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February 3rd, 2010
09:00 AM ET

Welcome to the Tea Party: Infighting plagues conservative group

Editor's Note: CNN's Jim Acosta takes you inside the Tea Party movement and sits down with those who started it to talk about the factions within the movement and the first ever 'Tea Party Convention.' Tomorrow on American Morning, they were behind Scott Brown's upset win in Massachusetts and now they have their sights set on the Senate race between Florida Governor Charlie Crist and tea party darling Marco Rubio in the Republican primary.

By Jim Acosta, CNN

Take recession-raging conservatives and independents, add a Democrat to the White House, and you get the tea party.

And there's more brewing in this rebellion against bailouts and big government than just Scott Brown's Tea Party-infused upset in the Massachusetts Senate race.

"This was a major victory in what I would call the 2nd American Revolution," says Mark Meckler.

Mark Meckler and Jenny Beth Martin, founders of the “Tea Party Patriots,” want this movement to blow the lid off Capitol Hill in this year's elections.

They plan to back candidates who stand for tea party principles. It doesn't matter if it's a Republican or Democrat standing in the way.

“I think that if it had been John McCain the same thing would have happened. I truly believe it,” says Martin.

In one year, the Tea Party has gone viral – from dozens to now hundreds of loosely linked groups around the country. But Meckler and Martin don't tell them what to do. That's not the Tea Party way.

"It's all bottom up. I mean, the real deal is that there are millions of leaders out there leading this movement," says Meckler.

There may be leaders in the Tea Party movement, but nobody is in charge. Rival groups from Washington, D.C. to Sacramento, California are battling over who will carry the Tea Party banner. And that fight has some tea partiers feeling hung-over.

“I don't think the Tea Party knows what's happening to the Tea Party," says Jim Knapp.

Knapp, a Sacramento Tea Party activist, fears the movement is about to be hijacked by one of the established parties. "I don't think there's any question the GOP has their tentacles into the Tea Party," he says.

Knapp points to the “Tea Party Express," the conservative bus tour that crisscrossed the country last year. It's run right inside a Republican political consulting firm.

“I think what you'll find with a lot of the people at Tea Party rallies, many are Republicans themselves. Us included,” says Joe Wierzbicki, who runs the Tea Party Express.

After spending $350,000 to air pro-Scott Brown campaign ads, these Republican consultants argue the Tea Party's home is the GOP.

"The people who formed this movement need a major political party," says Wierzbicki.

The movement's future is on the agenda at the Tea Party's first convention, set for this week.

But, even with Tea Party favorite Sarah Palin headlining the convention, it's being boycotted by some Tea Party activists, scoffing at the $550 admission fee.

"It wasn't the kind of grassroots organization that we are. So we declined to participate," says Meckler.

Despite all that infighting, it's clear the Tea Party is on a roll. Where it rolls is anybody's guess.

The big question ahead for this movement is whether it evolves into a third political party. That idea is being advanced by tea partiers who are disgusted with the Republican Party. But GOP operatives point out that third political parties rarely win.

Filed under: Politics • Welcome to the Tea Party
soundoff (353 Responses)
  1. Dude

    Tea Party members are unpatriotic morans who have no concept of history.
    Tea party. Perfectly named because the original tea party was comprised of a small group of vandals who dressed up like a minority group (Indians) to assign blame of their cowardous actions. Something if done today all the rebublicans would scream for the death penalty for the scummy vandals, they were cowards just like todays Tea party members that would blame others for their evil. Truth be told , the taxes the English put on tea was to recover a small amount they spent protecting the colonists from the French. The English treasury was depleted trying to save the American cowards.
    Hey tea party members quit trying to destroy the future of our grandchildren to protect your greedy ways. You selfish bunch of scum buckets

    February 18, 2010 at 9:41 pm |
  2. Coletek

    Obama has the majority of support? Yeah right...thats why Massachusetts just elected a conservative republican in a predominantly dem state...thats why Obama has to abandon the healthcare issue...because he's got so much support. Polls have him less than 50% now. wake up. Obama ignored the majority on what is the top priority (economy/jobs) and made healthcare his top priority. Nows he paying for it with things like Brown in Massachusetts and a grass roots party like the tea party. And probably a few more governors to come. You cant ignore the majority on critical issues...if you do, you start to see things like to tea party. it'll happen every time.

    so go ahead dems...keep at the same pace. You won't have to worry about it much longer if you do...someone else will be doing your job.

    February 5, 2010 at 1:08 pm |
  3. slidedastreets

    Tea party is nothing but angry white people. Not about taxes but because of that beautiful color of that mans skin. PERIOD!!!!
    A few hundred people can never stop a nation of millions. So while you go around teabagg'n each other the rest of the country with common sense continue to support our president about real issues not overhyped pretend movements ,that u have to have an I.Q. of 23 and not over 84 to join.

