Culpeper Flag (yellow)Ever since their founding in 2009, the mainstream media and the left have prophesied the tea parties demise. Endless articles in the mainstream press and the blogosphere of the left have said that the tea parties were fading in relevance. The tea parties were characterized by the mainstream press as extreme, bigoted and simply ignorant.

They looked at the downturn in tea party activity in the quiet times of political activity and immediately rushed out with their latest prognostication of the death of the movement. When Michelle Bachmann recently announced her retirement, it was seem by some as a sign that the tea parties were done. Neither the press nor the left understood the essence of the loose group of organizations that make up this patriotic movement. READ MORE

Tea Bag CrushThis time around the Tea Parties need to be careful about who they support. In the 2010 elections, candidates were nominated who represented a very narrow slice of the electorate. American elections don’t work this way. In fact, most elections in democracies don’t work this way.

Nominating candidates based solely on their loyalty to the Tea Party movement can lead to a disaster. There are 435 seats in the House and the Tea Party-backed candidates did very well there. But in the 2010 Senate contests, the Republican Party lost at least two contests that should have been won. That’s 2% of the available seats.

Of the three possible candidates in the Nevada primary, the Republicans selected the one who represented the narrowest slice of the beliefs of Nevadans. Sending a Sharon Angle out to do battle with a heavyweight like Harry Reid was a proverbial Christians vs. the lions contest.

Angle was a one-trick pony who spent the entire campaign reading from the Tea Party talking points. She was the wrong candidate for that particular race. Despite all of that, she Sharon Anglealmost won and beat the most powerful man in the Senate. On election day, Reid defeated Angle by a margin 50.3% to 44.6%.

Delaware, a particularly moderate state, was almost an exact rerun of Nevada. Neophyte Christine O’Donnell defeated veteran Republican Congressman Mike Castle in the primary.

The Tea Party’s big beef with Castle: he was too moderate. He probably was but he was favored to win. Now, we have a competent Democrat in the seat and he’ll probably serve as long as Joe Biden did. He didn’t help that there were accusations that O’Donnell was a witch, instead of ignoring them, she felt constrained to rebut the accusations.

On November 2, 2010, O’Donnell lost the general election to Coons by a margin of 57% to 40%.

Let’s be clear. Senators serve for 6 years, a lifetime in today’s political world. Christine O'DonnellRepresentatives are reelected every two years, there’s time to recover the lost seat before too much damage can be done. The campaign finance laws are designed to protect incumbents and don’t help insurgents.

Let me give you a classic case that is happening right now, right here. By here, I mean my home state, the Commonwealth of Virginia. Our incumbent, Senator Jim Webb (D) has decided that one term is enough for him and is retiring.

The Democrat candidate is former Governor Tim Kaine who served a stretch as the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Once he chose to run, other interested Democrats were firmly “encouraged” by the White House not to enter the primary.

Meanwhile, former Senator and Governor George Allen decided that he wanted his seat back. He had been defeated by less than 10,000 votes by Webb after calling a Democrat operative “macaca” during a rally in southwest Virginia.

Actually, Allen had lost after the Washington media featured the story for over three Marshall, Allen, Radtke, Jacksonstraight weeks, including an incredible 22 straight days on either the main front page or the Metro front page of the Washington Post.

Allen now finds himself in a four-way primary with three other conservatives. The most impressive is Jamie Radtke, one of the founders of the Richmond Tea Party. Ms. Radtke who has never served in any other elected position, decided to start at the top with the Senate.

The other two candidates are Delegate Robert Marshall and E.W. Jackson. Marshall is an elected delegate in the Virginia legislature who is a hard-right conservative. Jackson is an African-American who is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Harvard Divinity School.

The four-way race will be good for Virginia Republicans as long as Allen emerges the victor. However, he is spending campaign cash while Kaine can tour the state without any pressure from the right or left.

If we are going to take control of our government, we need to elect Republicans at all levels of of it. We can’t get caught up in party squabbles where accusations fly back and forth.

If we are going to dispose of proven legislators like Orrin Hatch of Utah and Richard Lugar of Indiana, we can’t nominate any more candidates that can’t speak to the middle because it’s in the middle where American elections are won or lost.


Culpeper FlagI receive a Google alert for American Tea Party Politics and a day doesn’t go by when there isn’t a story saying that the Tea Party Movement is dead, dying, irrelevant to American political discourse or just a bunch of extremist racists.

Let me say that I belong to the Jefferson Area Tea Party and have for the past several years. We are based in Charlottesville, Virginia near the homes of three American Presidents, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and James Monroe. I guess you might say that they were members of the original Tea Party, in a manner of speaking.

