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The contradictions of the Tea Party

Come on, admit it. You're as fascinated by the Tea Party movement as I am. It's passion and disorganization are helping to breathe life into a Republican Party that was all but declared dead on Nov. 5, 2008. And ever since it burst onto the national scene we've learned lots about it. And a lot of what we've learned is contradictory.

Remember, the Tea in the Tea Party stands for Taxed Enough Already. And the trillions in budget deficits have folks fearful for the economic direction of the country. They loudly bemoan high unemployment, anemic job creation and the erosion of the American Dream. But they are doing just fine.

According to a New York Times poll of the Tea Party movement released in April, when compared to all adults surveyed, its adherents thought their own financial situation was "fairly good" (64 percent), were less concerned about losing their jobs in the next 12 months (44 percent) and weren't afraid of falling out of their current social class (58 percent), which was described as "middle" by 50 percent of them. This led me to ask back then, "Hey, Tea Party, why all the fuss?"

The Tea Party movement has reenergized the GOP. Just look at all those candidates running for national office backed by Tea Party organizations, most notably senate candidates Christine O'Donnell (Del.), Sharon Angle (Nev.) and Joe Miller (Alaska) and gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino (N.Y.) But according to an extensive Washington Post survey of more than 600 local Tea Party groups, the movement doesn't have much interest in the politics.

Seventy percent of the grass-roots groups said they have not participated in any political campaigning this year. As a whole, they have no official candidate slates, have not rallied behind any particular national leader, have little money on hand, and remain ambivalent about their goals and the political process in general.

The story did say that "economic concerns" and "a general mistrust of government" tied the grassroots groups together. Disquiet about President Obama's race, religion or ethnic background was not an overarching concern. While this should put to rest the hyperbolic charges that the Tea Party movement is just a Trojan Horse for racist Republicans, the 11 percent of groups that are concerned about it should not be ignored.

The NAACP endured an avalanche of criticism in July when its board issued a unanimous resolution calling on Tea Party leaders to disavow the racist elements latching onto it. But the venerable civil rights organization didn't break new ground. The New York Times first sounded the alarm last February about the extremists using Tea Party rallies to recruit. Now comes a new report from the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights -- which was not written by but was endorsed by the NAACP -- that zeroes in on the troubling connections between extremists and the leadership of the six national Tea Party organizations. For instance, "birthers," those folks who still think Obama was not born in the United States, are in the leadership of five of the six national groups.

The IREHR report does a good job exposing the nativists, racists and militants lurking within the Tea Party movement. But it also clearly points out, "It would be a mistake to claim that all Tea Partiers are nativist vigilantes or racists of one stripe or another, and this report manifestly does not make that claim." That's not good enough for some.

Jason Riley of the Wall Street Journal slams the NAACP for this report, even though it didn't write it. And he declares that the NAACP's "obsession" with the Tea Party is "unhealthy" considering the problems of black-on-black crime and substandard education for black children. There's a point there, albeit small. The NAACP isn't the only African American group worried about education and crime. But it has a long history of exposing bigotry and racism against blacks and other minorities. As we have seen in one too many instances since the 2008 elections, exposing hatred lurking below the surface is still needed, particularly within a movement as amorphous, leaderless and increasingly influential as the Tea Party.

By Jonathan Capehart  | October 25, 2010; 3:26 PM ET
Categories:  Capehart  | Tags:  Jonathan Capehart  
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Comments

Mr. Capehart; all,

last week on "Post Partisan" i said that you & the rest of the DIMocRATS/"progressives"/LIBs on "the washington COMpost's" editorial staff have NO CLUE about what the TEA PARTY is OR if you do know, you choose to LIE about us. ====> obviously, you STILL "don't have a clue".

