All Tea Parties Are Not Created Equal

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Recently Kevin McCarney was quoted, first in the Denver Post and later in the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, in stories about how the IRS went after conservative groups and how Western Slope Conservative Alliance (WSCA) was hassled by the IRS and still does not have its not-for-profit status. These days WSCA is calling themselves Freedom ! Colorado.

There is a long and quite sordid story behind this story, and it is about the Republican Party being scared to death of the Tea Party. The Tea Party, truly a grass roots movement, grew out of discontent with government spending. But locally it got hijacked by Western Slope Conservative Alliance, an invention of the Republican Party. Kevin McCarney, recently transplanted from Chicago, eventually joined the hijackers. However one of the first hijackers was Janet Rowland, Mesa County Commissioner at the time, previous candidate for Lt. Governor, and current Director of the Center for Local Government at Colorado Mesa University, another Tim Foster Republican hire.

I’ve been told that Richard Shoenradt, a previous Tipton staffer and one of the first directors of WSCA advocated for WSCA to be called Western Conservative Coalition (WCC) just to irritate Western Colorado Congress (WCC), which works diligently to protect the air, water, and soil quality on the Western Slope, and frequently is at odds with the oil and gas industry. Full disclosure, I sit on the board of Western Colorado Congress.

But I digress. The original Tea Party event in Grand Junction was put together by GJResult/Tea Party. It was a rally in Lincoln Park with as many as 3,000 attendees protesting what they perceived as runaway spending by the government. At the time Janet Rowland offered to put organizers in touch with a local DJ with a sound system. With the day of the event approaching, Rowland announced that she had promised speaking slots to several Republicans and that the Republican Women would handle the sign-up for the event. GJResult/Tea Party considered themselves non-partisan and did not want the GOP to control their event. Rowland threatened to cancel the P.A. system, effectively blackmailing the Tea Party into submission on that day.

I heard much of this story from a local activist who calls himself American Patriot. His frustration with trying to tell the story to local reporters led him to start posting comments at my blog. To his surprise, even though I’m a known liberal, I did not delete his comments. You see, I actually believe in free speech. I rarely agree with American Patriot on policy issues, but I do believe he has a right to speak his mind, so I had no problem with allowing those posts to stay available to the public. Eventually Kevin McCarney started posting there also. Still further along the time line, McCarney dictated that nobody should post anything at my blog, although American Patriot continues to post occasionally to this day.

It didn’t take long for GJResult/Tea Party to realize that the Republican Party was not a trustworthy partner in their grass roots efforts. Two months after its founding, the two Tea Party friendly members of WSCA were voted off the board. Once these individuals were removed, the remaining board was a who’s who of Mesa County Republicans: Jennifer Bailey, President (Two Rivers 9:12 Representative); Janet Rowland, Vice President (At-Large Member); Rose Pugliese, Secretary (Mesa County Young Republicans Representative, and current County Commissioner); Richard Shoenradt, Treasurer (At Large Member); Lois Dunn (At Large member and current Mesa County GOP Chair); Ruth Ehlers (Mesa County Republican Women Representative, and immediate past Mesa County GOP Chair), Karen Kulp (At Large member); Jeff Laney (At Large member); Duncan McArthur (At Large member); Sandy Peeso (Pro Second Amendment Representative); Kelly Sloan (Americans for Prosperity- Mesa County Chapter Representative, advisor to Steve King and a Canadian citizen); and Doug Thompson (At Large Member). 

When WSCA refused to allow the grass roots to vote on board members, GJResult/Tea Party, the actual grass roots group, officially resigned from WSCA. They believed in the democratic process. Eventually, in order to accept tax-deductible donations, WSCA allied themselves closely with Americans for Prosperity, at least that is where their on-line donations at the website were directed.

Another thing sticking in the craw of GJResult/Tea Party was their support of Bob McConnell for the CD3 seat. WSCA endorsed Tipton, who won the primary with 56% of the vote to McConnell’s 44%. GJResult/Tea Party felt the wishes of the grass roots were steam rolled by the local Republican Party which was on the Tipton bandwagon. To this day, GJResult/Tea Party does not support Tipton, despite his occasional teabag lapel pin.

GJResult/Tea Party began chaffing at the notion that WSCA would call themselves “THE” Tea Party. This hubris on the part of WSCA is largely why they are now known as Freedom ! Colorado. GJResult/Tea Party registered Western Slope Conservative Alliance/Tea Party with the Secretary of State in order to thwart WSCA efforts to call themselves “The” Tea Party and anointing their candidates with the tea party label.  It took almost two years for WSCA to realize that they did not own the Tea Party iteration of their name.

