White House facing the ellipse
After marching on Capitol Hill with little positive response from lawmakers, America’s tea-party movement is now putting President Obama himself on notice.
The movement is regrouping, planning a march on the White House and premiering a new documentary tonight at the Ronald Reagan Center in Washington, D.C.
“We’re delivering this one right to the White House,” Adam Brandon of FreedomWorks said. “It could spill out over into the Washington Monument, so it’ll be a hell of a visual.”
The movie, “Tea Party: The Documentary Film,” produced by Luke Livingston, follows the nationwide surge of civic engagement from its beginnings as grass-roots citizens take a stand against big government. FreedomWorks is hosting the film’s premiere in the nation’s capitol tonight, and several lawmakers are expected to attend.
FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe told WND Livingston attended many of the tea parties and decided to make a movie about his experiences with average American citizens who took time away from their careers and busy lives to make their voices heard.
“It’s from his perspective and the people he got to know along the way,” Kibbe said. “They were all sort of nonparticipants in the political process up to that point.”
The following is a trailer for the film:
According to the film website, the documentary follows several citizens, including Nate, a young black man from Detroit, Mich., who voted for Obama.
“Tea Party: The Documentary Film”
“Nate voted for Obama because he was so frustrated with the Bush administration,” Kibbe explained. “The movie captures his transition from a voter who was proud to see the first black president to a man who has buyer’s remorse and becomes an active defender of the Constitution and limited government.”
Another character, Jack, is a father of two young children, a little-league baseball coach and a health-insurance agent who risks losing his job under current health-care reform. As the film website explains,
“He is a Democrat turned constitutionalist and the younger brother of a Vietnam veteran who is marching for his children and the future of the America he believes in.”
William is described as “patriot renaissance man, a pastor, colonial re-enactor, painter, poet, Vietnam veteran, former Pentagon and Secret Service employee and a man of the march.”
“William is a real character,” Kibbe said. “He’s a white preacher at a black church who is also a Revolutionary War re-enactor. You’ve probably seen him at some of these things because he’s always dressed in full uniform.”
Other characters include Dr. Fred Shessel, a urologist who is moved to action against “a government threatening to undermine the doctor-patient relationship with suffocating bureaucracy and increased taxpayer spending”; Dave, a 20-something medical student and former Milan fashion model; and Jenny Beth, now a national leader in the tea-party movement who lost a multimillion-dollar business and was forced into bankruptcy and home foreclosure.
Kibbe said the variety of characters represents the many types of citizens who’ve turned out to tea-party protests across the nation in the last year.
“I marched in Washington on Sept. 12, and the range of people – geographically and from all walks of life – was really quite remarkable,” he said. “I heard two statements again and again: 1) ‘I’ve never done this before,’ and 2) ‘I have to do something because our government is out of control.'”
Kibbe said the mainstream media have blown it, “missing the story” of the year.
“They want to call the new generation of activists ‘partisan’ or ‘racist’ or ‘fake’ or whatever pejorative they can throw at them,” he said. “What they don’t understand, and what this movie really talks about, is that these are real people who have left the comfort of their homes and their responsibilities at their jobs to fight big government.”
Just as the media mocked tea partiers as “tea baggers,” the film trailer has been ridiculed on MSNBC’s “The Rachael Maddow Show.” Guest host Lawrence O’Donnell declared on Nov. 23, “Looking for a good comedy to see? How about a documentary about the tea-party movement? It’s the funniest not-supposed-to-be-funny movie the right wing has ever put together, ever.”
He continued, “We have to come up with a new word; ‘documentary,’ I’m afraid, just doesn’t work here. We have the term ‘mockumentary’ for deliberate comedies made in the documentary style, but we’ll figure this one out – what we’re really going to call this thing. ”
David Weigel, a Washington Independent reporter, interjected: “Coke-u-mentary maybe.”
Weigel continued, “The project’s trying to re-focus the attention of the nation – in so far as it pays attention to the tea-party movement – to the more average people who showed up on the mall. … It’s an attempt to say, look, these are real Americans. Forget all the allegations of corporate-funding and Astroturf.”
Tea-party leaders are descending on Washington for the premiere this evening, and the event will also feature a panel of speakers, including FreedomWorks Chairman and former Rep. Dick Armey; Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C.; Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C.; Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn.; and Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga.
“We’re talking about the tea-party movement and the potential political implications of it,” Kibbe explained. “That’s really the question everybody is asking right now: What does this mean for November 2010?”
Brandon told WND, “They’ll probably be talking about how the White House, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid thought they were going to ram health-care reform through months ago. This movement has just stopped that process.”
He continued, “They will also explain that we’re actually winning this debate right now. For people who don’t really understand the ins and outs, they may just hear that this stuff just keeps on passing, but there’s still a lot of work to pass this health-care bill. We need to keep turning up the heat and keep staying involved. We’re actually in a pretty good strategic spot right now in this debate.”
The following music video by rapper Hi Caliber is making waves in the tea-party community and has received nearly 50,000 YouTube hits. Titled “Patriotic People,” the song is featured on the film’s soundtrack.
Kibbe said Washington needs to wake up because the tea-party movement is not going away. He said it’s a “cultural shift” that’s only getting stronger.
“No matter who is in office, people who believe in limited government and constitutional principles need to show up and celebrate political leaders when they do the right thing or, more often, hold them accountable when they do the wrong thing,” he said. “That’s not a one-time event. That’s literally a lifetime commitment.”