Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Billionaires Bankrolling the Tea Party

New York Times op-ed columnist Frank Rich had this to say about the tea parties, Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin and all the other scary white people.
ANOTHER weekend, another grass-roots demonstration starring Real Americans who are mad as hell and want to take back their country from you-know-who. Last Sunday the site was Lower Manhattan, where they jeered the “ground zero mosque.” This weekend, the scene shifted to Washington, where the avatars of oppressed white Tea Party America, Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin, were slated to “reclaim the civil rights movement” (Beck’s words) on the same spot where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. had his dream exactly 47 years earlier.

Vive la révolution!

There’s just one element missing from these snapshots of America’s ostensibly spontaneous and leaderless populist uprising: the sugar daddies who are bankrolling it, and have been doing so since well before the “death panel” warm-up acts of last summer. Three heavy hitters rule. You’ve heard of one of them, Rupert Murdoch. The other two, the brothers David and Charles Koch, are even richer, with a combined wealth exceeded only by that of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett among Americans. But even those carrying the Kochs’ banner may not know who these brothers are.
(Continue reading...)

First off... bankrolling "the" tea party would be very difficult, since there isn't one tea party. There are many, independent tea parties, and the ones that I have first-hand experience with rely entirely on donations from local businesses and individuals. They do not get any outside funding. Others have partnered with "parent" organizations such as Freedom Works or Tea Party Express (the latter an arm of the RNC, if I remember correctly).

While I prefer the grass roots approach (it's less corruptible), I am not scandalized if someone with lots of money wants to support the right principles. The way I see it, as long as George Soros is funding left wing causes, we need some heavy financial hitters on our side. Like everything in politics, it isn't a perfect situation. The more power is concentrated, the worse things get. Our founders knew that, which is why they hit upon the principle of enumerated powers and a federation of states as the best model for government.

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