The Washington Post has a fascinating piece out on the bizarre civil war within FreedomWorks, the right-wing “tea party” organization based in the nation’s capital. More and more, we see a “tea party” movement guided by Ayn Rand groupies and wealthy corporate interests, not a supposed “grassroots” rising of small-government freedom lovers.
Of course, it’s even worse than that. As we have reported numerous times, the “tea party” movement has become home to a wide array of extremist voices on matters ranging from race and religion to disenfranchising the poor and politicizing our children’s classrooms in Texas. The Washington Post article, however, provides a revealing view of how wealthy special interests are really pulling the strings at the top of the “tea party” movement.
Among the article’s revelations is how former U.S. House Majority Leader Dick Armey, a Texas Republican and (now former) chairman of FreedomWorks, actually launched an armed (!) coup in an attempt to take over administrative control of the organization last September. Within days, a wealthy donor and $8 million helped ease Armey out the door, restoring the administrative leaders Armey had tried to oust. Moreover, millions of dollars in other donations helped bankroll efforts by FreedomWorks to elect extremist candidates backed by the “tea party” movement in the November election (including in Texas).
Read the full article here. Then marvel at how “tea partiers” at the grassroots level have been manipulated into supporting the agendas of wealthy special interests, political hacks and right-wing extremists.