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American Women, not Koch Brothers, birthed the Tea Party Movement

American Women, not Koch Brothers, birthed the Tea Party Movement

When Professor Jacobson reported that cancer funding research had been used to smear the Tea Party, calling it a tool of a big tobacco and the Koch brothers based on plans hatched over a decade ago, I had one thought:

Anti-Tea Party advocates suffer from the single biggest case of projection in the history of humanity.

This week marks the fourth anniversary of the start of my citizen activism, and it is a good time to review what got me, as well as thousands of other Americans, involved in grassroots efforts at that time.

Most of the original “Tea Party” organizers joined the developing national-scale protest in 2009 because we were deeply concerned about our children’s futures. Between the enormous expenditures of the Toxic Asset Relief Program and the “Stimulus Package”, many of us were reeling over the fact our taxpayer concerns were being ignored, and the result would be making our children indentured servants of the state to pay off the enormous debt.

The Koch brothers did not enter into this calculation at all.

Dawn Wildman, the President of the SoCal Tax Revolt Coalition and my fellow co-founder, responded to this assertion by the National Cancer Institute:

“I volunteered to hold the first Tea Party in San Diego, because I knew there had to be other people who were like me, frustrated with the spending we saw our Republican legislators advocating. I don’t know the Koch Brothers and I have never had anyone from their organizations even offer me money or advice on advocating for the American citizen. Now, other national groups cannot say the same. But the local organizers are all self funded, and we only take advice from each other — not some Beltway insiders, Big Tobacco, or the Koch Brothers.”

Women, with an eye to the future and a hand on the checkbook, were the dominant force in the start of the efforts, and make up a majority of the local group coordinators and the membership. It was women, and not the Koch Brothers, who gave birth to the Tea Party movement.

Keli (”Liberty Belle”) Carender became one of the founding mothers of the Tea Party Movement when she organized the Seattle protest against the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, a.k.a. Porkulus. In a letter sent to Michelle Malkin she reminds us of what the first “tea party” was about back in 1773 and how Americans are suffering similar oppression under present day tyrants.

Interestingly, Team Obama’s track record with women is less than stellar. It is well known that the pay for women on staff is substantially less than for men, and a female debate coach complained of a “hostile work environment” at the White House. Now, there is a petition drive calling Obama on the carpet for using women as rhetorical tools, instead of referring them as sentient voters: Stop using the “wives, mothers, & daughters” rhetorical frame that defines women by their relationships to other people. (hat-tip, Tammy Bruce)

Defining women by their relationships to other people is reductive, misogynist, and alienating to women who do not define ourselves exclusively by our relationships to others. Further, by referring to “our” wives et al, the President appears to be talking to The Men of America about Their Women, rather than talking to men AND women.

Please embrace inclusive language, Mr. President.

Today, many of the women of the Tea Party have moved on from rallies into school boards and elective office. And, as this video from Sarah Palin reminds us, we are directed by our interest in our children, not the Koch brothers. It was true in 2009, and it is true now.


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TrooperJohnSmith | February 16, 2013 at 1:41 pm

Oh, but don’t you see? The Left Worldview does not include anything as ‘true’ that does not pass through its ideological glasses, also known sleep masks.

Insufficiently Sensitive | February 16, 2013 at 1:47 pm

I have a set of photos of the first Tea Party rally (Feb 16, 2009) in Seattle, and it’s still encouraging to see the faces of the women prominent in it. Including an African-American speaker who’d been a member of the Georgia legislature, and whom the Seattle Times was careful to exclude from its coverage… oops, the Times in its exalted concern for the doings of citizens and praise of Obama didn’t cover the rally at all.

A youngster named Trevor Leach (Young Americans for Liberty) held a so-named Tea Party protest a month earlier against government overreach and need for fiscal sanity in NY state.

Then there is Ryan Hecker’s Contract From America, an essential blueprint for the Tea Party agenda, put out at the same general time.

Ron Pauloids were holding Tea Party protests as early as late 2007, against the IRS primarily.

Then there’s the famous Ron Santelli on-air battle cry, of course.

Carender’s Seattle protest of Porkulus, though certainly laudable, did not even use the term ‘Tea Party’, as I recall.

It is good to knock down the idiot notion that the Koch Brothers and other nefarious Evil Corporationites set up the Tea Party, but it does a disservice to ignore male contributions to the ‘birthing’ of the Tea Party and award credit for its birth to women. It simply isn’t true.

