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Meet Groundswell, The Secret Right Wing Group That Wants To Wage A '30 Front War' With Democrats And Other Republicans

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Mother Jones broke the story yesterday, after obtaining documents about the covert group. Groundswell, which is comprised of high-profile hyper-Conservatives such as Ginni Thomas (wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas), former UN ambassador John Bolton, and former FL congressman Allen West, seeks to "fundamentally transform the nation." They have begun holding weekly secret meetings in the offices of Judicial Watch, where they "cook up battle plans for their ongoing fights against the Obama administration, congressional Democrats, progressive outfits, and the Republican establishment and 'clueless' GOP congressional leaders."

The group also includes certain congressional aides and journalists. While Groundswell is, by no means, the only group that meets to discuss strategies for legislation and PR, the clandestine nature of the group does raise questions about what exactly the group has to hide. In the exposé, Mother Jones noted that...

"Though members have been encouraged to zap out tweets with a #GSW hashtag, a message circulated to members of its Google group noted that the role of certain advocates should be kept 'off of the Google group for OPSEC [operational security] reasons.' This 'will avoid any potential for bad press for someone if a communication item is leaked,' the message explained."

Did we mention that one of the group's core members has a spouse that's a member of the Supreme Court? Just making sure...

An internal document describes the origins of this coalition:

"Groundswell evolved out of conversations among conservative leaders after the November elections. This is the eighth meeting. Now others are asking to be included. Growth needs to be strategic; it should be made up of senior level people willing to collaborate. It is important to keep a balance of social conservatives, national security conservatives, and constitutional conservatives. Outreach has occurred to incorporate groups with extensive reach: Heritage, Heritage Action, FreedomWorks, AFP [Americans for Prosperity], FRC [Family Research Council] and the NRA, among others…Our country is in peril. This is a critical moment needing critical leadership. We want to protect the strategic collaboration occurring at Groundswell and build on it. Please be careful about bringing guests and clear them ahead of time."

Ginni ThomasNote the inclusion of anti-gay groups such as Heritage and the FRC. Thus, it isn't all that surprising that many of the internal documents released concern the group's strategies for opposing marriage equality. One mocked Republican Party chairman Reince Priebus, saying that he “is sending messages to the party… If we were all gay illegal aliens, the party likes us."

Mother Jones' expose proves rather extensive. Those interested in reading it in its entirety can do so HERE. For those wishing for a more concise list of highlights, Queerty was kind enough to oblige:

"Other memorable quotes from the group’s memos:

  • 'We’re failing the propaganda battle with minorities.'
  • 'Conservatives are so busy dealing with issues like immigration, gay marriage and boy scouts there is little time left to focus on other issues. These are the very issues the Left wants to avoid but we need to magnify.'
  • 'We are in a real war; most conservatives are not prepared to fight.'
  • 'We need to be more clever than the Left on this… Something amusing and easy for LIVs [low-information voters] to understand.'
  • 'We must reclaim the language and put ‘a face’ on our messages; tell stories. Write articles on 4th grade level!'

If Americans ever needed an example of how the GOP really feels about them, these memos are it."

Perhaps, if these hyper-conservatives make a genuine effort to fix the nation's education system, then they wouldn't need to "write articles on [a] 4th grade level"...

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Comments

  1. They should have no trouble writing articles on a fourth grade level, but I'm afraid sixth grade level is probably beyond them.

    Posted by: Dan Mc | Jul 27, 2013 7:15:16 AM


  2. This tells you all you need to know:

    "We need to be more clever than the Left on this… Something amusing and easy for LIVs [low-information voters] to understand."

    "We must reclaim the language and put ‘a face’ on our messages; tell stories. Write articles on 4th grade level!"


    Posted by: Gigi | Jul 27, 2013 8:25:03 AM


  3. The fact is, the left can't treat this with a "holier than thou" attitude. They need to be able to talk to people at a 4th grade level as well. The rights methods aren't off. Just look at what has happened to television by reaching toward the lowest common denominator.

