on March 14, 2010
Just finished reading the book. Loved it. Michael Graham has managed to debunk every leftist view without a single insult toward me. This book backs up every argument with FACTS unlike the progressives who's only idea is to call tea party participants "racist, teabaggers, and stupid" when questioned! Living in Amherst, Massachusetts where terroist are being invited to live once Gitmo closes (see page 13) I know only too well how the left believes their opinion is the right and only opinion. Michael's wit and sense of humor is evident throughout the book. Some parts were LOL funny. Joe Biden, need I say more? If you attended a tea party rally, or were there in spirit, or are concerned about the direction our country is heading, buy this book. You will feel vindicated and ready to keep fighting the fight!!!
Recently an Amazon friend wrote a comment under one of my reviews complaining that tea party participants were openly talking about nullification, the concept that states and local governments can nullify federal laws. This harkens back to the separatist south, he noted, with the implication that anyone who would believe such a thing is racist. Of course, it also harkens back to various liberal and libertarian constituencies that opposed the Bush administration's "Real ID Act" by encouraging state and local agencies to oppose it, but no one ever accused these "nullification" advocates of racism. But the broader point was a suspicion of people who attend tea parties and otherwise are active and vocal about their opposition to the policies of the Obama administration. Who are these people, and why do they arouse such heated passions? Talk show host Michael Graham's answer is that they are ordinary people who represent a significant new force in politics, and they cannot be simply written off by name calling.
In general, the "agenda" of the people who attend tea parties, according to Graham, is personal responsibility. They dislike government bailouts, whether to GM or Melanie Griffiths-Evans (a real estate agent who nonetheless managed to default on her Adjustable Rate Mortgage). It is not, Graham argues, that people who listen to talk radio (as opposed to NPR) and attend tea parties lack compassion. He claims conservatives contribute more to private charity than liberals. But tea party activists dislike rewarding those who make bad decisions. They also dislike government run health care and they especially dislike being told they are stupid (or racist) if they voice their objections. But they are, for the most part, not "intellectuals" in the sense that their opposition to government health care does not come from reading Milton Friedman; it comes from visiting the post office.
Graham concedes that there are a few rabble rousers among those who attend tea parties, just as there are more than a few leftist kooks who still promote vast conspiracy theories about how elections were stolen in 2000 and how the US blew up their own towers in 2001. (Fair warning; there are a fair number of right wing kooks who also believe that sort of thing.) But on the whole his take is that the tea party movement is made up of middle class people who are simply fed up with adding nearly 2 trillion to the deficit in a single year and who would rather run their own lives.
I found this book a moderately convincing and I say that as one of the "elitist" snobs who opposes socialized health care precisely because I read (and understand) free market economists. My main contact with the tea party crowd was at a local debate between a Democrat and Republican candidate for a state legislative office and they were very polite and thoughtful, and somewhat more critical of the Republican. They knew what the Democrat stood for and even found some common ground with him, but the previous Republican candidate had broken his no tax increase pledge on his very first budget vote, so they were understandably skeptical of people pandering to them.
Beyond that, however, I was a little put off by this book. It has a very chatty style which is what I should expect from a talk radio host but nonetheless I like more analysis and less anecdotes. The book spends a lot of time dissecting the attacks made by "Team Obama" on the tea party crowd. And undoubtedly the administration has tried to marginalize their increasing large number of opponents as extremists. But I don't think every left wing blogger can be categorized as part of "Team Obama" any more than I think every right wing hack is a "birther." Nonetheless, the strident opposition to the Obama administration cries out for some sort of analysis and simply labeling these people as racists (or as "my mom") will not do, regardless of how convenient these labels are for a given political agenda.
My own take is fairly simple. Obama won because people were fed up with George W. Bush. Specifically, they were upset at how long two wars were taking. Beyond that, many Americans, for whom fiscal responsibility is a big deal, were upset at Bush's 700 billion dollar bailout (more than a few fiscal conservatives, myself among them, actively hoped the Repubicans would lose for that alone) and in general the previous president's policies on immigration and his own venture into socialized health care (prescription drug coverage) alienated his base without attracting any real support from the left. Obama, a man without a record, said all the right things. He would support a transparent government; no secret deals. He would impose fiscal discipline and pay for any new programs with cuts elsewhere. He would not raise taxes on anyone making more than $250,000 a year. And he would bring our troops home. Obama has since broken every one of those key campaign promises and people are upset. And they are becoming increasingly vocal about it. So naturally, the administration and its supporters are faced with a choice: they can actually do the things that won them the election, or they can attempt to marginalize their opponents. They are going with the latter strategy and all polls suggest it will come back to haunt them this election year.
on March 10, 2010
Just received my pre-ordered copy and cannot put it down. As a 4-15-09, 1st time activist, just call me "Mom!" Michael has our backs and the bullhorn! Reading the "Love Letters from the Left", you will be amazed just how many insults have been thrown at mild mannered, taxpaying, Americans. Michael's cutting wit will have you laughing the fools off. The book captures the arrogance of 2009 and brings you to The People's response- Scott Brown. A must read for anyone who feels insulted or unheard and wants a good laugh. It is an educational book (common sense 101) for politicians or those who have spent too much time with MSNBC.
on January 2, 2014
Decades after the fact, I sometimes still think about an old college friend. While I concerned myself with the issues that mattered - like how to pass a class I never attended, and which frat house would have the best weekend party - she was latching on to every activist (read: Liberal) group within driving distance of our dorm.
The moment I best remember, the one which pretty much defined her character for me, was when she teed off on me in a 20-minute rant - a diatribe about religion that closed with the line, "Some behaviors are so @#!@#! offensive, they *need* to be illegal!"
