A short history of the activists that started the groups that helped create the movement that became the Tea…

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Oct. 27 2010 2:35 PM

Tea Party Taxonomy

A short history of the activists that started the groups that helped create the movement that became the Tea Party.

Tea Party Taxonomy. Click image to launch.

Never mind the eggheads—the Tea Party movement is confusing even to its followers. The Tea Party Express is not Tea Party Patriots. FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity can't stand each other, and only one of them has taken money from the Kochs. Oath Keepers and the Campaign for Liberty both trace their origins to the 2008 Ron Paul presidential campaign, but Paul's only involved with one of them. What follows is a taxonomy, in rough chronological order, of the main organizations that have made, or been remade by, the Tea Party movement. Some of them predate Rick Santelli's February 2009 CNBC rant that really kicked off the movement. Some of them are defined by feuds with other groups. Some of them are pro-Republican; some of them hate both parties. Now you can keep them straight.

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David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.