Tea Party Foes Target Movement "Morons"
The group's founder, Jason Levin, told the Associated Press that it has 65 leaders in cities around the country who are seeking to orchestrate infiltration of this week's Tea Party protests.
"Do I think every member of the Tea Party is a homophobe, racist or a moron? No, absolutely not," he said. "Do I think most of them are homophobes, racists or morons? Absolutely."
According to the group's Web site, it is seeking to infiltrate Tea Party groups in order to "propagate their pre-existing propensity for paranoia and suspicion." The site says some members have already attended meetings and rallies.
"Whenever possible, we will act on behalf of the Tea Party in ways which exaggerate their least appealing qualities (misspelled protest signs, wild claims in TV interviews, etc.) to further distance them from mainstream America and damage the public's opinion of them," the site says. "We will also use information that we have gained in order to disrupt and derail their plans."
Speaking to the AP, founder Levin said this: "Every time we have someone on camera saying that Barack Obama isn't an American citizen, we want someone sitting next to him saying, 'That's right, he's an alien from outer space!'"
There is no way to verify Levin's claims about the size or activities of his group, or even exactly what his motivations are: After all, the group's plans give Levin's ostensible opponents ammunition to claim that the worst excesses in their movement are actually coming from infiltrators in disguise. (It's also worth noting the site is selling t-shirts.)
In a speech at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference last weekend, Sen. David Vitter pointed conservative activists to the "Crash The Tea Party" Web site and warned that "you're going to see a determined effort to use the movement to split" the Tea Party vote.
It is not clear if the "Crash The Tea Party" group will have a presence at tomorrow's Tea Party rally in Massachusetts, which will feature Sarah Palin but not the state's junior senator, Republican Scott Brown, whose special election victory was attributed to Tea Party efforts. Massachusetts Republicans have been reticent to embrace the event for fear of what one called "different extremes in that group."
Tea Party groups are also planning to rally in Washington and elsewhere on Thursday, April 15th, in conjunction with the deadline for filing taxes. The "TEA" in "Tea Party" is sometimes said to stand for "Taxed Enough Already."
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