When the Tea Party loses its way...
by Mass Resistance
Bad trends always seem to start in Massachusetts these days. And they spread across the country if people aren't careful. In the state where the Tea Party started back in 1773 there's confusion and compromise brewing in 2013.
Since the beginning of the modern Tea Party movement, Massachusetts has been divided. On one side are the groups that are largely made up of social conservatives. They are basically a loose statewide confederation of like-minded Tea Parties extending from the Plymouth Rock Tea Party in the east to the Pioneer Valley Tea Party in the west. They stress strong principles and strict Constitutionalism along with fiscal responsibility, and they only support political candidates who pass muster with these values.
On the other side are the Tea Parties run by fiscal-issues-only social liberals. They are dominated by the Greater Boston Tea Party (GBTP) and includes a smattering of other Tea Party groups in Massachusetts. They stress a "big tent" approach to social and political ideology and reach out to Libertarians and Democrats as well as Republicans. These Tea Parties generally support GOP political candidates but have no particular litmus test.
Unsurprisingly, the GBTP has been the darling of the Boston media since its inception, constantly getting quoted and favorably interviewed. (This by itself ought to be a bit of a red flag.) As a result they've become more and more concerned with appearing "reasonable" to the media and the political establishment, and not extreme or fringe.
The road to nowhere
In looking for approval by the Left, they've embraced a new definition of "conservative" that avoids certain "divisive" principles and ideas. In their zeal to keep the overall Tea Party "brand" respectable, the GBTP leaders aggressively try to keep the so-called "social issues" out of the entire statewide Tea Party movement, lest it taint them. They often publicly excoriate what they call "bigots" and "haters" in the more conservative Tea Parties who voice concern about the homosexual issues in the schools or abortion. They often even silence people who bring up these topics (or other "forbidden" topics) at their own meetings!
But more outrageous, they've made attempts to derail other Tea Party meetings that dare to include these topics, which has caused a lot of friction, to say the least.
Clearly, they openly reject the conservative concept that social morality and government responsibility are an inseparable package.
Unsurprisingly, this ideological kowtowing also causes a huge degradation of their larger fiscal counter-revolution. (After all, the liberals don't like small government, either.) This has begun to blur the entire concept of the Tea Party.
All this brings us to the absurd situation of GBTP's "Tax Day" event this weekend.
Saturday's upcoming Tax Day event: This is a Tea Party??
This Saturday, April 13, you can see where this leads. GBPT and its sister Tea Parties have reserved the Parkman Bandstand on the Boston Common for their big Tax Day Tea Party event. And they're publicizing it all over the state.
It's definitely the most unusual "Tea Party" you'll ever encounter. Here's what's on the roster:
Master of Ceremonies: Publisher of pro-gay newspaper.
He recently said on television that Tea Party people need to "stop being closed-minded extremists." That's because his newspaper, "The Valley Patriot," runs a weekly column by an activist lesbian schoolteacher who writes about "gay" classroom topics and attacks conservative parents.
Major Speaker: Cofounder of "No Labels" national RINO-like political group
Many of you may not have heard of "No Labels" yet. But you will before long.
It's in a sense the polar opposite of the Tea Party, and by some accounts was founded specifically to destroy the it. No Labels is a national bipartisan organization founded by RINO Republicans and Democrats, and including dozens of members of Congress and other political types. It's raised a lot of money and is advertising a lot on the Internet and elsewhere for supporters, including its Facebook page.
Ads like this are appearing all over the Internet.
No Labels' stated goals have a progressive ring to them: Stop the gridlock in Washington, get Congress working to solve problems, stop the political infighting, and have the two parties work together across the aisle in a bipartisan manner. Sounds reasonable at first glance.
But wait. Tea Partiers know that sometimes gridlock is good. We could have used some gridlock when ObamaCare and the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell were being rammed through Congress. And don't get us started on TARP or Cash for Clunkers. Bad ideas should be stalled as much as possible. Furthermore, "working together across the aisle" is another way of saying that the GOP needs to compromise further on its principles. That's what got us INTO a lot of this mess. It's basically what the Tea Parties were organized to fight against.
Don't take our word for it. Here are a few articles that describe it pretty well:
"No Labels No Relevance" - Washington Post (conservative writer) "One gets the sense the group is not so much interested in getting rid of labels as in getting rid of conservatives."
"Anti-Tea Party No Labels Co-founder Unleashes Attack on Sarah Palin" - Breitbart.com
"Seven signs that 'No Labels' leans left" - Byron York
No Labels does have some good ideas about Congress' procedures, rules, ethics and other stuff.
But we couldn't find anything in the No Labels literature about following the Constitution. Or smaller government. Or solid principles. Those kinds of ideas aren't exactly bipartisan these days. This is a group the Tea Party should be staying as far away from as possible.
Keynote speaker: Grover Norquist
Grover Norquist is known among liberals as the "no new taxes" guy in Washington. But among conservatives he's known for a lot more. He's a promoter and advisory board member of "GoProud", the aggressive "gay Republican" group that is trying to mainstream homosexuality into the GOP. As Norquist told the Washington Post: "GoProud is an important part of the conservative movement."
But more disturbing are Norquist's connections with the Muslim Brotherhood. A fair amount has been written about this. Norquist has even shared office space with CAIR (Council on Islamic and American Relations) which is linked to Hamas and similar groups, and has worked closely with them. He told CPAC that a major problem with the Right is "Islamophobia."
Grover Norquist (right) with Suhail Khan, Muslim operative
in the Bush Admistration with reputed ties to Muslim Brotherhood.
Entertainment: Vulgar rapper
Well, maybe we're just being extremist and closed minded. But Andres "DraMatik" Gonzales, a rapper whose songs have four-letter words and weird death images might not be the best entertainer for a Tea Party meeting. Or, maybe it depends on the particular Tea Party. Not our cup of tea.
Other local speakers
The other speakers are a mix of local right-leaning special interest group leaders (guns, immigration, fiscal topics, public policy, political activists), Dr. Keith Ablow, a psychiatrist who occasionally appears on Fox News, and a few socially liberal ex-talk show hosts. None of these are likely concerned about the Tea Party issues discussed above.
But one local speaker is current WRKO radio host Jeff Kuhner -- the Washington Times columnist who has also guest-hosted for Michael Savage and Mark Levin. He really should know better than to get involved with a nutty RINO event like this.
Conspicuously absent from the roster are any pro-life or pro-traditional family speakers. Of course, the organizers don't want to offend anybody!
Is this the future of the Tea Party movement?
We certainly hope not. But the rest of the country should look at Massachusetts and learn from it. GBTP is claiming that at least 2000 people will be there on Saturday. If this ever becomes the face that the general public seeing, the movement is definitely in trouble.
You may recall that last year at this time the conservative Tea Parties had their "Patriots Day" event at the same place (MassResistance was a participant). At that event, the "Occupy" thugs -- who despise conservative and Tea Party values -- did their best to disrupt it.
At last year's conservative Tea Party on the Boston Common, the keynote speaker was US Rep Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), right, a real Tea Party her
We'll predict that that won't be a problem this time.