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Dispatch / Tea Party / April 17, 2009
By Yasha Levine

Another organizer, who took control of one of the sidewalk protests scheduled that day, was a longtime local Republican operative named Rick Radecki. I never did get a look at him, but he’s got a small Internet presence. In an interview featured on, Radecki says he jumped on board after he heard the Tax Day ballad sung on Fox News. The performance particularly touched him because it was done by an African American. “As I am married to a Black-Conservative-Republican, it was refreshing to see another such individual getting involved with a protest movement like this one,” he said. Then after making the 50-mile commute to work, he contacted the FreedomWorks-run site. Radecki’s Republican activism resume includes handling the local drive to recall former California governor and Democrat Grey Davis in 2003, a campaign that was fueled by anti-tax, pro-oil drilling Republicans and put Schwarzenegger in power. More recently, he organized a local anti-immigration “Citizenship Rally.” In 2006, the Daily Press reported that 100 people showed up at a Victorville street corner to celebrate the glory of citizenship (and provide a rightwing counterpoint to the Immigration Rallies held all over the country). “For every immigrant who took Monday off, we should replace them with high school kids. If all else fails, we could shoot them,” said one of the participants.

Sure, Barb and Radecki aren’t new to the activist scene, but they don’t have to be to organize a genuine grassroots campaign. The people there weren’t all rightwing hicks. For a small town like Victorville with a population of 100,000, most of whom recently moved here, 150-200 participants isn’t so bad. Obama bashing seems to have brought most of these people together, but the event was also used as a platform to air local political grievances, the bedrock of any grassroots effort.

So while the Progressive/Liberal media tries to beat these events to death with lame teabagging jokes, they are missing the point: what started as an AstroTurf campaign may actually have sprouted some real roots. The Republican machine that’s running the campaign is adapting and getting more clever, while at the same time, the Obama Administration’s handling of the banking crisis, growing more corrupt and infuriating by the day, means that this thing is far from over.

Yasha Levine is currently stationed in Victorville, California. He’ll be here for a while, so look out for weekly updates from the trenches of the American Dream.

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  • 1. Charles Freedom  |  April 17th, 2009 at 11:28 am

    Yes, Republicans actually hate taxes, social spending, and all things Obama. But is it really surprising (or newsworthy) that, after a weeks worth of promotion on Fox News, decent numbers of Republicans rallied in support of the Republican agenda?

  • 2. nil  |  April 17th, 2009 at 11:40 am

    I’ve been thinking we need a new name for this sort of protesting. I propose “Chiapetting”–the substrate is fake, but the grass is ultimately real.

  • 3. Baked Dr. Luny  |  April 17th, 2009 at 11:41 am

    The Republican party is beginning to transform into an opposition party. Here come the Right-wing freaks.

  • 4. joe stone  |  April 17th, 2009 at 11:54 am

    decent go at it, my man. i’d bet some good money those old shits hangin around town make it real hard to score some of that good shit.

    after getting the word in my mail box, this morning, it all made a lot of damned sense. but the size of this thing is sort of weird … also they are bringing up relevant, populist points … unlike their teabagging “welfare queen” counterparts, up up in the stratosphere

    that damned obama guy needs to get his shit together. i’m already feelin’ the heat of old-person stank.

  • 5. warren moon  |  April 17th, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    Good article here. It’s odd because everyone seemed to think after the Santelli exposure the Tea Party movement was dead. Still, they kept on popping up even before FOX hopped on. FOX is in a funny position now: you know they would love to take credit for these but to do so would further illegitamize the movement.

  • 6.  |  April 17th, 2009 at 2:27 pm

    Interesting study of the primate cognition of this rare hominid species.

    Did you observe any tool-making behavior?

  • 7. Jeff Albertson  |  April 17th, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    Thanks for the surprisingly fair post Yasha. As an old fart myself I appreciate that you guys don’t care for Republicans; a lot of us (old farts) can’t stand the lying bitches either, and we’ve seen enough Demo bullshit over the years to know that both major parties are corrupt to the core, but we’re too old to riot. I just hope the bastards give up when there’s nothing left to steal.

  • 8. Moo  |  April 17th, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    “She also criticized their attempt to sell Victorville’s power plant to Hugo Chavez’s America-hating Venezuelans.

    But then the power plant and race came out again. “Do we want our power plant to be sold of to the commie Chinese?” asked the crowd leader. “No!” shouted the crowd.”

    “Two years ago, she opposed the acquisition of a local bank by East West Bank, which was a publicly traded company with Chinese roots. After one of the bank executives came on the show to explain the merger, she called on Victorville’s patriots to rush the bank and “suck your money out” of it, adding that her guest (who’s last name was Ng) was an evil foreigner out to rob decent desert folk.”

    ^ Is the Exiled taking a PRO-globalization position here?


  • 9. Tyler Bass  |  April 17th, 2009 at 7:07 pm

    It struck me as strange that, so early in the year, Geithner had already come out and acknowledged frustration with the bank bailouts. And then I heard anecdote after anecdote about him turning down the banks’ attempts to repay the Treasury. Without disregarding the always important questions here about the merits of what is being held up, indeed, the financial system is having to adapt and change.