Thus began the name game. Both WSCA and the grass roots GJResult/Tea Party began searching for names, although for different reasons. GJResult/Tea Party needed a name for a sister group in Delta which had been using the name Western Slope Conservative Alliance/Tea Party. Various names were considered, including Colorado Liberty Alliance which was already taken by a Colorado Springs consulting group, which didn’t stop McCarney from using it for a while.  Another choice was Colorado Freedom Alliance, which GJResult/Tea Party registered on 1/17/13.  But that name was tainted when Kevin McCarney used it as his group name in sponsoring an “open carry” rally two days later. On 2/14/2013, GJResult/Tea Party registered the name Freedom Colorado. A little more than a week later, Kevin McCarney’s group sponsored a fundraiser, as a not-for-profit, at a local Grand Junction restaurant. This was a cash only fundraiser, presumably because they did not have the documentation required to open a checking account anywhere. Freedom ! Colorado is the name currently being used by the group formerly known as WSCA, although they frequently forget to use the exclamation point in communcations.

Kevin McCarney is the current leader of Freedom ! Colorado, but he lost his position as Vice Chairman of the local GOP during the last reorganization. It seems the Country Club Republicans got a little tired of the sleazy and controversial “educational” events promoted by Freedom ! Colorado, i.e. Agenda 21 conspiracy theories and “open carry” events.

It isn’t likely that McCarney decided on his own to go to the Denver Paper. American Patriot, co-founder of the GJResult/Tea Party, theorizes that Janet Rowland made the suggestion. It is a strategy that she has used in the past. McCarney is not the most reputable person on the planet, so it is amusing that he is now being given a voice by Front Range newspapers. For the record, Ray Scott and Kevin McCarney are friends. McCarney managed Ray Scott’s last campaign. There are unsubstantiated rumors that Scott helped McCarney hide assets from the IRS when McCarney pursued a personal bankruptcy, bringing the IRS story full circle.

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  1. American Patriot says:

    “What in the hell is wrong with you teabaggers?”  “Why don’t you  get with the program”?  When a Tea Party staff member reads those words in the opening of an email, their eyes glaze over because they know they’re about to get “bitch-slapped” by another arrogant, disgruntled Republican who assumes not only ownership of the Tea Party but presumes all conservatives are diehard Republicans.  Nothing could be further from the truth. 

    But that thought process is the common denominator of polar opposites.  The same assumption that the Tea Party is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Republican Party and that conservatives all wear the R brand is also common among Democrats.  That makes the Tea Party a traitor to one and a political enemy to the other.  Again, nothing could be further from the truth. 

    Unlike the Republican and Democrat Parties, our focus in not on winning elections because that won’t solve our problem which is runaway, un-sustainable spending by the federal government.  No matter which political party is in power, the nations debt just keeps growing and the reforms necessary for long term fiscal sustainability fall prey to the short term needs of politics. 

    So winning elections has nothing to do with the solution to the problem.  Elections only decide who decides, who has the power, not who has the will.  And the persuasion of power over the power of persuasion will not get the job done. 

    Both sides buy elections by offering government benefits to their base.  The Democrats do it with entitlements and redistribution of wealth.  The Republicans do by promising lower taxes on the wealthy and more military/defense spending which benefits the military industrial complex..  Both strategies are equally unaffordable and only contribute to the national debt.  But these strategies are the realities of boots on the ground politics. 

    Enter the Tea Party.  It was the runaway spending that created the Tea Party.  That’s our focus and our mission and that’s why our GJResult.Tea Party is non partisan by necessity.  We have to be able to hold both parties feet to the fire and that’s not a pleasant task for either one of them or us, but it is a very real part of holding politicians accountable to the people  for their actions.  We’re about as popular (in the political inner circles) as a debt collector waving bad checks in the faces of political hacks who are addicted to writing bad checks, against an ever growing inability of the common people to cash them. 

    To the extent our activities interfere with their political games, we offer no apology but rather an explanation; hey big spender, we don’t give a damn which political party you’re owned by,  Our problem comes from your alligator mouth writing checks that our canary incomes can’t cash.  And no, we’re not up for or on board with leaving your tab to be picked up by our children and grandchildren.   That’s not just okay with us and its not going to be a happening thing, because you work for us, we don’t work for you. 

    And that’s not just a Tea Party mantra, it’s a fact embodied in the inalienable  rights and self determination of free men   Another way of saying it is; “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,” — but that has more to do with totalitarianism and less to do with our immediate problem which is the inability of the people to afford the promises of politicians. 

