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An Interactive History of the Tea Party's Many Co-Conveners

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Originally published on ColorLines.

John McCain. Newt Gingrich. CNBC. Fox News. Even poor old Michael Steele. It's taken a whole lotta leaders to keep this party going. Click your way down memory lane.

Ironically, it all started with a quintessentially black oratorical device: the call and response. John McCain asked his campaign rally if they knew who Barack Obama was. Somebody shouted back, "A terrorist!" And so it began: About thirteen months of madness in a public square dominated by the Tea Party's wild, demonstrably false but still lasting claims about both the president and his agenda. But they didn't do it on their own. Conservative think tanks and lobby groups, corporate media outlets and the Republican Party have all kept the party jumping--and profited from it.

We've put together an interactive timeline of that dismal history. Watch the videos, follow the links, then forward along.