I’ve said several times that one of the strengths of the Tea Party Movement is the lack of a unified leadership. But that doesn’t stop those who oppose it from trying to set up leaders so they can knock them down.
The latest is some asshat in Texas named Dale Robertson. Google him up, and you’ll see him described as a “leader in the Tea Party movement.”
Oddly enough, the main sources for Robertson’s credentials are either critics of the Tea Party movement, or Robertson himself.
As far as his credentials, Robertson is the registered owner of teaparty.org and he shows up at events to make an ass of himself. That’s about all I can see.
Robertson’s greatest claim to fame was showing up at an event with a sign proclaiming “CONGRESS = SLAVE OWNER / TAXPAYER = NIGGAR.” I see two possible interpretations for his misspelling of “nigger.” The first is that he really is that stupid. The second is he thinks he’s being clever; “I didn’t say ‘nigger,’ I said ‘niggar.'” It’s the kind of cutesy games that a select breed of right-wing extremist play, such as refusing court service because the summons puts their names in all capitol letters or trying to copyright their names so they can’t be cited in official records.
It’s hard to find anyone who genuinely supports the Tea Party movement who ever said anything favorable about Dale Robertson, let alone proclaimed him their leader. In that aforementioned Google search, here are the top ten results:
1) Wonkette, mocking him.
3) Mediaite, exposing him.
4) BET, as in “Black Entertainment Television,” on his “NIGGAR” sign.
5) Sodahead, on his “not-quite-the-‘n’-word” sign.
6) Current, again on his “niggar” sign.
7) Pajamas Media, a decidedly Tea Party-friendly organization, exposing and denouncing him and saying “we barely ever heard of this asshat before.”
8) The Root, mocking him.
9) A Wikio page filled with mockery and derision.
10) A Washington Times article that calls Robertson a “founder” of the movement and repeats his claim to have over six million followers.
On that last article, it’s worth noting that it was published on January 7. The day before, the Houston Tea Party published a denunciation of Robertson and spelled out in no uncertain terms his utter lack of standing.
As I noted, the only people who seem to consider Robertson some kind of leader in the Tea Party movement are its opponents and Robertson himself. Likewise, the only people who stand to gain from Robertson’s gaining credibility as a Tea Party leader are the same opponents and Robertson himself.
Memo to Tea Party critics: as convenient as it would be to have a clearly identifiable leader of the movement so you can knock them down, especially an asshat like Robertson, there ain’t any. And you — especially you — don’t get to “fill the vacuum” and choose a leader for the movement.
Not even you, Charles.
If the Tea Partiers ever decide they need some kind of leadership, then it’ll be up to them to decide who it will be, as well as how they are picked. Right now, they’re doing just fine without it. No matter how much Dale Robertson or Dick Armey might want to style themselves as “Tea Party leaders.”
And that’s just KILLING their opponents.
(Author’s note: the “tea-bagger” in the title is not a reference to any kind of sexual act, but a contraction of “Tea Party Carpet-Bagger.” Anyone who says anything different is itching for a fight.)