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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. richard from Sugar Land Tx

    The corporate elite that recieved our money at the last bailout are laughing at everybody.DIVIDE and CONQUER. Will we please face the fact that until you get rid of all self serving greedy people. No matter what name you give them,Demcrat,Republican,Libertarian,or Tea bagger, how they dress, etc., the results will be the same.Money has always been and always will be THE POWER. (even the colonists needed monetary help fromFrance) Are we so arrogant to believe we can change human behavior and thus change natural law and the inevidible historic out come. America is no different than any other great civilzation in it's accent to power and thus also it's demise. Intelligent people please compare and understand your history. But I guess you could argue that we have to at least go down trying.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:39 pm |
  2. Barry S.

    My prediction for the Tea Party is that it will share the fate of the Reform Party initially launched by Ross Perot and for the same reason. It is easy to be unhappy with Washington and form a rough consensus about what you are against. It is extraordinarily difficult to form a consensus about specific alternatives to the status quo – witness the gridlock over health care despite a broad consensus that the current insurance/delivery system is badly broken. Tea Partiers can't agree on how to balance the budget while reducing taxation any more than the rest of us can. Most don't want their own entitlements cut, and we are getting dangerously close to running a deficit even if all discretionary defense and non-defense spending were eliminated.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:38 pm |
  3. Doug

    I wish you wacky libs would just leave the country. Go to Europe, they love your kind over there.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:37 pm |
  4. Voice of Reason

    The Tea Party and the GOP look identical: a group of old, white, rich people who hate minorities. Where were they when George W. Bush was praying over policy and war decisions? Our forefathers despised religion and would never have supported this "Tea Party".

    February 3, 2010 at 2:36 pm |
  5. Davo

    Hateful, selfish statists. If you would bother to avert your gaze from your own navals you would see that it is you who are losing credibility and influence. Perhaps your not as smart as you think you are. If you truly hate these people for expressing their discontent with our broken govt. I would encourage you to take steps to secede from our union. We obviously have nothing left in common other than geography.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:36 pm |
  6. Mary Sanders

    The Tea Party grassroot organization is not bein hijacked by the Republicans, it was always a "hate Obama" no matter what he says, does or intends to do. People who complain about high taxes but accept the taxes that pay for their schools, policeman, social security,medicare, roads, and so and so on.

    What I really hate is the idiotic nonsense of "quitter" Palin who is out for herself to make money. These people should wake up and be a true voice for the people instead of hanging to idiots who spew out hate, misinformation and violence during these ralies. You got what you deserve – chaos in the tea party groups harboring "hate mongers."

    February 3, 2010 at 2:35 pm |
  7. jaq

    At what point does taxation become slavery? When has socialism been a good long term solution to any problem? Why should we follow governments like USSR, China, N Korea, Pre-war Germany, Cuba, Cambodia, Yugoslavia? Why would we give any person/group power to control our income, medical decisions, the car we drive, etc? Why would we give so much power to one person (Obama), knowing that the next person could truely be evil?

    February 3, 2010 at 2:35 pm |
  8. Proud DEM

    OMG!! Who are these people?? They cannot be taken seriously....look at the blatant bigotry on the signs...the hatred towards our President....and please, don't tell me that those "tea baggers" (do you know what that really means?) had anything to do with the MASS. win for Brown, it was the independents...these are not patriots! They are the most un-American slobs I have ever seen! It will go away, trust me...they will destroy themselves internally and amongst the other so called Tea bagger groups...just look at who they are supporting for a Pres. candidate... Sister Sarah????? LMAO
    The majority of Americans do not take you seriously......just go away

    February 3, 2010 at 2:35 pm |
  9. Jobe

    Tea Baggers are the new anti statist party. The anger will make sure no fake representative leadership will hijack the movement. Just wait, the fuse is lit, but when the inflation and taxes kick in the explosion and furry will overwhelm any of government’s attempts at control. Central government will be smashed at the local level and any one in leadership taking subsidies and trying to pass the kings fake coin will be committing political suicide. They WILL be forced to cut spending and programs of ALL stripes.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:34 pm |
  10. Seth

    It is so amusing to watch these top-down elitist trying to make sense of real grass roots action. They simply cannot understand order emerging from the chaotic interaction of independent players. Such actions do not fit with their quaint mechanistic view of how political society is supposed to work. It's like Newton trying to understand how quantum physics can produce a coherent reality. There is no answer for the question they are all so desperately asking. No one is in charge. Anyone who claims to be is a fraud.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:33 pm |
  11. Bob