Charlottesville was also the home of George Rogers Clark who led a small group of American patriots and their native American allies from Kentucky across what is now Indiana and Illinois to capture the settlements of Kaskaskia, Vincennes and Cahokia for his  young country. By doing so he secured the Northwest Territories for the United States.

His brother William was to join Merriweather Lewis in the great expedition across the continent that was the springboard to our continent-spanning nation.

To say that I live in a place that is rich with the early history of the United States is an understatement.

Let me make a number of things very clear about the modern Tea Party Movement. First and foremost, the members are freedom-loving Americans who just want what is best for their country.

We are in agony over the damage that the left has done to American society. My late mother would be mortified (her favorite verb) if she was alive to see the depths that some parts of American society has fallen to.

We believe in paying our fair share, no more, no less. The Tea Party Movement was originally formed to protest high taxes.

We are not racists. We welcome any and all to join our movement. The best example is the Tea Party Movement’s support of Herman Cain. The only “color” that you need to be is red, white and blue.

We’re no different than the tens of thousands of Americans who worked each day until the British troops marched onto Lexington Green and tried to take their freedom. We’ve responded just as they did.

The Left still doesn’t get the Tea Parties. They don’t get that we get a chill when we listen to the Declaration of Independence being read on the 4th of July. Or the Star Spangled Banner being sung at a ball game.

Our task is to rescue our country from the clutches of the statists, relativists and leftists. We are normal people who have taken on the biggest task of all, recreating and preserving a better America for future generations.

The IRS War Against The Tea Parties Spreads

Nixon and Obama, similar tacticsIn my last post, I revealed that the IRS war against the certain Tea Parties has taken the form of foot-dragging on tax-exemption applications. Both the Richmond, Virginia Tea Party and the Ohio Liberty Council have released communications from the Internal Revenue Service that include extensive questionnaires that go far beyond previous fact-finding by the service.

Officials from tea party groups in Hawaii, Texas, California and Kentucky have come forward with documents that are similar to those received by the organizations in Virginia and Ohio.

At least 80 conservative/constitutionalist groups, including 9/12 Project groups around the Obama's Greek Chorus against the Tea Partiescountry have reportedly received these letters.  The IRS letters all come from a single office of the IRS in Cincinnati, Ohio.

As the spreading IRS war spreads, so to has the publicity and the facts surrounding it. We now know that six senators sent a formal request to IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman that “requests that the commissioner investigate 501(c)(4) groups to determine whether they are engaging in substantial campaign activity, including opposition to any candidate.

Who signed this letter? Senators Charles Schumer (NY), Al Franken (MN), Mark Udall (C), Jeanne Shaheen (NH) , Sheldon Whitehouse (RI), Jeff Merkley (OR) and Michael Bennet (CO). They all have one thing in common, they’re all Democrats.

The Taxman is watchingTheir goal is to use the IRS and the tax code as clubs with which the Obama administrations and the Democrats can intimidate the tea party groups and distract them during the coming election season.

It appears that the Cincinnati, Ohio office has been designated by the IRS Commissioner as the point office for these reprehensible fishing expeditions by the tax service.

They are continuing to send out letters to groups that have requested tax exempt status under section 501 (c) (4) of the federal tax code. This section grants tax-exempt status to certain groups as long as they are not primarily involved in activity that could influence an election, a determination that is up to the IRS.

It appears that the size and the scope of the information sought by the IRS is designed to stymie these groups from achieving the tax-exempt status that the are seeking. “It’s intimidation,said Tom Zawistowski, president of the Ohio Liberty Council, a coalition of tea party groups in the state. “Stop doing what you’re doing, or we’ll make your life miserable.”

The intimidation of political enemies is not new. Richard Nixon had his enemies list of political groups and individuals. Nixon’s list included well-known individuals, such as Paul Newman and Rep. John Conyers.

Bill Clinton had a list of political group that he classified as “enemies”, including such well-known groups as the National Rifle Association and the Citizens Against Government Waste.

It now appears that the Obama administration and their allies in the Congress have adopted the “Chicago Way” of political intimidation and revenge against those who they perceive are their enemies. They have settled on using the IRS and political-appointee commissioner as there primary weapons in this political war.


The IRS War Against The Tea Parties

Apparently unreported, until recently, was the IRS’ war against the Tea Parties when it comes to application for tax-exempt charitable status for chapters around the country.

Demonstrating at an IRS OfficeThis past Tuesday, Jamie Radtke, a former president of the Richmond (VA) Tea Party asked asked California Republican Rep. Darrell Issa to investigate what she said was unfair treatment of tea party groups by the Internal Revenue Service.

It seems that the group applied for tax-exempt status in December 2009. After over a two year wait, they recently received a communication from the agency that asked for answers to “12 additional questions in 53 separate parts.” The Richmond Tea Party was also ordered to hand over a list of all its donors and volunteers.

