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May 20, 2010


John H

You make some valid comments about the Tea Party of Virginia. But, like many Republicans, you show s lack of understanding that is subtle, yet potentially devastatingly naive.

Based upon your comments, I'm quite certain you've not attended a Tea Party event. I'm not an expert, but I've been to three major Tea Party events in three different states.

The Tea Party rank and file are everywhere among you. They most often don't have a bumper sticker on their car or fly a Gadsden flag, their signs are home made. They often don't put political signs in their yard. They communicate on email lists, facebook, and list servers, phone trees, etc.

They believe in the Constitution and judge you by your understanding of it and your adherence to it. They are not "moderates" about what is or is not in the Constitution. They are not "moderates" about preserving this Republic for future generations.

The Tea Party leadership is amorphous. There are a handful of organizers. But, there is no national, state, or local "platform" or list of talking points. They study history, they know the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, the Federalist Papers, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. They know the thoughts and dreams of our Founding Fathers. They often meet in small groups like a bible study group. The Virginia Liberty Project is leading the way in that regard.

Because you don't know about them does not mean they don't know about you. They instinctively know if you understand what you are talking about. If you don't, they subtly and politely ignore you.

You should go to a Tea Party event. You'll meet the nicest, most polite, most well behaved and concerned citizens you have ever witnessed.

You are correct on a number of points. They instinctively recognize those political leaders who are not sincere, who are not authentic, and who just figured out they are conservative. And they are going to vote. But, a politician should not expect a Tea Party endorsement. Individual Tea Party adherents have already figured that out, one vote at a time.

VA Blogger

It's one thing to call Pat Herrity the "establishment" candidate, but a completely different thing to call him a moderate, considering the lack of policy differences between him and Fimian, something you've mentioned multiple times.

Also, both Fimian and Herrity have enthusiastically reached out and worked the Tea Party crowds.


VA, read it again. I said the candidates "deemed moderates," and I'm saying that if they are moderates we are a pretty right wing party.

John, I'm not sure I said anything that doesn't disagree with what you've written.

local gop

the problem with long term viability of the tp is that it has stemmed from anger...an anger that will eventually fizz out so to speak.

not sure what the articles of confederation has to do with the tp either. also not sure that they have some type of 6th sense on politicians either.

they just seem to be more angry and searching for an outlet than anything. not making a good or bad judgment, just pointing out an observation.


local, that is a typical mainstream Republican response. its why we won't win back Congress unless we embrace their message, because its a message from the people. Sure they're angry, but they are no mob. I think these folks are here and here to stay. Sure there is anger and frustration that is part of the motivation, but its deeper than that and it goes back farther than just Obama. Try and wait this out and we will lose.

local gop

i didnt say they are a mob...although fox news would have you believe they are a giant million man mob that descends upon washington at the drop of a hat.

the trick here is for tea ppl and republicans to work together. reach consensus where it can be reached, and agree to disagree on issues that there is no agreement on; maybe even find compromise. because the tea party by themselves wont win, and the gop by itself wont win. but if both work together we can win.

i ike rand paul. i like him a lot. cant stand his hair though lol. he speaks in a manner that appeals to a wide base and yet he maintains a 'cut-above' sense of leadership that is critical in these turbulent times.

why mitch mcconnell felt the need to run someone else i will never know, but none the less paul is the nominee and i would be proud to campaign for him.

i like the message of the tea ppl too. its about issues like the economy, national security, and individual liberty. these issues are ones that we can agree on at a very basic level. they dont spend much time on divisive social issues that mostly serve as a wedge.

sometimes though i do roll my eyes when i hear some of them say stupid things like 'i want the government to keep their hands off my medicare.' but every party has those who are uninformed.


its really arrogant to call regular folks uninformed just because they aren't exposed to the sausage factory of politics. i argue that its the political hacks and operatives that work in both parties that are uninformed to the every day issues of the people out there. and the sooner the gop realizes off the better we will be.


Wait a minute, Chris. He didn't call anyone uninformed because they aren't exposed to the sausage factory of politics. He called them uninformed for being benefit recipients of a very popular government program while being ignorant of the fact that it is a government program. Which displays a staggering level of ignorance. I think his description of them as uninformed was exceedingly polite.

The fact that they are in many cases supporting politicians who opposed the creation of that program and who have for decades worked (and continue to work) to reduce or eliminate that program makes their ignorance even more breathtaking.

What is most shocking is that such signs have appeared for months at their rallies and there have been any number of interviews with participants who express this idea. Do you think Dick Armey could take a little time to put out some accurate information to the folks he is trying to manipulate? Or would that violate the FreedomWorks charter? I know being accurate and telling the truth isn't normally his thing. And he is awfully busy creating "grassroots" movements up there on K street.


I love how being endorsed by the sitting Attorney General makes one an outsider. :)

Cuccinelli won because he appealed to BOTH outsiders AND insiders. He was endorsed by party leaders, as well as by conservative organizations.

Two years ago, rumor had Tom Davis nudging Steve Hunt out of the Congressional race to help Keith Fimian. Today, Fimian is the outsider?

John H

Reading these threads makes me believe that, with the exception of John H, most of the contributors have not been to a Tea Party.

Tea Partiers are not angry. They are polite, but resolved to restore the Republic. They are not an uninformed rabble. Rather, they are seasoned and experienced at detecting phonies and frauds. Many are disaffected Republicans. Many are not. Many are libertarians and former Democrats.

Candidates can embrace the Tea Party. But, appearing at a Tea party and asking for their votes is a failed strategy. Tea Party voters will choose their own candidates based upon a candidate's record and their authenticity. They can instinctively determine who is honest, trustworthy, believable, and sincere.

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