American Morning

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February 4th, 2010
01:00 PM ET

How could the Tea Party change Washington?

As part of our special coverage, "Welcome to the Tea Party," the best political team on television will be tracking the convention in Nashville all this weekend.

What does the Tea Party want to accomplish? Who are its members? And what do they mean for the future of American politics?

Our independent analyst John Avlon joined us on Thursday's American Morning along with our Jim Acosta, who's been covering the Tea Party movement extensively.

Filed under: Politics • Welcome to the Tea Party
soundoff (133 Responses)
  1. workingman

    PS I only made $32,000 in 2009.Republicans are not allways wealthy.
    The Democrats should not think all Rebublicans are wealthy.

    February 9, 2010 at 10:30 pm |
  2. workingman

    In the Texas Governers race.There is a Democrat candidate named Shamin Farouk.During the televised debates he said he would raise gasoline tax to help fund the state.But i remember paying over $4.00 a gallon not to long ago.I was lucky if i had gas to go to work.The North Dallas Tollway driving North and South was $.75 cents a few years ago and is now allmost $2.00 for 10 miles.All they do with the money is build more Toll roads here.We Americans are paying severely on the road at the pumps and in the grocery store.We need relief.If a person wants to be elected and give me some relief when we need it then that is how my vote goes.The TEA party is not about Color,KKK or anything else.Our Goverment Local,State and Federal is here for us.President Obama is making an effort to talk to the Republicans and that is a good idea.We Americans are good people we give money to people all around the world.Those are AMERICANS in the TEA party.Not racist trash.Whey have a right to protest.The liberals are getting a taste of there own medecine.Remember DR. Martin Luther King and the civil rights march.

    February 9, 2010 at 10:22 pm |
  3. Jersey George

    You "Pro-War" Tea Party people like to refer to our Founding Fathers but fail to heed one in particular, George Washington, our 1st President. In his farewell address after completing his his 2nd term, he stressed that we as a country should "AVOID FOREIGN ENTANGLEMENTS"! Yet your kind who call for less government spending, have no problem with our government spending trillions and trillions of tax dollars on our military who occupy foreign lands, like Iraq, at the expense of lost American lives and innocent civilians, that had "NOTHING TO DO" with 9/11! It is not this country's responsibility or right to impose its "MILITARY WILL" on every country that our "HAWKISH" politicians deem necessary. Your kind have no problem with our government spending billions on "NATION BUILDING", but rebel against our government for spending billions our on country's infra-structure or our 'CITIZENS" in dire need of help. As far as I'm concerned the Tea Party and its followers are not patriots, but a group of self-serving, ideologists spreading their hate!

    February 9, 2010 at 7:52 am |
  4. Bubba

    IMHO they are trying to panic some suggestible teabagger into shooting the president by calling names and screaming "Something has to be done TODAY!!" They are just a Christian Al-Qaeda as far as I can tell, and should all be rounded up and sent to Gitmo with the other terrorists. Not Palin though, she's comedy gold.

    February 8, 2010 at 4:43 pm |

    Vietnam Vet, aye how odd you would know what it means.....

    February 8, 2010 at 4:11 pm |
  6. SI Dennis

    Lots of these comments are funny. When you are on the losing end you revert to name calling. What those who know the Tea Party is winning the battle should understand is name calling belongs in the school yard. Call me a racist, a tea bagger or whatever it doesn't matter. All you lefties will be crying in your tea at election time. Your main problem is you know I am right but can't do anything but whine and call us names. See ya in the school yard, ya betcha.

    February 8, 2010 at 4:07 pm |
  7. jamesef07

    Where was the tea party when the Bush Administration was spending hundreds of billions of dollars on the Irag Invasion.
    By the way, do you know what is more devastating to a country than a Haitian Earthquake....8 years of the Bush Adminstration.

    February 8, 2010 at 4:03 pm |
  8. Dr. William Hedden

    Has anyone realized that the TEA PARTY movement may be another CULT much like the KKK? All this country needs another white supremacy group. If you believe that this kind of confrontation is helpful and will foster cooperation to solve some of todays difficult problems I suggest that you go get a life.

