two weeks ago, i asked:
it's fascinating to see how differently the OWS people are being covered from the tea party. plenty of people have criticized OWS for not having a clear agenda, but are other demonstrations held to that standard?from "What's the Tea Party all about?", McClatchy 9/14/2010:
Q: What's their [the tea party's] platform?(via RS (aka the guy who used to run the phillybits blog) on FB)
A: There's no universal platform. Common themes among tea party groups are deficit reduction, opposition to spending "earmarks," reducing the size of government, eliminating mandates and repealing Obama's health care expansion. In recent months, there have been some efforts to rally tea party activists against global warming policy. Social policy has not been central to the tea party movement, although there have been some efforts, including Fox commentator Glenn Beck's recent rally in Washington, to connect religion to the tea party movement.
Q: Who started the tea party movement and when?
A: There's no one founder. The movement came together in January and February of 2009, as President Obama took office. Rick Santelli of CBNC on Feb. 19 delivered a commentary from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange that went viral on the Internet, in which he ranted against federal mortgage refinancing, said the federal government was rewarding irresponsible consumers, compared the U.S. to Cuba, and proposed a "Chicago Tea Party" to dump derivative securities in Lake Michigan.
Conservative talk radio hosts already were condemning the proposed federal stimulus, tagged at $787 billion when it passed. A stock trader in January had posted a message on the Web urging that tea bags be mailed to lawmakers in protest of federal bailouts. And a Seattle-based blogger in February 2009 organized an anti-stimulus protest.
The tea party moniker took off after what became known as the Santelli rant. The movement swelled as April 15, 2009, "tax day" protests were organized, and activists campaigned against Obama's health care overhaul before turning attention to the 2010 elections.
Q: Who's in charge, and where does the movement get its money?
A: There's no one leader. Umbrella groups such as the Tea Party Patriots, and social networking sites including Teabook.org, link activists who are members of hyper-local tea party organizations. It also has become a cottage industry for campaign consultants, T-shirt makers and convention organizers. Sal Russo, a California-based Republican political strategist behind the Tea Party Express, says there are roughly 4,000 tea party groups in the United States and hundreds being formed in other countries.
Some pre-existing advocacy groups that push fiscal conservatism or pro-business agendas, such as FreedomWorks, led by former GOP House Majority Leader Dick Armey, have been active in organizing tea party members. Financing for the movement comes from a variety of private sources, from grassroots small-dollar donations to backing from wealthy business leaders including the billionaire Koch oil family.