    February 5, 2010 at 7:05 am |
  4. slidedastreets

    Tea baggers...ha ha when I first heard the name I thought it was a joke or someone had pronunced the name wrong. But after looking at these crazy racist inbred rednecks,it really fits. Bunch of crazies running around the country tea bagg'n each other. So called grassroots organization funded by big corporation. And CNN is becoming that channel that actually believes this is a movement,it's the same idiots that think Obama is not a citizen, a socialist, hitler,where were theses retards when bush was driving drunk and had this country in the backseat without a seatbelt?

    February 5, 2010 at 6:55 am |
  5. Indiana Pagan

    I have to say that everyone I know who endorses, supports, or otherwise accepts that Tea Party is Caucasian, at least moderately well-to-do, has excellent health care coverage insurance, is a conservative Christian, and has failed to do their own independent research on the current political climate and issues.

    It's interesting–and sad–to me that this folks also oppose same sex marriage, oppose any but abstinence birth control education, oppose military members having access to non-Christian worship venues, oppose the repeal of DOMA and DADT. Most of these folks (at least among the Tea Party supporters I know) were the same ones who thought Bush Jr. was doing such a wonderful job–and continue to defend him, while condemning President Obama for not being able to fix in twelve months the mess that Bush created over a period of eight years.

    February 4, 2010 at 3:43 pm |
  6. sahara cambino

    thank god for the tea party movement.we are not going to take obamas agenda and lies thats going to take this country down.were fighting bk and were here to fight and win. and all you obama followers and nieve people are just going to have to get over it.

    February 4, 2010 at 10:01 am |
  7. sahara cambino

    the people that are scared and hate the tea party are so nieve and blindsided by obama.its like a cult,and obamas the leader.he is such a an independent,and im going turning more to republicans to obama,even his own party are moving away from him.they are very worried and so is he.they are all going to lose far as kiran chetry,she should go to a local newscast she would do better,and fox news is number l and better.

    February 4, 2010 at 9:41 am |
  8. Belle

    Tom MN: Read my lips: I didn't say "no taxes" I said "lower taxes." You claim that we've alienated people, but somehow our ranks keep growing – and winning elections. More and more Americans have a favorable opinion of the Tea Parties. My tea party's attendance grew exponentially at every turn. The average tea party participant is actually too sophisticated to dress up. They're way beyond those tactics. Their anger at an out-of-control government is too deeply rooted. Here and there, people will make a "fashion statement" and you can call out the Fashion Police if you want. But the Liberals had best look to their own house – Nancy Pelosi's ridiculous behavior at the State of the Union address, Obama's penchant for displaying his derriere before the cameras – before looking for the speck in anyone else's eye. We expect the Liberals to be alienated. But evidently, the Independents aren't quite as alienated as you'd have everyone believe. The Media can train their cameras on the occasional Tea Bag earrings, but they ignore the serious, dedicated Americans at their peril.

    February 4, 2010 at 9:41 am |
  9. Bill

    The Tea Party Movement is beyond scary. It has taken Free Speech in a direction that is harmful, rather than constructive. It's message is clear: "We're mad as hell, against the incumbants, not FOR anything, and refuse to listen to anything you have to say unless it's negative." Combine leather-lung, ignorant rabble rousers who lack the patience to wait longer than a week for results from any government program, with unlimited media coverage and it will appeal to like-minded voters and affect who's in government and what they do while in office before they become one of the evil incumbents. The result can't be anything but instability, where frequent, whip-lashing changes in policy and rabid partisenship bring the country to a halt. I'm mad as hell at the Tea Party Movement!

    February 4, 2010 at 9:05 am |
  10. Martin

    Why do I only see WHITE people in the tea party buy the way I'm white.

    February 4, 2010 at 8:56 am |
  11. Pete

    You all are trying to put the Tea Party into an existing paradigm. That is why you get caught off guard by the effects of their efforts. First, there is no "National" Tea Party no matter what or who claims otherwise. The Tea Party is groups of 20, 50 150 in local towns and counties that have only one thing in common – we oppose unconstitutional government. (which loosely translates into "big central government.") All politicians of whatever party who are in this for themselves or personal power, will face the opposition of the Tea Party. We are informed. We get it. We have committed our lives, our fortune and our sacred honor to these ends. We will not lose our country to the self-interested no matter who they are.

