by Jillian Bandes at Townhall.com
If you read any of the extensive coverage of the Tea Party Convention going on this weekend in Nashville, TN, be prepared for dramatic stories of rampant grassroots infighting, questionable convention finances, and radical convention-goers flocking after polarizing demagogues.
The real story? Much different.
Attendees are wildly enthusiastic, not just about speakers, but about ideas. Those ideas are focused almost exclusively on basic conservative principles like limited government and fiscal responsibility (not the Obama birther conspiracy). And attendees are barely aware of the criticism that has been launched at the Tea Party Convention by mainstream media outlets.
“It’s a good idea,” said one attendee, pithily, when asked why he drove in from Ohio to participate.
Attendees are mainly being informed about the manufactured scandals through convention speakers, who have taken every opportunity to punch back — like Mark Skoda, head of the Memphis tea party group.
“We’ve come so far in the world of socialist values that we’re now criticizing a for-profit event,” he said, during a morning briefing on Friday. “We’ve put six hundred thousand of our dollars into the Gaylord Hotel (where the event is being hosted). We didn’t ask for a tax benefit, a subsidy, or a stimulus.”