    I doubt that anyone denies that 99 percent of these T-party people are Republicans – Why? Have they been in an 8 year coma? The Republicans did Nothing for 8 years and not a thing for the people of America. The started a war against a country that did nothing to us and we cannot use the excuse that we must spread Democracy and we were we sure they had WMD for remember North Korea has them and has threatened to use them on us yet we did not attack them – Gee wonder why. The are multiple countries with leaders a lot worse than Iraq had yet we don't do a thing to spread democracy there. Now back to 8 years of nothing for us. Why do the Republicans suddenly think they have all the answers? Is there a magic tea out there that suddenly makes them smart? I think not. What I think is that they can not stand not being in charge and as always are greedy and want power. They ruined our economy and Bush completely ignored Sheila Blair his own FDIC advisor who told him long before the real estate meltdown that it was going to happen without immediate action and he and the Republicans did nothing. The Republicans don't want govenment oversight yet this lack of oversight caused the economy mess so I ask do we really want them in charge again just went things are looking up for the banks and real estate. NO NO NO. In fact, I agree that the Democrats are also not to bright because they also refuse to do what is right for the American people and stick to it SO what is the answer well that is easy in one respect, Stop voting for either party and vote in a third party to put a stop to this us and them stupidity that both parties foster. Will we do that – NO we are just as stupid as the politicans so I say to you live with it and keep going round and round on this silly merry-go-round. Or get smart and vote BOTH parties out of office. As for Obama you have to be asleep and don't read or listen to not realize this guy is trying to help us and is trying to do things NO other president has done for years so why not give him a chance? Otherwise that noise you hear is going to get a lot louder and it is the sound of the toilet flushing. Lastly I have zero confidence in the people of America to do any better than the idiots we keep right on electing and that goes for both Pelosi and Boener. Bye and good luck.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:32 pm |
  12. Dave Phillips

    GT, Alan Grayson had an actual study from Harvard to back up his numbers. You should get out and read more often.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:32 pm |
  13. DPruyn

    I do hope that all these tea partiers realize that the original Boston tea party was put on by left wingers. ie:Those against the king. It is where the term came from. But don't take my word for it. Look it up!
    History is a wonderful thing. You have to know where you came from to know where you are going.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:31 pm |
  14. Alex

    It's interesting to see the comment that had McCain been president the same thing would have happened. Taken at face value, I wonder if that means liberals/Democrats would have jumped on the tea wagon instead of conservatives/Republicans? If a Democrat had unseated a longtime Republican in a by-election, would it also be taken as a tea party victory?

    February 3, 2010 at 2:31 pm |
  15. Chuck

    Where were these people when Bush sent the national debt from 5 to 12 trillion in 8 years?

    They claim to be fiscal conservatives and want taxes lowered, but have no budget items they propose to cut other than the trivial "pork" that ammount to less than 1% of ttotal federal spending.

    They claim to champion liberty but cheer on the Patriot Act and government sponsored torture programs.

    They are a farce shrouded in Fox sanctioned ligitimacy.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:31 pm |
  16. Belle

    RG, I dunno. I see an awful lot of propaganda right here in this blog. Propaganda you Libs are experts at. And Tim, shallow opinions like yours aren't going to make us go away. It isn't a conservative president who has been showing his rear-end to the cameras at every opportunity. To Conservative Americans, we are on a roll. Be seen our your green. Be there in your townsquare. Make your mark in your park. Be the leader in your field. You CAN make a difference.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:30 pm |
  17. Matt

    So much hatred over individuals expressing their voices. Thought we were allowed to do that, or is this Tehran? Most of the bloggers on this site criticized the original Tea Bag Party. They were called Tories. Thank God they lost.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:30 pm |
  18. Paul

    Tea Party...the party of hate, intolerence, and ignorance

    February 3, 2010 at 2:30 pm |
  19. Dave Phillips

    Who's in charge of the Tea Baggers? Why that's obvious: Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, and the Republican party. In the grandest spirit of Joseph Goebbels, the modern right-wing propaganda machine has done a fine job manipulating and lying to the least defensible among our population.

    America's new corporate fascism looks a lot like history's last model.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:30 pm |
  20. Blue IN

    Ha! Turns out this is nothing but a money making enterprise dealing in seething, misaimed, teenage-like angst. Keep sending in those Obama hate bucks! It's bad enough to make the likes of Michelle Bachmann slink away in shame. That's saying a lot!

    February 3, 2010 at 2:29 pm |
  21. Tom P.

    Linda,

    The Tea Party movement is trying to bring real change to this country, change that neither of the parties in power has been able to provide. The cataclysmic failure of the two-party system is that neither party has the incentive to craft solutions to the huge budget deficit and national debt. This country needs more political parties of all ideologies so that no one party has a majority and Congress will be forced to address serious issues and make tough decisions.

