Tuesday, December 06, 2011

The Tea Pot Boils Over....

By now it's likely that you heard of a schism in the St. Louis Tea Party.

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'.

Ok, enough.

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.

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..."
, and down in the comments, an idea I like a lot, but haven't had the time to develop,

"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.
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?
I think most of us are Adam.


Patch Adams of Po'ed Patriot has another:

Taking a long break...

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.
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.
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.


Anonymous said...

As I heard it said once "We don't endorse candidtaes, they endorse us"

Fran said...

I'm with Adam - 100%

Anonymous said...

another anonymous said...this is exactly what the left wing was praying (if they ever do) would happen. Now they can splash this info over the main stream media and announce The Tea Party is Dead and eating it's own. Both sides should have had enough sense to make the split quietly so they didn't feed the beast!

Anonymous said...

This is only news within the tea party, it's noise level in the MSM. It will all blow away when Pujols signs something.

Anonymous said...

I am a senior Tea Party member, and unable to make the meetings. How disappointing to think this could happen! I thought the Tea Party members were above this! Those of us, who can't be active members, count on you to carry the torch!

Van Harvey said...

I've been through enough band breakups to recognize that sometimes it's just time.

I've also watched the fat lady long enough to realize that when most people think she's done singing, she's just drawing a breath.

The teapot may have boiled over, but it ain't empty, not by a long shot.

Stix said...

truly sad.

I am with you, I am friends with both sides and do not know if I really want to know all of what went on.

And do not want to pick sides. we need everyone to be together for this.

UGH always in the middle of these kinds of things.

Ace said...

I'd like to add a Potter quote as well:

"It is our choices, Harry, that show us who we truly are, far more than our abilities." ~ Albus Dumbledore
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

The public display of infighting speaks volumes. The teaparty is a huge grassroots org. where disagreements will happen, but the choices that have been made speak volumes for the integrity of the involved parties. May the St. Louis Tea Party continue on its mission of preserving the Republic, we don't need duplicitous individuals to secure and perserve the liberty of the United States of America.

Anonymous said...

Talk show hosts who have a wide audience should not endorse candidates in the primary. Even if we like the host and listen to their radio show, once they endorse a candidate that we disagree with, we will stop listening to the host's show.

patriotsoul said...

Dana and co. chose to go the world's way.
That would be away from success against tyranny.
A disagreement was all that was required.
We are grass roots.
What bull.
Good riddance, unless your logic returns, Dana.

Mark Polege - Keyboard Militia said...

Great article, Van. Because I too have friends on both sides with whom I love and respect in this marathon dogfight, and have had the pleasure to work with since early 2009, I am truly at a lose for words. It is safe to say that I am along the head-shakers of "WTF just happened?!".

It is too easy to get burned by candidates, even ones we love. I believe our strength was in staying focused and guided by the Constitution and our Forefathers. I think the best explanation of the Tea Party I have heard is what your first commenter said, "We don't endorse candidates, they endorse us."

I will continue to strive for those things as I strive to produce the best research and reporting I can (as time allows) because the Media can't be trusted to do that anymore. That is what sucked me into all this at the beginning, and I will continue to do that with or without a St.Louis Tea Party, because we are truly the LAST, BEST HOPE FOR FREEDOM IN THIS WORLD. As Reagan described, if we lose it here, the world may never have it again.

Anonymous said...

In my view Dana used the bully pulpit of her radio show, blog, position as Editor of Big Journalism and social media following to make a private dispute public. I think it was a bullying tactic.

Further, the research being done on the candidates is part and parcel of what citizens ought to be doing. I can draw my own conclusion about what the facts actually mean.

Finally, the Tea Party cannot be all "stick" there has to be a carrot. The NRA endorses candidates, though not typically in a primary.

Dan Hyatt said...

