To the editor:
Given how critical I have been of the Tea Party movement since it burst on the scene in the wake of President Obama’s election in 2008, I thought it time to explain why.
The Tea Party may have once been a genuinely grassroots movement, but that changed rapidly once GOP politicians, strategists, and their wealthy financial patrons realized the anger and frustration the original “Tea Partiers” felt about the size of government and the deficit could be channeled into a much more broad based political agenda.
It was at that point, in the early fall of 2009, that any “grassroots” aspect of the Tea Party movement evaporated into thin air.
It was at that point the billionaire Koch brothers began contributing millions of dollars to various right wing groups claiming affiliation with the original Tea Party.
It was at that time the Koch brothers began organizing and paying for annual training seminars for Tea Party actvists from around the nation in places like Texas, Arizona, and numerous southern states.
It was at that point the ethically challenged, former GOP congressman from Texas, Dick Armey, and his right wing PAC, “Freedom Works,” began to take over as well.
And it was at that point that a Fox News producer was caught on film by an independent videographer at the Tea Party’s first big rally in the nation’s capital cueing the Tea Party crowd as to when to applause and cheer in response to the comments of the rally’s big-name right-wing speakers.
In short, by the fall of 2009, any genuine grassroots aspects of the Tea Party were gone. The movement had been completely co-opted by some of the wealthiest, most powerful, right-wing, political, corporate. and media interests in the country.
The new, non-grass roots, big monied Tea Party movement morphed into a pathologically angry, living organism that hated and mocked President Obama, immigrants, gays, women who wanted control over their reproductive health, people who believed in climate science, and anyone else who did not adhere to its right wing, overwhelmingly white, pseudo Christian agenda.