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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. EBJ

    persoanlly I only two problems with this Tea Party movement. The first is why did these folks wait until AFTER Bush left office to form this group? Where was all this anger when he was president and the current spending was soaring and goverment was going/ Secondly what is with the somewhat racial overtones that some of these folks have when they come out to protest? This looks in some cases more like a KLAN rally than peole protesting goverment. I have too see many if ANY minorities at these rallies. Don't they pay high taxes too? To me it looks like some of these folks ("I want my country back!!") are content on protesting the president because of his race morso than his policies.

    February 3, 2010 at 4:32 pm |
  2. NancyLV

    The tea bag party is not just old white over weight people, this is what CNN would have you believe because they are a liberal democratic news station just as the other main stream media, I do recall that on FOX there was a BLACK young man who was beaten up by the unions because he did not believe in their ways and he was a tea bag person, these stations that say anything about the tea bag movement always say there is trouble brewing inside and do not show pics of family type people. The tea bag movement is not GOP or dems but a movement to say the government needs to stop what they are doing and remember we are their employers they work for us and we don't like what you are doing, remember the constitution which says "WE THE PEOPLE not WE THE GOVERNMENT and this is what the tea party movement is all about so those of you who know nothing about it will say things like they are idiots, trouble makers, old white people. Get to know about the movement read about it don't listen to the CNN< ABC< CBS or MSNBC.

    February 3, 2010 at 4:32 pm |
  3. Kathleen

    I am a mother of 3 and I will tell you that for me and many of my friends, the tea parties do not represent me. Obama and the democrats represent my needs and best interest. I have no health insurance and have deathly asthma and have almost died twice and am uninsurable. These morons screaming about health care have no idea what its like to live without insurance. They make me ashamed and infuriated.

    THE TEA PARTY DOESNT REPRESENT THE SICK AND UNINSURED>. They represent rich people and insurance and big business and they arent fooling anyone....

    I am ashamed of them. I will counter picket them anytime I see them because they arent doing anything to help people like me and my children, one of whom is disabled and the Obama administration represents my family, not these crazies

    February 3, 2010 at 4:31 pm |
  4. Rob G

    Uhh – this is a party – Libertarian – except when you throw in the fringe components of "christian values" who want to tell all of us how to live. Libertarians don't want to fund much of anything but also don't want to tell us how to live – which probably suits most of the US – cut my taxes, stop paying for everyone and everything and leave me alone

    February 3, 2010 at 4:29 pm |
  5. hd

    If you think the Tea Party participants are all a bunch of racists you are wrong. Check out, but I guess you would lablel him an oreo. It's the die hard Liberals that are labeling them as hate mongering racist. Thats what they want so no one pays attention to the group. MSNBC, Rachael Maddow and Olbermann showed an man with a gun strapped to his leg at an event where Obama was appearing and proceeded to rant how wrong and racist that was but they only showed the man from the waist down. It was revealed later that the man was black. It is the Democrats that are fostering the hatred to the Tea Party. Many of the participants in tea party rallies actually voted for Obama. They don't like congress voting for bills that they have not read, they don't like the back door deals, they didn't like the stimulous package loaded with pork that did very little to help the job situation. Pork that was supposed to end with this administation.
    They have lied about the amount of jobs saved or created. I work for a school. We were given stimulus money to pay for adjunct teachers. The money for the teachers was already in our budget and the teachers hired but we had to report the number of positions so they could claim they saved or added these jobs. Our work study money was awarded as usual and then told no we are reducing the work study funds and making up the difference in stimulus money. I'm an Independent. I'm so angry at the arrogance of the Democrats that it will probably be a long time before I trust and vote for another one again.

    February 3, 2010 at 4:29 pm |
  6. cecilia

    I know many liberals will not want me to say this and all tea baggers will deny it, but, as a Southern White Democrat, I truly have come to believe that the energy, emotion, and anger is entirely due to the fact that these people cannot accept a black man in the "White"house.

    How else could you account for the utter meaness coming from these people.

    I will go further and say that there are many in Washington who cannot get past the race issue, except to deny it.
    I really thought we were past this when we elected President Obama, and those of us who voted for him have – but there were a lot of people who have not

    February 3, 2010 at 4:29 pm |
  7. Alex

    To all those tea party folks out there, please explain a coherent platform to me beyond "limit federal spending". If you plan to lower taxes, how will you balance the budget. Further, WHERE will spending be cut, specifically? What programs will go under the axe? And if deficits are your biggest concern, then please explain how defense spending (which makes up a HUGE portion of the budget) plays into all this.

    February 3, 2010 at 4:29 pm |
  8. Jim M

    I'd still like someone to explain to me what these guys actually stand for and what their proposed solutions are?

    Yes, they want smaller government, but what does that mean? No regulation? No social security, medicare, school funding?

    And don't give any anti-Obama crap, these guys are not supposed to be affiliated with either party...although that's tough to tell based on their funding and previous speakers.

