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From Rosebud: I believe this whole thing begs the question: what is the definition of tea party? What sort of movement fits that definition? At bottom, there is nothing about the organization TPN that fits that definition. If an organization has a board of directors who makes all the decisions, never once turning to its members for any input; does not enlist the aid of the "4500" who claim membership, who never once plans any sort of event (except the so-called "National Convention," but that same "Convention" intends to make hundreds of thousands of dollars, (a true tea party organization would never think of making money, but has an eye toward covering costs), and that that organization throws out and banishes anyone who dares to ask questions or attempts in anyway to contribute with mission or values statements, those members, indeed, entire groups being thrown out or "fired" (who are volunteers, by the way....who can "fire" them?).....the folks of Tennessee not being represented by this group, but banned like so much useless dross? Does this fit the tea party movement's definition? Is this a democracy or yet another bureaucracy? Is this not what we are fighting against in our own government? I believe that if you search for the meaning of tea party and apply these definitions to an organization, you would get the answers you are searching for. No, one man/one group does not represent the movement at all. It is We The People! The people are standing up and will not put up with those who would abscond with our country or our movement to take it back! Where does one dare to portray falsely that they are a tea party movement when the facts bear out the falseness of it? How dare you?
Thank you Charles for your article and the good coverage of Bill Haslam. I must say that the piece on the New Republicanism was however laughable. Your coverage of Judson Phillips, the self professed leader of Tea Party Nation, is so blatantly erroneous that it is not even worthy to be called journalism. Phillips' narcissistic boasting that Tea Party Nation is the largest individual tea party group in the nation is hilarious! What a crock - TPN is a small insignificant website on the ning social networking platform. At 4500 members from around the country it is dwarfed by numerous other groups that are currently active on the web. The so called National Tea Party Convention is a joke as well. At a combined price tag of over $1000 per person it is obvious that this event has nothing to do with the grass roots tea party movement that is uniting millions around the nation, but rather more to do with fleecing individuals out of their hard earned dollars to fund TPN's self managed PAC (or conservative activism group). This group and this event will do nothing to advance the cause that the tea party is focused on. It is nothing more than another opportunist riding on the back of "we the people" for self serving gain.