    You say that "Maybe instead of complaingin [sic] they should being looking [sic] into ways to help the economy." The way to help the economy in the long-term is to bring spending in line with revenues, which is what the movement is all about. The problem with this country is those people who have such a short-term vision that they are willing to sacrifice their children's quality of life for more "stimulus" spending now.

    Before you comment on a public forum, Linda, you should make sure that your logic is coherent and that you can express your opinion in a grammatically correct form. Even if there were any trace of a constructive comment in your post, it would have been obscured by your writing.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:28 pm |
  22. John

    "2nd American Revolution?"

    Cry me a river. There's no injustice to be fought, and these so called patriots are still going to be paying their taxes. If they want to make a real message, they can go to jail for bailing on their taxes if they don't want to support the stimulus bill.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:28 pm |
  23. Gary

    teabaggers mean nothing.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:28 pm |
  24. GT

    Hey Sad, Where did you get the 45,000 people a year die because they do not have health insurance? Did Alan Graycon tell you that, or do you have an actual study that can back up that claim. If you do, please let me know where to find it so i can continue to educate myself on the facts about the debate.
    The Tea partiy protestors and myself, unlike most of the people resopnding to this article, are normal Americans who want what is best for the country and it's citizens. We try to look at all of the facts and make educated decisions about how we feel this can be accomplished.
    Unfortunatly Sad, you are an ideolog who could care less about the truth, and these 45,000 people you are talking about. You have a progressive liberal agenda, and will do and say whatever to acheve your goals. You need to grow up, stop name calling, and look at all sides on a factual basis.
    If all Americans, including the ones in Washington would do this, we could fix the health care system, and many of the other ills of our society.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:27 pm |
  25. Matt

    Funny how no one mentions that tea parties have been going on for more than a decade

    February 3, 2010 at 2:27 pm |
  26. Right Trash

    Thanks for the hilarious article! If nothing else, these poor souls are sure entertaining.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:27 pm |
  27. Oregon Skye

    I am not a "tea bagger" but have a second cousin who is–to the extent that he's alienated his wife and daughter (as well as the rest of the family) and is traveling the country to attend rallies. He's a ranter, and for him, it's 100% all about race and the idea that a black man is in the White House. He's not alone, but it's not clear to me deep inside how many Tea Baggers are really in this same position. Why are we dodging this aspect? Are we handling them with kid gloves? I'm ashamed of this cousin, and I wish he and his kind we looked at for what they are.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:27 pm |
  28. Scott

    "If you whine and protest for lower taxes DO NOT claim to support the troops. Bullets and body armor don't grow on trees."

    Troops that are defending this country, instead of attacking other countries, do not need nearly as many bullets and as much body armor. Our military is currently larger than all other countries' militaries combined. I support the troops. I don't support those use the troops for political ends and to police the world.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:26 pm |
  29. Ash

    The name "Tea Partier" is so inane, you wonder if these people have any knowledge about history. What they are doing is not revolutionary. They voted and they lost, and now they're upset. This "movement" isn't anything special; it's just getting a lot of media coverage.

    They have not done anything worthwhile or memorable, and it's these people that give the states a bad name.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:26 pm |
  30. Allen N Wollscheidt

    The Extremist Radical Conservatives (within which I place the Teabagger Movement) seasons their rhetoric at every opportunity with mentions of Communism, Socialism & Capitalism - but curiously never mention their own particular extreme "ism".

    That "ism" is "Plutocracism" - Government exclusively by and for the wealthy and their immediate interests.

    That is where they are trying to head the nation - Is that really where YOU want to go ? ? I seriously doubt that very many - even not all the wealthy - want that ! - For in the end, it goes nowhere toward the kind of life that reasonable folk want to live.

    They have unfortunatetly managed to seduce a large number of loyal, trained puppies to work toward their goals - so WATCH OUT ! !
    .

    February 3, 2010 at 2:24 pm |
  31. Marty Jehng

    I wish they would form a third party! the republicans are just using them and the democrats think they are a bunch of wackos. They should nominate Sarah Palin for president of the Tea Party!!! A true american revolution-

    February 3, 2010 at 2:24 pm |
  32. Rich

    Why are they all white?

    February 3, 2010 at 2:24 pm |
  33. capmorgs

    Amazing my post did not make it.

    I would rather follow the Tea Party instead of the Socialist SOB that the country is following now

    February 3, 2010 at 2:22 pm |
  34. Mitch

    Let them be a third party....they'll split the conservative vote, which is lesser anyways, and we won't have to worry about the country being pulled backwards.

    They should change their name to the Hypocrisy Party.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:22 pm |
  35. Scott

    "Maybe, instead of complaingin they should being looking into ways to help our econmy."

