Has this cycle been a Tea Party failure?

posted at 10:35 am on January 18, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

I get this question a lot, and I see references to it in the comments section here at Hot Air as well.  If the Tea Party had such great success in 2010, why do we have the field of presidential candidates we see now?  Has the Tea Party failed and/or run out of steam?  In my column for The Week, I explain that the answer is no, and that this presidential cycle would be a poor measure in any case:

Consider the impact of the New Left movement in the 1960s. Originally outside of the two-party paradigm, the rise of the New Left created a rift among Democrats during the Vietnam War that led to their disastrous 1968 convention in Chicago and resulted in the election of Richard Nixon, and then his re-election in 1972. The New Left’s absorption into the Democratic Party took years — and arguably, didn’t produce a legitimate presidential nominee until Barack Obama, 40 years after the Chicago convention. It took that amount of time to elect New Left candidates as state legislators, U.S. representatives and senators, and build the seniority and clout to take over the establishment of the Democratic Party, and in many cases, replace moderate Democrats in Congress as well as Republicans.

During those decades, the advocates and activists in this movement maintained pressure on the Democratic Party. They launched think tanks, moved into the leadership of unions, and went into “community organizing,” which is how our current president got his start in politics. They changed the popular culture and media to help make their views more mainstream. Instead of fighting the establishment, the New Left eventually became the establishment in the Democratic Party — so much so that Democrats founded the Democratic Leadership Council in the late 1980s that tried to pull the Democratic Party back to the center, and ended up promoting Bill Clinton for the nomination in 1992 for that very purpose.

The Tea Party got off to a much better and less divisive start in fighting the Republican establishment than the New Left did with the Democratic Party in the 1960s. After less than two years, and without the platforms of academia and the entertainment industry for support, the Tea Party has dozens of House members and a handful of senators beholden to it. Thanks to a few effective anti-incumbent electoral efforts, the Republican establishment has developed at least a healthy respect for Tea Partiers’ grassroots power. However, it will take at least a few more cycles for Tea Party–backed elected officials to grow in number and seniority, which will produce an evolution in the Republican Party — and more Tea Party–style candidates with the requisite experience and support to make legitimate runs for the presidency.

The key to success for the Tea Party is the long view.  Given the spectacular success of 2010, it would be very easy to expect nearly-instant revolution in political thinking, but that’s unrealistic.  The American political process is designed to prevent sharp lunges in any direction; it’s one reason why our political structure has remained stable.  Real change takes decades, not months, as fresh blood and fresh ideas work their way into the mainstream.

The danger in unrealistic expectations is disillusionment, which will bring a halt to that process as people give up on the necessary hard work.  And it’s not difficult to be disillusioned by the choices for the top of the ticket, although I believe that most of the candidates now competing are better than what we have now in the White House, and that this is a better field than four years ago in some respects.  We have to choose one of them for the top of the ticket, but for the Tea Party activists, that’s almost separate from their real work this summer, which is to get more Tea Party-style candidates into Congress and state legislatures around the country.  As that effort builds from cycle to cycle, the Tea Party’s grassroots movement will garner more strength inside the GOP and eventually start producing authentic and electable potential nominees for the presidency.  Meanwhile, the process of gaining strength will make it easier to get a Republican President to stay with the Tea Party agenda of smaller government and economic prosperity.

Don’t get discouraged.  This is a long road, not a sprint.  This cycle won’t be a failure unless we give up before we get started.


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You mean, the cycle that is still almost a year away from being over? That cycle?

Darksean on January 18, 2012 at 10:36 AM

Don’t get discouraged. This is a long road, not a sprint. This cycle won’t be a failure unless we give up before we get started.

My fear is that, in this age of INSTANT everything, too many Americans want instant success or they lose interest.

mankai on January 18, 2012 at 10:37 AM

I’d say it’s pretty much over. A leaderless, wandering in the desert movement never had a chance. The sheep must be herded.

they lie on January 18, 2012 at 10:39 AM

Only the uninformed think the Tea Party is dead ……………

It’s called hibernation.

ashiya on January 18, 2012 at 10:39 AM

Ed- your reading the Tea Leaves wrong. November 2010 was not that long ago, and guess what- there’s a debt ceiling debate coming to a theatre near you soon.
Can you say Super-Super Committee ??

FlaMurph on January 18, 2012 at 10:40 AM

This cycle isn’t over. I read a story in which Romney was going to be coronated in Florida. We haven’t even chosen 10% of the delegates!

If this race gets down to Romney, Paul, and Gingrich before Super Tuesday then Gingrich has a real chance of winning this thing.

Bill C on January 18, 2012 at 10:41 AM

It’s the quiet ones you have to watch out for!

KOOLAID2 on January 18, 2012 at 10:42 AM

More please. I keep reading how the Tea Party is dead or dying but when its being desperatly forwarded by Harry Reid then I know we’re okay.

Rock on conservatives. We’ll get there if we have to drag RINOs kicking and screaming…out of congress.

Any of the current field is much better than Obama. We all know it no matter how much chatter our new enrollees try to muddy that fact.

DanMan on January 18, 2012 at 10:42 AM

Real change takes decades, not months, as fresh blood and fresh ideas work their way into the mainstream.

I agree. It will take a cycle or two for the Tea Party politicians to reach the presidential level. What we’re stuck with now is a bunch of dinosaurs that represent the 2006 worldview of the GOP, which thankfully is a bygone era. Just wait until 2016 or 2020.

joekenha on January 18, 2012 at 10:42 AM

Without taking down Harry Reid in the Senate, I knew that this would just be a holding cycle. No Cap ‘n Trade, no major union victories, no more major agenda items. In that I think we succeeded. It was ugly, that’s for sure, and the GOP leadership had a thankless job to do. That said, I think after we get the WH and the Senate, it’s time for some new leadership.

stefanite on January 18, 2012 at 10:42 AM

We’re not dead yet! Harry Reid’s fear is palpable. We’re watching the NRCC, NRSC, and the GOP establishment in general making a hash of the November elections if they don’t field candidates amenable to us Tea Partiers. We know it’s going to be a long, hard slog going forward to get term limits, a balanced budget amendment, and fiscal sanity to return to the swamp in DC.