It is my hope that when the dust settles this benefits all.
I have respect for Bill and Dana, and have no knowledge what the issues are causing the split.
I hope to be able to maintain positive relationships with both camps, and pray that this benefits us in the long run by turning it into a two pronged spear!
Bill and Dana are my heroes!

Van Harvey said...

Aninnymouse said “Talk show hosts who have a wide audience should...”

Should? Says who? A nameless accuser who accuses without even providing references to back up their claims? If I haven’t seen such proof, I seriously doubt that you have. Not hearsay, insinuation, supposition or suspicion... proof.

You want what you have to say to have the status of something other than noise, you’ve got to provide the substance – you don’t even have a name to fall back on.

But that isn’t even the real issue – how is it that you lose your right as an American citizen, because large numbers of people like to listen to what you have to say? Would this be the same method by which having more money than others somehow forfeits your right to freedom of speech?

If that’s your claim, my claim is that in any manner that matters, you are not only un-American, but Anti-American, and the proper response to that, is, I think: piss off.

Van Harvey said...

For all others who’d like to disagree with someone’s point of view, fine, I do it all the time, but please don’t speak here on my blog as if you know what you’re talking about, when I know damn well you don’t.

Doesn’t matter to me whether you want to criticize one side or the other, if you don’t have the facts, or even a name to back up your words... run along.

The only thing possibly knowable by those not directly involved, is that there is a strong disagreement on the proper application of shared principles. If you aren’t Dana or Bill – you don’t know what you are talking about. If you are Dana or Bill, you haven’t shown me the private undisclosed facts that ‘incriminates’ the other. Without that, I’m being asked to believe one side or another on the basis of the word of one side or the other, who I value equally, and which I strongly suspect is influenced more by point of view inflamed by circumstance. Whatever the case, if you want to toss out accusation ... run along.

Van Harvey said...

Mark, Yep.

Anonymous said...

"Dana and co." were removed because they believed in first principles of not endorsing candidates in primaries, we want the candidates to endorse the movement. There is no Scozafava in this election, both candidates here have pledged to uphold the tea party values. It seems strange to me that people outside the 2nd district would rally so hard for a candidate that lives outside the 2nd district to represent the 2nd district... From what I can see is that Dana hasn't spoken ill of either candidate or endorsed one but the secret board of the stltp has and endorsed terrible hit pieces against private citizens and companies as donors. They were flat wrong (because of bad info gathering on info easy to find) and tried to assign a nefarious cause and motive to a private companies employees. The first national article was published on Daily Caller and contained the factual errors. Jim Hoft not Dana wrote a piece chiding the DC for running a story with such errors and inaccuracies. That is a media story an was cross posted at Bigjournalsim. Dana said nothing else about it. Now she is attacked and thrown under the bus for a MO2 candidate that doesn't live in MO2. I don't get the logic. She has taken the heat for all of us, literally risking her life for liberty against threats and smears of the worst kind and defending and helping these very people who now attack her. Lowest of the lows they have gotten into bed with progressive smear merchants St. Louis Activist Hub and the RFT to help them. You know them by their friends. I applaud Loesch for taking the high road, sticking to principles and not working with the enemy.

Van Harvey said...

Guys, if you don’t have a name that I can trace to a person, and a person in the know, and/or you have nothing but your ‘evaluation’ to back up your accusation against one side or the other... read the “Leave your comment” message above – my disgust-o-meter has been pegged.

I’m friends with both sides and I believe both sides think that they are in the right, IOW, you’re stepping into an argument between my friends and will offend me no matter ‘how right’ you are.

You’re not going to use my site to natter at each other, I’m not the govt and you’re not Publius – I’ll whack ya.

Anonymous said...

I was put off when the first telephone calling duty to which I was called was about demonstrating against the Jefferson county re-hiring a lawyer of dubious honesty and connections. I believe that the #1 issue facing the country is, indeed, corruption BUT I also believe that we waste our resources pursuing matters such as this. Using the old phrase, "power corrupts", I conclude we should attack the source which is too much concentrated power, and of course that means Washington big government. The Jefferson county issue was pre-empting and thereby diffusing the anger of Tea Party recruits for a narrow interest. So I could not agree more with this blog entry. Let us keep our eye on the prize, protecting Liberty from the socialist big government elites.