    That's exactly what people want. They are complaining because the way to help the economy is to let it work. The way to destroy it is to do what this government (both Republican and Democrat) is doing now.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:21 pm |
  36. Dacelo

    The Teabaggers suffer from the same form of denial that the Republicans and Democrats do :

    1. The hate the deficit and debt
    2. The don't want to cut enough out of the budget to eliminate the deficit
    3. They either don't want to raise taxes, or even want to cut taxes

    They will complain if anyone cuts programs, raises taxes, or runs a deficit. Ergo, they will complain about all possible futures, and instead live their entire lives in denial.

    The largest deficit problem America has is the deficit of honesty and intelligence in political discourse.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:21 pm |
  37. oldie

    The Tea Party movement are a bunch of Libertarians who are being disguised as Republicans. They are doing a good job further dividing this great country instead of starting a movement to make America a better place. Help to improve our economy, insure most Americans have health care, improve public education and tackle the deficit. America must stop fighting each other and stand together as one nation under God.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:20 pm |
  38. IndependentMom

    PS. WE ARE ALL REAL AMERICANS, WE ALL LOVE OUR COUNTRY!

    February 3, 2010 at 2:20 pm |
  39. Guest

    Wow Belle, you sound more like a Hybrid Republican than a 'Tea Party member' . Don't steal Republican ideals and try to make them your own.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:20 pm |
  40. Mitch

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

    That's the biggest lie this group has told us yet. They hate Obama, they hate anyone who doesn't stand for them and have no respect for democracy. They stand on principles that everyone stands for. This movement was born of hate, it thrives on hate and it will find it's demise when the hate runs out.

    The sheer ignorance they've displayed since day 1 has made America laugh and cringe at the same time. The Tea Party is the communist equivalent of the pigs from Animal Farm.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:20 pm |
  41. IndependentMom

    Hmmmm........ $550 fee to attend, that's for the working-Joe-and-Jill American?

    The Teabaggers are angry, alright, they are angry that there is an African -American in the White House!

    All one has to do is to look at the ethnic makeup of the Teabaggers, read their signs, and know that these people are angry racists!

    Beware America of any movement whose foundation is anger, hate and racism!

    February 3, 2010 at 2:19 pm |
  42. Spider

    It is sad that a foundation of limited government and personal liberty is to be hijacked by a floundering idiot like Palin. I support the movement but really think that it is going to die. Not because of principles or followers but because idiots (like many of you posting here) somehow think that two parties that embrace the welfare/ nanny state and reduction of personal liberties actually oppose each other. They play a cat and mouse game to keep the public thinking that the party in charge is going to change things but consistently stay the course. Grow up people the movement is the fact these people don't like most any politicians.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:19 pm |
  43. Greg in Texas

    Same sour grapes, same sour grapevines. Where were these people when Bush and the GOP were driving this country into the ground fiscally? Oh that's right they were supporting him.

    Just remember to point these people out to your children as examples of what hypocrites and racists look like in person. I would imagine the Southern Poverty Law Center will start monitoring the Tea Party as a hate-group here pretty soon, if they haven't already.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:19 pm |
  44. Matt

    The Tea Party movement started with Ron Paul. So, yeah, if McCain was elected then it would still probably be there. McCain was a really weak democrat that almost switched parties in 2003 – 2004 ish to run as a democrat.

    A Few Points
    1) You can support the Tea Party movement and be for the troops. About 20% of our taxes support the troops. The rest goes to bloated dumb government projects.
    2) Our deficit is growing exponentially out of control. At the rate Obama is spending $$ we are going to be owned by the Chinese before the next election. He is outspending his outrageous tax hikes.

    We need more politically active people in this country. When 50% of Americans can't name who the vice president is, it is time for people to pick up a book, read it, and start developing opinions. The more politically active people we have informed about decisions the better it is for this country. I'm glad they exist even if I don't agree with them.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:19 pm |
  45. Roadkill

    Who's going to pay for the mess, that the "Two Big" parties have made?.. Yep, us. If the Tea Party can stop and reverse "Big Government":.. then I'm all for it. Right now, they (Tea Party) seems as fractured as the Dem's are.. They need the unity of the GOP and to REALLY practice fical responsibility!

    February 3, 2010 at 2:19 pm |
  46. James from Lake Geneva WI

    I am all for the goals and ideas that the Tea Party movement attempts to promote – however, this movement needs to stay away from the hypocrisy of the Republican Party.

    My local Republican Congressman and self proclaimed “Conservative” Paul Ryan of Wisconsin loves to show up at Tea Parties for a photo opportunity. Too bad his legislative record is a litany of votes in favor of big government programs that reads like a Nancy Pelosi wish list.

