August Anger: Paul Ryan Edition

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Aug. 26 2011 2:59 PM

August Anger: Paul Ryan Edition

Wisconsin Teamsters broadcast photos and stories of the current direction action underway in Paul Ryan's district -- attempted sit-ins at his four offices. Here's more video of the difficulty that protesters, under the banner of Wisconsin Jobs Now, have as they try to do this.

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When I sat in on a local organizing meeting for the Rebuild the Dream movement, the cross-lefty group that's explicitly billed as an answer to the Tea Party, the most popular idea in the room was direct action at congressional offices, in congressional districts. That, said one D.C. activist, would get attention. These protests aren't getting a ton of attention, though. I saw one reason in a throwaway line here, when Politico reported that (shock!) an anti-Michelle Rhee website had been launched by the AFT.

Last month, we reported that the Save Our Schools March presented itself as a grass-roots event but failed to publicly list the union members involved in its executive committee.

Is a movement not grassroots if unions take a role in putting it together? Why not? A rally organized by Americans for Prosperity that draws a couple thousand people isn't usually referred to as an "astroturf" event outside of lefty media, and in my opinion it's not astroturf -- there are people showing up who have nothing to do with AFT. But the left is still struggling to prove its rebellion is real, while the Tea Party, having won most of its goals and started to recede, is watched closely for every twitch and jitter.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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