New York 23: When a Nation Calls

The Tea Party movement has been quiet since the September 12 massive rallies in Washington, Quincy, Dallas, and elsewhere. Paul Krugman was so bold as to write on October 26, “the tea baggers have come and gone.” On the same day, CBS News blogger Charles Cooper asked rhetorically, “Did the Tea Partiers Party Too Soon?” The message from the White House talking points memo was clear: that annoying fit of folksy patriotic crap is over, and we in the political class can get back to the business of tyranny.

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Shifting Forms

While the Washington literati sipped Fair Trade coffee, the Tea Partiers shifted form, as they have many times before. In February, it was the angry mob telling government, “no more bailouts.” Government continued bailing out its favored corporate lackeys, and the angry mob morphed into a massive movement with 1.2 million people protesting government growth on Tax Day.

With quiet parties on July 4, the Tea Party’s Divisions split into Companies or Platoons and deployed into Congressional Town Halls. Beginning with Missouri Congressman Russ Carnahan’s embarrassingly funny gaff-fest on July 21, the Tea Party folks weathered the SEIU thugs’ fists, the White House’s violent rhetoric, and Nancy Pelosi’s base taunts. With Gadsen flags and chattering teeth, they stormed Congressional Offices in August and delayed the Washington healthcare takeover by at least 3 months. But the morphing continued.

On September 1, Tea Party Nation struck back against a hard left boycott of Whole Foods Market. Instead of signs, megaphones, and chants, this protest was a “buy-cott.” In dozens of cities, Tea Partiers lined up to shop at Whole Foods, confounding the left, overwhelming the boycott, and gaining press from the like of Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show.” The left was flustered.

Ready to Rumble

While Krugman and CBS continue to look for the Tea Party marching over the hill, the partiers have hunkered down for the indoor season. With the fury of Feburary 27, the numbers of Tax Days, and the passion of 9/12, this conservative grassroots army is focused on upstate New York and the race between a Conservative Party candidate, Doug Hoffman and his two left-wing rivals.

This battle pits the people of the Tea Party against both major parties in a fight for the nation’s future. The Republicans have pulled out all the stops for far-left candidate Dede Scozzafava who was selected by 11 GOPers in a pizza parlor to fill Republican John McHugh’s unexpired term. (McHugh accepted the President’s offer to serve as Secretary of the Army.) Newt Gingrich has thrown in with Scozzafava, along with the RNC and the National Republican Congressional Committee.

But the Tea Partiers are not alone this time. Sarah Palin, Fred Thompson, Rick Santorum, Dick Armey, Tim Pawlenty, Rick Perry and a host of nationally prominent Republicans have endorsed Hoffman. A growing wave of Republican office holders are jumping on the Hoffman bandwagon. Others, like Russ Carnahan’s likely Republican opponent, Ed Martin Jr., have directly challenged their own party leaders for their lapse in judgement in selecting a candidate who’s won the support of Planned Parenthood, the NEA, Daily Kos, and ACORN.

Tea Party Unity

Before the polls open in upper New York on Tuesday morning, thousands of Tea Partiers from states as far away as California will have had an impact on what might otherwise have been an unnoticed special election. Local Tea Party Organizers across the country are overwhelmed by their people’s desire to help. Hoffman’s offices are overwhelmed with volunteers who are just showing up. (Anyone wishing to help from their own home can go here.)

On Tuesday evening, another rogue candidate for Congress, this one from Colorado, spoke to a 9-12 Project leader whose working tireless on the ground in his home district in New York.

“Can you get someone to the airport to pick me up?” asked the man from Colorado.

“I guess. Why?”

“I’m coming in to do whatever you need.”

100,000 Calls

That one Colorado man epitomizes the thousands of Tea Party and 9-12 Project activists who have demanded action to support Doug Hoffman and other “rogue” candidates. They demand that more qualified, strong candidates emerge from the movement, and fewer “getalong” RINOs from the Republican Party.

Those patriots will soon conduct perhaps the strongest get-out-the-vote campaign ever targeted on a single Congressional election. Imagine a thousand people from a dozen states calling “friends” in a single Congressional district a continent away to say, “we love our country; we know you do too; please vote for Doug Hoffman for us; we’ll return the favor for you as soon as we possibly can.”

It’s as if God has given Tea Partiers the lever that controls the course of the sun. If they all pull together, they make it Morning in America.



From the ice and snow of the first gatherings last February, to the tidal wave of electoral assistance this week, that “whatever you need” attitude identifies this movement and its members. And that “whatever it takes” attitude is why Krugman and the White House are so eager for the Tea Party to just come and go.


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