    February 4, 2010 at 8:48 am |
  12. JIm Cunningham

    Kiran Chetry's report this morning on the Tea Party convention was one of the most biased and slanted segments that I have ever heard on CNN. Throwing in a partisan comment by the Democratic Governor's Association, hardly an independent and unbiased group, that this movement is "dangerous", is outrageous. Isn't it strange how she was a big conservative at FOX News until she could not get her own way there and have Gretchen Carlson fired, and jumped ship to CNN and now is a big establishment liberal attacking her own former positions. What a chameleon! No integrity, no professionalism. What a prize for CNN! No wonder your ratings are in the cellar!

    February 4, 2010 at 8:45 am |
  13. Coffee

    Bush meets a surplus, 8yrs later, 1.2 tril deficit . RACIST KNock- KKK Now called TEA PARTY. They pulled their children from school so they don't have to listen to President Obama. Show how much money will past hands after this convention. Money that can be used in a productive way for the GOP constituents ! Sarah, Rush, Beck etc, are rich from spreading RHETORIC . President Obama, so called big bills have not passed yet ,so what is the yahoo for? Wow 13 months and no major bill passed Should he walk on water ?

    February 4, 2010 at 8:02 am |
  14. Ed

    Also, they cannot even govern, (civilly, legally) themselves, much less be an organized, respected group, whose opinion is listened to and valued, without breaking laws and using intimidation tactics. I'm sure they have some legitimate concerns re: the current fiscal environment, however, their motives and actions speak for themselves. I would be willing to bet that they honestly do not know what the true word, bi-partisan means...much less how to go about even attempting it.

    February 4, 2010 at 7:20 am |
  15. Olga

    The Tea Party is just another name for the KKK, just a bunch of Racist. It is funny how you never heard of the Tea Party until immediately after President Obama was sworn into office, this so call Tea Party Group formed. When is this racist attitude and the belief that no one is qualified unless they are "White" going to stop? I am a Christian and in my 58 years on this earth, God has never said to me, Olga I put White folks in charge and he has never said they are better or smarter than you either.

    So get over it and move on, the man is the president and you need to respect and accept it. African Americans have always accepted every White President ever elected whether or not their agenda included African Americans or not.

    February 4, 2010 at 6:50 am |
  16. fritzb

    To all Tea-baggers, oops, Tea-Partiers...

    So you want government out of your lives *entirely*? Great!

    Then you will, of course, be giving up any claim you have to Medicare and Social Security, right? Right?

    (Yeah, that's what I thought. *Chuckle*.)

    Hypocrites & scared sheep are what you really are.

    February 4, 2010 at 5:45 am |
  17. Jac

    Wait a sec. You're not calling them "teabaggers" in a condescending tone any longer?

    Poor CNN, you only have yourselves to blame for your abysmal ratings. You stopped being reporters and turned into repeaters, doing nothing more than parroting loony left wing blogs and Nancy Pelosi.

    They're astroturfing, nobody is REALLY mad! They're a racist, nazi mob paid by insurance companies to show up at town halls and cause problems!

    Curiously, only one network got it right. That wouldn't be yours.

    February 4, 2010 at 3:22 am |
  18. Ben Wuloo Ikari

    What the media haven't done, said, found, or if not known, ignored is the composition of the so-called tea partyers. They're 99.9 percent "whites" who are just angry to see a "black man" become the American president. The question is, is America 99.9 percent "white" and the answer is obviously no! Yet they continue, like their Republican do nothing party sponsors: American people are upset with this administration. The funniest thing about these protesters who claim they hate too much government in their business yet can't stand a second without government in their business are socialists and conservatives like everyone breathing on earth. The both concepts are like democracy and dictatorship.

    There has never been a democratic society without an iota of dictatorship-if we aren't dictating for Americans, we're doing so for the world by various means common to all. One last tip CNN, please do a research on the partyers and you would agree some if not most of them may not have health insurance, which Obama and other Democrats are at almost last stage to make possible for all. They're just like the incoherent Sarah Palin, who used about $150,000 public money for clothing alone and didn't know that was an aspect of socialism. At the same time complaining in the 2008 campaign that Obama was a socialist. No group has been successful with some socialism... Meanwhile, we must always distinguish between reality and ideal; and reality is Obama is the president and Commander-in-Chief of the United States of America. Don't say he didn't put the non sequitur bigots on notice. "I will be your president too," he'd echoed and he's everyone's leader nothing until 2012.

    February 4, 2010 at 1:45 am |
  19. Tom J.

    Republicans and Tea Party People Creed:
    "Maximize PUBLIC RISK and minimize PRIVATE RISK"
    So as what was said along time ago, "America, LOVE IT or LEAVE IT"
    Suggestion, take away all those unemployment checks & Medicare payments to all Republicans and Tea Party People or one way ticket to Tehran. Hey, so there is a choice!
    I just HOPE Palin runs for President ! Bring HER on !

