A: Jason Levin. See pajamasmedia link below.
My impression is that now that the tea party movement has been going for some time, attempts are being made by Democrats, Republicans and the MSM to make it appear to be a partisan event ie: Republican. For example, this article
This is unfortunate because initially the tea parties really were a grass roots movement and it was great to see US citizens protesting essentially against socialism. As an Australian, I haven’t been following the movement too closely but I had a good impression. I recently wrote this comment in an email to an acquaintance who had earlier dismissed the tea parties as being red neck and Republican:
“I would guess the tea parties have a high percentage of Republican supporters of course. But anyone can speak at a tea party event – I know of a couple of pro-capitalist atheists who did and they are not Republicans. The tea parties at least initially were entirely grass roots organizations. They were not formally politically backed (I don’t think they are now either but not an expert). There are however many example of Democrat opposition to the movement. Also, Bush’s policies have been protested by Tea Partiers eg/ The TARP act. Remember Bush’s idiot comment: “I’ve abandoned free-market principles to save the free-market system” It’s not about Rebulican vs Democrat for a significant number of tea partiers.”
Doing a quick search reminded me of the surprisingly large numbers of people who attended last year’s tea parties. And I note that many organisations were involved:
“Several organizations united to help organize the National Taxpayer Protest’s descent on the Capitol, including: Freedom Works, Grassfire/ResistNet, Tea Party Patriots, National Taxpayers Union, Club for Growth, Americans for Tax Reform, Young Americans for Liberty, Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights, Our Country Deserves Better, Campaign for Liberty, Leadership Institute, Free Republic, Young America’s Foundation, the National Association of Rural Land Owners and Smart Girl Politics.”
Anyway, an interesting development of late has been the “Crash the tea party” website. Now the author has been exposed: http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/whos-behind-the-crash-the-tea-party-website/
It’s quite worrying to see how many media commentators, Democrats and Democrat supporters will use below the belt tactics to discredit peaceful democratic protests. For a list of Democrat supporter violence try this article. Or this article documents some of the slurs made by Democrats.
“Democrat leaders describe Teapartyers as Nazis, evil-mongers , racists, and un-American. In an attempt to provoke an ugly incident Congressional Black Caucus members went fishing for racism on Capitol Hill. They paraded in the midst of a Teaparty protest immediately before the final vote on the healthcare bill. The MSM has endlessly reported that Teapartyers hurled the “n” word at congressmen. There exists no photo or sound-bite evidence despite the sea of cameras present at the time and a $100,000 reward for proof.”
OK, I’ve done a bit of searching and according to Newsmax.com, 40% of tea partiers are either Democrat or Independent. That’s very encouraging.
“The national breakdown of the Tea Party composition is 57 percent Republican, 28 percent Independent and 13 percent Democrat.”
And Newsmax documents how the MSM has been attempting to discredit the movement here.
Update 16/4/10: The Heartland institute has this video: Tea Parties, then and now