Editor’s Note – What’s important to understand is that there is a generalization at play here that is largely inaccurate.
The article refers to “the Tea Party leaders” while referencing the national organization Tea Party Patriots. This organization, which bills itself as the largest tea party group, has emerged on the national scene as a leading force in the movement, but, by no means leads the movement.
In fact, at the local level, TPP and other national groups are little more than a resource for organizers. Furthermore, when you start looking at the make up of most of these national groups, you quickly come to realize that there are forces in play that scarcely resemble the true nature of the tea party movement.
Just as we see in every other facet of our society, money, ego and the quest for power seems to drive folks far more than a noble cause. And, as is often the case, those who manipulate the process the best are the ones who emerge as the most prominent.
Closer to the farm, the tea party is more principle driven, which was indicated when scores of local organizers repudiated the actions detailed below. Some will jump on this as a sign of discord within the ranks, however, it’s simply a matter of policing our own. After all, if the tea party is to be taken seriously, it cannot establish one set of standards for our lawmakers and an entirely different standard for itself.
And, to their credit, the leadership of Tea Party Patriots, after several awkward attempts at acknowledging its mistake without actually accepting responsibility for it, seems to be slowly coming to grips with the negative impact of their actions and have gotten as close to apologizing as one may expect from such a lofty perch.
All’s well that ends well? Only if the freshman class of legislators is as understanding and forgiving as we hope them to be!
Tea Party Irks New Members With Tactic To Promote Its Event
By Molly K. Hooper
A Tea Party tactic to pressure new lawmakers not to attend a privately sponsored orientation event in D.C. this weekend was unwarranted, according to frustrated incoming GOP House members.
Competing freshmen lawmaker orientation events over the weekend prompted the Tea Party leaders recently to encourage their followers to bombard newly elected GOP House members with the message that they must attend a Tea Party-sponsored event for local organizers instead of a separate orientation offered at the same time by the conservative Claremont Institute.
But incoming members say they never received an invitation to participate in the Tea Party Patriots event held in the Ronald Reagan building in Washington, D.C., on Sunday.
“Nobody received any type of (invitation), it was just ‘this is what’s happening, please don’t go here,’ but I’m a big boy and I can choose where I need to go and where I need to be,” incoming Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) said in an interview on Sunday afternoon before heading into a meeting at the Capitol Hill Club, a Republican unofficial headquarters in the shadow of the U.S. Capitol, with members of his freshmen class.
“I didn’t know it was happening until I started getting inundated with emails and (messages) filling up my voicemail,” West’s colleague told The Hill.
One irate incoming member told The Hill that the Tea Party tactic to release personal contact information of the new class was “extremely counterproductive and, in all honesty, an incredible violation of privacy.”
Tea Party Patriots coordinators sent out a message to followers late Saturday night with the subject line “FRESHMEN ORIENTATION CLARIFICATION” after it was apparent that they needed to repair the damage done as a result of poor scheduling.
“One of the main goals of the Tea Party Patriots is to help tea partiers across the country stay informed and communicate about issues which concern them. In doing so, we will occasionally ruffle feathers. And sometimes it requires that we step back and reevaluate our actions,” coordinators Jenny Beth Martin, Mark Meckler, Debbie Dooley, Sally Oljar, Diana Reimer and Dawn Wildman wrote.
Though they said they did not intend for Tea Partiers to “flood” new members’ personal phones and emails with messages, they justified the decision as “this was our only way to communicate with them since they do not have an ‘official’ line of communication at the present time.”
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