Why is it necessary to break down the birth of the Tea Party by *gender*, of all traits? Are you a Democrat, committed to identity politics?

    Insufficiently Sensitive in reply to Henry Hawkins. | February 16, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    Carender’s Seattle protest of Porkulus, though certainly laudable, did not even use the term ‘Tea Party’, as I recall.

    I belive it did, and I was there too. More than one of my photos show placards saying Taxed Enough Already, a specific reference to Santelli’s tea party.

Rick Santelli’s CNBC rant got national attention to get things rolling, afaik … he was tired of bailing out his neighbor that bought too big of a house, or the bankers that took risk and lost, but pulled out their “too big to fail, get out of jail free” card. After that several local groups formed, but I’m just “Tea Party” all by my lonesome, only joining discussions, not groups.

I hope the Koch brothers give a lot to promote the amorphous tea party concept, but the movement itself is the closest to real grass roots we have seen in decades. The sixties was maybe GRASSroots, but motivated more by sex, drugs, and rock and roll than concern for our country’s free future.

The left knows to throw these smears because they have Soros, Buffet, GE and big Labor pushing people around in dozens of entities funded from the top down. They are merely trying to obviate all the objections to their own orchestrated attack on the majority.

I am Tea Party … hear me roar! 🙂

Did Little Orphan Coffee Party ever find his birth parents?

Most of the original “Tea Party” organizers joined the developing national-scale protest in 2009 because we were deeply concerned about our children’s futures.

Yes. This is why the left went ballistic. They own and define women, a protected class in need of birth control and abortion. If they lost control of that narrative, they could lose the upper hand. Imagine if a huge percentage of women woke up and exited from the liberal plantation! The media’s apoplexy broke forth as PDS, Palin derangement syndrome, overtaking the networks, and even Karl Rove. Have you ever seen the media vilify a woman so terribly?

The Tea Party movement is good for our country. I hope it grows even stronger.

The Tea Party movement was ‘birthed’ in 1773. In Boston, I believe.

Since posting above, I had the minutes of my local Tea Party group checked. Our first organizational meeting was held February 21, 2009, in a kitchen in Pinetops, NC. Those present were eight women, seven men.

I’d bet that if we surveyed every Tea Party group across the nation we’d learn that the original members were split roughly 50/50 by gender.

It just struck me as odd to identify the founders of the movement by gender of all things. Why not say that Californians birthed the Tea Party? Or that white people birthed the Tea Party?

As is oft-stated, perhaps not often enough, the Tea Party basic idea set of limited government, constitutional fidelity, and low taxes has existed since 1773. The current Tea Party movement was sparked by the Bush bailouts, flames fanned by Porkulus, and the bonfire established by Obamacare.

I do not see the value of determining the *gender* of the original organizers. It was an equal number of men and women all across the country.

    It was an equal number of men and women all across the country.

    No, Henry. That’s flat out not true.

    The first tea party rallies were organized by stay at home moms–overwhelmingly.

    How fast memory fades….

    There were thousands of rallies held all over the country in small towns (like mine) that nobody ever heard of, and no attention was paid.

    ZooMaster in reply to Henry Hawkins. | February 16, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    Seen from a certain perspective, it may not be important to keep an accounting of things like sex, race, ancestry and whatnot. There is, however, something to be said for recognition of peoples’ contributions and maybe it does not matter whether that recognition comes in specific or general terms. Maybe it does. Let us give credit, and, later, thanks where credit and thanks are due.

    So much of American history has been lost to the sanitization of history by “historians” in the name of “point of view” or “perspective” or some such. How many know that one of the first recipients of the Medal of Honor was a woman, Dr. Mary Edwards Walker, a Union Army surgeon, for her work in the Civil War. Somehow, it matters that this be known. It is part of our history. Let it be known. To allow less is to sanction the failures of others, is it not?

the President appears to be talking to The Men of America about Their Women, rather than talking to men AND women.

Please embrace inclusive language, Mr. President.”

Well, we tea party men get no respect either, he acts like we are just the drones of the Koch brothers, whoever they are. Obama talks about EVERYONE as if they are all his political tools, to be stacked and arranged like bricks in his great wall of transformation.

Perhaps Obama’s detached childhood was stained by his communist mentor/father, and then deranged by his black liberation theology mentor, Rev. Wright.

