Friday, August 13, 2010

Tea > Money

There is a meme circulating currently that the Tea Party* is experiencing a cash shortage. Never have more irrelevant words ever been spoken.

Consider the beat down that the ObamaCare individual mandate received by the Missouri voters last week:

Block Captains, a program instituted by the St. Louis Tea Party and utilized by the plethora of similar organizations scattered around the state, enabled the relatively low-budget Prop C campaign to magnify its message tenfold. Many pundits have commented on the lack of money collected by the many tea parties scattered across the country, but that never fazed the spartan St. Louis organization. The Block Captain program trained everyday citizens to become their own grassroots political organizations. Individuals trained under the program were not directed by the St. Louis Tea Party leadership, but were encouraged to work on whatever politician’s campaign they deemed most important. They formed groups of about ten people each, and trained new individuals to form even more groups.

Point of the linked article is that passion, energy and just as importantly, savvy use of new social media was the reason that Prop. C passed by the 71 to 29 margin that it did.

Despite the media narrative to the contrary, Prop. C opponents outspent the proposition's backers by a 4 to 1 margin.

Exit question: Is the tea party movement better suited to local and state-wide ballot initiatives/referendums or individual local/state/national candidates?

Consider our long-standing view of the tea party: a highly de-centralized organization of individuals that come together as cause or candidate compel. Also: a cudgel to beat about the thick skull of the Republican Party.

* Even a conservative outlet pushing this story assumes the Tea Party as some sort of quasi-third party nation-wide organization.

1 comment:

B-Daddy said...

Spot on Dean.
My vote is that we can be more effective with the state wide ballot initiatives. The next area is the primary election cycle. We are least effective in the general, when faced with two nondescript "ruling class" style politicians as in the current CA gubernatorial.