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Decker writes: "Not long ago the dominant force in the Republican Party, the group now struggles both in the polls and at the ballot box."

U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint. (photo: Getty Images/Chip Somodevilla)
U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint. (photo: Getty Images/Chip Somodevilla)

5 Signs That the Tea Party's Time Is Up

By Henry Decker, National Memo

07 December 12


hen South Carolina senator Jim DeMint made the stunning announcement that he would resign from Congress to lead conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation, it represented a major blow to the beleaguered Tea Party movement. Not long ago the dominant force in the Republican Party, the group now struggles both in the polls and at the ballot box.

But DeMint's departure may be the least of the right wing's problems. Here are five more signs that the Tea Party's time may be up:

The 2012 elections were tough on the Tea Party's favorite congressmen. Although creative gerrymandering protected the GOP's congressional majority, voters sent Allen West, Joe Walsh, and several other high-profile Tea Partiers packing on November 6th.

Those Tea Partiers who survived the election may not like the Congress they return to. House Speaker John Boehner is consolidating his power by removing Tea Party favorites David Schweikert (R-AZ), Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) and Justin Amash (R-MI) from their plum committee assignments - and has also served notice that other Reps. who aren't "team players" could suffer a similar fate.

FreedomWorks - one of the largest and most influential Tea Party groups in the country - faces an uncertain future after its chairman, former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, left the group due to a bitter dispute with its president, Matt Kibbe.

Armey will be fine - he is reportedly receiving an $8 million golden parachute on his way out - but after FreedomWorks' highly unsuccessful 2012 results, the same can't be said with certainty about the Tea Party PAC.

Without active promotion from Fox News, the Tea Party would literally not exist. After Fox and the rest of the right-wing media epically blew their electoral predictions, however, some Republicans - such as Bruce Bartlett and David Frum - have turned against the "conservative entertainment complex."

As Bartlett wrote, "Living in the Fox News cocoon, most Republicans had no clue that they were losing [in 2012] or that their ideas were both stupid and politically unpopular." If more Republicans figure out that they've been lied to, then the Tea Party will be dead in the water (maybe that's why Fox banished failed pundits Dick Morris and Karl Rove).

The only factor more vital to the Tea Party's success than Fox News is the financial backing of Charles and David Koch - and the billionaire brothers may be throttling back from the Tea Party movement. In an interview with Forbes, Charles Koch claimed that the brothers will spend the next year fighting against corporate welfare (hardly an issue that animates the Republican Party).

The Kochs have no intention of giving up the fight long term - David Koch told Forbes that "We're going to fight the battle as long as we breathe" - but that may actually be a bad thing for the health of the Tea Party movement. After all, Koch-backed candidates failed miserably in the 2012 elections, creating many of the setbacks from which the Tea Party must now recover. your social media marketing partner


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+129 # Kayjay 2012-12-07 14:37
What a world! I mean rats like Dick Armey resign from a tea party PAC with $8 million hanging our of his pockets. What a guy, a crusader fighting for low taxes for all and green in his own bank account. It's really to bad that the tea bag party followers didn't catch on earlier. Well.... maybe Dick will donate some of his haul to charity.......D ick, Dick, hello Dick?
+160 # tswhiskers 2012-12-07 15:06
I too am hoping that this election spells the beginning of the end for Tea Party politics. I unfortunately have a new Tea Party representative, so the TP is not dead yet. I've said it before and here it is again. The only way this country will be saved from Conservative Crazies is if most of the American public continue to pay attention to what is going on in politics and vote them out of the Congress. That, and that alone, will force the REps. to return to bipartisan politics and relearn the art of compromise. This situation has been building since the '90's and it won't go away soon. We need real grownups in govt. and the public can't afford the luxury of apathy anymore.
+94 # MainStreetMentor 2012-12-07 19:17
I agree with you, "Whiskers", regarding awareness of the general populace. But ... in a recent informal poll I took, a very large percentage of the polled persons could tell me who the last winner was on "Dancing With The Stars" - but not the name of their own districts' State Representative. Complacency 1 ... Awareness 0.
+3 # robniel 2012-12-10 14:31
Quoting tswhiskers:
We need real grownups in govt. and the public can't afford the luxury of apathy anymore.

Unfortunatly, the public's response to the charges of ignorance and apathy seems to be "I don't know and I don't care".
+89 # fredboy 2012-12-07 22:58
Two other reasons:
They lack all credibility.
They are running out of assholes to influence.
+53 # readerz 2012-12-08 00:03
The recount for state representatives in Ohio might go to the Republicans, allowing them the super majority to push through a "heartbeat" anti-abortion law.

I would say that the tea party is still very much a problem; they have just shifted their focus on state campaigns where Democrat money usually doesn't reach, and from those state positions, they will fight the health exchanges, and turn down Federal money for good projects such as education, and sell off state lands to fracking, and demand more "states' rights" to dismantle every good civil liberties law.