Bob in VA on January 18, 2012 at 10:42 AM

The Tea Party is having it’s say. In Iowa the Tea Party spoke and chose Romney and Santorum in a virtual tie. In New Hampshire the Tea Party spoke for Romney. The Tea Party will have it’s say in South Carolina in a few days. They are not being denied a voice. They are choosing Romney so far. But just because Romney seems to be winning their votes does not mean that they haven’t had their say.

rogaineguy on January 18, 2012 at 10:42 AM

Thank you for the post. I agree that the tea party will only die if we let it die. The left was able to sit out the Reagan years pretty well and come out swinging. Tea partiers of all people should recognize the importance and value of perservering against all odds.

earlgrey133 on January 18, 2012 at 10:43 AM

Pretty awesome Ed. Like Mark Levin said recently “Keep Chipping Away” We are a young movement.

boogaleesnots on January 18, 2012 at 10:44 AM

Nonsense.

How can the current field can be seen as anything other than a complete rebuke of Tea Party and its principals? As front runners we have: a moderate Rockefeller Republican Governor who is so uninspiriing that he could only manage to win 1 election in 12 or so years (despite being the son of a popular GOP Governor, and independently wealthy); and the consumate Washington insider who literally maintains an office on K street.

Way to go Tea Party. You sure stood up and made things happen this year! Why, there was no way that Romney was going to be able to pull off his candidacy without your support! Hahahaha.

To my mind, the only thing the Tea Party demonstrated is how easily manipulated the public at large is by a well crafted, and often repeated narrative by MSM/Establishment. By knocking out, or allowing Perry and Bachman to be knocked out, the Tea Party shows complete irrelevance on a National level.

As to taking the long view — good luck with that. Second term for Obama comes with probably two SCOTUS appointments, which will tip the “lawfare” scales irrevocably to the left. Not to mention, that another 4 years of Democratic spending and budgets will likely sink the US economy and drag the rest of the world into depression.

Long view. Pbst. Long view is what losers comfort themselves with.

bsclark12 on January 18, 2012 at 10:44 AM

I hope the April 15 rallies this year are as well-attended as they’ve been in years past. I’ll be going to my local one.

Spannerhead on January 18, 2012 at 10:44 AM

We’re reloading.

Kaffa on January 18, 2012 at 10:44 AM

According to the lsm. Yes indeedy

cmsinaz on January 18, 2012 at 10:45 AM

That’s my biggest problem with the Tea Party. I use to be an enthusiastic supporter, but the mess this summer sort of turned me off. Politician has to negotiate, they have to find the happy medium. You cannot let Perfect be the Enemy of good. They threaten to primary any candidate that even looks across the aisle, Which is no way to build a majority.

Also their unwavering support of unelectible but ideologically pure candidates like O’Donnell and Angle cost us the Senate.

The no new taxes, EVER; stand is laudable, but unrealistic. When you tie the hand of your Representatives, you not only prevent them from doing bad thing, you prevent them from creating good legislation.

The idea that we wouldn’t accept 10 X Spending cuts to Tax Increase ratio is absolutely insane.

Critic2029 on January 18, 2012 at 10:45 AM

Don’t get discouraged. This is a long road, not a sprint. This cycle won’t be a failure unless we give up before we get started.

That’s what Rick Perry said about his campaign it’s a marathon not a sprint.

But we are an instant gratification society – we can’t wait for anything to materialize. That’s the pressure on the politician they have to put scores up on the board so people can perceive movement in one direction or another. Rick Perry’s Branding could be much better, his campaign team should be giving people reasons to vote for him. Unfortunately today running for President requires a showman.

What did the last congress accomplish with new Tea Party members? Well they produced the least legislation since 1947, passing only 80 Bills. That’s a good start to strangling the government’s hold on the citizens of this country.

Dr Evil on January 18, 2012 at 10:46 AM

The TEA Party is more important in Congress where they can control the spending bills, not so much in the Executive Branch. I think Paul Ryan did the right thing by staying where he was and not running for President.

This isn’t a failure for the TEA Party, and it can’t be proclaimed such until after the Congressional Elections.

E L Frederick (Sniper One) on January 18, 2012 at 10:46 AM

No. But the problem is, there really is no Tea partier, (other than Perry, who is not doing well), that they could coalesce around.

ConservativePartyNow on January 18, 2012 at 10:46 AM

It is not over, but you have to be realistic.

Let us say Romney wins the nomination, and even the Presidency. Even then, that is when the Tea Party’s job BEGINS.

Our job is to steer Republicans to the conservative ideals that we think will make our country great again. They clearly don’t believe in them today.

We talk about ‘establishment Republicans’. Well, they have been trying to move the Republicans to the middle for DECADES. This is a decades long battle.

So if you are in this for the short term…you might as well leave now. This is a battle that will take many, many years, to move the Republican Party to the Right, and move this country toward fiscal sanity.

neoavatara on January 18, 2012 at 10:46 AM

bsclark12 on January 18, 2012 at 10:44 AM

The left took “the long view” with socialized medicine for decades before Obama got it through. It’s a principle that has worked for them.

stefanite on January 18, 2012 at 10:46 AM

Societal change, demonstrated decades ago, comes slowly and from from within.
The 1960s agenda may have come and gone, but it did make some strides.
The Tea Party isn’t the be all end all, but if they hang in there, we’ll all be much better off.

~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on January 18, 2012 at 10:46 AM

That’s my biggest problem with the Tea Party. I use to be an enthusiastic supporter, but the mess this summer sort of turned me off. Politician has to negotiate, they have to find the happy medium. You cannot let Perfect be the Enemy of good.
Critic2029 on January 18, 2012 at 10:45 AM

This is what negotiating and compromise has been for the past 30 years

Democrat: I want to raise spending by 20% this year
Republican: Whoa, whoa!! 20%? No way. I want 10%.

Compromise: Raise spending by 15%

We need someone to say not 20, not 10, but negative 2%.

angryed on January 18, 2012 at 10:48 AM

As that effort builds from cycle to cycle, the Tea Party’s grassroots movement will garner more strength inside the GOP and eventually start producing authentic and electable potential nominees for the presidency.

The fact of the matter is that there isn’t the popular will among the GOP faithful to focus on the TPM for the Presidential candidate nomination. There are some general principles that are surfacing but the real work is indeed in sowing seeds- one RINO or Dem at a time.

Popular wisdom says that Romney will pick a candidate whose conservative credentials are unassailable in ways that Romney’s are not. And it stands to reason that Romney is going have to shore up his support on the right (2/3 of which don’t really trust him at this point). It is in the selection of the VP candidate where the TPM can have the most influence this national campaign cycle.

Happy Nomad on January 18, 2012 at 10:48 AM

Without a central organizational structure with identified leaders, every jackazz politician could claim tparty support, and many did, and got elected. Now, they feel they don’t need us any more, so they have retreated. Nikki Haley, good example. Tparty was a flash in the pan, driven by Obamacare, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and the ahole democrats like Arlen Spincter who dissed the opponents and treated them like dirt at town hall meetings. The 2010 elections returned a majority of Pubs. to the House, but has produced absolutely nothing in terms of reducing the debt or the size of the government. We have had no leadership from Boehner or McConnell. Tparty and conservatives have seen that the whole system is so corrupt, they have thrown in the towel. For this reason, if Romney is the nominee, conservatives in large numbers will stay home.

they lie on January 18, 2012 at 10:48 AM

This cycle will certainly be perceived as less then stellar because there are no real conservatives running in the Republican presidential primary. The real test though will be Congress. If we nominate conservatives and take the Senate with them and add seats in the House the talk of the Tea Party being dead will disappear for a few months. Then the wish casting will begin anew of course.

NotCoach on January 18, 2012 at 10:48 AM

I’m no less pissed off now than I was in 2010 …and in 2008.

…I’d bet there are a lot of people who resemble that remark. I’d even be willing to hazard that the number is growing.

…and I’m content …for now …to throw my support down-ticket to the local & regional and state levels until either a genuine Tea Party emerges from the ashes of the GOP, or until the GOP is transformed into that party.

Not one dime to the RNC until that if and/or when though. Not. One. Dime.

I’m just biding my time …just …biding my time.

davisbr on January 18, 2012 at 10:49 AM

You know the TEA Party matters and is effective just by the basic fact that democrats won’t shut the he!! up about it.

It’s the new “Bush” for them.

Baxter Greene on January 18, 2012 at 10:50 AM

The left took “the long view” with socialized medicine for decades before Obama got it through. It’s a principle that has worked for them.

stefanite on January 18, 2012 at 10:46 AM

Yes, and they won. I guess we can all start taking the long view on repeal, because it sure ain’t too likely to happen in 2012…

2010 was supposed to signal the end of “business as usual” for the 2012 elections…instead, it just ushered in more of the same. Again — golf clap all around for the Tea Partiers.

bsclark12 on January 18, 2012 at 10:50 AM

And remember remember remember…

Those who have a vested interest in opposing the Tea Party have EVERY incentive to make you THINK the TP is “failing”, and thus you might as well give up, it’s just not possible, etc etc. Oh, yea, and they have marched to the heights of the media, culture and academia (MCA).

Remember remember remember…. one of the hallmarks of totalitarianism, as noted by some of its most eloquent victims, is to convince everyone that they are alone in their opposition. EVERYone else loves Big Brother, it’s just you alone. And it is a lie. The MCA may not control everything enough to make you feel entirely alone, but they can make you feel outnumbered, “un-hip”, and can generally maneuver you into questioning conservative beliefs the way the MCA will NEVER allow liberal shibboleths to be questioned.

You probably can’t escape the MCA, but you can turn your back, and refuse to play along. Because there are more of us than you think.

And they know it, and are afraid.

Andrew X on January 18, 2012 at 10:50 AM

The Tea Party is winning. There have not been a lot of Congressional or Senatorial races in the last few months, but in state and local they have been kicking butt.

And the Senate is the true prize.

barnone on January 18, 2012 at 10:51 AM

YES… if Romney wins, the tea party is a massive failure.

liberal4life on January 18, 2012 at 10:51 AM

bsclark12 on January 18, 2012 at 10:44 AM

How could it have been any different? To have any realistic chance of being elected president on a conservative platform, you have to have experience. The Tea Party is literally 3 years old. Yes, we had candidates who won elections last year, but experience isn’t nearly as much of a factor in Senate and especially House races.

Spannerhead on January 18, 2012 at 10:51 AM

bsclark12 on January 18, 2012 at 10:50 AM

My point is they keep beating us because they never give up. Something we should try.

stefanite on January 18, 2012 at 10:52 AM

The “Tea Party” has always been with us, and always will…it raises it head when things get severally out of whack, then they go back to living and working.
The fact that some tried to organize it, make it a “party” was foolish, it is born out of necessity, not power. It got it’s point across, and will continue—individually.
They only came together to show that we are out there, always have been, always will be, Reagan knew this, the RNC can’t quite grasp it, Mitt and the rest don’t get it.
Tea Party is just conservative values demonstrated openly, what most of us do daily, between raising families, working, and spending your time with our charities…what’s left is for the incidentals in life we expect our representatives to take care of…once in awhile we need to remind them we are watching. But then it is back to what we do best, keeping America strong.

right2bright on January 18, 2012 at 10:52 AM

bsclark12 on January 18, 2012

That’s odd. I read the exact same post here months ago.

~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on January 18, 2012 at 10:52 AM

I agree we need to look long term and I do not think that our election year is a failure either.

The only failure is that the TEA party didn’t explode until 2008. We should have been seeing this in 2006. The undercurrents were there and that is why a lot of conservatives sat out and gave us a Dem congress.

I do think that the TEA party is active and that is why Mitt can’t get very good numbers. Our only hope is that one of the Ricks and Newt stick with it late into the primaries.

Also, one thing to remember TEA party members are not like typical protestors. We have jobs, spouses, kids, PTA, soccer games, wim lessons, etc. We simply don’t have the time to keep up with Rush, Levin, Hot Air, etc, every day. Some have heard Ron Paul on economics and thought hey he’s a conservative. (Although most of his support comes from Dems who want him to be the cand). Others remember that Mitt was the conservative alternative to McCain so they are sticking with Mitt. If everyone had a Rush 24-7 membership, then Mitt and Paul would be TOAST!

jeffn21 on January 18, 2012 at 10:53 AM

Critic2029 on January 18, 2012 at 10:45 AM

Yep.

Buy Danish on January 18, 2012 at 10:55 AM

The Tea Party isn’t a revolution. It’s membership is mostly normal people who don’t want politics to become their one exclusive focus. It was successful in 2010 in stopping Obama’s socialist agenda and stopping him from flooding our country with welfare illegal aliens.
Unfortunately, the political naivety of some of the Tea Party congressmen brought unpopularity to the movement. These Tea Party congressmen acted as too many posters here would have wanted them. They stood with their principles and consequences be damned. We need to be subtle in how we cut the government, so that we avoid leftist backlash.
The Tea Party can be more successful in the future in attacking a President Romney and providing cover (and incentive) for him to cut government. If we want smaller government, we need to be pressing from the right a president perceived as moderate. The optics of Gingrich or Santorum presidency would just bring disaster in 2014 and 2016.
One should never forget the next election doesn’t settle everything for all time. There will be an elections after that, and you need a strategy to win them also if you want change.

thuja on January 18, 2012 at 10:55 AM

After three years of Hopeless Change, it’s ABO for this Teapartier.

I don’t think anyone expected the Tea Party to takeover the Republican party in two election cycles.

Big-Dave on January 18, 2012 at 10:56 AM

The 1960s agenda may have come and gone, but it did make some strides.

Karl Magnus on January 18, 2012 at 10:46 AM

Not within one Congressional election cycle (i.e. two years). In fact, much of the groundwork for the 1960s agenda started in the 1950s.

I blame the advent of the “Big Bird Generation” where children grow up expecting to be entertained with instant gratification. It isn’t enough just to elect an unprecedented number of TPM backed candidates, they need to immediately fulfill all the stated goals of the movement or otherwise naysayers will declare the whole thing a complete failure. The fact of the matter is that not every Congressional race is fertile ground for the TPM and not every faction within the GOP is willing to embrace the principles of the TPM. That kind of shift in dynamics comes over time.

It was only three short years ago that many in the GOP were lecturing the rest of us that we had to give the newly inaugurated Obama a chance to prove that he really was a wonderful post-partisan leader. You don’t hear much of that anymore, certainly not from Republicans. How much more effective will the TPM’s message be out there after the GOP takes back the Senate and White House and works to undo the damage caused by our experimentation with socialism and affirmative action candidates?

Happy Nomad on January 18, 2012 at 10:57 AM

bsclark, appropriate initials… and exactly how old are you?

First off there is no Tea Party. It is not a monolithic organization as you attempt to portray it. And you refer to this year and it’s only January. LOL
As for Bachmann and Perry, they knocked themselves out. All any supporters can do is just that, support. They cannot make the candidate perform adequately, which both of these failed to do. Why blame a movement for candidates who shoot themselves in the foot?
The Tea Partiers I know, and there are many, are still very much active in all levels of campaigning for local, state, and national offices and have even been successful as candidates at some of these levels.
I know you are trying to eliminate the Tea Party as a movement but I don’t think anyone here is going to fall for your rhetoric.

Deanna on January 18, 2012 at 10:57 AM

The TEA Party has been about restoring fiscal sanity at ALL levels of government and the House election cycle was just the one that was easieest to start getting candidtaes for. The hard part is doing this at the State and local level and building up a bench of people at those levels who can then reframe the entire outlook on government size and accountability. TEA Partiers always knew this wasn’t a sprint but a rededication to what it means to have a government that represents its citizens, one that doesn’t dictate to them. The federal level is the last part of that, not the first, and only the splash made at the Representative level caught the elite by surprise.

Now the long haul is setting in and it isn’t just TEA Parties but folks like the 9-12 Project which is a very diverse organization going way, way beyond politics. Politics is supposed to be a reflection of the citizenry and, right now, it shows that it is a citizenry that isn’t taking freedom and liberty seriously… and that is a sure recipe to lose both to government. The job of disentangling the Left from multiple levels of government will take a decade if not more…2010 was just a notable start, not a finish or even a goal.

ajacksonian on January 18, 2012 at 10:57 AM

Conservatives and libertarians don’t think, act or operate in the same manner as liberals, leftists and the like. Thus it’s not surprising that the Tea Party movement as a public face, movement, force, etc. seems to be waning. As others have said, it’s shifting, hibernating, etc.

There are probably many like myself who sit on the fence vis-a-vis the Tea Party. I have a Gadsden Flag hanging in my garage and briefly had similar bumper sticker on a car, but that’s about the extent of any public or vocal “membership” I have with the movement. I’m not a joiner except in my faith.

Personally, I haven’t been overly impressed with the Tea Party movement in my area – St. Louis. Their strategy with 3rd Congressional district and the Senate campaigns left a sour taste in my mouth, especially as it became evident that as an organization they placed pragmatism before principles. Ed Martin is a hack and so is Roy Blunt. For Loesch and the others, “winning is everything”. I laughed at the sheer ludicrousness of the screechy whining Dana Loesch did when Martin lost and she blamed third party voters. I looked at the turn out numbers. The simple reality was, Martin just couldn’t garner the numbers needed.

Meanwhile the St. Louis Tea Party has pretty much written off the 1st district. If you can’t even see your way to trying to promote your ideals across the board, don’t come preaching to me that you value principles above pragmatism.

Otherwise the St. Louis Tea Party would have backed Chuch Purgason over Roy Blunt before the state primary. But… they had to beat Robin Carnahan. Now we’re stuck with Roy Blunt, an establishment Republican.

Elections do have consequences, true. And some Tea Party heads certainly seem to think that ends often justify means, especially to the detriment of principles.

Logus on January 18, 2012 at 10:58 AM

It’s the Political winter. They are hibernating. Expect to see the TEA PARTY reappear when the election season really starts to kick in.

The TEA PARTY are Ninjas.

portlandon on January 18, 2012 at 10:59 AM

YES… if Romney wins, the tea party is a massive failure.

liberal4life on January 18, 2012 at 10:51 AM

Nice try. LOL

Deanna on January 18, 2012 at 10:59 AM

I definitely don’t think the Tea Party Movement is, or should be, backing Romney, with his moderate/liberal Massachusetts voting record/beliefs. The true Tea Party candidate to get behind is Newt Gingrich, in my view.

jfs756 on January 18, 2012 at 10:59 AM

Conservatives thought they had taken over the GOP in 1964 when they got Barry Goldwater nominated. But he suffered a historic defeat and it took another 16 hears to finally elect Reagan and a Republican Senate. If conservatives had been a little more patient they probably could have gotten Reagan elected in 1968.

rockmom on January 18, 2012 at 10:59 AM

This is a long road, not a sprint.

Don’t forget the movement is starting locally and building out and up. It will take years, folks that aren’t game to that should bail now. The biggest problem with a slow moving change is that the game clock is running down quicker then we can score points. Will the clock be reset or will we do enough to stave off ultimate failure as a movement. Time tells. The office of President would be icing on the cake, but there is much work to be done on the Congressional side also, which may prove more important over the long haul. For me I’m in for the long journey, where the he!! else could I go, not likely to ever be a lib. The TP folks are a lot better for the country then the disinterested lot that keep the Dems in power. I’m sticking with Tea.

Bmore on January 18, 2012 at 10:59 AM

bsclark12 on January 18, 2012 at 10:44 AM
How could it have been any different? To have any realistic chance of being elected president on a conservative platform, you have to have experience. The Tea Party is literally 3 years old. Yes, we had candidates who won elections last year, but experience isn’t nearly as much of a factor in Senate and especially House races.

Spannerhead on January 18, 2012 at 10:51 AM

It could have, and should have been different in that the Tea Party should have driven the narrative for the GOP nomination cycle. Tea Party could have easily united behind candidate and driven them forward based on Tea Party platform/agenda. Instead, Tea Party, in all of its infinite wisdom, allowed themselves to be played for dupes, having their attention and support fractured and redirected all over the place. Bachman!!! Perry!!! Cain!!! Newt!!! uuummm…Santorum!!! Way to have an attention span and principles folks…

The result — weakest front runners possible going into the biggest election of our life times.

Do you think there will be more or less grass root support for Romney than there was for McCain? And don’t say that “well people will turn out so they can be against Obama, because people realize how important this is!!”. People that read this site and post here realized that in 2008 as well, and lack of excitement and grass root turn out for McCain is one of the factors that did him in.

bsclark12 on January 18, 2012 at 10:59 AM

While I agree with the column in terms of taking the long view, there are significant structural differences between the Tea Party and New Left that makes a complete “takeover” of the GOP unrealistic.

the New Left was all about gov’t – expanding gov’t, expanding the welfare state, etc. that is actually pretty natural for politicians to adopt – expanding the gov’t expands their power and in turn, helps their reelection efforts as they have more “goodies” to dispense.

The Tea Party wants the opposite, which is in direct conflict with politicians self-preservation, regardless of the initial ideology of the politician. that is why even the most conservative politician often ends up succumbing to “party first” and backing or condoning very anti-conservative idea. That is why the GOP – ostensibly the fiscally responsible party – went into a drunken spending spree from 2000-2006.

Thus, it is most likely that almost all “tea party” candidates that get elected end up being co-opted into the system and become closer to Romney then to pre-election Toomey (who I note went from being a fire-brand conservative to a mostly party guy overnight once elected). Because of this, no matter how hard we work, the GOP as a whole will always being pushing back and want to go more leftward – toward more spending and bigger gov’t. It is unnatural for a politician to willingly give up power and prestige, and reducing the size and scope of gov’t does exactly that.

So hopes that the GOP will ever truly adopt the tea-party and/or conservative view in an explicit and strong fashion seem ill founded to me. We can move the party rightward of where it is right now, and keep fighting to keep it there, but I don’t see a future where a majority of elected GOP politicians put solid conservative ideas into practice. They’ll talk about them and pretend to support them, but will always ultimately fail to come through.

the best chance is to elect a ton of tea-party types in one cycle and get them to force legislation through right away while still fresh and before they become co-opted.

Monkeytoe on January 18, 2012 at 11:00 AM

The Texas Medical Association has a great calendar, here, online https://www.texmed.org/Doom/
that lays out the time line for compliance with Federal requirements for physicians and our practices under the regulations imposed by Medicare, Medicaid and “Obamacare.”

Governor Rick Perry is running for President with a campaign based on his promise to make the Federal government as “inconsequential in our lives as possible.” Under Governor Perry, we’ve had proof of the theory with his legacy of tort reform and this year’s “looser pays” for lawsuits.

TexPAC has endorsed Governor Perry as our Republican candidate for President.

“Any physician in business for more than a few months knows how difficult it is to work on the business. Between keeping pace with caring for patients, insurance company demands, government regulations, and the latest medical technology, there are never enough hours in a day. That’s why TMA developed the Calendar of Doom, a web-based regulatory compliance tool giving you and your staff a big-picture view of upcoming state and federal compliance timelines and key health policy issues that impact Texas physicians.”

http://physiciansforrickperry.org/2012/01/texmeds-calendar-of-doom-tool-for-federal-compliance/

workingclass artist on January 18, 2012 at 11:00 AM

I don’t see how the Tea Party movement could be deemed a failure yet. We only succeeded in taking back the House in 2010. Granted, the GOP now has a huge majority in that chamber of Congress, but in the overall picture, that don’t mean squat. The Dems still control the Senate and Obama’s still in the White House. So rolling back the damaging legislation and spending increases from Barry’s first 2 years will have to wait until we take back the entire government. And it makes matters even more difficult when you take into account that we’re dealing with a President who has no qualms about using the executive branch to bypass Congress if he can’t get what he wants through the legislative process(even if his actions could be deemed unconstitutional).

People need to be patient. Nothing of significance can happen until Obama gets run. Get that done first and then worry about Mittens or whoever the hell replaces him.

Doughboy on January 18, 2012 at 11:00 AM

Why wouldn’t the Tea Party be discouraged with two leaders like Boehner and Mc Connell undermining them at every turn.

I thought a third party might be the answer if we lose in 2012 but hell, it will be pretty much over if the golden child wins again.

celtic warrior on January 18, 2012 at 11:01 AM

How could it have been any different? To have any realistic chance of being elected president on a conservative platform, you have to have experience. The Tea Party is literally 3 years old. Yes, we had candidates who won elections last year, but experience isn’t nearly as much of a factor in Senate and especially House races.

Spannerhead on January 18, 2012 at 10:51 AM

Yes, but the “tea party” is really just an activist side of the conservative movement, which has been around for 40 years. there should be some better conservative options out there to run. It shows how little the GOP has truly embraced conservatism that there aren’t really that many top-tier conservative republicans who could have run.

Monkeytoe on January 18, 2012 at 11:02 AM

It is not over, but you have to be realistic.

Let us say Romney wins the nomination, and even the Presidency. Even then, that is when the Tea Party’s job BEGINS.

Our job is to steer Republicans to the conservative ideals that we think will make our country great again. They clearly don’t believe in them today.

We talk about ‘establishment Republicans’. Well, they have been trying to move the Republicans to the middle for DECADES. This is a decades long battle.

So if you are in this for the short term…you might as well leave now. This is a battle that will take many, many years, to move the Republican Party to the Right, and move this country toward fiscal sanity.

neoavatara on January 18, 2012 at 10:46 AM

I could buy this if the year was 1990 or 2000 and we were in a normal political cycle. But we’re not. We’ve been putting off government reform for decades, and our fiscal crisis is now so severe that we’re looking at a national bankruptcy within the next couple of years.

The Tea Party right now is in poor shape. Its top tier candidates have either lost their elections or else been sucked into the establishment. The selection of Romney as the nominee is pretty much the establishment’s way of attempt to strip conservatives of their remaining political power in the party. We do not have ten years to reconstitute and try again – the USA will be bankrupt before that.

This is partly the fault of conservatives who have been saying “Oh, there’s always next time” as the country moves further and further to the left. That line of thinking is what has gotten us where we are now.

Doomberg on January 18, 2012 at 11:04 AM

The issues that gave rise to the Tea Party haven’t left. Trillion dollar deficits, continued raising of the debt ceiling, persistent unemployment, expansion of govt, increase gov’t regulation, stagnant economy, etc. So, it’s premature to suggest it has run its course.

The first big step was made two years ago. I believe the next step will be significant change within the Republican leadership. Leadership is impotent. They are terrible negotiators, and lack fundamental principals of the GOP. These folks will be swept away, and then the leadership structure can usher in the next wave of Tea Party candidates/hopefuls.

The debt ceiling discussions aren’t going away. They just haven’t been kept to the forefront of public discussion because of the deal made by Boehner and Co.

Neo-con Artist on January 18, 2012 at 11:04 AM

bsclark, appropriate initials… and exactly how old are you?

First off there is no Tea Party. It is not a monolithic organization as you attempt to portray it. And you refer to this year and it’s only January. LOL
As for Bachmann and Perry, they knocked themselves out. All any supporters can do is just that, support. They cannot make the candidate perform adequately, which both of these failed to do. Why blame a movement for candidates who shoot themselves in the foot?
The Tea Partiers I know, and there are many, are still very much active in all levels of campaigning for local, state, and national offices and have even been successful as candidates at some of these levels.
I know you are trying to eliminate the Tea Party as a movement but I don’t think anyone here is going to fall for your rhetoric.

Deanna on January 18, 2012 at 10:57 AM

Awesome Deanna! “I know you are, but what am I”?

I’m not trying to eliminate the Tea Party as a movement (I figure they are doing that well enough themselves), but I am trying to express my profound dissappointment in them. Literally, 2012 was an opportunity of a lifetime to change the direction of this country, and it is in the process of being squandered.

Should I take comfort in the fact that the Tea Party is not, as you say, a monolithic organization? Doesn’t that just mean that, individually, all of its members are culpable (or at least extremely gullible) for the mess we’re about to find ourselves in?

bsclark12 on January 18, 2012 at 11:05 AM

I agree that we have to take the long view, but disagree that the Senators and Representatives who rode Tea Party support into Congress are “beholden to” the Tea Party. Would that it were so, but the defections have all too often been substantial. I can only hope that in 2012 the Tea Party reminds those whom the Party supported and who went astray that while they might not have considered themselves “beholden” we can certainly hold them accountable.

UnrepentantCurmudgeon on January 18, 2012 at 11:05 AM

It’s not been just a Tea Party failure. It’s merely an extension of the failure of conservatives in this country for years.

Our ‘media’ is a joke.

Organization doesn’t exist on the right.

Our political leadership is spineless.

With some rare exceptions, our pundits don’t know anything. (To be fair, neither do the left’s.)

There is no serious plan for systemic and institutional change.

Where the leftists are willing to put aside their differences and work together, we have petty squabbles.

Where the leftists will never publicly criticize their own people, we call people on our side Marxists and such crap, without any foundation to boot.

Where the leftists will donate their time and money to their causes, we’re making excuses about needing personal/family/football/hobby/travel time.

It is saddening to say, but I’m beginning to think that the good people in this country are either too lazy, too selfish, too stupid or too incompetent to save it. I guess most of those who would give it their all are overseas fighting.

avgjo on January 18, 2012 at 11:05 AM

Make no mistake – the tea party is simply simmering beneath the surface. It is difficult if not impossible to maintain that high level of intensity for a long period of time. As November approaches, you will see a resurgence – this is a long term movement!

MDLibertyLover on January 18, 2012 at 11:06 AM

The Tea Party movement received a lot of flak for nominating some notorious losers, but they were truly done and over with when they abandoned its small-government message to concentrate on so-con agenda. They alienated independents, lost their libertarian wing, and became nothing but another Republican grass-root stooges.

Archivarix on January 18, 2012 at 11:07 AM

Tea Part is a massive failure of enormous proportions.

They protest a black man who implemented healthcare with mandates, only to support a white man who implemented healthcare with mandates.

I guess what they said about the tea party was true.

liberal4life on January 18, 2012 at 11:08 AM

And don’t forget that the Tea Party helped elect a bunch of conservative Governors who are proving that you can balance budgets without raising taxes, you can cut spending without throwing Grandma off the cliff, and that government is not meant to grow and grow indefinitely. And then we have the Pat Quinn’s and Jerry Browns who are discrediting liberalism more and more every day.

The movement is not only not dead, it is just beginning to prove its value and rightness. It is foolish to judge it by lamenting about the Presidential race. Without the Tea Party, Obama would be cruising to reelection.

rockmom on January 18, 2012 at 11:09 AM

The Tea Partiers helped push in a majority house, almost a majority Senate. It was message and conviction. The MSM is always against cons and libertarians, and these upstarts were even worse. So there weren’t great general candidates everywhere, when those whom control narratives decide you are no worthy…they will then repeat endlessly irrelevent memes and exaggerate legitimate gripes.

Always funny how right leaning folks buy into the Federal narrative. Did you forget the States that were won? Need to do better with the Secretary of State for the States, and the AG’s, since those deal with elections and the left/Dems can’t be trusted. Just ask Soros who has a non-profit just for Sec’s of State.

We got some folks in both Chambers, and showed the establishments that they aren’t always in charge. Besides that, it was nice to see American Pride, and with no qualifiers such as (well every country is great too). It’s called awareness, the media and government were put on notice…by our Consent.

John Kettlewell on January 18, 2012 at 11:11 AM

Folks, I’ve decided I’m fed up with all the fiscal hypocrisy going on and am going to start slamming EVERYBODY for the fiscal collapse of this country I now feel is no longer avoidable. Because EVERYONE seems too investing in the way things are, where the bills for our CURRENT demands on the system have been pushed off to future generations for DECADES. These outrageous demands include unemployment benefits for YEARS, retirements for marginally ‘disabled’, double dipping retirements, Social Security paying out literally longer than many paid in, subsidization- either though private or Medicare/Medicaid- for ‘vanity medicine’, and massive amounts of taxpayer-subsidized entertainment in modern coliseums to football and the like. It’s simple: no one wants to do the math anymore because the answers are too inconvenient.

I know longer care about offending people and ‘aim to misbehave’.
TANSTAAFL! (There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch)

michaelo on January 18, 2012 at 11:11 AM

The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.
—-The Tea Party

Slow and steady wins the race.
—-Turtle

Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win.
—-Jonathan Kozol

We cannot enter into alliances until we are acquainted with the designs of our neighbors.
—-Sun Tzu

The problem with the Tea Party is that we are fighting a two front war.

HumpBot Salvation on January 18, 2012 at 11:11 AM

Tea Part is a massive failure of enormous proportions.

They protest a black man who implemented healthcare with mandates, only to support a white man who implemented healthcare with mandates.

I guess what they said about the tea party was true.

liberal4life on January 18, 2012 at 11:08 AM

And you keep proving with every comment that liberals are both ignorant and dishonest. why is it that liberals cannot actually argue ideas but must always revert to dishonesty and questioning others’ motives? Oh yeah, because every single liberal idea has failed.

Monkeytoe on January 18, 2012 at 11:12 AM

Should I take comfort in the fact that the Tea Party is not, as you say, a monolithic organization? Doesn’t that just mean that, individually, all of its members are culpable (or at least extremely gullible) for the mess we’re about to find ourselves in?

bsclark12 on January 18, 2012 at 11:05 AM

There is no reason to hold anyone culpable…except the candidates themselves. It’s very easy to blame supporters.
I wonder just how much you really know about the Tea Party movement. Do you know people who align themselves with it? And I’m not referring to the money-grubbers like the Express or Armey. Do you know what any of them may or may not have accomplished?

Or did you expcet a movement to gain national power in three or less years? That didn’t even happen with the Civil Rights or anti-war movements and they often had the support of the LSM.
And I’m surious, did you work for and support any candidates?

Deanna on January 18, 2012 at 11:12 AM

The majority liberal owned press did everything they could to damage the Tea Party, its amazing they enjoy the positives they do.

The press has an obligation to the truth now they need an accountability to the truth.

Speakup on January 18, 2012 at 11:13 AM

Keep swinging the axe… it takes a long time to fell the tree…

And liberal4life: please take your racist sludge with you when you leave…

Khun Joe on January 18, 2012 at 11:13 AM

Bachmann did a lot of damage to the GOP and Tea Party with her position that it was totally cool to default on our debt. Sarah Palin’s call for “sudden and relentless change” is not helpful. Americans will not accept “sudden” change. Period. Change has to be gradual – but much can be accomplished nevertheless.

A pro-growth, pro-business agenda if enacted will reduce the debt/deficit by the mere fact that more revenues come to the Treasury. Tax reform is one step. Overturning ObamaCare is another. Cutting regulations, stopping the EPA’s radical agenda, the NLRB, the squandering of taxpayer dollars on corrupt, crony-capitalist schemes – all of these are painless steps which can be taken which will do much to restore the free market system and promote economic growth.

Entitlement reform must be addressed concurrently, but those changes must be more gradual and must be done with the approval of the American people – not shoved down our throats like Obama’s agenda.

Buy Danish on January 18, 2012 at 11:13 AM

The key to success for the Tea Party is the long view.

I’m taking the short view and voting for Ron Paul. I don’t think we have 40 years to balance the budget and return to a fiscally sane path. Ron Paul’s plan to balance the budget in 4 years is a more logical and responsible approach.

FloatingRock on January 18, 2012 at 11:13 AM

The real problem for the Tea Party and this presidential election is the Tea Party does not want to support any of the candidates running, so yes they are irrelevant, but that will change once a nominee is determined.

JeffinSac on January 18, 2012 at 11:14 AM

The tea party never had a chance at the national level this year.

The group’s focus needs to be on continuing to elect thrifty minded house and, to the greatest extent possible, senate members.

It’s the spending, stupid.

EconomicNeocon on January 18, 2012 at 11:14 AM

Has this cycle been a Tea Party failure?

NOPE.

There hasn’t been any OVERT attempts by the Dems lately, to perpetrate actions that would ‘arouse’ the Tea Party people.

BUT, what they have been doing COVERTLY, remains to be seen.

listens2glenn on January 18, 2012 at 11:14 AM

The 2010 election got several hundred Republicans in local govt offices. Over the years, many of these will step up to higher office.

Yakko77 on January 18, 2012 at 11:15 AM

Well said. We win by always voting for the most conservative option in every election. While that may mean Romney in 2012, it can hopefully mean West or Rubio in 2016. Also remember that the more conservatives we put in Congress, the more likely the President is to sign conservative ideas into law.

hawksruleva on January 18, 2012 at 11:15 AM

The funny thing is, there really is not “tea party”. there’s a movement, sure. But there is no organization that covers the “tea party”. It just shows how much influence the movement has that people discuss it as if it were some centrally organized thing that has some specific platform that every “tea partier” adheres to, rather than just thousands of different demonstrations and people with similar viewpoints meeting up.

The left tried to do it with OWS. Despite glowing press coverage for months, what has that “movement” accomplished? What does it look like it will accomplish?

Monkeytoe on January 18, 2012 at 11:16 AM

bsclark12 on January 18, 2012 at 10:44 AM

+5555555!!!!

You echoed my thoughts exactly!

After the Tea Party eschewed the Establishment’s mantra of “electability over ideology” and went for Rubio over Crist, Joe Miller over Murkowski, Christine O’Donnell over Castle, etc… we won some battles and lost some but it netted us the House and shifted it more to the right.

Unfortunately, when presented with a candidate that had a more than impressive resume – Gov. Perry – one who had fought for Tea Party principles for as far back as one can remember, they rejected him and went for the supposedly “electable” Romney.

We shall see.

When Romney “inevitably” loses to Obama and the Establishment shows they don’t much care, good luck calling tea party rallies and inviting Romney, Gingrich, and Santorum as speakers.

If I know them as well as I do, they will be busy sucking off the teat of Big Govt.

TheRightMan on January 18, 2012 at 11:18 AM

If Republicans are planning on sitting around for 40 years while the Republican Party continues to grow government right along with the Democrats, perhaps with a more corporatist flavor rather than socialist, then don’t be surprised if at the end of that 40 years that it is far to late to begin the process of shrinking government and balancing the budget. The battle to preserve freedom and liberty will have long since been lost at that point.

It may have taken 40 years for the new left movement to take the White House but at least the party they were working within were already headed in the direction they wanted to go.

Perhaps if the R-Party actually had a track record, any track record, of reducing the size and scope of government and returning our freedom and liberty to us then maybe waiting 40 years would be credible plan.

FloatingRock on January 18, 2012 at 11:19 AM

Tea Part is a massive failure of enormous proportions.

They protest a black man who implemented healthcare with mandates, only to support a white man who implemented healthcare with mandates.

I guess what they said about the tea party was true.

liberal4life on January 18, 2012 at 11:08 AM

Right, because the Tea Party has enthusiastically endorsed the candidacy of Mitt Romney. It’s not like they didn’t prop up any and every alternative who came along(even Herman Cain for chrissakes!) in a desperate attempt to nominate anyone other than him.

Doughboy on January 18, 2012 at 11:20 AM

…But since that’s not the case, I advise everybody to hold their nose and vote for Ron Paul even if you think you’d rather have a fake candidate like Romney or Newt.

FloatingRock on January 18, 2012 at 11:21 AM

And for those buying Ed’s argument that this cycle has not been a tea party’s failure, just wait until Romney gets the nomination or Perry drops out (heaven forbid), you will hear it repeated ad nauseum in the MSM that it has indeed been a Tea Party failure.

TheRightMan on January 18, 2012 at 11:22 AM

And don’t forget that the Tea Party helped elect a bunch of conservative Governors who are proving that you can balance budgets without raising taxes, you can cut spending without throwing Grandma off the cliff, and that government is not meant to grow and grow indefinitely.
rockmom on January 18, 2012 at 11:09 AM

Yes, and Scott Walker (for one) is going to need a lot of help from all of us. The unions/White House are going to throw everything they have at him, and much of his opposition comes from outside Wisconsin.

Buy Danish on January 18, 2012 at 11:22 AM

Lets put is real simple. Either the TEA party gets its way via the election process. Or we have another civil war. Personally, I am for the revolutionary process.

davidcaskey on January 18, 2012 at 11:23 AM

The TP is not leaderless nomads wandering in the wilderness: it knows where it wants to go, and its leader is George Washington. And it isn’t the TP’s fault that better candidates aren’t running. That’s like saying it’s the parade’s fault that it’s raining.

Akzed on January 18, 2012 at 11:23 AM

The Tea Party is here to stay. Since it is truely a grass-roots movement, it is made up of many various groups that won’t agree on everything. But the goals are the same – smaller govt, lower deficits, smarter spending and Constitutional law. Because we are not vocal daily, don’t think we’re over. We speak best at the ballot box.

NotEasilyFooled on January 18, 2012 at 11:23 AM

TheRightMan on January 18, 2012 at 11:18 AM

I second that.

What I have seen locally (throughout my state) is that the TP has fallen to pieces. A number of the original local leaders have moved on to monetize their “power”, many unsuccessfully, trying to find a job in various campaigns.

Their support of Cain, with NO voting track record, exposed these folks as somewhat of a fraud. While many TP former leaders got their emotions involved in supporting Cain because they viewed a black candidate as the only type to be able to fight racial bias of the MSM/DNC.

Kermit on January 18, 2012 at 11:24 AM

Lets put is real simple. Either the TEA party gets its way via the election process. Or we have another civil war. Personally, I am for the revolutionary process. davidcaskey on January 18, 2012 at 11:23 AM

What a clumsy agent provocateur.

Akzed on January 18, 2012 at 11:24 AM

The real problem for the Tea Party and this presidential election is the Tea Party does not want to support any of the candidates running, so yes they are irrelevant, but that will change once a nominee is determined.

JeffinSac on January 18, 2012 at 11:14 AM

If the tea party groups endorse a candidate that stood against the tea party and opposed their stand against key tea party issues then it will be a repudiation of the tea party.

FloatingRock on January 18, 2012 at 11:25 AM

Without the Tea Party, Obama would be cruising to reelection.

rockmom on January 18, 2012 at 11:09 AM

And who says he won’t with the GOP hellbent on nominating Romney?

Keep dreaming that Romney will defeat Obama…

Never going to happen – not in a million years.

TheRightMan on January 18, 2012 at 11:25 AM

…A repudiation of what the tea party stood for.

FloatingRock on January 18, 2012 at 11:25 AM

There is no reason to hold anyone culpable…except the candidates themselves. It’s very easy to blame supporters.
I wonder just how much you really know about the Tea Party movement. Do you know people who align themselves with it? And I’m not referring to the money-grubbers like the Express or Armey. Do you know what any of them may or may not have accomplished?

Or did you expcet a movement to gain national power in three or less years? That didn’t even happen with the Civil Rights or anti-war movements and they often had the support of the LSM.
And I’m surious, did you work for and support any candidates?

Deanna on January 18, 2012 at 11:12 AM

It’s easy to blame supporters, often times because they deserve the blame. For instance — Ron Paul supporters are largely a bunch of lunatics, anarchists, and Democrats. Their support for Paul has helped to derail alot of the GOP nomination process. And in that, they are blameworthy.

Tea Party members deserve blame for the fact that easily the least “Tea Party friendly” candidates are now the front runners for nomination. They were all to happy to be distracted by the “shiny” things that the MSM and Establishment flashed at them, allowing themselves to be distracted (easily distracted!) from their core convictions, and in the process, forming a circular firing squad to eliminate the very candidates they should have been supporting.

Of course I know what the Tea Party is, and know people supporting or active in it. This may be one of my first posts, but I’ve been paying attention to things for a long time.

There doesn’t need to be a national movement, ala civil rights or whatever for grass roots to be able to identify candidates who share their ideas and principles. That’s an individual determination that each and every Tea Partier should have EASILY been able to make…and in doing so they all FAILED.

bsclark12 on January 18, 2012 at 11:26 AM

Thank you Ed.

I have been telling everyone the same thing. It took 45 years for us to get this far down the wrong road. It will take many years and election cycles to root out the problem (and embarrassing) legislators and put our country back on track.

GADinSB on January 18, 2012 at 11:27 AM

The TEA Party is more important in Congress where they can control the spending bills, not so much in the Executive Branch. I think Paul Ryan did the right thing by staying where he was and not running for President.

This isn’t a failure for the TEA Party, and it can’t be proclaimed such until after the Congressional Elections.

E L Frederick (Sniper One) on January 18, 2012 at 10:46 AM

Paul Ryan is not a TEA party favorite. He’s well known for his voting with establishment republicans, and yay on Obama legislation.

Dr Evil on January 18, 2012 at 11:28 AM

The key to success for the Tea Party is the long view.

Of course, this point is lost on FuriousEd, Dr Evil, asian, and the other screaming ABRers whose motto is “I want instant gratification and I want it NOW!

The War Planner on January 18, 2012 at 11:29 AM

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