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The tea party’s pot has grown cold and stale

By DOUG THOMPSON - A Capitol Hill Blue Commentary
September 18, 2013

Lots for the tea party to cry about these days. (AP)

Lots for the tea party to cry about these days. (AP)

With Ken Cuccinelli, their favorite son candidate for governor going down in flames, it’s little wonder the so-called “tea party patriots” are keeping a low profile in Virginia lately.

In the Blue Ridge Mountain town of Floyd, Virginia — where I live  —  the local tea party hasn’t updated its web site since Memorial Day.  The organization’s “local governing meeting notes” page’s most recent post is April 23rd.   The Virginia “Tea Party Patriots” web site says the Floyd group was “last active 397 days ago.”

The last post on the Floyd Tea Party web site is a collection of news cartoons and, ironically, the posting of each violates copyrights held by the cartoonists or their employers.

The nearby New River Valley tea party hasn’t updated its web site since March 19 and that post was only the third of the year.   Two only two other items for 2013 were posted in early January.

“The tea party is barely a blip on the national radar,” writes Bill Sher of The Week.  “What happened?”

The tea party planned to use the just-completed August recess of Congress to mount a national protest campaign against immigration reform but it never really materialized because the people who really run the so-called “grassroots” group are the billionaire Koch brothers and they support immigration.

So the effort fizzled and some feel that the tea party is dying along with it.

Not quite.  The tea party is not dead but it is a far cry from what it used to be and merely a bitter memory to those who once feared it would become a potent political power.  The uproar over the targeting of the tea party and other conservative groups by the IRS kept it in the news for a while this year but that has largely faded.

The Floyd tea party tried to sideline the county’s new comprehensive plan with loud, but baseless, claims that it was the puppet of some vague United Nations agenda but nobody in the county government listed to their hysteria.

Efforts to derail the Sustain Floyd movement fell flat as well.

“The Tea Party movement is dead. It’s gone,” says Chris Littleton, cofounder of the Ohio Liberty Council, a statewide coalition of Tea Party groups in Ohio. “I think largely the Tea Party is irrelevant.”

Littleton’s comment was not made recently.  He said it in early 2012 in a prediction that the tea party’s choices for the Republican presidential nomination had little chance at winning.  He was right.  Every tea party candidate for President fell by the wayside n the primaries and the inclusion of tea party favorite Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney’s running mate didn’t mean a thing to voter.  They lost.

Tea party leaders claim the problem lies with what they call the failure of Republican leadership to listen to their demands. A Pew Research poll released a few days ago says 71 percent of American voters who support the tea party are unhappy with the GOP leadership and want change.

There’s a big problem with that poll.  Those who support the tea party represent only a very small portion of the voter population.   A poll by Rasmussen Reports in January found that only eight percent of likely American voters are members of the tea party.

The demise of tea party influence may best be expressed by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, the Wisconsin Republican who was once a poster child for the party.

The threat of a tea party-backed primary challenge used to scare Republicans but when the tea baggers threatened to mount a primary challenge against Ryan because he supports immigration reform he just shrugged his shoulders.

“I’ve seen it all and I am used to this kind of political activity,” Ryan said. “It does not surprise me; it doesn’t really affect me.”

 

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4 Responses to The tea party’s pot has grown cold and stale

  1. Sandy Price

    September 18, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    My first reaction to the Tea Party was very interesting until I read through the leaders and members and saw many of the same names that who had grouped after the close of World War Two.

    Living within the financial budget that would bring all Americans into a sensible endgame. GOP leadership in 2008 continued to brag about their actions during and after our mess in the middle east, forced me to read more of the writers from the N.Y. Times and many of my favorite groups and my eyes opened quickly to the truth. I never had respect for the Bush club and here were the same names that we all became familiar here at Reader Rant.

    The new and improved GOP even dipped into the social changes from the Birch Society and I tried to warn anyone who listened to the inquisition threats. Americans need to be told what not to do. Our government wants us all armed and stupid.

  2. Sandy Price

    September 19, 2013 at 10:55 am

    I can no longer sit at my computer long enough to even try to guide anyone into action. My back pain has become very strong. I guess all I wanted to say was to try and talk to anyone who thinks/acts in favor of the tea party to think before putting them back in office within the House and Senate.

    I remember when we had enough members to make a statement on line. My own neighborhood here in the desert has not been able to contact our House member with a request to stay out of war in Syria. My Rep announced this morning that he would not commit his position.

    Nice writing Chief.

