I swore I was going to keep my mouth shut on this, but I keep getting emails from people along the lines of "if you don't say it, who will?"
Yeah, I guess I have become that guy.
I am afraid Sarah Palin is going to harm herself unintentionally over this tea party convention in Nashville.
Full disclosure: I have asked several of the tea party organizations that, early on, I was supportive of to stop using my name and RedState's logo. I think the tea party movement has largely descended into ego and quest for purpose for individuals at the expense of what the tea party movement started out to be.
That's not to say it is in every case. I have much good to say about groups like Tea Party Patriots, but I think this national tea party convention smells scammy.
Let me be blunt: charging people $500.00 plus the costs of travel and lodging to go to a "National Tea Party Convention" run by a for profit group no one has ever heard of sounds as credible as an email from Nigeria promising me a million bucks if I fork over my bank account number.
I am led to believe a number of the sponsors who lent their names early on have grown wary of the event. That lines up with what I am hearing.
The tea party movement was always about the unorganized masses of concerned, passionate Americans uniting together with a common voice to protest the direction of the country. From that passion, others have sought to make money off the tea party movement. Some have done it for good. Many have not. And more and more we are seeing some people rise up to claim the mantle of "leader" of the tea party movement. Many of us who have been around for a while just want to know who the heck these so called leaders are.
The tea party "leaders", if there are any, are actively at work in their home towns changing things one letter to the editor, one contribution to a candidate, and one protest at a time. They are not on bus tours profiting off the hard work and sometimes the names of others (some also on the bus with no pay) headed to Nashville licking their lips at the $500.00 per person payments coming in to their for profit company.
Sarah Palin is certainly giving the National Tea Party Convention legitimacy. But at what cost? I am fearful this thing will blow up and harm her. I am more fearful that a bunch of well meaning people from across the nation are going to show up, expect more, and then grow disaffected or burn out when the deliverables they expect do not come in.
I hope I am wrong about all of this. I could be. But something tells me I am right. And because no one else will say it, I will — I think Sarah Palin got some bad advice and probably should have done more due diligence. Your mileage may vary.