On June 19, federal prosecutors charged a Tea Party Klansman and his cohort in a plot so bizarre it could've been ripped from the pages of a comic book. The two upstate New York men were arrested on terrorism charges for trying to build a mobile death ray to kill Muslims.
Many pundits were quick to pronounce the Tea Party movement dead after failing to stop the passage of health care legislation. Conventional wisdom also held that the bigoted and violent behavior displayed by Tea Partiers over the weekend would negatively impact their growth. Let’s examine the data before we begin drafting a Tea Party obituary.
Instead of membership going flat or declining, online membership in each of the different national Tea Party factions has continued to rise. In fact, several factions experienced sharp increases in the last week.