I just stared at her. I was at a complete loss for words, because I had no idea how to respond to something so absurd. And dangerous.
As the years have gone by, I've often felt that same shocky paralysis in the face of the rage - and the resulting absurdities - of political zealots (within any group). When I decided to read "That's No Angry Mob", I was expecting a fun read, one that would soundly tweak those types while entertaining me. And Michael Graham certainly doesn't disappoint: This is a fun book, filled with Graham's quick wit and irreverent attitude.
What I didn't expect were the searing insights into the attitudes and beliefs of those who seek not only to control, but to eliminate all dissension. For example, in describing "normal folks", Graham says: "... they don't view politics as an all-encompassing struggle. They don't need 'the fight' to give meaning to their existence - they already have a life."
That one had me thinking for a while - a long while - and it's just one of the many insights that I'll take with me from this book. I'm pretty sure that the next time I'm confronted with a political purist of any kind, I won't be struggling with paralysis: I'll be trying not to laugh.
on May 10, 2013
I was privileged to be on the ground floor when the TEA party here in SE Wisconsin took off and continue to thank those involved for highlighting the discontinuity between what the left says and what they do. This book highlights what the party really is all about...and puts on display the complete bias of those that use their 1st amendment rights to squelch the rights of those of us on the right.
Found the book funny and easy to read (and listen too at times).
on July 8, 2013
I think I would love Michael Graham's mom. We are just a couple of women who want what is best for our families, our communities, and our country. We know how to take care of things and don't need a nanny government to tell us how. That's why liberals hate us.
Graham explains why the left hates his mom--and me--and anyone else who isn't blindly dependent and following the mass media and the politicians promising "free stuff." His writing style is factual, but with smart humor that helps the reader keep hope alive even in the midst of dark days for freedom-loving citizens.
on March 28, 2010
The Left cannot stand how ordinary non-ivy league educated people can think for themselves and protest the policies of the government in a peaceful manner. Should they not get paid attendees to carry predesignd signs, run amock, damage property, threaten violence, silence opponents like the lefties do?
No, so what the left can do is brand them as an angry, racist, violent mob.
on May 25, 2012
I like Michael Graham, and I liked his book well enough.
The best and worst part of this book is that Graham writes pretty much exactly how he speaks on his show. An ex-stand up comedian, he is very funny. And he makes some great points.
But the downside to that is the book feels like it just glosses over things and makes major points into punchlines. His commentary is balanced on his radio show by the callers, making his role more a moderator and comic relief. As an entire uninterrupted book, it gets a little old.
on August 1, 2013
The looney left, going back to the Vietnam protest days have had a hard time understanding why everyone does not see things there way. The Left cannot stand how ordinary people can think for themselves and protest the policies of the government in a peaceful manner. Liberal can not understand that one does not have to be paid to participate in rallies that are intended to have a good and favorable outcome for all. Liberals want to label those who disagree with them as racist
on July 27, 2010
In the interest of full disclosure, and before I begin discussing "That's No Angry Mob, That's My Mom," I want to acknowledge that I am the veteran of two Houston tea-parties. I attended the first event out of curiosity, the second out of hope that someone in government might actually listen to what was said there. Of course, no one did.
Let's face it. Politicians think citizens pay so little attention to what happens in our national and state capitols that they will believe anything a government spokesman tells them. These same "representatives of the people" believe, often correctly, that a little bit of spin will cover even the dumbest legislation, most vile criminal acts, and worst wastes of taxpayer money imaginable. But, at some point, politicians are no longer able to baffle the public with BS - and that is when things get ugly. When character assassination of its critics becomes the government's weapon of choice in political debate, a tipping point has been reached.
Radio talk-show host Michael Graham has organized tea-parties in the Boston area, events attended by his mother, among others. Graham sees who attends the tea-parties ("retirees, military vets, small business owners, and suburban families"), has read the hundreds of handheld signs, and has experienced the tea-party atmosphere first hand. What he describes in "That's No Angry Mob" is almost exactly what I observed for myself in Houston: a gathering in large numbers of citizens concerned that the country is being relentlessly driven toward bankruptcy and that the future of their children and grandchildren is in jeopardy.
The government's response to all this citizen concern has been to label every single attendee of a tea-party event as a racist and/or a domestic terrorist. Even the Speaker of the House, tear in her eye and tremor in her voice, hints that she fears a deranged assassin or two will be motivated by what he or she hears at a tea-party. And, of course, the national media share the Speaker's concerns, as well as her lack of subtlety and self-awareness.
"That's No Angry Mob, That's My Mom" offers little new information to those who have paid attention to recent current events. It does, however, offer a nice recap of the absurdity of the government's response to the threat it feels from citizens (many of them elderly) wanting to ask questions of those who should have their best interests in mind. Graham, who is also a former stand-up comic, has a keen ear for comic timing and uses comedic one-liners throughout the book to keep it relatively light despite the intensity of the hatred directed at him (and all tea-party attendees and talk-radio listeners) by those so determined to minimize them by destroying their reputations.
Despite the way Graham uses humor in discussing the very personal attack on Americans who dare openly disagree with the administration's policies, he makes serious, and distressing, points like this one: "And the liberals who suspect (and some who openly proclaim) that most Americans are selfish, bigoted dolts, have amplified that message. They divided America into two groups: people who support Obama and his policies on the one hand, and racist holdouts on the other." To many tea-partiers this is the most distressing thing of all about today's politics. Never in recent memory has the race card so often been pulled from the bottom of the deck to shut down legitimate public dissent. Is this what we have come to?
Rated at: 3.5