The upcoming National Tea Party Convention featuring the likes of Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Joseph Farah, Rick Scarborough, Roy Moore, and others seems to be causing a bit of rancor among Tea Party activists:
In the latest sign of rancor in Tea Party circles, a convention billed as an effort to bring together conservative activists from across the country is being attacked by some leading Tea Partiers as inauthentic, too tied to the GOP, and — at $549 per head — too expensive for the working Americans the movement aspires to represent.
The National Tea Party Convention, scheduled for early February in Nashville, grabbed headlines after announcing that Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann would appear as speakers, Palin as the keynote. According to a message on the convention’s website, the event “is aimed at bringing the Tea Party Movement leaders together from around the nation.” But organizers are a long way from unifying the notoriously fractious movement.
Tea Party Patriots, which helped put together a September rally that drew tens of thousands to Washington, view the confab — which is being held at Nashville’s swank Opryland Gaylord hotel — as the “usurpation of a grassroots movement,” according to Mark Meckler, a leader of the group. “Most people in our movement can’t afford anything like that,” Meckler told TPMmuckraker, referring to the price tag. “So it’s really not aimed at the average grassroots person.”
Robin Stublen, a Tea Party Patriots volunteer, echoed that view. “This convention is $550 dollars,” said Stublen. “How grassroots is that?”
Not only is the price of the convention exorbitantly prohibitive for most, but organizers don’t seem to want any press coverage either.
Today, David Weigel pointed out the preliminary list of scheduled breakout topics and among them is one entitled “Why Christians Must Engage,” run by Rick Scarborough. Maybe the event organizers are afraid that the media might see Republican leaders like Palin and Bachmann sharing the stage with the likes of Scarborough:
Scarborough, who served on Mike Huckabee’s Faith and Values Committee during the latter’s presidential campaign, unleashed a fiery sermon more befitting a Sunday sermon than a political gathering. But since the two are essentially one in the same for Scarborough and the other participants, his proclamations that he is neither a Republican nor a Democrat but rather a “Christocrat” who will support only candidates who proudly stand up on the campaign trail and say “yes, there’s a God” and who realizes that the Constitution is a godly document designed to guide this nation by Christian principles, just as the Bible is designed to guide the lives of all of mankind. He then rails against Republican failures to defund the Department of Education and Planned Parenthood before turning his attention to President Obama and “his minions” who are intent on giving civil rights to “sodomites” while banning the Bible and putting Christians in jail. Eventually he turns to the “shadow government” constructed by President Obama filled with “well-financed, well-heeled, and highly-staffed professional infidels who have dedicated their life” to destroying America.