fyi, i'm NOT "a white person" & i'm as near as it comes to being an "officer" of our county's TEA PARTY. = our county, like MOST TP groups has NO "officers" or "leaders" (unless we ALL are "leaders".) = we as a group are too rebellious/distrustful of authority to HAVE "leaders".
furthermore, i have not, as of today EVER met a "racist" OR "nativist" at any TP event.
(perhaps, out there someplace there is such a "hater", who is also a member of the TP, but hopefully they are ALONE!)

the TRUTH is that TEA PARTIERS, based on the comments made on "PP", are MUCH more tolerant of "differences" than the DIMocRATS/"progressives"/statists that routinely post here. = over the last 90 days, i've been called almost every vile name that i can think of & been the target of villification of my beliefs/opinions as well. - further, as numerous people know who i am "in real life" & where i work, i've received hundreds of emails that called me some really hate-FILLED, OBSCENE & RACIST names.
(being called "the N word" was one of the LESS disgusting "names" that the "oh, so tolerent & wunnerful, wunnerful" DIMocRATS/LIBs have said in messages/phone calls. - while i am NOT "African-American", i am proudly, "a person of color".)

in closing, may i simply say: DIMocRAT extremist, thy name is HYPOCRITE.

just my opinion. - i cannot & do not speak officially for our county's TEA PARTY group, absent a vote of the membership on each issue.

yours, TN46
coordinator, CCTPP

Posted by: texasnative46 | October 25, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

We are all the TEA PARTY. All Americans . People who believe in freedom,liberty , the right to be free from a government of Tyranny. Just to be free from Draconian government is enough for us. Let us be.For Americans in the Tea Party are the real America . Home of the free and the Brave. Say NO to Commies, Socialist, Marxists. We will always be free because of the People in THE Tea Party. GOD BLESS AMERICA THE LAND OF THE FREE, Because of the brave. Let the Service men (vote) GOD Dam it.

Posted by: annieandpauldonovan | October 25, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

**** REMEMBER WIKILEAKS**** The founder (Julian Assange) wants to kill your kids in the military. So lets all look him up in London and show him how much we appreciate him. GOD BLESS AMERICA, THE LAND OF THE FREE, Because of the brave. GOD BLESS AMERICA.Show him what we are made of.

Posted by: annieandpauldonovan | October 25, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

**** Have you or a loved one lost anyone in the war effort??? You don't really know if it's because of the WIKILEAKS Founder. You know him : Julian Assange. He might just be the one who killed your kid. By leaking info on the war. Over 400,000 leaks this month alone. Please lets show him he can not get away with political correctness. Push this message along to all your friends that you know, we can stand together and push our message forward. To stop this madness.

Posted by: annieandpauldonovan | October 25, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

"The land of the free and the home of the brave"?

- Our government taps our telephones and intercepts our electronic correspondence without probable cause.

- The FBI investigates us without probable cause.

- The possibly insane person next to us may well be packing a pistol (the sole purpose of which is to shoot other people).

- We were so afraid after 9/11 that we looked the other way while the Bush administration suspended the Geneva Conventions and habeas corpus and tortured uncharged prisoners in our name.

- If we don't fly the flag outside our homes, we run the risk of being accused of a lack of patriotism.

- We will scream that we support the troops, but we won't raise our taxes to provide them with body armor or properly armored vehicles.

More like the land of the constrained and the home of the terrified.

If you want to live in a place populated by free and brave people, move to Canada or Australia.

Posted by: Iceman3 | October 25, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

annieandpaul:
Those of us who take issue with the Tea Party group will also first point out that we too are Americans. But, we like to point out that the Tea Party movement did not come about till about Jan 2009 and immediately criticized the new administration. The Tea Party group also seems to forget that the problems we have today are the results of a Republican administration for 8 years.

The Tea Party group also seems to forget that the current President lowered your taxes - not raised them.

