Sunday, May 3, 2009

A Split in the Tea Party Movement?

Some believe that their is a split forming in the Tea Party movement. Head over to and click on the 'Tea Party Poopers?' tab directly underneath the video player on the right side. The split seems to come from some of the leaders of the movement 'calling out' Obama (Berman Post: Tea Party Leaders 'Call Out' Obama).

I am not concerned. The very grass roots nature of the movement seems to me to cut against the notion of a unified movement that can split. Tea Party protesters have the same basic goals. That is less government spending, more fiscal responsibility, keep taxes low... . Just because they have the same goals does not mean that everyone is going to use the same methods to accomplish them. I do not think a difference in methods this minor, especially because I doubt Obama will actually meet with the people that 'called him out', will cause any real split. I also do not think a minor split presents much of a problem.

Final verdict - I do not see a significant split at this point (beyond the extremely localized nature of the movement anyways), and I do not see a minor split as a problem should one develop.


  1. Oh trust me... it's Significant... Leahy was trying to attach his extra pet issues such as a bill for federalism and a new constitutional convention, which no one was onboard with. He was also piping down orders to various tea parties (us included) which only perturbed them, wasn't doing his share of the organizational work, and was getting a reputation as a grandstander in the media.

    Some of the things he wanted us to do was get together a list of all the people that signed in at every tea party and make it national, which only he was wanting, and made that an order and everyone just ignored him, and wanted everyone to jump through some technology hoops to get all our media up on TCOT.

    The Monday before the 15th, many of us made time for the national conference call expecting it to be important, and surprise! It was during a broadcast of his PJTV show, where he was broadcasting himself speaking on an static filled echo loudly over the line and we all had to yell to hear each other, if at all, until he finally cut to us to put us on his show. We were pretty ticked at it losing valuable organizing time and wasting our time in general.

    He was growing very unpopular among almost all of the organizers and was finally shown the door. Everyone pretty much supported the decision when it was done a week ago. His group that he has isn't very strong. some of the people listed were never consulted. He had Andrew Ian Dodge listed there, until Andrew complained loud enough to be removed. It was 850 organizers with Tea Party Patriots to the supposed 25 of the "leadership coalition" and that's thought to be down to 18 of them now.

    Meanwhile, everyone else was going forward with tea party patriots, holding the normal national, state, and regional, conference calls and maintaining the mailing list. It wasn't them that splintered off from Leahy, but Leahy who was pushed out due to all the complaints and he tried to take a few with him.

    The national mailing list has exploded against him pretty hard after his stunt with the "Let me talk to Obama" though, and had to finally take it public to disavow it. No one was consulted, and now he has everyone absolutely SEETHING at him.

    There were 2 ways the movement was going... Leahy seemed to want a top down thing with him at top. Everyone else wanted to just manage themselves and have a bottom up movement, which Tea Party Patriots is. We just really want an organization there to be able to connect with each other and represent us when someone is bothering us. They've done great work to get groups that were bothering us off our backs and were responsive when we had problems.

    I actually liked Leahy, but am just very disappointed in him... He just does not speak for us, and just worked to alienate himself from other organizers.

  2. I understand the fighting at the 'top', but the nature of a Grassroots movement cuts against the need for a 'top'. What is the worst case situation? There is a big falling out so everyone just organizes their own events, pretty much what has been happening since the beginning. You will still end up with a million plus people standing up across the country demanding fiscal responsibility from our leaders. There would not be a unified leader coalition, but they will all still vote and the politicians would be wise to take notice.


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