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On FNC with Megyn Kelly at 2:30 Friday EST,

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Then a great lineup on Friday’s program and prep for Monday’s fundraiser in Phoenix for three GOP challengers to Democrat-held House seats, all of who are tied or in the lead over Pelosi supporters.

If you can join us Monday afternoon, the details are here. If you can’t, please consider contributing anyway, and to the candidates noted in this column as well.

Thursday night it is Philly with Mike Gallagher as we continue the conversation with the public we began last night in San Antonio on what is going on in the country in the run-up to 11/2. Ticket and event info is here.

Then on to Atlanta with Michael Medved on Tuesday October 5, and Minneapolis with Dennis Prager on October 7.

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“Tea Party: The Awakening” by Brent Morehouse

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I spent much of Thursday’s show asking Tea Party participants to call and describe their backgrounds and why they had joined up. The only condition was that they had never called the program before. The lines were jammed with first-time callers wanting to tell their stories.

I will continue the experiment over the next few days to present a much more comprehensive sampling of the make-up of the movement than MSM has been providing. A large swath of the movement consists of long-time Republican voters and activists who have simply “stepped up” their commitment. This is why the commentary about a GOP “civil war” is so inane. These folks are just responding to what they perceive as an urgent crisis in American politics with much higher levels of participation, both in terms of physical presence at events, and on the internet and via donations.

Of course some pockets of the Tea Party want a purge in the GOP. And various vocal groups are represented within the large ranks of the army of volunteers. Some are Ron Paul supporters who want the U.S. out of Afghanistan. Some are secular absolutists who want evangelicals run out (even thought evangelicals outnumber the secularists by an enormous amount and even though the two most prominent political figures admired by most Tea Party leaders —Sarah Palin and Jim DeMint— are strong evangelicals.)

But overwhelmingly I heard in my callers’ stories today and from average Tea Party participants over many months a consistent story of alarm at the Obama/Pelosi/Reid radicalism across the board and especially at the explosion in the size and cost of government. The intramural squabbles among conservatives have been many this year, and the Tea Party-backed candidates have won some (Alaska, Colorado, Delaware) and lost some (Arizona, Maryland, Washington State). Most of those candidates who have lost haven’t taken their ball and gone home, and neither will most of the so-called “establishment” GOP after their knock-downs. There is some sulking on both sides, and some intemperate comments, but the overwhelming commitment across the spectrum of the GOP is to reverse the disastrous course set upon by the Democrats.

A much more comprehensive survey of the roots of many Tea party leaders has just appeared in book form, with the Kindle edition already available and the print edition following soon.

Tea Party: The Awakening, edited by Brent Morehouse, is a Studs Terkel-style anthology of first person narratives of people from the front lines of the Tea party movement. It is probably too much to ask Beltway MSMers to consult a book by and about the Tea Party people to actually get smart on who they are and why they are throwing themselves into politics at this juncture, but any genuine journalist will get the book and start to read.

TEA PARTY THE AWAKENING

Morehouse will spend the first half-hour with me on tomorrow’s program. The movement was first derided as insignificant, then dismissed with vulgarity, then mischaracterized by agenda journalists of the MSM, and is now portrayed as a threat to the party it is helping renew and triumph.

The most reliable thing you can conclude about the Tea Party movement is that the MSM hasn’t got a clue about what it is and what it means.

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Keep Rhee

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Michelle Rhee is the reforming Chancellor of D.C. public schools, and very much the star of the important new documentary Waiting for Superman.

Because she is doing what is necessary to save kids and the schools they attend –including firing incompetent teachers and bureaucrats– Rhee is the subject of an attempted purge which her enemies are bringing to bear through the new mayor-elect in D.C.

Every advocate for education reform int he country, and especially every citizen alarmed by the power of the teachers’ unions and their crusade against meaningful reforms in public education, should be urging the mayor-elect to retain Rhee and should be urging Congressmen and Senators to intervene to keep Rhee in her job and reform moving forward.

If you want to see why Rhee is drawing fire, see the movie when it comes out.

UPDATE: Just interviewed Jay Mathews of the Washington Post, author of the finest book on education reform in the past decade, Work Hard, Be Nice:How Two Inspired Teachers Created the Most Promising Schools in America. Jay relays that he cannot imagine Rhee staying on under the new mayor. She ought to fight to stay as long as possible, in other words, she ought to “go Alamo,” thus bringing attention to what she has done and why the teacher union in D.C, has spent so much time and effort to purge her. The movie’s release will indeed make her the most famous superintendent in America, but if she can use this reprehensible action by the D.C. union as a teaching moment, the power of the film will be greatly magnified.

I have been suggesting on air today that Tea Party activists consider organizing a meeting around the release of the movie and inviting the local press along.

If you want to get smart on school reform generally, and charter schools within public education specifically, read Work Hard Be Nice.

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“Where Do I Send My Money?”

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My new Townhall.com column ponders where a limited budget of political contributions ought to go.

Not mentioned in the column is my Monday fundraiser in Phoenix with three GOP nominees for House seats held by Pelosi clones. Paul Gosar, Jesse Kelly and David Schweikert can all win if they have the funds to compete with the union money flowing in to the defense of Team Nancy in Arizona. If you can come to the event on Monday, please do. Even if you live in Alaska, please contribute to these three great conservative challengers.

Each of the three, btw, are proud of their Tea Party support, and much of that Tea Party support is traditional, conservative Republican voters organizing under a new banner for at least a season. Trying to read new and deep chasms into the party as a result of the Tea Party movement is just a new chapter in an old MSM narrative of division within the GOP. Everyone –even atheist pro-choicers!– are trying to claim the Tea Party as their vehicle and a triumph of their brand of conservatism. This will come as news to the evangelicals who are carrying signs in Tea Party rallies, but so long as everyone works to defeat Democrats between now and 11/2, it doesn’t matter why they are doing so.

The Tea Party movement is a coalition of many disparate activists, united around the core idea that President Obama has led the country far from its traditional values and far from the Constitution. Lots of different subpoints are listed under those headings, and they are all valid and their activists are all marching.

The party facing a problem between now and November isn’t the GOP, and the MSM’s song of solace for the left can keep playing for all the activists care. It won’t change the direction of the election and, if anything, it will give false hope to the left.

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