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Mar 21 2013

A Texas Tea Party Leader’s Fascist Past

The Texas Tribune reports that one of the most prominent leaders of the Tea Party movement in Texas used to be the Director of Propaganda for the now-defunct American Fascist Party. But don’t worry, he has multiple contradictory excuses for that.

As recently as 2003, the president of the Greater Fort Bend County Tea Party had a very different title: director of propaganda for the American Fascist Party.

James Ives, a prominent Tea Party activist who has hosted statewide rallies and political debates and has been a regular contributor on conservative radio, was the AFP’s fourth in command, commenting about the party’s principles on a fascist message board. An image of Ives in what appears to be a black uniform with yellow shoulder patches can be seen in a 2006 promotional video for the party.

Ives tells a more nuanced story; the Richmond, Texas, resident says he stumbled across the fascist party — which supports extreme right-wing authoritarian regimes — online in the early 2000s as an “amateur political science student and frustrated novelist” and was merely curious. 

“From my point of view, it was all pro-Constitution, pro-America,” Ives said of the group, which appears to be defunct. 

“I never did anything,” he added. “There really weren’t enough people involved to be a gathering, let alone a rally. It was basically a scattering of people across the continent just complaining.”

That’s the first excuse. Here’s the second:

He said he believed he’d uncovered an underground cabal — and decided to stick around to do research for a “political novel of intrigue.”

“I thought, ‘I can blow the lid off of this. … I can go inside and find out what’s going on,’” Ives said.

Ives never wrote a novel. He did write a range of posts on the party’s Yahoo message board, communicating with his fellow “blackshirts” and the party’s chief organizer, a man who identified himself as the “Glorious Leader.”

So it was nothing, just a handful of people complaining. But he thought he could “blow the lid off” this irrelevant bunch of people complaining. Oh, and being the director of propaganda is totally no big deal too:

But he said he did agree to be the group’s “director of propaganda.” One website updated as recently as last year still had him listed with that title.

“I think I was the only one” who volunteered for the position, Ives said, calling the fascist group “a chat room with a fancy title.”

Well that explains it all. No big deal, right?

19 comments

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  1. 1
    tommykey

    Wait a minute! I thought Jonah Goldberg wrote the definitive book that proved fascism was a liberal phenomenon.

  2. 2
    oranje

    Does that mean we can have titles here?

  3. 3
    richardelguru

    I don’t see the problem. Sure he moved a little to the right, but many people do this as they age.

  4. 4
    Doug Little

    This is fucking awesome, whilst the tea party falsely accuses Obama and the left of being fascists, they have a bonafide one among their ranks, who would have thunk it.

  5. 5
    steve84

    American Fascist Party? Who needs them when there are the Republicans

  6. 6
    typecaster

    Does that mean we can have titles here?

    The good news is that yes, you can.
    The bad news is that “Fucktoy of Death” is taken.

  7. 7
    Skip White

    For some reason, when I read “American Fascist Party,” I think of the Nazis in The Blues Brothers.

  8. 8
    Worldtraveller

    the fascist party — which supports extreme right-wing authoritarian regimes …

    So, they voted to change their name to the Teabaggers? Same schtick…..

  9. 9
    Worldtraveller

    mutter..buggered up the quote tag.

  10. 10
    sinned34

    Does that mean we can have titles here?

    If that’s true, then I want to be President Of Calendars!

  11. 11
    Draken

    So the American Fascist Party was a communist party or what?
    -confused-

  12. 12
    fifthdentist

    Seems there was a Republican U.S. Rep. candidate from maybe Ohio(?) a few years ago who liked to play SS dress up.
    Are we maybe detecting a trend?

  13. 13
    baal

    I want the title 祭礼の蛇, (Sairei no Hebi) (BG).

    I’d accuse Ed of making this story up since it’s otherwise too cartoonish to be true but he doesn’t do that. Remember folks, cosplay is for adult fun and conventions not RL or politics (c.f. Aidan Burley).

  14. 14
    Hayden

    Put me down for “Who cares.”

  15. 15
    meursalt

    @Sinned34:

    If that’s true, then I want to be President Of Calendars!

    Admit it, you just want to make every day a Monday!

    I’d riff on White Noise, but I’m sure someone would miss the joke. Not worth it.

  16. 16
    d.c.wilson

    The current incarnation of the American Fascist Party has released a statement that they are deeply embarrassed that one of their former members has joined the Tea Party Movement. They stressed that Ives is in no way affiliated with their organization anyone.

    “He seemed so normal at our annual swastika raising event and potluck dinner,” a spokesman said. “We had no idea he would end up so deranged as to be part of the tea party.”

  17. 17
    lofgren

    See, I’m never really sure what to do with these kinds of excuses, because I could totally see myself joining a group of yahoos on the internet who call themselves the American Fascist Party and getting myself elected minister of propaganda and thinking the whole time, “This is fucking hilarious.”

  18. 18
    democommie

    “But don’t worry, he has multiple contradictory excuses for that.”

    He only needs them for people who might actually think that it matters.

  19. 19
    scottlesch

    “Seems there was a Republican U.S. Rep. candidate from maybe Ohio(?) a few years ago who liked to play SS dress up.
    Are we maybe detecting a trend?”

    He’s a WW II Reenactor. Not always a sign of right wing craziness. Somebody has to play the “bad guys” like the Redcoats and Confederates.

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