    What began as a money problem that the Tea Party recognized, by default has now become a time problem and there’s far too little time left before the abyss of bankruptcy and a devalued currency for us to engage in the battles of partisan politics.  Without a solution, or even with a solution deferred, (kicked down the road) the unintended consequence will be the luxury of playing partisan politics that you enjoy will not be a game option for either your posterity or ours.  Now why is it exactly that you Democrat and Republican parties can’t get on board with that program?  Lord knows that we “teabaggers” could use just a little help in that direction and we don’t see either of you as political opponents but rather as a necessary part of the solution. 

    Our doors are open and so are our minds because we don’t have all the answers.  What we do know is that it will take all of us working together to solve the problem.  We hang together or most assuredly we will hang together. 

     

     

    • BlueCat says:

      Bull.  The Tea Party ( as a collection of various groups we refer to  under this one name for convenience)  has a problem because most voters don't agree with you.  The only reason the GOP is afraid of you is that, outside of safe districts, and red states, your favorite candidates can't get elected and when they win primaries in states like Colorado, as evidenced by the folks you forced on the GOP to run for Governor and Senator here who lost to Dems when the GOP actually should have had a pretty good shot, Dems have a much better  chance of getting elected

      No "Tea Party" candidate can be elected President and not enough can be elected in Colorado to take back the state legislature  nor can any become Governor or Senator.   Most just  don't want to vote for Tea Party blowhards who set themselves up as the only true patriots and the sole defenders of the constitution while demonstrating, if anything, less than average knowledge of what the heck is in it.

      You  are among those most likely to be birthers and other varieties of non-fact based conspiracy nuts and to hold up misspelled signs saying smart things like "Keep Your Government Hands off My Social Security".  The democratic process, not tyranny of any kind, is your real problem.

      If the GOP is scared of you morons, they have good reason to be.  Collectively, you are the astroturf monster  it created with money from the likes of the Koch brothers but the party has lost control and has no idea how to put the genie back in the bottle so it can start promoting policies and candidates that appeal to the majority of voters, return to a sane relationship of compromise and deal making with the other side of the aisle and, once again, have a future as a national party.

    • Duke Cox says:

       Now why is it exactly that you Democrat and Republican parties can’t get on board with that program? 

      Well, for one thing, AP, until you stop disrespecting my party by misstating our name, I am not getting on board with anything you do.

      I stopped referring to Tea Party members as "Teabaggers" a long time ago because a Tea Partier I respected asked me to. 

      Get a clue. 

  2. Duke Cox says:

    Home, Sweet Home.

  3. Curmudgeon says:

    I wouldn't presume to say AP is wrong for professing what he believes about the Tea Party (although I will take him to task for quoting Benjamin Franklin without attribution);  but he's conveniently sticking to his opinion of the local group(s), and ignoring the clear, undeniable evidence that Karl Rove, Fox News, and the Koch brothers were behind them on a national level.  

    Tea Party candidates are not moderates, or even conservatives.  They're hardcore right-wingers who preach nothing short of theocracy, speaking in bumper sticker language. The GOP tapped into the darker fringe elements of their party to gain momentum, and the Creature of Dr. Rovenstein is off the chain and wreaking havoc. They can't divest themselves from the crazies and risk the formation of a third party, and they can't make any real attempts at widening their base without offending the crazies.  

    As far as I'm concerned, it couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of folks (sarcasm fully and unabashedly intended).  

  4. American Patriot says:

    Blue Cat; Win elections?  Your opinions obviously take precedent to you over what I wrote.  I couldn’t have made the point better. 

    Cox; (Sorry about the typo.  I do really know it is Democratic not Democrat).  My choice lean to the kinder and gentler coming from the left; many of whom prefer American Taliban, but apparently “teabagger” did get your attention. 

    Curmudgeon; Karl Rove recently announced that the GOP would be selecting candidates to run against Tea Party candidates in the primaries.  Your see, the GOP believes that the political insurgency is coming from the grassroots Tea Parties.  The reality is that it’s coming from a faction within the GOP who gained power within the Repub party by claiming ownership of the Tea Party through co-opting, and where that failed by assuming a Tea Party persona. 

    Here’s a question for you.  Why did Freedom! Colorado (formerly the WSCA)promote their April 13 event at GJ’s Lincoln Park to the general public as a “Freedom Rally” but the event appeared on the Mesa County Repub Women’s website as a “Tea Party”?  Their concern is not from without but rather within.  What is your understanding of the reason behind Freedom! Colorado soliciting cash donations and operating using the group name, Freedom Colorado (no exclamation point) and who does that name really belong to?  A grassroots Tea Party?  Check at the Sec of State’s website. 

