Read these few paragraphs carefully and you will see that the major impulses of the emerging movement some years back and the Tea Party are quite similar … except, of course, that it is a conservative, grass-roots political movement mostly shaped by a libertarian spirit … I clip a bit from CNN.com.
Contrary to Tancredo’s remarks, the Tea Party is not about “name-calling,” said Rand Paul, whose campaign for a U.S. Senate seat in Kentucky is supported by the Tea Party.
“There are politicians who have gone into the movement and tried to become part of the movement,” he said on CNN’s American Morning.”But really the movement is about individual people.”
The activists are mostly concerned about the “fiscal insolvency of our nation,” he said. “We have to do something, and it’s not going to come from the career politicians.”
Speeches are not the focus of the convention. Panels, sessions and workshops are the bread and butter of this event. Among the sessions scheduled for Friday are ones on how to conduct voter registration drives and where to find conservative votes, women in politics, how to organize a Tea Party group, how to involve youth in the conservative movement, grass roots “on the ground,” how to unite state Tea Party groups, technology in the Tea Party movement and why Christians must engage.
“This convention is a way to galvanize the conservative movement in a way that the general rallies do not,” said Skoda, leading a panel on technology in the movement….
There has been pushback against the convention and its organizers from both outsiders and some in the movement because of the Tea Party Nation’s for-profit status and because the price of entry attendees have paid for access to the workshops and seminars being held through Saturday.
Red State blogger Erick Erickson wrote that while he has good things to say about some groups within the Tea Party, “this national Tea Party convention smells scammy.”
Mark Meckler said he and Jenny Beth Martin, co-founders of the Tea Party Patriots, aren’t participating in the convention because “it wasn’t the kind of grass-roots organization that we are, so we declined to participate”…….
As controversy surrounds the convention, tensions have been rising among Tea Party activists. Rival factions are battling over who will carry the Tea Party banner, and others worry that powerful groups are “Astroturfing” what they think should remain a grass-roots group.
Despite the convention and its neat PowerPoint presentations, the movement that began a year ago to protest government bailouts and health care legislation showed signs this weekend that it is still inchoate, diverse and almost defiantly leaderless.
“This movement doesn’t need a leader,” said Anthony Shreeve of the Tennessee Tea Party Coalition, which did not take part this weekend but staged a counter news conference outside. “It’s a ‘We the People’ movement.”
Jeff Link, a luxury jewelry maker from New York, says that President George W. Bushstarted the fiscal policies that ruined the economy and that President Obama is making them worse, a belief shared by many here. But, he says, looking at the crowd, which is overwhelmingly white and middle-aged, “it saddens me not to see this gathering more diverse.”