to: e-mail wars


MORE E-MAIL WARS: Questioning whether the Tea Party is an authentic movement or a Republican front

(November 8, 2010, to November 11, 2010)


Comments from those who think the Tea Party is an authentic movement are identified ( in red), those more inclined to think it a Republican front are identified (in blue) while neutral parties are indicated (in pink). The selected postings to this forum are listed in chronological order. Subject = [Minnesota] Tea Party ?

From: Ron Leurquin Date: November 8, 2010 8:48 AM

I would start anew thread with this line of questions.

Is the Tea Party a true political party?

If not, what of their use of the word 'party' as part of their title?

If yes, then should they not be given the same treatment in MN that is given to the Libertarians, Greens or Independents?

Just wondering going forward how MN treats the 'Tea Party'.

Right now it seems to me they are riding both sides of the fence (likely because they can't figure out which side of it they want to be on).  One side is they are a part of the Republican party, and are a sub-set, not unlike the Log Cabin Republicans.  The other side of the fence is that they are a truly independent party and should be treated as such.

Personally I prefer the rout where they are given minor party status and made to jump thru the hoops that other smaller parties have been made to jump thru to get recognition and inclusion into debates.

Comments appreciated.

From: William McGaughey Date: November 8, 2010 9:12 AM

My understanding is that the Tea Party is not a political party.  It is a populist uprising. A leader in Minnesota, who calls herself "Toni No Bologny", says that her aim is to get ordinary people to pay more attention to what government does - maybe, devote 3 hours a month to attending public meetings to let government officials know that people are paying attention and will hold them responsible for what they do.

It's true that the Tea Party is closer to the Republicans than to the Democrats partly because the Democrats have recently held the top national offices, because limited government is a more traditional Republican goal, and because Republican operatives infiltrated the movement.  Also Democratic stalwarts have chosen to dismiss Tea Party people as racists, Social Security wreckers, fronts for big business, etc. They do not recognize this as a grassroots movement. The Tea Party message was "throw the bums of both parties out."

Now that the Tea Party has shown that it has some electoral clout, I think it should promote dialogue among the various parties and ideological factions to see what is the best government policy at this point. Democrats, Republicans, Independence Party people, Greens, and others should start talking with each other with the Tea Party helping to facilitate such a discussion.  We need new ideas and a more respectful attitude toward those with whom we may disagree.


From: Neala Schleuning Date: November 8, 2010 9:45 AM

"Now that the Tea Party has shown that it has some electoral clout, I think it should promote dialogue among the various parties and ideological factions to see what is the best government policy at this point. Democrats, Republicans, Independence Party people, Greens, and others should start talking with each other with the Tea Party helping to facilitate such a discussion.  We need new ideas and a more respectful attitude toward those with whom we may disagree."

I'm not comfortable with people who don't know what they're about yet taking the lead in "facilitating."  Why can't the R's and D's facilitate?  The Tea Party doesn't really have "new" ideas, rather they are pie in the sky ideas not connected with reality (e.g., the birthers, the racists, the "socialist" rhetoric, etc. etc.).  I don't know how to have a discussion.  They keep saying they're "not" those folks, but DUHHH.  

It's just more of the party of "no."  I haven't heard one single rational solution to a real problem.  (e.g., failure to pass higher federal deficit amounts will destroy the global economy). I think they have to decide what they're about first--that is if they have a rational approach.  If they don't, they will be dismissed by all sides as a bunch of idiosyncratic nuts, with 30 different non-solutions.   


From: Jimmy Mason Date: November 8, 2010 10:09 AM

The Tea Party is a grass roots, political movement that rejects the Reps & Dems. Now, many are trying to cash in & turn into an actual political "party". The "party" in their title comes from the "Boston Tea Party", which was also about rejecting unfair Government.

It's a complex issue, so don't buy it when Liberals tell you it's just a radical, dangerous, racist extension of the Republican Party. That's far too simplified. The Tea Party movement is a rejection of BOTH parties. It's certainly true that many conservative Republicans have turned their backs on the GOP due to outrageous spending, pre-emptive wars, etc & turned to the Tea Party movement instead. So to have many young & moderate Democrats who were attracted to Ron Paul's Liberty message.

One thing both parties always agree on is a common hatred for any new party or Independents that dare challenge their stranglehold on power. Those parties, like many Americans that follow them, believe it's their right to control every aspect of Government & there should be no other options.

There's so much disinformation spread from both sides now though that it's hard to separate truth from fiction (which of course was the goal of the Reps/Dems). We know for a fact that Dems LEADERS have planted people or planned to plant people (before being caught) at Tea Party rallies to shout racial slurs & make them look bad. We know the Dem media campaign to connect the Tea Party movement to billionaire oil barons is a scam. I suspected early on the GOP would try to co-opt the movement & with the likes of Sarah Palin taking a lead role, it looks like I was right.

In the end, I see it as a group of Independent minded people. Ex-Republicans, Ex-Democrats, Libertarians, Independents, etc. who'll likely never challenge the two (read: one) party system because their political beliefs are simply too diverse.


From: Laura Waterman Wittstock Date: November 8, 2010 10:32 AM

It's pretty hard to start out with a negative agenda - don't like this, don't like that. The Tea Party should say what it affirmatively stands for.

From: Marnita Schroedl Date: November 8, 2010 1:44 PM

I don't KNOW FOR A FACT  . . . that Dem leaders have done any such thing as attending Tea Party rallies to make up comments to blame on the movement.  So all those pictures of Obama as a witch doctor and with a bone in his nose and stuff . . .that was all just done by liberals to make the tea party look bad?  So all that talk about 2nd amendment remedies if they didn't win at the ballot box was all done to make conservatives look bad. I do know for a fact that conservatives/republicans heavily fund the local tea party groups.  I do know that the very first rally was less than 4 months after Obama was sworn in.  But isn't it odd that there were no such rallies during the 8 years of the Bush Administration.

I also know that most tea party members for all this talk about being against both parties vote republican . . . and 85% voted republican in the 2008 election (that leaves only 15% who didn't vote/voted for another party, etc.).   I've met many so-called Tea Party members.  Every single one I've ever met/talked to was a republican until Obama won and then suddenly became Tea Party . . .  Somehow they never felt a need to rally or protest before.

And, who are they caucusing with?  The republicans.  What policies are they adopting?  The republicans.  And considering that they are supposedly all about smaller government, etc., etc., etc., I found it interesting that as a group they also are more conservative about abortion issues and don't believe in a woman's right to chose even in case of incest, rape or threat to the life of the mother . . . Such as those liberty-loving libertarians Ron and Rand Paul (well they love liberty for everyone except those who have been raped!)  And if the tea party "rejects" the republicans, why are they voting with them and espousing the same policies?

So that's my question for al you out there that keep maintaining that somehow that the Tea Party isn't republican . . then how do you account for all of them running with Rs next to their names?  If they aren't Rs . . then why did 100% of the candidates endorsed by the Tea Party run as republicans?  

So, if they walk like a republican, talk like a republican, vote like a republican, support the republican party . . .how exactly are they different than republicans?  What empirical evidence is there that they "reject" republicans and what they stand for?  I know that this is the meme, but haven't seen the evidence to support this idea of them being anything other than republicans.  They all ran as "republicans" with little Rs next to their names.  I mean wasn't Emmer the Tea Party favorite? Doesn't he have an R next to his name? Michelle Bachmann ran as a tea party favorite . . . are we supposed to believe that she suddenly isn't republican?  Does anyone need to go back to the play-by-play with her hugging and holding onto Bush?

Why are we tolerating this out and out distortion of reality?  If they vote with republicans, if they run as republicans--how can anyone with a straight face suggest that the Tea Party rejects the republican platform or is somehow independent of the Republican party.  
But now that Republicans have won all over the place I believe that this whole rebranding release of the Tea Party will die out as all the little sheep return to their republican party and reclaim their rightful name and we can give up this ruse that the Tea Party had any liberals in it . . .  When we abandon the dems we move left to the Green Party . . .


From: William McGaughey Date: November 8, 2010 6:03 PM

I guess I need to respond to Marnita Shroedl's assertion that Tea Party members are simply Republicans - and presumably Democrats aren't welcome at any of their events.

I don't know for sure that the Minnesota Tea Party would be willing to host a multi-party discussion of policy.  I do know, from the reaction of some on this forum, that many DFLers would not be willing to take the hand of friendship and good will if the Tea Party extended it.

I do believe "with a straight face ... that the Tea Party rejects the republican platform or is somehow independent of the Republican party." Yes, I do.  It was an anti-incumbent movement reacting primarily to the deficit and the continuing cronyism with Wall Street that seemed to characterize the Obama administration.

It may be that persons of Schroedl's political persuasion do not believe that the demographic of many Tea Party members is capable of mounting a genuine grassroots movement.  They must have been manipulated by some wily Republican strategist.  This is deeply insulting. Yes, the Tea Party people are smart enough to organize politically as is her type of person.

Has it ever occurred to Schroedl that if Democrats keep referring to Tea Party members as racists, tea baggers, or stooges of billionaires, they may antagonize these people and drive them more into the Republican camp? Maybe opposition to her type of person is helping to fuel the movement.