    • Curmudgeon says:

      AP, I could honestly care less about why there's a comical level of strife and disarray between the Tea Party and the GOP. Which Tea Party was the one questioning the President's legitimacy as a citizen, and/or his religious heritage? Which Tea Party carried the signs making cute allusions to "African Lions and Lyin' Africans"?    I remember some of the things on GJResult.com, do you?  

    • BlueCat says:

      So you disdain elections.  I would kind of think people who constantly yammer about being the biggest patriots and the most dedicated to the Constitution wouldn't hold the small "d" democratic process in such contempt.  Money is a huge factor but if it were everything in elected politics the only people who would win would be those backed by the Koch brothers and friends.  The majority doesn't vote the Tea Party way because they don't agree with you. Things like having Michele Bachmann as the House Tea Party Caucus leader don't help either.  The pols considered Tea Party candidates and favorites are extremists who appeal only to extremists. No wonder you aren't fond of the democratic process.

      Good luck holding anyone's feet to any fire as demographics continue to lessen your power. Once you succeed in destroying the GOP, which, let's face it, is the party with which you wield influence, then what? Who will care what your shriveling minority thinks or wants? And as for run away spending, the kind the Tea Party wants to cut contributes to economic health while the kind that subsidizes the wealthy and seems to be just peachy with you people sucks money out of the economy and, in case you haven't noticed, winds up off shore or invested in the ways that eliminate jobs.

      All over Europe and here at home we are seeing the failure of austerity as economic policy. Cuts, more than any immediate decisions at the time, created the lack of sufficient security that is the real root of what happened in Benghazi. Cuts eliminate teachers, police, fire fighters who used to spend in their communities'  private sector businesses, putting more people out of work. Cuts are turning our infrastructure into a shoddy dangerous mess.The list of economy damaging results of cuts goes on and on.

      There is absolutely no evidence of any economy ever having cut its way to prosperity. None. Period. The policies the Tea Party promotes are just plain stupid polices. And that's leaving aside all of your other stupidities like your base's obsession with silly conspiracy theories of all kinds, the most ridiculous of those concerning Obama and the UN with obvious roots in racism and xenophobia.

      And, by the way, the projected deficit is already decreasing and would no doubt decrease much more over time with investment instead of cuts, the kind of public investment in infrastructure, education, a rational healthcare system, etc. that, unlike huge tax breaks for the wealthy, create good jobs for the majority in both the public and private sectors. That is what creates a thriving economy, not austerity which is what your supposed small government (but not for, say, the oil companies) anti-tax philosophy boils down to. And your attitude toward the democratic process reveals your supposed ultra superior patriotism and love of the Constitution as a load of crap. The original tea party was to protest taxation without representation. It wasn't about public tax support for the common welfare being evil in  itself.

  5. Konola says:

    Here's what little bit I think I know. There is a grassroots movement that calls itself a Tea Party. There was an attempt by the GOP to own that label. When it became clear that the grassroots people wouldn't toe the GOP line, the GOP paniced. Hence Rove (GOP) announcing that he would primary Tea Party candidates. Speaking strictly as a Democrat, I have no problem watching the GOP implode, and can only hope that the grassroots folks figure out that the GOP is for corporations and the DEMS are for the little guy. But then I want DEMS to win elections.

    • American Patriot says:

       

       

      What very few Democrats, (even those that are politically active) realize is what is happening in Mesa County is only a microcosm of events that have happened and are happening nationwide.  Many grassroots Tea Parties fell by the wayside to co-opting efforts because they did not have the experience nor the inclination to realize or admit that they were being used for nefarious reasons.

      GJResult.Tea Party exists today not because of our capacity to politics but rather by the grace of God, the help of a long handled spoon and the mistakes that were made by those who hatched the co-opting plot.  Situational awareness is probably the most costly item that grassroots Tea Parties ever had to pay dearly for. 

      • Curmudgeon says:

        So, if the real Tea Party is non-partisan, and only concerned with fiscal responsibility (and who among us could argue against that?), and were only duped into appearing to support a myriad of nefarious GOP agendas…..

        …which of those nefarious GOP agendas do you repudiate now? 

        • American Patriot says:

          I believe you mistake my intentions.  I’m not here to renounce conservatism or Tea Party values and principles but I would like you to recognize that our Tea Party is not trying to be part of the problem.  We’re trying to find a solution that will allow us (in good faith) to tell our grandchildren we did everything that we could that their world would not be one of involuntary servitude to a debt they did not create nor deserve.  And working with people who do not share our convictions or concerns is not a bar for us in our efforts to fulfill that mission.  It’s simply a hurtle that must be overcome to fulfill our obligation to lives not yet lived or even begun. 

