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.