Naysayers and critics have not blunted the unapologetic enthusiasm of determined tea partyers. The grass-roots movement observes its fourth anniversary Tuesday, marking an event that resonated with many Americans on Feb 19, 2009.
That was the day CNBC analyst Rick Santelli gave a “rant heard ‘round the world” on live TV, declaring that the fiscally irresponsible federal government was behaving badly, and that a tea party-style revolt might be in order.
Since then, the tea party has been declared dead on several occasions by mocking pundits. But that does not appear to be so.
Organizers are intent on raising a quick “$1 million money bomb” to prove the movement is very much alive, and quite ready to rumble.
“The big-government politicians and consultants of both parties believe the tea party’s time has passed. They believe we no longer have the power, the enthusiasm or organizational muscle to fight them,” says Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, the movement’s largest umbrella organization, representing some 3,500 local groups.
“They are dead wrong. So we are going to shock the entire political world by raising $1,000,000.00 in just 10 days,” she continues. “We are going to show the entrenched big-government politicians and their allies that the tea party is stronger than ever.”