From The Raw Story by David Edwards and John Byrne:
As conservatives coalesce in nationwide protests against rising taxes, government spending and what they call the “bailout mentality” of President Barack Obama’s Administration, the ship appears to have sprung a leak.
Speaking on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow show Tuesday evening, Rep. Ron Paul’s (R-TX) media coordinator Steve Gordon decried what he characterized as an attempt by mainstream conservative Republicans to hijack a long-cherished libertarian cause. Paul was a longshot candidate for the Republican presidential nomination last year.
Gordon brought Maddow a gift of Southern tea bags — using them as a metaphor for what he said was a Southern version of conservatism, sweetened by taxes and deficit spending.
Gordon singled out former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a Georgia native, and Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee.
“Newt Gingrich is a good example,” Gordon said. “He could be one of these two tea bags because he likes his tea bags sweetened with TARP [Troubled Asset Relief Program] funding. This other one could be Mike Huckabee, ‘Tax Hike Mike’ because he likes his tea bag sweetened with tax increases. So you see we’ve got a bunch of republican, senior Republican officials in the deep south who can’t tell if their tea bags are swinging from the left or the right.”
Last year, supporters of Paul’s presidential campaign tried to fly a blimp to Boston, where they planned to dump tea in the Boston harbor.
The media coordinator for the Texas Republican says that Republicans have “co-opted” their message.
“Newt Gingrich of all people should not be involved in any movement to decrease deficit spending,” Gordon quipped.
Gordon spoke about a specific Alabama protest event where the conservative 501 (c)(3) Freedom Works tried to set up a rally in Birmingham where “nobody showed up,” but said that his own rally was more successful.
“It’s important the people at the grassroots level stick to our guns and say no when they try to co-opt our message,” Gordon said.
Gordon told The Washington Independent Tuesday, “Bringing in someone like Gingrich takes away from the message. Newt Gingrich enabled George W. Bush, he enabled the big spending, he lobbied conservative Republicans to compromise their principles and support Medicare Part D.”
This video is from MSNBC’s Countdown, broadcast Apr. 14, 2009.
Here are some of the posters from the Georgia Libertarians discussed in the video, posted at Atlanta’s Creative Loafing:
Over at http://www.bostontea.us/, Jim Davidson writes
It is with a heavy heart that I report that one of our vice presidential candidates in 2008, Marilyn Chambers, has passed away.
Her story here.
Today we have 1,339 members on this site. We have 1,297 members of our largest Facebook group. Please ask your friends and family to join our party – committed to a smaller government on all issues and at all levels.
Many Tax Day Tea Parties are planned for this week, and another round of End the Fed rallies are planned next week. Get involved. The freedom you save might be your own.
Meanwhile, Carla Howell, a former Libertarian Party candidate who got 12% of the vote against Ted Kennedy for US Senate in 2000 and ran End The Income Tax initiatives in Massacusetts in 2002 and 2008, delivered this speech on April 15, 2009 at the TEA Party Event in Boston:
“I did NOT come here to Protest.
“I did NOT come here to try to change the minds of Democratic or Republican officeholders in Washington – or on Beacon Hill.
“I came here to change politics in America – just like the American Patriots who gave us the first Boston Tea Party.
“The Original Boston Tea Party was NOT a Protest.
“Let me say that again: the Original Boston Tea Party was NOT a Protest.
“The Patriots did NOT just hold up signs, give speeches, and complain.
“The Patriots stopped British ships from unloading Monopoly British Tea – their version of AIG.
“The American Patriots blocked the collection of taxes.
“That is why the Boston Tea Party mattered – and why we remember it today.
“Because it was direct political action, not just protest.
“And it was action that made government smaller.
“Those great American Patriots realized that
what they said and what they wrote – changed nothing.
“But action changes everything.
“Not just any action. Action that shrinks Big Government.
“They were right!
“Deeds, NOT just words.
“Direct political action, NOT just protest.
“Action that moves us forward, that moves us closer to small government – NOT the no-win strategy of holding the line, or just opposing more Big Government.
“This is the lesson of the first Boston Tea Party.
“Now it is our turn to live the lesson.
“Let me ask you a few questions.
“Do you believe that the Wall Street bailout is insane?
“Do you believe that the massive federal government borrowing is hurting your business and your family?
“Do you believe that government is too big?
“Do you believe government debt is too high?
“Do you believe government spending is too high?
“Do you believe taxes are too high?
“Now let me ask you the questions inspired by the Original Boston Tea Party:
“Are YOU willing to take political action?
“Are YOU willing to END the Big Government Insanity – and start voting to make government smaller than it is today?
“Are YOU willing to vote against every Big Government candidate – in every election?
“Now here’s the really hard question: Are you willing to vote against them even when you hate the other Big Government candidate more?
“Are you willing to vote FOR small government candidates and FOR small government ballot initiatives?
“Most political candidates who tell you they’re against Big Government, who tell you they are for ‘smaller government’ talk your way — and vote the opposite. They vote for tax increases, debt increases, spending increases, and more Big Government programs. They vote for each year’s higher government spending. Their votes raise your taxes.
“The only way we can protect ourselves against these phonies and fakers is to ASSUME THAT EVERY ELECTED OFFICIAL IN AMERICA IS GUILTY OF VOTING BIG GOVERNMENT – UNTIL OR UNLESS HE PROVES HIMSELF INNOCENT by showing you his voting record. By proving to you that he voted small government while in office.
“Are you willing to vote against every officeholder who refuses to show you their voting record?
“To reclaim the American Dream, we must vote out every Big Government officeholder in our federal, state, and local governments. Every one. Democrat AND Republican.
“But we must NOT stop there.
“We must vote FOR candidates who campaign for, promise, and vote to reduce and remove today’s Big Government social and economic programs – and GIVE BACK EVERY DOLLAR SAVED TO THE TAXPAYERS.
“We must vote for candidates who campaign for, promise, and vote to reduce and END government borrowing, reduce and remove government overspending and waste. Starting now. Small government candidates who will give back every dollar saved to the taxpayers.
“We must vote for small government candidates.
“We must vote FOR ballot initiatives that shrink Big Government.
“Candidates and ballot initiatives that cut or end taxes.
“Candidates and ballot initiatives that drive down today’s Big Government spending.
“Just protesting Big Government will never give us what we want. Voting against Big Government will. Voting FOR Small Government will.
“Every Election. Every time. No exceptions. No excuses.
“This is the ONLY way we can fulfill the promise of the Original Boston Tea Party.
“I’m Carla Howell. I head the Center For Small Government. We’re on your side. Please join us.
“Because ‘small government is possible’.”