Tea Time In Westport

Nearly 90 people jammed the Westport Library’s McManus Room for last night’s 1st Westport Tea meeting.

But anyone looking for red meat was disappointed.  Organizer Dean Slack served up mostly appetizers.

The 10-year Westporter — a self-described businessperson with no previous experience in politics — returned over and over to 3 main themes:

We need officers.  We need volunteers.  We need money.

Organizers of last night's Westport Tea meeting asked that faces of attendees not be photographed.

Westport Tea, he emphasized, is a non-profit association.  It’s not a political party, or a “Tea Party PAC.”  Westport Tea is a social organization that educates voters.

Some of the crowd stirred when Slack touched on Westport Tea’s 3 main principles:  fiscal responsibility, limited government and capitalism.  They wanted to vent about everything wrong with America today — I guess that would be fiscal irresponsibility, intrusive government, and socialism.

But Slack wasn’t going there.  He returned again and again to the need for officers, volunteers and money.

If the 1773 Tea Party organizing committee held meetings like last night’s, Westporters today would be hoping England wins the World Cup.

Slack differentiated Westport Tea from the national movement of a similar name.  “This is not the fanatical Tea Party thing you see on TV,” he said.

That led to a brief discussion about the advantages and disadvantages of the TP name.  They’re both about the same things, Slack said — “less government, less taxes, free markets, an emphasis on the Constitution” — but then it was back to the need for officers and volunteers.

And money.

“Democracy,” Slack said, “is not free.”

It was not Paul Revere.

It was not Rand Paul.

It was not Ayn Rand.

It was Tea time, Westport-style.

(For more information on Westport Tea, call Dean Slack at 203-226-2619, or email: WestportTea@gmail.com.)

23 responses to “Tea Time In Westport

  1. Bobbie Herman

    Obviously, what the Westport Tea Party also needs is intestinal fortitude. Otherwise, why would they refuse to show their faces?

  2. Perhaps they were exercising their right to free association in a private forum. This is the backbone of America. I suggest you (re)read Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America.

    Bobbie, since you are so concerned about seeing faces, although I did not see your face attached to your comment, here is a link to mine: http://westportroadrunners.org/2008/wpic0810.htm (I am wearing the red singlet).


  3. Luisa Francoeur

    Did the Westport Tea group ever consider that by showing their faces they might attract more supporters – those who know them and would like to join with them? It works both ways.
    PaulyG criticizes Bobbie Herman for not showing her face when, in fact, her entire real name is attached to her post as opposed to a mere nickname.

  4. As usual, Woog enlightens us to what is really going on in Westport. Considering “The Tea Party Movement” (okay Mr.Raho?) recent victory in Kentucky, I would think it was pretty good timing and perhaps financially prudent to jump on the band wagon right now. Of course, we are in Westport where everything seems to be about money so evidently not. I am not sure where these 90 people were when our 43 President was spending trillions over budget??And they want limited government in light of an oil spill that was not only caused by big business but can not be corrected by big business?? And do they want to end capitalism or further it with a totally free market??? It sounds like Republicans with Libertarian anger. I think the United States is ripe for a third party crusade. I applaud their efforts and really don’t care what they look like. What the hell does that matter?

  5. Libertarian? Hardly. Mostly disaffected Republicans, like Peter Schiff who wants to primary for the Republican senate nomination. And petitioners for Robert Merkle seeking the GOP nomination for U.S. House of Representatives. Neither one crossed the minimum threshold in recent Republican conventions.

    Most telling was Mr. Slack’s plea that attendees get involved in local government, especially the RTC…. Republican Town Committee for the unintiated.

  6. Innocent Bystander

    If it was Mr. Slack’s intent to get people involved, bravo. However, the only other thing he reportedly said that I agree with is “that democracy costs money.” That may be the
    biggest problem for big money runs the show.

  7. As Herbert Hoover once said: “The problem with capitalism is the capitalists.” I wonder if the “Westport Tea Party” argued free market and limited government when Wall Street (and our investments) were shrinking with the sub-prime credit default swap debacle?????

