State of The Teaparty
By now most political groupies, myself included, have either viewed or read the transcript of the State of the Union Address (SOTU). Pundits and politicians have weighed in on this speech. Paul Ryan was tapped by the GOP to present the rebuttal to Obama’s SOTU address and Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann gave what is widely regarded as the Tea Party response to the SOTU.
Speaking on behalf of Tea Party Express and Teaparty HD, two national Teaparty organizations; Bachmann puts forth a rather commonsense response. I was happy to note her admittance of non competition with the ‘official’ GOP rebuttal delivered by Rep. Paul Ryan. She is simply putting more thoughts into the swirling mix of post SOTU address opinions.
Some have expressed the idea that the Tea Party Express does not speak for them. It is a legitimate opinion. The strength of the teaparty is not in what you exclude, but in what you create. Disagree with Tea Party Express? No problem, you are free to organize your own Tea Party group.
As interesting as I find this particular SOTU response, I find myself far more focused on the day to day activities of local tea party organizations. The heavy lifting of the tea party movement is occurring locally, not nationally. If you want to gage the state of the Teaparty, simply look in your own backyard. Months past the November election, these groups are still carrying political, on-the-ground momentum. A fellow by the name of Jim Brody publishes an email digest of Tea Party activities in Philly and in the surrounding suburbs, his ‘Dead Cats and Clippings’ website is a long read but well worth the time.
Quietly, methodically, and patiently these groups are making inroads in their local political landscape. I’m sure this is not unique to southeast Pennsylvania and is occurring across every county in every state. Everyday Americans are busy organizing GOTV events, voter registration events, running for office, manning phone banks, volunteering on election day, learning or relearning the Constitution, organizing rallies, writing letters to the editor or to their representatives. These people are the real leaders of the TeaParty, not national figures who make speeches.