Tea party movement draws competing agendas, strategies

Hundreds of thousands of Americans are expected to gather this week for another round of flag-waving, fist-shaking, sign-carrying "tea party" protests, demanding less government, lower taxes and more freedom.

But as they celebrate the first birthday of what they now proudly call a movement, tea partiers concede they face a crucial challenge:

What do you do after the tea is dumped in the harbor?

"You really can have only a couple of these rallies before people are like, 'All right, now why are these angry people just out demonstrating?' " said Andrea Plunkett, an organizer of last year’s Kansas City tea party at the Liberty Memorial. “We can have these fun events where the pictures look good — or we can get to work.”

Defining the tea party movement is difficult. There are thousands of tea partiers and hundreds of tea party groups — dozens in Missouri and Kansas alone — many with different goals and approaches to changing the government.

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