From: Matt Perry (forum manager) Date: November 8, 2010 6:09 PM

From what I can gather through my own reading, those folks who self identify as members of the Tea Party have pretty local views. They eschew a top down approach to politics.

To help keep this discussion Minnesota focused, I would ask does the Tea Party movement in Minnesota have cohesion through a shared "platform"?

If they do have a shared platform, what is it in Minnesota, how does it speak to Minnesota issues and what are its implications for the state in the upcoming state legislative session if any?

From: Michele Honderich Date: November 8, 2010 7:06 PM

It is well deserved criticism. The tea Partiers do come from a more republican background. 


From: Neala Schleuning Date: November 9, 2010 5:56 AM

We'll have to see whether the proof is in the pudding.  How will they vote?


From: Marnita Schroedl Date: November 9, 2010 8:28 AM

Okay . . . Bill is clearly mis-understanding my points/post either willfully or for some other reason.  Please call me Marnita when referring to me in writing . . thanks.

I read and re-read my post.  Not once anywhere did I mention that anyone wasn't welcome at Tea Party events . . . I'm not sure where that unusual statement came from or even where the link or connection came from.

I made one central point.  And I have not seen any refutation or evidence that it is a wrong assertion:  That 100% of Tea Party candidates ran as republicans and now both nationally and locally are going to govern as republicans.  That actual fact isn't in contention.  Because of this reality I'd like to know why any of us are tolerating this false narrative that the Tea Party is something other than republicans.

If they caucus, run as and work with republicans to achieve the republican agenda and 85% voted republican in 2008 prior to the forming of the tea party.  Do you understand what that means . . it means that leaves only 15% of the rest of the tea party to be anything other than republicans including those who weren't involved/didn't vote previously but were already conservative, it means libertarians who might have been sympathetic. . . .how does a movement with 85% members who supported the Bush presidency actually get away with calling it self anything other than Republicans?  This is a matter of honesty and objectivity for me.  If you can demonstrably see that every tea party member ran as a republican.  And you can demonstrably see that every tea party member now has an R next to their name . . . if THEY are calling THEMSELVES republicans why aren't we?  And, if the numbers really don't bear out this assertion that the Tea Party is bi-partisan, but you can't actually find any liberals/dems who support Tea Party candidates, then it isn't a bi-partisan grassroots movement.

So the question becomes . . what is the benefit to the tea party/republicans/conservatives to allow this false narrative  . . .until someone shows me ONE tea party candidate who didn't run with an R next to his/her name and isn't caucusing and working with the republicans . . .I will maintain that this idea of it being anything other than republican rebranding is complete nonsense based on the factual history and record no matter what the narrative that is being put forward . . . I actually didn't mention or address the grassroots issue at all . . . because for me if after all the organizing is done you end up all those people in the Tea Party being republicans . . then why is it considered "grassroots" as opposed to another effective GOTV strategy by Republicans?  But because you want it to seem new as though it sprang up naturally in response to bad governance you need for it to be grassroots and not what it actually appears to be . . which is a strategic deliverable to fire up the conservative republican base and given them another name to call themselves because they got most of the policies they wanted from 2000-2008 and none of them delivered as promised .. so the only way to convince everyone to keep pushing those failed policies is to pretend that there is a whole new crop of people calling for these policies that have proven to be ineffective.

I couldn't find any information on Toni No Baloney ..  . but I remember her a few years ago running against Ellison as a Republican . . .so now she's a leader of the tea party movement?  Further evidence that the leaders have come out of the Republican party . . .

They may be saying/pretending bi-partisan inclusion in meetings, but when they show up in the public square and are running for office, they are running as republicans. 

I am very engaged in my community . . I have personally met 40-50 people who identify themselves as Tea Party.  100% of those people that i've personally met or talked to were also republicans in 2008 . . .  I have yet to meet anyone who is a democrat who became "tea party."  When we become more like our base we don't jump the shark and become far right, authoritarian, Mliton Friedman freemarketers . . . we come less authoritarian leftists . . . Take the political compass sometime ( . . the matrix that allows people to see their political viewpoints in context with other world leaders, etc. ... it is a left right (economic) top bottom (authoritarian to libertarian matrix) . . my guess is that Tea Party people . . or the ones I've know who've taken the test sit up above the mid-line for authoritarianism and over to the far right with leaders like Pinochet . . . Liberals like me sit way below the authoritarianism mid-line on the far left . . . more with Ghandi, MLK and Jesus . .  So . . . I guess I don't really want to support political leaders who will result in outcomes like Pinochet . . 

(William McGaughey wrote:) Has it ever occurred to Schroedl that if Democrats keep referring to Tea Party members as racists, tea baggers, or stooges of billionaires, they may antagonize these people and drive them more into the Republican camp? Maybe opposition to her type of person is helping to fuel the movement.

Well . . I believe the "opposition to my type of person" is exactly what the tea party is all about and is fueling the movement regardless of what I have to say about them! 

Given that we had an election in 2008 and then within 4 months of taking office suddenly there was this mad and angry we aren't going to take it anymore conservatives all over the place .. but they were no where to be found from 2000-2008 . . just my existing I am sure antagonizes them . . . see you admit it .. they are opposed to my "type of person."  And, what type of person is that?  An entrepreneur of color who believes in women's and worker's rights.  Why would anyone be opposed to "my type of people?"  See you are actually justifying and acknowledging the prejudice of the tea party  (at least toward those Americans who believe in different policy prescriptions  . . they are actually opposed to our "persons").  Gee if pointing out reality like  they run with Rs next to their names and pointing out that they weren't out protesting until Obama and other things--e.g., FACTS  . . .  You really are serious . . . you think I should worry more about antagonizing them . . .  I want you to go sit and reflect why should I worry about antagonizing people who are "opposed to people like me."  Why shouldn't I be out rallying my forces to ensure not only that my public policies are respected, but more importantly my right to exist without being "opposed" for said existence!

I'm not worried that I'm going to push them in to the republican camp. . .  Because as the FACTUAL, EVIDENCED-BASED REALITY points out . . . as witnessed by the party they run with . . They already are republicans .. . If they aren't republicans please name one candidate that was endorsed by the Tea Party that wasn't republican?  Name one candidate that didn't run as a republican?  Name a donor that gave to the Tea Party that also doesn't fund the republican party.  I'm back to my central argument . . . although there is lip service played to this idea of populist bi-partisanship on the part of the Tea Party . . . it is all just talk .. when it is time for action . . . .they are ACTING as ACTUAL Republicans with Rs next to their names on ballots and everything . . . And with a straight face you think that my pointing this out will make them more republican?  How is that possible?  Will now 120% of tea partiers run as republicans instead of the 100% that are?

And, isn't it interesting you basically are saying that I oppose their policy prescriptions and call them out on their falsehoods I will somehow push them to be more republican than they already are. . why do you think they have the right to be opposed to "my type of people."  But somehow you think so little of "my type of people" that my right to oppose the tea party who "oppose my type of people" (notice  you didn't say my policies . . .. but rather just owned the bigotry . . they oppose my type of people . . .) is viewed as me making them even more oppositional?  I don't think that there is anything I could ever do to make these people "not oppose my type of people." 

So . . I'd like someone to name any tea party candidate that didn't run as a republican or who isn't governing as one?  Just one . . .  If you can't, then we need to stop giving cover to falsehoods and lies.


From: William McGaughey Date: November 9, 2010 9:15 AM

The controversy here started when I suggested that the Tea Party might host a discussion between persons of several political persuasions.  The reaction from several persons was that the Tea Party was unfit for such a role - they were too negative, they were Republicans, they should be dismissed.

I was proposing open dialogue.  The DFLers were making clear that the Tea Party should not be involved in such a discussion because they were essentially flawed.

Just a few comments in reaction to Marnita’s posting:  “Her type of person” means the closed-minded DFLer, the put-down artist, the one who wants to continue to demonize Republicans, Tea Party people, and others who disagree with them.  Yes, I do think that the Tea Party was reacting to this.  If you hate someone, they may hate you in return.

“ Toni No Bologny” did not run against Keith Ellison as a Republican.  You’re perhaps thinking of Barb Davis White who was a Republican.  I also was a candidate then, in 2008.  So, we had two people running against Ellison - or, as I prefer to look at it, two people running against me.

I did have a chance to talk with Toni N.B. earlier this year.  She expressed concern that Republican operatives were muscling in on a movement that they did not create.  She was determined to maintain independence for what she and others had started as a citizen movement open to all points of view.  So one of the pieces of bologny is the idea that the Tea Party is simply a Republican front.  It’s easy to say that, but the truth is different.

The problem with our politics today is excessive polarization and demonization of opposing points of view.  The DFL is at least competitive with Republicans in that regard.

From: Marnita Schroedl Date: November 9, 2010 10:48 AM

Gee and if you call people closed-minded and and put-down artists for speaking the truth.  You seem to be the name caller here. Not me.