    Congressman Ryan’s own web site provides an overview of his support for more government spending and programs, including the No Child left Behind Act (more federal spending for local education), the Medicare Prescription Drug and Modernization Act (the costliest expansion of entitlement spending since Lyndon Johnson), the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (the $700 billion bailout for the financial sector) and the Auto Industry Financing and Restructuring Act (the auto industry bail-out / take over).

    The amazing thing is that all of these big government spending programs did not even need Barack Obama as President, as these votes occurred while we had a Republican President, George W. Bush.

    If the Tea Party movement is looking for a Political Party that better shares their philosophy, they seriously need to consider the Libertarian party.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:17 pm |
  47. John

    By the looks of it those tea partiers aren't missing many "Waffle Houses" on the way to there next stop. Eat waffles sit on the bus...

    February 3, 2010 at 2:17 pm |
  48. tim

    if the teabaggers are looking for a place to roll– i have a suggestion ...how about rolling right out of the country...they are simply embarrassing.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:15 pm |
  49. Parth

    See at first, this tea party seemed to be an asset to the republican party ....but now that you think of it....its going to harm them because most of these people are from extreme right wing end and the people like John McCain who are moderate conservatives will not be accepted
    Moreover, the newly elected senator, Scott Brown, is pro-choice and supports gay marriage.....haha....good luck

    February 3, 2010 at 2:14 pm |
  50. American

    It's America's party. The REAL Americans are in this party.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:14 pm |
  51. Daniel

    I do not support or dislike the party but I do recall people asking for change and we have not seen change we have seen uncontrolable spending and a bad set of plans on home security as well as health care.I stand for a government that is here to serve the people and not rule the people and if that comes through a third party I welcome it.Leon stick to the topic and not your personal racist agenda.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:14 pm |
  52. Judoka

    When you stand for nothing you fall for everything…

    Tea Party followers are the same type who fall for the emails promising you millions of dollars for nothing. They use bluster, rhetoric and populism yet they have no IDEAS or legitimate plans to make any of there premises plausible in the real world. What started as the bastard child of Fox News has now been hijacked by the angry fringe, they are motivated, they are passionate, but they are simply a bunch of pissed off misfits who point fingers and use words they don't have the slightest conception of (Socialism/Marxism). Sadly, I fear that most of them are the ignorant and unenlightened lowest common denominator who couch there racism in activism.

    This is the kind of rabble that liked to watch hangings and lynch people.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:13 pm |
  53. Jim

    The reomance of the Tea Party: Ordinary citizens standing up to misrepresentation and poor representation by those in Congress.

    The reality of the Tea Party: A bunch of disgruntled people that are angry about one or more particular issues, but are not really fully informed on these issues and let their misconceptions steer them off-course; meanwhile they are being duped and hijacked by the Republican party as a means to an ends of getting back in power.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:13 pm |
  54. RG

    I feel the Tea Baggers are mostly middle classepeople who have bought into the propaganda from the insurance companies. They vocally poo-poo healthcare reform that is ONLY intended to help the middle class. The Republicans are a party for the rich, Bush even set the price at $250 K per year. They get their votes from independents by dividing the population over some of the lesser issues. They have reallyscored a huge victory here, recruiting middle class members to rally against reform for their own benefit. They've rallied seniors to rally against socialized medicine, while they are on Medicare. The GOP has once again duped the people with their "divide & conquer" stratagies. Th ignorance is fueled by propaganda from Fox news, which has become the news of choice for bigots and idiots.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:13 pm |
  55. Matt

    Sharon,

    We didn't like the bailout under Bush either.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:12 pm |
  56. mdegraffen

    They want to take back their country but their country was sold to the higest bidder long ago. These people are being used and don't have the smarts to figure that out. Sad.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:11 pm |
  57. Ken

    I, too, support the idea of the Tea Party becoming a full fledged party. They go head to head with the Republican party and totally dilute their power while the Democratic party continues with business as usual.

    I know that this country has some problems that need to be addressed and I have been disappointed that the Democrats in Congress, as well as President Obama, are focusing on the wrong things. But I also see that Republicans have drifted into a mode of oppossing everything just because they are not in charge. It should be clear to everyone that they are vigorously working against the interests of the United States and it is time for them to start fading into the background.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:11 pm |
  58. Lana

    Thanks for the spelling change! I have CNN.com set as my homepage, you are the only ones I go to for my news.
    Thanks again,
    Lana from Lexington, KY

    February 3, 2010 at 2:11 pm |
  59. h

    The Tea Party seems to be composed of two factions: Libertarians on one side, and Christian fundamentalists on the other - I really don't see how this movement can be sustained with these clashing ideals

    February 3, 2010 at 2:10 pm |
  60. patsyd

    The 'movement' goes to the polls in autumn.... no leadership required here – just informed, decisive individuals voting. Can't wait for the cool winds of autumn to blow in some CHANGE and end the ONE PARTY RULES massive central power in DC... a bit of balance for all!