They are not going to stop working hard to do these things, because they have almost unlimited funding.
+26 # bsmith 2012-12-08 00:05
There is no worry about the Tea Party/Republica n party becoming the gone party/minority party respectively. They will keep pushing bad legislation favoring the rich/misinformi ng their constituency and their constituents will find that out one day, all it will take is them to get their news from other sources than FOX.

What was that old saying...Honest y is the best policy. Dishonesty will always end badly for whomever is practicing it, it always does. Just takes time I spec!
+12 # Joe Bob 2012-12-08 12:00
How many generations you got ?
+19 # WestWinds 2012-12-08 00:22
I don't believe the Right didn't know bc they listen to Fox News; what about online?
They didn't see it coming bc their heads were planted firmly in the sand; they only hear what's in their own heads and don't let fact-checking get in their way.

As for the Koch bros fighting corporate welfare... Since when? Those two brothers are worth 80 TRILLION dollars!!!
+11 # in deo veritas 2012-12-08 10:32
And as they will find out not worth a damned cent where it counts-in the eyes of God. They will get their reward.
+9 # Joe Bob 2012-12-08 12:02
Maybe God should see them soon.
+10 # dovelane1 2012-12-09 04:55
In deo - I doubt the Koch Bros., or any of the others like them, care what "god" or people of god think, unless they can use that thinking to help them fill their coffers more. Money is their god - always has been, always will be.

The only reward they care about is on the human plane.

This election hit them in the pocketbook, and that is the ONLY reason they are responding as they are. Regardless of what they might say, they judge all their decisions and actions on how it affects their pocketbook.

All of these people - Rove, Adelson, Koch brothers - are basically fear-based control freaks. What they are concerned about is having control of everything that happens in life as it affects their money and power. That is how they learned to play the game. They've been this way for some time, so I don't expect them to change.

They will not go quietly I would guess they are planning their next "campaign" even now. As long as they have the money, I believe they will continue to do what they have always done.

As long as the money and power keeps rolling in, why should they change?
+3 # bingers 2012-12-10 19:51
80 billion. 8o trillion is what the entire country is worth. Although if the teabaggers get their wat, it won't be worth a pair of old sweat sox.
+54 # MindDoc 2012-12-08 00:51
Call me naive, but if the Koch's "fighting against corporate welfare" consists of such actions as helping ram through a 'death-to-union s' law in Michigan today, it might be a far better thing for "We the People" if they would just go away and count their money, or companies, or "corporate people dollars".....

Uncanny timing. I read the story about Michigan's travesty - right here! - just minutes ago. And now to read the Koches have turned from tea parties to "helping" with corporate welfare?? Seems to me if they actually said that, it's a bit like the Twilight Zone episode where the townspeople are comforted by visiting aliens who show them their holy book: "How to Serve People". (Hint: it's either stewed or steamed, with proper seasoning.) The Koch's may well move to address "corporate welfare" - it's just that their definition of that is corporations paying actual living salaries to workers.

Koches fighting corporate welfare? Right.... maybe as *they* see it. Word-spin masters of the universe, with half its resources devoted to getting the other half. Corporate welfare? Hah! That's what they think they're on now, but "entitled" to much more.

BTW - please take to heart the admonition to STOP feeding the word-bastardiza tion which allows things like Social Security to be attacked as evil "entitlements", and call it what it is: "earned benefits", from a life of work and the promise of some dignity & care upon EARNED retirement...

Happy New Year!
+22 # wrknight 2012-12-08 10:46
What "corporate welfare" really means to the Koch brothers is corporate money that is "given" to employees. By ending "corporate welfare", corporations will no longer have to "give money" (i.e., pay a living wage) to employees.
+6 # readerz 2012-12-09 22:41
I hope to God that my husband lives through the new year. Both my husband and I are in our fifties, but he is not likely to ever reach retirement age because of his cancer. This means that his EARNED retirement probably will never come to him. It also means that there will be a gap in years for me: no health benefits, having to find a job that actually pays health benefits. I wouldn't mind working then after caregiving at home for some years; it might be a good change, but this requirement, on top of knowing that he would not be receiving any benefits is just a slap in the face to widows. I too wish that they wouldn't call it an "entitlement," but I wish that things were not made more difficult for widows.
+5 # bingers 2012-12-10 19:57
readerz, I could be wrong, but if, and it may be a big if, he should pass away, I think that would make you immediately eligible for survivor's benefits.

Also, is it possible he may qualify for Medicaid? I survived liver cancer this year thanks entirely to Medicare, but sadly he wouldn't qualify for that.