Ace said...

Sorry that my name didn't come through Van but "A" is Angela Hennessy. I have no information that I'm willing to share; I felt the need to share my thoughts and feelings on the current, and very unfortunate situation. Peace.

Van Harvey said...

Angella, I understand; it's a frustrating situation all around, and I imagine for you especially.

Van Harvey said...

(Btw, it wasn't your comment I was referring to... might have helped if I was a bit more specific, but during work, it's 'type as type can')

Zotta's Perspective said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Zotta's Perspective said...

It appears that some people say they are the Tea Party, but they do not want to help elect or endorse Conservative candidates. What do they want to do, sit around the camp fire holding hands drinking tea singing kumbuyya? The goal of the Tea Party should be to support and help elect Conservative candidates who want limited government and who will follow the Constitution. Otherwise, what’s the point? In order the change the direction this country is headed we need to elect Conservative candidates.

Zotta's Perspective said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Zotta's Perspective said...

I do not LIE, and I did not have an epiphany after 9/11 and converted from a liberal, who supported and campaigned for the rapist Bill Clinton, to a Conservative. As I stated I was a "Tea Party" Candidate before there was a Tea Party.

Van Harvey said...

Dear Greg Zotta: Bite me.

Thank you.

Van Harvey said...

Greg, I've seen your mass copy & paste campaign commercial comments all over the place - not here.

When Martin was the nominee in MO1, I made enough door knocking & phone calls to happily thumb my nose at your kumbyebye comments.

As I've said elsewhere, neither candidate has succeeded in firing up my interest, though their supporters have succeeded in dampening it.

It is likely, assuming Martin stays in this race until election day without jumping to another more inviting powerport, that I'll vote for him... Wagner's double-talking comments on Aerotropollis (I think you can find a link on Darin's 'Reboot Congress' site) pretty much eliminated her from consideration by me for anything, but I'm not going to endorse, campaign for, talk up, etc, anyone who hasn't ginned up my interest enough to do so.

If you want that, go to a political page who likes to do that. It may be a stunner for some, but this ain't one. I'm interested in politics only insofar as it is useful in demonstrating the ideas which lay behind it.

I don't have any confidence that any candidate in any race will make any positive difference - the best I hope for from candidates is that they have enough brass and enough sense to slow the erosion.

The only real and lasting change that is possible is that which results from educating people in the ideas which America rests upon and requires, in order to continue being America.

That is what I'm interested in doing, that is what I have been doing and working for - before Obama, before TARP, before 9/11 - and that is what I'll continue doing.

If you have something more interesting to say than how great or how foul one candidate or another is, I'll listen, otherwise... I can care less, and will demonstrate how much less, by deleting it.

Van Harvey said...

Greg said "The above are the comments I posted. I ask, where are the lies?"

I don't know, perhaps with your previous comment, or somewhere else.

As I said, if you've got a beef with Dana or Bill or anyone else, take it up with them - I'm not interested.

Zotta's Perspective said...

Van posted, Greg said "The above are the comments I posted. I ask, where are the lies?" and wrote, “I don't know, perhaps with your previous comment, or somewhere else.”
Van said, “Dear Greg Zotta: Bite me. Thank you.” Classy??? You then go on to write,
“As I said, if you've got a beef with Dana … take it up with them - I'm not interested.” I do not lie and Dana does not want to address the issue. You were the one who wrote the Post about this issue with a comment section, however, you threaten to delete the post if you do not like the counter-argument. You cite that, “When Martin was the nominee in MO1, I made enough door knocking & phone calls to happily thumb my nose at your kumbyebye comments.” BTW, Ed ran in the MO 3rd in the 2010 election.
“If you have something more interesting to say than how great or how foul one candidate or another is, I'll listen, otherwise... I cancare less, and will demonstrate how much less, by deleting it.” I did not berate any candidate in this race. I only pointed out that these same people who support Ann Wagner now, endorsed and supported Ed in 2010. Ed’s positions have not changed, so I challenged them on their “loyalty.” My suggestion, if you do not want to address the comments, do not have a comment section.