I mean it's pretty clear that you hate me just for stating the truth and believe that I deserve to hated for stating the truth.   I mean look at the names you called me.  Close-minded, negative, put-down artist . . . all for telling the truth.  But you still haven't named one tea party candidate who didn't run as a republican and you still haven't named one candidate the tea party support who wasn't a republican. That isn't my opinion, that is a researchable, knowable fact.  So if you want to hate me and the tea party wants to hate me for pointing out facts and for having different policy positions, they can . . but don't pretend it there was anything I could have done differently other than let you and them get away with lies.

I was responding to the post bout whether tea partiers should form their own party or where really republicans  and you came in and basically started calling ME names.  I didn't see any post about an open-ldialogue, but you clearly don't believe in them as you call people names who you can't silence by threatening . .   Sure the tea party hates me because I started it . . . not so much . . . " my type of people," which you clearly know nothing about deserve to be hated and feared!  Right?  Isn't that what you are saying . . . Yet you don't want Tea Party to be judged the same way you are judging me . . . on a lot less public information than I have about the tea party.  

Right you want an open and engaged dialogue . . .but first you need me to know that if I point out the inconsistencies in the Tea Party story then I DESERVE to be hated . . . that if I insist on reality then I'll be hated . ..

Gee . . I'm pretty clear that the Tea Party hates and fears anyone who doesn't agree with them. And your solution?  I shouldn't speak the truth because it might make them hate me . . .  

Guess what .. . by the policies they recommend, by the actions they take and what they support . . . it is already clear that they hate me . . .  The question is . . why should I care that they hate me . .Why should I open a dialogue with someone who only wants the worst for me and my family?   Why is it my job to give the tea party a chance when it is people like YOU who are calling names and not being inclusive.  

If the truth is different . . you still haven't named ONE tea party candidate that didn't run as a republican.  You still haven't named one tea party candidate that was endorsed by the movement that wasn't a republican . . You've called me names . .. you've made it my fault, but what you haven't done is answer the question. Where are the tea party candidates that ran as anything other than republicans and where are the candidates that weren't republican that were endorsed by the Tea Party . .  If they aren't an offshot of the republicans then we should be able to find lots of public evidence of this . .but there ISN'T . . .THERE JUST ISN'T!

It is clear to me that you don't value or care about anyone except those who agree with you . . . so if I point out the OBVIOUS fact that NO TEA PARTY CANDIDATES RAN ON ANY TICKET BUT REPUBLICAN  . . it seems that that shouldn't be negative or positive .. that seems something should be easily answered . . .Instead you've pointed out why I'm being negative . . .which is why?  That I won't let tea party candidates lie about what party they put next to their name . .  

Well . . . You can call me all types of names you want . . . but it still doesn't change reality . . . that 100% of tea party candidates ran as republicans . . . that's it . . really end of story . . .if they didn't want to run as republicans they had the option to run as something else .. they didn't . .

I don't "demonize them because I don't agree with them . . " like you just did by calling me "close-minded" and other names.  I demonize them because they advocate for the same policies that the republicans advocate for . . . war without end . . no taxes, no public investment . . 

You need to clean off your own doorstep before you call me names . .  You owe me an apology . . But because I'm subhuman to you . . . I won't receive one nor any examples of tea party candidates that aren't republicans!



From: David Shove Date: November 9, 2010 11:15 AM

Marnita convinced me.

The Rs have lots of money and think tanks and savvy and chutzpah to create the Tea Party out of nothing and make it look like grassroots when it's just another deceptive propaganda tool. They're very good at it, way better than Ds. Nasty masters of the cunning deception - standard for capitalists on the make.


From: Jimmy Mason Date: November 9, 2010 2:36 PM

" So all those pictures of Obama as a witch doctor and with a bone in his nose and stuff . . .that was all just done by liberals to make the tea party look bad?"

Well since the Democrats keep planting their people at rallies to yell racist insults & wave inflammatory signs we'll never how many are real & how many are fake will we? Too bad there's such desperation & lack of integrity from some on the Left, otherwise we could really see what's happening at these rally's.

I've heard so much Liberal propaganda about the Tea Party "truthers", "birthers", racists & people comparing Obama to Hitler, etc. and all these things may be true??? I just don't know. What I do know is I'm not about to take the Dems word for it, lol!!! Their foreign policy agenda is identical to the GOP, Federal Reserve Policy identical, CFR membership identical, immigration policy identical, servitude to corporate masters & desire to commit war/empire build, identical. Dem vs Rep, Crips vs Bloods, Hatfields vs. McCoys....all these groups are/were equally as culpable. Now....which poisoned Kool-Aid did you want again, the cherry or the grape?

A quick refresher for those who think "that's crazy, us Dems don;t do that kind of stuff" was Clinton who killed 500,000 Iraqi children, then signed the Iraqi Liberation Act of 1998 officially making "regime change" in Iraq a U.S. priority because he believed Saddam had WMD's & then handed it off to Bush. It was Gore who chose not to pursue, & asked his followers to accept the stolen election in 2000. Extremist Dems pelted the Bush's motorcade on inauguration day (Today that's "Domestic Terrorism"), imagine the outrage of that had been Tea Party members? Almost 70% of Democrats polled believe George W Bush either directly helped plan 9/11 or "would not rule it out"! Who are the Dems to call the Tea Partiers "truthers" lol. If you google "Hitler Nazi" there are 940,000 pictures of Bush dressed as a Nazi loooong before the left became so sensitive that someone had done the same to Obama (plus endless pics of Bush as a monkey, Bush as a homosexual, etc.) The Dems started the "birther" movement when they accused McCain of not being eligible for the Presidency because he was born outside the US, etc etc etc

Many well meaning Dems voted Obama as a reaction to Bush's militaristic approach & now we're staying in Iraq for good (You can rename a "combat soldier" a "peacekeeper" but it's still the same person in that uniform doing the exact same job.), have escalated a war in Afghanistan to find Bin-Laden whom the CIA say they believe has been dead since 2005, we've now attacked Pakistan, Yemen & Somalia & we're only 2 years into this train wreck of a Presidency. It won;t be long before Dems start to abandon their party too. The college kids following Ron Paul, Blue Dogs, it's coming.

From: Ronald Leurquin Date: November 9, 2010 3:05 PM

Is Jimmy trying to say the Tea Party is separate from the Republican Party?

If that’s true then let them stand on their own two feet as a Party.

So far they seem to ride on the coattails of the Republican Party, yet try to pretend to be not Republican.

Are there Dems at some of these rallies, probably. Are they the ones with the outrageous signs and shouting the idiotic things? Not as likely as its some of the Tea Party people doing that on their own.

Was not aware till now that it was the Dems that started the Birther issue.  Yes, McCain was born in Panama and he makes no effort to deny it.  It was a US Military installation of some sort, so technically US territory which gives McCain the right to run for presidency in the US.  I believe Obama was born in Hawaii, and actual US State, but I digress.

Is Jimmy a Tea Party member or a Republican? Or maybe he can explain how he is both at the same time?

My original query on the Tea Party issue was if they are truly a Party as the Republicans, Democrats and Greens are?  Then let's give the Tea Party the same treatment politically that we give the Green Party which is the short end of the stick because we have a hard time with anything beyond the two major parties.  If on the other hand they are a faction of the Republican Party, then I would like them to admit it and get on with business.  I mean, what do you Tea Party people actually stand for?

I have some comprehension of the Tea party and their issues.  I just have not found any of them to be able to actually converse about the issues for more than two sentences.  A few facts and they get their shorts all up in a bunch and start shouting diatribes of dribble that were handed to them by Faux news.  If any of them can, lets chat.  I would welcome dialogue.  I already have some Republican friends that I can actually have conversations with and not just endless diatribes of sound bite dribble.  I'm rather open to having the same with a Tea party member, but have not yet found one.

As long as the Tea Party appears to be nothing but a bunch of brain addled dribble ranting idiots, my impression of them cannot change.  I doubt my evaluation here of them is accurate, but it's what I see so far.  Any of them on here want to try and show me otherwise?  Bring it, I look forward to conversation.  Are you Tea Party members capable of conversation or just endless dribble and misleading comments that cannot be backed up with any real evidence?  Follow your own money trail and you will see who is controlling the Tea Party.

From: Wizard Marks Date: November 9, 2010 3:54 PM

Back in the day, I knew some of the Hatfields. They are not at all like some of the others you mentioned. They were only interested in making crazy about the McCoys and vice versa. So they kept their craziness limited to those two clans.
I still know some of the Crips and the Bloods and they are interested in making it easy for each of them to deal in drugs and mayhem. But they don't come up to the kinds of mayhem that governments can inflict on their own or other people.

It used to be that the Dems had a lot of bubbas who were generally called Dixiecrats. They opposed desegregation and acted like fools in general. They also joined the Republicans after Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act and initiated the great society changes.
Make no mistake about it, the bubbas are sprinkled throughout the Tea Party, though they are not now and never were confined to the South. They showed themselves in the Minnesota rallys when various Congress members tried to have town meetings here. They screamed the speakers down with a lot of clap trap and general bile they wanted to get out of their systems publicly. The press called them "angry white men," though the women were vitriolic as well.

What is observably true is that the Tea party could not have gotten organized so quickly without financial backing. Though they won't admit it, of course, Koch funded the Tea Party. The point being that it was not strictly a grass roots effort. Having participated in any number of grass roots efforts over the years, I can attest to the fact that they do not arise so quickly, the principle reason for which is lack of money.

