View Full Version : Tea Party Meltdown?

Gayle in MD
01-29-2010, 03:53 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">NEW YORK A planned convention of Tea Party activists lost two prominent speakers Thursday, the latest sign of disagreement over how best to showcase the movement's growing political force.

Republican Reps. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota and Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee canceled their appearances after being billed as speakers at the gathering next week in Nashville, Tenn. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin remains a headline speaker at the event.

Both Bachmann and Blackburn have been strong supporters of the Tea Party movement, a loose confederation of conservative activists who opposed the federal bailouts of the financial system and auto giants GM and Chrysler, as well as President Barack Obama's proposed health care overhaul and the $787 billion stimulus plan he championed. Tea partiers also helped Republican Scott Brown win a Massachusetts Senate seat long held by Democrat Edward M. Kennedy.

The convention had attracted several sponsorships from Tea Party affiliate groups.

But other tea partiers have openly balked at the $550 ticket price and $100,000 fee being paid to Palin for the keynote address, saying the high prices are contrary to the movement's grass-roots image and preclude many activists from attending.

In separate statements released by their congressional offices, Bachmann and Blackburn said appearing at the convention might conflict with House ethics rules. But they also said they had concerns about how money raised from the event would be spent.

Blackburn said she had spoken to Judson Phillips, a Nashville lawyer who organized the convention, and told him that the gathering's "for-profit status has put many of his speakers in an awkward position."

Bachmann said critics should not view her withdrawal as a "repudiation" of the Tea Party movement. "That couldn't be further from the truth," she said.

The congresswomen's decisions to drop out followed those of several other groups, including the American Liberty Alliance and the National Precinct Alliance, whose involvement had been prominently displayed on the convention's Web site. The Tea Party Express, another group that had been billed as attending, said Thursday it, too, would bow out.

"There's just a tremendous amount of anger about the ticket price," National Precinct Alliance head Philip Glass said in an interview.

Phillips did not return calls for comment. On his Facebook page, he denied that the convention was running into problems and noted that former Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo, a prominent opponent of illegal immigration, would attend.

"The hard left is really worried the convention will be a success," Phillips said.
<span style="color: #000066">HA HA HA! </span>

Associated Press writer Eric Schelzig in Nashville contributed to this report.


/forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif <span style="color: #000066">Awe, Blackburn, Bachman won't be there??? Just one nutcase in attendance then, Palin? Yep, she'll be there to collect her $100,000. for a speech. LMAO! Imagine people paying her that kind of money to deliver a speech that nobody can figure out.</span> /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Produced by HuffPost's Eyes & Ears Citizen Journalism Unit

Tea parties are proving very attractive to both white supremacists and the militia movement. At 11:15 on Friday, in an online Patriot Caucus discussion forum, David E. Parsons wrote a post called "Militia Training Videos," with links to videos by Mark Koernke, a leading figure in the American militia movement, and his followers.

One video linked to from the Patriot Caucus forum (embedded below) features militiamen emerging from a smoke-screened forest, armed with assault rifles, with the instructions: "Train as you will fight... So that you will fight as you have trained!!!"

Militants such as Koernke have referred to their cause as the Patriot Movement for years. Meanwhile, multiple tea party groups are springing up which refer to themselves as "militias." Eric Odom, executive director of American Liberty Alliance, created the Patriot Caucus website on which the militia recruitment post was made. He has yet to respond to a January 22 email informing him of the post. At time of publication, the post was still up.

But militants are not the only ones infiltrating the Tea Party movement. The white power movement views Tea Parties as opportunities to recruit as well as incite violence, as is evidenced by postings on the white power website Stormfront:

Whites Forward: "Go where our people are starting to stand up around symptoms of the problem, and INTERVENE to guide them. Just because these started as an anti-tax protest doesn't mean that they must be limited and can't be developed upward toward an explicitly racial mass struggle."
Scottish: "I think the "tea party" is a good way to meet people with potential. Most people at this event will be white people who are fed up with the direction of things and they are ready to hear how we got into this mess."
On Jan. 22 the Council of Conservative Citizens attended a Florida Tea Party, where members distributed two boxes of their newsletter and 250 Council business cards. The CofCC is the political face of the white power movement. Their mission statement declares that they "oppose all efforts to mix the races of mankind, to promote non-white races over the European-American people."

Last November, neo-Nazi J.T. Ready started a fight by unfurling a Hitler flag at an Arizona Tea Party. In the recent documentary, "White Power USA", Ready describes the Tea Party movement as "the beginning of a really good awakening." White supremacists believe that they are only the tip of an iceberg, the visible aspect of a more universal hatred. The documentary suggests that white supremacists sees Tea Parties as "the best chance in decades to cross over into mainstream American politics."


Video here: