Back in 2009, we were witness to the birth of the Tea Party Movement.
Let's review it's early beginnings.
• February 27, 2009 to protest the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) bailout bill signed by President George W. Bush in October 2008 and the ARRA stimulus bill signed by President Barack Obama ten days prior to the protest;
• April 15, 2009 to coincide with the annual U.S. deadline for submitting tax returns, known as Tax Day;
• July 4, 2009 to coincide with Independence Day;
• September 12, 2009 to coincide with the anniversary of the day after the September 11 attacks;
• November 5, 2009 in Washington D.C. to protest the impending Health insurance vote;
• March 14–21, 2010 in Washington, D.C. during the final week of debate on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
This coincided with much tomfoolery by the likes of Glenn Beck and his 9-12 Project
that was also unveiled in 2009. Sarah Palin went on to make commentary and such on Fox News. Michelle Bachmann started a Tea Party Caucus in Congress.
The Tea Party espoused the Idea that people were "T
lready" and suggested that those in agreement with this idea should "Mail a tea bag to congress and to senate"
. -- By 2010, according to Wiki, Tea Party activities since 2010 have been focused on opposing the efforts (supported by the Obama Administration) to enact reforms to health insurance and health care delivery, and on recruiting, nominating, and supporting candidates for upcoming state and national elections.
And the rest as they say, is history -- we saw the birth of a political movement and it's still here today. We say a revival of this:
Last year, the NYT had a piece on the GOP and it's history with the Tea Party
Dick Armey left FreedomWorks and the Tea Party less than a year later
On its surface the Tea Party movement snugly fits this pattern. An organized grass-roots revolt, its influence was decisive in the 2010 elections, when an energized base propelled Republicans to enormous gains in the House, helped secure Senate victories for fresh faces like Rand Paul and Marco Rubio and captured as many as 700 seats in state legislatures. The movement drove the Republican agenda to the right, making stars of legislators like Senator Jim DeMint and Representative Paul Ryan, and did much to shift the political debate from the jobless recovery to the growing national debt.
But even in those early, heady days there were signs of trouble.
In February 2010, while a conservative mandarin like William Kristol, the publisher and editor of The Weekly Standard, exulted that the Tea Party protest was “the best thing that has happened to the Republican Party in recent times,” Sarah Palin, the figure who has come closest to tapping directly into the movement’s animating passions, sent a very different message. Her keynote address to the Tea Party convention, held that month in Nashville, Tenn., and broadcast by both Fox News and MSNBC, was widely received (by, among others, David Broder, the consummate Beltway insider), as signaling a possible presidential run. But Ms. Palin’s remarks were essentially those of a supporter of the new insurgency, rather than its leader. Indeed, she explicitly rejected a leading role. “I caution against allowing this movement to be defined by any one leader or politician,” she said. “The Tea Party movement is not a top-down operation. It’s a ground-up call to caution that is forcing both parties to change the way they’re doing business, and that’s beautiful.” True to this sentiment, she chose to remain a media presence rather than a political one and eventually decided not to enter the presidential contest. Already there was a growing schism on the right, its fault lines precisely those Ms. Palin identified, between the elite — including Mr. Kristol and other journalists who had been among her first champions — and the base. This is a strikingly new development on the right. (snip)
It’s a preachment, aimed at the like-minded. The same is true of the Tea Party movement itself. Dick Armey, himself a Beltway insider before he became the chairman of FreedomWorks, one of the most powerful Tea Party organizations, acknowledged as much when he reportedly told the freshman Republicans shortly after the 2010 election: “You don’t owe your office to the majority. You owe your office to the people who put you there.” Those people, however, compose only a fraction of the electorate. And that fraction is divided.
. Brandishing a gun, he recieved an 8 million dollar payout to do so. Grassroots at its best! Sarah Palin has been let go by Fox -- and Glenn Beck has left television for tin foil pastures. The 2012 elections saw the Tea Party take a public relations bruising. Dick Armey blamed the GOP
, and the GOP blamed the Tea party
for the pounding they took in November. Glenn Beck blamed fluoride in water.
Here we are in 2013 and it appears that things aren't quite going the way they were supposed to. The GOP certainly is in a lot of trouble. States like Virginia, Ohio, Michigan, Florida and Pennsylvania have considered rigging the Electoral College order to win future elections. The Republican party is concerned, even with redistricting from the 2010 census, about winning in the future.
They built this, and now they are trying to figure out what to do with what they have wrought. So what will they do? Well, Karl Rove has a possible solution. He's starting
a NEW Super PAC to keep the Tea Party from getting re-elected.
“There is a broad concern about having blown a significant number of races because the wrong candidates were selected,” Law told the New York Times on Saturday. “We don’t view ourselves as being in the incumbent protection business, but we want to pick the most conservative candidate who can win.”
The Victory Project plans to oppose candidates like Christine O’Donnell, Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock. Though running in places where Republicans were favored, the tea party-backed candidates lost the general election after defeating moderate Republicans in the primary. Many tea party candidates who were victorious in 2010, such as Allen West and Joe Walsh, also ended up being defeated by Democratic challengers in 2012.
or, as the NYT put it: Top Donors to Republicans Seek More Say in Senate Races
The group’s plans, which were outlined for the first time last week in an interview with Mr. Law, call for hard-edge campaign tactics, including television advertising, against candidates whom party leaders see as unelectable and a drag on the efforts to win the Senate. Mr. Law cited Iowa as an example and said Republicans could no longer be squeamish about intervening in primary fights.
“We’re concerned about Steve King’s Todd Akin problem,” Mr. Law said. “This is an example of candidate discipline and how it would play in a general election. All of the things he’s said are going to be hung around his neck.” (snip)
The retirement announcements last month from Mr. Harkin and Senator Saxby Chambliss, Republican of Georgia, have created wide-open Senate races that are expected to attract several prospective candidates. The Conservative Victory Project is working to build a consensus with other groups on candidates who have the strongest chance of winning.
Grover Norquist, who leads Americans for Tax Reform, a fiscally conservative advocacy group that plays a role in Republican primary races, said he welcomed a pragmatic sense of discipline in recruiting candidates. But he said it was incorrect to suggest that candidates backed by Tea Party groups were the only ones to lose, pointing to establishment Republicans in North Dakota and Montana who also lost their races last year.
“People are imagining a problem that doesn’t exist,” Mr. Norquist said. “We’ve had people challenge the establishment guy and do swimmingly.”
Where this goes, I don't know, but it does appear that they want to tear down what they themselves willingly built. I'm willing to bet the Tea Party will not go quietly. Karl Rove doesn't exactly have a stellar track record with his previous PAC activities so this might be interesting to sit back and watch. The GOP is making it clear that they want people to get in line.
Have a Samuel Adams Boston Lager-- he was at the first Tea Party revolt, so it just seems fitting.