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At a time when both Republicans and Democrats hope to gain ground with voters and show a political advantage heading into next year’s mid-term Congressional elections, internal polling by both parties show intense anger, even among established bases, and widespread dissatisfaction aimed at both sides and Congress in general.
“American dissatisfaction with Congress crosses party lines and ideological boundaries,” political strategist Al Waring tells Capitol Hill Blue. “The anger is aimed at Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals, the entire group.”
Polling by Republicans in the House show intense voter anger at the lackluster leadership displayed by the GOP, which has controlled that body in recent years. Same for surveys conducted by the Democratic Party in the Senate, where the other party controls the agenda.
Even the flamboyant tea party is finding it hard to support those it claims it elected to Congress.
“They keep sticking their finger in the eyes of the guys who got them elected,” Ralph King, co-founder of the Cleveland Tea Party Patriots, said in a recent wire service interview. “A lot of people are feeling betrayed.”
With Congress home for the August recess, local tea parties around the country are urging members to display their anger and displeasure at town hall meetings and other public functions with members of Congress.
One target will be Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a one-time favorite of the tea party but now a target of derision because of his embrace of immigration reform and other issues that the right-wing finds too moderate.
It changes the playing field for us. The most powerful thing we have as a movement is our feet and our vote.
Rubio won’t be the only former tea party “star” to fall from grace and face the wrath of those who like to come to public meetings dressed as Uncle Sam and spout television news camera worthy one-liners. Other in the cross hairs include House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia and House Speaker Tom Boehner.
“The tea party is not alone as a fickle group that supports you one day and wants to throw you out the next,” says political strategist Waring. “Liberals are mad at Obama and Reid and those who used to see Kentucky Senator Rand Paul as the future of the libertarian movement now question his motives. Most feel sold out and betrayed.”
But polls also show a growing number of Americans feel the tea party is among those who have strayed from their beliefs. A survey by CBS news show American voter support for the tea party has fallen to 24 percent — a seven point drop since 2010.
The bottom line, according to many Americans who feel left out in the cold, is that they just can’t trust anyone.
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