The Tea Party doesn't like gov't but is running for office. The Tea Party claims that the gov't is too much in their daily lives but then complains about lack of gov't help in producing jobs. The Tea Party wishes to repeal the financial bill because of "communism" (read too much regulation) when it was the lack of regulation that led to our country's collapse. The Tea Party says that unemployment insurance is unconstitutional when it accepts payments. The Tea Party says that the health care is socialism, then in the same breath complains of lack of coverages made available by the insurance companies.

I could go on and on about all the hypocrisy but my hands are cramping...

All the Tea Party does is complain but offers nothing in return. In fact it is only offering to delay our country's return by joining the Republicans who wish to revert right back to the same old policies that led us to our demise.

I am sick of the Tea Party.

Posted by: pdt278 | October 25, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse

We are not scaired of Negros but our Nation as an entire population is exhausted from CARRYING an ungrateful and unappreciative and an uncooperative race of victims who demand more and more as their RIGHTS because simple they are negros. Being free and doing your work and takeing responsibility are not the same. The negro shoud get down on their knee's that they were brought to America ....but truth is, your RACE had squandered all these opportinity's. You have only to FEAR accountability for your OWN race's actions or lack there of. You only have to be willing to be MEASURED for your CONTRIBUTION, not given MORE for whatever sins and grievances of the past occurred. That was then, and you allowed yourselves to wallow in self pitty and TAKE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT'S SLAVE WAGES OF WELFARE and "special programs". You took opportunities more deserved by other races, yet forfeit FOR you and yours, and you DID NOTHING of VALUE in RETURN. When members of your race did become successful, they ABANDONED you and wanted nothing to do with those of their own race that brough SHAME and EMBARASSMENT for stupidity and anti-social dress, morals, music, habits, drug usage, drunkeness, spousal and child abuse and rape...you name it, and the Sucessful negros ran away and left you filling the Ghettos you created and maintain. You cannot even bend over to pick up beer cans and sandwich wrappers you throw to the ground.

You should be FEARFUL of the FAILURE of the negro as it is finally SHOWN to have SQUANDERED the generosity of a Nation and the memory of 500,000 citizens that gave their lives in a massive war that brought you freedom

Posted by: ToddPollard | October 25, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

I don't agree with you much of the time, but I usually respect your opinions. This is a major dissapointment. Was there a mandate handed down by the WaPo execs that all journalists on their payroll are obligated to trash the Tea Party? If this article was your idea, shame on you. Enough!

Posted by: bethg1841 | October 25, 2010 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Mitch McConnell just said that when he is the majority leader the single most important job will be to make sure Obama doesn't get a 2nd term.

Not jobs!
not taxes!
not the budget deficit!

The TEa Baggers and their their secret Republican donors are a bunch of phony hypocrites. All they want is the power to funnel more money into the pockets of the obscenely wealthy--both American and Foreign.

What a populist movement!

PT Barnum stated that no one lost money underestimating the intelligence of the American people. Ain't it the truth.

Posted by: rlritt | October 25, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

The TEASPOONERS have immunity, if not complete disdain, for reason, reality, and rational thought. Cut the deficit by extending BUSH tax cuts, "Keep government out of my Medicare", and keeping government out of our lives except for who can get married, who can raise children, and whom one can have consenting adult sex. Ironically, the further from reality their heros stray, the more the TEASPOONERS love them. Glorification of ignorance as electable criteria. Go figure!

Posted by: mrtimmaulden | October 25, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

The TEASPOONERS have immunity, if not complete disdain, for reason, reality, and rational thought. Cut the deficit by extending BUSH tax cuts, "Keep government out of my Medicare", and keeping government out of our lives except for who can get married, who can raise children, and whom one can have consenting adult sex. Ironically, the further from reality their heros stray, the more the TEASPOONERS love them. Glorification of ignorance as electable criteria. Go figure!

Posted by: mrtimmaulden | October 25, 2010 10:31 PM | Report abuse

The tea partyers are racists. Just look at what they did to Kenneth Gladney. They beat him within an inch of his life. If those brave SEIU guys hadn't stepped in, Kenneth would be gone.

