Give some credit to the Teabaggers. Today, RNC Chairman Michael Steele got around to askingthe Chicago "Tea Party" organizers if he could speak. They smacked him down, hard.
I've copied the rest of the story from my post at the Washington Independent.
Eric Odom, the event's organizer, has posted the e-mail he wrote to the Republican National Chairman's staff after Steele asked to be a speaker.
I very much appreciate the fact that Chairman Steele is now finally starting to reach out to the true grassroots side of the free-market movement in America. Unfortunately, it appears that he has only just decided to reach out after realizing how big the movement has gotten and how much media is now involved.
That said, we’re still excited to know that Chairman Steele will be in Chicago and we hope, after knowing that he’ll be in the city, that he’ll stop by and mingle with the Americans who will be rallying on April 15th. This will also present a fantastic time for Chairman Steele to LISTEN to what we have to say and perhaps gather some thoughts on what the RNC needs to be doing moving forward.
With regards to stage time, we respectfully must inform Chairman Steele that RNC officials are welcome to participate in the rally itself, but we prefer to limit stage time to those who are not elected officials, both in Government as well as political parties. This is an opportunity for Americans to speak, and elected officials to listen, not the other way around.
That's pretty harsh, although Odom's followers on Twitter seem to like the move. In the Tea Party cosmos, Rick Santelli > Alan Keyes > anybody else > Michael Steele.