    February 3, 2010 at 11:28 pm |
  20. Mary

    People in the Tea Parties are those with common sense, and know you can't spend your way out of debt. I'm not a Tea Party participant, but I fully support their actions. I hope they can address the corruption in BOTH the Democratic and Republican parties. We have corruptiom with the Dems in Obama/Pelosi/Reid, and lining the pockets of their special interests. Then we have the Republicans supporting that there is something wonderful about corporate executives setting their own outrageous salaries, and redistributing money from the shareholders and company employees to line their pockets. ALL this corruption needs to be voted out of office.

    February 3, 2010 at 8:16 pm |
  21. dylan booker

    Principles? What principles!!?? This "phenomenon" will be gone before long. It may well affect some of the upcoming elections, but it won't last.

    February 3, 2010 at 7:55 pm |
  22. Tom MN

    Bellie: You'd be surprised at how "freedom loving" most American voters are, and yes, most of us want "limited, honest, and accountable government", too. As for taxes, most of us aren't fond of taxes, but see a corellation between taxation and the kind of things we deem as essential to our society. We don't just say "I don't want to pay taxes", the way the far right does. Point being, what you purport to be the Tea movement's agenda isn't that much different from what the majority of Americans want. We just don't make fools or ourselves or alienate ourselves from most Americans in how we go about getting it.

    February 3, 2010 at 6:47 pm |
  23. Dan

    To re-work the old aphorism: “A democracy can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves benefits and services without having to pay for them.” What government programs do the Tea Partiers (and the Republicans who pander to them) propose to cut? Social Security? Medicare? Defense? VA Hospitals? The Interstate Highway System (the brainchild of that closet Socialist Dwight Eisenhower)? Federal prisons? Air traffic control? National parks and forests? Food safety inspections? Drug efficacy and safety oversight? Cancer research? Flood control? (Ask the folks in New Orleans what happens when that is underfunded.) The Tea Partiers seem to think they can cut taxes and still have all the government services they take for granted. Wake up, folks! You get what you pay for.

    February 3, 2010 at 6:00 pm |
  24. Franky, Land of Lincoln

    That's wrong, paying an admission fee, that's just wrong. But I do believe that is because of Sarah Palin but I think she should stand up and call it out. Paying for an admission is not the American way when you are protesting an agenda you feel strongly about.

    What are you gonna get uot of it? This is basically a goal and a mission, maybe an autograph can be nice is about making sure what is best for the activists in the future.

    I was once critical of them but I fully understand their intent because I feel the same way, sadly.

    It can be interpreted many ways but there's nothing funny when you have Liberals acting such a way to make sure is their way or the highway, I do hope they lose in the midterms and I bet they will.

    I'm gonna change my political affiliation(though I actually and technically haven't insert one so I'm anything now). Will change it to a Republican and update it very soon. I voted on my primaries yesterday in Illinois and I promise you, I didn't vote for neither Governor. They're a waste of time. I did em bogus.

    February 3, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  25. pat

    I will be doing what our President said today, Stop watching CNN and Fox who loves lies, confusion and hatred. Watch the other guys I suppose on NBC and get real reporting that is back by integrity. I suggest that all do the same. That will stop them ! when their ratings drop they will do something like they did to Lou Dobs! Good bye CNN!!

    February 3, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  26. From a Red State

    Yeah...what a great idea, put the torch and pitchfork crowd in charge. The great Archie Bunker nation has mobilized...meatheads beware. What is so ironic is that they support the Republicans at the expense of their own interests and are clueless to the reality. If the Democrats came out with a plan to wipe out the deficit, provide health care to all, cut taxes and flood the land with rainbows and unicorns at the same time, the Republicans would be adamantly opposed. Because any victory for the Democrats would equal defeat for the Republicans. So the Republicans routinely put their own political interests ahead of the interests of the American people with no compunction whatsoever. The Democrats are not perfect themselves. However, they come nowhere near the level of self interested, self righteous unapologetic disingenuous style of politics the Republican cult shamelessly plays in the interest of their plutocrat masters at the expense of the interests of the everyday American citizen.

    February 3, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  27. Neil

    No self-respecting individual should want to babysit the US as it's president. Mr. Obama is learning that. You folks need a good civil war to cleanse your current dysfunction

    February 3, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  28. Eric J

    I think the Tea party movement was possibly a good idea that went wrong in a hurry. If these people wanted to have any validity about their movement it should have started back when Bush was in office, not when Obama took over. The spending and taxes they claim to be protesting started back in the last administration, had they began then we may have been in better shape by now. But this now looks more like a group of sore loser Republicans that can't accept they lost the White House and a bunch of closet bigots that won't accept an African-American as president. Case in point one of the so-called leaders of a tea party group in public held a sign calling the president the "N-word" although he didn't spell it right, and is now sending e-mails with Obama in pimp clothing calling him a pimp.

