Friday, March 5, 2010

Ticking Off the Tea Party Crowd

Pretty much anyone who is politically engaged could find something to be offended about in the 72-page Republican National Committee presentation that leaked to Politico this week. And as for its small donors, the presentation describes them as “reactionary,” motivated by “fear” and “extreme negative feelings toward existing administration”—thus deflating the high-flying patriotic rhetoric of the grassroots. “They don’t get it,” Judson Phillips, a Nashville lawyer who organized the National Tea Party Convention last month, told the Beast. “They freaking don’t get it.” Phillips said he disagreed with the characterization of small donors as “reactionary” and motivated by “fear.” “Our motives are patriotic,” he said. “Can they be any more insulting? I guess they could have called us teabaggers, but Holy Cow, I’m so blown away by the whole thing I’m just sitting here stunned.” A spokesman for FreedomWorks, the activist group led by Dick Armey that helped organize the first Tea Party protests, called the presentation “inept and silly.” The irritation in Tea Party ranks is no small matter. Their grassroots support has been crucial for the Republican Party over the last more

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