I think the news media counted 40 Tea Party members as having gotten into the House. They are claiming they won't abide by either the Ds or the Rs. It remains to be seen whether they can be an effective bloc without attaching themselves to one party or the other. My bet is that they'll go Republican.


From: Peter Tobias Date: November 9, 2010 6:03 PM

" They (40 Tea Party members)are claiming they won't abide by either the Ds or the Rs. It remains to be seen whether they can be an effective bloc without attaching themselves to one party or the other. My bet is that they'll go Republican."

This might go beyond the Minnesota forum already, but I am especially interested how the Tea Party members act on national security spending.  One inspirator of the Tea Party people was Ron Paul who showed a surprising endurance in the Republican primary, considering his stances on national security: Cut national security spending to a level that allows the constitutional demand to defend the country but not moree; the US shouldn't be the world's policeman, bring the troops back home from all over the world; 9/11 was also a blowback for past US foreign policy that interfered in too many places.

We will see if his son Rand Paul, new US senator from Kentucky, and the other Tea Partiers take over the Republican party line of a strong military or develop their own position and advocate spending cuts also for the military.

From: Carol Becker Date: November 9, 2010 6:45 PM

What I honestly believe is that there are:

- a few cranks who have been on their same old saws
- plus a media that doesn't care about needing truth in what it says
- coupled with a huge number of people who are afraid for their jobs and their lives and are desperately grasping at anything they can find
- plus exceedingly rich people capitalizing on fear willing to spend hundreds of millions to move forward their agendas using the media and cranks as a smoke screen.  

I don't think that creates a party of any sort.  The "Tea Party" movement (separating this from the "AstroTurf Tea Party") really wasn't ever about an agenda.  It was about people getting substantially poorer and having their quality of life slip and latching onto any sort of thing that came along that was labeled change.   It is about fear and real fear for good real reasons.  

For the "AstroTurf Tea Party," I don't think, in fact, they need a party. The exceedingly rich people have been able to use the cranks and media to mobilize fear to get candidates elected that will push forward their agendas.  They don't need an on-going party- just a crescendo at election time which they can get with their huge sums of money.  We now hear about dismantling health care reform, tax cuts for the wealthy, removal of regulations on businesses (which were their to protect citizens), etc. Meanwhile, the people who elected these folks won't understand why they are worse off again, which helps create more fear.  Is becomes almost a perpetual motion machine.

From: William McGaughey Date: November 9, 2010 7:24 PM

Marnita Schroedl wrote: "I'd like someone to name any tea party candidate that didn't run as a republican or who isn't governing as one?  Just one . . .  If you can't, then we need to stop giving cover to falsehoods and lies."

A Tea Party member who ran for Governor of Minnesota in a party other than the Republican party was Phil Ratte.  If you check the Sec. of State's web site, you will see that he was in the Independence Party primary.  So let's stop this rant. I'd like some acknowledgment from Schroedl that her argument was based on incorrect information unless, of course, she still thinks Ratte ran as a Republican.

I think it remarkable that people here think it was impossible that ordinary citizens, fed up with deficits and continuing Wall Street cronyism, created a genuine grassroots movement.

We've been through the New Yorker article canard .  Read the article again.  It's on both sides of this argument.  The author states that Tea Party members attended an event sponsored by an organization created by the Koch brothers and were trained by it yet David Koch denies any contact with the Tea Party.  Whatever the case, does this prove that the Koch brothers were instrumental in creating the Tea Party?  

Jimmy Mason wrote: "Almost 70% of Democrats polled believe George W Bush either directly helped plan 9/11 or "would not rule it out"! Who are the Dems to call the Tea Partiers "truthers" lol."  I would not rule out the possibility that George W. Bush had foreknowledge of the terrible events that took place on 9/11, but neither do I have specific information about this .  However, there are so many discrepancies in the 9/11 Commission and other official reports that a new investigation is warranted.  

Ron Leurquin thinks Tea Party people are "a bunch of brain addled dribble ranting idiots".  I think quite a few of them are reasonable, courageous citizens.  Maybe I keep better company than he does.

From: Jimmy Mason Date: November 9, 2010 8:0 PM

" Is Jimmy trying to say the Tea Party is separate from the Republican Party?"

I'm trying to say that just because the radical left scream they're the same, with little or no evidence, does not make it so. To the best of my knowledge the Tea Party is a loosely organized movement comprised of people from varied backgrounds & political affiliations, including & now perhaps dominated (?) by former Republicans who grew tired of their party's irresponsible spending, lax immigration policy, lust for war & general departure from the Constitution. Weren't the D's, as recently as 2008 against the pointless wars? Weren't they against the wasteful spending of the Bush admin? Weren't they concerned about the disintegration of the middle class/loss of jobs? Weren't they screaming about BushCo skirting around the Constitution? What happened to those people? Why is Obama not held to the same standards?

" Are there Dems at some of these rallies, probably. Are they the ones with the outrageous signs and shouting the idiotic things? Not as likely as its some of the Tea Party people doing that on their own."

Google or YouTube it. You'll find just as much documentation & video footage of Liberal plants as you will of actual racism at Tea Party rally's. You'd think the evidence would be overwhelming right? It's just not. So, why the smear campaign? The easiest way to un-glue these Tea Party racists would be to stfu & let us undecided's see for ourselves what these guys are all about w/out having to ask "Is this one a Dem plant as well?" As best I can tell (from video/internet) the Tea Partier's seem quite sensitive about the racism/birther topics & do quite the job of policing themselves at the rally's.

" Is Jimmy a Tea Party member or a Republican? Or maybe he can explain how he is both at the same time?"

I am neither. Never voted Republican in my life & never attended any type of Tea Party rally. I'm simply not a Democrat & therefore I defend the right of Americans to campaign/vote outside of the "two party system" without being intentionally slandered & attacked. Just as the NeoCons before them, the NeoLibs have a "you're either With us or against" us, bang-bang mentality & despise any candidate who's not a rich, status quo, corporate toolbag, with a D- in front of their name. Exactly the same as the GOP, defending their Government given right to be one of only two parties. Don't be confused though, this Democrat hatred is not unique to the Tea Party or even to Republicans...just ask Ralph Nader!

From: Kris Broberg Date: November 9, 2010 9:29 PM

No amount of money could do what the tea party did...

The Tea party is not a party it is name of movement, a sentiment...

People were pissed off that government was interfering even more in their lives.  

Quit taking and spending our money.

Quit spending even more than you are taking.

Quit lying to us.

Leave us alone.

Call em bubbas, bubbettes, fools or whatever you want to make yourself feel superior.  

Just remember you are not, and you are acting like a bully to prove it.


From: Matt Perry (forum manager) Date: November 9, 2010 10:02 PM


Please bring this discussion back to the Minnesota specific aspects of the topic. Much of the recent discussion is more appropriate in scope for the United States Issues Forum.

I would encourage folks who want to continue the broader discussion to take it to that forum and make a post here pointing to it. If someone else wants to start the discussion there, I will be happy to make the post to the discussion so no one has to "burn" a post providing the link.


From: Wizard Marks Date: November 9, 2010 10:30 PM

Mr. Slade has produced a non-sequitur. It's not the age of the Tea Partiers, it's the corporate memory of Koch which is in the spot light. Coors Beer was also a major funder of the John Birch Society.Wizard Marks


From: Tom Slade Date: November 9, 2010 10:51 PM

The Kochs in the New Yorker article were too young to be significant members of the John Birch Society in its heyday

What is the "non sequitur"?

Their old man may have....


From: Carol Becker Date: November 10, 2010 6:48 AM

Fred Koch, founder of Koch Industries was a founding member of the John Birch Society.

From: Ronald Leurquin (private message to Bill McGaughey) Date: November 10, 2010 7:55 AM


Please introduce me to some of the reasonable ones.

I would love the chance to talk with one or two over coffee some time.

Keep in mind even you used the qualifier 'think' and not 'know' with regard to Tea Party persons.

Ron Leurquin

William shared:
Ron Leurquin thinks Tea Party people are "a bunch of brain addled dribble ranting idiots".  I think quite a few of them are reasonable, courageous citizens.  Maybe I keep better company than he does.


From: Joe Nathan Date: November 10, 2010 8:05 AM

Yes, Fred Koch is very conservative.  Now what?

I grew up in Wichita, Kansas, where the Koch family is very influential.  He is a very prominent, very wealthy conservative.

George Soros is a very prominent, very wealthy liberal.  He has poured millions into various liberal activities.

I think Obama won two years ago, and I voted for him, because he promised hope and change.  People wanted both.

I think the Republicans won the Mn state legislature, and the majority of people in Minnesota voted for one of two Republicans (Emmer or Horner) because they were frustrated by too many people still out of work, and many questions about the future of the state's economy.

So for me, the question is what next. I've tried to share a few next steps, and will do more of that in the coming week.  It would be interesting to learn more about what others are going to do.  Koch has lots of money and will continue to spend it.  So will Soros.  What about the rest of us?

