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Hijacking the Tea Party Movement?

February 8th, 2010 by Mike N · 10 Comments · Uncategorized

This last Wednesday I happened to flip channels (while the Mrs was on our only computer, which fact is going to change sometime this year) and caught the beginning of Geraldo At Large on Fox. He was covering a tea party convention where Sarah Palin was about to give the keynote speech. So I watched.

She gave her usual common sense arguments against the follies of the Obama administration and championed limited government and so on. Unfortunately she grounded many of her arguments in religion. I don’t want to discuss those arguments here. Suffice it to say they were standard religious right positions.

As I watched I began to suspect that this was an event intended to align the Republican Party with the Tea Party movement. My suspicions were confirmed by later events. After the speech Geraldo interviewed a panel of commentators one of which was Juan Williams who flatley declared Mrs. Palin as the new leader of the Tea Party movement. “No she’s not” I nearly shouted at the screen.

A few days later I received an email from the Tea Party Express announcing that they had nothing to do with the organization of that convention but added that they were having Ms. Palin speak at one of their parties in March and at another in April.

Then on Sunday the 7th I got an email from the other national group Tea Party Patriots. They had this to say in part:

“Dear Fellow Tea Party Patriots,

Tea Party Patriots, an organization with a reach of millions of members and over 1,000 voluntarily affiliated tea party and 912 local groups asks: WHY WOULD 600 PEOPLE AT A RALLY CREATE A MEDIA FREENZY?”

Good question since the media have routinely ignored much larger events. And

“Why did the media choose to show up at a tea party rally in Nashville that marketed itself as a “national convention” with only 600 participants who claimed to speak on behalf of the movement?

Why would the media show up just because a national figure was asked to speak? National figures spoke all over the country in local tea party rallies all year and in DC on September 12th.

We believe the answer to “Why?” is this:

There are heavy efforts underway to align us to a political party.
There is great concern that the Tea Party Movement will become a third party.
The media did not do their homework on this “national convention” and is now creating misinformation on the movement.”

I’m convinced that this event was covered to designate the Tea Party movement as a right wing Republican movement. I doubt it will work because the parties I attended last year were mostly independent voters with some Repubs and Dems as well. But they may get some mileage out of it. Stay tuned.

10 Comments so far ↓

  • Mike N

    Oops! Last Wednesday was supposed to read last Saturday the 6th. I don’t know why I wrote Wednesday. I also got both emails on Sunday the 7th.

  • Fareed

    I was afraid this might happen. theorocrats trying to hijack the movement.

  • madmax

    Tancredo gave a speech also. He’s the biggest anti-immigration Repbublican politician out there yet he’s pretty good with regard to the war against Islam. But he is no pro-liberty advocate. Palin and Tancredo are not the types we want speaking at these events. If the Tea Party movement becomes associated with the Republican Party it will lose its power.

  • Myrhaf

    In polls an unnamed Republican or Democrat does better than when an actual name is used because respondents can imagine their ideal candidate running. The Tea Party is like those polls right now. As long as it has no actual leaders, everyone can ascribe his ideal meaning to the party.

    If Republicans take over the movement, then it will become the Republican Party — the same party that gave us compassionate conservatism and fell apart in 1995 when the media called them mean. It looks like the movement is bound to disappoint, lose its lustre and fade away.

  • Steve D

    “If the Tea Party movement becomes associated with the Republican Party it will lose its power”

    And that is precisely what they plan to accomplish; the point of the whole exercise.

  • Mike N

    Steve D: I think you’re right of course. I thought the same thing regarding the media’s desire to cover it. It was covered by Fox and C-span. The media want to be able to pigeonhole the movement in a way they can attack and smear it.

  • Mike N

    By way of clarification I don’t think Fox wants to smear the movement. They covered it because they are awed by Ms. Palin. But C-Span has avoided other much larger events in the past. Did you see the way Gibbs yesterday made fun of Palin’s writing words on her hand? Perhaps she deserved a little ridicule for that. I’m waiting for the 3 major networks to cover such events. Not hold breath though.

  • Myrhaf

    Maybe the Tea Party is against both parties:

  • Rory

    The moment I clicked over to PJTV and saw that Sarah Palin was giving a speech there, and it all began with the introducer and then her saluting Ronald Reagan’s birthday… I felt a huge drop in my stomach.

  • Jim May

    If the Tea Party movement becomes associated with the Republican Party it will lose its power.

    “Moral influence dies under party action.”

    –Lydia Marie Child, Abolitionist, 1842

    via Gus.