    February 3, 2010 at 4:28 pm |
  9. jake

    When Obama isn't doing his job and the liberals are losing in the polls they start to act like children and start name calling and saying hateful things about people

    February 3, 2010 at 4:28 pm |
  10. RFK

    From what I have seen of Tea Party events they seem to be a collection of academic failures that despise the fact that we have a true intellectual as president. Look no further than their soon to be official spokeswoman – Palin. She embodies what underachievers most admire; fame and fortune without ever having to use critical thinking skills. Why deliberate or try to make an informed decision when you can just ‘call it like you see it’? What is most sad is that these people, who probably think they are going to make life better for themselves, are being completely used by the insurance industry and GOP lobbyists.

    February 3, 2010 at 4:27 pm |
  11. Ray in Nashville

    Hey Jim, at $549 to get in, I couldn't afford to go to the Tea Party convention here in Nashville.

    February 3, 2010 at 4:24 pm |
  12. vel

    I'm just waiting for the teabaggers to start accusing each other of not being "True Christians" or not "true Patriots". That's always the next thing, the intolerant turn upon each other and they are more than welcome to it.

    February 3, 2010 at 4:23 pm |
  13. Johnny B

    They should call it the Republican Tea Party. Or maybe just the Republican Party for short...

    February 3, 2010 at 4:23 pm |
  14. chuck

    So all you CNN & MSNBC lefties use your own mind instead of the demagogy from this and other leftwing propaganda. If you believe this socialism takeover is wrong stand up and fight for what YOU believe.
    STOP THE BLAME GAME and do something other than blaming!!

    February 3, 2010 at 4:23 pm |
  15. Keith

    Teabaggers want to become modern populists but they’re really apologists for corporate America. They want government off their back, which means corporations are free to act in any way, too—like dropping insurance coverage when you are sick or polluting the environment. Teabaggers give liberals a tremendous opportunity to reclaim our traditional progressive appeal to the middle class.

    February 3, 2010 at 4:21 pm |
  16. Tom MN

    For those of you accusing posters who criticze the Tea Bag movement as members of the "looney left", etc. Realize that not all of us are. Hell, I'm not even a Democrat! Most people, Independents, Dems and even some Repubs see this movement for what it is. Realize that you are but a tiny minority on the political scene, and most Americans want nothing to do with you.

    February 3, 2010 at 4:21 pm |
  17. BobGreen

    Don't believe any of the news coverage you will here over the next two months concerning the Tea Party from CNN, ABC, CBS, or MSNBC. They will make an attempt to divide the party by rumour and inuendo. This is the oldest pyscological game in the world. Don't fall for it

    February 3, 2010 at 4:21 pm |
  18. Jim in Miami

    Tea Party People-

    You really should be running ' third party' candidates where ever possile. Stand up and be counted – run your own slate of candidates...

    February 3, 2010 at 4:21 pm |
  19. Georgene

    "Middle Class".....the Tea Party is not the middle class. It is what the Republican Party has put together to stonewall what President Obama is trying to achieve. This group of people, the upper middle class.... the "still haves" are trying along with our Republican Senators and Congressmen to influence everyone else, by using the same tactics that were used for the Bush administration.

    I hope that those that have lost their homes, close to bankruptcy, and living from day to day don't buy into this movement.

    February 3, 2010 at 4:19 pm |
  20. RG

    This is what democracy is all about; going out there and making yourself heard. To all you liberal progressive socialists out there get used to this, because people that work and support their families are sick of paying for your non-sense programs and all the lazy folks out there that keep reproducing.

    February 3, 2010 at 4:19 pm |
  21. Linda, Omaha

    I agree with See? and James from Lake Geneva–I believe the idea of a third party is not a bad idea in itself, not matter what you name or label it. I am sick of labels, stereotypes, name calling from all sides.

    But what we DO need is for all people to recognize that President Obama is "trying" to correct the many oversights of the "Bush and Cheney" years. If the president doesn't invest in our education, environment, climate control, infrastructure, out of control banking de-regulation so the rich get richer and richer, and make an attempt at improving America's standing in the world communities, it won't matter what the deficit is, there won't be a future for our children period.

    What we need, is a body of people who are willing to work on bills and get them passed, and right now, it's not President Obama causing the problems, its our bodies of inaction! The Democrats are too busy covering their butts for elections and the Republicans are too busy shooting down everything that is said to even read a bill. I believe THEY are the ones the county are ticked at.

    Back at the tea party–many, many of these people are either 1) independently wealthy seniors with time and money on their hands and are lacking the understanding that they are being scammed, or 2) employees that are paid to be loud and get attention. It's an easy job and not much education required, so one could hire alot of people for a little money, just to cause a scene and make noise.

    I find it interesting that main stream media, however, is duped. But Sarah Palin, speaking fee of $100,000.00??????? Well,,,,I'm guessing THIS is not gonna be the "third" party the country was hoping for. God Bless you all.

    February 3, 2010 at 4:19 pm |
  22. Jim

    Has anyone commented who has been to a Tea Party? I see no comments from anyone who seems to know anything about the Tea Parties. Just a bunch of whiny liberals commenting on things they know nothing about. Gawd, what a bunch of morons.

