In the wake of a disappointing midterm election, left-leaning publications have trained their eyes on a sure target: conspiracy theories involving a television show, a grassroots political movement and a 20-year-old girl.
Perhaps tired of declaring Tea Partiers racist, gun-crazed crackers out to destroy democracy in America, publications like Jezebel, CBS, Technorati, a bi-polar Salon and even the Christian Science Monitor have all wondered aloud: Is there a Tea Party Conspiracy to keep the broken-left-footed Bristol Palin on “Dancing with the Stars” via rigged voting during elimination time?
Sure, there is political pundit Tammy Bruce’s “Operation Bristol,” although it probably has as much actual influence as the Gay Mafia or an A.M. radio personality. Jezebel, too, noted that “there’s no denying that conservatives have been pushing for votes for Bristol, using blogs and Twitter to start a movement.”
But is there really a Tea Party conspiracy?
“We’ve got nothing up on our public side [encouraging people to vote for Bristol], but it might be up on the shadow site,” said the Tea Party Express’ Levi Russell, who asked to remain anonymous because of the conspiracy’s malicious intent. “You have to have a special log-in for that one.”
Russell was either kidding, or he used the second-oldest trick in the conspirator’s handbook: deflating a ridiculous theory by owning up to it.
“Personally, I think it’s high time,” he said. “If it’s true, it’s the first time that any of the conspiracies I’ve heard about in the last 10 years have actually had an impact.”
Other Tea Party leaders who spoke to The Daily Caller, however, stuck to the conspirator’s first rule: deny, deny, deny.
“I can tell you that among the people I’ve talked to, nobody participating in a conspiracy or call-in in fact at the Tea Party Nation, it’s not even a topic of conversation,” said Judson Phillips.
Phillips said his organization has “more important things to do right now then mess with a TV show,” although he wouldn’t say if that was code for helping the wealthy Koch brothers build a slave army.
“Honestly, I heard she was on DWTS but that was the only thing I heard,” said Michael Kinzie, who helps organize groups nationally and operates an online Tea Party swag store. “It never came up in any party meetings. I’ve been all over Texas … not a mention.”
Dale Robertson of TeaParty.org also tried to hide the truth.
“Not our site,” he said. “I don’t know any Tea Party site that’s done anything to show support of Bristol Palin.”
In fact, it was difficult for TheDC to nail down the potential players in a plot to destroy the wholesome experience of TV voting. They kept wanting to talk about other issues.
“This is just more intrusion of government power,” said Robertson, who mistook a 5th question about the Tea Party conspiracy for a question about the recent coverage of the TSA’s free hernia exams.
Peterson said his group — which, as a whole, has been eerily silent on the Bristol conspiracy — is focused on extending the Bush tax cuts as well as the potential passage of the DREAM Act. As for the Tea Party Express, Russell an unidentified source said the group has been reaching out to soon-to-be freshman congressmen.
“When shows on network TV don’t take up our time, we are constantly pushing our agenda for limited government and more responsible spending,” he said.
DWTS is “probably one of our least concerns,” said Kinzie. “I just came back from a leadership summit in San Antonio, and there are two priorities: getting ride of [Texas House Speaker] Joe Strauss [and] one of my pet peeves is S-510 [the Food Safety Modernization Act].”
Other Tea Partiers have tried to brush the conspiracy away by remaining silent. Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann, leader of the House Tea Party Caucus, refused to comment on the story in a very un-American fashion, through her spokesman.
As for why there has been so much attention paid to a Tea Party plan to infiltrate DWTS, those who spoke to TheDC had only theories.
“The liberal media has done a lot to drive more attention to [Bristol] and make it a Tea Party issue,” said Peterson. “The left is afraid of the Tea Party, that’s what it boils down to.”
“Oh yeah, they’re terrified of us,” said Kinzie. “I mean golly, of all the ridiculous things to be concerned about. Come on, give me a break.”
When you’re the central shadow organization behind a conspiracy theory, however, there is no break. Just ask the Freemasons.
“Maybe once a month somebody comes or calls and accuses us of running everything. And Gosh, we only wish but not so much anymore,” said Kevin Jay, Past Master of the Grand Masonic Lodge of Washington, D.C.
Then again, the Freemasons could very well be a part of the Tea Party conspiracy. After all, they’re involved in every other conspiracy. Jay, however, said that most of the Masons now days are either “old timers” or young men with kids, and are too tired to watch TV.
“Most of our base are in bed by 9 or 10,” he said.
Jay suggested that perhaps most of the people who watch DWTS also enjoy “Sarah Palin’s Alaska,” attend Tea Party events and like wholesome family fun. Or they’re media types and enjoy making fun of both.
“If only we could bring that kind of involvement to bear on issues that really matter as opposed to making sure Bristol Palin wins on DWTS,” said the Past Master.
TheDC speculated that perhaps DWTS is just a small start for a worldwide takeover by the Freemasons and the Tea Party.
“You can’t get much smaller than that,” he said.