    And they need to STOP calling this a grass roots movement..maybe at one time it was but most grass root movements don't have $100,000 speakers, charge $500 to attend their convention and also have the backing of a major news company. I don't think anyone likes paying high taxes or big spending, but the tea party folks let Bush off the hook and now want to blame it all on Obama which makes this look more like sour grapes than an actually grass roots program.

    February 3, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  29. free-us-citizen

    i have read many of the comments that people have written an i am simply amazed. the tea party is not against heath care but they do not want a government run system, they want a choice in there heath care they want the insurance company's to earn our business by dealing with the people not the big corporations. they want to hold them liable for there action not hiding behind laws that protect them at our expense.

    People that believe in the movement are sick and tiered of giving up there hard earned money to some one that is not willing to work. they simple want to be able to pay there bills and put there kids through school. they are not asking the government to educate there children they are telling the government let me educate my own children.

    they believe the 2 million people working for the government at an average wage of 100,000 plus is wrong. they want this government to shrink in size so it can be funded.

    they think that the government should have to balance there check book the same way you and i do.

    the tea- party is about people taking control of there own life. its not about some one else telling us what to do.

    If you think for your self and work for what you have then you 2 are a Teabagger.

    February 3, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  30. Belle

    To those wondering what the Tea Parties are and what they aren't. They aren't a political (Third) party, although some members would like to follow that route. But at the moment, they are strictly like-minded, conservative individuals gathering together in convenient, and sometimes historic, locations to rally other freedom-loving Americans and express their desire for limited, honest, and accountable government and – yes – lower taxes. The Liberals may find us "revolting" – but that's exactly what revolutions are all about.

    February 3, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  31. William

    This is the first time ive read any blogs on CNN. Its full of ugly hate. First, calliing anyone a Teabagger is rude and very crude. When i hear the President and members of Congress call Citizens that it boils my blood. In 2005 i helped vote out the Republican Congress because Pelosi said she would drain the swamp. Now its an even worse swamp and the Democrates acted just as bad, if not worse then the last Congress. So along comes Obama. Hope and Change. A full year wasted pushing a health care plan that was more about ideology then sound policy and even with a super majority the Democrates bickered with eachother and blamed Republicans or dim Bush. How about going to bat for us in the world so we can actually sell what we still make here. I went to a Teaparty in Georgia. People were friendly and there was childeren there. There were no nazis and yes there were blacks, hispanics and Indians (not native american) there. No cars were burnt. No windows smashed. No teargas. When people left there was no trash. When i worked in DC i saw the antiwar marches and i went and listened to some very anti-semitic speeches. Cans were burnt, windows smashed and i was cussed at in the Metro for wearing a suit. Now, you tell me which side i feel more safe with?

    February 3, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  32. Belle

    To Guest: What the heck is a "hybrid Republican"? Sounds like a Liberal Dem who voted in the Republican primaries to skew the election results and give us McCain as a candidate. I'm a conservative born and bred, through and through. I helped form one of the most successful tea parties in my state. I didn't steal anyone's ideas – I gave the tea party my ideas, freely. To West Texas: Benjamin Franklin criticized the organizers of the Boston Tea Party. He was afraid the revolt was going to hurt his diplomatic efforts with Great Britain on behalf of the Colonies. He was right. Parliament was furious. You can read about it in Carl Van Doren's biography of Benjamin Franklin (Viking Press-1938).

    February 3, 2010 at 5:01 pm |
  33. Jim

    I think what the American people want is to erase the lines.

    I don't want to vote republican or democrat.

    I want to vote for whoever aligns with my values and for someone with who I agree with on the issues. I want to vote for who seems to be a better leader and who has more common sense.

    Then, I'd like all these people who win these elections all across the country to get together and form a congress / house of representatives who all work together to make tough decisions that help affect the common good of the people who put them there.

    And if it's not asking too much, I'd like them to do it in a nice timely pace, so that we can tout these accomplishments and enjoy them before election time comes again, so that each sucessive election, things get better, and better still.

    Now I know it might be just too much to ask that my elected officials do not embarass my country in the face of the world by bickering and arguing and using politics to basically make it so that nothing is ever accomplished, nothing ever changes, and now the rest of the world, with whom we are in direct competition with, leaves us in the dust.

    May American never be a relic, a memory, of a world power that once was but fizzled.

    People, please, let's get along and learn to work together. There are republicans and democrats and whatever else you want to call them.

    But we are Americans first, and foremost.

