Tea Party Group Uses Tucson Shootings to Fundraise
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Since the mass shooting that killed 6 and left Rep. Gabrielle Giffords fighting for her life, people across the political spectrum have called on the American right to tone down the extremist rhetoric that paints liberals, progressives, Democrats and minority groups as enemies bent on destroying America.
In a wholly predictable development, tea party leaders and right-wing media stars have mainly responded by railing about a leftist plot to silence them. Last night, preempting Obama's upcoming speech honoring victims of the massacre, Sarah Palin released a slick video in which she glares at the camera and accuses opponents of "blood libel," a term that refers to anti-semitic myths historically used to instigate pogroms and other campaigns of violence against Jews. Rush Limbaugh actually accused liberals of literally rubbing their hands in glee at the prospect of using the shooting to censor conservatives -- or "shut 'em up and shut 'em down." Think Progress tracked an online forum discussion in which Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips warned that the Tucson tragedy is part of a "war" between liberals and the Tea Parties, and urged Tea Party supporters to spread the falsehood that Loughner was a "liberal lunatic."
It would seem that the Tea Party Express, one of the largest Tea Party groups, has found an even more direct way to capitalize on the grievance ideology that fuels so much of that movement. On Monday the group sent a letter requesting donations. In an email sent to supporters this morning, they ran down a litany of alleged injustices perpetrated against conservatives in the wake of the tragedy and pledged to fight back -- ideally, with donations from their supporters:
"Instead of prayers for the victims and their families, the Left was consumed with using this massacre to score political points by blaming the tea party movement, Gov. Sarah Palin and now Rush Limbaugh."
" Who do these people think they are? First they have the audacity to blame us for a mass murder, and now they try to tell us what we can or cannot say and/or do. They think they can dictate what kind of defense we are allowed to offer for ourselves after they falsely accuse us of being responsible for the wrongdoing of a mentally ill member of society."
Sorry, but we're not going to stand for that kind of treatment. We here in the tea party movement have done absolutely nothing wrong. And we are not going to be told to shut up and sit down, when this tragedy has nothing to do with the wonderful, patriotic and peaceful tea party movement.
If liberals think they can engage in such outrageous behavior than they need to realize it will backfire on them. No friends, we won't be silenced, instead we will show them that their attacks on us will only result in us being stronger.
That's why we've asked you for your support. Let's show the Left that instead of us being silenced, that there awful attacks on us will only backfire and that the tea party movement will be stronger than ever!
Please, make a contribution online right now to the Tea Party Express - CLICK HERE TO CONTRIBUTE.
In case you're not moved to give to the Tea Party Victim fund, Gabrielle Gifford's husband Mark Kelly has posted a list of the Congresswoman's favorite charities.