Barb Lindberg has staged a perfectly legal coup to officially take over the Rapid City Tea Party, a.k.a. Citizens for Liberty. Bob Ellis, along with others who thought the group was their own little club to dictate, is miffed to have been out-maneuvered by a woman he clearly considers his inferior. He appears to declare Citizens for Liberty no longer has any credibility—and how can it when it is not blessed with Bob's certainty and divine authority?
Ellis and his vanquished outflanked Citizens for Liberty board—and we can only use "board" colloquially, since the group had no written bylaws until Lindberg filed the official incorporation papers—have aired all their dirty laundry on Dakota Voice, with a link on the Citizens for Liberty Tea Party website (alas, Ellis still holds the Web keys, so Lindberg will have to start a new website for the official group... let's hope she includes a daily blog!). The "board" rebuttal is ugly, petty, self-righteous, Newspeaky, yet hilarious. In a 4,435-word essay (and Bob has chided me for writing lengthy rebuttals as a sign of ill conscience), they lambaste Lindberg's public speaking and time management skills. They air in-house e-mails.
And, in the funniest thing I've read all week, the beaten Ellis et al. summarize Lindberg's qualifications to run a Tea Party thus:
The CFL board tried for several months to work with Mrs. Lindberg on some of her rough edges, and while there were some improvements, she was becoming increasingly intransigent and heavy-handed at board meetings. In the end, she escalated to the point of paranoia and veiled threats to somehow remove two board members with whom she had the sharpest disagreements [Ed Randazzo, Dawn Pence, Zach Lautenschlager, Bob Ellis, "Facts Behind the Dismissal of Barb Lindberg from Citizens for Liberty," Dakota Voice, 2010.07.29].
Rough edges, intransigent, heavy-handed, paranoia, veiled threats... wow. Those characteristics perfectly describe of the Tea party mindset, the town hall tactics used last year to oppose health care reform, the tactic of bringing guns to public rallies, and the rhetoric of spilling blood to nourish the tree of liberty. It sounds like the Rapid City Tea Party has found its perfect leader.
Plus, Lindberg still wants to bring Glenn Beck to Rapid City. Keep the good times rolling, Barb!
Bonus Baggers: Some environmentalists constituting a "Green Tea Party" in Florida delivered green tea bags to Senator George LeMieux to demand Senate action on climate change legislation. Ah, it's good to see teabagging can swing both ways!