The intrusive nature of the IRS’ inquiry set off all sorts of alarm bells at the Richmond Tea Party. Radtke, who is running in the Republican primary for the open U.S. Senate seat in The Taxman is watchingVirginia, immediately called for Rep. Issa’s assistance. Issa chairs the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

A previous inquiry had been made by the IRS in a letter dated September 10, 2010.The earlier letter contains 17 separate requests for information, including “copies of your materials on Face Book [sic]” and “copies of any sponsorship agreements.”

In addition to the questions in the newest letter, dated January 9, 2012, the IRS’ latest requirements include copies of “all the [web] pages that are accessible only to your members,” along with an accounting of all ”donations, contributions, and grant income for each year,” including “names” and “amounts” of every contributor.

No Political Correctness...PosterIf that wasn’t enough, the agency also asked for “the time, location, and detailed description” of every event and program the Richmond tea Party has conducted since October 22, 2010, along with “copies of handouts”; “the names and credentials of the organizers”; “detailed contents of … speeches or forums, names of the speakers or panels, and their credentials”; “the amount … each person” was paid; and “the names of persons from your organization and the amount of time they spent on the event or program.”

All of the information had to be submitted in two weeks after a wait of a year and a half. Do you get the idea that the agency is attempting to block this local chapter’s legitimate use of the tax code to further their mission?

And it’s not just the Richmond organization that’s been targeted. The Ohio Liberty Council said on Feb. 16 that it had received a similar letter from the IRS after waiting for 18 months for the agency to approve its application for the same non-profit tax status. That letter, dated Jan. 26, included 34 separate questions for the organization to answer.

The question must be asked, “Is the Obama administration using the IRS for political Soros Chartassaults on their opposition?” I seem to recall that President Richard Nixon used a similar approach against his opponents. Is history repeating itself?

Meanwhile, in a clear case of the double standard practiced in America, Media Matters for America has full tax exempt status. The left-wing attack organization has the tax-exempt status of a charitable organization as a Section 501(c)(3) group. It therefore pays no Federal income taxes whatsoever. Donors are afforded the opportunity to deduct their contributions, a very clear advantage for fundraising.

However, it may not “attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities” or “participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates.” And as we know, Media Matters clearly has tried to do both.

Remember, the left will always tell us who they are most afraid of and in this case it appears that they are really concerned about the impact of the Tea Party Movement on the November elections.

The Left Still Doesn’t Understand The Tea Parties

Our fellow Americans on the left still don’t understand the Tea Parties. Their constant attacks and prophesies of the demise of the movement just accentuate their lack of understanding.

Culpeper FlagWith their willing accomplices in the media, they have never grasped the paradigm shift that the Tea Part Movement represents. If you do a Google Alert for “American Tea Party Politics”, I can guarantee that every day you’ll see one, two or three stories that predict the diminished influence of the Tea Parties.

Why don’t the get it? Well, they can’t seem to understand that the Tea Party Movement is just that: a movement. It isn’t an organized political party like the Democrats or the Republicans. In fact, one can be a Tea Partier and still be a member of one of the other major parties.

Yes, the Tea Parties have organized “chapters” around the country but they serve to channel the members into a coordinated group. As a member of the Jefferson Area Tea Party in Thomas Jefferson’s home town, Charlottesville, Virginia, I can tell you that our organization is loose and for coordination purposes only.

But the left and the mainstream media can’t see it that way. They have never really understood that the members of the Tea Parties are ordinary Americans who have been compelled by circumstances to step forward and stand up for their country.

The left sees things differently. For them, government is a career, while for those on the right it remains a job to be done. When it’s done, we go home and carry on with our lives.

George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison should be examples for all American politicians.

Immediately upon the successful conclusions of the Revolutionary War, Washington returned his commission to the Congresss and header home. He didn’t hang around and became a lobbyist. The same thing happened at the end of his eight years as President. He immediately returned to Mount Vernon and lived the rest of his life.

Thomas Jefferson and James Madison did much the same. Once they were done with their service to their country, they returned to their homes and never went back.

Tea Party members have much the same attitude. We joined together to change the way our country was doing things. As soon as we accomplish our goals, we’ll go home until we’re needed once again.

Comparing The Tea Parties to Occupy Wall Street

There is a concerted effort by the liberal media and liberal politicians to compare the Tea Parties and Occupy Wall Street. Over the past several weeks there have been a number Tea Party Protestorsof articles and statements putting forward that premise.

On October 7th the Los Angeles Times asked the question, “Is Occupy Wall Street a tea party for Democrats”? Their conclusion in a phrase is that both groups represented the “fed-up”.

