So, I’m not down with tea parties.

I’m sorry; I can’t put my arms around the concept. Tea (Taxed enough already), that certainly applies to me, and probably to most that attend the tea parties, but what does assembling like minded individuals in large groups accomplish? “Never under estimate the gathering of stupid people in large groups” – Dispair Inc.

The Sarah Palins of the world can come and spew patriotic propaganda and get the crowd in a fervor, but at the end of the day, what is accomplished. I don’t know, but what I fear is the spawn of another political party. The tea party eerily reminds me of the original Reform Party, albeit without the financial backing.

Everyone was upset with the then President Bush, we didn’t like the sassy young governor of Arkansas (with no experience), so here comes a self made billionaire with a vision and resources to match. You know the rest, but all that was accomplished is getting a man elected for the first time with fewer than 40% of the vote and holding back the Republican Party for years.

So teach me PD aficionados, why is this better?


  • Simon

    The Tea Party consists of people from across the political spectrum all wanting government to get back to its’ Constitutional roots. That can’t be bad for the GOP or the country as a whole.

  • Red State Eddio

    If the TP is to celebrate conservatism and rally like-minded folks to key causes of it…good.

    If it scares the begeebers out of R’s who want to waffle on said key issues…good.

    If it creates a true conservative in races where there are none…good, to a point.

    But if it’s trying to become THE conservative party of America, then that is not good.

    Because every movement takes time, money, and energy–and the question would be how long, and at what price, would it take to get this thing up to that nationally viable, organizational level.

    Two full terms of Obama with Dem majorites is more than this ticker is prepared to endure just for the sake of a viable conservative alternative. I say party hardy, then galvanize the Repub’s and force them to be honest and committed to those key issues, ones that indies and even the rare conservative Dems could embrace and come along with.

    Not to beat a dead horse, but that’s what Reagan did. I was around for Reagan 1, and am now looking for Reagan 2.

    • Christopher Nutter

      If the Tea Party actually believes their own rhetoric regarding limited government, they’ll be forced to either exert pressure on the GOP to make substantial changes or else to form their own break-away party.

      I don’t see how you can argue for libertarian style microscopic government on one hand and argue for massive, potentially decades-long occupations of two countries on the other.

      • Brian H

        I don’t believe a majority of Tea-Party movement is microscopic libertarian. My sense is that the majority of these folks are social and economic conservatives. Their anger with the GOP is that the GOP has often abandoned its conservative platform. Most conservative minded Americans are sympathetic to many libertarian positions but would stop short of demanding a libertarian style government.

        I also believe that you would find most of these people to have, and continue to, support the military action in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is another area where Ron Paul lost many people within the GOP on issue of the war. One could argue the merits of the wars but I don’t believe one could argue where the majority of the GOP, and Tea-Party members fall on this issue.

  • Kristen Berry

    Funny thing Rusty, I got slammed by all the PD contributors in 2009 for writing a very similar post. I’m sure it’s still somewhere in the archives, but I agree with you 100%.

  • Whodat

    The Reform Party was built around one man –
    The Tea parties are built around collective frustration, anger and desire for change.

    I suspect that most tea partiers learned from the New York congressional race that a 3rd candidate will elect a Democrat, just as happened with slick willie, so I doubt many will do that.

    But, those who T are the 800 lb canary in most elections and the Republicans better know it. If the Ts think the Republican is the same as the Dem, then they will sit it out, most likely.

    Bottom Line: RINOs beware if a Tea Party is there!

  • Brian H

    The Tea Party is not a political party and many conservatives who do not consider themselves part of the TP movement still appreciate their organization and welcome their support and fight for limited govt. and reduced spending.

    I wish the well organized and dedicated Ron Paul supporters would take a page from the TP movement and back good conservative GOP candidates who will be the only “Hope” to stop the Dems in Washington……I believe many of the TP followers are an extension of the Pauliites and their cause…..but not tied to one specific person or candidate.

    • Boru

      RP’ers do actively back conservative candidates…real conservatives…thus, the neocons don’t like them

      for example, Gary Johnson, Debra Medina, Kamal Jain

      Glenn Beck went out of his way to assure Medina lost.

      • Mrs. Rusty Shackleford

        Medina lost by herself by her own mouth. She was not clear and we DO NOT need week minded in the arena anymore! I am not a worshipper of any of the talking heads. I listen and use them for info to search on my own and Medina was wrong. Stand up for something and grow a back bone and whatever else. Quit whining someone lost it for her. She lost it! Enough with everyone being a victim. It’s old. Get over it. If she had it she would have articulated it correctly and been heard. I am offended that you make everyone out to just be sheep and by default that makes you a sheeple since you can’t do anything but blame someone except the person that lost.
        So ends my soap box.

        • Brian H

          Very well said. Medina lost because she was never really in it to begin with.

          The endless excuses are exactly what frustrates about the Paul/Medina flock.

