TEA party protests itself for being elitist 8 replies

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Commissar MercZ

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#1 11 years ago

Latest tea party target: Its own convention | Reuters

POLITICO (Washington) -The convention is being held at a fancy resort, features $550 ticket prices, a steak and lobster dinner and a guest speaker with a $100,000 speaking fee. It's sponsored by a for-profit company with a mysterious wealthy benefactor, and its organizers, who have been accused of secrecy and corruption, have threatened lawsuits against dissenters and clamped down on news coverage.

Sounds like just the kind of thing that tea party activists, whose populist outrage is directed at the Washington and Wall Street establishments, would be up in arms over.

Except it's a tea party convention.

Billed as a pivot point to transition the tea party movement from a chaotic uprising to an organized and sustainable political force and featuring Sarah Palin as its star attraction, the first-ever convention in Nashville from February 6 to February 8 is instead shaping up as a reminder of the problems inherent in holding together a fractious coalition of local groups resistant to authority and pursuing often-conflicting agendas.

It was the brainchild of Judson Phillips, a Tennessee lawyer who — as first reported by POLITICO — is running the event through a for-profit Tennessee corporation he controls called Tea Party Nation. Most political conventions are conducted by nonprofits. Yet Phillips originally intended to turn a profit from the endeavor, with the cash going to fund a so-called 527 group that would air ads praising conservative candidates or criticizing their opponents. But Phillips now concedes he didn't fully grasp the complexities of pulling off the convention and is merely hoping to break even, despite recently selling out the last remaining tickets. In addition to 600 tickets at the $550 level, which will admit attendees to the convention and Palin's speech, Tea Party Nation offered an additional 500 tickets to Palin's keynote for $350 each.

American Majority, a leading training outfit for tea party organizers, canceled two planned sessions at the convention and withdrew its sponsorship after learning about the convention's for-profit structure and the criticisms of Phillips.

Ryun asserted that the newness of the tea party movement makes it a sort of Wild West where groups and individuals are vying for supremacy and said it's incumbent on activists and leaders to raise red flags about activity they see as questionable.

"If this kind of stuff is not called out, eventually it will delegitimize the movement and we're not going to let that happen," Ryun said.

That's why some activists are weighing the possibility of protesting outside the convention, said Anthony Shreeve of Dandridge, Tenn. Shreeve is a former Tea Party Nation member who resigned from the convention steering committee in a dispute with Phillips over finances. "It would really look bad for tea parties to be out there protesting the tea party," said Shreeve.

Oh gee, who'd've thought that TEA is astroturf?

Long store short, Some TEA supporters worried about the reputation the convention would show, especially with their claims of being fully grassroots, and are trying to back track from it. It's not unsurprising that TEA in the end would not be all that different from the political groups they often bash. And unsurprisingly, merely adds to the claims they are being controlled by special interest groups.




PhasmatisApparatus

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#2 11 years ago

The tea party movement is a great example of the fractured political landscape we have here. The tea parties were started by libertarian-leaning conservative minivan-driving types who thought it was a good idea (which is debatable, given it's apparent ineffectiveness in retrospect) to start a "tea party" to protest the tax-and-spend liberals in both the democrat AND republican parties.

Unfortunately, public figures like Glenn Beck (who is about as emotionally stable as that "leave britany alone" girl) and Sarah Palin (who is just another political hack trying to pretend to be a conservative in hopes of gliding into the presidency on the hopes and dreams of a multitude of foolish republican voters) wanted in on the hot teabag-throwing action, so they got in their limos and private jets and made sure that the spotlight was back on THEM the REAL spokespeople for conservatism, and not a bunch of small-time libertarians who just wanted to protest taxes.

Suddenly, the tea parties aren't about stopping taxes, they were just another anti-obama, pro-republican platform for Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck. But their books! Get their autographs!

Republicans disgust me.




Commissar MercZ

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#3 11 years ago

What confuses me about them is if they truely felt libertarian, they would have coordianted with libertarian groups.

However the majority of TEA baggers are just angry Republican supporters, who throw around the term "libertarian" because they think it simply means no taxes.

And they have had some investigations in groups that are being backed by groups who use to back GOP candidates in their areas.

Past that it does illustrate the fracturing they are going through. As they have fear mongered enough to help in dragging out debates on Congress, their supporters are beginning to pull the plug and now they are fracturing and fighting for who will emerge as dominant figures.

If my history is not mistaken, a similar movement did come out in the 1990s which crashed and burned the same way. Their greatest success was getting Jesse Ventura elected as governor of Minnesota, but they were ended by the same splits over ideological differences and funding.

Oh, and I suppose they just happened to have ended when George W. Bush was elected. So much for sticking to your guns.




EO Violation

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#4 11 years ago

Just throwing this out there...

$550 for a ticket to a political convention is pocket change. Prices are often four times that much for a fundraiser dinner in Washington. You might pay $25 as a mail-in donation and get a bumper sticker. But if you pay, in this case, $550, then you get an invite to a dinner.

Republicans disgust me.

Do you think the Democrats are any better, really?




Commissar MercZ

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#5 11 years ago

EO Violation;5227138Just throwing this out there...

$550 for a ticket to a political convention is pocket change. Prices are often four times that much for a fundraiser dinner in Washington. You might pay $25 as a mail-in donation and get a bumper sticker. But if you pay, in this case, $550, then you get an invite to a dinner.

This is what they were accusing the mainstream parties of doing, however. Having big events with luxurious things that are out of the reach of what ever a "real" American is, that is what they had accused the "Washington" politics of doing. And the article has a lot more in there too, particularly over the two organizers of the events which are trying to turn some profit for other purposes.

