July 20th, 2010
08:25 AM ET
12 years ago

Expert: Tea Party split a distraction but will fade

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/07/20/art.teaparty.0525.file3.gi.jpg caption ="A political expert says that while an ugly split within the Tea Party might leave a bruise, it won't be fatal to the movement."] (CNN) - While an ugly split within the Tea Party might leave a bruise, it won't be fatal to the movement, a political expert says.

Tea Party Express leader Mark Williams made a bad situation worse last week when he blogged what he said was intended to be a satirical letter from NAACP President Benjamin Jealous to Abraham Lincoln after the NAACP had called for the Tea Party to repudiate racist elements in the movement.

By the end of the weekend, the Tea Party Express was cut loose from an organization that claims to represent the entire movement while the Williams group stood by its man.

"This is the worst kind of thing that could happen," said Tom De Luca, a professor of political science at Fordham University in New York City. "They were setting the agenda, at least to some degree, particularly in the Republican Party, so that Republicans all had to take two or three steps to the right."

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Filed under: Tea Party movement
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Bubba

    The Tea Party is over, folks. Please pick up your coolers, lawn chairs, and racist signs as you move towards the exits.

    July 20, 2010 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  2. mike

    The tea party will be broken up in number of extreme groups and most voters will be frustrated and they won't listen or become a part of it because each group that calls themselves a tea party will have different views and that in of itself will show conflict with one and other there will be nothing to share in common to show unity that is needed and on that its time for a coffee break

    July 20, 2010 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  3. Rick McDaniel

    There are disagreements in every group of any kind.

    July 20, 2010 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  4. mike chino hills

    Tea Party is something that "FOX NEWS" started up......... As Bill O'Reilly said yesterday on his show, "FOX NEWS is the most popular, powerful, news organization,". I'm starting to believe that.

    July 20, 2010 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  5. Ancient Texan

    The "split" will not matter, in November all segments of the Tea Party, Conservatives, Independents, Conservative Democrats, and many other voters of different beliefs will come together to clip the wings of the Radical Progressive agenda of the Obama Administration.

    July 20, 2010 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  6. American Patriot - a "real" tea partier

    Ah, but will the Tea Party fade away like we hope they will?

    July 20, 2010 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  7. FnordTaurus

    DUH! These people will go away as soon as another Republican wins office. Then they will forget all about the things they are complaining about, because it's ok when republicans do those things.

    July 20, 2010 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  8. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    I don't drink Tea.

    Pass the coffee please.

    July 20, 2010 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  9. Bob in PA

    At the end of the day only one this is of concern. Invite them all for a lifelong holiday outside of D.C.

    July 20, 2010 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  10. FM

    I predicted long time ago about the survival of the so called "Tea Party". I did not see then, even now, how any movement can move on without any leader to listen to. Even the herd of cows have a cowboy to direct them where to head to!

    July 20, 2010 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  11. scott

    The simple fact is that when Bush was President, he added 100% to the National debt, going from $5.5-$11 Trillion. And not one of these people said a word or gathered in protest about his spending. Even the GOP's own estimates say Obama will add 30-50% to the current debt, a fraction percentage wise of the GOPs Debt.
    So it's not about debt, it's about their hatred for a Black Democrat. And they aim to hurt him at all costs, regardless of whether it destroys the Country as well.

    July 20, 2010 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  12. David in Houston

    Title Reads: "Tea Party split a distraction but will fade"

    Title Should Read: "Tea Party a distraction but will fade"

    July 20, 2010 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  13. Dano

    Sorry but I think it's the tea party express that will fade once the November elections fail to produce the results they're hoping for. Then it'll be back to their winter homes and the all-you-can-eat buffets for the lot of them!

    July 20, 2010 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  14. Chessnutz of Liverpool NY

    The "Tea Party" is not a party at all? It is but one more fringe group who continues to divide the American voter in order to gain or hold power.
    So what side will you be on? Are you Conservative or Liberal? Are you a Republican or a Democrat? CHOOSE you must Choose! There is no middle ground now...Are you with us or against us?
    Who is US? There is no us and them folks.
    There are Americans, all of us and there is no them in America, period.
    The problem is within the party's themselves both of them. It is politics as usual. They represent themselves not Americans. Only the party!
    Well myself have had enough of this divide and conquer crap! I live for the day that being in a political party is no longer accepted as corrective behavior.

    July 20, 2010 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  15. snow

    The Tea Party is alive and well. To the sorrow of the liberals it will only get stronger the closer we get to November. The demorats want to just spend our money and now they will extend unemployment to two years. Talk about paying people not to work, sounds more like welfare than unemployment.

    July 20, 2010 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  16. Darth Vadik, CA

    The Tea Party will fade too, then the crazies will find a new fad and bandwagon to jump on to.

    July 20, 2010 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  17. Anonymous

    Unless the "experts" have changed their numbers, there are not enough TP's to matter. Sure they can make noise in a primary, but when it come to the genrerals, thye have no voice.
    In this economy, there number shold dwindle from attrition as the older one die off, there will be no wealthy ones to replace them.

    July 20, 2010 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  18. PalmReader

    Too bad the true conservatives didn't see this coming when they encouraged the bottom feeders of the Republican Party to become their spokespersons.

    So much for Palin's leadership skills within the Tea Party. Can't wait to see how she handles Russia, Iran, N. Korea, and China.

    Not to mention her own party of GOPers.

    July 20, 2010 10:54 am at 10:54 am |