  3. Jon

    September 20, 2013 at 12:52 am

    Quite possibly because the Koch brothers and their ilk simply stopped funding them, and like any puppet with a hand removed, well…

    Jon

  4. Vernon Malcolm

    September 23, 2013 at 10:54 am

    Now that the anti-science, superstition-based initiative presidency is over, we need Manhattan projects to boost us out of this Grotesque Depression. First provide free advertising-based wimax wireless internet to everyone to end land line monopolies. Renationalize the telephone companies like 1917, and the DTV fiasco and internet under a renationalized post office. It’s not enough to make Boston-NY-Washington high speed, we need to connect the Boston end to Pittsburgh, Chicago and Minneapolis and the Washington end to Charlotte, Birmingham and Texas. Because bovine flatulence is the major source of greenhouse gases, we must develop home growable microbes to provide all of our protein. We must finally join the metric system and take advantage of DTV problems to create a unified global standard for television and cellular instead of this Anglo Saxon competitive waste. We must address that most illness starts from behavior, especially parents. Since paranoid schizophrenia is the cause of racism, bigotry, homelessness, terrorism, ignorance, exploitation and criminality, we must provide put the appropriate medications, like lithium, in the water supply and require dangerous wingnuts who refuse free mental health care to be implanted with drug release devices. Churches should be licensed to reduce supersition and all clergy dealing with small children should be psychiatrically monitored to prevent molesting. We need to psychiatrically regulate the preachers and teachers that produce these creatures. Osama bin Laden and Timothy McVeigh were the ultimate superstition based initiatives. Folks wouldn’t have to go to bigoted superstitious gatherings like churches if labor unions had more family dances, afterschool activities and even owned sports teams to build loyalty! Aborting future terrorists and sterilizing their parents is the most effective homeland security. Pregnancy is a selfish, environmentally destructive act and must be punished, not rewarded with benefits, preference and leave. Widen navigation straits (Gibraltar, Suez, Malacca, Danube, Panama, Hellespont) with deep nukes to prevent war. To fund this we must nationalize the entire financial, electrical and transportation system and extinguish the silly feudal notion that each industry should be regulated by its peers. Technology mandates a transformation of tax subsidies from feudal forecloseable debt to risk sharing equity. Real estate and insurance, the engines of feudalism, must be brought under the Federal Reserve so we may replace all buildings with hazardous materials to provide public works. Collectors, bounty hunters and private investigators are mercenaries operating on the edge of the law. Insects, flooding and fire spread asbestos, lead and mold which prematurely disables the disadvantaged. Disposable manufactured housing assures children are not prematurely disabled and disadvantaged. The only reason one engages in atomistic, sheflish small business is to avoid rules. Even Milton Friedman showed that small business creating jobs is unprovable because of survival bias (J Eco Lit, Vol. 30, No. 4, pp. 2129-2132). In today’s complex New Industrial State (J K Galbraith), you do a better job if you are a large contractor because you have all kinds of compliance controls in place and superior information than if you are on you own. Because feudalism is the threat to progress everywhere, we must abolish large land holdings by farmers, foresters or religions and instead make all such large landholding part of the forest service so our trees may diminish greenhouse gases. Darwin led to the worst colonial, militarist, atrocity and stock market abuses in history – Lamarkian inheritance and mitochondrial DNA show that Darwin was not all he is crackered up to be. We must abolish executive pay and make sure all employees in a company are all paid equally. We must abolish this exploitative idea of trade and monopoly and make every manufactured disposable cottage self sufficient through the microbes we invent.

    Southern Oligarchs destroyed the Democrats in the sixties and destroyed the Republicans this decade – they would not allow viable candidates like Colin Powell, Mitt Romney or Condi Rice to even be considered! Those Queens lard buttums who hate bikes need to be motored to the turd hole. This is why Obamacare was needed, to force them to bike for their own good and then to psychiatrically regulate the preachers and teachers that produced such creatures. Those birds in Bayside need to be psychiatrically tested for their driver license so they will lose their cars and so move out of town and stop voting for teabaggers. With Obamacare, we should mandate psychiatric examinations of Bayside pimp mobile driving geezers when they renew their licenses. This way they will move away and stop voting against the progressive agenda. Them boys in Bayside are the most dangerous and backwards of all. The city should toughen inspections for medical, psychiatric and vehicle reasons to cut down the number of congestion. This way, we will also get the voters against congestion pricing, who live in Bayside and Staten Island, to move away. Free health care means psychiatric care for all those angry talk radio white males! They are all overweight from driving around too much, burdening the city health system! Remember how Patti Dunne used her investigators? Repuglicans use investigators, bounty hunters and collectors who practice on the edge of the law like private militias. That’s how mafia realtor contractors sent subprime mortgages to the banks in company of hookers. That’s how realtors bought the right to do home inspections without professional engineering licenses and to do appraisals without appraisal licenses.