Convention Attendee
Convention Attendee
View of the Gaylord Opryland Hotel
View of the Gaylord Opryland Hotel

This political movement  needs a new name. What group of adults says they belong to the Tea Party. What does it stand for? Does anyone remember? From all reports, the Tea Party Convention this week in Nashville isn’t going too well.  Various people have stomped out and there is plenty of bickering. 

Why? The average person can’t afford to go. There are a bunch of Tea Party grassroots organizations. Many of them are squabbling already over the overly priced accommodations and set up in general. The Washington Post describes the following problems:

… [T]he first gathering of a sprawling movement, made up of hundreds of disparate Tea Party groups, has been marred by controversy. Some high-profile speakers and activist groups have canceled their appearances in protest of alleged profiteering by the convention organizers.

Attendees have been charged $549 a ticket (plus hotel and transportation) to gather for three days at the luxurious Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center — an expense that critics say is out of reach for the average grass-roots activist. Some of the proceeds will go to cover former Alaska governor Sarah Palin’s reported $100,000 fee to deliver Saturday’s keynote address.

There was also some mention of a $600 per person lobster dinner that one person who sat home described as a typical Republican fundraiser dinner. That sure doesn’t sound like an ‘average Joe’s’ kind of meal.  Sarah Palin is a keynote speaker who has said she will not profit from her honorarium but has yet to say who will receive her speaking fee.

What has happened to the grassroots, ‘tired of high taxes’, just your every day average person who showed up at town hall meetings to shout his or her outrage at the ‘system?’  The Post article indicates that those in attendance at the initial Tea Party Convention in Nashville are not your ordinary people being taxed to death.  The people attending the Convention are staying in  opulent accommodations, eating fancy meals, and living high on the hog.  The little man probably can’t afford the plane ticket much less the accouterments that go with that plane ticket.


So who set up this convention that is so far out of reach of the average person?  The convention is sold out.  Will the fighting hamper attempts to form an actual party?  Who are some of the more famous leaders who have dropped out in disgust?  Is it possible for all of the splinter groups to  forgo their own power to join up with one large group who might not be right on target? 

From the Nashville Post:

Tea Party Nation is pleased to announce the First National Tea Party Convention. The convention is aimed at bringing the Tea Party Movement leaders together from around the nation for the purpose of networking and supporting the movements’ multiple organizations principle goals. This event will be co-sponsored by other national groups that believe in a responsible and limited federal government that is responsive to all the people. National Taxpayers Union, American Majority, Smart Girl Politics, and SurgeUSA are just a few of the organizations who will be on hand to contribute their time and talents to this convention.

Special Keynote Speaker for the event will be Sarah Palin, Governor of Alaska (2006-2009) and 2008 Republican Vice Presidential Nominee.

How about third parties?  Do they have a chance?  Since the Tea Party is more in tune with the Republicans, will it dash any hopes of a Republic president because the Republicans will be so splintered?  Haven’t people learned after Ross Perot, Ralph Nader and a host of other third party spoilers? 

Before the rest of us start taking the Tea Party seriously, these activists  need to get over their in-fighting, act like ‘average’ people, and come back down to earth.  They really aren’tbehaving  a bit differently  than the Republicans or the Democrats, they are just louder and less sophisticated.

53 Thoughts to “Tea Party Convention”

  1. Wolverine

    LBH, every “populist” movement has had extreme elements operating outside the central box. There are some now and there were some in 1967-1972 — actually, as I remember it, there were many in 1967-1972. Radical elements do not through their existence necessarily negate the central purpose and importance of a movement. Extreme patriotic elements tarred and feathered Loyalists during our Revolution and drove them from their homes. Those “unpleasantries” did not negate the goals of the movement under the leadership of Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, et al. The Haymarket Riots in Chicago and the Molly Maguires, for instance, turned a great number of citizens against activist working men, but they did not wind up destroying the overall American progress toward a justified organization of labor. The central goal proved to be much more important and much stronger than the radical elements on the fringes.

    With regard to the present Tea Party movement, I suggest you will find that these extreme elements will not wind up being the leading force in the results. The basic goal in all this is to oblige elected officials to acknowledge the right of the people to voice their opinions and desires on all policy questions and have those opinions and desires given due deference and consideration. That is not a radical agenda. It is simply a call for a return to the way our governance is supposed to work. An electoral “mandate” can go only so far. When it is used to do things to which the People have expressed strong contemporary disapproval, the mandate is no longer operative. It becomes trumped by the need for a contemporary concensus.

    Actually, the 2009 Tea party movement, in my view, is not something that was self-created by a sudden surfacing of radicalism. It was, rather, given birth by the elected officials themselves through their failure to remember exactly who owns this country and who pays the freight. In short, these elected officials birthed the movement through their own misgovernance based on an assumed self-importance in the political power structure. In the process, they started to do all the talking and forgot to listen. Well, many in this country are now blowing the whistle to call that play to a halt. Personally, I and most others in the movement would not parade carrying signs comparing the President or any other politician to some infamous dictator of yore. My sign would say something like: ” We the People… Remember Us?” or “We are the owners of this country. You work for us!”

    The way I see it is that this country is like a corporation. You and I and other citizens make up the Board of Directors. We named President Obama as the CEO of one major subsidiary and other politicians as the officers in a second major subsidiary. We hired them to work for us. We did NOT transfer power to them so they could become a self-contained and independent governing body. Problems which needed fixing were identified by them and by us, and they set to work doing that. However, they forgot we were still out there. They settled upon a solution to these problems and proceeded to implement their own solutions without asking us for our views and seeking our informal approbation. They even ignored polls of the “Board of Directors” which signaled a clear dislike of some proposed solutions, e.g. the current health care bills in Congress. In any major corporation, a CEO and company officers who unilaterally address a major company problem and fail to convince the Board of Directors of the rightness of their moves will soon find themselves in the unemployment line. Thus also for politicians, I would think.

    Actually, I would say that the “tea party” of 2009 and the “tea party” of 1967-1972, despite many differences in style and participation, had exactly the same goal: “Politicians!! We are the People!! We do not like what you are doing!! Listen to Us!!”

  2. Starryflights

    michael :Hah..Hah…Hah…Hah (really!)
    “tea party” : a precursor to war, a group of rebellious colonials angry that the royalty is behaving like kings, princes, dukes and lords (house of commons). Angry that these men and women of political and social power have the legal power and ability to make law in thier personal favor to demand money from common working men and business owners in the form of laws and contracts for fees owed that leverage other people’s 8 hours of work to equal 1 million times more than their own 8 hours of work. This is accomplish without the consent of the common man, by banding together, creating a criminal enterprise, taking the land and rights to own property from others, then charging rent and fees to use and live on it (definition of serfdom and sharecropping, or slavery). Such legal concepts and feudal city state concepts are forced on the comman man by people of wealth and power to create even more wealth and power for themselves(.

    On second thought, I agree completely. Businesses in this country have too much power. Wealth in this country is concentrated in the hands of too few and even the Tea Partiers understand that. That is why we need some form of wealth redistribution in this country. The means of production should be owned by everyone, not just a wealthy privileged.

  3. Politicians invest too much money and time into an election not to feel entitlement. Just seeking a state delegate seat can cost upwards of $100,000. A congressional race in excess of a million dollars. The person elected is rarely the common man (or woman). When the American people put a ceiling on the excessive spending in the election cycle, then perhaps we might get better leaders who do not have a sense of entitlement.

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