, would thrill a private sector employee, yet they squeal like a pig at the thought. . They have been herded like lemmings for so long they are no longer individuals…just an animal running off the cliff together…remember Eastern Airlines?


February 23rd, 2011
8:06 am

I think this “blogger’ needs to work a real job. Let hem do back breaking work for little to no pay and be terminated if he gets injured or sick…it’s nice and safe on your typewriter…ghee into the Real World..get a Real Job


February 23rd, 2011
8:06 am

Ha.. Ha..
Just proves that the tea republican party are all racists.
White Power.


February 23rd, 2011
8:10 am

Enter your comments here


February 23rd, 2011
8:10 am

Well said, Kyle. The Democrats on here simply don’t like the fact that their beloved “entitlement state” is coming to a swift end. It is a known fact that unions were the death of the auto industry once the U.S. no longer had a stranglehold on producing the best cars. I read that a janitor in the now closed GM plant in Doraville was earning $70,000 to mop the floors and replace the toilet paper. Simply unbelievable.


February 23rd, 2011
8:11 am

This is what happens when you put people in office that are more concern about themselves. Always remember, “People that speak well are liars!!! I read this sign that stated, attorney’s are paid liars. I will continue to pray for our country. God is my strength and not man.


February 23rd, 2011
8:11 am

As someone who has worked in the “private” sector for most of my career, can someone explain to me why I’m supposed to feel sorry that a “public” sector employee is going to have follow the same playbook as the rest of us? I keep hearing the mantra that Unions are the last holdout for the American worker to receive a fair shake, and yet, I’ve been quite successful without one. What gives?


February 23rd, 2011
8:14 am

Wow. Liberal minds cannot see even the obvious. It would be embarrassing if they did not vote and have reprecussions on all of us.

What this article is about is the hypocrisy of the left and the left leaning media. Sorry I had to explain it to you, but apparently ya’ll simply don’t get it. The Dems jump up and down and claim conspiracy (Koch Bros) when they have George Soros (hypocrisy), they claim that “elections have consequences” (to quote Mr. Obama) yet they refuse to accept the consequences if ti goes against them (hypocricy), etc etc

“Union busting” is another in a simple line of perjorative terms designed to rile up the left wing base. And judging form these blogs, it works.

Like ObamaCare, the voters will get another chance in 2 years, and if the politicians in Wisconsin have overstepped their bounds, they will be voted out. Just as has happened to Dems in 2012. So, clam down folks, unless you wish to continue your hypocritical behavior ad nauseum.

My only real objection to what I see happeneing in Wisconsin is to object to public service employees walking off the job to picket. As I understand it, that is specifically forbidden in their existing contract. But whether that is true or not, it CERTAINLY belies the true reason for the protests…it is NOT about the children, it is about feathering one’s own nest.

Now, the politicians wish to give workers to right to choose a union (or not) every year, they wish to give the workers the right to choose whether to pay union dues or not….things like this actually give people MORE personal freedom. I just wish everyone would get away from their talking points and actually look at the issues. So far, I have not seen any Dem bloggers who have made any sense on that score.

Not So Casual Observer

February 23rd, 2011
8:15 am

Well done Kyle!

If there are this many Left Loons with their panties in a wad before 8am you must have hit a nerve.

Now the cry of the Left is “Repubs are trying to destroy the middle class”! A better description would be the Wisconsin Republicans are reigning in the always criminal union element.

Unions in general, and public sector unions specifically, need to be closed. If a worker in this century does not have the qualities to earn a job then that worker should be out of a job. The taxpayers have had more than enough of the public sector unions and their theft of tax dollars.

Jimmy Hoffa left a criminal legacy for unions and the unions have shown no inclination to change – so shut them down.


February 23rd, 2011
8:15 am

Someone, please explain to me why the employes of we the tax payers need unions to represent them! We all know that the need for unions rose out of the exploitation of workers prior to decades of legislation designed to protect workers. Are we to believe that we the tax payers are such tyrants to work for that our employees need a union to protect them from us? I think a much more plausible explanation would be that it’s an exploitation of the tax payer by unions backing politicians in return for benefits.

tom jones

February 23rd, 2011
8:18 am

Put best by Lewis Grizzard, to all yankees, Delta is ready when you are.You move to the south and then complain that there are southerners here. Head north my friend and you will be happy once again. Wait I forgot, Yankees are never happy. Do you see any Georgians on Long Island? We have all the pretty girls,college football,iced tea, great weather and nascar. We don’t need any yankee to tell us how we are doing it wrong. YOU moved HERE. Not the other way around.


February 23rd, 2011
8:20 am

Just for the record, I lean neither Left or Right, but I am a realist. Whenever someone tries to comvince me that if it weren’t for Unions, we’d all be working 7 days a week 15 hours a day next to our 6 year old children, I always say BS. yes, Unions did a lot of great work in creating the parameters that we all work under today. However, all workers are now protected by state and federal laws which prohibit the “sweatshop” practices of yesteryear. And please don’t give me the 40 hour work week line either. Anyone who has worked as an EXEMPT level employee knows this to be a crock of shizz!


February 23rd, 2011
8:20 am

A perfect example of the left’s projecting. They are like a cat or a bird attacking a mirror, first of all they see everything backwards, second every move they make infuriates them and they see their failings in thought and action in others, and complain loudly


February 23rd, 2011
8:23 am

Unions were created to bargain for their fair share of corporate profits. The fundamental problem with public sector unions is that there is NO corporation and there are NO profits to speak of, only confiscated taxpayer funds. What results is collusion – bordering on racketeering – as unions donate campaign funds to the very same politicians who eventually negotiate new union contracts. This is why Franklin Roosevelt said, “It is impossible to bargain collectively with the government.” Public sector employees now make MORE on average than private sector workers do, have more generous benefits and are almost impossible to fire as well.

Given that the Wisconsin schools produce some of the worst reading and comprehension results in the country tell you all you need to know about these ‘teachers’ taking bogus sick days and dragging students out to the protests with them. If the unions are successful in maintaining this status quo, I won’t mind at all when the governor exercises his OTHER option and the layoffs begin.


February 23rd, 2011
8:24 am

Unlike some of the Tea Party protests…no one engaged in violence or was arrested in Wisconsin.How convenient of you to ignore the issue of destruction of the unions.Are you on the Koch brother’s payroll too?


February 23rd, 2011
8:26 am

Tclabby – “How convenient of you to ignore the issue of destruction of the unions.”

okay, I’ll play Devils Advocate. What have the Unions done for me in the last 20 years?


February 23rd, 2011
8:26 am

The Tea Party was co-opted by the Neo-cons (former Democrats) in 2008. The actual Tea Party members, who are much closer to the Libertarian ideology of TRUE conservatism than either of the two major political parties, side with these workers.

Who cares about misspelled signs? Who cares about some poorly chosen words in the heat of passion? Their argument is the same as the original Tea Party message: “We have been taxed enough. Do not push additional taxes or laws on us, and reduce the size of government.”

Break the false left-right paradigm and accept all Americans as your brothers and sisters. This country has so many problems that we can’t afford to bicker. Let’s just fix the big problem: the imposing federal government and the perpetual warfare state. It is crippling us.

im moving to rio

February 23rd, 2011
8:27 am

the cost of living is right, the food is great, the caipirinhas are delish, and the scenery… it’s THE scenery stupid


February 23rd, 2011
8:27 am

I wonder how many of the protesters, especially the imported variety, will make the short drive over to Waukesha to greet a hero, 1st Lt. Daren M. Hidalgo, when he “comes home” later this week? He made the ultimate sacrifice for them on Sunday.