After the withdrawal of two State Representatives, the first-ever tea party convention is facing some infighting over how to organize the event. “With conservative firebrand Sarah Palin headlining, it’s been billed as an event to fuse and celebrate the tenets of the disparate ‘tea party’ movement that has rocked American politics over the last year, forcing President Obama to take a more frugal and populist stance. But so far, the first-ever Tea Party Nation Convention, slated for next weekend at Nashville’s Opryland, has been anything but a show of unity. The decision by Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R) of Minn. and Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R) of Tenn. to pull out of the convention, coming after similar withdrawals from groups like the American Liberty Alliance, has given Americans a glimpse into the vigorous internecine battles tearing at what critics mock as America’s latest mobocracy. But so far, the tea party show goes on, and reports that Ms. Palin will speak to a half-empty room are most likely overblown. The uproar over the convention, some tea party activists say, is, in fact, exactly the kind of healthy debate necessary to shape a stronger and more influential movement.”
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