I am not really sure how to react to this story. Some are already calling it a “hit piece” and some are saying it’s a legit story.
Via The Politico:
Some leading tea party activists are concerned that their efforts to reshape American politics, starting with the 2010 elections, are being undermined by a shortage of cash that’s partly the result of a deep ambivalence within the movement’s grassroots over the very idea of fundraising, and partly attributable to an inability to win over the wealthy donors who fund the conservative establishment.
Many tea party organizations have shied away from the heavy-handed solicitations that flood the email boxes of political activists. And the handful of tea party groups that have raised substantial amounts, either by embracing aggressive fundraising or through pre-existing connections to wealthy donors, are viewed suspiciously within the movement.
Local groups have been left to literally pass hats seeking donations at their meetings or rely on their organizers’ bank accounts, while ssome national groups have failed to live up to their bold fundraising predictions.
“I don’t blame them, since most of these people are so new to the process and they don’t know anything beyond the protests, but, at the end of the day, the energy and the passion will only take you so far,” said Ned Ryun, president of American Majority, a non-profit group that teaches grassroots conservative activists how to influence the political process. “Without money, nothing quite works like it could.”
Ed Morrissey does make a valid point:
——— The other issue is direction. Having only a few people funding events and promotion leaves the movement at the mercy of just those few. He who pays the piper calls the tune, and while that hasn’t been a problem up to this point, the decentralized nature of the movement and the lack of broader sources of funding might create opportunities for embarrassment and misdirection at some point.
For a political movement with such a broad impact, the future seems somewhat murky. Will the Tea Party movement be satisfied with turning out Democrats in the upcoming midterms? Will it continue to gather energy long enough to help make Barack Obama a one-term President and put Republicans back in charge? If so, activists will have to start planning for long-term funding and embrace some of the parts of politics that has until now been distasteful for these grassroots.
Another thing that I believe is fair to point out is this; one thing I believe that that Vogel does not seem to understand, but I know that Ed does. The “Tea Party” movement; of whom the name was shamelessly stolen from a group that was an offshoot of the Libertarian Party — which ultimately stalled — is not a single group. However But rather a collection of individual groups that have a similar goal in mind, and that is bring some sort of fiscal responsibility back to Washington. Like it has been observed on other blogs, whenever there is a large movement like this, there will always be kooks and extremists who infiltrate these groups and also there will be groups, of whom their motives are less than noble.
Another point, that I feel that I should add is this; I have spoken to many of these various group’s leaders via e-mail. Politico is right about one point. They are deeply suspicious of anyone, who has a huge bank account. I can recall one conversation with one leader, of whom I will never reveal his identity; basically this “well heeled” person wanted to donate to this groups cause and basically, he was told to take his “Jew Money” elsewhere, and that his Neo-Conservatism was not wanted within those circles. Yes, the man was Jewish and Yes, he had been a Bush supporter; that included the war in Iraq too. Now, let me be clear on something, I am not saying I approve of such stuff; I am just relaying what was told to me, by someone else. I will be so bold to even say, that anyone who turns a person away from a group because his color, creed, or Religious origins is not a true blue, Bona Fide Conservative. Because freedom is not based upon any of those mitigating factors. If one believes that, they are not better than the Jim Crow racists in the south. One can dress it up and try and intellectualize racist and Anti-Semitic behavior, as it has been done, as of late; however in the end, it is still what it is, hatred.
It has been my observation, as an outsider of course, that the Tea Party Movement in general is not only suspicious of the Barack Obama Administration, but also suspicious of the people who were advocates of the Iraq War. There are some elements of the Tea Party which are, what one would call, American nationalist in nature. Some would call it Paleo or Traditional or Reagan Conservative in nature. Some, who are looking for such stuff would say that it is Anti-Semitic. However, I believe that it is EXTREMELY important to stress that this sort thing is NOT the whole or the sum of the Tea Party movement. I believe it is the personal responsibility of anyone who wishes to associate with any of these groups to find out what it is that really believe and stand for. It simply falls under personal responsibility. Most of these Tea Party groups are legit and on the level, the extremist ones are few and far between; and most of them do attract kooks and extremists. But you cannot judge an entire group, by the actions of a few. That is collectivism and it is a progressive and quite flawed mentality. When someone says or does something in one of these groups; the individual should be the one questioned, not the entire group.
Now someone, I just know, is going to come by there and read this and say, “Okay, what about this?” To that I reply, “What about it?” I do not express hatred of Muslims. I do not hate them at all. Nor do I think that all Muslims are terrorists. I just believe that building that Mosque anywhere near ground zero is just wrong. Admittedly, there are some so-called Conservative blogs, which do promote bigotry towards Muslims; they know who they are, I do not need to point them out; and yes, they do use a form of religious collectivism to paint all Muslims as terrorists. There are some Christians who do this; and I feel that it is wrong. My feeling about that is, judge the persons who do the acts of terrorism and the terrorists groups themselves —- not the entire Muslim Religion. Yes, I am aware of Islamo-Fascism. I also know that some people are caught up in what is called Islamo-phobia as well. Both of which are reactionary politics.
In closing, let me say this; common sense and mutual respect go much further in society in general, than a Nation that is driven by reactionary nonsense. Someone needs to tell both of the political parties this.