Mike Tipping is communication director of the Maine Peoples Alliance (MPA). As such, his primary mission is to expose Paul LePage as a man devoid of good will, accomplishment, competence, intelligence, and even humanity; a man who has never done any good, never wanted to do any good, never done anything right, and never had a kind thought. In Mike’s world, located in a galaxy far, far away, the MPA owns all “People” copyrights and patents. Republicans, Tea Partyers, and LePage supporters are not People at all, but just a bunch of persons. It’s fair to point out that, like all his kind, he has never said a harsh word about conservatives. He has never met or heard of, a conservative. He can spot a radical right-winger, an extreme rightist, an ultra-right winger or an ultra-radical-extreme-right wingist with ease, but conservatives are invisible to him.
In brief, Mike is a standard left-lurching hack addicted to dull diction and severely allergic to original thought or expression in any form. He’s not very interesting as an individual but has some value as an exemplar—as a walking, talking, writing cliche, immune to the slightest right-wing deviationism.
On June 24 this year Mike Tipping breathlessly announced that “After more than a year of outlining, interviewing, researching, writing and editing, my book, “,” is finally headed to the printers. I expressed off-handed scepticism about the depth of his research and breadth of his knowledge concerning the Tea Party. He responded in his BDN blog, warning me against “judging a book by its cover,” asserted that my statement that Bruce Poliquin had never appeared in person at a Tea Party rally could be refuted by a three-second YouTube study and telling his reader “I would also note that I have likely spent more time studying the opinions and demographic backgrounds of Tea Party supporters than anyone else in Maine…”
I had no plans to shell out $12.95 for Mike’s flapdoodlious rectangle of wasted paper but Lance Harvell, who is relatively new to the study of such specimens and eager to learn, bought a copy and loaned it to me. A close reading confirmed my expectations. Mike Tipping’s knowledge of the Tea Party is as warped, fragmentary, and vapid as we have come to expect from almost all left-lurching commentators. So now we know. Judging a book by its cover when a left-lurcher’s name appears on it is seldom a mistake.
Tipping never attended a single Tea Party rally. As nearly as I can determine the only activist he ever spoke with is Carter Jones. He quotes Cynthia Rosen but she has no memory of ever speaking with him. I have attended, and spoken before, at least eight Tea Party events. I didn’t see Mike at any of them. The primary focus of nearly every rally speaker was not taxation as such, but fidelity to Constitutional limits on government powers. Constitutional education was central to every meeting of the Franklin County Patriots that I’ve attended. In 2010 Maine Tea Party activists boasted of distributing 10,000 copies of the U.S. Constitution. Yet here’s a book claiming to explain Maine’s Tea Party movement that shows no awareness of the importance of Constitutional issues.
With some exceptions, the Tea Partyers I have met favored the election of Paul LePage, although his name did not dominate most of the rallies. Our governor has not only pledged to uphold the U.S. Constitution, like all other elected officials, but, unlike most of them, he has actually read it. And the “Federalist Papers” as well. So he favors the main thrust of the Tea Party “ideology.”
Maybe our Tipping knows that the T.P. rallies have no screening mechanism. There are two entry requirements for attendance: you want to show up and you have a vehicle that can get you there. So it’s always easy to find a cracked pot in the crowd if that’s what you want to find. Mike never detected a pot of any kind, because he never showed up at a rally, but he has heard about them from other journalists who have never showed up.
The Maine Wire visitors who consulted “Tempest in a Chamber Pot” already know about Mike’s journalistic coup, his FOIA discovery that Paul LePage met with “a group of Sovereign Citizens, recognized by the FBI and Maine state law enforcement as belonging to “a domestic terrorist movement.’” This terrorist threat consists of four old guys who call themselves the “Maine Constitution Coalition.” They actually know a lot more about constitutional issues than the average legislator and lots, lots more than Tipping. Constitutional issues interest our governor and that’s all there is to that.
The Gallup Report has kept track of self-identified conservatives and liberals for decades. Neither ideological faction has a majority in any state, but self-identified conservatives outnumber their liberal counterparts in every state, including Maine. So a vital part of the Democratic Party strategy has always been to scare the “moderates” into their ranks by painting all conservatives in lurid colors as extremists. If the moderate voting cohort split 50-50 the Democrats would lose everywhere. The hopes and dreams of the Maine Peoples Alliance would be blighted forever.
Mike Tipping has seen his duty and acted accordingly to the best of his ability.