From: William McGaughey (private message to Ron Leurquin) Date: November 10, 2010 8:06

I'm not a Tea Party member and don't have access to their lists. Phil Ratte may be in the phone book or his phone number is available from the Sec. of State.


From: Ronald Leurquin Date: November 10, 2010 8:08 AM

Thanks for the discussion Jimmy

Good to know you're not a R or TP person. I tend to vote D, but not always. I have actually voted R, but gave that up after Bush II, not for a long time will I do that again.

As for Google and YouTube, I always take that information with a grain or two of salt. It can be quite hard to tell the real from the made up on there I am all in favor of standing back, way back, and letting the Tea Party people see for themselves what they have created/are involved with.

The D's have a long way to go to be where they should as far as representing the people that elected them is concerned, they suck at it for the most part.  The D's just suck a lot less than the R's do at representing the people that elected them.  Both parties do a darn good job of representing the people that fund their campaigns though. I would love to vote Green or Independence more often, but that results in the worst candidate in office too often.

I voted for Al because I feared Norm. I voted for Tim Penny and ended up with Tim Paulenty, wish I had held my nose and voted Moe that year. My wish/hope is that the Tea Party people will wake up and smell the crap they are standing in and get out of it and start to rail against the powers that have created the situation they are so darned upset with.  I think, from what I do know of them, that they are upset/pissed off at the right things (IMHO), just not at the right people.

Oh, William claimed to think he knows some reasonable Tea Party members, I asked him off list to introduce me to them.  Would love to do coffee or something with one or two of them some time.  Not holding my breath though, but it could happen.

From: Marnita Schroedl (private message to Bill McGaughey) Date: November 10, 2010 8:18 AM

Okay . . first was he a Tea Party member? or an independence party member?  isn't it interesting how Tea Party people get to use the infrastructures of other organized parties while they claim to be different than the parties for which they run?  Those of us who don't identify as Independence members couldn't vote for him and he was defeated by a "republican" cum independence party member . . . So . . again . . in the GENERAL election . . you know where WE ALL CAN VOTE . . . name a candidate that was ENDORSED BY THE TEA PARTY that didn't run as a republican . . .  That actually proves my point even more . . . that the one you can point out didn't get financial support, didn't actually even rise up to the level that anyone knew his name BECAUSE he wasn't being supported by the actual Tea Party founders . .  . the community outreach wing of the Republican party . . .  This one example who no-one ever heard of  .  . .. this candidate wasn't support was he by the Tea Party Machine . .didn't get money like Emmer did .. Didn't get money like Bachmann did . . . So if the Tea Party really were grassroots . .that might be what you'd expect is that we'd get candidates like this trying to find a home . . . and maybe there are a few people who actually believe that set-up and have jumped on board . . . but again . . they wouldn't be in the MAJORITY right now if they really weren't  Republicans . . .

Will you believe me when the first thing they do is fight for tax cuts for the rich even though it will cause even worse deficits?  Will you believe me when they go after basic consumer protections, etc.?  What would actually make you believe reality?  To look at people . . including people like me to see that we aren't enemies because we disagree with public policy . . . What will make you actually see that this movement is bad for all of us . . . but probably doesn't matter much because it is just the same policies of the Republicans rebranded after they had proven to be so horrible for all of us.

I find it remarkable even with the Tea Party members elected that you haven't caught on yet . . these Tea Party people LOVE Wall Street Cronyism . . . they love deficits and bad governance . . . they are the dead enders who didn't get enough of Bush policies in 08 and are mad they lost control . . . it doesn't make sense otherwise . . . if they really hated cronyism they would have been up in arms about Hailliburton, et al . . but they weren't/aren't . . . you have to follow the trail of what they say and do . . . It was Tea Party people who thought it was horrible that Obama got an escrow account for clean-up of the Gulf Coast . . . A people's uprising to remove worker's rights and make each of us less wealthy . . .  Har har . .the movement that hates cronyism . . . putting in all people who will guarantee cronyism . . .

Again . .I respectfully requested that when you speak about me just use my first name "Marnita."   Would you please do me that favor or are you incapable of treating people with respect?  I believe it was a straightforward request.  I find it another interesting sigh of how little you value and respect those around you . . Kind of like calling me names yesterday for which you still HAVE NOT APOLOGIZED . .  You called me things that you are in NO position to know . . and merely because I don't agree on about who the Tea Party is . . I didn't call you names or anything . . but you called me names and basically said that I deserved to be hated by the Tea Party for saying that they are Republicans when they themselves ran as republicans and are promoting the same policies . . . But the proof is in the pudding . .. this will be verifiable and knowable . .. it already is knowable .. . Not sure why you keep discounting that 100% of the 40 new Tea Party house members are Republicans . . . that should give you pause in the story that it being about people just disgusted . .. the timing is wrong for that narrative . . the whole  .I want my country back . . . after it had been driven off a cliff . .that the fear came after Obama was elected and things were becoming slightly better . . . It just doesn't add up . . . the many pieces when examined . . . when that many things don't add up .. then there is another story that isn't being allowed into the sphere and is being shouted down.  You are shouting down people like me by calling us names . . . You think it's okay to call me names, but then whine, whine, whine if we even point out the odd timing of demanding our country back after losing the election . . The Tea Party are clearly those people who are angry that Obama won . .  Clearly . . they didn't worry about stuff when Bush was in office . .they didn't care he didn't produce any jobs and exploded the deficit . . . but OMG let a popularly elected black man win office and voila . . a mad has heck, we aren't going to take it any more populist uprising to do what exactly?  Get rid of all financial regulations, get rid of the minimum wage, get rid of any type of healthcare . . . Right because the people are rising up to retain tax cuts for the top 2% who are the only people who've seen their income rise since this righward list in our country 30 years ago.  So we have a populist uprising to retain the aristocracy . . . How can this at all be called a populist uprising . . populists don't uprise to confer more wealth and benefits to those who are wealthy already . . .  But that's what the Tea Party seems to want most of all to ensure that the plutocracy at all times is taken care of . . kind of a weird populist uprising . . .

So again I have to be so really specific . . .name a candidate, that actually won an election that identified as Tea Party that didn't run as a republican . . name a candidate that got support from the Tea Party so that they became household names that wasn't a Republican . . I never heard of Phil Ratte . .But I heard of all sorts of other Tea Party Candidates .. all republicans . . do you think that was a bug or a feature of the Tea Party movement . .I think it was a feature . . . not a bug . . So Phil Ratte was part of a new movement that didn't get any attention and he disappeared without a whisper . . without even those very civically engaged hearing about him . . while amazingly so . . . all the other new grass-roots activated people who made it into office, got financial support, got lots of news coverage, etc .. all republicans . . hummm . . and yet even with all that evidence you want to prove this was all organic . . . It doesn't add up . . and your find proves my point even better .. only Tea Party candidates who ran as republicans got the support and became household names .. .

But I will admit that I wasn't specific enough in my request.  Phill Ratte didn't run in the general election .. everyone couldn't vote for him .. he lost in a primary . . . but since you like this gotcha game .. in the future . . . I will be very specific so you can't find a loophole . . .  I now know that language is something that has to be watched in communication with you . . . Because our brains in no way function alike . . . when I say in the election . , I'm only thinking of Nov 2 . .. .the generals  and the outcome with the supposed sweeping mandate of the Tea Party .. . I guess I have to be more imaginative . . and imagine the primaries too . . . or actually state the general elections .. as they are the determiners on who governs us . . .


From: William McGaughey Date: November 10, 2010 10:52 AM

Please don't contact me privately.  This was a public discussion and I wish it to be continued that way. Thanks.


From: RonaldLeurquin (private message to Bill McGaughey) Date: November 10, 2010 8:24 AM


Thank you, have found and address and phone number, will attempt to contact. It appears he's an engineer with a background in energy.

How is it you feel he is a Tea Party person rather than an Independence Party person where he ran for office? Just curious.

From: William McGaughey (private message to Ron Leuquin) Date: November 10, 2010 10:45 AM

I went to one Tea Party meeting and met him there.


From: William McGaughey Date: November 10, 2010 11:03 AM

I'm getting contacted privately with a long, argumentative, complaint-filled posting. This has gone on long enough.  The most reasonable message was Joe Nathan's:  that both parties have rich donors but the crux of the matter is:  What do we do?

My hope is that a grassroots political structure(s) is created which does bring forth constructive policy proposals.  It would also be nice if members of several different parties or political persuasions could participate respectfully in a common discussion.


From: Marnita Schroedl (private message to Bill McGaughey) Date: November 10, 2010 12:22 PM

The first THING YOU SHOULD DO IS APOLOGIZE FOR CALLING ME NAMES and acknowledging that you did it . . that would be the first thing . . to recognize that nothing can be discussed when you hurl invective like "your type of people" and then go on to explain that that means people with closed minds  . . . and then somehow make it about your entitlement to hate people like me because we don't agree with your policy prescriptions while you are calling us names for speaking the truth . . .

I actually convene just the type of conversations you are discussing . . that's what I do for a living . . . and every year we convene thousands of people across race, class, culture, politics and other means of self-identity . .and we are really good at it . . I mean amazingly good at it .. we just helped deliver the 15,000 census forms that will allow the State of Minnesota to retain $394 million per year in infrastructure spending . . . so the very thing you wish for is something to which I have devoted my life . . .