          Nothing would please most of us more than the opportunity to go back to being Grandparents full time and to remember politics as an unfortunate but necessary period in our lives.  Can we all get there from here?  I truly don’t know but it’s worth a try. 

          • Curmudgeon says:

            I didn't ask you to renounce conservatism, or Tea Party values or principles. You stated the real Tea Party was, for want of a better word, "used". So, what GOP agendas (purported to be those of the Tea Party) did you not support? 

            • American Patriot says:

              For me personally, I believe the most difficult thing to accept was the idea that politics boiled down was simply winning at all cost; that the people weren’t the ends but rather the means.  There are a lot of things that I don’t like about the Republican and the Democratic parties, but if I could change just one, I would change partisan politics from a blood sport into a search for leadership, and I would caution about division and remind that the power to create a future is accompanied by a duty to those who will occupy that future.

  6. harrydoby says:

    Having only Konola's and AP's words to judge from, it seems to me he's in the 1 percentile of "Tea Partyers" if that's even the right term to use.  The broad brush that we liberals might use to describe the ignorant dupes that belong to the typical Tea Party don't quite fit AP.

    Intelligent, principled and idealistic seem to fit.  However, to play in the political arena (in Grand Junction or on a liberal blog) professing that winning elections is not the goal is to unilaterally announce that you are no threat to the status quo.

    Yes the federal debt sounds like a huge, scary number.  But there are much bigger fish to fry for the time being.  The debt will only be managed once we have a functioning Congress.  We did it once during the Clinton years, without crashing the economy into deep recession.  The pendulum swing from Bush Hysteria to Obama Hysteria needs to stop somewhere in the middle, with fewer safely partisan members of Congress incentivized to make mischief in order to raise the money for their endless campaigns to keep their government jobs.

    AP — you want to make a difference?  Don't worry about the federal debt — we can manage that amount many times over.  What we can't afford is the indebteness that our elected representatives owe to their billionaire masters.  They are the ones you should be very afraid of and fight with your last breath. 

    Work to get money out of politics and then you'll make a difference, and maybe even get some people you actually agree with and support elected.

    • Curmudgeon says:

      If AP is in the 1 percentile of the Tea Party (which I don't doubt, neither do I doubt his intelligence or sincerity), then shouldn't the first job be to enlighten the remaining 99%, before you try to bring in anyone else whose failure to fall in line could be seen as disloyalty to the cause? 

    • American Patriot says:

      Harrydoby,

      First let me thank you for the kind words and then let me spoil that by saying I think you’re wrong.  I think there are far more than 1% of Tea Party members that are principled and fair minded people.  But then I work with them ever day and you don’t (or maybe you do and just don't know it) and perhaps your conclusions concerning the majority of Tea Partiers is a result of a deliberately created misconception as to who is really Tea Party and who is just temporarily using the Tea Party label for political gain.  

      The word threat is simply a fear factor created to affect change.  Truly many people believe that without the fear factor there can be no change.   If that is so, then why stop with proportional response?  Hasn’t it been said that war is simply diplomacy by other means?  But that way is not sustainable.  An occupation government ruled by either side would not long be tolerated.  You can campaign from the extremes but you can govern only from the center.  And the threat will be remembered long after the power is gone.  Consent of the governed does not by necessity mean full agreement and accord; rather it is the acceptance of shared space managed not by agenda or fear but by compromise.  If that is the goal, then the achievement of power by threat is counterproductive. 

      I think you’ll find most real Tea Party people have no wish to control any life other than their own and that’s why our adopted banner is the Gadsden Flag.  “Don’t Tread On Me” is not a threat, it’s a warning to those who live by it to tread lightly and with care and to mind where they put their footprint in that shared space. 

      I appreciate the conversation but I'm old and it's past my bedtime.  And hopefully there will be a tomorrow so I'm going to bed, which is a shame because I did enjoy talking to you. 

      • American Patriot says:

        Should have said to all of you.  Good night.

         

         

         

      • harrydoby says:

        AP — our disagreement is over what is the root cause of the disease we are fighting. To me the debt is merely a symptom of the larger problem of undue influence in our political system.

        This site had a great discussion about the history of the debt, with links to interesting articles showing how the deficit explosion really got started under the Reagan administration via the Santa Claus effect.http://www.politicalsantaclausstories.com/?cat=24

        By running up the deficit, the hope was to cause the inevitable cutbacks to be borne by those with the weakest voices in Congress.

