Tea Party Flacks Are Drill, Baby, Drill Messengers Too
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White House spokesman Tony Fratto said top administration officials -- Vice President Dick Cheney, White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten and National Economic Council Director Keith Hennessey -- were lobbying members of Congress Tuesday, including the House of Representative's conservative Republican Study Group.
The economic collapse and Bush-Cheney billionaire bailouts put Gingrich's big comeback on hold. But ironically enough, the Bush-Cheney bailouts provided Bush-Cheney supporters something new to protest in 2009: the Bush-Cheney bailouts now that President Obama claimed them as his own, and piled trillions more of his own bailouts on top of it.
For some reason, the story of how the Tea Party began as the Offshore-Drilling Party has been forgotten or ignored by the media. But the people inside the movement sure know where the Tea Party started, and until the BP disaster, they were damn proud. For example, a leader of the St. Louis Tea Party, Dana Loesch -- known as the "female Michael Savage" by her Tea Party admirers -- triumphantly recounted the oil-drilling beginnings of the Tea Party movement last year on Andrew Breitbart's Big Government site:
The Tea Party Movement: How We Got Here
by Dana Loesch
Something curious happened during the summer of 2008. Democrats, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, shut down the House and C-SPAN cameras with a resolution that passed by just one vote, smack in the middle of an energy crisis. Afterwards, Madame Speaker jetted off on a week-long book tour while gas prices soared.
The Republicans stood in the dark and refused to leave. A few officials, including John Culberson, took out their phones and began Twittering the action to America, this spawning the #dontgo movement. It was the first nudge to the hibernating conservative constituency who were excited about having something over which to be excited in their party. Netroots activists seethed at the realization that Democrats left America in limbo rather than vote against reducing energy costs and drilling stateside - though the majority of the population approved of such. They rallied around the legislators that had the brass to stay and urged them to "Don't go!"
Taxpayer fury over these offenses grew to a shriek in February when Rick Santelli delivered his famous diatribe on the floor of the Chicago exchange. The feelings of angry disenfranchisement felt by so many conservatives coalesced following Santelli's speech.
On February 19, 2009, the DontGo Movement morphed into the Tea Party thanks to the "Tea Party Rant" by CNBC's Rick Santelli, a self-described follower of Ayn Rand, who suffered a spaz attack on live television after hearing that President Obama was proposing bailout funds to non-billionaire Americans facing foreclosure. Santelli was fine with the trillions in bailout funds wired to the Wall Street Galts whose shoes he shines for a living. But when Obama offered a bailout of $75 billion in mortgage relief to middle-class Americans, Santelli had a freak-out. Standing in the Chicago exchange floor with all of his derivatives-trading pals, the CNBC tool shouted that he and his casino traders were "fed up" and called for a "Chicago Tea Party" to protest the federal government's bailout of struggling homeowners. "This is America!" Santelli screamed, pointing to his rich derivatives-trading broker friends -- who trade the same derivatives that brought down the American economy and pushed millions of Americans into foreclosure.
At the time, we called into question the "spontaneity" of Santelli's rant, seeing instead a typical "launch event" in a coordinated PR campaign designed to look spontaneous. We also wrote about all the links between Santelli's rant, the fan-sites that popped up registered to various Republican fronts including Eric Odom, and further up the chain, familiar Republican free-market operatives, from Dick Armey's FreedomWorks to the Sam Adams Alliance, and Eric Odom's Twittering DontGo front. Many of the instantly-activated sites promoting Santelli's rant that we traced were registered in Chicago -- where Santelli, Eric Odom, and the Sam Adams Alliance were all based. Within days of our expose, Santelli was forced to post an excruciating apology to President Obama on CNBC's, site, and he canceled his appearance on the Jon Stewart Show. He's kept his tea to himself ever since.