    February 3, 2010 at 4:18 pm |
  23. Tom MN

    For those who defend the Teabaggers as non-racist: Have you attended any of their events? I have, and saw racist images and slogans first hand. That doesn't make all Teabaggers racist, but how come no one was calling out the ones who were???

    February 3, 2010 at 4:18 pm |
  24. notfooledbydistractions

    The tea party organizations are just another way for lobbyists to scam people for profits, and for the republicans to dupe the minions into believing that the republican party is looking out for their best interests. They'll dupe them just like they did the evangelicals.

    February 3, 2010 at 4:17 pm |
  25. ByeByeGOP

    So let me get this straight. This grass roots organization has no structured leadership that's recognized from either coast, and they wanted to be known as the people against President Obama's policies. They don't want to be catagorized as Republicans, but the majority are Rep and the Rep are taking over their organization.

    Wow, only in America. Dumb leading Dumber.

    February 3, 2010 at 4:17 pm |
  26. Conrad Shull

    For every moron on the right who thinks B. Obama is the anti-Christ, there is an moron on the left who thought he was the second coming of Christ.

    February 3, 2010 at 4:16 pm |
  27. Old Hippie

    So, let me get this straight. The people are angry about the massive govt bailouts of the car companies and the Big Banks. So, the thing to do is to let those institutions fail due to their bad management decisions. What do they think the country would look like today if that were allowed to happen. It would have been worse than the last great depression. Stupid people with stupid ideas.

    February 3, 2010 at 4:13 pm |
  28. Sam

    All these rallies do, is convey a strong under-current of racism.....that's that.

    February 3, 2010 at 4:13 pm |
  29. Francine

    The Tea Party movement would never have happened if the GOP stuck to their parties platform; instead it was hijacked by the neo-conservatives who favor corporatism and war over fiscal responsibility, personal liberty and conservative foreign policy.

    February 3, 2010 at 4:13 pm |
  30. Guest

    Tea Baggers (and that name is so appropriate), are a joke. Mrs Palin supports them? Go figure. No wonder Democrats and Republicans hate her.

    February 3, 2010 at 4:13 pm |
  31. Mark

    Why not bring back the Whig party?

    February 3, 2010 at 4:12 pm |
  32. Dan

    What a bunch of losers. This is what happens when ignorance is given free speech. Leave our country alone !

    February 3, 2010 at 4:10 pm |
  33. James

    Where was all the outrage when President Bush was depicted as satan or had signs that said F–k Bush?? Where were was this report when people had signs with President Bush as Hitler? Your outrage and calls for supporting the current president ring hollow and make you look foolish. Maybe you don't agree with what the Tea party is trying to accomplish but that certainly does not make them stupid for trying to affect change. I believe when variuos left leaning groups were going nuts on President Bush they were hailed as patriotic. Hmmmm I smell hypocrisy in here

    February 3, 2010 at 4:09 pm |
  34. RemainCalm

    Those tea party people are being manipulated by corporate interests, partisan strategists and big-business lobbyists who orchestrate and fund the “tea party” shenanigans, and they don’t even know it. Those events are about as grassroots as the moon, and candidates who lean that way are either ignorant about being manipulated or in on the power-brokering.

    All those tea party people and their yelling do nothing to impress the centrists, moderates and independents who decide national and statewide elections. They may be disappointed in the 2010 results, although the Republicans will undoubtedly pick up a few seats as the pendulum swings a bit to the other side, as it always does for midterm elections.

    February 3, 2010 at 4:09 pm |
  35. Paul W.

    The Tea Party people are simply fools and dupes of the Republicans. The Tea Party does not know what it stands for or what it wants....they are just generally unhappy, and that is no basis for a political movement.

    What really makes me laugh is that many of the Tea Baggers receive Social Security or Medicare, yet rail against those as "socialism" or "big government interference". I would love to see how many of them have burned their Social Security checks or refused Medicare coverage.

    The Tea Bag party is simply a political freak show that is all noise, no substance and will have no effect on the real political landscape.

    February 3, 2010 at 4:09 pm |
  36. John Harer

    One post says Tea Partiers are just plain folks struggling financially. In eastern North Carolina, most of the Tea Partiers I see are the Country Club set, local business and fraternity/soroity types from the local universities. I am sure some may be making less than they did when there wasn't a recession, but deprivation is only relative to these folks. They don't know what true deprivation is living in their big surburban homes.

    February 3, 2010 at 4:09 pm |
  37. Shandro_Ro187

    CNN is a joke. I just saw about 5 post and now they are for tea party. Go figure. I just wonder how many were deleted? and this one?

    Hey – Who has the Highest Rated news? NOT HERE!!!

    Nuf Said!!


    February 3, 2010 at 4:08 pm |
  38. Bettie

    the sad thing is tea party is not going to get much out of their whining, but the rich republic if republican get to be the next in power, the country keep sliding down while the rich get richer, at the end by the time tea party realize they are screwed it will be too late because they are scrapping penny from the money they lost by medical cost that the big insurance company that supported by republican take them to is a matter of time, they are only seeing the black president they are not seeing what he is standing for yes they are idiots!