The only way to fulfill your hope is not to call people names . . there can be no discussion when you continually call names . . . that isn't an environment that allows for authentic connection and community building . . . I am hurt and angered by the names you called me . . . So for me nothing can move forward until you apologize and admit that you weren't creating an environment where people could talk respectfully . . and . . because you don't believe in the value of our viewpoints and experiences you can actually state that you hope for a grassroots solution (which is what I invented . . and guess what . . you know it's grass roots because it is always underfunded and always on  shoestring . .that's a hallmark of grassroots organizing . . underfunding . .. )  to a person who's invented just the solution that you say desire . . but NO instead you call me names.  So do you or do you not want to engage this conversation?  Then the first step is to stop calling names of the very people who have created just the grassroots space/solution that you pretend to desire . . . Although your behavior is diametrically outside what you espouse.

Yes . . I agree it would be wonderful if YOU WOULD PARTICIPATE respectfully in common discussion but you aren't.

One thing we shouldn't do is call people who are stating the obvious names, That would seem the most reasonable . . .But personal responsibility and accountability are clearly not your strong suits . . .  You can't even see how your own behavior is outside the bounds of behavior your are saying you want everyone to engage in . . . behavior is socially contagious . . maybe if you are respectful others will follow!


From: Marnita Schroedl (private message to Bill McGaughey) Date: November 10, 2010 12:24 PM

I actually don't have time for the silly rules of the forum and they slow down responses . . .

So you get to call me names in public and when I decide I would prefer to engage privately . . then you close the door . .

Sure you want to engage honorably . . Actions speak so much louder than words . . . and yours have shown what you are . . .

Don't worry . .I'll ignore everything you have to say . . Please don't refer to me in posts anymore .  . .   I'm tired of your abuse . .



From: Marnita Schroedl (private message to Bill McGaughey) Date: November 10, 2010 1:06 PM

But the point of this thread wasn't about money in elections, it wasn't about both sides doing it . . . the whole point of this thread is whether the Tea Party movement is an independent movement or a part of the Republican party both in the state of minnesota and nationally.  So if we want to start a thread about problem solving in the state of minnesota and what ideas might work that's a different topic.  Or if we want to discuss the impact on money in elections that is a totally different topic.   in terms of building understanding across diverse populations and view points , that's where I spend most of my 70 hour work weeks.  Working on closing the achievement gap, reducing the STD rate in the state of Minnesota and other things and there are some very basic rules when convening large and very diverse groups with differing viewpoints:

1.  only speak from your own personal experience and observations . . you can't speak for anyone else.

2.  don't name call . . . even if you don't believe in something the person is saying know that calling them names such as "your type of people" is a surefire way to blow up the conversation . . . I'm still so angry for being disrespected and that I haven't been apologized to for either that reference OR for the even more negative attribution of what the person who called me "my type of people" meant . . .  Calling names stops all forward motion.  So it isn't logically consistent to call names with one post and then with the next demand a civil engagement, as though you are engaging civilly.

That being said . . we have these Tea-Publicans . . . (which I am calling them that because they ran as republicans and are going to govern with the new majority in the MN house and senate) . . which was really the first time I truly thought about the claim that the Tea Party was something other than republican.   I mean I personally didn't see a difference . . .but okay all the insistence that they are something different . . . it never fully crossed my cranium that in terms of the State of Minnesota are we saying the Tea Party won or the Republicans won? I guess I'm confused because I heard about all this grassroots effort and I saw it here too . . . Emmer had support from the Tea Party and so did Bachmann and others . . but the election is over . . and now all the players have settled with the people in the Tea Party settling happily on the Republican side where they started. . . .do we think that in the coming months we will see the Tea Party recede as so many republicans won and don't feel a need to hide behind the TPM anymore?  Or do you think there will a second splintering . . with those who actually thought they were engaging in grassroots organizing realizing wait-a-minute . . . If this is grassroots why did the 6th congressional district receive the most out of state dollars in an election?  What does it mean that a candidate in Minnesota received so much out-of-state funding that literally there was no way she could use up the funds even if she ran around the clock advertisements?  And how did her support of 8 yeas of mis-rule in Washington result in her being re-elected by the so angry they aren't going to take it anymore?  I'm actually struggling with how the various lines cross and uncross.  So we have an incumbent state congressperson re-elected to clean up the very mess that she helped make because people are disgusted?  Does anyone else think something is very weird about this?  So is Michelle Bachmann Tea Party or Republican or are they same?  Is Tom Emmer Tea Party or Republican or are they same?

 Does it matter if they are the same or different?  And why when we say they are the same does the right get so angry that they yell and tell us that we are making things up?  I do find it all very confusing and sort of extraordinary . . . and disheartening because it means that most of us will never be able to even agree on observable reality.

What role might the media play in maintaining this false narrative?  I mean they have the most to earn/win from this dysfunctional us against them system.

I believe in MN it will get worse.  I see the Tea Party as problematic in that they are trying to have it both ways . . . They want the benefits conferred upon the majority party, but then also want the benefits of being separate from it.   Michelle Bachmann is trying very hard for a leadership post in DC.  How will that benefit the 6th?  Could the citizens of MN demand that if the Tea Party is something other than republicans than those who ran as Tea Party need to identified as separate parties and lose their majority status?  I mean those out here who are most sympathetic to the Tea Party are saying they are different and separate from Republicans . . . so can dems/progressives sue so that the Republicans don't have a majority in the state or DC?  It is those who are conservative who are arguing that the Tea Party and Republicans are totally different . . so then they won't mind losing majority status and standing on their own?

So how many of you regularly engage across race, class, culture and other means of self-identity?  Do think in the state of Minnesota that the Tea Party has a positive or negative impact on communicating across lines of difference?  Do you believe it is good or bad for politics to compromise and to build solutions that may not be perfect but more people will support?  I think the Tea Party is angry and turning all their anger toward those with whom they should be allies . . while they are aligning and supporting those who have caused the damage. I think we will really eventually see that this is not a good thing for MN.


From: William McGaughey Date: November 10, 2010 2:13 PM

Please say what you have to say in the public forum.  Thanks.


From: Wizard Marks Date: November 10, 2010 4:33 PM

The first order of business for the leggie is redistricting the state. If the TP is really R, then they will throw in their lot with the Rs and the state will be gerrymandered so that the Rs get the biggest bang for the buck. Consider the 6th District which runs a thin strip from St. Cloud to Stillwater. On a map it doesn't make sense, but it bundles the wide-spread Rs into a voting force who elected Bachmann twice.

What I hope would happen--a hope that will inevitably be dashed--is that when the TP discovers that cutting the budget and creating jobs is a lot more complicated than balancing a personal checking account, they will place themselves firmly on the horns of a dilemma. If they are truly as selfish as they sounded through the silly season, then they will tie the state in knots from which it won't be able to extricate itself.

70% of the state budget is health care and education. There is no way to shave the deficit without raising taxes, they can only shift the burden of taxation from one group to another. We've already screwed our education system so badly that it will take at least a generation to right it.

I seriously doubt that the Rs or the TP can come up with jobs without investing in infrastructure and green industries. That's spending, although it's spending with an eye to the return on investment.

I take Joe Nathan's point, but add that whether it is Soros or Koch makes no real difference. It's still the few big buck guys who sway the country to what they want to have happen and what they want to have happen is seldom good for the population as a whole.


From: Lynn Gitelis Date: November 10, 2010 10:42 PM

-----Original Message-----
From: Marnita Schroedl
Sent: Wednesday, November 10, 2010 1:07 PM
Subject: Re: [Minnesota] Tea Party ?So how many of you regularly engage across race, class, culture and other means of self-identity?  Do think in the state of Minnesota that the Tea Party has a positive or negative impact on communicating across lines of difference?  Do you believe it is good or bad for politics to compromise and to build solutions that may not be perfect but more people will support?  I think the Tea Party is angry and turning all their anger toward those with whom they should be allies . . while they are aligning and supporting those who have caused the damage. I think we will really eventually see that this is not a good thing for MN.
Well ... that's a lot of penetrating questions :) - the Tea Party is essentially Libertarian; while they have been traditionally aligned with the GOP, they are not exactly conservatives. The common ground there is a preference for limited government.

Libertarians do not support most of the social issues agenda however, because they also believe in limited government in that arena too.

- The Tea Party .. like most political movements, is being co-opted by party machinery because the powers that be see it as providing a base to regain power they lost in 2008. But it's important to understand  here that most Tea Party members are not particularly fond of the GOP either given the tendency to run up deficits.  Right now, it's a tug of war to see if there will be peace or
a fight between the groups.

- the Tea Party is NOT inherenly racist, but it is true that racist groups (like the John Birch Society) are glomming onto the party and trying to use it to increase membership. This is not really unusual; "out" groups always try to attach themselves to mainstream groups to improve their position no matter which side of the "aisle" is involved. It will be the long term responsibility of the TPM to oust groups they feel do not belong.