        But that didn't work because both parties realized that they could fight each other to a standoff on entitlements and such.  So the problem simply got worse.  A healthy economy during the '90's also prevented reckoning, so the next GOP administration doubled-(tripled) down on the policy of unleasing deficit spending to again try to institute their social policies via budget cuts.  Remember Mr. "Deficits   Don't Matter"?

        I wish I had time to do the homework, but I have to get to my job.  You really need to understand the history and roots of our debt.  But it's merely a distraction to a much bigger game being played by our politicians.  The tactics employed by both parties are consistent with their respective agendas.

        We're not going to agree, and I doubt we'll convince the other to agree with our perceptions.

        But, if time permits, I'll at least try to monitor your posts.

        • American Patriot says:

          Ah yes, the distraction of the blame game, the very heart of partisan politics, accompanied by the historical perspective of hindsight which leads in the opposite direction, away from  oppressive debt, devaluation of currency and the inherent consequences in the future of the American people.

            By all means let us hold Ronald Reagan’s feet to the fire but it is doubtful that he will feel the heat, so by definition a fool’s errand.  While it is necessary to understand the roots of runaway debt, it’s probably more important to figure out where the brakes are on that train that’s rushing headlong toward a train wreck of biblical proportions. 

          I know how we got here and I know who is driving the debt train full speed ahead.  I’m just trying to figure out how to stop the damn thing from reaching its final, terminal destination with all three hundred million + American souls on board.  But I certainly welcome any help you can provide in reducing the speed in the meantime.  

          You see, we don’t have time to play the blame game.  To me it’s all about the souls saved or created. 

          • BlueCat says:

            ummm… it's slowing already. Sorry to spoil the drama for you.  The stock market is also doing just fine. The only ones not doing fine are the majority of Americans who work for paychecks for a living and the mania for austerity has manifestly not helped them at all. Cuts, not spending, are killing the economy.

      • ElliotFladen says:

        The Tea Party/Liberty movement got hijacked by people who cared less about its opening values and instead just wanted to make a name for themselves while pushing causes outside its values (look at all the anti-immigrant crap).  As a result, attendance at rallies, speeches, events, etc. predictably went down.  

        • American Patriot says:

          By jove, I think you’ve got it; at least the hijacked part. 

          But I noticed that you failed to mention the opposition to illegal immigration which is all about rule of law rather than racism or discrimination.  And much of that opposition emanates from the perceived presence of so many “undocumented pharmacists” both foreign and domestic.

          • Curmudgeon says:

            Aaaaand, the "Non-Partisan, Strict Constitutionalist, we're all about welcoming people into the real Tea Party" facade shatters as soon as scary brown people are mentioned. I especially like the passive aggressiveness of "perceived presence of so many “undocumented pharmacists” both foreign and domestic."    You can't have it both ways, AP.   You can't claim to be trying to rise above it all, while still acknowledging (and pandering to) the cretins with a sly wink.

            • ElliotFladen says:

              Agreed.  AP – the "rule of law" isn't as strong of a justification for a position as you are making it out when you are talking about fashioning the laws in question. 

              And I dispute your notion that opposition to reforming immigration is rooted in "rule of law" concerns.  It is instead rooted in largely false accusations of economic blight directed at the unauthorized immigrants in question. 

              All this being said, when the tea party became more about stuff like spreading false accusations at unauthorized immigrants and less about run away gov't spending it lost its momentum.  People didn't sign up to bash immigrants, bash dems, or go off on conspiracy theories.  People signed up to complain about gov't spending. 

              • American Patriot says:

                What I presented was a sum total of my experience in dealing with Tea Party people which I believe is more grounded in its consideration of motivations than constructed, agenda driven myths.  You of course have every right to believe as you see fit and all people should support your right to do. 

                As one of Native American heritage, I can certainly understand your concerns and I would also be one to recognize that there is discrimination and racism in existence but I have not seen it to a greater degree in Tea Party members.  Again, one of the problems is that anyone with ten bucks and an agenda can purchase a Gadsden Flag and announce themselves to be Tea Party, to hide the responsibility of their actions under the color of the Tea Party.  And by the nature of a nefarious agenda, they are more notable to the press and the pubic, who assumes and attributes their actions to a totally unrelated group.

                 Addressing that predicament is difficult because it involves the difference between knowing and showing and there are many who find it advantageous to accept created perceptions found favorable to their agendas.

