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    Tea Party's Organizational Structure

    thought this is an interesting read

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ynews_excl/ynews_excl_pl3653

    By JONATHAN RAUCH, National Journal

    Though headless, the tea party movement is not mindless. Its collective brain meets every Monday night.

    More than 200 leaders of local tea parties — coordinators, as they usually call themselves — join a conference call organized by an umbrella group called the Tea Party Patriots, the largest national tea party organization. Organizers estimate that membership totals about 15 million.

    On one Monday recently, three national coordinators began the session with a rundown on plans for upcoming rallies. The group was polled on whether to hold a second round of house parties throughout the country. A coordinator gave an update on an iPhone app for tea partiers who will be going door to door this fall to talk to voters.

    The floor was then opened. Rick, from Albuquerque, N.M., asks if the national agenda includes investigating voter-roll irregularities, something his group is concerned about. Mark Meckler, a Tea Party Patriots coordinator and co-founder, weighed in. Newcomers "often don't understand how badly we need you to lead the way," he says. "If this is an area of concern to you," he admonishes, "the way the Tea Party Patriots works is that you guys really lead the organization.”

    "Essentially what we're doing is crowd-sourcing," says Meckler, whose vocabulary betrays his background as a lawyer specializing in Internet law. "I use the term open-source politics. This is an open-source movement." Every day, anyone and everyone is modifying the code. "The movement as a whole is smart."

    [A Guide To The Six Major Tea Party Groups]

    And, as was apparent in Delaware on Tuesday, the movement is gaining power. Christine O’Donnell’s upset victory in the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate, coming on the heels of insurgent candidates backed by the tea party winning in GOP Senate primaries in Alaska, Kentucky, Nevada and Utah, has made the tea party movement a force.

    The question now is whether a grassroots movement that is, by design, leaderless can sustain itself after this election cycle.

    In American politics, radical decentralization has never been tried on so large a scale. Tea party activists believe that their hivelike structure is their signal innovation and secret weapon, the key to outlasting and outmaneuvering traditional political organizations and interest groups. They intend to rewrite the rule book for political organizing, turning decades of established practice upside down. If they succeed, or even half succeed, the tea party's most important legacy may be organizational, not political.

    [Complete Coverage: The Tea Party Movement]

    From Washington's who's-in-charge-here perspective, the tea party model seems downright bizarre. Perplexed journalists keep looking for the movement's leaders, which is like asking to meet the boss of the Internet. Baffled politicians and lobbyists can't find anyone to negotiate with.

    "There's such a uniqueness to every one of these groups, just as there's an individuality to every person," says Dawn Wildman, a national coordinator based in San Diego. "It has this bizarre organic flow, a little bit like lava. It heats up in some places and catches on fire; it moves more slowly in other places."

    Lava is a pretty good analogy. Ask the activists to characterize their organizational structure, however, and usually they will say it is a starfish.

    "The Starfish and the Spider," a business book by Ori Brafman and Rod A. Beckstrom, was published in 2006 to no attention at all in the political world. The subtitle, however, explains its relevance to the tea party model: "The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations."

    Traditional thinking, the book contends, holds that hierarchies are most efficient at getting things done. Hierarchies, such as corporations, have leaders who can make decisions and set priorities and chains of command to hold everyone accountable. This type of system has a central command, like a spider's brain. Like the spider, it dies if you thump it on the head.

    The rise of the Internet and other forms of instantaneous, interpersonal interaction, however, has broken the spider monopoly, Brafman and Beckstrom argue. Radically decentralized networks — everything from illicit music-sharing systems to Wikipedia — can direct resources and adapt ("mutate") far faster than corporations can. "The absence of structure, leadership, and formal organization, once considered a weakness, has become a major asset," the authors write. "Seemingly chaotic groups have challenged and defeated established institutions. The rules of the game have changed."

    In decentralized networks, knowledge and power are distributed throughout the system. As a result, the network is impervious to decapitation. No foolish or self-serving boss can wreck it, because it has no boss. Fragmentation, the bane of traditional organizations, actually makes the network stronger. It is like a starfish: Cut off an arm, and it grows (in some species) into a new starfish. Result: two starfish, where before there was just one.

    "We're a starfish organization," says Scott Boston, the Tea Party Patriots' educational coordinator, and a rare paid staffer.

    [What Does The Tea Party Have In Common With A Starfish?]

    Will it work?