    February 3, 2010 at 4:07 pm |
  39. Lance

    I find all of you loony lefties on here hilarious. It's funny how it's only the critics of the Tea Party movement that bring up race issue. Go ahead and keep using your feeble empty headed childish remarks and projecting your racism onto others. The majority of Americans see right through it.

    February 3, 2010 at 4:06 pm |
  40. E. Elizabeth Jean

    The so-called "Tea Baggers" do not have any one leader because they make up a large number of loyal Americans that are tired of how politics has degenerated into people that are looking out just for themselves. There was not any one person that started it. People just got fed up with the way they saw our country moving. It had nothing to do with who was in Congress or who our President was. This has been going on for a long time and just now came to a head.

    We elect people to go to Washington to vote for what we want not for what they want. The Congress and the President are voted in by the people and the Congress and President works for the people. They are supposed to listen to us. They are not there to fulfill their desires. This is a country that has a Constitution and Bill of Rights and everyone in Congress and the President takes an oath to protect them and govern by them. Our government is supposed to be small and let each State govern for their individual people. It works better that way.

    Unless America wakes up and reads and learns what our Constitution and Bill of Rights say, we are going to continue to loose our way and we will find ourselves being governed by dictators. I love my country and the freedom it gives everyone. Let's keep it that way.

    As far as the "Tea Baggers" are concerned I don't see them as being fat or skinny or any of the other things that some people in Washington has called them. They are just trying to wake up some politicians. Let's give America back to the people.

    February 3, 2010 at 4:05 pm |
  41. Phillip

    Funny thing is liberals are the biggest hypocrites known to mankind. If this was a movement with left-wing talking-points, these idiots on this message board would be saying its the "Voice of America," and a heroic grass roots movement.

    Question? Do liberals have concious, or at the very least any objectiveness?

    Obama upholds the wiretaps, No Child Left Behind, raises taxes, no transparency, hires lobbyists, keeps Guantanemo open, et cetera.

    Yet, we hear not a peep from them on any of these talking points. The best they do is trot out the blame Bush game.


    February 3, 2010 at 4:04 pm |
  42. John

    The amount of hate towards Sarah Palin is hilarious. What did she do so horribly wrong again?

    February 3, 2010 at 4:04 pm |
  43. Shandro_Ro187

    LOL – randeritosho! Yeah, i couldnt have said it better. Probably most of the posters on here are from CNN's Staff. Rather humorous how they like to knock us. Hey, Im a conservative and proud of it. I do hope there is a movement in our country that would bring us back to the basic principals of a moralely strong nation. Your voices may cry out calling them racist bigots, white men gone mad, etc. However, a whole lot of people are really getting pissed off because they are tire of paying taxes, having a finger pointed at us like we done something wrong and paying for the income for some sorry chumps who are not related to them, and laugh while they recievce welfare checks. The biggest motivatation is when people start to take more money out of their pockets. Obama and them say,"its time to share the wealth".

    You 1st obama,Biden....let the liberals give their money 1st and then we'll see what happens. Dont see that happening do you? of coarse not? STOP STEALING FROM MY HOUSE AND MY CHILDREN. TeaBaggers – you guys have my support ! I was a democrat, now my eyes are WIDE OPEN!!! SHeeeesh

    February 3, 2010 at 4:03 pm |
  44. Jake

    STUPID!!! Grab yer guns and go ah shootin some squirrels! YEEHAW!! MCDONALDS RULES!

    February 3, 2010 at 4:03 pm |
  45. Anon

    And I don't necessarily agree with them. But it IS their right to say what they want and to make themselves heard.

    Deal with it.

    February 3, 2010 at 4:02 pm |
  46. Bettie

    the sad thing is tea party is not going to get much out of their whining, if republican get to be the next in power, the country keep sliding down while the rich get richer, at the end by the time tea party realize they are screwed up by republican again, it will be too late because they are scrapping penny they lost by medical cost that the big insurance company that supported by republican take them to is a matter of time, they are only seeing the black president they are not seeing what he is standing for and he is standing for yes they are idiots!

    February 3, 2010 at 4:02 pm |
  47. Americanvalues

    Matt, Your numbers are wrong. OVER half of our budget goes to defence. Look it up first before you claim facts.
    Second, don't the teabaggers know any history? Guess not. If they did they would realize the Boston tea party was about England giving the West India Tea Co. HUGE tax cuts that allow them to monopolize the American tea sellers. So the Americans dumped their tea since they were getting run oput oif business.
    It's all about tax cuts for the wealthy , teabaggers. Not tax cuts for us.
    I wish some one else would use religion to prove they are a good American on this comment board.
    signed. Jewishvalues,Hinduvalues,Atheistvalues,Muslumvalues,paganvalues.
    No religion has a lock on having American values

    February 3, 2010 at 4:02 pm |
  48. Anon

    Um, so it's ok for the Democrats to get up in arms in support of who/what THEY believe to be right (which is JUST THEIR OPINION), but if these people, whether they are right or not, want to stand up and voice there opinion, it's not ok? They are "stupid, they "mean nothing," they are "poor souls who are entertaining"?

