Ron Paul, the libertarian congressman from Texas' Gulf Coast, faces three Republican challengers this year -- more than in his six past primaries combined. All three opponents are affiliated with the Tea Party movement. What makes this so fascinating is the fact that the Tea Partiers got their unofficial start through Paul himself.
Sarah Palin may be the face of the Tea Party movement today, but it started with Ron Paul in 2007. That December, on the 234th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party, Paul's presidential campaign supporters participated in a "money bomb," a one-day online fundraising blitz that raked in $6 million from 40,000 people nationwide, and drew upon the 1773 protest's anti-tax sentiments.
Officially a Republican, Ron Paul was denied a speaking slot at the GOP convention in St. Paul, so he held his own well-attended event across town. While Paul only tallied 41,905 votes on Election Day, his fundraising prowess and widespread appeal among disaffected fiscal conservatives who have grown uncomfortable with the Republican Party's easy reliance on corporate money and gay-bashing base, made political observers across the spectrum take note of the scrappy outsider.
This is very sad. The man who breathed life into this group is now being challenged by the people whom he brought together as a team in order to oppose the unconstitutional ways of our Government that have, sadly, found their home in our American system. Ways that are unamerican to the very core. To throw a man who has devoted his life to the cause of restoring our country's founding principles under the bus is simply appalling.