The Tea Party Scam

The tea party movement is a scam both intellectually and financially. They promote a disgraceful distortion of our national heritage to spread the know-nothing ignorance of reactionaries such as Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck. They offer a false choice to those who do not understand the issues and an opportunity for those who want to take advantage of them to make big bucks.

Frank Rich, after noting how Michael Steele is profiting from his position, turns to the tea party:

Both Steele and Palin claim to be devotees of the tea party movement. “I’m a tea partier, I’m a town-haller, I’m a grass-roots-er” is how Steele put it in a recent radio interview, wet-kissing a market he hopes will buy his book. Palin has far more grandiose ambitions. She recently signed on as a speaker for the first Tea Party Convention, scheduled next month in Nashville — even though she had turned down a speaking invitation from the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, the traditional meet-and-greet for the right. The conservative conference doesn’t pay. The Tea Party Convention does. A blogger at Nashville Scene reported that Palin’s price for the event was $120,000.

The entire Tea Party Convention is a profit-seeking affair charging $560 a ticket — plus the cost of a room at the Opryland Hotel. Among the convention’s eight listed sponsors is Tea Party Emporium, which gives as its contact address 444 Madison Avenue in New York, also home to the high-fashion brand Burberry. This emporium’s Web site offers a bejeweled tea bag at $89.99 for those furious at “a government hell bent on the largest redistribution of wealth in history.” This is almost as shameless as Glenn Beck, whose own tea party profiteering has included hawking gold coins merchandised by a sponsor of his radio show.

Last week a prominent right-wing blogger, Erick Erickson of, finally figured out that the Tea Party Convention “smells scammy,” likening it to one of those Nigerian e-mails promising untold millions. Such rumbling about the movement’s being co-opted by hucksters may explain why Palin used her first paid appearance at Fox last Tuesday to tell Bill O’Reilly that she would recycle her own tea party profits in political contributions. But Erickson had it right: the tea party movement is being exploited — and not just by marketers, lobbyists, political consultants and corporate interests but by the Republican Party, as exemplified by Palin and Steele, its most prominent leaders.

Tea partiers hate the G.O.P. establishment and its Wall Street allies, starting with the Bushies who created TARP, almost as much as they do Obama and his Wall Street pals. When Steele and Palin pay lip service to the movement, they are happy to glom on to its anti-tax, anti-Obama, anti-government, anti-big-bank vitriol. But they don’t call for any actual action against the bailed-out perpetrators of the financial crisis. They’d never ask for investments to put ordinary Americans back to work. They have no policies to forestall foreclosures or protect health insurance for the tea partiers who’ve been shafted by hard times. Their only economic principle beside tax cuts is vilification of the stimulus that did save countless jobs for firefighters, police officers and teachers at the state and local level.


  1. 1
    Andrew says:

    RT @TLW3: The tea party movement is a scam both intellectually and financially. #ocra #teaparty #p2 #tcot

  2. 2
    Tea Leaf Times says:

    » The Tea Party Scam Liberal Values #tea

  3. 3
    Leslie Parsley says:

    Room rates at the Opryland Hotel start at $189/night. Food is expensive as hell and drinks are about $10 a sip – but I’m sure none of those good Christians imbibe.  I’m leaving town for the duration.

  4. 4
    immobileman says:

    Look how much your liberal party will make off you folks with Ron Reagan! Four times as much. You hate it because we do not like the direction of this country and are willing to voice our opinions. We are the backbone of America. Without us you intellects and service industry workers would have nothing. Not houses, roads, cars, buildings, plumbing or food. Get off your high horse and let the people speak their minds. This is America where people are allowed to voice their thoughts. Yes as you have not as I am doing but to denigrate hard working people because MSM has tricked you is a shame.
    BTW please prove Glenn Beck wrong! You can call him names all day long but he is as factual as he can be and you just don’t like it.

  5. 5
    Ron Chusid says:

    You are the ones who are being tricked into supporting bigger deficits, and bigger and more intrusive government under the Republicans. Those of us who support a free market system where people are rewarded for their work, not because of Republican cronyism, know better than to fall for the nonsense coming from the brainwashed people in the tea party movement.

    Glenn Beck is a liar as I have demonstrated in multiple posts. He regularly puts out misinformation and lies what his opponents have said, even to the point of altering tapes to make it appear they are saying different things than are being said. For example, see here.

  6. 6
    mike says:

    Hey immobileman Glen Beck is a fool and a fraud and as far as I’m concerned unamerican. and I mifht call you a fool also for believing that those with all the money should run the country.

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