    Answering the skeptics, tea partiers point out that bygone efforts at radical decentralization lacked Internet-age networking and communications technologies — without which, of course, the tea party movement could not have arisen in the first place. The Tea Party Patriots' very existence suggests that something new is afoot. One coordinator notes that Facebook alone allows the movement to communicate with up to 2 million people simultaneously.

    Listening to tea partiers talk about their ambitions, one hears echoes of leftist movements. Raise consciousness. Change hearts, not just votes. Attack corruption in society, not just on Capitol Hill. In America, right-wing movements have tended to focus on taking over politics, left-wing ones on changing the culture. Like its leftist precursors, the Tea Party Patriots thinks of itself as a social movement, not a political one.

    [Next Electoral Target For Tea Party: Democrats]


    Centerless swarms are bad at deal-making practical politics. But they may be pretty good at cultural reform. In any case, the experiment begins.

    Jonathan Rauch is a senior writer for National Journal.

    To read an extended version of this story, click here.
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  2. #2
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    I thought this article would actually show their organizatonal structure, to show that it's pretty much 100% a Republican/conservative operation.

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    Republican and conservative aren't synonymous.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Schmooze View Post
    I thought this article would actually show their organizatonal structure, to show that it's pretty much 100% a Republican/conservative operation.
    it's not really a republican at all, it's very conservative

    Quote Originally Posted by gcoll View Post
    Republican and conservative aren't synonymous.
    Exactly

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    Quote Originally Posted by gcoll View Post
    Republican and conservative aren't synonymous.
    I agree, but they're pretty much the same thing. It's the same as saying 'liberals' and 'Democrats'. They both don't hold exactly the same ideology, but you'd be hard-pressed to find a liberal Republican, and a conservative Democrat. They exist, but they're a small %.

    For the purposes of my post, however, I should have said 'Republican'.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Schmooze View Post
    I agree, but they're pretty much the same thing. It's the same as saying 'liberals' and 'Democrats'. They both don't hold exactly the same ideology, but you'd be hard-pressed to find a liberal Republican, and a conservative Democrat. They exist, but they're a small %.

    For the purposes of my post, however, I should have said 'Republican'.
    For the purposes of this issue there is an important distinction. When people claim the Tea Party is an arm of the GOP, they are trying to de-legitimize the "grass roots" nature of the movement.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Schmooze View Post
    I agree, but they're pretty much the same thing. It's the same as saying 'liberals' and 'Democrats'. They both don't hold exactly the same ideology, but you'd be hard-pressed to find a liberal Republican, and a conservative Democrat. They exist, but they're a small %.

    For the purposes of my post, however, I should have said 'Republican'.

    I said this in another thread, but the differentiation lies with fiscal policy vs social policy. I am quite fiscally conservative, but not nearly as conservative on all social issues. That's where it gets sticky for me, and why neither of the two parties really match my political set.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gcoll View Post
    For the purposes of this issue there is an important distinction. When people claim the Tea Party is an arm of the GOP, they are trying to de-legitimize the "grass roots" nature of the movement.
    The only "grassroots" aspect of this movement are that there are some people(admittedly MOSTLY comprised of Republicans) that attend, and truly believe that this GOP, and corporate-sponsored Tea Party somehow sprang up out of nowhere. Also, let's look at the timing. It didn't begin until late January 2009, and ignored the Patriot Act, and Bush bailouts.

    I asked DF but he ignored me, but perhaps you can answer. Aside from the fact that this entire thing is Republican (created by Dick Armey, funded by FreedomWorks, endorsed by FOX News, guest appearances only by Republicans, attended by a vast majority of Republicans, etc.), has the Tea Party ever endorsed a Democrat candidate?

    Also, it is my understanding that only Republicans can vote in a Republican primary, and vice-versa.
    Last edited by The Schmooze; 09-17-2010 at 02:09 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Schmooze View Post
    The only "grassroots" aspect of this movement are that there are some people(admittedly MOSTLY comprised of Republicans) that attend, and truly believe that this GOP, and corporate-sponsored Tea Party somehow sprang up out of nowhere.

    I asked DF but he ignored me, but perhaps you can answer. Aside from the fact that this entire thing is Republican (created by Dick Armey, funded by FreedomWorks, endorsed by FOX News, guest appearances only by Republicans, attended by a vast majority of Republicans, etc.), has the Tea Party ever endorsed a Democrat candidate?

    Also, it is my understanding that only Republicans can vote in a Republican primary, and vice-versa.
    You can't manufacture that sort of thing. Even if there are some groups organizing some events, and some groups contributing money to certain parts of it....you can't fake this sort of thing. The Tea Party is a legitimate grass roots protest movement.

