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Saturday, July 4, 2009

Is the Tea Party Losing Steam, or Just Changing Tracks?

Tulsa Tea PartyImage by randylane via Flickr

An Article in the Washington Independent, has suggested, somewhat gleefully, that the Tea Parties are starting to lose momentum, and therefore, relevance. The article points toward dwindling attendance, and MSM coverage, as proof that the movement is on it's way out.

I, however, disagree. Yes, attendance has been down, but the speed with which we are able to organize, and set up protests, is increasing, and the direct impact on local politics, is becoming noticeable. Grassroots candidates, who normally would get very little, if any, media attention, are garnering larger polling numbers, earlier. Those who have tied themselves to the Tea Parties, have become the most talked about candidates on local Talk Radio, and local blogs, and small town newspapers. Yes, the MSM, is still trying to ignore them, but it becomes increasingly difficult to do so.

For instance, Oklahoma State Senator Randy Brogdon, who is running a Grassroots campaign for Governor, still isn't getting a lot of MSM attention, but he was the ONLY Gubernatorial candidate represented at the Tulsa County GOP open meeting last week. His main competitor, Mary Fallin, did not have ONE T-shirt, bumper sticker, or sign in sight. Nearly one-third of those in attendance were wearing a Brogdon for Governor T-shirt, and MANY more were wearing Brogdon Stickers on their shirts. The fact is, in the second largest county in Oklahoma, the GOP party leadership candidate, had ZERO support, and the Grassroots, Tea Party associated candidate, had a huge following. These are the kinds of differences the Tea Parties are making.

“I think of the Tea Party Movement as a play in three acts,” said Michael Patrick Leahy, a Nashville activist who has clashed with other Tea Party organizers, but who is speaking at the Dallas event. “Act one was to protest the socialist statism that we don’t believe in. The second act is happening on Saturday when we celebrate the Constitution that we do believe in. The third act will be taking actions to restore limited government.”

No, it's not as glamorous, as having 20,000 people, and Sean Hannity, at the rallies, but it's MUCH more effective. The Tea Parties are being used to ignite the Grassroots, in a wildfire effort to "throw the bums out!", and replace them with strong Constitutional Conservatives, who stand for the values this country was founded on!


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