    The eXiled makes a habit of talking about the cheapest artifices of the class war — the racism, the greed, the stagnant and primitive aesthetically-based attempts at caste systems. Ugly times.

  • 10. geo8rge  |  April 17th, 2009 at 7:28 pm

    Hey, Levine while you are in Victorville, why don’t you visit the prison? Some interesting dudes, see wikipedia. Actually I think there are two prisons, you can never have too many.

    How about video taping an example commute to LA?

    BTW, the ex military types might be there because Victorville was once, and might still be, an Air Force boondogle.

  • 11. Carpenter  |  April 18th, 2009 at 12:56 am

    ^ Is the Exiled taking a PRO-globalization position here?


    Not odd when you consider that the new writer’s name is Yasha Levine. Oy vey, Levine, mustn’t leave any side of any issue to the goyim, eh? If they go Tea Partying, then the Chosenites must be the ones giving the right slant to the story, to separate the acceptable from the unacceptable. “Anti-immigration? Racists! Nuts! Only Israel is allowed to have an ethnic – I mean religious – identity!”

    But there I go being a racist nut again. How evil of me.

  • 12. Plamen Petkov  |  April 18th, 2009 at 1:22 am

    It’s funny, nobody makes the distinction between different type taxes in USA. There is many taxes convinently called “fees” that everyone pays. My bill for my landline telephone was 30 dollars a month and half of that was various “fees” both federal and state. Same for my electric bill and water bill. Most people in USA don’t know they pay about 50+ cents per each gallon of gas they buy, half of that federal tax, half state. Should i even mention property taxes, sales taxes and all the other taxes?
    SO when those fakers talk about taxes, which taxes do they mean exactly?
    Sure, giving 13 trillion dollars to the banks is a high way robbery but has any of these idiots ever stop to think what might happen if the major US banks fail? Total collapse of the system might occur because the US government has allowed the banks to take over the “capitalist” economy. The “evil” Chinese who are currently supporting the USA by buying its Treasury bond will immediately dump the worthless dollar. I wanna see what those idiots will do in a situation like this. Like it or NOT but the “evil” Chinese are supporting your dollar right now so you better be nice to them. But they all prefer to live in a fantasy world
    where the USA is number 1, Obama is the bad guy, and Iran/North Korea are building nuclear weapons with which to attack poor defenseless Israel and USA.

  • 13. Fearmonger  |  April 18th, 2009 at 1:23 am

    The article leaves some strange almost Fallout-like feeling. As if like something has gone terribly wrong.

  • 14. einstein  |  April 18th, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    @Fearmonger #13

    uhh … something HAS gone terribly wrong.

  • 15. Will  |  April 18th, 2009 at 11:48 pm

    the mayor of Apple Valley is named Rick Roelle

  • 16. some idiot  |  April 20th, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    Gee, what might happen if the major US banks fail? Total collapse!? Gasp. You’re right, we better keep giving the banks a shitload of money.

    Then again, shareholders have already lost their shirts and depositors have FDIC to fall back on. Credit’s tightened up, but once the current theives/incompetents are out of the way surely someone else can step in to satisfy demand (you know, free markets and all that)? Especially with the Fed being intent on giving away lots of free money. I say let ’em fail.

    Too bad the asshats in Washington immediately started flushing money last fall when they could no longer deny there was a problem. When they discovered they might not be able to climb out of the hole they began digging all the more furiously.

  • 17. Che  |  April 21st, 2009 at 3:36 pm

    If you really hate seeing your taxes wasted, then why not ask your rep to cut of all aid to that Jewish-welfare case, Israel. They spy on us, hurt our image and interests and kill civilians.
    Well you Conservatives can’t do it can you. Why? holocaust guilt? media brainwashing? biblical prophesy.
    If you aren’t willing to cut off aid to a foreign welfare case, then why are you complaining about welfare cases at home????

  • 18. Frank McG  |  April 23rd, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    You mean a nowhere desert town made up mostly of old people got 1% of its population to show up at a rally supporting the same stances that old people traditionally embrace?


    That’s like if there was an economic boom, jobs shooting through the roof, and a reporter visits a Berkley protest made up entirely of college kids protesting how we’re all slaves of consumerism. The reporter then declares “Maybe this grass roots movement is taking off after all!”

    But that would be stupid, because in both cases it’s just that particular group protesting what they always protest. It means nothing, and it changes nothing. It’s also worthless because all protests by old people and college kids are worthless (take time off from work to work a cause like protesting the war or Obama’s campaign and then I’ll be impressed about their resolve).

    Not to say the Santa Monica article impressed me. NO KIDDING they had to truck in staffers and crazy to protest Obama in Santa Monica.

    I want to see a dissection of one of these protests in a battleground state, attended by fence sitters and moderates.

  • 19. Frank McG  |  April 23rd, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    oh yeah…

    where in the FUCK were these people when we were flushing billions down the Iraq toilet and paying contractors out the ass for the privilege of getting soldiers killed to act as their bodyguards while they plundered us?

    Billions for war: OK

    Billions for trying to keep THE ENTIRE WORLD ECONOMY FROM COLLAPSING: Spontaneous protests

    And whatever happened to the whole “love it or leave it” Republican mantra? Does that only apply when they’re in charge?

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