Barry Soetoro may change his words, but his Marxist vision subverts ALL to subjects to the state. Free thinkers are out of his control and threaten him, so must be dehumanized.

(my nickel psych analysis for today 🙂 )

I continue to be astounded by the left. Almost all of those denigrating the TEA Party, and particularly calling them “teabaggers”, have no idea what the TEA Party stands for. If you tell them it is small government, low taxes, the shriek into some horror they think is indicative of the TEA Party.

I am certain there are some on the left who understand exactly what the TEA Party is and are afraid of it. So, they try to squash it with these misrepresentations. It is the same style of misrepresentation they use for Fox News.

I believe that unless the Republicans embrace the TEA Party, the TEA Party will morph into a viable third party. As it stands now, the Republican Party seems to be pretty much a “Democrats Lite” party and that cannot continue.

    Insufficiently Sensitive in reply to RickCaird. | February 16, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    Almost all of those denigrating the TEA Party, and particularly calling them “teabaggers”, have no idea what the TEA Party stands for.

    That’s largely due to the MSM, which not only refuses to cover tea party activities, other than a very occasional cynical snippet, but eagerly prints every vicious quote against the tea party from all its self-appointed enemies as if it were news.

    Thus is American public opinion formed.

The Left simply cannot conceive of a truly grass-roots conservative movement – indeed, one wonders if it can conceive of any real grass-roots movement at all.

Consider leftists without Soros, the national “news” media, and Hollywood defining and leading them: they would be nothing. Nothing at all.

1. Today, many of the women of the Tea Party have moved on from rallies into school boards and elective office.

That’s great. Hopefully they will continue moving on to reaching out to young voters and to non-white and single women.

2. I have two reactions to your Palin video:

a. An awful lot of palefaces therein. That demographic is fully entitled to representation, but it’s a (slowly) declining fraction of the electorate.

b. Palin is currently unpopular in her home state:

To put into perspective just how poorly thought of Palin is in Alaska now, consider this: Congress has an 8% favorability rating in the state. But asked whether they have a higher opinion of Congress or Palin, Alaskans pick Congress by a 50/34 margin.

That said, I continue to think it was idiotic of the Romney campaign not to enlist Palin (unless her asking price was too high).

    sablegsd in reply to gs. | February 16, 2013 at 8:08 pm

    You can’t force people to join an organization. Have you seen the picture of barry’s chitcago campaign team?

    9thDistrictNeighbor in reply to gs. | February 16, 2013 at 8:28 pm

    Well, Sarah Palin tweeted a link to this story so trash her all you like, but the Professor may have to upgrade again.

    Tip jar time!

    KarenH in reply to gs. | February 16, 2013 at 9:09 pm

    Would that be the same Democratic polling firm, PPP, that recently released a poll that stated Hillary Clinton could win Texas in 2016?

    MyMom in reply to gs. | February 17, 2013 at 3:36 am

    Gov. Palin polled consistently in the 80’s and 90’s when she was governor — the highest by far among all govenors in the country. Then the Left realized they needed some attack points for low-info bloggers to use, so they get Leftist poll outfits like PPP to produce results that they can use, such as the one that gs cited. In truth, if Palin runs for any office in Alaska, she wins.

    Jime in reply to gs. | February 17, 2013 at 3:59 am

    “b. Palin is currently unpopular in her home state”

    Soon after Palin entered the national political scene as Arizona Sen. John McCain’s GOP running mate, she was attacked as a diva, a clothes hog, an irresponsible mother and a political mercenary. They dismissed what she achieved as mayor of her hometown, commissioner of the state’s oil and pipeline board and governor of America’s largest state.

    Sarah Palin’s enemies decided that nothing was too personal to attack-including her marriage, her children, her faith, and her wardrobe.

    The media distorted Palin’s positions and beliefs beyond recognition. And almost every word out of her mouth was spun as a “flub”.

    The media hounded her, and her family, on a daily basis, flat out making crap up (like that she, personally, shot wolves from the air). They claimed her baby was not her own; used despicable language to attack her, and her family; sent numerous reporters to Wasilla to dig up dirt on her ; AP reporters “factchecked” her book; accused her of being an accomplice to murder, her email hacked by the son of a Democrat congressman, political operatives filing endless bogus ethic charges designed to bankrupt a working family with a special need toddler and much more.

