More on the controversy in a bit. There was no cloud covering the enthusiasm of the 2-3,000 people that came out to meet the bus at Sam Houston Race Track. As a group, they were mostly older and mostly white, which is fairly typical of these events. And it will probably remain that way until the media portrayals of angry white folk go away. Sure, they are angry but they are angry not at people of color but at the growth of government which threatens to undermine the freedoms and opportunities that have made this country great. The media picks up on the fringe groups that attend these gatherings, such as U.S. Border watch, and portrays the entire group that way. It isn’t true but there isn’t much the people attending can do about it.
It was a fun event. There was a tailgate party before the bus came, there was a band playing fun songs, tons of vendors were selling there wares and all in all, people were having fun being around like minded folks. There was only one politician that had a booth set-up, Rick Perry. It is pretty amazing to me that Gov. Perry has been embraced by these guys. I guess his words mean more than his actions to them. You would think that someone looking at his record during his term in office objectively would conclude that he is polar opposite of what these people are protesting. Land grabs, no appraisal cap progress, sticking little girls in the arm with experimental drugs – but no, they embrace him because he mentioned “secede”. Of course, the very next day he was on the phone with Vice-President Joe Biden begging for stimulus money to be sent but no one seems to notice that. He is a very slick politician.
When the bus arrived, the pace picked up. There was a lot of hoopin’ and hollerin’, some fun songs, even a line dance.
One by one, the new “celebrities” made their way to the microphone to excite the crowd and keep the energy flowing. They are all listed on the Tea Party Express website, Each did a good job in their role but I particularly liked the Rivoli Revue. The did a rousing version of their song “A Bailout Song” and everyone in the crowd was getting into it.
I also thought that Vice-Chair Deborah Johns did a good job of putting the issues that they are against on the table. This is as good a point as any to talk about the controversy. There is a split in the tea party “movement” over the direction that they should take. On one side, you have those that want the movement to be non-partisan and open to all. On the other, you have those that say, well, Democrats are never going to be on our side, so we might as well use the resources available from lobbyist groups to push Republicans into our way of thinking. The former point would be representative of the national Tea Party Patriots group or the local Houston Tea Party Society. The latter group would be representative of the Tea Party Express or the local Houston Tea Party Patriots.
The controversy between the two philosophies has been made public in a rather nasty way. In October, Josh Parker of the Houston Tea Party Society protested the tour stop in Houston and the TPE in general. This was picked up by several national blogs and used in a broader story against the TPE. In recent weeks, it has become even nastier, with former Tea Party Patriots founder Amy Bremer joining the TPE and getting kicked out of the group she founded, as evidenced by this letter she posted on her blog.
TPE Vice-Chair Deborah Johns reported last night on Facebook that the situation has deteriorated further.
I think it is very tragic that the Board of the Tea Party Patriots has filed a lawsuit against Amy Kremer, as well as a restraining order, trying to silence her, and asking for donations of money from people to pay the $20K legal bills they are racking up by this senseless lawsuit against Amy Kremer.
Those who are on the board of the Tea Party Patriots are suing Amy Kremer,the founder and have also filed a restraining order against her. They filed the suite in Georgia, and this is all public record. They are trying to raise money by asking for donations to pay the more than $20K in legal fees they have ran up to tear apart Amy Kremer. They also refuse to produce their financial records when people have asked them to do so.
The Tea Party Patriots who are suing Amy Kremer are Jenny Beth Martin, Mark Meckler, Diana Reimer, Billie Tucker, Mike Gaske, Kellen Guida, Ryan Hecker, Debbie Dooley, Dawn Wildman. These people should not be doing this at all, they will hurt the great movement that has been started by great people. We need everyone to work together to defeat the liberals.
Amy Kremer owns the intellectual property to the Tea Party Patriot organization, the board did not like it that Amy went on the Tea Party Express bus tour, they voted her off, the board is asking for monetary donations, they have mounting legal fees because of the lawsuits, and they are trying to silence this great woman who helped to organize all of the April 15 Tax Day Tea Parties. It is crazy to have these circulasr firing squads, when all groups should be working together for the good of the movement to stop the liberal agenda.
Regardless of which side you come down on, the idea that people are suing each other over a grassroots issue is disconcerting. While people were out at the racetrack enjoying themselves, Democrats were passing a healthcare “reform” package that neither reforms healthcare nor reduces the cost of insurance. People need to put egos aside and learn to work together. If your group wishes to push candidates, fine. If your group wishes only to educate and raise voter awareness, fine. It is far more important to slow the tide of governmental growth than to worry about who steps on which podium.
I’ve also noticed a general fatigue setting in with some in the “movement”. It is as if they came out in February, did some work, expected the world to change overnight because they said so, and when it didn’t, they want to take their ball home. Folks, the die for this was cast in November of 2008. You have done a great job in raising awareness but the fact is that you were never going to change this vote in the House of Representatives. People calling from out of district do not make a difference. A much better plan would have been to approach it as Mike Huckabee volunteers did in his run for the presidency. He had volunteers sign up to make local phone calls into the states that had upcoming primaries. Calling local voters and urging them to call their reps would be far more powerful than the current method.
I would urge activists to use that method to stop this monstrosity of a healthcare “reform” bill in the Senate. And I’m grateful that Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison has the courage to stand and fight when all of the political naysayers in Texas want her to resign so tha they can begin jockeying for their next job. To me, they are the pathetic ones, putting personal political ambition ahead of the people of the State of Texas and Americans in general.