Good, Tea Party Patriots. Go get ‘em!
“He [GOP strategist and PAC-guru Karl Rove] sounds like he’s challenging us, and we’re ready to rise to the challenge,” Jenny Beth Martin, founder of the Tea Party Patriots, told The Hill. Martin’s group last week launched the Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund, a super-PAC that will be active in House and Senate races in 2014, largely through providing organizational support to help get out the conservative vote.
“I’m going to be engaging with the donors over the next several weeks to let them know what we’re doing and to show them that we can do what the Republican Party is not doing right now, which is building a ground game,” Martin said.
Whoa! Even, better Tea Party Patriots. Set a really big goal and get after it. Be aggressive. Take the fight to the entrenched professional Republicans.
“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.”
No, no, no, no! Too far, Tea Party Patriots! TOO FAR!
Uhh I just got an email from the tea party patriots with a picture of Karl Rove in a nazi uniform: twitter.com/VincentHarris/…
— Vincent Harris (@VincentHarris) February 19, 2013
This is the problem when you get a bit overexcited and buy into the same hype your cranking out to your donors regularly. At some point, you have to have a couple people near the end of your content-production chain who have the common-sense to say, “You know, you should probably double-check that link because I see a picture of Karl Rove as a Nazi and I’m sure that’s about a hundred steps farther than you wanted to take this.” It’s possible the photo was included accidentally, as the result of a photo search and a lazy link. It doesn’t matter; it’s still the product of lazy work and enthusiasm getting the better of common-sense.
If I could give one piece of advice to any Tea Party group (and, for the record, I’ve never been asked, so this is entirely unsolicited and should be judged accordingly), it would be this: remember that you only borrow the name “Tea Party”. No one owns the label. It is a mantle worn by tens of thousands around the country, moms and dads and grandmas and grandpas, very few of whom use it to draw a paycheck. So be careful with it, because whatever dirt you get on it as a result of your hasty and emotional actions will smear all those people who will then have to live with the humiliation you heaped on them. You may have the cash to hire a publicist to craft an apology that will get you back in the game, but that soccer mom in Iowa or hard-working Dad in Texas doesn’t. They’re stuck with the consequences of your mistakes, so be very, very careful with the Tea Party name.
UPDATE: An apology. The Tea Party Patriots farmed the e-mail out to another group, which added the photo. I would hope TPP fires that firm and we spread the name “Active Engagement” among as many conservative groups as possible so they have a very hard time finding work for a while.