Tax day “Tea Parties” – populist outrage or manufactured spectacle?

The Tax Day tea parties, which emanated from some CNBC’s Rick Santelli reporting about Obama’s plan to bail out some distressed mortgage holders, have certainly made a splash.

Thomas Frank and some others such as Firedoglake feel that these events are not spontaneous uprisings, but a coordinated public relations campaign, funded by certain right-wing foundations and promoted by, of course, Fox News.

That’s interesting and credible – but didn’t Southerners complain that the civil rights movement was provoked and funded by “outside agitators”?  Weren’t they, in a sense, correct?

Sure, it’s easier to get a movement going if you can attract funding – and the wealthy have learned that if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.  But if these rallies are actually a hit with the public, doesn’t that tell us something?

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