Tea for Two




by Karen Topakian

Today is opening day at the first Tea Party Convention in Nashville, TN. We all know that Sarah Palin will be the keynote speaker. But she’s not the only one commanding an audience. The line up also includes Judge Roy Moore and former member of Congress Tom Tancredo.

To refresh your memory, here’s a brief bio on these two gentlemen.

According to the Foundation for Moral Law’s website where he serves as the President, Honorable Roy Moore “…served until his election as chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court in 2000. In 2003, Chief Justice Moore was removed from his position for standing up for the inalienable right to acknowledge God.”

CNN reports that Alabama’s judicial ethics panel removed him from office for defying a federal judge’s order to move a Ten Commandments monument from the state Supreme Court building.  And not just any monument. But 2.6 tons of granite that was delivered at 9 p.m. He wasn’t sneaking it in after hours. The truck delivering it had broken down, says the Foundation for Moral Law’s website.

Judge Moore is running this year for Governor of Alabama.

Tom Tancredo, representing Colorado’s 6th Congressional District from 1999 until 2009, staked his political future on opposing mass immigration.  “Focusing on the ills of the illegal alien invasion,” so says his website Tancredo.org. He is the grandson of Italian immigrants.

He voted against the renewal of the Voting Rights Act. But is in favor of legalizing marijuana.

He currently serves as honorary chairman of Youth for Western Civilization.

Protesting the protestors

by Karen Topakian


The Tea Party folks. The ones whose core values include, Fiscal Responsibility, Constitutionally Limited Government and Free Markets. The folks who protest health care reform and oppose government bailouts of the auto and banking industries. Will be protesting in February…at their own convention.

That’s right. And for the same reasons.

The ticket price for the two-day convention at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center in Nashville costs $550. But hey, it includes a steak and lobster dinner and a chance to hear keynote speaker Sarah Palin (who will be well compensated for her appearance to the tune of $100,000 which she said she will donate to campaigns, candidates and issues).

Apparently not everyone thinks it’s worth it. Though it is sold out.

Local tea party leaders from Tennessee will be attending a counter-convention elsewhere in Nashville this Saturday. Some activists are discussing protesting at the February convention itself.

A for-profit corporation, Tea Party Nation, is running the event with the initial expectation that it would be a moneymaker for conservative 527 groups. Instead, the whole event could end up costing Judson Phillips, the Tennessee lawyer who controls Tea Party Nation.

Some sponsors have withdrawn their support because of infighting and unusual finances.

How heartwarming to know that the right wing isn’t nearly as well organized and savvy as we might have thought. And that infighting can occur on both sides of the aisle.