In the same vein we’re starting to see reports in Canada and Korea asking the same question or making the same comparison.

The Korea Times said that there is a huge difference between the two. “The Tea Party movement is protest against abuse of political power and the increasing marginalizationOccupy Wall Street Protesters and disrespect for truths, such as protection of life, liberty and property that define American freedom. Occupy Wall Street is about lust for political power, about defining what others should have, and redistributing and spending what belongs to someone else”.

On the other hand, Raymond J. Learsey in The Huffington Post comes down on the side of Occupy Wall Street. He actually said that the Tea Party Movement should try to understand the Occupy Wall Street protests. In essence, he said that the two are two sides of the same coin. Both are protesting big government and both are trying to change the current system.

Mr.Learsey may have a point but here’s the problem with that analysis. The Tea Parties are generally made up of working or retired Americans. Generally they are right of center politically. They have a program: limited government, lower taxes and a revived economy.

Occupy Wall Street protesters are polar opposites. They are generally young, unemployed and far left of center. In fact they can be described as the fringe of the fringe. Here is a sampling of the banners and placards that Mr. Learsey noted in Zucotti Park:

“If Voting Made a Difference It Would Have Already Made A Difference”
-“Work, Consume, Be Silent, Die — I Rely On Your Apathy”
-“The Empire Strikes Back”
-“We Are The Tired Poor Huddled Masses”
-“Corporate Greed is Un-American”
-“End Corporate Welfare”
-“Another Mother Against Greed”
-“Obama Let Wall Street F***k Yo Mama!
-“Why Bail Out Wall Street Than Sell Out Main Street”

These are the slogans of a movement that doesn’t have a goal or a purpose, other than the all-encompassing “Change the System”.

Michael Ford in The Huffington Post said, “The Tea Party did a magnificent job and now the Occupy Wall Street protests are percolating equally important activity. Both are non-violent and fueled by social media. Both make their targets uncomfortable. Both animate each other with their polar enthusiasms”. Mr Ford is the founding director of Xavier University’s Institute for Politics and the American Dream.

On a lighter note The Washington Post pointed out that the Tea Parties who have had such a huge impact on American political life gets no respect from the copy editors at the Associated Press who use lower case for tea parties or tea party. Meanwhile, the Occupy Wall Street a movement that has only well “occupied” several cities gets the Upper Case treatment. Go figure!


Insulting The Tea Parties

Insulting the Tea Parties with abuse, accusations of racism and name-calling seems to Boston Tea Partyhave become a standard weapon in the left’s arsenal. Bill Maher went as far as saying that the Founding Fathers would’ve “hated” your “guts“. He invariably refers to Tea Partiers as “teabaggers”, a pejorative insult.

The rising crescendo from the left indicates that they have lost the debate, in the words of Charles Krauthammer. Since they cannot add anything to the current national debate they have resorted to their normal gutter tactics of the big lie. You remember that: tell a lie long enough and loud enough people will believe it.

I use Google Alerts to stay current with the various opinions that are available on the Internet. There are usually several new articles reporting an insulting speech or comment by one left of center political figure or the other.

In a Labor Day speech in Detroit before President Obama was to speak, Teamster leaderTea Party Protester James Hoffa, among other insults, said that the Tea Parties were waging a “war on workers” and that come November the Democrats should “take these sons of bitches out.”

Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) in a recent jobs forum in Inglewood, California said, “And as far as I’m concerned, the Tea Party can go straight to hell.”

Vice President Joe Biden has liken Tea Party members to “terrorists”. Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WVa) Tea Partiers are extremists who have hijacked the Republican Party. Other Democrats have said that Tea Partiers were like the Nazis or the KKK.

Congressman Andre Carter (D-IN), a member of the Congressional Black Cacus, said that the Tea Party movement “would love to see you and me … hanging on a tree.”

About the worst that the Tea Partiers have called the left is socialists and redistrbutors. Beyond that any other insults were isolated and immediately condemned by the Tea Parties themselves.

The list of insults and abuse of the Tea Parties goes on. The real reason that this silliness from the left continues is that they have nothing left to say. We tried it their way and things have gotten worse. Obama promised that unemployment would not go above 8% if his stimulus bill was enacted. We’re not at 9.1% and with underemployment counted in, it’s 18.5%.

He and his minions steamrolled the passing of Obamacare, a program that would put almost 20% of the U.S. economy in the hands of central planners and bureaucrats. This bill spends yet more money that we don’t have and need to borrow.

They’ve done their worst and the United States economy is now heading for a double-dip recession with all of the ramifications that it portends. Obama and his allies have no more arrows in their quiver. Yet, they won’t listen to a single thing that the Republicans have suggested.

Isn’t it time to stop the insults and start listening to the voice of reason from the right?