Feb 192010
 

Just a quick update: Since signing up for a local Tea Party group I’ve been looking through their (and other Tea Party groups) blogs, forums, and reading the Twitter feeds. There are two main topics that are being discussed quite passionately: To Third Party or Not to Third Party and growing resentment over the GOP, in the guise of the Tea Party Nation, trying to control the Tea Party.

I don’t normally read Newsmax, but this story is being linked to talked about more than any other.

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s statement that tea party activists need to start “picking a party” is part of a “coordinated assault” against the conservative grass-roots movement by the Republican establishment, tea party leaders tell Newsmax.

A series of events this week have pushed some tea party leaders to the brink of firing back at GOP officials they see as potentially compromising their organizations’ independent status.

“Anybody who expects tea party members to vote based on party lines fundamentally misunderstands the movement,” says Mark Meckler, a co-founder of Tea Party Patriots and one of its national coordinators. “The tea party movement is made up of people who value principle above party.”

This week’s meeting between RNC Chairman Michael Steele and “tea party leaders” appeared to aggravate the growing divide. Most of the major tea party groups steered clear of the four-hour sessions, and some even suggested Steele was trying to “hijack” the movement for his own purposes.

Tea party insiders say that whenever the tea parties are portrayed as aligned with the GOP, the independents and disenchanted Democrats within the grass-roots movement feel alienated.

Publicly, Republican leaders insist they respect the movement’s independence. But tea party leaders see indications their true intentions are otherwise.

“I think we are facing a coordinated assault by the GOP to a bend the tea parties toward them,” Everett Wilkinson of the Tea Party Patriots tells Newsmax.

The entire article is worth reading and is, based on a short time reading Tea Party blogs and tweets, representative of the frustration people within the movement are feeling at GOP encroachment and strong arm tactics.

  3 Responses to “Update – Tea Party”

  1. This is that great disconnect between the politicians and the public that people are upset about.

    I saw a town hall meeting with Orin Hatch, and people were yelling and screaming “YOU DON’T GET IT!” To much applause. Hatch then went on Fox news and said something to the effect of “well, everyone is angry, this was just 400 people, and people see this and think I disagree with them; no, no, no, we’re all on the same page.”

    What a grave miscalculation. The American people are in a “throw the bums out” mode, and that’s towards both parties.

    People are tired of the elitism. This is why I hope to see Pagans stand up, on their own, without being tied to groups which are trying to be swallowed whole.

    Anyone think Sarah Palin would come to speak at a Constitutionalist event if she knew it wasn’t predominantly Christian?

    If you look at the next blog post here about a CPAC speech, you’ll see what I mean. The GOP can not understand politics without religion. This is why they can so easily demonize liberals, because their religion says that there is only one ‘good’ side and one ‘bad’ side.

  2. Interesting, but a recent poll showed that most of them would vote GOP. The concern is that the tea party will possibly split the GOP votes.

    http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/02/17/tea.party.poll/index.html?hpt=Sbin

    Activists in the Tea Party movement tend to be male, rural, upscale, and overwhelmingly conservative, according to a new national poll.

    A CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey released Wednesday also indicates that Tea Party activists would vote overwhelmingly Republican in a two-party race for Congress. The party’s GOP leanings, the poll suggests, may pose a problem for the Tea Party movement if it tries to turn itself into a third party to compete with the two major parties in this year’s general election.

    (…)

    According to the survey, most Tea Party activists describe themselves as Independents.

    “But that’s slightly misleading, because 87 percent say they would vote for the GOP candidate in their congressional district if there were no third-party candidate endorsed by the Tea Party,” Holland said.

    Obviously, no poll is completely accurate but this is in line with the rhetoric. They may officially classify themselves as independents but they’re overwhelmingly conservatives (this particular poll shows 3 out of 4) and if the people they want to vote for are GOP too, all this gives us is one liberal party and two conservative parties and we’re still without a viable independent party.

    Perhaps there is a disconnect within the Tea Party movement as well and this will all sort itself out in time, but right now, though the Tea Party may have as a motivator displeasure with the status quo, its own conservative elements will vote to maintain the status quo.

    And notice, none of this came up before Obama. All these people seemed quite satisfied with how Washington did business when Bush was president. I’m saying this as a progressive liberal I know, but that is how it seems to me.

    • “The concern is that the tea party will possibly split the GOP votes.”

      I suspect that is why the GOP is trying to take over the movement. That…and the Tea Party advocates challenging incumbents in Primaries. Neither party is too excited about that. It costs them money and beats up their candidate. The Tea Party is a Right of Center group and I don’t think anyone is claiming that it is a Liberal group, just that it is an Independent group. It is appeals to people who are fiscally Conservative, which includes some Democrats (Blue Dogs), most Independents and almost all Republicans.

      “And notice, none of this came up before Obama.”

      Actually, it did. But as a Liberal I doubt you would have noticed it since it started with Ron Paul during the GOP primary. There would have been no reason for Liberals to pay much attention to Paul during the primary.

      http://www.boston.com/news/politics/politicalintelligence/2007/12/ron_pauls_tea_p.html

      That’s what kicked this all off. When Paul lost the Primary, things settled down a bit. Then when Bush started the bailouts – Ron Paul supporters (who were already unhappy with McCain) started to organize. Still a small group. It began to grow after Congress passed the another round of Bail outs and the Stimulus bill and that’s when you started to see larger protests. But the group started out ticked at Bush, then got increasingly made at Congress and the President.

      In every Tea Party group I’ve looked at, they have a link to one (or both) of these groups on their website –

      Kick them all out – http://www.kickthemallout.com/
      VOID (Vote Out incumbents Democracy) – http://www.voidnow.org/

      You see quite a bit of talk about Obama, the president always gets saddled with the good and the bad, but most of the anger is directed at Congress.