                • ElliotFladen says:

                  AP,
                  I've spoken at a Tea Party rally before and have been pretty involved in the front range.  I feel pretty confident in my assessment of where the Tea Party stands, and how it has been hijacked/induced into hypocrisy, on the issue of immigration (amongst others). 

                  • American Patriot says:

                    If you’d really like to know the consequences of illegal immigration, ask a Native American. 

                    • Curmudgeon says:

                      Wow. That's a stretch.

                      But, if we apply that logic (and using that term tests the boundaries of credibility), wouldn't those from Mexico have more of a right to be here, especially in the Southwest? Seeing it was how it was stolen and all that?

                       

                • MADCO says:

                  Could not be better said (unless shorter is de facto better).

                  Which confirms BlueCat's conclusion – this is a recipe for irrelevance.

                  Anyone can claim to be Tea Party, thus diluting the message and risking blind attribution.  You nor anyone else has to care about winning elecitons.  But when you don't …you are like the witness to Matthew Bevilaquas murder sitting around reading about anarchy and lebertanism who immediately recants everything when he realizes who he id'd.

                  Irrelevant.

                  Not meaningless, not even useless. But irrelevant. GLWT.

                  But just so you know, when your great grandchildren are asking their parents the how s and why of this era, the approach you are advoacating wll be hardly a footnote.  Except for pictures of Gadssen flags and African Lions.

        • BlueCat says:

          Since there is no single official Tea Party, it can only be defined by those self identifying as supporters of the Tea Party movement and the candidates they support. Without exception, the candidates who get the support of  the overwhelming majority of those who self identify as Tea Party are against immigration reform with a path to citizenship, against marriage equality, for religious teaching such as creationism and intelligent design in science classes in public schools, for making it more difficult for students and minorities to vote,  against regulation that would keep Wall Street and  the Big corporations accountable, protect our workers, environment, air quality, water quality and food supply, against reproductive choice and most forms of birth control.  What this majority in the movement supports and opposes is the only relevant objective measure of what it means to be "Tea Party'".

          Polls don't show that the this majority ofTtea Party movement supporters supports those candidates in spite of the social stands they take, simply in support of their anti-tax, small  (but huge for the corporate sector) government stances but that the majority agree strongly with the social stance, too.

          A huge portion of those who self identify as Tea Party in polls also believe every bit of the racist/xenophobic conspiracy theories concerning Obama. On blogs and in other forums that identify with the Tea Party movement, large percentages of  participants are incapable of expressing their opposition to Obama's policies without the use of racist epithets. These aren't a few bad apples.  All of this is a very, if not the most, prominent strain within the Tea Party movement by objective quantification.

          You don't get to define what the true Tea Party movement is according to your ideals. As a non-centralized or officially defined organization it is only what the majority of those who call themselves part of the movement are, the candidates and policies they support, the theories they subscribe to, the words they use. Those are what define it.

          If you want to form your own official Tea Party with an official Tea Party platform, then you and those who join you can define what your Tea Party stands for.  Outside of that, your definition of what it's supposed to be just  isn't a relevant one, EF. It is what it manifestly is.

          • ElliotFladen says:

            This is what I used to reference for the mission:

            http://web.archive.org/web/20100723081214/http://www.teapartypatriots.org/mission.aspx

            Core Values

            • Fiscal Responsibility
            • Constitutionally Limited Government
            • Free Markets
            • BlueCat says:

              And I'm saying that what defines the Tea Party movement  in the only way relevant to their role in politics are the choices and actions of the majority of the people who self identify as Tea Party.

              As usual you have chosen not to address anything I've said about the kind of candidates the majority of self identified Tea Partiers support, the policies their favored candidates spend most of their  energy on as opposed to giving lip service to (jobs, jobs jobs is what they say while opposing choice, gay marriage and immigration reform is what they do) or the theories they espouse. It's like having a discussion with a wall.

               

              • ElliotFladen says:

                Bluecat, 
                You are correct that I am not discussing this with you as I've become disillusioned with your ability to have an honest discussion after the entire Hackstaff/Gessler mailer issue.  I'm just putting up a quick pointer and that is it. 

                • Curmudgeon says:

                  Is that like the commercial where the teenage girl calls her boyfirend to tell him she's giving him the silent treatment? 

                • BlueCat says:

                  Another way of saying you've got nothing, poor little EF. You can't argue with my facts so you want to talk about something else.  Got it.wink

                • BlueCat says:

                  Oh and if you're just "putting up a quick pointer" with no intention of engaging in a discussion with me, why do it in my comment box? 

