TEA Party's Biggest Enemy? Themselves

I love the passion of the TEA party.  I admire their principle based stand on issues.  I agree with most of their agenda and I respect their skepticism when it comes to the trustworthiness of the establishment.  But I have been an observer of the movement for a longer time than I’ve been involved, and here is what I see.

They have a lot in common with the kid in school who has a unique ability to sketch really cool looking car designs in his notebook.  By that I mean they are very creative, filled with enthusiasm and yet have a tendency to think only of the big picture, uninterested in the math and engineering which is necessary to calculate the details of all the nuts and bolts needed to actually build that car and make it run, much less, win a race.

Try to have a conversation with some of them, and any time you talk about the tedium of campaign details, how to communicate issues, appeal to voters and then get out the vote, if their eyes don’t glaze over, they might just point their fingers at you and yell “WITCH !” (which in their world means “neo-con” or “establishment”).

Now don’t get me wrong, this description doesn’t apply to all members, just some.  And it doesn’t apply for example to the leaders I’ve met, with one or two exceptions. However, as I’ve said before, unless the TEA party gets its act together, they won’t have to be defeated by their perceived enemies, they will destroy themselves.

While the Northern Kentucky TEA Party has its act much more together than this, nevertheless this little example from HotAir, regarding the big TEA party rally in Iowa scheduled for tomorrow, pretty well captures what many people see when they look at the TEA party.

I met [organizer Ken] Crow in Iowa this month (I’ve been unsuccessful reaching him today) and he struck me as a classic Tea Party archetype — an amateur with big Field of Dreams ambitions. He made me well aware of all the projects he was working on but seemed a little laconic for a guy putting on a mega-rally.

“It’s gonna be televised on C-Span,” he said, “and maybe Fox, too.”

Reading up on Crow today, we find that he’s a talky activist prone to showing how much he knows. For example, on Palin: “I know for a fact she ain’t gonna run.” That’s the guy bringing Palin to Iowa for an event that reporters are attending because they wonder whether Palin will run!


Let’s sum up. The organizer, who should be building hype about an impending announcement in order to promote his event, is inexplicably going around telling people that it ain’t happening. Meanwhile, seemingly oblivious to the fact that Christine O’Donnell has become for many a symbol of “tea-party overreach” (as one of our Headlines commenters put it this morning), the organizers went ahead and apparently booked her (twice!) to appear onstage before Palin, which would have handed the media a “tea partiers are unelectable!” angle on a silver platter. In fact, four different news outlets — RCP, NBC, CNN, and Politico — are claiming that O’Donnell’s appearance was one of the issues in this morning’s drama, with CNN adding this:

The Palin source said O’Donnell’s representatives misled the tea party group about the extent of the governor’s relationship with O’Donnell.

O’Donnell’s representatives told event organizers that she would be in Iowa on the date of the rally and would like to come by and “say hi” to Palin, the source said. O’Donnell was then added to the speaking agenda.

The source told CNN that O’Donnell aides lied to organizers and said Palin had been communicating via text message with O’Donnell about the rally.

“The governor hasn’t spoken to her in a year,” the Palin source said of O’Donnell.

It is my sincere hope that many of the TEA party organizations around the country take a cue from some experienced hands.  You gotta get your act together.  For help when and where you need it, try a closer relationship with groups like “Freedom Works“.

Cross Posted from BluegrassBulletin.com