Limbaugh, Beck, Ron Paul followers, the Tea Party, and Republican Politics in Florida. My Florida Vacation!
I’m vacationing in Englewood Florida with my father and family. Dad is a big Rush Limbaugh fan. My father’s political views and conversation are (unfortunately) an 80% regurgitation of Rush’s vilification and hyperbole of the “evil” progressives, liberals and Obama administration. Not much transpartisanship there. Rush’s influence (Glen Beck too) seems to be showing up around the local Englewood Tea Party leadership and organizing. I was also interested to read an analysis of the Ron Paul movement’s influence on Tea Party and Republican Party organizing in Florida Politics. Here are two articles (excerpts and links) that paint an interesting Florida / local picture of how the Tea Party, Ron Paul movement and Republican Party are influencing each other. Cool temperatures and hot politics on my vacation. Walt
Tea Party groups finding their voice
The “old money” island community of Boca Grande has traditionally been safe conservative territory, where residents warmly greet vacationing Bush family members during the holidays. So National Republican leaders may have been hoping for a quiet trip when they chose the resort town near Englewood for a retreat this weekend.
Instead they found protesters lining the streets, and in an unusual twist, the people waving signs and chanting slogans were proud conservatives. Welcome to the Tea Party, a movement demanding attention with raucous town hall meetings, a march on Washington, D.C., and a national convention.
The Englewood Tea Party chapter is drawing more people to its monthly meetings than the local Republican Club. At the center is Randy McLendon, onetime Baptist preacher turned real estate agent, with gray hair and a drawl from his native Georgia that invites Mike Huckabee comparisons……
McLendon draws much of his information from conservative commentators such as Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh……..
In Tea Party rise, Ron Paul’s legacy
H-T Political Writer
Last Modified: Saturday, February 20, 2010 at 10:36 p.m.
(Excerpt) Click here for full article
When Ron Paul lost his bid for president in 2008 many political observers expected that the movement he inspired would fade into obscurity.
Instead, followers of the quirky little Texan have emerged as a strident and growing opposition to everything from President Barack Obama’s agenda to local tax issues.
Nationally, many of Paul’s supporters are behind the Tea Party movement, which embraced Republican Scott Brown’s Senate victory in Massachusetts. In Florida, Paul backers were influential in ousting state GOP chairman Jim Greer and have bolstered Republican Marco Rubio’s run for Senate.
Locally, Paul’s legacy is seen in the growing opposition to renewing the Sarasota schools tax. While none of the events were driven solely by Paul’s passionate followers, each had its beginning with what Paul’s supporters call their “revolution.”
“They have definitely played a big role,” Sarasota Republican Party Chairman Joe Gruters said of the Paul faction.
Many of Paul’s positions are on the political fringe. Paul calls global warming “an elaborate hoax.” He wants to eliminate Medicare and Medicaid. He calls for abolishing the Federal Reserve and returning to the gold standard.
But the legacy of Paul’s campaign may be the passion he unleashed in his followers.
It was Paul who organized the first modern Tea Party event, holding one on Dec. 17, 2007, to coincide with the 234th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party. Conservative groups have since co-opted the movement, but most political experts point to Paul’s campaign as the genesis for the idea…….