- there is no question that the TPM was born of anger, and now is being exploited  by some very sophisticated propaganda artists. Whether here in MN or nationally, this policy of disruption and disinformation needs to be attacked and shut down. If the TPM has a legitimate message, it will be drowned out by the pros.

- will they be good for MN?  I think it's too early to tell. Their message of getting back to sensible solutions resonates pretty strongly across nearly every demographic. It is certainly true that, we were to land on this planet for the first time  now, we would not choose to set up the layers of governance (with the attendant red tape) that we have today. If TPM succeeds in spurring government reorganization, that could be a good thing. If, on the other hand, they continue the campaign of anger with no solutions, they
will likely just die out.

- can they communicate across lines of difference?  Not yet :) Most political novices can't though; it takes time and experience to learn this profession of politics just as it does any other. It's easy to whine and complain; actually getting something
done is more difficult. We'll see over the next couple years if they can make the leap.

- compromise is essential to democracy, but the word has taken on very negative meanings to strong partisans, all of whom (both persuasions) view compromise as selling out. As long as the "middle" chooses to wield little influence, I would expect the polarization to continue, and those who attempt to use compromise will be punished by their party leaders.


From: Marnita Schroedl (private message to Bill McGaughey) Date: November 11, 2010 7:51 AM

I did . .

Pay attention!

You still owe me an apology . . .



From: Marnita Schroedl Date: November 11, 2010 8:47 AM

To: Lynn Gitelis

Engaging across race, class, culture and other means of self-identity is difficult.  And one of the things that makes it most difficult is that piece of "self-identity."  Most of us identify as multiple things and so have internal competing goals.

So for instance, I am an entrepreneur in the state of Minnesota.  I'm a parent with teens in the public schools.  I'm a woman.  I'm a person of color.  I'm socially liberal and fiscally conservative . . and those are some of my identities, but one of the things I worked on last year when I was a Shannon Fellow was how often our identities and goals compete with our other identities and goals without us knowing.  An example might be: I'm overweight and want to lose weight and that's a goal.  But I'm also a chef and I create these amazing foods and so perpetually my desire to be skinny and my desire to taste amazing flavors are in competition.  My own internal identities compete with themselves.

You see that on this forum with certain posters both decrying what would it take for us to come together and have a meaningful discussion about what the community should look like and what our collective responsibilities entail . .  so that's one important internal goal, but it competes with the other goal of being right and one-up-manship and gotcha.  For instance we had a poster this past week both refer to anyone who didn't agree that the MN Tea Party was different and separate from Republicans (which wasn't name calling but merely pointing out that they ran and won as Rs) we were called names, mocked and made fun of by the same person who was decrying the inability to convene a serious conversation.  His goal to tear down and be disrespectful competed with his goal for civil discourse and engagement.  It's a very useful exercise. . if you are having trouble keeping on track for a goal and wondering why you can't achieve it, look for the competing goal you've set up that contradicts the original goal.  In peer-to-peer communication there are always those competing goals.

As someone who runs a non-profit, I know my goal to build social equity in the state often competes with my ability to run a business that can get funding from powerful sources.  So the image of being a strong proponent of fairness sometimes competes with the goal to actually survive and have a paycheck.  It is one of my observations that this competing goal often afflicts non-profits that do good work.  What did the priest say?  "When I feed the poor they call me a saint.  When I talk about the reason for there being so many poor, they call me a communist."

Authentic engagement is difficult at the best of times.  With the constraints of never having met in person, not having any trust coupled with the limiting features of this forum that requires that people stay on topic as defined by the mods . . . but most of us think tangentially. Thinking about the MN Tea Party makes us think about the national scene and then back . . they have connection, interplay, relationship.

In the state of MN my observation of the Tea Party--or those who were the high profile contenders--such as Bachmann--although there is a purported libertarian movement, as a whole in the State of Minnesota and nationally, Tea Party members are more conservative on social issues than regular republicans.

I've watched here in the state as the movement "sprang" up.  There were no outcries from libertarians and marching about the deficit, etc. until 4 months after a new president was sworn in.  My experience is the opposite from what your explanation is . . . I experienced it as the Republicans lost and they immediately starting whipping up those who could be with propaganda . .

So I am struggling with the narrative that I'm hearing.  I'm hearing it and reading it that this is a libertarian group that sprang up organically in disgust at both parties.  But as i said . . I've had a little over 3,000 people in my home for dinner this year . .(yes that's a crazy number, but I'm a crazy person! and yes my kitchen actually shows that I've trashed it with my mission to having everyone eat a meal together and find common ground).  The model requires a very high level of diversity . . it's built into the model.  But uniformly in the state of MN the Tea Party people I've met were all republicans and now identify Tea Party.  I guess Michelle Bachmann would be the model that I'm most familiar with always was a conservative republican . . . just changed their name.  I've never met this libertarian model of Tea Party person (or one that ever vote anything other than Republican).  I'm just not seeing this cross-over in the actual people I know here in the state, but I know it keeps being repeated.

Why are we calling Michelle Bachmann and Tom Emmer political novices?  That's what I don't get?  I am actually truly struggling with this.  What is being said, isn't in any way syncing up with observable reality. And although the message is "getting back to sensible solutions."  the solutions are all the same solutions that the republicans believe in . . . so my head keeps spinning.  I feel as though I've fallen through the looking glass.  

And if the movement was "born out of anger." Why did the anger come after the election.  I thought the election demonstrated the anger.  Now we have Tea Party candidates in our state house and in Washington and their policy proposals area ll reversions back to Republican . . not libertarian, but Republican principals . . I couldn't find the link, but the day after the election a major tea party leader came out and said "we have a 40 year plan to create more jobs .. .1st we need to take on cultural issues."

So in Minnesota did we just go to the polls because we wanted more of the Republican policies of 2000-2008 that led to local budget deficits as well as national ones?  Because it seems obvious to me not because someone is telling me it . . .but out of Tea Party members in the state that what they most wanted is a reversion to 2000-2008 policies . . .what they are angry about isn't bad governance but that someone who they don't agree with took office in 2008 . . . because their protests sprang up in response to the election and to governance.  So is the Tea Party anti-democratic (that's small "d")?  I heard alot about 2nd amendment rights if they didn't win at the ballot box.

None of this makes sense or adds up in any way to me.  What I'm visually seeing and hearing . .  . Michelle Bachmann is Tea Party & a republican . . . Emmer is Tea Party and Republican . . . and both are more concerned with social issues than fiduciary issues to some degree, yet the Tea Party is somehow libertarian?  Who were the winners in the state of minnesota who identify Tea Party who are these more "libertarian" non social conservative types? And who are the candidates who won who weren't always republicans?  Although it is an assertion that this person exists neither locally or nationally has this persona been on the stage.


From: William McGaughey Date: November 11, 2010 9:39 AM

I think Lynn Gitelis' description of the Tea Party is accurate as I understand this movement to be.  I am unaware that it endorses candidates.  It may be essentially an email list used to turn out attendance at events.

In an earlier posting, I tried to explain what I thought was the motivation of many TP members and why many of them were Republicans.  Others have suggested that the Tea Party was just a front for the Republican Party or that billionaires just as the Koch brothers conjured it up in thin air.  Without being an expert on this, I believe those explanations are incorrect - perhaps maliciously so, since they are intended to have people simply dismiss the TP instead of listening to their point of view.

Marnita Schroedl has attacked me repeatedly and at great length because I have effectively countered her arguments.  For instance, she repeatedly dared me or anyone to name a Tea party member who ran for public office with a party other than the Republicans.  I did, and she didn't like it one bit.

I also wrote that I thought Tea Party members might be responding negatively to Democrats who call them racist or otherwise oppose them; and that might help explain why so few Tea Party members seem to be Democrats.  Schroedl thinks this is name calling and wants an apology.

I am also asking that this discussion remain public since the private messages tend to be filled with insults that might otherwise violate the forum's civility rules.

I intend now to end my participation in this thread on the Tea Party since much has been said and few minds seem to have been changed.


From: Marnita Schroedl (private message to Bill McGaughey, later posted publicly) Date: November 11, 2010 10:51 AM

What i want first and foremost is to be treated with RESPECT.

I have asked repeatedly that I be called by my first name.   Marnita.   I have asked it politely.  I have asked it repeatedly of this poster.  And this poster wants to demonstrate his lack of respect by not honoring this simple request.  This one intentional act alone is enough to demonstrate that there is not a desire to build understanding and relationship across race, class and culture.  He keeps saying he wants this, but keeps ensuring by speaking disrespectfully to and about me that it can't happen. To me this is the height of disrespect not to refer to people by the name they asked to be referred to . .. I have not "attacked" anyone repeatedly.  I have pointed out that this poster repeatedly says things like "your type of people" and then wonders why we can't have a respectful conversation.  Maybe if we stopped saying "your type of people."   But this poster won't stop saying "your type of people" anymore than he will respectfully refer to me by the name I've asked him (and everyone person with whom I meet/connect) to call me.  I find this to be a particularly troubling lack of respect.  Because it is a baseline to treat people as they asked to be treated.  So the only reason not to treat someone as they ask to be treated is to intentionally and publicly demonstrate disrespect.  So we get it, you don't respect me.  Got it . . loud and clear. 

