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Tea Party crashing

Seems that the man leading an effort to damage the Tea Parties (notably, presumably, those coming up in a couple of days) is from Oregon: Jason Levin runs a tech consulting company at Portland.

The damage would be a matter of PR – a kind of message monkey=-wrenching. A description in Talking Points Memo:

Levin’s group of protesters plan to get in the heads of tea partiers at the Tax Day Tea Parties nationwide Thursday and manipulate them right out of relevance. They’ll dress like tea partiers, talk like tea partiers and carry signs like tea partiers. In fact, according to Levin they’ll be completely indistinguishable from tea partiers, except for one thing — they won’t be out-crazied by anyone.

“Our goal is that whenever a tea partier says ‘Barack Obama was not born in America,’ we’re going be right right there next to them saying, ‘yeah, in fact he wasn’t born on Earth! He’s an alien!” Levin explained. He said that by making the tea parties sound like a gathering of crazy people — his group’s goal — the movement will lose its power.

Levin said he got the idea from a counter-protest to the infamous Westboro Baptist Church group held outside Twitter headquarters in January. Levin said the Westboro group broke up after counter-protesters showed up holding signs “even crazier” than the ones held by the Westboro group. “They realized they couldn’t get their message out, so they just left” Levin said.

The effort has gone national – reportedly, at least 66 local organizations have been formed – and its website is quite active, not least after “bombings” from (evidently) actual tea partiers.

The Oregon Tea Party has taken note. (It has posted on its Facebook site a statement opposing release of Levin’s contact information.) What effect will all this have? We may see in a couple of days.

We’re entering the second summer after the first Tea Beg summer. The TB opposition was caught flat-footed last time, but this is one indicator it won’t be again.

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