Dear Readers: Continuing on with my Operation Steadfast series (looking at the past/present/future of the Tea Party movement), I would like to stress that the cornerstone of our civic activism is that we have opinions and ideas that are no less valid then those within the elite NYC/DC corridor. Sadly, some “Tea Party Leaders” and longtime pundits do not seem to understand that the usual rules no longer apply.
Today, we take a look at the adventures of Tea Party Patriots President, Jenny Beth Martin. During a very muddled interview after the South Carolina primary, Martin said: ”A Newt win is a win for the Tea Party”(Hat-tip, Lipstick Underground).
Charitably, I will assume she meant this in the sense I expressed yesterday: Three victors for three voting events in three different states means that people are NOT taking top-down orders and that grassroots activism is compelling candidates to work aggressively for support. However, it is most disconcerting that she could not express the concept more succinctly so it didn’t seem like a Tea Party endorsement of Newt. Click on Lipistick’s link above, so you can watch the video and judge for yourself.
There is no “tea party candidate” — and this is something I have been careful to highlight during every interview I have been privileged to give. Here is an example of the GOP Primary diversity in our blogging group, the SLOBs:
W.C. Varones: Paul supporter — Ron Paul stunning 24% second place in New Hampshire
KT Cat: Gingrich supporter — It’s Over When Chuck Norris Says It’s Over
B-Daddy: Romney supporter — Electability
And I am sure their opinions, and yours, are open to some change depending on how the candidates handle the next several voting events. I am sure of only 2 things, in terms of Tea Party voting.
Beyond that, I cannot say.
As a Democrat, one of the hardest things for me to watch during the Tea Party process has been how the elite conservative punditry has knocked the stuffing out of the campaigns of the non-designated candidates. It is difficult seeing my Republican friends so disappointed by their former heroes. For example, one of conservative punditry’s most glittering icons, Ann Coulter, went ballistic on Newt Gingrich after his win in South Carolina.
Gateway Pundit has the rant: Ann Coulter Even Manages to Pi$$ Off Bill O’Reilly After Her Unhinged Tirade Against Newt (Video). For example, Coulter said this about South Carolina voters:
As Shrine Friend Patriot76 notes: No, we’re just supposed to buy books with titles that are glib cheap shots!
MUT Prophecy: Ann’s next book won’t be selling quite as vigorously as her others. When you get your panties in a wad and insult your customer base, chances are high that your customers won’t be supporting future efforts.
That’s how the Goddess of Capitalism rolls:
Speaking of Patriot76, here is the continuing dialog that is the inspiration behind this series:
Patriot76: How was Tea Party leadership decided at the National level?
I can only somewhat answer that question, as I am not a business major. However, I think as donations poured, so that tea party networks could be established and its ideals promoted, the initial organizers who were well-connected and experienced became those national leaders. Also, when you incorporate, you have to designate a President (in the case of the SoCal Tax Revolt Coaltion, Dawn Wildman) and a CEO (ie., Sarah Bond). Happily, I merely opine, so I was tagged “Media Director”. With the larger-scale model, like Tea Party Patriots, there is a board of directors, but I assume it is a combination of many factors that make up the designations. Because of her tireless work and great organization of California, Dawn is part of national leadership. I can personally attest to how hard Mark Meckler has worked to promote Tea Party Patriots. However, I am not as familiar with the rest of the upper tier – yet.
In other words, there is no “tea party election”. People are assigned to the roles they either want or are willing to have, as long as the people in charge of the funding agree.
Patriot76: The answer to the previous question will answer this question, “How are TP leaders removed?” And if the cannot be then the fact is that any national TP organization that becomes an arm of the GOP (or the Dems), will ruin the name and integrity of Tea Party.
I think the essay has answered your question: Remove the funding, and the national organization ceases to exist.
A year ago, I might have thought this was a bad thing. However, I have come to the conclusion that real citizen activists, who wish to truly do public service, are currently more focused on local and state matters. So, it is now my opinion the largest Tea Party structure should be statewide – rather like a Tea Party application of the 10th amendment.
That is, unless the national organizations remove blatant partisan connections and the top-down policy approach and become the networking agent that they originally were.
Making statements that are seeming endorsements of highly flawed candidates is not a step in the right direction. Bashing voters who do their civic duty by voting, just because you don’t like their decision, is totally wrong-headed. Americans have now learned to value their opinions and ideals MORE than those offered by our supposed betters.
Truly, the usual rules no longer apply.