So, how do we come together as one community, to find common ground on policy issues when those with whom you have little agreement won't call you by the name you ask them to call you.  You can't even start the discussion because the entitled to be nasty and rude is so strong that it over-rides the desire to see good.

There have been no effective counter-arguments.  As I said in my private post to this poster (only because sometimes with the rules about how often you can post it is a barrier to timely carrying on of conversations) not to privately harangue.  It never dawned on me that anyone would pick a primary that wasn't the general election mostly because if you vote in a primary you have to vote with your party all the way down the line . .so you have to put a stake in the ground . . So I'm not an independence party person and knew little or nothing about them. But I did learn something about communicating with this poster.  You have to be very specific.  Just because I have in my mind that I'm referring to the general election on November 2nd because the thread is about Tea Party in Minnesota after the elections, it would never dawn on me to go back to the independence party primary to find a candidate. But I will try to be better about asking questions such as this next time.  I realized that for all my words I hadn't been specific enough in my intent.  It shows how easy it is even when you are attempting to communicate clearly how easy it is to miscommunicate.  You also notice that he says "I didn't like this one bit."  He can't know whether I liked or didn't like it . . It actually made think alot about how ineffectively we communicate even when we think we are being clear.  So in fact I liked it because I took it as an opportunity to hone my own skills and improve myself.  I will be a better communicator because of this.  Because in fact if I had said "name a person who won the general election in the state of MN" that might also have led to further fruitful discussion.

This is an excerpt from his previous post: "Has it ever occurred to Schroedl that if Democrats keep referring to Tea Party members as racists, tea baggers, or stooges of billionaires, they may antagonize these people and drive them more into the Republican camp? Maybe opposition to her type of person is helping to fuel the movement."

And then this: "'Her type of person' means the closed-minded DFLer, the put-down artist, the one who wants to continue to demonize Republicans, Tea Party people, and others who disagree with them.  Yes, I do think that the Tea Party was reacting to this.  If you hate someone, they may hate you in return."

I consider both of these to be name calling as well as highly inflammatory. and yes, I am still owed a direct apology.  I consider the words "close-minded, put-down artists, demonizers" to all be directly name calling of me.  Now here is someone who shares my city who is suggesting that if I point out to what me is obvious that the people that I heard saying they were tea party all ran as republicans and are happy about those policies.  That makes me a dem (which I never said I was), it makes me a put down artist, etc., etc., etc.  All for sharing what I am seeing with my eyeballs? Really?  Really?  This is the central reason we can't come together to find common ground.  1. somehow for me to say that I haven't met any Tea Party people who weren't republican already and then to say that those who got support, etc. were all republicans somehow leads to me being called malicious and 2. It's A-okay for that same person to call me "your type of person" and then to say "your type of person is a put-down artist, closed-minded and demonizing anyone who doesn't agree."

It is interesting that we have these competing viewpoints of what it means to be a Tea Party person.  And notice . . . if you don't agree with this posters viewpoint it must be "malicious."  Couldn't be that we are observing different datapoints or different messages or have a different way of assessing things. This poster continually attributes negativity to the experiences those of us who are viewing the movement differently.  I am listening to their point of view.  That's how I can actually ascertain that their viewpoint at the "official level" and by that I mean those who ran for election and won elections don't seem to actually hold different policy prescriptions.  As I said . . . and I mean this sincerely, I'm actually becoming physically ill and getting vertigo from this cognitive dissonance.  How was it an anti-incumbent movement that re-elected Michelle Bachmann?   What I am visually personally seeing from the names we see in the press to the people who are running to what they seem to be fighting for . . . they are all the same issues, policies and methods as the Republicans. I'm not saying that to be malicious.  I'm saying that because I don't know how Michelle Bachmann and Tom Emmer are pulling this outsider status thing off when they are inside-insiders.   I'm doing the opposite of dismissing the tea party.  I'm taking it seriously.  I'm trying to determine the policies and the impact on our local community.  And this narrative--the storyline--doesn't at all mesh with how I'm seeing it play out in the community.

The proof ultimately will be in the pudding.  Just like the proof is in the pudding with this poster who purports to want to discuss the real problems facing us but then bashes anyone who might disagree by calling us close-minded and malicious.  



From: Ronald Leurquin Date: November 11, 2010 12:26 PM

Let's see if I have this right.

Old fashioned Republicans should call themselves Libertarians, they just want less taxes and less government.

New breed of Republicans have social issue concerns and not as concerned with lower taxes and less government.

Tea Party members tend to be like the old fashioned Republicans and want lower taxes and less government.

If that’s all true then why does the Tea party seem attached at the hip to the Republican Party and not the Libertarian Party?

Yes, I read your part about the Tea party being co-opted by the Republicans in voice only but not actions. While that may be true, I find it hard to believe that the Tea party members are that blind that they would not see that.

While my opinion of Tea Party members is not good, I know it's not accurate over the whole spectrum of its members. I'm still looking for a few that can actually converse.  Apparently none of those type are on here or believe me when I say I would like to chat over coffee some time.

Now for a different question. What 'social issues' do the new breed of Republican have?

All I see is the same old same old with regards to no abortion, no gay marriage, and expecting me to abide by one of their assorted 'Christian' based moralities (all Christians do not agree on all moral issues BTW).

Are there some 'social issues' the newer Republicans care about that I am unaware of?  Stuff like poverty, drug/alcohol addictions, inequality, heath care, less war, etc.?

I don’t see many/any of the Republicans (new or old kind) that seem to be other than anti anything lately.

Michelle seems more interested in getting attention than doing anything.  Emmer had no substance to his platform to entice me with. Norm Coleman didn’t seem to have much substance either, but he's not running for anything right now.  Tim Paulenty seems like one of the old fashioned Republicans you talk about, but then he has some 'social issue' ideas too of banning abortions and gay marriages.

I get confused on the 'conservative' side of the spectrum.  At least on the 'liberal' side of the fence they are never in lockstep with much so being compared to herding cats makes some sense.

Ok, enough of my babbling, thank you to those that read this far.

From: Jimmy Mason Date: November 11, 2010 7:30 PM

Let's clarify Marnita (I'll only use your first name once so as not to be completely condescending): No one's arguing that the Tea Party candidates didn't win as R's, they did.

That said I believe they (The TP) are "seperate" as they ran against & beat GOP backed candidates. If they were party line Republicans they would have allowed the GOP endorsed candidates to run, but they did not. These candidates, by & large are not silver-spoon, career politicians, but regular citizens. That's certainly a change! I think this is about using the R- label as a tool to level the playing field, or perhaps a coup to take back the GOP from the crazies. The way the rules are set up, the D's can barely beat the R's & they have the same think tanks, same corporate sponsors, same cash flow as the R's, so how are the new TP's supposed to battle either, much less both parties at the same time? It's so much easier to fundraise, get on ballots, be invited to big media debates, etc. with a major party endorsement. Ron Paul, who runs as a R- explains his affiliation to the GOP by generally saying (paraphrasing!) "I've tried running as a Libertarian or Independent & I can't get elected to do good without an R- or a D- in front of my name on the ballot". Dr. Paul has voted "no" to more NeoCon nonsense than the entire Democratic Congress combined & he's a Republican so who's the bad guy? The "Republican" who votes against NeoCon policy or the Democrat who votes for it?

To reiterate though, I'm not sold on the Tea Party movement. I suspected from the start it'd be co-opted. Maybe it has been?  Again though, with the far left planting seeds in the rally's to make the movement seem racist, extremist, etc. & the fervor/hatred of the left towards the Tea Party make their opinion on the subject highly suspect.

If they are indeed Republicans (Read: NeoCons) then how is that worse than the current Democratic party? Will they push us into undeclared wars? Will they screw up our economy? Grease the palms of their corporate buddies? Will they erode my civil liberties? Will they push our country towards "globalism"? I just don't see how the NeoLibs are any different than the NeoCons, so I see it as a "no lose" situation. The proof is in the pudding & we'll see how they vote.   

You're every bit as condescending, presumptuous & inflammatory in your posts as anyone else is. If you can't take it, don't dish it out, but save us the victim routine. 15% of the Tea Party are Libertarians, but they only joined because they're racists? wtf!!?? Did you really say that? You're the milktoast Centrist? You don't see why those types of statements make you sound "extreme left"?

Then here's this dandy.....

" So how many of you regularly engage across race, class, culture and other means of self-identity?  Do think in the state of Minnesota that the Tea Party has a positive or negative impact on communicating across lines of difference?  Do you believe it is good or bad for politics to compromise and to build solutions that may not be perfect but more people will support?  I think the Tea Party is angry and turning all their anger toward those with whom they should be allies.. while they are aligning and supporting those who have caused the damage. Ithink we will really eventually see that this is not a good thing for MN."

Here you insinuate that those who believe different from you don't cross racial/cultural/class boundaries enough. Well you're absolutely right! There is one group I rarely get to rub shoulders with & that's the "Limousine Liberal"s living in 3/4 Million dollar houses in the mecca of culturally diversity... Lake-of-the-Isles Parkway. Jeez I wish I could find one of those to lecture me about social equity. Face palm!

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