leaders from both the NAACP and The Tea Party have been engaged in dueling interviews and sometimes being interviewed at the same time.
It appears that the NAACP, and people tied to the civil rights organization, are also being caught up in the aftermath. Because of a video tape that surfaced and has caught fire in the conservative bloggaspher, the United States Department of Agriculture has sacked Shirley Sherrod, its Director of Rural Development in Georgia. In the excerpt that has been circulating, Sherrod speaks at an NAACP event where she talks about how a white farmer she was trying to help, was being difficult and because of his race, she admittedly doesn't bend over backwards to help resolve his problem with possible foreclosure on his farm. This occurred over 24 years ago and while she was at a different job. According to interviews with Sherrod, she had repeated calls from officials at the White House pressuring her to resign, because the story was going to be on Glenn Beck.
Some notable members of the GOP, such as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader John Boehner, are putting as much distance as they can between them and the Tea Party. But, with all the public discussion about the racists and extremist elements within the Tea Party Movement and the recent moves by the Tea Party to address these issues, it has not diswayed Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann from filing paperwork to form the Tea Party Caucus in Congress.
Its pretty clear that the Tea Party has made an indelible mark on the GOP and the candidates that are running under their banner for the 2010 Election Cycle. The movement has propelled some of the GOP's most conservative and extremist members to the primary nominations over more establishment candidates. An election cycle that was shaping up to be the best for the GOP since the 1994 GOP tsunami is now looking less like a probable wave and more like a ripple in a small pond because of the rift(s) that are forming within the Tea Party Movement.
With the newly formed Tea Party Caucus being led by Michelle Bachmann, it will be interesting to see who will self-identify with the Tea Party now that the labels of racists, bigots, and extremists are permanently tattooed to those that stand with the movement.
Picture found at: http://www.indecisionforever.com/files/2009/11/michele-bachmann-rally-podium.jpg