Thanks to New Left Media for their endeavours in putting this package together.
In February 2010, the group Tea Party Nation organized the first Tea Party Convention in Nashville, Tennessee, a for-profit event. Some 600 people paid $550 to attend, and Sarah Palin was reportedly paid $115,000 to the be the keynote speaker. After criticism of the convention's cost, for-profit status, and payment to Palin, multiple national Tea Party organizations withdrew their participation.
But the event went on.
And so did the paranoid, conspiratorial assertions--that President Obama was born in another country, that he has covered up his college transcripts, that he is pushing a communist/socialist agenda, that he is protecting terrorists and endangering our country, etc.
The organizers of the convention made great efforts to limit access to the press, and even held "new-media training" sessions to help the Tea Partiers sound and look better on camera--the more people see inside this movement, the less they like it. But we got ourselves into the event, where the right-wing, fringe sentiments were on plain display.
That said, these Tea Partiers - at least those able to pay the cost of attendance - are more affluent than those at the 9.12 DC March, and more self-conscious of how they are portrayed in the media. There were fewer signs and homemade t-shirts here, but the attitudes, if more subtle in delivery, were the same.