    Sounds like Democrats and Obama supporters are a bunch of hypocrite's if you ask me. It's ok to think as you do, because you are "open-minded," but it is not ok, IN AMERICA, for someone with a different opinion than yourself to have their say?


    February 3, 2010 at 4:01 pm |
  49. jason

    What a bunch of angry white people. you have health care. why can't I?

    February 3, 2010 at 4:01 pm |
  50. Terry from West Texas

    The tea baggers may imagine themselves to be modern versions of Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, but they are a bit short of the mark.

    They want to cut taxes. Me too. What government expenditures would they reduce or eliminate? What comment do they make about the fact that Republican Conservative Presidents (Reagan, Bush Sr., and Bush Jr.) are responsible for $8 trillion of our $11 trillion debt? They voted for all three of those guys. They voted for McCain, who voted for every one of those budgets.

    To balance the budget so that tax revenues equal government expenditures, they will have to cut $1 TRILLION from the budget. Shall we eliminate Social Security tomorrow? That would do it. How about eliminating the Defense Department? That wojuld do it. After cutting the trillion, THEN to lower taxes we would have to cut more. I suggest the elimination of highway and bridge construction, air traffic control, the Coast Guard, the FBI, FEMA, and the Transportation Security Administration.

    Give us some specifics, tea baggers.

    February 3, 2010 at 4:00 pm |
  51. wcb2009

    Forget about the tea baggers. They are simply a proxy for the GOP. If you want a third party that wont devolve into the same ol, VOTE GREEN!

    February 3, 2010 at 4:00 pm |
  52. John

    There's nothing wrong with people coming together to protest big government expansions and spending. The origins of the teapart has strong traditional roots in this country (as the founding fathers warned of an overbearing government). The question is how will these groups of people fit into our two party system (or can they help republicans back to limited government principles that we didn't see under Bush).

    February 3, 2010 at 3:59 pm |
  53. ScottNM

    The Tea Party is a grass roots revolt against the path we are on. Both republican and democrats have let us down. We need true conservative leadership unless you dont like being the greatest nation on earth.

    February 3, 2010 at 3:58 pm |
  54. dieselbug

    They claim to be Taxed Enough Already. If they and their right wing warmonger friends in the Republican Party actually did the math on what the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost us all then maybe they'd realize that the problem is of their own making by cutting taxes when spending was increased. They do know that for the first time in US history a president went to war and cut taxes during the term? Without the costs of Iraq and Afghanistan our country's deficit and debt would be in much better order. If they're Taxed Enough Already then what government spending do they suggest is cut? Defense? Education? Medicaid?
    The only way out of the financial hole this country is in is to build a stronger economy by getting people back to work, not cutting costs and leaving more and more people destitute.

    February 3, 2010 at 3:58 pm |
  55. Bob

    It's great that this is happening at the grass roots level. It should be free and clear of the two parties. Thank heaven there is no single leader or group. If so the entire movement could be taken over from within and directed towards alternative agendas. I say let the spirit of 76 grow stronger at a local level all over this country. Let the people re-learn liberty and demand that we secure these liberties for our children and grand children. The more individuals that are turned on to the foundations that this country was built on, the better this country will be able to throw off the chains of tyranny when the velvet glove comes off. The two party system continues marching us down the same road of larger government, diminished liberty, and a steady erosion of our sovereignty. It is time for real change, not the false promises we hear from the current political leadership.

    February 3, 2010 at 3:57 pm |
  56. Ron

    Poeple have forgotten, we are not Democrats, Republicans or Tea partiers......
    We are all AMERICAN!

    February 3, 2010 at 3:56 pm |
  57. Hugh Jarce

    Getting nervous CNN?

    You can see the visible shift in reporting of the Tea Parties. Originally written off by liberal bloggers such as this guy as being nothing more than a joke, it is now recognized that they have had a visible impact on the political scene. So now, the new angle is, "Where Do They Go Now?", and, "Who Is Really Behind Them?".

    Simple – where do they go now, answer – anywhere they need to go to ensure that Obama, and by definition the Democrats, only serve one term. Who is behind them – answer, a lot of people who do not like the direction this country is taking.

    So simple even a liberal can understand it.

    February 3, 2010 at 3:56 pm |
  58. Living in the USA

    I am ROTFLMAO. How can they say that Obama doesn't know what he is doing and can't lead the country when the Teabaggers has no clue what is going on witin their own organization. This seems like an SNL skit to me. Too funny

    February 3, 2010 at 3:55 pm |
  59. John Merenda

    I applaud the tea party members for their political enthusiasm. More Americans should do the same from any party. Here's my complaint. President O'bama has reached out to the opposition of many issues including health care, financial reform and stimulus spending. For example, several Republican ideas have been incorporated in the health bill and on other important issues as well. Why are Republicans not joining with the president instead of voting no on legislation that they have agreed to in part.? Politics is about compromise; don't they understand this point. Our forefathers certainly understood the importance of compromise, if not, our country would never have succeeded. My frustration is also over a super majority required. For President Bush 51 votes were sufficient in the senate for legislation during his term in office. Democrats have to get the job done with or without Republican cooperation. No legislation passed this year in my view is a failure on the part of Democrats. Democrats, start acting like you WON THE ELECTION. Let the public know who's in charge. LEAD!