  8. Gary Singer

    The TP wants “limited government.” The agenda at its next meeting should discuss which part of government they would like to limit:
    1. Police Dept.
    2. Fire Dept.
    3. Teachers
    4. Social Security
    5. Medicare
    6. Interstate road maintenance.
    7. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard.

  9. Singing the Blues

    Amen Gary. I think the Tea Partiers just want to complain about government and possibly not pay for it. I agree with Obama and now Cuomo that it could be far more efficient but that is a song that they have been dancing to for 50 years. My personal view: bring the troops home and pass legislation (if not an amendment) to get private money out of elections. 12 billion last month in the two wars and Vets coming home messed up (14 arrested at Fort Carson after returning for assault to murder charges) and you want to run for office, you get a standard tax payer funding only from the government. No fat cats bankrolling your vote.

  10. Curious: Rand Paul, the son of Ron, beat the hand chosen pick of the Republican Minority Leader in the US Senate in the Kentucky primary on a libertarian platform. Whatever that is? I find most of the “Tea Party Movement” of the Republican beliefs. Whatever that is? Mostly “no” lately. Curiously (excuse the pun) that they place Reagan on the pedastal and he raised taxes 6 times during his Presidency. Taxes have gone down under Obama and they call him “Hitler.” Go figure?

  11. Day Trader

    The market just hit 9,900. They will probably have 300 at their next meeting. Anger and fear runs amuck in that outfit.

  12. Interesting meeting, but what does it say when you (the press) are told no pictures or names at a public meeting in a public venue?

  13. It says that people have something to hide. It is called prior restraint. Perhaps the town should have something to say about the use of their precious library.

  14. Bobbie Herman

    There’s something called “The courage of your convictions.” The KKK hid their faces, too.

  15. Luisa, to show that I am not hiding, my full name is Paul Greenberg. Therefore, so far in this discussion, I am the only person with both a face and a name. I am waiting for everyone else…….


    I still have not seen your face, why do you need to see theirs?

    Yes, the KKK hid their faces but many of the recent protesters for freedom in Iran and other countries have hidden theirs.

    If you have a burning desire to out these people, I would suggest you attend one of their meetings.

  16. Paul Greenberg

    Luisa and Bobbie: It is Paul Greenberg. Now I appear to be the ONLY person on this discussion with the courage of my convictions to have both his name and picture available.

  17. Innocent Bystander

    Chill everyone. Faces? Pictures? I thought this was about political change? The Westport Tea Party certainly has a right to have meetings in a closed environment in a public setting. But why all the mystery? Are you going to use Karl Rovian tactics are candidates? You may be very serious, which I applaud the effort, but seem pretty silly. Or scary? I am not sure either approach will garner support or contributions.

  18. Westporter

    Libertarianism looks great on paper… really doesn’t work so well in reality. What other “ism” have we learned from history doesn’t work so well.
    The ambiguous “ideals” of the tea party may sound great. “Smaller Govt, less money spent, Hurrah!”
    But lets step into reality. Where do we cut, what do we cut, who gets shafted first? Does our crumbling infrastructure languish more. Is the social safety net ripped to shreads? Is our sphere of influence around the world shrunken to allow or global hedgemony to wither?
    Gary hit the nail on the head. The “tea party” is filled with citizens who take advantage of all that the scary big government supplies, but simply doesn’t want to pay into the system.

  19. They met at the library! How ironic!

  20. They met at the library? How ironic!

  21. Before we condemn the “Tea Party Movement” as a bunch of lunatics, I think we have to remember that we do need to cut taxes and government spending in certain areas to meet deficit demands. We just can’t keep this spending and owing to the Chinese at this rate. That being said, we also need to spend in certain areas. An example is focusing and spending on a cure to Alzheimer’s Disease would save Medicare and the taxpayer billions of dollars. Therefore, it is a delicate balance of intelligent spending versus intelligent cuts. If the “Tea Party Movement” or “Tea Party – Westport” can add some insight and wisdom to this quagmire, I say welcome. If there purpose is to disturb the system in order to inflate their egos and dislodge valuable incumbents based on their limited agenda, I say good riddance.

  22. Gary Singer

    Paul, I always post my full name. I can show you my picture, but it’s not very pretty.

  23. Pingback: Don’t Tread On Them « 06880