Right-wing talk radio squawker Mark Belling apparently isn’t a big fan of at least one of Wisconsin’s “Tea Party” groups, as I came to realize during my travels through the intertubes. During his show on July 14, 2010, Belling asserted that the Rock River Patriots – one of Wisconsin’s myriad of Tea Party groups – was endorsing candidates for elected office, and in making his assertion, Belling attacked the idea of one Tea Party group endorsing candidates, while in the process attacking that same group for trying to “speak” for the Tea Party movement as a whole.

In response to Belling’s attacks, Dan Horvatin of the Rock River Patriots sent Belling an email addressing the attacks:

From: Rock River Patriots [mailto:[address removed]]
Sent: Wednesday, July 14, 2010 8:44 PM

Subject: Rock River Patriots Response To Mark Belling’s LIE about us


In Hour 2 Part 1 of your show today (07/14/10), you completely LIED about about our position regarding the endorsement of candidates. We have repeatedly stated that we DO NOT endorse candidates because the Tea Party is about an ideology, not a particular person. Long before your rant today, we were quoted in the Wisconsin State Journal were I stated the same thing.

Here is the link to that article: http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/govt_and_politics/article_cc9afd60-72a0-11df-bfc9-001cc4c03286.html

We have also repeatedly stated we do not speak for anyone other than our own group. However, it seems that you want to paint us as just the opposite. We are members of the Coalition of WI TEA Party Groups, but never once claimed to speak on their behalf. That is the beauty of this movement, we work together but retain our own group identity.

You may like our positions on certain issues (which we believe are in accordance with the Constitution), but that doesn’t mean you can completely distort who we are or what we believe. We request that you correct this error. If you have questions about our positions, please feel free to contact us or visit our website.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Dan Horvatin – Rock River Patriots

“Defending Our Constitution and Taking Back Our Government”

In response to Horvatin’s email, Belling responded in typical Belling fashion – with an email full of snark and arrogance:

On Thu, Jul 15, 2010 at 1:54 PM, BELLING, MARK C. wrote:

Did your group comment on Ron Johnson or not? My point is that nobody should speak for the “Tea Party” and organized groups with leaders is anathema to the movement. It is my contention your group should offer no comments on anything but should merely be a forum for citizens to express their own grievances. It is remarkably arrogant for one group to attempt to co-op a movement, particularly when that group appears to be very liberal on a number of issues, including the war on terrorism. Most tea party attendees support the anti-terror effort, the Patriot Act and strongly defend Israel.

While Mark Belling clearly isn’t a fan of the Rock River Patriots, he doesn’t seem to be a fan of the Fourth Amendment either, given the fact that the PATRIOT Act is a clear violation of the Fourth Amendment protections against warrantless searches and indefinite detention. Then again, perhaps Mark Belling really isn’t a believer in a strict interpretation of the Constitution, instead believing the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are simply a list of “suggestions” that can be followed or ignored as the need arises.

No matter how Mark Belling really feels about the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, it’s revealing to see what at least one member of the right-wing media really thinks of the folks in the Tea Party movement. What’s more, I’m willing to bet that while many more members of the vast right-wing media establishment have been publicly encouraging the folks from the various Tea Party groups to keep doing what they’re doing, behind closed doors those same right-wing media types have nothing but negative things to say about the folks from the Tea Party movement.

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5 Responses to Is there trouble in conservative paradise?

  1. Huh? says:

    You got it wrong again Zach. No trouble in conservative paradise. In fact, we are growing the TEA movement by leaps and bounds. Rock River lives in a world all their own. I have said it before and it is worth repeating…they have preferred Rob Taylor over Westlake. What does that tell you without me spelling it out for you? I can assure you that MANY groups do not fall in line with the RRP.

    So in a sense, Belling is right for going after them. If he is going back and forth with that one group, there is a good reason for it that many of us understand. Mark’s discourse with RRP does not imply he is behind closed doors dissing the entire movement!

    Please keep in mind that there were hundreds of TEA party people at the GOP rally in Waukesha a couple of weeks ago, although I highly doubt RRP. That’s right…cheering on your favorites Scott Walker, Paul Ryan and RoJo!!!

    • Huh? says:

      Please don’t lump all TEA party people into what you just described. The majority of MOST of us is way more mainstream than you realize.

      • Rich says:

        If MOST of you, as you say, are more mainstream than we realize, then why aren’t we hearing anything about how you “mainstream” tea partiers are doing something about pushing back against the image of the TP presented by all of the media outlets.

        In other words, do you agree or disagree with the Palin/Angle/Bachmann leadership of the TP?

  2. Waterboy says:

    The beauty of TEA parties is their autonomy. This is why some idiots like Belling make dumb remarks like, he did on his show. He can’t believe you can have a movement without a leader.

    You can pick the TEA party you most closely associate with in your beliefs. It isn’t like a political group where some in control make a platform and everyone has to knuckle under and believe all the same stuff in order for their side to get a “win”. I don’t think TEA party members are after a win. They are after educating the public on government policy and making sure their freedoms are maintained. Sounds to me like the ACLU and the SEIU have the same thing is mind, just with a top-down approach.

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