Earlier this week the INDsider uncovered a fissure in the Tea Party movement, both at the state level and here in Lafayette. The schism manifests itself in Baton Rouge through the Louisiana Tea Party and the Tea Party of Louisiana, the latter being a break-away group founded by a former LTP member, Chris Comeaux, of whom we know little.

In Lafayette as well there are two groups: Acadiana Tea Party and the Tea Party of Lafayette. Distinctions among the groups are delineated by where they lie on the rightward-projecting ideological spectrum. ATP and LPT are vanilla conservative, anti-tax, small-government types and by and large of a grass roots nature; the two TPL’s, on the other hand, appear to attract fringe elements, as evidenced by the creeping hostility in the comment section attached to the Tuesday blog detailing the schism. Translate for yourselves; correcting these posts for clarity would make me sic [sic]. Clearly these comments were written in the white-hot haste of passion.

“Yea the fellow who I believe is Chris and two others constantly attacked me for being GOP through and through when I objected to the Truther hijacking of the [Baton Rouge Tea Party]. Good riddance to bad rubbish,” writes ‘Citizen K,’ who, in throwing down the gauntlet, is promptly set upon. “Wow, unbelievable,” ‘truepatriot’ retorts. “Attacking a man because of jealously and that it what this is all about. Comeaux is the hardest working person in the Louisiana liberty movement. Im not using the words “tea party”, because contrary to what some of you think, this IS about more than taxes, but keep your eyes closed.” A quick Google search for “liberty movement” is revelatory.

Not to be outdone, ‘PUNK’ makes it a pile-on: “Chris Comeaux is not a conspiracy theorist. He is a self-proclaimed patriot ...” the comment reads. “The tea parties (all of them) started as a grassroots movement with the best of intentions, and was hijacked by Sean Hannity and the GOP,” ‘PUNK’ continues. “Now, if you’re not a white, middle-class republican, your ideas are not welcome.” When Sean Hannity is too far to the left for your tastes, well, I’m speechless.

I’ve tried to contact Chris Comeaux to learn more about the Tea Party of Louisiana and, in light of these most recent posts, the liberty movement. An e-mail to the TPL seeking a contact number has not been answered. Chris, if you’re out there, please call The Independent Weekly at (337) 988-4607.

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