That is, the real modern Tea Party founded 10 years ago today by supporters of Ron Paul’s first presidential run who shattered Internet fundraising records for Ron that special night with a donation haul (“money bomb”) of over $6 million.
The conservative and GOP reaction to these early Tea Partiers was that since they didn’t worship the ground George W. Bush walked on and were calling for revolution against Bush’s wars and the Fed, they were domestic terrorists. Here is Glenn Beck’s rant in that regard (video won’t embed for some reason).
Then came the conservative and GOP hijacking. On February 19, 2009, Rick Santelli uttered his famous rant on CNBC that, according to Conservatism Inc., was the real founding event of the modern Tea Party.
(Shrieking “Socialism!” just one month into the Obama adminstration? Where was this guy for the eight consecutive years of Bush socialism before that?)
The Tea Party then became pro-war and no longer interested in ending the Fed.
A Forbes writer (quoting Crooks and Liars) gets some of it right:
What we discovered is that Santelli’s “rant” was not at all spontaneous as his alleged fans claim, but rather it was a carefully planned trigger…In PR terms, his February 19th call for a “Chicago Tea Party” was the launch event of a carefully organized and sophisticated PR campaign, one in which Santelli served as a front man, using the CNBC airwaves for publicity, for the [sic] some of the craziest and sleaziest rightwing oligarch clans this country has ever produced. Namely, the Koch family, the multibillionaire owners of the largest private corporation in America, and funders of scores of rightwing think tanks and advocacy groups, from the Cato Institute and Reason Magazine to FreedomWorks.
To paraphrase a 1970s advertising slogan for Coca-Cola, “Koch Adds Death.” Thus the fate of the Tea Party since its hijacking. Happy 10th anniversary…and RIP.10:11 pm on December 16, 2017 Email Dale Steinreich