Posted by: jy151310 | October 25, 2010 11:14 PM | Report abuse

From the article: "They loudly bemoan high unemployment, anemic job creation and the erosion of the American Dream. But they are doing just fine."

------------

Liberals/progressives just DO NOT GET it. There is no contradiction, TEA is not about "ourselves" it's about our families future and well being.

But I'm not surprised liberals don't get concern for others before self.

Posted by: stvjo | October 26, 2010 12:12 AM | Report abuse

As for "racism" - that claim is utter hypocritical blarney.

TEA embraces all people - we do not judge them by gender, color, or sexuality. Unlike the left who LOVE to box people into tidy victim groups - women, blacks, gays, and so on.

TEA bases their likes/dislikes on political ideology, it's the left who either refuse to see this, or embrace anti-American forms of gov't that are incompatible with Traditional American Heritage.

If the left was "outraged" at the violence directed at peaceful TEA protesters, and of their OWN groups racism (see Black Panthers), then *maybe* you'd have a case. But no - you give them a pass, while pointing fingers at TEA, so no dice.

Posted by: stvjo | October 26, 2010 12:36 AM | Report abuse

Your right. Maybe we should do as Obama says and "sit in the back of the bus"
Nice guy you got there

Posted by: dcjayhawk2 | October 26, 2010 6:04 AM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin is a blathering idiot. She knows nothing about the constitution nor how the government works and I jump for joy at the thought of her being the Republican name on the 2012 Presidential ticket because Democrats will clean the floor with her. She's just another yahoo from the tea party along with Sharron "I've got juice with him" Angle and Christine "Scientists have created lab mice with fully functioning human brains" O'Donnell and Rand "I reject the 1964 Civil Rights Bill" Paul. The tea party wants to kill:

Social Security

Medicare

Food Stamps

Welfare

Unemployment insurance

Public schools

Department of Education

VA Hospitals

The 14th Amendment

The 1964 Civil Rights Act


The reason they want to kill all of these is simple: the tea partiers are elderly, white, racist bigots who have already lived their lives and don't want to contribute towards the needs of others nor put up with minorities. Mark Montgomery NYC, NY

Posted by: boboberg | October 26, 2010 6:56 AM | Report abuse

The NAACP report was written by a far left organization with a stated adversion to the tea party .... but that doesn't stop the WaPo from covering it because it fits your agenda.

Posted by: Jmacaco4 | October 26, 2010 7:25 AM | Report abuse

The NAACP report was written by a far left organization with a stated adversion to the tea party .... but that doesn't stop the WaPo from covering it because it fits your agenda.

Posted by: Jmacaco4 | October 26, 2010 7:30 AM | Report abuse

boboberg aka Mark, the TEA Party wants the federal government to follow constitutional law. If you understood our form of government, you wouldn't make uneducated assumptions as you just did above.

Posted by: stvjo | October 26, 2010 8:09 AM | Report abuse

Having a job and a "fairly good financial situation" contradicts being taxed enough already...how???

Mr. Capehart-
Please provide me with baby steps of reason
by which I may follow in your footsteps and reach such stunning conclusions.

Sarcasm aside-
You clearly reveal your political philosophy.
Tea-party members are not living in poverty-therefore they can pay more taxes.
That is what you said without saying here?

Posted by: feanor1 | October 26, 2010 8:39 AM | Report abuse

"The land of the free and the home of the brave"?

- Our government taps our telephones and intercepts our electronic correspondence without probable cause.

- The FBI investigates us without probable cause.

- The possibly insane person next to us may well be packing a pistol (the sole purpose of which is to shoot other people).

- We were so afraid after 9/11 that we looked the other way while the Bush administration suspended the Geneva Conventions and habeas corpus and tortured uncharged prisoners in our name.

