From the diaries by Erick
A common theme of the tea party is 'let's take our country back'. After Wednesday's dismal display in Washington, D.C., I submit that it's time to take our movement back!
When the very first tea party call to action rang out, well over a million patriots responded by showing up in our nation's capitol on September 12, 2009. Subsequently, when Obama, Pelosi and the Progressive Left were ignoring the will of the American people by shoving ObamaCare down our throats, another 'emergency' call to action was put out and in a matter of days thousands made the trek.
This past Wednesday, one and a half years later, Tea Party Patriots, Inc. (TPP, Inc.) called for a Continuing Revolution Rally in D.C.
And this is with such conservative notables as Reps. Michele Bachmannn, Steve King, Mike Pence and Allen West speaking at the event, as well as Sens. Rand Paul and Jim Demint!
Keep in mind, TPP, Inc. is the big kid on the block in this movement. They lay claim to more groups and a larger membership than any other organization. Mark Meckler and Jenny Beth Martin, the faces of the 501(c)(4) group, can often be seen on the cable network shows speaking on behalf of the millions that make up the tea party.
Coincidently, just a few weeks before, here in Florida, the TPP, Inc. state director planned a rally during the opening week of the 2011 Legislative Session in our state's capitol, Tallahassee. After weeks of promoting the event, a few dozen turned out.
So is the tea party fizzling out? Is interest in the values this movement represents waning? Or is this the free market system at work, an entity struggling due to poor leadership and out of touch management?
Unfortunately, the belief held by far too many is that TPP, Inc. long ago became part of the very D.C. establishment it was supposed to be fighting against. With the lure of fame and fortune being too strong a temptation to overcome, have the TPP, Inc. leaders listened to the song of that siren till she transformed them into beasts?
With big-time fundraising and public relations firms and reported six figure salaries having become the modus operandi, the organization seems to have lost much of it's relevance on the ground. Exhibit A being the dismal turnout to the 'Continuing Revolution Rally' referenced above.
From it's inception, the tea party has always been about we the people. It's strength has always been rooted in it's sheer numbers and the idea that it's a bottom up popular uprising by average everday Americans. Too many leaders seem to have lost sight of this and are beginning to fall prey to the illusions of self importance. Meanwhile, the common folks that sacrifice time away from work and personal time with the family to be part of this great awakening simply choose to stay home.
By no means, though, should this be interpreted as the beginning of the end. In the very same week that TPP, Inc. could only muster a few dozen in Tallahassee, FL., nearly a thousand citizens showed up in the exact same location for a rally organized by independent tea party groups.
A clear demonstration of folks exercizing their God given liberty to choose where best to invest their time and treasure.
What is very problematic here is that TPP, Inc. has become the face and voice of the tea party to many in the media, as evident by how many were present at Wednesday's event. In the media's eyes, as TPP, Inc. goes, so goes the movement. Perhaps the time has come to put this all in the proper perspective by accurately defining exactly what TPP, Inc.'s role is in the grand scheme of things. As Patrick Henry once said, "It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country".
By Tom Tillison
Florida Political Press