    Posted by: Dan | Jul 27, 2013 10:19:01 AM


  4. The fact that they have to be so secretive tells me everything I need to know about these rejects.

    Posted by: homer | Jul 27, 2013 10:48:08 AM


  5. The fact that they have to be so secretive tells me everything I need to know about these rejects.

    Posted by: homer | Jul 27, 2013 10:48:09 AM


  6. I just realized that I've never seen Ginni Thomas and Victoria Jackson in the same place. Sort of like Bruce Wayne and Batman.

    Posted by: bcarter3 | Jul 27, 2013 11:58:09 AM


  7. 'Conservatives are so busy dealing with issues like immigration, gay marriage and boy scouts there is little time left to focus on other issues. These are the very issues the Left wants to avoid but we need to magnify.'

    Actually, by all means, please magnify the issues as much as possible. That way most sane people will see you for the extremist nutbags you actually are.

    Posted by: Tom | Jul 27, 2013 12:15:51 PM


  8. These morons are still chasing their tails convinced they just need to be better at "messaging" (now reduced to the 4th grade level). Here's the deal - when your party platform calls for banning all gay marriages you can't really message that in any way that will make me think you're anything but a bunch of backward homophobes. Similarly when your party blocks any immigration reform and continually refers to Latinos as drug-running dogs you can't really expect to be expecting them to embrace you. Your problem IS the message!

    Posted by: e.c. | Jul 27, 2013 12:19:20 PM


  9. More right-wing panic/desperation. They're losing and they know it. Thank heaven they don't have a clue what to do about it other than play James Bond at secret meetings.

    Posted by: jomicur | Jul 27, 2013 12:34:22 PM


  10. They're looking for another phrase like "Support our troops" to cover whatever horrible plans they have, except this time they want to wreak havoc domestically instead of overseas.

    Posted by: Dearcomrade | Jul 27, 2013 12:44:54 PM


  11. Does Mrs. Thomas realize that her marriage would have been against the law 50 years ago?

    Posted by: Chris | Jul 27, 2013 12:52:28 PM


  12. I don't think this represents anything new, nor will they have any increased effectiveness over other groups. Meetings in secret are hardly anything out of ordinary since they are discussing political strategy. I wouldn't get too worried unless you know nothing about the political process.

    Posted by: anon | Jul 27, 2013 1:34:39 PM


  13. wow! the U.S. has its own "Sturmabteilung (SA) (German pronunciation: [ˈʃtʊɐ̯mʔapˌtaɪlʊŋ]; Storm Detachment or Assault Division, or Brownshirts."

    you can bet they aren't student's of history or they would have realized they are behaving exactly as Hitler did in the 1930's.

    are we surprised? only that they may finally have been caught...

    Posted by: mike/ | Jul 27, 2013 1:50:25 PM


  14. at least they admit that their party's base is nothing but stupid people.

    alas, they're so stupid they won't realize they've been insulted.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Jul 27, 2013 2:04:46 PM


  15. Hmmm, so they are working on a coalition of those who don't want to pay taxes and the clueless who don't earn enough to pay taxes.

    Yeah, that could work.

    I wonder if when they meet they wear bags over their heads? Because in the outside world those two groups would never mix.

    Posted by: political bedfellows only | Jul 27, 2013 2:18:41 PM


  16. Groundswell sounds like a cheesy rip-off of the Est Training. Like Lifespring.

    Posted by: Hagatha | Jul 27, 2013 11:14:36 PM


  17. All that is missing is From this funny farm is Sarah Palin.

    Posted by: Dc20008 | Jul 28, 2013 8:04:01 AM


  18. See, I rather think this is the strategic failure that's losing the culture war for them.

    Their base is *already* onboard, and demonstrably shrinking.

    Educated voters of all races and socioeconomic backgrounds increasingly reject their positions. Frankly, I'm a huge believer that the more they spout off, the more apparent the moral, logical, and ethical vacuity of their position.

    Add to that, the horrible miscalculation that poor English skills from immigrants is the same thing as being stupid.

    Posted by: Motard | Jul 28, 2013 12:09:23 PM


  19. Dan is right. This country is filled with barely literate idiots who sustain themselves with catchphrases and manufactured indignation. Groundswell may be composed of loathesome individuals, but their asessment is spot-on. Our rights depend far more on advertising and sitcoms than they do on reasoned, thoughtful arguments. We might as well face it.

    Posted by: Yeek | Jul 29, 2013 8:35:09 AM


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