One of the strengths of the Tea Party is that it does not have a leader. The movement is organic, diverse, and in flux. It encompasses all sorts of folks, from disillusioned independents, to Ron Paul supporters, to first-time voters upset at the direction in which America is headed. This poses a political challenge for liberals, since they have found it hard to demonize an entire movement (not for lack of trying!).My italics. Uh, yeah right. If anything, the movement is completely infused with ideological and religious poison, and is being led by the propaganda wing of the Republican National Committee, Fox News. It has icons like Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin (and used to have Michelle Bachmann until she pulled out of the convention). Lots of cogent realism coming from those folks, you betcha!
And we progressives don't need a single person to demonize to render the movement laughable and ineffectual. There are just so many of them! The good news is, the internet has proven very valuable, as small citizen-journalists have gotten in there with video cameras to show the dark underbelly of the diverse bunch of tin-foil hat wearing lunatics that make up this movement.
One thing I do fear, however, and that's the idea that the Tea Partiers' threat to bolt the GOP and create a third party is losing traction in favor of just winning elections. Well, then, that's been the strategy all along, hasn't it? Screw principles and values if it means losing power.