- If we don't fly the flag outside our homes, we run the risk of being accused of a lack of patriotism.

- We will scream that we support the troops, but we won't raise our taxes to provide them with body armor or properly armored vehicles.

More like the land of the constrained and the home of the terrified.

If you want to live in a place populated by free and brave people, move to Canada or Australia.

Posted by: Iceman3

========================================

So pack your bags and hit the bricks.

Posted by: Hk45 | October 26, 2010 8:39 AM | Report abuse

We are all the TEA PARTY. All Americans . People who believe in freedom,liberty , the right to be free from a government of Tyranny. Just to be free from Draconian government is enough for us.
======================================================================================
Please enlighten me. Name one thing that Pres. Obama has done that represents tyranny to you? I really want to know.

Posted by: rlritt | October 26, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

annieandpauldonovan @ October 25, 2010 7:14 PM: I hate to correct you, but the one responsible for ALL the deaths and the mayhem in Iraq is Bush. He's the idiot who attacked the wrong country and did not know how to wage to war.

Posted by: AMviennaVA | October 26, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

The Tea Party has candidates that run from the media, dodge any substantive questions, and are unable to explain their numerous extreme views

It is comical and pathetic at the same time

Posted by: Bious | October 26, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

The story did say that "economic concerns" and "a general mistrust of government" tied the grassroots groups together. Disquiet about President Obama's race, religion or ethnic background was not an overarching concern.
=============================
Very large and potentially misleading assumption here that respondents answered the question honestly. Think about it - would you really say the president's race bothered you?

Posted by: MidwaySailor76 | October 26, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

boboberg; all,

"boboberg": do you ENJOY being RIDICULED as a FOOL, a "knows nothing" & a nitwit
OR
could it be that you arer really "a GOP operative", who is here solely to make "progessives"/LIBs/DIMocRATS look ignorant?

if you do, please continue to post NONSENSE, DIMocRAT "spin" & obvious LIES like the nonsense you posted above & you will succeed in your mission(s).

yours, TN46

Posted by: texasnative46 | October 26, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

The Tea Party's goals are hazy because teabaggers refuse to admit what they are. They are the same goals held by the KKK. Deep-pocketed conservatives viewed Obama's election as a golden opportunity to revive the hated GOP by mobilizing white racists.

Posted by: dnahatch1 | October 26, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

to "dnahatch1"; all,

to "dna": the same question that i asked of "boboberg" should also be asked of you, given your truly SILLY, FALSE & ABUSIVE comments about TEA PARTIERS.

the TRUTH is that the DIMocRATS/"progressives"/"liberals" in today's society, are the most likely group to be PREJUDICED against anyone who does NOT share their FOOLISH, inbred, bigotry & SILLY, SELF-impressed opinions. ===> that's why the DIMocRATS/leftists are going to "get their collective toucases handed to them" in just ONE WEEK.- it isn't even going to be close. instead, it will be a BLOODBATH for the leftists at the polls.

to ALL: IF you are as disgusted as our membership is about THE MESS that the statist left, BHO & the DIMocRAT "Congressional leadership" have made of our nation, it's past time to join your local TEA PARTY group & help us "toss the bums OUT" for good. = i predict that you will be warmly welcomed & immediately "put to work" to help us FIX the MESS.

yours, TN46
coordinator, CCTPP

Posted by: texasnative46 | October 26, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

The Republican rip off artists stole the net worth of our 401K's and let the insurance and banking industries pick our pockets. Tea Baggers are just a racist leaning front organization for the self righteous wing of the Republican Party.

Posted by: hhkeller | October 27, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

hhkeller,

you really should read & heed what i said to "boboberg" & "dnahatch1", as what you posted is equally FALSE, SILLY & is nothing more than hate-FILLED, prejudiced, nonsense.

do you enjoy being RIDICULED & LAUGHED AT?

yours, TN46
coordinator

Posted by: texasnative46 | October 27, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

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