Question: Is The Tea Party Dead? Answer: It was Never Alive

Dave Weigel at Slate has done some fun sleuthing and discovered that the House Tea Party Caucus, launched by Michele Bachmann, is, if not dead, in critical condition and slipping away fast:

Today, the membership page for the caucus is defunct. The caucus hasn’t met since July 2012; it has posted no news since July 2012. In the press, “Tea Party caucus” has become an offhand way to refer to conservatives. In her speech to CPAC, which included a typically Bachmann-ian error about how much TANF money is wasted on administration, Bachmann didn’t mention “the Tea Party.”

The only dispute I have with Weigel’s analysis is that the Tea Party cannot be dead if it was never alive. It has long been my observation that there never was a Tea Party. All of its constituents are Republicans (or vote Republican). All of the elected representatives who associate themselves with it are Republicans. All of its policy positions are straight from the GOP Party platform. Much of it’s original organizing muscle was provided by establishment Republican operatives like Dick Armey’s FreedomWorks and GOP flacks Russo Marsh & Rogers. The Tea Party is, and always has been, a wholly owned subsidiary of the GOP, and everyone from Republican leadership to the GOP PR agency (aka Fox News) knows it:

John Boehner, House Minority Leader: There really is no difference between what Republicans believe in and what the tea party activists believe in.

Michael Steele, Republican Party Chairman: It’s important for our party to appreciate and understand that so we can move toward it, and embrace it.

Mark Skoda, Tea Party Leader: This movement is beginning to mature … not as a third party but a force to be reckoned with in the traditional party structure.

Carl Cameron, Fox News: They plan to establish separate spin off political action committees to fund raise for candidates who back Tea Party goals and the official Republican National Committee platform.

Newt Gingrich, Former GOP House Speaker: If the Republican Party offers a positive alternative in a way that Tea Party activists and independents join them, the tide could turn.

GOP Tea PartyConsequently, the Tea Party could not have died. Its purpose was to promote the most extreme, far-right positions of the GOP and to denounce compromise and cooperation. That stubbornness has resulted in unprecedented gridlock in Washington and decline in support for the Republican Party to historic lows. The Tea-publican bonds are tightly wrapped and they cannot pretend they were never an item. The GOP web site even featured a page explicitly aligning themselves with “Tea Bagging” (which is interesting because they now consider the term derogatory).

So, no…the Tea Party is not dead. It was never alive. And its place in the GOP is as firm as ever despite their failure to acknowledge it. Bachmann’s defunct caucus is a joke and the infighting between the GOP establishment and their Tea Party wing is just more fertile material for humor. Karl Rove and Sarah Palin are at each others throats. RNC chair Reince Priebus and Rush Limbaugh are feuding fiercely. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell faces a Tea-publican primary challenger. And John Boehner is being ostracized from within his own ranks.

Aah yes, these are good times.


10 thoughts on “Question: Is The Tea Party Dead? Answer: It was Never Alive

  1. Question: Will ever tell the truth on his website?

    Answer: He can’t tell what he doesn’t recognize.

    • Question: Will Scott ever back up whatever he posts?

      Answer: He can’t back up what isn’t true.

      • I have shot down Mark’s pathetic comments time and time again. You all just refuse to recognize it.

  2. And how can we tell they are and always were the right-wing of the republican party? Because regardless of how righteous they thought there initial messaging was, their true colors began leaking out. Soon all the racists, bigots, homophobes, xenophobes, misogynists and everything associated with RWNJs oozed out of the woodwork and came to the fore via the “new” platform called the teaparty.

    Dick Armey knew they weren’t the sharpest pencils in the box and so they were co-opted quite easily and just made money for someone else. Sarah Palin anyone?

    • They are not racists, bigots, or homophobes. Once again, the left-wing in America can only resort to lying, slandering, name-calling and mindless insults.

      • So, the re-defining of rape, the war on women, the virulent anti-gay stances, the outright refusal to work with President Obama on anything and everything and SO many other despicable acts these Teapublican Nazis were personally responsible for were all just misunderstandings then?

        We had a choice, as a nation, to adopt all those repugnant policies. And we, as a nation, said no. People are sick of the Republicans’ ridiculous behavior and the election proved that without any room for doubt.

        Kindly go march off a cliff with the rest of the lemmings on the right.

        • No, I will not march off a cliff. You’re sounding like Ann Coulter. So, will Mark condemn your death-wish comment? I doubt it.

          These people are not Nazis. Furthermore, I don’t see President Obama or his lefty thug brigade Ried and Pelosi wanting to work with the GOP.

      • And there are no Gays in Iran.

        Yeah those things just DON’T exist, just as the Republicans didn’t lose the last election……….

        • Non-sequiter comment. Try to make sense, for once.

  3. I’ve dealt with conservative Republicans who immediately took up the Tea Party banner when it hit the media. Initially nothing changed, it was as if they just got a new coat and wanted to show it off. I guess the desire to belong to something new was overwhelming.
    In time though they did make a radical turn away from conservative ideas to a more evangelical right wing type. It wasn’t enough to disagree with a specific policy, they now tossed in subtle terminology that evoked undercurrents of racism and even elitism which they all deemed to be solely a Liberal thing. They despised Obama at each and every turn, even when it was pointed out and rather blatant that he was advocating for something the Republican Party had initiated a few years earlier. They constantly praised America as a Christian nation while advocating for the failure of Obama and all liberals through the utter destruction of the Federal Government.
    This was not regulated to a select few, but to all of those I interacted with that claimed to be from the same group, the Tea Party.
    But this is just how I saw my interactions with the local Tea Party affiliate.

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