Monday, June 21, 2010

Enraged to engaged: Tea party backers explain why

There were also plenty of people just like Warner, who held a coffee mug instead of a sign. Concerned Americans trying to find their voices, and a way to channel their disgust. For some of them, all that anger has now turned to action. It is the kind of action that helped tea party favorite Sharron Angle come from behind in the polls to capture the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in Nevada, challenging Majority Leader Harry Reid. And the kind that helped tea party darlings Raul Labrador in Idaho and Todd Lally in Kentucky win their Republican congressional primaries. And that helped libertarian favorite Rand Paul beat out a Republican establishment candidate in Kentucky's Senate primary. And has mainstream Republican Charlie Crist now running as an independent in Florida's Senate race. In Yucca Valley, that action comes from the likes of Bill Warner and a new Lincoln Club. In Bullhead City, Ariz., it comes in the form of an ex-PR agent who runs the Republican women's club, volunteers as a precinct committee person and holds candidate meet-and-greets to help get out the vote. In Las Vegas, it's an Internet marketer and his friend, a blogger, working from a rented condo to oust Reid and other incumbents. These four were all in Searchlight that Saturday in March. They've heard, time and again, the characterizations in the news media, from some Democrats and, in certain cases, from their own friends and relatives - about how "those tea party-ers" are just angry voters venting about economic hard times, or they're confused, uneducated and easily influenced, or they're extremists, or, worst of all, they're racists...more

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