Once you get to that point, it is not a "grassroots" organization, nor as it ever. It's shown their true colors of merely being another cog in the machine. The few ideologues who genuinly believed in it as such are the ones who are trying to move against their leader, on account of it would make them no different from what they think is ruining America.

There were other real "grassroots" groups in the past which organized with out over-the-top conventions, mass funding from other groups, and constantly were on the move,even if it meant they would lose money or get arrested in the processes.

What's TEA's excuse? Oh yeah, they aren't really grassroots.




PhasmatisApparatus

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#6 11 years ago
EO Violation;5227138Do you think the Democrats are any better, really?

Not in the slightest. :D




EO Violation

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#7 11 years ago

Commissar MercZ;5227172This is what they were accusing the mainstream parties of doing, however. Having big events with luxurious things that are out of the reach of what ever a "real" American is, that is what they had accused the "Washington" politics of doing. And the article has a lot more in there too, particularly over the two organizers of the events which are trying to turn some profit for other purposes.

Once you get to that point, it is not a "grassroots" organization, nor as it ever. It's shown their true colors of merely being another cog in the machine. The few ideologues who genuinly believed in it as such are the ones who are trying to move against their leader, on account of it would make them no different from what they think is ruining America.

There were other real "grassroots" groups in the past which organized with out over-the-top conventions, mass funding from other groups, and constantly were on the move,even if it meant they would lose money or get arrested in the processes.

What's TEA's excuse? Oh yeah, they aren't really grassroots.

If that is your standard, then there has never been a grassroots movement in the political history of the United States.

What the Tea Party "movement" is all about is small government. It has nothing to do with status equality. The tea parties were organized in protest of Obama's spending policy. Specifically handing out money to banks, even ones that were giving their executives large bonuses.

No offense man, but from the sound of it you're formulating your entire opinion of what the Tea Party movement is about based on what you've read in the news. Probably not news that wants to report anything favorable about them. It started over anger with how the country was being led. Yeah, it really is that simple.




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#8 11 years ago
EO Violation;5227373If that is your standard, then there has never been a grassroots movement in the political history of the United States.

Uh huh, what about the Vietnam protests of both persuasions? The labor drive in the turn of the century? The abolitionists? The know-nothings?

They didn't have to have over-the-top conventions and weren't being backed by the same PACs that Republicans were working with for a long time.

You know, the special interest groups they keep saying are ruining Washington.

Hell, I would go so far as to say that America First was a more grassroots group than TEA. And that's saying a lot.

TEA is a political pressure group, and they are making their concerns known. There is nothing wrong with that, however, trying to pass themselves off as grassroots is questionable. Calling it "grassroots" would do an insult to those who had genuine grassroots movements without all the pomp in the past.

Look at the people who protest WTO, who came out to protest NAFTA, the G8/20 summits year after year, regardless of who is in power, regardless of what Glenn Beck and Limbaugh ,or Maddow and Olbermann, are yelling about, and come there year after year regardless of whether a Democrat or Republican happens to be sitting in the presidential office. Sure they don't have a poster child like Palin, but they come out there already knowing the people are going to focus on what they break or how they riot, and gloss right over their original intent.

What the Tea Party "movement" is all about is small government. It has nothing to do with status equality. The tea parties were organized in protest of Obama's spending policy. Specifically handing out money to banks, even ones that were giving their executives large bonuses.

So where were they when TARP was going to be passed? Or runaway spending in all sectors for the past 15 years? Or the PATRIOT Act? Where was the noise over "freedom", "liberty", "small government", etc then?

Sorry, I don't buy their argument of being for small spending and responsible spending, or else they would have been CONSTANTLY out there regardless of which political party is in power, and being an active fixture in American politics. Just because what they say sounds admirable, doesn't mean that it will translate into reality.

No offense man, but from the sound of it you're formulating your entire opinion of what the Tea Party movement is about based on what you've read in the news. Probably not news that wants to report anything favorable about them. It started over anger with how the country was being led. Yeah, it really is that simple.

No, I'm merely taking concern whether the movement is genuine or not. The same shit happened in the 1990s with the Reform Party following Ross Perot's failure to beat George HW Bush in 1992. They agitated enough to "reshape" their Republican politicians, and reclaim a Republican majority in the 1990s, but after that they went severely down hill. They got wrecked by infighting and splits, and lost their revenue. They had done their job for their masters and were left to sink.

If a movement is so short-lived like that, it has always indicated there are other forces manipulating it. The media hasn't really covered them unless they could find one was either stupid or racist, and notice I didn't mention this at all in my posts. This does not, however, make my arguments moot.

I think anyone who is not blinded by their own political bias can see that there are irregularities with the way the various TEA groups conduct themselves. Even TEA members themselves are calling out the convention because it goes against everything they think they stand for.

There has been investigations earlier that linked one TEA branch to a GOP PAC, right here.

Majority Of Tea Party Group's Spending Went To GOP Firm That Created It | TPMMuckraker

TEA activists were quiet about this until they realized it couldn't be hidden anymore and could potentially backfire on their reputation.

They aren't the heroes they pass off to be. They're angry people that are concerned, yes, but they are hardly acting out of their own initiative. They're allowing other people to lead them like sheep with fear mongering until their objective is accomplished.

And wasn't that, after all, what TEA was blasting about politics nowadays?

Though it's ok if "average" Americans do it, I suppose. :rolleyes:




Crazy Wolf Advanced Member

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#9 11 years ago
EO Violation;5227138...$550 for a ticket to a political convention is pocket change. Prices are often four times that much for a fundraiser dinner in Washington. You might pay $25 as a mail-in donation and get a bumper sticker. But if you pay, in this case, $550, then you get an invite to a dinner...

I'd just like to point out, that's a fundraiser dinner, as in, you go in with the expectation and intent of giving a lot of money to the people running it. A political convention is a different matter, where the objective shouldn't be moolah.