With few exceptions, the main stream media and operatives of both political parties cannot seem to understand the nature and import of the Tea Party movement. This recent Ron Fournier AP story on msnbc.com illustrates the lack of understanding of the movement when they conclude that the Tea Party movement is unlikely to dramatically affect the congressional elections unless local Tea Party affiliates forge alliances with Republican candidates. The MSM sees the Tea Party’s ability to use social networking to summon crowds for protests but concludes that beyond the rallies the movement thins out, a barking dog with no teeth. A senior Republican Senate elections strategy consultant is quoted as seeing the tea party as a lot of noise and little muscle. The movement was seen as having no impact of the election of Sen. Brown. How do you miss the internet money bombs, internet phone banks, the busloads of volunteers? Is it a case of looking around with your eyes wide shut or praying that what you do see is not real? Other than one article in the NY Times and one in the LA Times, virtually none of the MSM is getting what is going on.
Tea Party members and conservative activists everywhere should be thankful that they are being written off by the MSM and party power brokers as the latest example of a social flash in the pan of public outrage, quick to foment and quick to fade. In politics, as in war, it is always better to be underestimated by the enemy. I’ll take being underestimated every time. As an activist in multiple Tea Parties and a Republican Precinct Committeeman, I get to see what is happening from both sides, which is first hand evidence of the overwhelming success of the precinct committeeman project, the support given conservative candidates in contested primaries at all levels of government, the education and recruitment of new members, the connections being made to conservatives in elected and party office positions.
In his March 1, 1975 speech to CPAC Reagan made his plea to revitalize the GOP as a party of bold colors and not pale pastels, to return the party to its conservative roots and to let those who disagree to go their way. 35 years later the MSM, the GOP and the Dem’s have yet to see that the Tea Party movement is answering Reagan’s call to action.