Obviously cognizant that actual teabags set off security alarms and caused government offices to be shut down, Michael Steele sent an email to the RNC list today inviting Republicans to send "virtual teabags" to Pelosi, Reid, Obama and Biden.

The DNC responds:

"Didn’t Michael Steele get rejected from a ‘tea party?’ Maybe he should send an invite to himself," said DNC National Press Secretary Hari Sevugan. FLASHBACK: Chicago ‘Tea Party’ Rejects Michael Steele. "While the organizers of the Washington, D.C. anti-spending “Tea Party” have given a speaking slot to Alan Keyes, that other failed African-American Republican Senate candidate from Maryland, Michael Steele, has been dissed by the crew behind the Chicago Tea Party. Eric Odom, the event’s organizer, has posted the email 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."

There is considerable consternation in Illinois right now among local teabaggers – conservative radio hosts John Howell & Cisco Cotto believe that Eric Odom shut them, as well as Michael Steele, out of the demonstration so they wouldn’t overshadow the "special interests" of Dan Proft. Proft is a PR guy who was originally invited by Odom to speak at the Chicago event, but he had bragged about scoring no-bid government contracts in the past and the organizers ultimately thought that being publicly ridiculed for that wasn’t worth the price.

Steele is no doubt banking that his retreat into virtual teabagging will help him earn the approbation of the teabagger elite. Here’s hoping that 2m4m is on the RNC’s mailing list.