My perception of the tea party movement is that it started as a grass-roots movement; I had no problem with the early tea party, and agree with several points on the Contract from America. But that grass-roots movement was quickly and efficiently co-opted by the moneyed interests on the right. In short, the tea party became the Tea Party, with such representative groups as the Tea Party Patriots, True the Vote, and other organizations determined to impose their views on Americans. Once the tea party became the Tea Party, it became a tool to achieve an agenda antithetical to its original purpose, and the membership became tools as well.
But it's not my perception of the tea party that will have an effect on how people vote, it's everybody else's perception of the Tea Party.
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