Van Harvey said...

Greg said “Classy??? “

Greg, have you heard of the concept of hijacking a thread? Especially one which was explicitly stated in the post, and in the comments, and with a warning to people NOT to try and take the comments in that direction?

You ignored all that, went ahead with your comments, and want to chat about classy? Please.

“BTW, Ed ran in the MO 3rd in the 2010 election. “
Doh. Too true, I was talking about Ed Martin’s campaign in the 3rd (which I helped some with), but was thinking of my friend Martin Baker (running in the 1st). My goof.

“I did not berate any candidate in this race.”

I don’t really care if you berate any candidate in the race, but doing so on this thread is too close to the issues of one side or the other which this thread relates to – not interested, not going to allow it on this thread - this isn't simply news or policy, it's personal - respect that or be whacked.

I’ve seen the comment you posted, or one incredibly close, posted far and wide the last few days on facebook – not interested in seeing it again in my blog.

Usually I don’t mind one bit how the comments travel, but I did in this one, stated it, and warned against it – you ignored that. If you’d like to feign surprise... that might be amusing, but continue with the issue, and it'll be deleted.

Andrew Limanni said...

Sorry to be late to the party, but when I read the Tea Party and Van posts on the 7th, didn't have time to follow up. My simple-minded question is: Where can one go to get The Facts about who said what or did what rather than the Feelings about it later? Do I have to go to the RFT or some other uber liberal rag to find out the facts about "The Fight in the Tea Party"? Shouldn't we have somewhere to go to get just the facts? And if the issue is endorsing someone - didn't the Tea Party endorse Ed Martin in 2010 to the extent of calling the office "24/7 dedicated to Ed's election" - this said right to my face by one of the "leaders" of the Tea Party? What's really going on here?

Van Harvey said...

Andrew said "Where can one go to get The Facts about who said what or did what rather than the Feelings about it later?"

Hey Andrew… I didn’t think you typed?

Where do you find the facts? I think the easy answer is… you don’t. No crimes were committed, private conversations and materials were not made public, and so no exhaustive rules of evidence are able to be applied, even if there was evidence.

The short story is that two groups of people disagreed on how to approach a dicey matter of politics, mis-read each other’s intentions and actions, appeared to give each other reason for offense, and human nature took its course from there.

Unless something more nefarious comes to light, and there’s no reason to think there will be, that’s the end of my curiosity about the matter. My friends had a falling out, I remain friends with them, even if they aren’t friends with each other.

Ace said...

My first and probably last blog post. It may be biased but it comes from the heart and a place of truth. Peace.

Van Harvey said...

Angela, that was from the heart, and a good one at that.

"I was, and am broadsided by this."

I'm right there with you on that.

I know how hard it's been on my wife with my time and attention in the Tea Party, I can't even begin to imagine the unseen efforts which Bill's involvement has drawn from you.

Thank you.

I would have commented on your page, but I saw Bill's comment... and felt kind of like I was interrupting a hug.


Ace said...

Thanks so much Van! We hope to see you soon. Take care.

freespeak said...

2 cents worth...the radio show is spewing forth bitterness, anger, behind the voice. I do not know what happened either, but it is obviously bothering her.
It's a shame....the cause was good for her.
I think she has lost the heart, and pray there is a truce.
I love them both.
We are all affected.

Anonymous said...

Tea Party candidates probably almost entirely ceased to exist after 1933. Trying to determine who is the less disastrous candidate is the kind of game which apparently has driven even Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham into losing sight of their first principles, supporting and castigating the very same two men.

James Wilson