Tea Party Still Looking for Unified Voice

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Members of the Tea Party movement protest outside the Fairmont Hotel before President Obama arrives for a fundraiser May 25, 2010 (Justin Sullivan/Getty)

In Mason City, Iowa, a roadside billboard juxtaposed the images of President Obama, Adolf Hitler and Vladimir Lenin in an attempt to draw links between what the North Iowa Tea Party believed to be similarities in the socialist agendas of the three leaders. The image drew scathing criticism from across the political spectrum, and the party asked for the billboard to be covered with a public service announcement yesterday.

We speak with Ryan Rhodes, Chairman of the Iowa Tea Party, who says his party may share the same state and political banner as the North Iowa Tea Party, but they have no connection with the group or its message beyond that. His argument underscores one of the unique characteristics of the Tea Party movement: the decentralized (and less-coordinated) nature of the groups.

Earlier this week, the national Tea Party received official criticism from the NAACP, who passed a resolution condemning racist elements within the party. We speak with the NAACP's Washington Bureau director, Hilary Shelton

The NAACP believes the Tea Party movement is responsible for the racist remarks of their followers, but with a lack of central organization in the political party, who’s really to blame?


Ryan Rhodes and Hilary Shelton

Produced by:

Hsi-Chang Lin

Comments [3]

Pete from DC

A lot of people look at the Tea Party as if it is a traditional political party, or top down system. It is not. It is a complex adaptive system (CAS). Hence, its decentralization is a power-generator. Because it is a CAS, it can be measured and understood (although nobody seems to be doing that)

More explanation here


Jul. 20 2010 10:43 AM
David Zapen from Miami FL (WLRN)

I doubt the Tea Party would exist if then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani hadn't illegally publicized Fox News Channel on a public access channel. Who promotes the Tea Party outside of Fox News and its would-be imitators on broadcast news? The joke on post-AAR liberal radio is that a Tea Party rally with 500 members gets more coverage than 20,000 progressive protesters. I guess the self-professed "tea-baggers" missed the 5/16/2005 episode of AAR's MORNING SEDITION when would-be revolutionary "Pendejo" re-renamed his group T.E.A.B.A.G. without understanding its other meaning. Air America Radio's Ron Kuby re-played the sketch in AAR's final days in 2009.

Jul. 15 2010 09:56 AM

How many tea party members are there?
From some quick research this morning, it seems they may amount to maybe 1% (or less) of the American electorate. Why is1% getting so much press? Why are we amplifying their squeaking wheels?

Jul. 15 2010 07:35 AM

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