Bottum Up Resistance to the GOP's Attempted Top Down Take Over of the Tea Party Movement

The attempted public hijacking of the tea party movement by the GOP in Nashville, Tennessee has been met with some amount of resistance from independently-minded tea party activists. At the Militant Libertarian, Kurt Nimmo writes of the Nashville Convention:
It will be a parade of Republican statists with former Alaskan governor Sarah Palin leading the charge . . . Palin wrote for USA Today, “it’s a ground-up call to action that already has both political parties rethinking the way they do business.”

Ground-up? Tea Party candidates for the 2010 mid-term elections “will be expected to support the Republican National Committee platform,” according to Fox News . . . In other words, business as usual. . . . If the co-opted Tea Party embraces the Republican National Committee platform, it will finalize its mutation from a grassroots libertarian organization into an establishment statist tool pushing a national debt for the banksters, bloated government, taxation, perpetual war, and continued attacks on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights . . . Real Tea Party activists and supporters need to reject Palin, Huckabee, Gingrich, and the Republicans out of hand. They should be vocal about their rejection. Otherwise we will end up with another ideologue and teleprompter reading cigar store Indian for the ruling elite.

At the Constitution Party discussion forum, one poster seems to suggest that conservative activists should not walk away from the movement because of its association with the Republican Party, but rather redouble their efforts within it to steer it in a more productive direction. Impala writes:

Dear Fellow Constitutionalists: I hope you are becoming part of the Tea Party movement. If we don’t, America will suffer without us. We have a lot to offer and will help them stay on track. Some of us are critical of the movement. We are not going to agree on every thing . . . The Tea Party is not going to join us. We have to join them if we really want to fight what is going on in this country. We can always keep our constitutionalist identity and be a movement within a movement. I’ve gone to Tea Parties and am a part of that association. I am also a member of the Constitution Party. I invite you to any Tea Party that is in your area. We need them and they need us.

The Florida Whig Party draws a virtual line in the sand on its blog, writing that the "Republicanization of the tea party movement is disturbing and destructive":

While we have been in agreement in spirit with the Tea Party Movement, the time has come to make it perfectly clear that: The Florida Whig Party finds the Republicanization of the Tea Party Movement disturbing and destructive . . . While many are from the Ron Paul movement, a growing number are from formal Republican leadership positions and they are intentionally or unintentionally causing the Republicanization of the Tea Party Movement. . . . The GOP has gained control over the Tea Party because the Tea Party Members, like a substantial percentage of voters, have a mental blind-spot when it comes to the two-party system. The Florida Whig Party offers Democrats In Name Only (DINOs), Republicans In Name Only (RINOs), those who have No Party Affiliation (NPA), and the Independent with a fiscally responsible, mutually tolerant, and socially diverse home that staunchly supports the 10th Amendment a political home.

Is it possible that the GOP's public hijacking of the tea party movement could turn out to be a grave strategic error? Is it possible that the attempted coup will solidify resistance to the co-optation of the movement by the representatives of the establishment parties and their political apparatus? One thing is certain: if tea party activists do not fight to maintain their political independence, they will soon find themselves deprived of it.


Michael said...

It has definitely solidified my resistance to the co-optation of the movement. The recent "Tea Party Convention" is an obvious corruption of the tea party intentions and Sarah Palin's association to it would be comical if it weren't so harmful. (I just in fact came out of writing dormancy and posted something on The Windmill just prior to seeing your post.) Sadly, our local NNTP effort seems to be falling prey to the same type of co-optation, forcing me to forge a new personal path.

d.eris said...

It does seem like there's a good possibility that the attempted coup will have the opposite of the intended effect among a fair amount of people. As with all political events, we'll only know for sure retrospectively.

Thanks for the links at the Windmill. You're rethinking your strategy for the NNTP then?

AnarchyJack said...

No disrespect to the Tea Party movement, but the "Obama strain" (for lack of a better term) of tea partiers has had corporate sponsorship from the outset in the form of Fox News. Gov. Palin is only the latest in a series of Republicans to jump on the populist bandwagon.

I would feel less ambivalent about this particular movement if it had been fully self-driven, rather than what it appears to be: driven in large part by a media organization, choking on the sour grapes of political defeat.

I've said it before, Damon, and I'll say it again: the whole conservative/liberal dichotomy is a distraction, designed to limit choice and thought. Imagine the possibilities of a discourse free of political polarity.

I really don't see how the third parties can extricate themselves from Democrats or Republicans until third party membership can think outside the narrow box of "conservative" and "liberal."

Michael said...

"You're rethinking your strategy for the NNTP then?" - d.eris.

Rethought, not rethinking. :) Local Republican Party leadership essentially remains unchanged and 2 NNTP founders seem more inclined to work from within the confines of the Republican Party than try to build a true independent movement. When it came right down to it, I just couldn't do it. I got involved to change the game, not play it. Anyway, if/when I reenter politics as a candidate, it will likely be purely as an independent. As great as the NNTP was, it turned out different than what I had envisioned it would be.