People I know and trust on both sides of an issue have come to deep disagreement over events arising out of a primary, in my district btw, dividing (amongst those who have divided) roughly along the lines of the primary founders of the St. Louis Tea Party, several siding with Dana Loesch on one side, and several with Bill Hennessy on the other; aligning along differing inclinations over how best to apply their shared principles, each thinks the other has behaved inappropriately. I have no way of knowing the details , and so I won't venture a comment on them, but the situation has left the rest of us who haven't chosen sides - Adam Sharp of SharpElbows, Patch Adams of Po'ed Patriot, myself, and others, shaking our heads, blinking and looking at each other muttering
"WTF just happened?!"I want to say that I believe the best of both sides and think each sides worst suspicions about the other are probably wide of the mark, misinterpretations or flat out wrong. If I'm a fool for thinking that... which part is the most foolish? And... if I'm a fool to believe one, why am I not a fool to believe the other? If it's foolish to deny the one, why isn't it foolish to deny the other?
I'm pretty sure that the others standing around with me in the aftermath are thinking much the same thing. I also couldn't help thinking of this, my first lunch with radicals (wish I had a picture of that afternoon!)
But whatever the facts actually are (and I'm not all that convinced that those involved actually know them either, but seriously, now that it's too late to matter, I'd just assume not hear the details), I suspect that the real issue is that an actual organization was formed where none should have been, and because it was, trouble followed.
At heart the Tea Party is fundamentally opposed to unconstitutional, expansive government and the abuse of power, and for the rule of law which preserves and upholds individual rights & property rights, through adherence to our Constitution.
Perhaps it should have been left there. Forming a political organization ultimately demands positions be taken for one candidate or another... and that has to, at some point, turn the organization, via the unavoidably differing opinions of it's members, against itself. IOW this was coming for some time, and if not on this issue, certainly another one would have presented itself.
There are other's, such as the proregressive conservative (said with a wink), Patrick Tuohey, of The Missouri Record who thinks,
"So why haven't they taken up his cause? If the Tea Party movement doesn't rally around candidates like Martin, what has been the point of the last three years? If the St. Louis activists staked a claim in party politics in New York's 23rd, why not in Missouri's 2nd?", leaving aside his question about the 23rd - action wasn't taken for what'shisname, but was directed against the proregressive rino 'republican' promoted by Newt Gingrich.
And that, off the top of my head, at this moment in time, is what I think the point is - the Tea Party, to the extent that it acts as a group, should be about drawing attention to problems, promoting relevant information, and educating people about our history and important ideas.
Campaigns and campaigning, should, IMHO, be left to individuals to promote those they feel strongly about, as individuals supporting Tea Party ideals, but NOT as members of 'THE Tea Party'.
So Now What?
Well... some pondering needs to take place. One starting point might be where we began, such as what I said back as the Tea Party was taking shape: don't waste time trying to plan and organize for a candidate, inform, publicize and where appropriate, criticize - loudly, far and wide - do that and those worthy of support, will gain support from those inclined to support them based upon what they've learned about them
When I was saying something similar to this:
"...maybe it’s best left in its natural decentralized structures as they are now, each ‘chapter’ communicating, debating, but putting their own public pressure on their local pol’s… kind of a new situation we need to give some thought to., and down in the comments, an idea I like a lot, but haven't had the time to develop,
We shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that we have had many, many political parties, and presidents elected under them… Whigs, Federalists, Democratic-Republican, Know Nothings (!)… but in this current political climate, I just can’t see it being helpful or successful – better to have people who are united on principles, though not necessarily on their application (remember Madison & Hamilton agreed on principles, but violently disagreed on applying them), finding, screening and nailing or promoting, candidates through the existing parties..."
"My current, though not thoroughly thought out sense is, that there needs to be something along the lines of a "Consumer Reports' organization, vocally educating and agitating for, particular measures - some activities and measures that cannot be tolerated - and some which must be enacted - and which will support or fight against any politician as they align for or against those measures.".. though... obviously... that last turns out to be rather problematic.
If you've got any ideas on the subject... I'd love to hear them.
But Adam Sharp of SharpElbows had an interesting idea earlier today:
!'m starting my own Tea Party.I think most of us are Adam.
It's called "the If you mention a primary or primary candidate in my presence I'll punch you in the F**king face TEA PARTY"
Who's with me?
Me? Got some reading to do. But I've been doing that here for about six years... so... more of the same, I guess.
One last thought for the night
Interestingly, I've been watching some other conservative oriented groups forming what each accuses the other of, 'forming a circular firing squad', and I couldn't help thinking of a couple lines from a Harry Potter movie (hey, sometimes you get Aeschylus from me, sometimes J.K. Rowling - deal with it), from a scene when Harry has been feeling wronged and was withdrawing from his friends:
Luna Lovegood: [about her father] We believe you, by the way. That He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named is back, and you fought him, and the Ministry and the Prophet are conspiring against you and Dumbledore.Take a short breather folks, reflect, but remember, in one form or another, we must regroup around the ideas that we are for, if for no other reason than for the fact that He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named doesn't want us to.
Harry Potter: Thanks. Seems you're about the only ones that do.
Luna Lovegood: I don't think that's true. But I suppose that's how he wants you to feel.
Harry Potter: What do you mean?
Luna Lovegood: Well if I were You-Know-Who, I'd want you to feel cut off from everyone else. Because if it's just you alone you're not as much of a threat.