    The rest of the world is laughing at us and our government's folly. The rest of the world is going to pass us by and allow us to defeat ourselves. And our politicians are letting it happen by being petty, by filling their own pockets, by being shortsighted, and by drawing lines.

    We don't need a two party system, or a five party system. We need a one party system: The American party.

    The only interest group we have that matter are the American people.

    Lincoln died making sure this country stayed whole. Republicans and Democrats alike are tarnishing his efforts and tearing this country apart for their own pride, greed, or ambitions.

    February 3, 2010 at 4:59 pm |
  34. Chacmool

    Is that the best you "progressives" can keep saying about free Americans voicing their right to object to this administration?
    Wow! How clever! Name calling, that's all you got.
    I think those who keep throwing that around must have a much more intimate aquaintance with the meaning, than those who've chosen a historical Boston "Tea Party" reference as their rallying slogan.
    The liberals who elected B. Hussein Obama are seeing the "progess" their chosen one has wrought.
    Unemployment? 15%, 20% 25%. Try to get CNN to give you all an accurate answer on that number. Industry takeovers, union thugs, Chicago-style corrupt politics.
    Hack inept political appointments such as Janet " deer in the headlights, the system worked" Napolitano.
    This is the person in charge protecting us in the war on terror?!
    God help us? Because this administration won't.
    Oh wait, that's right the w.o.t. doesn't exist in Obama world. The Muslim extremists just love all of us. Especially you libs, cause you're the first to get them a lawyer.
    Atty. Gen'l. "the Black Panther's weren't intimidating anyone with clubs at polling places, give all terrorists their Miranda rights" Holder.
    Tim Geithner " I did pay my taxes", but you better pay yours.
    Harry 'lets payoff off all our political friends to get this phoney healthcare bill through whether the American people want it or not "Reid.
    Nancy "damm where's my miltary jet" Pelosi.

    Your chosen one is tanking. Check the polls. Any poll.
    Oh yea, and Ted Kennedy is dead. Scott Brown won. He's just the first to take another seat from you corrupt liberals,who'd sell your mothers to retain power.
    Get get over it Masschusetts did. Thank God.

    February 3, 2010 at 4:58 pm |
  35. Ronnie

    conservative group? REALLY? A bunch of rich bigots is more like it!

    February 3, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
  36. Cindy Owen

    I have never seen so many liberal idiots gather in one place in my life. All I have to say is, "Massachusetts!" You people are so stupid that all you spout is racism, whats free for me and instead of good arguments you just throw hateful bombs. Keep it up.....your taxes are going to go thru the roof too. You are just like Chris Matthews, Keith Oberman, Katie Couric......bubbleheads!

    February 3, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
  37. Carl

    Gotta love the vocal minority who will never get it...but at least they've found a home here on CNN. They don't understand that the tea party movement isn't anti-democrat or even anti-republican. It's not anti-Obama. We are the silent majority awakened from the gluttony-induced years of easy credit, increased discretionary spending (brought on by having both parents working) and general malaise regarding our federal government. We're awakened to find a government run amuk, a president who is so anti-American it's amazing to see people who support him, and a congress that has no understanding of fiscal responsibility hell-bent on spending every nickel and dime Americans will earn for the next three generations. We are the counter-revolution. We are America. We are taking our country back one election at a time. The rest of you can insult, lie, and attempt to discredit us until you are blue in the face. It will not avail you. You have already discredited yourselves during the past year, and will not survive this coming November.

    February 3, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
  38. Bandt

    Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians... A lot a smoke.

    We spend so much time talking about what divides the parties that we don't remember where there is agreement. Obviously we agree on a good many things, otherwise we wouldn't have a functional government. Even in a deep recession we have a lot of good things going for us. Would you want to live anywhere else? China? India? They have deeper problems than we do.

    Instead we get lost in smoke... confused, angry, paranoid. I guess plugs for rationality don't attract readers or listeners.

    February 3, 2010 at 4:45 pm |
  39. RTM45

    I find the following definition of the TEA Party Movement most appropriate: "...those who seek to overturn the constituted forms and institutions of society and government, with no purpose of establishing any other system of order in the place of that overturned."

    This is also the definition of an anarchist. Thus it is no wonder that anarchist groups and organizations are looking for points of alliance with the TEA Party.

    I find the real threat to our country; our democracy is in the rhetoric and actions of the TEA Party Movement. These people are not patriots, rather latent anarchists who are blindly seeking to destroy the foundations of the American society. Incredibly, they don’t even seem to know it.

    February 3, 2010 at 4:45 pm |
  40. Oompa Loompa

    Geez, why doesn't Obama just take the money from the rich and get it over with. Maybe those waiting for handouts of this free money can accelerate the effort and just go it from the upper middle class tea baggers that have it. This is really the base of the argument isn't it? Those who have it and those who don't.

