Sunday, February 21, 2010
Tea Parties Warn of 'Coordinated Assault'
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's statement that tea party activists need to start "picking a party" is part of a "coordinated assault" against the conservative grass-roots movement by the Republican establishment, tea party leaders tell Newsmax. A series of events this week have pushed some tea party leaders to the brink of firing back at GOP officials they see as potentially compromising their organizations' independent status. "Anybody who expects tea party members to vote based on party lines fundamentally misunderstands the movement," says Mark Meckler, a co-founder of Tea Party Patriots and one of its national coordinators. "The tea party movement is made up of people who value principle above party." This week's meeting between RNC Chairman Michael Steele and "tea party leaders" appeared to aggravate the growing divide. Most of the major tea party groups steered clear of the four-hour sessions, and some even suggested Steele was trying to "hijack" the movement for his own purposes. Tea party insiders say that whenever the tea parties are portrayed as aligned with the GOP, the independents and disenchanted Democrats within the grass-roots movement feel alienated...read more