Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Not quite the battle of Bunker Hill

IT'S BEEN A disquieting day for the Tea Partiers seduced by the Nashville Sound. Just when they were walking on the waters of Boston Harbor, they started to hear troubling words from their off-year Tennessee Waltz to Nashville next week. The first national convention sponsored by the Tea Party Nation has developed growing pains. Some of the life support groups have pulled out with angry words that the TPN sponsor has found a convenient money-making scheme to capture the mood of its constituents. Well, that's understandable, considering that the very same folks who have been complaining of thievery in high places like Capitol Hill are being charged $549 to attend the convention, hotels and travel expenses excluded. For that price you'd think the planners would have at least included a choice seat at Grand Ole Opry.

There have even been questions raised about the big fee that will be paid to Sarah Palin as the keynote speaker. It's been reported to range between $100,000 and $125,000 and if TPN won't confirm it, we think we know why. So times have changed a tiny bit. It wasn't too long
ago that anybody doubting Palin's worth to the movement would have been branded as socialist trash.

Describing the event as a non-profit initiative, TPN founder Sherry Phillips insisted that she is working with a tight budget. Even so, it could a rousing pep rally. That would be especially true if they invited to the podium Richard Behney, the Republican Tea Partier who is running for the U.S. Senate in Indiana. Behney has been telling his audiences that he is praying for new faces in Washington. And if they don't get them? "I'm cleaning my guns and getting ready for the big show," he says. "And I'm serious about that, and I bet you are, too. But I know none of us want to go that far yet. And we can do it with our votes."

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