View Full Version : A view from the left (Print Article)

03-03-2010, 11:42 AM
Article is kind of a roller coaster of good and bad... Yet, all press is good press...


Meet the new face of the Republican Party in northern New Mexico.

The face is engraved on a silver coin that is available for a $50 donation, but worth approximately $15 melted down.

The face is smiling. The face has a neatly trimmed beard. The face belongs to a man wearing a necktie. He stands beneath the Statue of Liberty. His rolled-up shirtsleeves reveal tattoos on each forearm. One says USMC. The other says IVAW, which stands for Iraq Veterans Against the War.

The arms hoist a banner that says “R3VOLution.”


Kokesh belongs to a nationwide group of so-called “liberty candidates.” These are candidates who are affiliated with the anti-government Tea Party, yet who are running as Republicans, the party in control of the White House for 19 of the 28 years Kokesh has been alive. The “R3VOLution” slogan is borrowed from the 2008 presidential campaign of US Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas.


Among his admirers is Asenath Kepler, who led a vigorous mayoral campaign in the race that ended March 2 with help from local Tea Partiers and fellow Republicans.

“I like Adam a lot because what he is doing is asking big questions. He’s not just walking in lockstep with the Republican Party,” Kepler says.


Liberal critics have dismissed the Tea Party as “astroturf”—a front for old-guard corporate Republicans hoping to derail Obama’s domestic agenda while poisoning the national debate with subtle racism. It may indeed have begun as hype, but even outsiders now acknowledge the Tea Party’s Pinocchio-like transformation from an imitation grassroots movement to the genuine article.

According to its own myth, the Tea Party movement began in February 2009, when CNBC’s Rick Santelli, reporting from the Chicago Board of Trade, went on a tear about the federal policy of “subsidizing losers.” Santelli didn’t mean Wall Street banks, which President George W Bush had gifted with a $700 billion bailout.

By “losers,” he meant homeowners facing foreclosure, whom the recently inaugurated President Obama had proposed aiding with a relatively modest $75 billion program. “This is America,” Santelli said. “How many of you people want to pay for your neighbor’s mortgage that has an extra bathroom and can’t pay their bills?”


“I don’t think Santa Fe will ever be considered a conservative or libertarian city, but…if you would’ve told me that Massachusetts would vote in a Republican senator, I would’ve said, ‘No way. No way. It’ll neeeeeevvver happen there,’” Fiore says. “I think 2010 is going to be a real eye-opener…There’s going to be an awakening.”

Such confidence is premature. But it’s true that Republicans, particularly the libertarian breed, have an opening.


Even mellower activists such as Bohlander fear the Tea Party could lose momentum. The movement’s future is inseparable from that of its members, hence the importance of Adam Kokesh: Here is a passionate and apparently sincere young radical who could, with luck, taste power for the first time. ?Will he stay true to the R3VOLution? Or will he become just another hack?

“I don’t have any use for Adam Kokesh,” Wright, who appeared with Kokesh at a Jan. 30 “patriot summit” in Albuquerque, says. In fact, about the nicest description the militiaman has for the candidate is “little fucking weenie.”?? (“I’d like to hear him say that to my face,” Kokesh tells SFR.)

Kokesh’s antiwar stand may not endear him to the far right.

His departures from orthodoxy may make traditional Republicans wary. Nevertheless, Kokesh had raised $143,000 at last report. That’s more than three times the haul of his Republican primary opponent, Tom M, an oil-and-gas consultant from Farmington.

“I like him,” Santa Fe Tea Partier Dan Bergman says of Kokesh. “He’s a good Jewish boy.”

Bergman also notes what may be an indicator of public opinion: His Kokesh bumper sticker on his car has failed to inspire left-wing vandals, whereas the old McCain sticker prompted someone to key it.


The bookshelf in his office is full, but Kokesh says he mostly reads the internet. He calls it hitting “the Truth button.” One of his favorite sites is Freedom’s Phoenix, which recently featured articles about the evils of socialized medicine, the 9.11 “inside job” and, of course, the Tea Party.

Kokesh recognizes that the Tea Party’s program is unformed enough that it could go any direction. And he acknowledges that its vagueness is similar to that of the Obama campaign, which attracted liberals from all walks of life with its all-things-to-all-people approach.

But there’s an important difference, he says.

“There’s no philosophy behind ‘change,’” Kokesh says. “But there is a philosophy behind ‘liberty.’”

03-03-2010, 12:06 PM
Right, left or middle... this article represents the attitude of the day. Some people don't like Kokesh because of his activism, yet Adam's activism is exactly why I like him.

I'm not right, left or center. I believe in self-ownership of life, liberty and property. I believe in a sovereign government, a strong national defense, a constitutional republic and laissez-faire free-market capitalism.

Those are the reasons I support Adam.

Maybe the warmongers will wake up to the fact that war is a racket and that the war economy is destructive for all but the power elite. I can hope.