    The Tea Party is CONSERVATIVE. The Democratic party leans left. Not hard to figure out why they are unlikely to endorse a Democratic candidate.

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    Why is it "impossible", gcoll?

    You create a narrative through the media, and hold events with people echoing the same points you agree with(which all happen to be Republican and/or conservative in nature), and then make it seem like it's grassroots. It's quite brilliant, actually. Let's not forget, this is the same media which convinced people that the government had boards to murder your parents, and Obama is a Muslim/illegal alien.

    How many times did we hear that the Tea Party movement was "comprised of all races...democrats, independents, and Republicans"? NOW they finally admit that it's a conservative movement.

    I think if you look at what was going on in the country, whether it's healthcare debate, the stimulus, etc.....you seem the Tea Party and GOP's actions were the same. The talking points, beliefs, everything. ASIDE from all the points I already mentioned.
    Last edited by The Schmooze; 09-17-2010 at 02:30 PM.

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    CIA front

    Democrat = Gambino
    Republican = Genovese
    Tea Party = hollow to the core

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Schmooze View Post
    Why is it "impossible", gcoll?

    You create a narrative through the media, and hold events with people echoing the same points you agree with(which all happen to be Republican and/or conservative in nature), and then make it seem like it's grassroots. It's quite brilliant, actually. Let's not forget, this is the same media which convinced people that the government had boards to murder your parents, and Obama is a Muslim/illegal alien.

    How many times did we hear that the Tea Party movement was "comprised of all races...democrats, independents, and Republicans"? NOW they finally admit that it's a conservative movement.

    I think if you look at what was going on in the country, whether it's healthcare debate, the stimulus, etc.....you seem the Tea Party and GOP's actions were the same. The talking points, beliefs, everything. ASIDE from all the points I already mentioned.
    Schmooze I do not understand why you continually ask these types of questions. Regardless of the answers your given you are just not going to accept them as fact.

    The outrage by Conservatives started with the revamping of Medicaids prescription drug program under George Bush furthered with each impending bailout. Coming to its first boil with the TARP bailout. Which started in October of 2008 with the Tea Party possibility started getting national coverage in February four short months after the initial TARP bailout package. But I am certain that isn't good enough for you and you will just go back to Freedomworks this Dick Armey that and just pass it off as some "astroturf" which is all find and good though in my opinion you are wrong. If they where just a movement started and funded by the GOP wouldn't they not run candidates of their own to knock of establishment backed candidates that where more favored?

    The Tea Party movement is in fact made up of all races Democrats, Republicans, and Independents. Now any fool will know that it will be made up more of Republicans than the other two. Though as you admitted yourself there is a small percentage of Democrats who are also conservative who very well could be part of the Tea Party movement. Also with recent polls Independents are showing themselves to be leaning more towards conservative than Liberal as well.

    If you look at the items you listed the majority of them have one thing in common MASSIVE SPENDING. This is exactly what the Tea Party is against so of course they are going to be against it. And Republicans are supposed to be conservatives so if that is the case they are going to be against it as well. So its pretty easy to see why in these cases they agree to be against it.
    French writer Alexis de Tocqueville warned about when visiting this fledgling democracy in the early 19th century – that this "American republic will endure until politicians realize they can bribe the people with their own money."

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    Quote Originally Posted by hoosiercubsfan View Post
    Schmooze I do not understand why you continually ask these types of questions. Regardless of the answers your given you are just not going to accept them as fact.

    The outrage by Conservatives started with the revamping of Medicaids prescription drug program under George Bush furthered with each impending bailout. Coming to its first boil with the TARP bailout. Which started in October of 2008 with the Tea Party possibility started getting national coverage in February four short months after the initial TARP bailout package. But I am certain that isn't good enough for you and you will just go back to Freedomworks this Dick Armey that and just pass it off as some "astroturf" which is all find and good though in my opinion you are wrong. If they where just a movement started and funded by the GOP wouldn't they not run candidates of their own to knock of establishment backed candidates that where more favored?

    The Tea Party movement is in fact made up of all races Democrats, Republicans, and Independents. Now any fool will know that it will be made up more of Republicans than the other two. Though as you admitted yourself there is a small percentage of Democrats who are also conservative who very well could be part of the Tea Party movement. Also with recent polls Independents are showing themselves to be leaning more towards conservative than Liberal as well.

