It was exactly one year ago today - February 27th - that the first 'organized' round of tea parties took place across America. And look how far we've come in just one year!
*The government-run heath care push has been stalled and/or stopped countless times. Obama, Pelosi and Reid have put forth deadline-after-deadline and been forced to walk away sheepishly with their tail between their legs for each failure to advance their push towards socialized medicine.
*Scott Brown's historic victory over the liberal Democrat establishment in Massachusetts.
*Stopping Congress - thus far - from forcing through the Big Government, junk-science, anti-capitalism fiasco known as Cap-And-Trade.
*The forced resignations of some of Obama's most radical "czars" including most notably his "Green Jobs Czar," Van Jones.
*The stunning election results in the governor's races in New Jersey and Virginia.
*The giant "Townhall" pushback where politicians were finally confronted about their failures, their out-of-control deficit-spending, and big-government programs and push towards a more socialized economy.
*The forced resignations of prominent politicians who were under fire from the tea party movement and in jeopardy of losing their seats - such as Senators Byron Dorgan (D-North Dakota) and Chris Dodd (D-Connecticut).
*Thousands of tea party rallies across America, attracting millions of participants, to challenge the failed political establishments in both the Republican & Democrat parties. Notable highlights including the April 15, 2009 "Tax Day Tea Parties," the series ofTea Party Expressrallies & cross-country tours, and the 9/12 mass tea party rally in Washington, D.C.
*A victory over the Republican political establishment that nominated a liberal, big-government "RINO" (Republican In Name Only), Dede Scozzafava for Congress in the NY-23 Special Election. The tea party movement mobilized behind Conservative Doug Hoffman, forcing the GOP to pull their support for their own nominee (Scozzafava), and catapulting a little-known candidate into a national figure who nearly beat the political machines of both the Republican & Democrat parties.
And that's just a partial list of some of the tea party movement's accomplishments in one year.
Last week, RNC Chairman Michael Steele sat down with a few dozen tea party activists and held a 4-hour long "summit" to hear the grievances of tea party supporters.
That event in itself should speak volumes about the power of this movement. A movement born from citizen activism just one-year ago held court with a national party chair for 4-hours, because the voices of the people in this movement proved so powerful that they could not be ignored.
As Governor Palin recently saidin her speechat the Tea Party Nation's convention:
"The tea party movement is not a top-down operation, it is a ground-up call-to-actionthat is forcing both partiesto change the way they do business and that's beautiful! This is about the people!" [Emphasis added]
And yes - both sides are paying attention.
The San Francisco Chronicle (not exactly known as a bastion of right-wing political propaganda) published an article on January 19th of this year - yes exactly one year ago after Rick Santelli's historic 'tea party' rant on CNBC - that included a mea culpa from none other than liberal San Francisco Mayor, Gavin Newsom, calling for Democrats to take the tea party movement seriously:
Regardless of the outcome ... this should be a gigantic wake-up call to the Democratic Party - that we're not connecting with the needs, the aspirations and the desires of real people right now," said San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom.
"We better get our act together - and quickly," Newsom said. Voters "are so angry. They don't feel that we're paying attention to their needs, in terms of their jobs, and what's going on at the grassroots, in their neighborhoods."
And we must remember, it was that famous rant by CNBC's Rick Santelli that inspired those first rounds of organized tea parties. Millions of Americans have now heard and seen the inspirational video of Santelli, on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, speaking plainly and forcefully for free market principles that reward hard work and success, and not government-mandated redistribution of wealth.
Motivated to follow Santell's call-to-arms,we posted his 'rant' on our blog at the Our Country Deserves Better MySpace page and attended the February 27th tea party rally in Sacramento, California that was organized by the local Free Republic chapter.
From that point forward we here at theTea Party Express plunged head-first into the tea party movement, helping to promote rallies, organize events, support good candidates, oppose bad candidates, and do all we can to help take our country back!
Through it all, we here at theTea Party Expresshave always approached this movement with a sense of joy and positive energy. That strikes some in the media as odd - they look at us and see only anger and frustration. And yes, we are angry at the failures of our leaders. And yes, we are frustrated at how defiant they have been to We The People.
But we have chosen to approach this movement by celebrating the greatness of America. We celebrate the freedom we have to question our government. We celebrate the freedom of speech and right to assemble. We celebrate the principles our nation was founded on as extolled by the Constitution, Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights.
And, yes, we proudly, loudly and enthusiastically celebrate the freedom to organize politically so as to defeat those failed Big Government politicians and replace them with constitutional conservatives!
There are many different groups, leaders and activists within this movement. That is a sign of strength, not weakness, as our opponents mistakenly allege. Each of the groups we have worked with in this movement have brought their own talents and abilities to the table.
*The Tea Party Patriots have assembled a network of local tea party groups that is unrivaled.
*The American Liberty Alliance has a greater sense of tech-savvy and knowledge of online activism than just about any other group in this movement.
*The National Precinct Alliance has worked steadfastly to change the political parties from within, by taking over the local structure of the political parties.
*The fine folks at ResistNet have empowered their activists to achieve success from direct action and drills better than any other group.
*Our friends at Free Republic helped launch this movement and have used their own network to help boost the tea party movement.
*The team at Smart Girl Politics have engaged in some of the best work to get patriots involved in voter registration drives.
*The team at FreedomWorks organized the historic 9/12 march and have helped to make the GOP establishment take the tea party movement seriously in a way few others have been able to do.
*The team at American Majority have conducted the most comprehensive series of candidate and activist training seminars and workshops.
*The group at the Tea Party Nation put together the first national conference for tea party activists and secured the support of Gov. Sarah Palin who helped bring a huge round of media coverage for the tea party movement.
*The American Grassroots Coalition has unleashed a tidal wave of phone calls, emails and FAXes to Members of Congress, and helped to give voice to our movement to those in Congress who are supposed to represent us.
And again, that's just part of the story. There are so many other groups and individuals (from the National Tax Limitation Committee, to the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, to the National Taxpayers Union and Club for Growth, to Americans for Prosperity and so many more) who have helped to propel this movement forward.
Friends, our strength is in our numbers. We all have different styles, different strategies and different approaches. And we're going to disagree with one another in this movement at times. That's all good! Those who fear this tea party movement - and what it might mean to their own hold on power or how it might threaten their own more liberal ideological movements - will try to exploit our differences at times.
But what our critics fail to understand is that try however hard they might, they will never be able to silence the growing majority in this country who recognize that our country is off-track, and that we've lost our ways from the American ideals that our great nation was founded on.
We here at theTea Party Expresswill continue our efforts, focused on what *we* can bring to the table and what we do best: our bus tours, rallies, Action Alerts, petition drivesand most importantly our ability to rally hundreds of thousands of Americans behind political campaigns to take our country back!
Happy Birthday fellow tea party activists. You all have so much worth celebrating in your first year of existence! Let us work hard to make our 2nd year an even bigger success!