    February 8, 2010 at 3:47 pm |
  9. BBZ

    Regardless of their diversity, this is the very thing that we stand for...the ability to allow others to speak their mind. You want to bash them for their views, yet you want to impose your own which are contradictory to many others. Others, which are just a part of the movement to bring our great nation to it's knees, are given this right...and I object to that, so this group of folks that have strong belief in their values have every right to be heard. Shame on those who stand and claim they are for equality and won't even allow these people to demonstrate peacefully. Hipocrits and racists are terms that can be very subjective, so be careful how you chose to use them.

    February 8, 2010 at 1:40 pm |
  10. Rho

    I went to Green Party. I'm so fed up with the two-party system, I would be happy to see the Federalists and Whigs make a comeback. As far as the tea-baggers go (Oh, ppl, plz! Figure out what that really means!), all I ask is that you buy your tea organically grown. Makes us Greens look even better!

    February 8, 2010 at 1:06 pm |
  11. Ray E.

    There seems to be a lot of misunderstanding on here. I asume it will all be sorted out in the next elections. My guess is the elections in New Jersey, Virginia and Massachussets are a pretty good indicator.

    I don't agree that it is about race, rather it is about the huge spending that is going on. And of course the high un employment numbers.

    February 8, 2010 at 11:47 am |
  12. cecilia

    I wish people would stop refering to President Obama as the Chosen One, our Dear Leader and all the other derogatory names which imply that Democrats are drinking cool aid and following blindly. We are not!!!!
    President Obama is a great leader, a great president.
    the Teabaggers are nothing more than racist – there may be some who are in denial about being racist – but that is the underlying reason behind the hate
    I know this, I have watched it for years
    White Southern Grandmother –

    February 8, 2010 at 11:46 am |
  13. inkdog

    Nancy et al: I think if you read my posting it is clear I divide my comments between the local, state, and federal governments. Furthermore, I made no comments regarding the Federal government respecting any of the charges you lay against my posting with the “nanny” state notion. Where is any comment made regarding health care or the printing of money? I made no points regarding free health care, free education or any other program, simply this, states levy taxes, as does the federal government read the attached:
    Amendment XVI
    The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several states, and without regard to any census or enumeration.
    Taxes are levied and they are used to fund local, state and federal programs, some of which I mentioned. All of these programs promote the “general welfare” yours and mine.

    I believe this about your movement; you are completely entitled to do so. The first amendment gives you that right. I also am given the right to disagree with your movement, for that same reason. You believe your movement will correct many of the problems we are confronting now, I do not. I do know this; I will use my right at the ballot box to prevent your movement from becoming the law makers of this land. You have the same right to prevent my candidates from becoming law makers; I simply will work harder to issuer you candidates are not elected

    February 8, 2010 at 10:01 am |
  14. I take some Chamomile please!

    I think the underlying motivation pushing the tea people is race. They began this "movement" on or about the time President Obama was elected into office. I amdisgusted by the disrespectful signs they carry and some of the comments people have made to reporters. It's very sad that people are still very race-a-phobic, and will be blindedly led to support anything out of ignorance.......because honestly it's the easiest thing for them to do.

    February 8, 2010 at 2:29 am |
  15. Vietnam Vet

    Anyone opposed to the policies of the "Dear Leader" must be a RACIST!

    When you have lost the argument, all you have left is name-calling (like your pervert slur "teabagger").

    February 7, 2010 at 8:58 pm |
  16. Texas Republican

    I tried to watch CNN one time and it was allways Black People this and White People that.The Democratic Party thrives on Racism.It cant survive without it.

    February 7, 2010 at 8:12 pm |
  17. workingman

    cut off aid to those that can support themselves and the employment rate will go up.How about that Obama.Tell ur people to get a job so the taxpayers wont have to support them.