    February 3, 2010 at 4:45 pm |
  41. Georgene

    If CNN really wants to help the current political mess, may I suggest that they (as one example)... spend half a day going over healthcare and doing an evaluation point by point on a solution as well as the TRUTH about healthcare in other countries....getting to the bottom of payment to our Senators and Congressmen by these heathcare companies and why we cannot put a proper program together for everyone in this country. Expose the system of kickbacks to elected officials.

    Put all of this air time to good use. Stop repeating the same stories over and over again....all day long. Make a difference! Or, would corporate American advertising which pays the bill close you down?

    I don't want to have to address these same concerns ten years from now.....

    February 3, 2010 at 4:45 pm |
  42. Edward


    Real Patriots or Economic Racists/Fascists?

    *Please understand that bigotry and racism are two different things.

    These folks "Tea Baggers" are participating in their constitutional right to argue with the state; however, their argument is a racists act. Their fiscal conservatism is a result of the imperialist actions of their forefathers. The usurpation and privatization of natural resources (Whoa, big words!), the constant manipulation and consolidation of non-natural capital and advertising campaign slogans; To Wit: the American way of life, give life to these antics as real ideas when they are actually racist remarks to an extremely diverse country.

    The American Way of Life: 2.3 kids (includes dog), two story house, white picket fence, own your own business, speak English, etc..

    These values and most values portrayed on Television are Colonialists values, white (Anglo-Saxon and Caucasian) values. In fact, the tea baggers are bringing something very special to light - the disproportionate number of Non-Anglican, non-Caucasian membership of the Tea Party. This is so because American conservatism is spurred by innate institutionalized racism (Whoa, big words again!).

    Consequently, we cannot blame the "Tea Bagger" for this action. Most Americans have no Earthly clue about monetary value vs. use value, capital, capitalism in general, etc... That's asking a lot of folks who could really care less as long as their children are fed, there's clothes on their back and gas in the Range Rover.

    Racism is simply a tool of Capitalism, used to today to create and manipulate corporate fascism, used in the conception of America (1776) for ethnic fascism. An example of corporate fascism is Pepsi vs. Coke, Twinkies vs. Nutty Buddies, etc... the American Way of Life's Choices. The Right to Choose! lol The choice is yours to make albeit, but at the expense of limiting your ability to create your own choice because the choices are already made up for you. Corporate Fascism is more dangerous than racism because racism wouldn't exist if someone couldn't make a dollar from it.

    Workers of the world unite!

    February 3, 2010 at 4:43 pm |
  43. Belle

    What paper does Mike W. read? Pravda?

    February 3, 2010 at 4:42 pm |
  44. srheard

    The irony of the modern day tea party movement is that they seem to want representation without taxation.

    February 3, 2010 at 4:42 pm |
  45. Michael

    These people need to get jobs! I'm sure thats what they would have said to people protesting for liberal means. Conservatives and Republicans go from telling the Liberals to "shut up", bill o'reilly (I do not respect him, therefore will not capitalize his name) and deal with it to complaining about the system. I'm sick of all the shady political dealings, stop rejecting every single bill! YOU ARE THE GOVERNMENT, WORK FOR THE PEOPLE BECAUSE YOU WERE VOTED BY THE PEOPLE!

    February 3, 2010 at 4:42 pm |
  46. Hotdoginbuns

    Ive seen most of the banners and rediulous uneducated misleading statements. It seems the confused people are running amuck. Therefore, all the internal fighting and confused directions. Really, what do you have to cry about? Nothing you say or do will change anything unless you up in arms and actually try to recreate another civil war to get something done. And although its called civil, this is the most uncivil political tactic ever. Sadly, its the biggest achievement our historical political progression LOL! FAIL BLOG!
    Take any other LARGE population that has been dealing in politicis LONGER than we have. They got it down. As I speak, you cant take a train right now in France due to national protest. Something gets resolved, people move around the country once again. You have to take action. Sadly, the most Americans do is say some stupid uneducated comment like, "Obama is Hitler", etc.. No one even knows what socialist regime is or the benefits. As a matter of fact I would bet $100 half of these protesters didnt even GOOGLE the topic before making thier posters.
    Sadly, your leader will be ritch, corporate backed, and wear the political dress. Leading the herd right back to the fields of cud chewing. Pick a side it doesnt matter.