    February 3, 2010 at 2:10 pm |
  61. Matt

    As a Republican I supported what the Tea Party stood for. After all, liberals got to do the same thing for 8 years with Bush in office. This isn't new, just a different side. But as much as the liberals annoyed me, the Tea Party is doing the same. I don't want to be classified as whiney and that is what made Republicans different from Democrats. We aren't whiney. But lately we are looking as bad. I really believe if both sides would stop bickering, then maybe we could get more down in office, it being either a Democrat or Republican.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:09 pm |
  62. Raymond

    Honestly, these are all mostly old white folks wanting things to be as they were before. No black president, no minority empowerment, white rule basically. Just look with your eyes, see for yourself, why aren't there any black people, brown people, any other races in their so-called party. The rest of the people in the US voted for this president, these people voted for the loser, get over it. Things change , just accept it.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:09 pm |
  63. Zac

    Yeah like we need a corporate backed political movement. $550 to attend a convention with Sarah Palin? I'm sorry but I wouldn't see her speak for free. Does she really represent these people? It seem like she is a tool of the GOP to get these Tea Party people behind them. If they want to change the political climate here in American the last thing they should do is form a third party. All their candidates will end up bought out just like the Democrats and Republicans. Best to keep 'em like they are. A bunch of ranting idiots with no set group of ideas lead by no one. I mean these people can't even agree about what they are about. How do they expect to change anything if what you hear from the Tea Party changes depending on where you live. To all you Tea Party people get it together. And please for your own sake stay away from Sarah Palin. She destroyed McCains campaign and quit her job a governor. It doesn't help you out when you support a quitter

    February 3, 2010 at 2:08 pm |
  64. Chris

    The Tea Party party, huh?

    Starting up a third party made up of leaderless conservatives would be a GREAT idea.......

    .......if you're a Democrat!

    Call me when a moderate/centrist third party rises. I'm tired of the far left and far right hijacking their respective parties, and the moderates from both parties with them. Like most people thoughtful enough to look beyond the need to be 'straight ticket' in their beliefs, on some issues, I agree with the GOP, and on others, the Democrats.

    Given the winner-take-all nature of our elections, politics gets pushed to the far reaches of either party, which results in the lesser of two evils winning out in every election cycle, instead of someone who recognizes that, for most issues, the real answer lies not in the black and white, but in the gray areas.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:08 pm |
  65. Belle

    You Libs are such a riot. We should all just be quiet and imbibe the Liberal "facts" as truth, and if we don't, you'll label us "idiots." To "Sad", I don't know too many overweight tea partiers. I'm a normal weight. To "Nick", as a matter of fact, if it hadn't been for McCain, there probably wouldn't have been a Tea Party. Obama would have been just another Liberal. Finally, not all of us Tea Partiers have faith in Third Party candidates. You could dress them in First Party clothes, or Second Party clothes, or 22nd clothes, but underneath, they'd still be a politician. The Tea Parties aren't about the candidates – they're about that no-longer silent majority of conservative voters. The candidates simply go where they think the votes are, and they're not going to find the conservative voters if the conservatives are sitting home with their heads in their hands, watching the Liberal Media on tv. Tea Party leaders have been wondering whether it's time to "move on" from the rallies. They want to do more, and that's okay, if you're into hobnobbing. The heart of the Tea Parties will always be at home in the town squares, where the real people can be seen and heard, not in some fancy convention hall, making backroom deals and networking with other hobnobbers.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:08 pm |
  66. Sharon O

    Where were these people when Bush was asking for billions for the Iraq War? I guess spending is okay if it is their guy doing it.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:06 pm |
  67. Matt

    Jeff,

    I think you are right. But you missed the message of the narrative. It states that there are a handful of different Tea Party groups. Meckler himself who is a founder of one of the groups has even stated that he is not going.

    And it is obvious that some people in the GOP are trying to exploit this for their own cause. And just as the other side has used these movements for their cause I think it is disgusting. Unless you truly decided to embrace the movement and follow its ideals.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:06 pm |
  68. Abbie

    Really??? Do you people hear yourselves? This is America – where people have the right to express their opinions freely? Some of you are actually basing your opinion response on the photograph? Are you truly this shallow? I'm not a member of this group, but I respect their right to voice their opinions and try to organize. Let's face it, our current system of government is not working very well. Sometimes our politicians need a little reminding just who they work for – and it usually takes a group of angry, irrational citizens to get their attention. The truth be known, I commend them for getting involved instead of just whining and moaning. I can still vote against them!