    February 3, 2010 at 3:54 pm |
  60. bluestarfly

    Agree with the movement or not.....something has to give in this country. We are just starting to emerge out of a recession. Blame whomever you want, it does not change the fact that greed by all types caused it. The old saying is true...."what goes up must come down". Our economies climate having it's ups and downs is nothing new.
    Obama won by a small margin, and if McCain won he would of won by a small margin. Our Country is at odds right now and will be until we get back to the basics of humanity. People have had enough and until people start talking, listening and compromising our country will be in upheaval. If you are mad about the war in the Arab countries, wait till we have another Civil War on our own land, then maybe people will finally compromise.

    February 3, 2010 at 3:51 pm |
  61. American Girl 1773

    I attended several Tea Party protests, initially out of curiosity, but found it the fellowship refreshing. Although the people I've met are from very diverse backgrounds they are drawn together by a common belief that career politicians have morphed into somewhat of a political ruling class that has far overstepped it's bounds by intruding into virtually every aspect of our lives. The United States is a federal republic with a democratic tradition. The federal government should be small and extremely limited in it's powers. Instead, we find ourselves with intellectual elitist representatives who seek to tell "the little people" how to live while they spend our hard-earned tax dollars lining the pockets of their political cronies or purchasing votes. The current administration is perhaps the antithesis to this concept, having embraced a far left socialist agenda which seeks to effect some sort of "social justice" by taking from those who have worked hard to earn and transferring it to others who have made different life choices. The time is now for all reasonable people to remind their elected officials that the US Constitution indicates that the government will PROMOTE the general welfare, not PROVIDE it! The time is now for all reasonable people to remind their elected officials that they rule only with the consent of the governed.

    February 3, 2010 at 3:50 pm |
  62. randeritfosho

    Bwahahaha – yeah, all the posters here are upset cause they now this movement does have power and that they will have the power to vote these IDIOTIC Liberal Politicians out of Office. Call em Fat, Insurance, etc, wealthy. Your just upset cause they dont pay enough for your foodstamps so you can go trade them in for Pain pills and Maryjane. If it wasnt for these people, this country would be a 3rd world nation. God Bless the TeaBaggers....I would love to tea-bag any you liberals. for those who are teabag, goggles...etc.


    February 3, 2010 at 3:49 pm |
  63. Joe Bruce

    “Give me control over a nation’s currency,
    and I care not who makes its laws.”

    Mayer Amschel Rothschild (founder of the Rothschild banking cartel)

    I think that quote pretty much sums up America, 2010.

    February 3, 2010 at 3:49 pm |
  64. Rick

    San Marcos , Texas Tea Partier here, I am voting for Debra Medina to out primary Rick Perry and Kay Bailey because they are both INCUMBENTS and don't mind wasting our tax dollars.
    This is my contribution to the movement. Do something useful and help get our Country out of this mess. ALL INCUMBENTS OUT> D or R .

    February 3, 2010 at 3:49 pm |
  65. Jake

    Did I read this right? These folks are willing to be tea bagged by Republicans and Democrats? Because from what I've seen and read, it's mostly just Republicans tea bagging each other. Either way, I do appreciate their insistence on complete disorganization–no leaders, bottom-up, etc. That kind of organization is really the standard to shoot for. How can you fail when you acknowledge no leader and instead have all members clamor at the same time and pull the party in every possible direction. I see why they are such a feared and formidable grassroots movement.

    February 3, 2010 at 3:47 pm |
  66. Adam

    I can agree with the idea. People are mad and don't want big government. But the tea party is anything but "grassroots". It's a sick regurgitation of the GOP with every nut case thrown in. Fact: most of these people voted twice for Bush who created most of the mess that they are now complaining about. This group isn't independents creating an unprecedented movement... just look no farther than the OZ behind the curtain: Fox News, Palin and Rush - all trying to wag the dog.

    February 3, 2010 at 3:46 pm |
  67. Wendy

    Linda Blankensop – well I am sick of listening to your liberal crap too

    February 3, 2010 at 3:46 pm |
  68. BlackBarbie

    For all the hate and racism they spew, they make sure not to come within 50 yards of the very people they hate, try holding one of your rallies in Detroit, Newark, or Harlem, about the only thing they haven't done yet at one of these rallies is to burn a cross. Al Queda, and the Taliban, are your enemies not black people.

    February 3, 2010 at 3:45 pm |
  69. BoatBumper

    The use of the words "leader" and "Tea Party Member" in the same sentence is oxymoronic. Leaders do just that, lead, and do not denounce other's ideas and thoughts without offering alternatives of their own. Don't complain about something unless you something different to offer. Perhaps we can lead them into the Atlantic Ocean since they don't seem to know where they're going or who's leading them there.

    February 3, 2010 at 3:45 pm |
  70. Big Pappa Pump

    Good bye Democrates, November 2010! This is going to be hilarious!

    February 3, 2010 at 3:44 pm |
  71. Scott

    "We're White, we're Right, our pockets are really Tight!"