    February 7, 2010 at 8:02 pm |
  18. HistoryRepeated

    The Tea Bags are no more than wolves is sheep clothing. You need to look no further than their spokesmen Sarah Lie of the year Palin and the crier at Fox. I'm sure there are good people involved, but the underlying hate and anger stirred up by the leaders are the roots of the same evil last seen in Germany in the early 30's. No one took Hitler seriously at first either. There were good people in the beginning there too; they just decided to look past the racist undertone.

    Palin has no idea about diversity, how could she? Alaska is about as diverse as a German Sheppard puppy farm. Our nation is diverse, and as the saying goes: "United we stand, divided we fall"

    February 7, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
  19. Lee Sterne

    If you believe the acronym of the TEA Party, it stands for "Taxed Enough Already", and dislike of taxes to the point of Taxaphobia is certainly at its heart. But agreement on what spending to cut in order to live within our present tax rates does not exist, much less any agreement on how we could cut enough to balance our budget with lower taxes.
    I refer all "TEA Partiers" to two very unpleasant facts: in 2007, we as a nation had about 23-24% of the worlds income, but we spent between 54 and 56% of all the worlds spending on its military.
    No one in public life is willing to cut spending on military, but we cannot continue along this path. There are plenty of other examples of spending we either will not or cannot cut and until the "TEA Partiers" are willing to face them, they will be unfit to govern or even to be taken seriously as a responsible political movement.

    February 7, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
  20. Texas Republican

    @inkdog John McCain proposed a Gas Tax Holiday.And many other proposals that would benefit the people.Thats what i am talking about.WE all pay our taxes for the services we recieve.Local,State and Federal.But it is not necessary to register a vehicle every year.There are some taxes that are not necessary.Ofcourse the liberal would want to impose more penalty on the American Taxpayer by imposing a fine for not having healthcare coverage.Thats ok for the liberals because Obama could not fill his cabinet because of all the Democratis tax cheats they discovered.Tom Daschle and so on.We just had a Democrat here in Texas that had to withdraw From the Senate Race and at the same Courthouse plead guilty to tax fraud $30.000 unreported income.But they say we need to pay more taxes.
    My Father dies and my unemployed Mother goes to the Social Security Office for assistance and recieves nothing while the strong man that can work but is happy to live on Goverment assistance.gets check to take home.Thats how the system works.Thats TEA party will continue and the Vote will prevail.

    February 7, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
  21. Casprd

    The motivation behind the "tea party" is the same motivation that Ross Perot taped in to in the late 80's and early 90's. The problem is just as with Perot's grass roots movement, the tea party is already being co-oped by special interests.

    February 7, 2010 at 3:11 pm |
  22. Mike

    In recent months the 'teabaggers' have gained much publicity in the media. However right wing, leftist, liberal, or conservative is NOT the basic issue in my view.

    The fact that the career politicians all over this country have ceased to listen to the people that they are supposed to work for, who put them in office to begin with, is frustrating many American Citizens!

    Since the politicians, on both sides, have refused to listen, We The People have to get their attention someway!

    The Tea Party movement is but one way to do that! The 2010 elections is yet another.

    From Lawton, OK

    February 7, 2010 at 2:55 pm |
  23. KantPhoolMe

    To Bill from Greensboro-you've hit the nail on the head my friend! What does one do with used tea bags? Throw 'em out!