    February 3, 2010 at 2:06 pm |
  69. Guest

    Ah, the diarrhea mouths have emerged. No substance coming from brain dead people.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:03 pm |
  70. HK

    Its about time the lower quartiles got their own party.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:03 pm |
  71. mike

    Here is the real deal....It's not the republicans vs the democrats, it's the republicans and the democrats vs the American people. The election of scott brown is not a victory in the revolution, it's just congress changing hands once again. How did the republicans do the last eight years...lol...we are going to get more of the same until 70% of Americans get a clue. Both parties have been at the helm over and over and we are 12 trillion dollars in debt...

    PS Sarah Palin is a self serving idiot

    February 3, 2010 at 2:02 pm |
  72. Matt

    Maybe we should cut more taxes and give america to the communist (China). Hec, they already own $1 T dollars of America. What's another $1 T. I guess we will only get a balanced budget when the communist (China) tells us too. Is this what the Republicans want? Why don't people understand that we need to pay off our debts and get a balanced budget. Why are we mortgaging our kids future with this huge debt? How much more dollars are we going to pay in interest to China?

    February 3, 2010 at 2:02 pm |
  73. Joe

    The Tea Party folks (among many things) and I do not share the same understanding what what political leadership in this country is all about. They seem(?) to think leadership is decision by consensus. Real leadership is sometimes doing things the people who elected you may not like, but is for the good of the country.

    Subjectively, they are a bunch of whiners who didn't like the outcome of the last presidential election, and seem to think that public opinion rules this nation. Get a life, and a clue. Your vote rules this country. Man-up and run for office if you want to change things with something other than your vote.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:00 pm |
  74. harley883

    I am so glad people are distancing themselves from this humiliation of the gop.....they want to bear arms, but do not support the raising of taxes for anything government (military etc..) they do not support healthcare, but yet most of them are around 40 to 50 percent overweight and I guarantee they will be taxing our system as they get older..I could go on and on...they rally around nothing noteworthy yet if rush or beck say bah,bah,bah..they follow them blindly

    February 3, 2010 at 2:00 pm |
  75. PissPouch

    What a bunch of Sheeple.

    When the "founder" of the movement is a blatant racist it should become obvious to a thinking person that they are being misguided for another lowlifes political gain.
    But no. You keep doing what your told in the name of an imaginary "America" you are being sold.

    Sarah Palin?!?!?
    Bwahahahaha!

    What a Joke.
    She is only showing up at your events to take your hard earned money for her own idiotic political interests.

    When the land of the Free and Brave is governed by the Caged and Stupid you guys can finally celebrate the "American" values your restored.

    February 3, 2010 at 1:59 pm |
  76. bob

    What services that we pay taxes for would you like to eliminate first, police, fire, military, premature infant healthcare, etc? Just tell me who gets to suffer first, tea partiers.

    February 3, 2010 at 1:59 pm |
  77. Mike W

    Sarah Palin? The same Sarah Palin who when asked what news paper she read couldn't think of the name of a single local or national paper? The same Sarah Palin who openly denies that global warming exists? Wait wait wait...Are we talking about the same Sarah Palin who quit serving the good people of Alaska so she could selfishly put herself on a national stage?

    February 3, 2010 at 1:58 pm |
  78. Matt

    There have been plenty of coherent comments from the Tea Party. It just that many of you choose not to hear them.

    And I am not a Sarah Palin supporter, but I do ask what has she done to any of you to have such harsh words for her?

    February 3, 2010 at 1:58 pm |
  79. Leon

    All I see is a bunch of overweight and obese white only teabaggers whining about taxes and they call themselves patriots??

    February 3, 2010 at 1:56 pm |
  80. John

    Call me stereotypical, but most tea party members seem like well-off middle-aged folks of the light-skinned variety with no perspective of how the rest of the world operates outside of their own. They become outraged over any changes that may affect their lifestyle by as little as 0.01%.

    February 3, 2010 at 1:56 pm |
  81. Vivian Spurlock

    Yep!! it is time to take our country back, and it is time to take Pelosi out of her jet.

    February 3, 2010 at 1:56 pm |
  82. jeff

    how is the tea party conservative and looking out for everyone when they have an admission fee of $550

    February 3, 2010 at 1:55 pm |
  83. Matt

    I believe the basic ideas of the Tea Party and what they stand for. They are looking out for the American way. I do not wish for them to start a 3rd party because all that will split votes between 2 of the more Tea Party type candidates, normally a GOP one and one of their own. And that will toss a homerun ball up for the opposing candidate. Instead I hope they truly stick to their roots and support the member who fits the values. Even if they are democrat.

