By GARY BAUMGARTEN
Paltalk News Network
They want to have an affect on the course of the nation - but they apparently hold the news media in such disdain that the organizers of the Tea Party convention in Nashville have turned down requests from reporters to cover the event.
Even the keynote speeches by former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) won't be covered by the press.
Isn't this the kind of thing that the Tea Party movement criticizes the mainstream political parties of doing?
Aren't Tea Partiers on the cutting edge of criticizing the behind-the-scenes negotiations to come up with a health reform bill to present to the two houses of Congress?
Weren't they among those who criticized then-candidate Barack Obama when he thought he was free of the prying ears of the press and proclaimed that people in Pennsylvania clutch their Bibles and guns? A Huffington Post reporter who was in attendance outed the future president for that one.
No doubt someone who is in attendance will sneak out snippets - if not the entire speeches. But that begs the question. If the Tea Party wants to be part of the national dialogue - then it should be part of the dialogue - and be inclusive - not exclusive. We've seen enough of the latter in Washington. And isn't that something the Tea Party says it wants to obviate? If so, then it should lead by example - and not fall into the "us against them" trap that - thanks to the current partisan political climate - we find ourselves in now.