I was at the "Showdown in Searchlight" in March, and I saw for myself what actually happened.
So how did the "tea party" in Searchlight go? Well, they certainly brought in a big crowd... But it wasn't the 10,000 organizers had originally hoped for, and nowhere near the 20,000 they were claiming yesterday (more like 7-8,000). The big draw for their event was really Sarah Palin, as she got most of the attention and the biggest crowds. Multiple reports so far confirm that after Palin left the stage (and before most of the Nevada GOP candidates were set to speak), the crowds started emptying the valley they were occupying. When I was with the pro-Reid rally in town, about 90% of the cars heading to the "tea party" rally were from out of state (with, again, the bulk of those being California and Arizona righties). And when our shuttle was leaving town on the way back up to Vegas, about 80% of the cars parked along and near Highway 95 for the "tea party" rally were from out of state.
Basically, a few big money corporate lobby groups bankrolled it and led "caravans" of out of state teabaggers into Searchlight.
And really, it set the tone for the entire rest of the year. Just as it looked like the Nevada GOP establishment had settled on Sue Lowden to win the US Senate nomination, Tea Party Express and Club for Growth then rushed in to lavish millions of dollars of ads to buy the GOP nomination for Sharron Angle.
In July, we ripped open the thin veneer of "grassroots enthusiasm" to uncover who was really behind Sharron Angle's meteoric rise to political superstardom. Behind the "blue collar" looking "tea party activists" with their misspelled signs and ragtag "rallies", a slick group of California Republican operatives were pulling the strings for (and OF, for that matter!) Sharron Angle the whole damned time.
So they lied about Bush's war in Iraq, they lied about what they actually saw there, they lied their way into the California Recall [special election in 2003] that saddled that state with "Arnold", and now they're lying about what their little "tea party" is really up to.
Oh, and now they're trying to dupe us into believ[ing] Harry Reid is some sort of "Satan Incarnate" and Sharrontology is our only way to salvation. But when we look behind the curtain, we have to notice the corporate fat cats funding the "Tea Party, Inc." gravy train supporting Sharrontology.
They may claim to be "helping the grassroots defeat Harry Reid", but what Sal Russo and his band of corporate funded California Republican PR operatives, along with their high profile national cheerleaders like Sarah Palin, are really up to is a national campaign to replace Democrats like Harry Reid who can think for themselves and help working families in their states with corporate tools like Sharron Angle who will do as they say, NOT as we Nevadans would like.
So was it really that much of a surprise that, in the wake of "Barter-gate", Sue Lowden's campaign imploded when forced to go against "Tea Party, Inc."?
And was that really that much of a surprise that our lovely "newspaper" would cover the entire Senate race like this?
Bullshit, crap, more crap, blow job for Ronald Reagan, miss old Ronnie, hate Harry, bullshit, more bullshit, pure unadulterated crap, derivative crap, insightful conservative hate speech, more crap, small turds, bigger turds, little rat publisher flatulence, bla, bla bla, love the governor, all lies about the governor, the governor didn't do any of that, apologist, flatulence, still hate Reid, both of them, Shelley Berkley, lucky she's in that gerrymandered district, more flatulence, Dina Taxes is in trouble, she won but she's in trouble, hate democrats, love the tea baggers, love the conservatives, lovin Ronnie Reagan, George who?, bullshit, crap, more crap, the only thing I like about the beltway is the name, damn people speeding, crap, bla, crap, bla, shit, bla ffffffffffftttttttt(a tribute to Mad Magazine!)
So after the primary, Sharrrrrrrrrrrrrron then tried an "extreme makeover"... But hardly anyone was buying it, not even many of her fellow Republicans! One key turning point was the sudden swelling of "Republicans for Reid" over the course of the year, a trend that seemed to accelerate once Sharron Angle won the GOP nomination.
And from there, Sharron Angle's campaign just spun out of control. She flip-flopped on her "juice". She insulted autistic kids. She insulted cancer survivors. She insulted basically the entire Las Vegas Strip...
And the teabaggers were cheering her on the whole entire way. No matter what she said or what she did, she was their "angel" and Harry Reid was some variation of "devil". It didn't matter what facts got in the way...
And that's how "Tea Party, Inc." liked it.
But thankfully, most Nevadans weren't buying it. However, we didn't totally escape unscathed. Harry Reid may have prevailed, but there was some carnage further down the ballot. And moving forward, we need to be able to point out the vapidity of "the tea party", just as Reid did.