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Top 6 most covered Tea Party news stories of the year

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Alex Pappas
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      Alex Pappas

      Alex Pappas is a Washington D.C.-based political reporter for The Daily Caller. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and the Mobile Press-Register. Pappas is a graduate of The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., where he was editor-in-chief of The Sewanee Purple. While in college, he did internships at NBC's Meet the Press and the White House. He grew up in Mobile, Ala., where he graduated from St. Paul's Episcopal School. He and his wife live on Capitol Hill.

Tea Party activists often say the media ignored them when the movement burst onto the political scene in 2009.

They can’t say the same thing about 2010.

Thousands of articles were written over the last 12 months about Tea Party activists, whether it had to do with Scott Brown’s election to the Senate, President Obama’s health-care bill or the year’s midterm elections.

As we look back on those articles, here’s our list of the top 6 of the most covered Tea Party news stories this year:

1. Scott Brown wins Massachusetts Senate seat

It was the Tea Party’s first major political victory: a Republican pledging to vote against President Obama’s health care bill won the Massachusetts Senate seat long-held by the late Democratic Sen. Ted Kennedy.

Tea Party sympathizers from across the country poured money into Brown’s campaign coffers. When he defeated Democrat Martha Coakley, it was viewed as a sign that the Tea Party’s energy was for real — and could be translated into political results.

The most immediate effect, however, was that after Brown’s election, some even declared Obamacare dead. His election was a major setback for Obama’s hopes of getting health care passed in the Senate, as it gave Democrats one less vote than the 60 needed for a filibuster-proof total.

2. Tea Party vows vengeance on members of Congress who voted for health-care

Well, Obamacare turned out not to be so dead, as Democrats found a way to still get it through the House and onto the president’s desk.

But Tea Partiers sure made it a lot harder too pass. They held rallies, and some even came to Washington to storm the halls of Congress to demand that members votes against the legislation.

The passage of the legislation only energized the conservative, grassroots activists even more. They turned their attention to getting revenge at the polls.

The first casualty of this was Michigan Rep. Bart Stupak, who led a group of pro-life Democrats opposed to the bill because of concerns about federal funding of abortion. When his last minute deal with the Democrat leadership allowed the bill to pass, Tea Partiers started donating money to his Republican opponent, and the Tea Party Express named him a top target for defeat.

Before too long, Stupak announced he was retiring his seat and not running for re-election.

3. Tea Partiers fight the racism charge

The narrative pushed by opponents of Tea Party activists that the movement is made up of racists really picked up steam when a number of black members of Congress claimed activists yelled racial epithets at them outside the Capitol.

Despite the absence of any video footage of the alleged remarks, a number of media outlets used the reports to accuse the 25,000-plus activists who protested at the Capitol the weekend of the health care vote of hating not simply President Obama’s health care bill, but all black people.

Unsurprisingly, the Tea Partiers rejected the characterization.

“The media ran with these allegations and made that practically the only mention of the event,” said Brendan Steinhauser, a FreedomWorks staffer who organized anti-health care legislation rallies.

While activists were exhausted rebutting such allegations, a well-known activist, Mark Williams, did not help the cause when he was forced to resign from the Tea Party Express after coming under fire earlier for a racially tinged satirical blogpost about the NAACP.

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  • michaelslevinson

    We need to DUMP THE 535. The 535 MUST GO. I am an independent write-in candidate for president and I am looking for 434 (one exception to the rule — Marci Kaptor, of Ohio), to run with me. You should be over 60 so it is clear you are not trying to make a career. Then on the appointed day, we will all converge on our local, non-commercial PBS station to hold a press conference and submit our request for access to deliver three hour long speeches.

    In the event the PBS station balks at your request I will have prepared for you your ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE to present to the local Federal District Court, challenging their broadcast license.You will speak. You will be elected, because you are “NOT THEM.” I also have a series of innovative non-partisan programs you can talk about.

    michaelslevinson.com

  • oldguy5

    If I could have but one wish come true in the new year it would be that we would never again hear from Odumbo, Palin, Reid or Pelosi. You could probably add Weiner and Frank onto that list.

    • dw

      …Gore, Kerry, Biden, Murtha..oh that’s right, he’s dead…Grayson, Bathtub Olberdum, Tingle Matthews, Maddow the man, Sgt. Shultz, Socialist O’dunnel, Klien from Time (When that rag and Newsday go out of bussiness), anyone from the N Y Times…….this list can go on forever.

      We must do our best to shorten it. Make these people and institutions extinct, drowned in a tar pit of their own drivel.

  • NeoKong

    I think the big story of the year was how the old lamestream media went on absolute Jihad against TeaPartiers every chance they got and it didn’t make a bit of difference.
    Their propaganda no longer works.
    Another big story was Glen Beck’s Restoring Honor Rally.
    It made the lefties quake in their boots.

  • gringott

    The problem with the Racism Charge is it is judged by how the media covers it, as if there is some big whiteboard where the Racism tally is kept.

    I think the board was wiped clean when the truth came out that no racial comments were made at any Congressmen. Those who made the charge, and the media backers, were shown to be liars and race-baiters.

    Like all cockroaches, the liberal left scatters under the light of truth.

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  • des1

    I think that about sums it up. There was good and bad from the Tea Party in 2010, which is to be expected since it isn’t an organized party with a hierarchy.

    I think the one lasting thing they did in 2010 was make the race card irrelevant. After the debacle on Capital Hill, Dems proved that they’ll use any lie, no matter how obvious) to win political points. It also unmasked the media as the Leftist sycophants they are.

    • wodiej

      I agree w you on that last paragraph and it’s about time.