The Bamboozling of the Tea Partiers

04/19/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Larry Hirsch Team Leader, Essex County Organizing for Action

In reading yesterday's New York Times profile of the Tea Party movement, a couple of things came to mind. Aside from disagreeing with just about all of their positions, it is increasingly clear that this "grassroots" movement is being manipulated by corporate interests.

Many of the Tea Partiers joined the movement after feeling the effects of this recession. They blame all of the economic problems on the government but don't seem to have any hate for the big banks that got us into this mess. The facts are that it was the lack of government intervention that allowed the banks to mortgage the future of ordinary Americans with risky financial bets.

The truth this is hardly a grassroots movement at all. The founding organization for the Tea Party movement is FreedomWorks an organization founded by disgraced former House Republican Leader Dick Armey, who is making a good living serving corporate special interests. He and his colleagues have stoked the anti-governent flames and have bamboozled the Tea Party activists into taking up the mantle. Those that have bought their lines and taken up the fight on their own are doing little but serving the interests of Armey and his friends. The callous disregard for the truth that government saved the country from going under and that if there is no health care reform, private insurers will continue to make windfall profits has been fed to them by these business advocates. The big money side of the Tea Party movement was shown at their convention which cost $500 to attend and paid Sarah Palin 100 Grand. What kind of concern does this show for the common person hurt by the recession?

The special interest manipulation of the Tea Party movement must be called out for what it is. Democrats and Republicans both cannot benefit from an agenda that could result in more organized militias throughout our country.