    If you look at the items you listed the majority of them have one thing in common MASSIVE SPENDING. This is exactly what the Tea Party is against so of course they are going to be against it. And Republicans are supposed to be conservatives so if that is the case they are going to be against it as well. So its pretty easy to see why in these cases they agree to be against it.
    So it is a conservative movement, and Republicans are supposed to be conservatives? so its a republican movement?

    I thought we agreed the two aren't synonymous.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hoosiercubsfan View Post
    Schmooze I do not understand why you continually ask these types of questions. Regardless of the answers your given you are just not going to accept them as fact.

    The outrage by Conservatives started with the revamping of Medicaids prescription drug program under George Bush furthered with each impending bailout. Coming to its first boil with the TARP bailout. Which started in October of 2008 with the Tea Party possibility started getting national coverage in February four short months after the initial TARP bailout package. But I am certain that isn't good enough for you and you will just go back to Freedomworks this Dick Armey that and just pass it off as some "astroturf" which is all find and good though in my opinion you are wrong. If they where just a movement started and funded by the GOP wouldn't they not run candidates of their own to knock of establishment backed candidates that where more favored?

    The Tea Party movement is in fact made up of all races Democrats, Republicans, and Independents. Now any fool will know that it will be made up more of Republicans than the other two. Though as you admitted yourself there is a small percentage of Democrats who are also conservative who very well could be part of the Tea Party movement. Also with recent polls Independents are showing themselves to be leaning more towards conservative than Liberal as well.

    If you look at the items you listed the majority of them have one thing in common MASSIVE SPENDING. This is exactly what the Tea Party is against so of course they are going to be against it. And Republicans are supposed to be conservatives so if that is the case they are going to be against it as well. So its pretty easy to see why in these cases they agree to be against it.
    First a quick factual repair, you meant to say Medicare, not Medicaid. They are not the same program.

    Now the part that separates us. As you pointed out, TARP and Medicare Part D (that is is the technical name for the drug program) were completely created during the tenure of President George W Bush. There was relatively little passion exhibited by conservatives over this. There was some discussion, but no passion really, at least, none of major consequence. So, given your argument, where were the screaming people then? Why were they not calling for the impeachment of President Bush?

    Secondly, the works of Freedom Works and Dick Armey, with major contributions by the Kochs are in fact real. I said in another post, that I don't think this is strictly a partisan activity, but frankly, I find the denial to be just as wrong.

    Finally, I do not find this to be a homogeneous movement based in economics. I find it to be a melding of economics and social causes, and to say it is an economic movement without the large inclusion of the social component is an incomplete description at best, and a false description at worst.

    One last thing, to say that there are Democrats (when the numbers I have read are 4%) is factually correct, but only at the margins. I will agree with that, when the GOP side of this board will say that bills are passing the Senate in a bi partisan manner when it is all Democrats with 4 Republicans. That is just a false description.
    Last edited by cabernetluver; 09-17-2010 at 04:09 PM.
    Here is the question of the day, does anyone think that wealthy people should pay a lower percentage of their income to taxes than middle class people? Don't argue tax brackets, just a simple question. Do you think someone earning 46 million dollars should pay a lower percentage of their income than say someone earning sixty thousand?

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Schmooze View Post
    Why is it "impossible", gcoll?

    You create a narrative through the media, and hold events with people echoing the same points you agree with(which all happen to be Republican and/or conservative in nature), and then make it seem like it's grassroots. It's quite brilliant, actually. Let's not forget, this is the same media which convinced people that the government had boards to murder your parents, and Obama is a Muslim/illegal alien.

    How many times did we hear that the Tea Party movement was "comprised of all races...democrats, independents, and Republicans"? NOW they finally admit that it's a conservative movement.

    I think if you look at what was going on in the country, whether it's healthcare debate, the stimulus, etc.....you seem the Tea Party and GOP's actions were the same. The talking points, beliefs, everything. ASIDE from all the points I already mentioned.
    It's important to note that I am not a member of the Tea Party. It doesn't take an admission to notice that the Tea Party is conservative.

    That is not to say that they are necessarily Republican. They will tend to be more Republican than anything else, which is to be expected since the Republican Party is the more conservative. So, it's not surprising that their views tend to line up. So, the Tea Party is probably a bunch of people identifying themselves as Republican, a bunch of people identifying themselves as Independent, and a few identifying themselves as Democrats.

    Quote Originally Posted by cabernetluver
    Finally, I do not find this to be a homogeneous movement based in economics. I find it to be a melding of economics and social causes, and to say it is an economic movement without the large inclusion of the social component is an incomplete description at best, and a false description at worst.
    I think (and hope) that the economic conservatism is the dominant idea in this movement though.

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