    February 7, 2010 at 12:49 pm |
  24. KantPhoolMe

    This "Tea Party" is about as real as a "Dummy Corporation", the kind used by many corporations as a tax dodge. If this were a real 3rd party movement, this "convention" would be to choose candidates who best represent their stated ideals, not simply to gain support for existing Republican candidates. It's a shell game, or 3-card monte if you will. You tap into real frustration & rage in America and suck in people who feel that the government is not listening to them, then sell them the idea that the Republicans that you are asking them to support with their money & efforts will "change Washington". What an enormus joke on the well-meaning people who believe in this flim-flam! You are being asked to support the people who got us to where we are now as a means of a "New Revolution" ( as per Ms. Palin-phishing for 2012 Pres. support) Wake up & remember the last 8 years from 2001-2009 under Bush/Cheney! They looked the other way while Wall St. & Banks did their best imitation of "Girls Gone Wild"! These are the people who are going to save us? Who will save us from them? The Dems? Not the way they are acting! I once worked as a clerk in a tax law firm & I know about setting up false-front organizations as a way of distracting the IRS & tricking the Gov. into giving tax breaks for companies that exist only on paper. The Republicans have found a way to do the same thing-to convince people that they really aren't themselves-they are really champions of the people! That's what the Tea Party is, there's no party. No grass-roots organization charges people $500 a pop just to get in the door! These are just well-heeled people who know that the Bush/Cheney tax cuts are about to expire & they are mad as hell that they will have to pay taxes again! Wah! Wah! Wah! Quit whinning already! Ante up! I've made less than $30k a year for a very long time & I have always had to pay taxes! I wonder if any "Tea Partyers" would like to step forward to help people like me, whoi at age 60, have lost their jobs, 401ks, & health coverage? My guess is that "Henry" & his wonderful; well-meanig friends would tell me that by lowering their taxes, it would really benefit me! YEAH! RIGHT! And that their having to PAY their fair share would mean even less for me! I've heard that one, too! And I still don't believe it! gotta see some proof Teabags! And you haven't got any! And neither do your "Saviors"! Absolutley incredible!

    February 7, 2010 at 12:44 pm |
  25. raul

    I am tired of hearing the crap about the so called "liberal media". what media are they talking about? isn't fox news and talk radio THE MEDIA. in every discussion that happens in CNN or MSNBC there is at least one republican that explain his or her views, but FOX news is is just the republican propaganda machine. It pisses me off how they describe themselves as fair and balanced. Holmes of Geraldo are a liberal joke. The fact that their ratings are so high does not mean a thing. In fact, it may explain why our country is on the path for self destruction. more people watch ESPN and American idol than Fox, CNN and MSNBC combined. Good luck America.

    February 7, 2010 at 12:31 pm |
  26. raul

    make no mistake. the tea party is the new costume of the old Bush supporters. Remenber where they took America?

    February 7, 2010 at 12:09 pm |
  27. Patrick

    Where were these "teabaggers" during the Bush years? Their party and president ran up record deficits, handed them to Obama and now want to blame others for the results of the policies they supported. They are what is wrong with this country today – mean spirited hypocrits who care only about themselvs.

    February 7, 2010 at 11:13 am |
  28. Bill

    I've talked with many of these Tea Party people. They are ignorant of both history and current events. They also tend to be racist. All of this doesn't mean they aren't a threat. They are a very real threat that we should all be aware of.

    February 7, 2010 at 9:57 am |
  29. Matt

    Critics of our President like to cheer the rhetoric that comes out of Tea Party events, but Americans won't vote for a party based on what the party opposes. They have to articulate an agenda sooner or later, or there won't be anything to vote for in the Tea Party.

    February 7, 2010 at 9:27 am |
  30. CTEd

    People think this is a grass roots movement. It's not. It was put together by Fox news. They even claimed it in the beginning (now they don't and are trying to pass it off as grass roots) and look at all the corporate funding they are getting. This is not a grass roots orgainzation. If you think it is, the wool has been pulled over your eyes.

    February 7, 2010 at 3:51 am |
  31. Veteran

    Someone should break it to these fools, give them a history lesson that we don't live in the CONFEDERATE States of America.

    February 7, 2010 at 12:36 am |
  32. Coyote

    Ricter, I'll do you one better. Here in Arizona (where we also can carry guns into bars, nightclubs and parks) we can also carry our weapons concealed! Who said the Earps got rid of the bad guys. If you think Nashville was a good place for the Tea bags, we can go one better. How about Kingman, AZ?

    February 7, 2010 at 12:02 am |
  33. mss

    Where was the Tea Party Movement when Bush was ruining this country, putting us in the mess we're in????????????????????

    I find it interesting how loud the this movement got after Obama became President.

    February 6, 2010 at 9:33 pm |
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