    Obsessive news hounds scrounged through pages and pages of Palin Emails, looking for damning information that could wipe the outspoken conservative from America’s political scene.

    What they found was the inner workings of an efficient, informed and very involved governor that mounted an unprecedented 80 plus approval rating while in office. Those emails revealed a hard-working, committed public servant. Even the mainstream media has been forced to concede that Palin was a conscientious, transparent, and effective public servant……..not exactly what the death squads of WaPo, the NYT, and other mainstream outlets had in mind.

    This shockingly laughable scenario is in sharp contrast to the manner in which the media handled Barack Obama, whom it woefully failed to properly investigate in 2007-08.

    The media , Hollywood and the REP establishment have done everything they can to vilify Sarah Palin and her family but despite a massive effort to destroy her, she is still on her feet and making a difference in the political world.

    By the way, if Obama received half of the bad press that Sarah Palin does, his favorables would be in the low 30’s.

Hear! Hear! I agree wholeheartedly that women are the genesis of the Tea Party movement.

Women work with the daily budget. They know what is left after taxes. They also work with the school system. They see what their kids are learning to value.

Women know who is a leader and who isn’t. Obama isn’t a leader. He is a demigod. Media reinforced narcissism makes his case. Michelle doesn’t talk to him as she should because she most likely desires the perks.

As a collectivist Obama will define everyone as the same. We are each just another golf ball to him.

And certainly Obama cannot define us women. Who can? Super-educated Obama can’t even define a budget or a coherent ecomnic plan for growth.

But, maybe Obama doesn’t desire growth. Maybe he desires the submission of America to the will of the collective as defined by George Soros.

This article is partly right, but it gets the YEAR wrong.

The tea party was birthed on Dec 16, 2007 when a bunch of us tossed boxes of tea with issues written on them into the harbors all over the USA. We also held a rally at Fanueil Hall in Boston. We tea partied every weekend after that, including marching on DC in July of 2008.

The GOP NEOCON tea party came along in 2009.. but we don’t recognize them as anything other than an arm of the GOP. The legit tea party is libertarian inspired by its godfather Ron Paul.

See the news clips of that day here:

And the idea that it has EVER been funded is ludicrous.

    Hijacked by NEOCONS. Heh. You Paulistas are a joy. It’s not libertarianism that got the 2009/2010 movement to be effective, but the mainstream expansion that Leslie is talking about. NEOCONS? Right.

    Libertarianism is morally bankrupt, which puts it on par with the current ruling socialists. To its credit, it would provide a nice economic environment, until it devolved into Hong Kong.

[…] Dear Readers:  I had to share some thrilling news.  Earlier today, I responded to a nasty smear about the Tea Party being a Koch brother creation in Legal Insurrection:  American Women, not Koch Brothers, birthed the Tea Party Movement […]

[…] Leslie Eastman is my colleague in blogging at William Jacobson’s College Insurrection website. Leslie also writes for Legal Insurrection and she penned this post today. […]

Noblesse Oblige | February 16, 2013 at 9:45 pm

It is amazing how the whacko left can invent stories out of whole cloth that only their Pavlovian followers would believe and mouth.

[…] American Women, not Koch Brothers, birthed the Tea Party Movement. Taxpayer dollars wasted to try and prove the Tea Party began decades back with the tobacco companies (or something like that). […]

I read the NIH/cancer-funded study at issue. The main point I’d like to make here is that David Koch and Koch Industries are mentioned ONCE in the body of the study.

“CSE [Citizens for a Sound Economy], one of the third-party ‘anti-tax’ tobacco industry partners, was a think tank dedicated to free market economics. CSE (which split into AFP [Americans for Prosperity] and FreedomWorks in 2004) was co-founded in 1984 by David Koch, of Koch Industries….”

So Koch mention re: the study is misdirection.

I won’t detail here all that is wrong with the study. If I was grading it, I’d give it an F. It’s not addressing “our” tea party (the Santelli-ignited one … and assisted by others including but not limited to Glenn Beck) but something with a tea party type name that never coalesced.

And more head-hurting, the cause-effect reasoning is all backwards.

Plus other stuff.

[…] Silvio’s mom is a driving force in making a better life for her children in the United States. That ties into a post I did for Legal Insurrection yesterday:  American Women, not Koch Brothers, birthed the Tea Party Movement […]