    February 3, 2010 at 4:40 pm |
  47. Robert

    As an Independent voter I have watched the formation of the Tea Party from a distance. I have observed that the Tea Party did not form until President Obam was elected, contrary to what people in the Tea Party say about not liking President Bush's policies. I have also observed that the majority of the people within the Tea Party are white, middle to upper middle class. The Tea Party is named after the Boston Tea Party, however if they would just read the history of the United States they would see that they do not understand what the Boston Tea Party was truely about. This brings me to my finale observation, the major problem with the government today is just not the politicans but also the citizens. Most citizens are to lazy to pick up a book and try to educate themselves on the issues of the day. Most would rather listen to pundits on the radio and television and not think for themselvesl. They blindly follow what ever the pundits say without thinking for themselves, or even considering opposing view points. The pundits are in the game for one reason and that is to make as much money as possible anyway that they can. This worse thing that ever has happened is cable TV and all the news channels and news channels on the radio. I do not listen to any of them, I continually read as much as I can to gather the facts for myself so that I can make an educated decision.

    February 3, 2010 at 4:40 pm |
  48. Francine

    Well it looks like I'm voting Libertarian....again.

    February 3, 2010 at 4:39 pm |
  49. Nobama

    To those who have replied stating the Tea Baggers and this movement are idiots. Hmmmm. Can you say Scott Brown? The real idiots are each of you for not understanding why the Tea Baggers started, why the majority of Americans are ticked off at this administration, the spending, the debt, the lies (CSPAN), the corruption, the hypocrisy that is at levels never experienced before and so on and so on. To the real idiots (liberal / progressives), The People of America DO NOT want another San Fransico in this great country!!!!

    February 3, 2010 at 4:39 pm |
  50. Tea is not my bag...

    ...but I'll sure help steep it. I'm a coffee guy. As far as the Tea Party Express driving into the repub consultant’s garage that's OK. Seems the repubs need some good consulting, they've lost their way. Unfortunately too many of them are stuck in the old GOP and can’t seem to find their way out. Goodbye, start looking for a job now you only have 10 months left. I’m voting for whoever plans and commits to fixing the problems, regardless of party affiliation. I'm not listening for rhetoric or catchy cliché’s. like "Change we can believe in". I want to hear concrete plans that make sense. Where I can’t vote I’m sending campaign contributions, just like I did for Brown. This isn’t high school folks; this is life in the good old USA. If a 3rd party is created I'm for it but that means you have to start creating the policies, by-lines, and select some idiotic animal symbol to be used by the public face to have parity with the old. Hogwash! That will rapidly become another tangent of different politicians that will eventually be power hungry and corrupt like the rest. I think we’re doing just fine without that and we need no more. I like being an independent wild card voting for the candidate that best represents my values and the Tea Party has shown me there are more educated tax payers out there who think like I do. Good to know I am not alone. As long as we pay attention and take action we will get our country back.

    February 3, 2010 at 4:37 pm |
  51. Jean-Texas

    The tea-baggers drank the cool aid, called it tea. will set them free!

    February 3, 2010 at 4:34 pm |
  52. Tom MN

    I went to the first Tea Party gathering in my state last Spring. Based on what I saw, there appears to be no point to their group other than carping about the usual Conservative targets. It wasn't just plain ol' citizens who were not happy about the level of federal spending (purpostedly the reason for their existence), the grounds were crawling with representatives of every right-wing cause you can think of. What does being against abortion have to do with federal spending? How about home school proponents? I never saw so many signs with the word "socialism" on them. And signs declaring Obama to be a fascist! These people don't know the meanings of these words! What about those who were excoriating "tree huggers?" Those with anti-immigrant t-shirts and banners? The group whose banner read "Deport the Neo-cons" (it was the libertarians who had this). The gun rights crowd was there in full force (and this relates to taxation & federal spending how??). I saw a group in camo carrying a large banner with the name of their "militia" on it. How about the group of child support protestors? WTF w/ that?? How about the anti-public school contingent (even the KKK supported public schools!)? A couple women who proclaimed that Ayn Rand's fantasy world would be a good model for our country to emulate. They were all there, but I saw only one non-white person in the crowd. Just average, hard working Americans. Yeah, right. Next time you go to one of these things open your eyes and your ears to the messages the protestors are sending. The Tea Party attracted a diverse group of wingnuts whose agendas went way beyond what the average American taxpayer is concerned about.

    This group is going nowhere. The trajectory they are on leads only to their own destruction from the directionless, but white hot heat of their anger. In the meantime, they will bring down the Republican party.

    February 3, 2010 at 4:33 pm |
  53. Drew

    The Tea Party Movement was originally a Libertarian-based grassroots movement that was unfortunately hijacked by the likes of Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, and the rest of the neoconservatives. I used to the belong to one of the first Tea Party Movements, the ones which were a spin-off of the Ron Paul Revolution, however, I left once I realized how the slime ball GOP politicians tried to hijack it.

    February 3, 2010 at 4:32 pm |
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