                  When you hit the reply to someone's comment, instead of reply to the diary in general, you are engaging in a discussion with that person. You can't have it both ways.

                  Feel free to use the thread's general reply to attack my credibility (good luck with that) but if you're  unwilling ( make that afraid) to challenge my points directly, stay the hell out of my comment box.

            • Duke Cox says:

              Tell me, Elliot. At what point in our national history did we have a "Free Market"? This is a term thrown around by a lot of people who think it includes such niceties as corporate welfare. I would truly appreciate a definition of the term, as you see it.

              • BlueCat says:

                I would caution you not to hold your breath for a direct answer.

                • Duke Cox says:

                  wouldn't think of it…

                  Elliot????

                  • BlueCat says:

                    And yet he says I am incapable of honest discussion.  I know I run off at the mouth but I never run off to avoid having to make a direct, point relevant response.   Nobody uses that refuge from honest discussion more than EF.  I don't count ArapGoof's non sequiturs as worth consideration as discussion at all.

                    • Duke Cox says:

                      truly…I can't really recall ever getting a straight answer out of Elliot. Doesn't look like I am going to this time, either…continuing to breathe was definitely a good idea… 

  7. Sir Robin says:

    In case you missed it:

  8. Curmudgeon says:

    So, if I've been reading this correctly, the GOP is trying to distance itself from the Tea Party, because they're crazy, and they're damaging the GOP's brand….

    And the real Tea Party is trying to distance itself from the crazies from the GOP who infiltrated their ranks.

    But neither one wants to completely repudiate the other, for fear of losing support within their own ranks. 

    Somebody fetch me some popcorn. These next few years are going to be a laugh riot.

    • ElliotFladen says:

      There are "crazies" in every political movement and the Dems have plenty as well. 

      • Curmudgeon says:

        Absolutely. Wouldn't dare deny that.

        Don't misunderstand me, if the "real" Tea Party puts up a candidate who's acutally about what they profess to be about, I just might vote for them (Even as a Bleeding Heart Liberal, I'll usually vote for at least a couple of Republicans every election, either because I respect them, or because I know their opponent is an idiot).

        But until they can shut up about Agenda 21, Birth Certificates, Sekrit Muzlim Soshalists, and threats of armed revolution, I refuse to take them seriously.

        • ElliotFladen says:

          Problem is in politics it is much easier (and more rewarding) to go with the flow than speaking truth to power. 

          Sigh….

          • BlueCat says:

            Funny coming from someone so absolutely committed to resolutely looking the other way whenever an inconvenient truth presents itself that no point from someone with an opposing view is ever responded to with anything resembling a direct response. Truth to power? You're scared to death of confronting anything factual period.  At least on this blog.

        • BlueCat says:

          Once again, The "real" Tea Party movement is made up of those who say they're Tea Party, since there isn't any isn't an actual organized party, and the candidates that the majority of those people overwhelmingly support are the craziest of the GOP fringe candidates,  extremely social conservative and against immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship. So that is apparently what the "real", as opposed to EF's  ideal fantasy Tea Party movement, is about. 

          EF might like to think, for instance, that the real Tea Party is for sensible immigration reform but no candidate who supports any such thing is acceptable to the majority of self identified Tea Partiers.  The Tea Party that exists as an ideal in EF's head is just that; a figment of  EF's imagination,   inspired by super strength denial..

      • Gray in Mountains says:

        Crazies?

        Tea baggers lead the way followed by libertarians, GOP. Dems have a few but we do not lead that pack

        Tea baggers are the among the most uninformed people on the planet. The leadership of Tea Party are all pin worms and offer nothing to actually improve the lives of Americans beyond pretense

  9. American Patriot says:

    As far as I am concerned, the Republic of Mexico has every right to test that theory, although it didn’t work out very well for Native Americans against the Republic of Mexico or the Republic of Texas.  And just for the record, it didn’t play in Peoria either.  But we can always fall back on plan B; taking our country back one casino at a time.  And after that, there’s the oh crap plan where we buy all the supermarkets and then close them doing away with the indigenous people’s food supply, giving them small pox infected blankets , free with each bottle of Whiskey traded for, (although it’s my personal opinion that the booze did far more damage than the blankets) and outlawing their language and native dress.  Of course these strategies would also work on the Mexicans if your theory proves successful.  And if the economy doesn’t get better pretty quick, there’s a bunch of us planning to sneak across the Mexican border looking for work, although we’re a little concerned with Mexico’s illegal immigration policies.  You know that whole draw the black bean and you get your ears cut off thing that happened to the Texans in Sante Fe; pre-theft. 

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