      • Alaina

        Glenn Beck did not force her to say that she was a Truther.

        • Troy La Mana

          I have no problem with Truthers or Birthers.
          All they have to do is answer the questions.
          Is it really that hard?

    • Promise Kept

      Brian, you said Ron Paul supporters should “back good conservative GOP candidates”, but if tea-party folks are truly activist, while remaining uncommitted towards the neo-con rat-pack, then can you blame us for the GOP candidates failure to carry any political weight?

      I attended a local tea-party event on 4/15, wearing my “TYRANNY RESPONSE TEAM” t-shirt, taking photos among the 200 plus of my neighbors and friends. Many smiled as they read it and most gave me a thumbs-up, even after I told them that I bought it while Bush was Pres., knowing that, tragically, it wouldn’t go out of style, no matter who followed him.

  • Rusty Shackleford

    Across the political spectrum
    People are getting involved…
    Tired and frustrated….
    Well educated…
    Huge voting block…

    To quote one of my favorite movies “Yeah, but what is it exactly that you say you do h-e-r-e? –Office Space, Interviewer Bob.

    Neal, your poll sites tea party goers, I would imagine that those same people would be like minded and that the 8% that didn’t think he is a socialist probably only rated him as an uber liberal. I don’t dispute that. But, the tea partiers equal about 1% of the voting population.

    “I attribute the delay in passing health care to the Tea Party, as well as Cap and Trade” I don’t consider delaying horrible legislation as a victory for the tea party. Cap and trade is next and if the Dem’s want to pass it, it won’t matter what the tea partiers do.

    Go back and re-read that post that Jason put up a few weeks (March 8th 6 reasons Barack Obama is still the odds on favorite in 2012). That is a powerful editorial, sure his poll numbers are dropping, most Presidents do, but when you rank him against a Palin, Romney, or any other GOP’er, his number come right back up.

    I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t see the ground swell you all feel is happening.

    I know I’m cynical, but until I see a movement at the voting booth the tea party movement is just a bunch of people waiting around for something.

  • kristen

    I applaud the tea partiers. It’s a large movement that should not be ignored (nor scoffed at by our POTUS). They represent a huge voting block and are ready to rumble this November.

    I don’t necessarily want a separate party or anything; but I like that they are (unofficially) shaking up the GOP. Most of these TEA party people are smart and informed. I think Obama’s agenda has been the last straw for so many people and they are finally speaking out. It’s not just the past year and a half (though that’s a big chunk); it’s the last several decades of progressive garbage being shoved our way….and the folks have had ENOUGH!

  • Brian H

    Despite what the media says the Tea Partiers are more educated and sophisticated then they get credit for. They understand the political landscape and understand that another political party is not beneficial to them or America’s future. They are smart enough to know that silly concepts of a third parties are a guarentee of another four years of Obama and a Democratic congress.

    Like the Paul voters, if organized correctly, they can hold the GOP’s feet to the fire and make for a stronger GOP party that has true ideological and policy differences the leftist in charge.

  • Neil Braithwaite

    I agree with you Alaina.

    Most conservatives I’ve heard expressing doubts about the Tea Party are unknowingly buying-in to the liberal media’s propaganda about the movement. I tell them to ignore the media because they support Obama and his socialist agenda.

    Yes, I said socialist – and the majority of Americans agree. Check out this poll released today:

  • Alaina

    I agree with you that the Tea Party should remain a movement and not become a political party, but I disagree that it hasn’t accomplished anything.

    For the first time, many people from all parties are getting involved. They’re paying attention and they’re letting their voices be heard. It’s something that we should applaud and strive for ourselves.

    People are tired and frustrated of all the nonsense in Washington and, for the first time at least in my generation, are putting up a fight. I attribute the delay in passing health care to the Tea Party, as well as Cap and Trade.

    Tea Partiers understand what’s going on in this country. They’re educating themselves on the issues and, as a result, they’re passing that knowledge along to others (friends, family, co-workers, etc.). Personally, I think that’s the single most crucial element needed to defeat Obama in 2012. He was elected because people believed what they heard from the media and because he gave nice speeches. They didn’t pay attention to what he was saying, but now, thanks to the Tea Party, people are waking up to that and reading between the lines.

  • Troy La Mana

    The Tea Party consists of people from across the political spectrum all wanting government to get back to its’ Constitutional roots. That can’t be bad for the GOP or the country as a whole.

  • Christopher Nutter

    Unfortunately for the GOP they need the Tea Party. There are only so many trust fund babies and millionaires in the country; the GOP needs an energized base consisting of ordinary Americans that can compete with the Democrat’s populism.

  • East of Eden

    I think the TEA Party movement has helped people get involved, meet up, organize and things of that nature — which are all good. However, as for changing the minds of politicians? I don’t think it’s done that, or if it has, they are not admitting that. I do however, hope that it does not become it’s own party. We have a two party system, yes it stinks, but it’s what we have, so work with it.