    February 3, 2010 at 3:44 pm |
  72. Big Pappa Pump

    "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."

    Whose the moron that wrote this??? What you can't support the troops and call for responsible government spending at the same time?
    Shut up tool!

    February 3, 2010 at 3:43 pm |
  73. Max Newman

    Why use the term Tea Party. The Boston Tea Party was a protest against being taxed by a government that they had no voice in. That is just not the case here. Everyone in the Tea Part movement has the same representation that we all do.

    It sounds to me like a bunch of people who hold beliefs that are not supported by the majority who are not happy that laws that they didn't support were passed and peple who they didn't vote for were elected. That is the way democracy works.

    If the Tea Party can get the majority in this country to agree to cut gevernment spending for health, education, defense, police , drug regulation and all the other things they probably use everyday, then they will have a whole new bunch of problems to complain about.

    February 3, 2010 at 3:43 pm |
  74. guest

    wow.....really???Tea Bag Party??I wonder who go to these crap???Its jus seems that is just a bunch of closed minded people which Fox is manipulating. Cuz by the look of it, they're just screaming and being mad with no solutions to people losing jobs or anything..and seriously, Fox is the gas and the tea baggers is the flame....not a gud mix at least they should base on SOME truth

    February 3, 2010 at 3:43 pm |
  75. Pam

    Lets see you have the conservatives, the normal right of center folks who you can have a nice conversation with, with them invoking their god or Ronald Regean.

    The NeoCons who you can tolorate in small groups for smaller amounts of time, who invoke their god and Ronald Regean in every 3rd breath.

    Then the tea baggers who are just plain stupid crazy.

    The more we split up the neocons and other varius nut jobs the better the political field will be. So they aren't all ganing up with one crazy right winger and that we get stuck with for 8 years.

    February 3, 2010 at 3:42 pm |
  76. Jen

    "I think that if it had been John McCain the same thing would have happened. I truly believe it". Please!!! I guess this guy thinks we were all born yesterday. If that statement was true the tea party protests would have started as soon as the TARP bailout was pushed through by the Bush administration, not a month after Obama was elected. The stupid tea party protesters are protesting the fact that they no longer have a repub in the white house – that's it.

    February 3, 2010 at 3:41 pm |
  77. Dwight Schrute

    Is being a tea bagger not considered a pre-existing condition yet?

    February 3, 2010 at 3:41 pm |
  78. Red

    I have attended tea parties which had a purpose. Yes it was to oppose a tax that my local city wanted to impose on the people for the police department.
    I am so for the police getting what they need for their jobs but they had just got a significant amount of money from the stimulus and had just the previous year gotten a tax increase from us which was in the millions. Now they wanted more. How much blood can you suck out of us before you stop.
    Now the kicker, we stopped that tax and they turned around and worded the same bill different, told us that if they didn't get more money they would have to let go of some officers. Pretty much threatened us because an article appeared the next day in the paper stating they couldn't get to a certain incident on time because they didn't have enough patrols. Where did all the millions go that they had just received?????? I haven't seen any new patrols.

    I would like to know how to find out what the money was actually spent on so if anyone has any ideas how to do this please let me know. If anyone is a tea "bagger" it is the corrupt people in our government and I don't think there should be parties, each candidate should be based on what they have done and will do for the people.

    February 3, 2010 at 3:41 pm |
  79. Oregonian

    Most of these posts make me sad. Why do you imply their racist and have no grasp on reality because they are white and middle-aged? And the whole article was about how there is no leader, but people keep saying that Sarah Palin is "their" hero. Who is they? All of them? Most of them? Some of them? I'm not sure how I feel about their politics, but it is a group of citizens getting together to discuss and confront political realities. Why do you bash on that? I always kind of had this naive idea that America won't work unless that happens. Further more, why are they evil as many of you seem imply? Why is a change to their lifestyle any less significant to a change in anyone else's lifestyle? I'm just confused. And the, just shut up and follow the democrats idea is preposterous. I would hope that if these people got a candidate elected, they would continue to meet, discuss, critique, and applaud the things he or she did. I feel that as Americans we should encourage this behavior, no matter if we agree or disagree with the particulars of what they are saying. It is ignorant to get angry at them for their ideas.

    February 3, 2010 at 3:41 pm |
  80. Belle

    "Populist Party" – "An American political party that sought to represent the intersts of farmers and laborers in the 1890s, advocating increased currency issue, free coinage of gold and silver, public ownership of railroads, and a graduated, federal income tax."
    Webster's II New College Dictionary

    February 3, 2010 at 3:39 pm |
  81. Teschman

    FAux News created this Freedom Works and other AstroTurf groups bring together, for the most part a bunch of uninformed, ignorant, hate spewers. They are being used as pawns. The very people they align with view them as nothing more than useful tools, stooges to get out and wave crazy signs, and shout meaningless slogans. Now the MSM is getting on the band wagon because Fox is winning in the ratings, they abandoned real reporting and journalism and join the tabloid pandering. If this continues and we allow this perverted mob to rule, we are finished.