    As a teacher I feel they should act how the NEA is supposed to for us and back teacher friendly candidates. But this is not the case with the NEA they have went directly with the Democratic Party.

    So I hope the Tea Party can keep getting momentum and backs the Candidates for less spending and smaller government. But leave the social issues out of it.

    So I hope the Tea Party can keep getting momentum and backs the Candidates for less spending and smaller government. But leave the social issues out of it.

    February 3, 2010 at 1:55 pm |
  84. SEE?

    Yesterday, ThinkProgress reported on the rise of “Tea Party Profiteers” — Republican operatives who are exploiting the tea party movement to make money and funnel volunteers to Republican campaigns. The profiteers tap into legitimate feelings of anger and distrust among many struggling Americans, but then steer people into organizations set up to make money off of them.

    February 3, 2010 at 1:54 pm |
  85. Jay

    If Mr. Wierzbicki feels the tea party movement is Republican based, I suggest him become a candidate and only contact Republicans. A majority of people in the movement have re-registered as Independents because they are sick of partisan politics.

    February 3, 2010 at 1:54 pm |
  86. Courtney Anne

    Tea Party activists are a bunch of idiots. Just look at the leader, Sarah Palin. She is stupid when it comes to policies. I guess that is why she now works for Fox news. Not much intelligence over at that network.

    February 3, 2010 at 1:53 pm |
  87. Sad

    Is it just me or is everyone in Tea Party pictures grossly overweight? They probably have insurance so they can keep engaging in unhealthy behaviors while they assume those that cant afford health insurance of doing the same (45,000 people die from this every year). These people are sad and probably need to read a U.S. history book.

    February 3, 2010 at 1:53 pm |
  88. Nick

    Funny, if it were McCain there would still be a tea party...yeah right.

    February 3, 2010 at 1:51 pm |
  89. greg

    Anyone who refers to them as teabaggers is immature and cannot be expected to be taken seriously.

    February 3, 2010 at 1:51 pm |
  90. Nekodapnw

    Do we you see a single minority in any of these Tea Party gatherings?
    We need a big tent party or this party will never have strong roots to stand on.

    February 3, 2010 at 1:50 pm |
  91. Guest

    Agreed. They have no direction. Leave the thinking to us Independents, Democrats, and Republicans.

    February 3, 2010 at 1:50 pm |
  92. greg

    Tea Party people should vote Libertarian

    February 3, 2010 at 1:50 pm |
  93. Jared

    It's not a political party, and most of them don't want it to be. It's a movement to say that we're disapointed in the GOP, and they need to move back to the fiscally responsible party that we expect!

    February 3, 2010 at 1:50 pm |
  94. Prashant

    I wonder what kind of Health Insurance these Tea Party supports have?Maybe it covers all pre existing conditions.

    February 3, 2010 at 1:48 pm |
  95. Afghan Vet

    Just plain simple.

    If you whine and protest for lower taxes DO NOT claim to support the troops. Bullets and body armor don't grow on trees.

    February 3, 2010 at 1:46 pm |
  96. Christian Values

    Please DO become a third party. It will be GREAT! I mean it, I FULLY support the idea of the Tea Bag Party. I will DEFINITELY do all I can to help them become a party. No Joke about it! I might have alterior reasons, but I'm sincere about my full support of them becoming a party.

    February 3, 2010 at 1:46 pm |
  97. Steve

    Stop fighting among yourselves. Just listen to the Democrats.

    February 3, 2010 at 1:46 pm |
  98. Raleigh Muns

    The best description of the teabaggers is that there is no "there" there (thank you Gertrude Stein). What you have is a bunch of disgruntled folk who apparently have no idea what they're talking about. I have yet to hear anything coherent come from these people other than vague rants about pretty much everything.

    The fact that the quitter Sarah Palin is held up as an icon to the teabaggers pretty much says it all.

    February 3, 2010 at 1:45 pm |
  99. Ed L

    what a pack of idiots.....

    February 3, 2010 at 1:40 pm |
  100. Linda Blankensop

    I'm so sick of hearing about Sarah Palin and Russ Limbaugh. I still think that they are both idoits. Regarding the tea party, it is sad that everyone listen's to their bull crap instead of thinking for themselves and getting out the information that is listed on serval sites on their computers and do their own research. How soon we forget that things just don't happen overnight. There are more important things that need that are going on in our country to be looking toward the future of whom they want to run for president. Maybe, instead of complaingin they should being looking into ways to help our econmy.

    February 3, 2010 at 11:31 am |
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