    February 3, 2010 at 3:39 pm |
  82. Allen Bean

    These people are a bunch of puppets on a string and they don't know who is pulling the string. It's definiately not Sarah Palin she can't even tie a knot! They are full of more retoric and untruth's than the politicians they are rallying against. Let's take a poll and see how many are getting unemployment benefits. It looks like they don't work very much.

    February 3, 2010 at 3:39 pm |
  83. Jim in Kentucky

    I fervently hope that the Tea Party thing becomes an official political party. Then it will do to the Republican Party what Ralph Nader did to the Democrats. But I think they will last longer than Nader did. That would be a dream come true.

    February 3, 2010 at 3:38 pm |
  84. guinan

    Knapp fears the movement is about to be hijacked by one of the established parties? About to be? Too late. It's already happened. The Tea Party and the Republicans are one.

    February 3, 2010 at 3:38 pm |
  85. Belle

    Populism – "A political philosophy directed to the needs of the common people and advocating a more 'equitable' distribution of wealth and power." Webster's II New College Dictionary

    February 3, 2010 at 3:38 pm |
  86. Bob

    Freedom of speech in action. I wish the tea partiers all the best.

    February 3, 2010 at 3:37 pm |
  87. frank

    Let's face the facts about this Republican created "party" and call it what it is, a right-wing conservative party.

    February 3, 2010 at 3:37 pm |
  88. Frank Brady

    It would appear that most visitors to this blog are smug and arrogant sheep, perfectly content to follow the Welfare/Warfare state over the precipice toward which it is now tottering.

    When reality rises up to confront them, they won't have a clue as to what has happened or why. I feel genuinely sorry for them.

    February 3, 2010 at 3:37 pm |
  89. SuperMod

    Does anyone realize how bad the deficits are becoming? Do you know what will happen to the currency? Who in their right mind will continue to buy US debt? I do not pay taxes so the government can give it to someone else who feel they have a need. Ms. Linda Blankensop – I read the bills. I have read the Constitution and the Federalist Papers. I pay attention to the government. I do not follow Rush and the others. I follow my own knowledge and it says the US government does not have the right to tax me because it feels you need help with your mortgage.

    February 3, 2010 at 3:36 pm |
  90. red

    The banks dont seem to mind the bail out. The states seems to enjoy delaying their cuts.

    You people want the same economic performance , though you know we borrowed our way into this fake economic boom and bust.

    You guys did not want Bush to raise taxes, so heborrowed. Now you want Obama to deliver great results, can he do that with consumers saving more and banks not lending.

    GT said some one does not like the truth, how do you continue Bush economics, with the banks paying themselves for having gotten the gov to give them freee money, and consumers, I mean big manufacturing big ticket items, not buying.

    Please explain.:_________________________


    February 3, 2010 at 3:36 pm |
  91. Sparks Lib

    Just what we need, another group of right wing haters.

    February 3, 2010 at 3:34 pm |
  92. Francisco

    LOL, at all the funny Demorats at CNN.

    February 3, 2010 at 3:33 pm |
  93. J.

    If they were to start bashing the GOP as loudly as they do Obama, then I might listen. They forget that TARP came from a republican president. The Iraq war came from a republican president. Obama may be spending, but so was George.

    February 3, 2010 at 3:33 pm |
  94. Nelson, Charlotte, NC

    I am on a roll and have to add another one here. Rather that screaming up and down at why babies keep floating down the river to your village, why not take a walk up river and find out what is going on and see if you can help fix the problem.

    February 3, 2010 at 3:32 pm |
  95. roxana

    Well – and about a new party.. Yes this is a VERY GOOD IDEA. This will save USA. PLease make Tea Party Party – and fight till the end against democrats and republicans, do not support any off those never again, in any circumstances- it should be a rule of the Tea Party admission- never support an other party

    February 3, 2010 at 3:32 pm |
  96. VK Raman

    Great American – an expression used by Rush Limbaugh, Hannity and other socalled Conservative movement talk-show hosts. Is Tea Party a conservative group – a GOP or Democratic wing? Tea Party organizers must publish their manifesto

    February 3, 2010 at 3:32 pm |
  97. Bill Yarbrough

    The sentiment is real, but will die-out if it is co-opted by the GOP. The Tea Party movement needs structure and purpose, but must stay out of the major 2-parties to maintain any credibility. I say for that portion that are true constitutionalists and enjoy both fidcal and social freedome join the Libertarians. Sarah Palin need not apply.

    February 3, 2010 at 3:31 pm |
  98. will

    Well, the good news is that a third party movement in the GOP will give the Dems another victory in 2012. BTW, you'll have no national victories with a pure white, mostly angry, middle-aged party. That idea lost in 1865 if you recall.

    February 3, 2010 at 3:31 pm |
  99. African-American Republican

    This Tea party nonsense is just that. I challenge the tea party members to revisit history. The individuals who engaged in the cowardly act known as the tea party were chastised by their contemporaries. It is idiotic and ignorant to wear this name as a badge of patriotism when in fact the original tea party scheisters were considered traitors to the true call of liberty..

    February 3, 2010 at 3:30 pm |
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