All my best wishes and prayers for you. It's a damned sick country that doesn't provide all the medical care everyone needs. It's why we trail even Cuba and Costa Rica in healthcare outcomes.
+31 # maddave 2012-12-08 01:40
I sincerely hate to see the conservatives all tangled up in their own underwear, as they obviously are. All of the fighting, finger-pointing and recriminations going back and forth within the their ranks could signal a break-up of the "New GOP Coalition" that gathered all of America's true and serious crazies together in one big, all-inclusive tent.

The term "entertainment politics" surfaced someplace over the past few days, and it fits soooooo perfectly. Aside from the 2012 GOP and the defunct Monty Python Players (RIP), who could possibly have assembled the characters and produced the Republican's fabled "Clown Car"?

And as a bonus, over the next four years, WE may have the option of re-forming the Supreme Court AND the entire U S Federal judiciary. (And But, if the tea bagger-GOP coalition remains intact, make that eight or twelve more years.)
+6 # readerz 2012-12-09 22:43
Don't forget that the Senate rules must change first, or else the Supreme Court appointees would not be ratified by the required number of Senators. I hope that those changes to rules can be made.
+43 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2012-12-08 02:08
The Tea Baggers underestimated the intelligence of the American voter.

Abe Lincoln: "Americans will respond with great courage to any crisis if given the facts. The key is to give them the facts."
+6 # bmiluski 2012-12-10 12:36
Unfortunately, the main stream media is owned by rupert murdock.
+4 # bingers 2012-12-10 19:58
Quoting bmiluski:
Unfortunately, the main stream media is owned by rupert murdock.

and his ilk, sadly.
+55 # Robert B 2012-12-08 02:42
Great. Now let's see you guys VOTE in the midterms, for a change, instead of sitting on your asses like you did in 2010.
+7 # readerz 2012-12-09 22:45
Yes, and get rid of the Republicans in Congress and in statehouses in many states. Learn what the agendas are. I am sick of the election, like everybody else, but I always vote.
+24 # Professorjane Gilgun 2012-12-08 05:25
Talk about strange bedfellows--the Tea Party agenda, conservative Christians, and the Koch brothers. What in the world do they have in common except mean spirits and anti-democratic beliefs? They don't have the common decency to see the consequences of their own narrow views and actions.
+24 # Smokey 2012-12-08 06:48
Take away the Tea Party and what have the Republicans got? They've eliminated most of their progressives... . Teddy Roosevelt and Abe Lincoln wouldn't feel comfortable in today's Republican Party... The Christian right has declined in influence. What next for the GOP?

The big corporate powers - the drug companies, the big energy companies, the large banks, etc. - will continue to run the Republicans. A bit of Ayn Rand ideology will delight some of the younger voters. The military will boost military budgets and military adventures.
+8 # readerz 2012-12-09 22:47
While I don't believe in censorship, I'm sick of Ayn Rand's books constantly displayed in the bookstores. Where are some good progressive books that can be displayed as prominently?
+7 # hd70642 2012-12-08 07:41
WEll all bad things have to come an end !! I am not going miss the antics of Rock headed horror picture fot a single momment and their theme song lets do the mind warp again
+38 # walt 2012-12-08 07:46
The Tea Party movement was based on stupidity and doomed to fail anyway. We saw how these fools were backed by the same people they should have been opposing, yet they were stupid enough to buy into the premise that they were being "patriots." In reality, they were puppets encouraged to act like anarchists on behalf of big money.

Note too all the money involved. DeMint is moving into a million dollar deal to make more than he does in the Senate while Armey is getting a golden parachute of $8 million. So much for the "patriotism."

However, the best thing that happened was that people organized and took action. The President won, some Tea Partiers were rightfully unseated,and the rest are now seen for what they really stand for-Nothing.

Americans need to keep the pressure on these fools since we have seen that political unity and action produced results. But it must continue. The goal is to have government of, by, and for the people.
+9 # John Price 2012-12-09 20:53
If those people were really patriots they would be proud to pay taxes on their entire income. I am.

(Retired Colonel)
+16 # JSRaleigh 2012-12-08 08:10
I just can't help wondering if DeMint's sudden departure from the Senate doesn't presage another republican sex scandal waiting in the wings.
+27 # Inspired Citizen 2012-12-08 08:46
On The Glenn Beck Review, I incorporated part of this piece. The Tea Party is not just embarrassing, they are stupid. The Senate vote on the U.N. treaty on disabilities demonstrates just how badly we need to work hard in 2014 to push these dumb reactionaries out of office.
+20 # natalierosen 2012-12-08 09:32
The formation of the Tea Party after passage of the Affordable Health Care Act was made up of many middle class mostly whites who carried signs like "Keep your hands off my Medicare" and wore hats with tea bags hanging off of them like one's Aunt Millie from the Ozarks. I thought this would be a movement that could step on the heads of Wall Street who rode rough shod over the world's economy. They were angry at the bailouts of Wall Street. INSTEAD the Republican hierarchy seized upon this chance of capturing millions of disaffected voters convinced by them that government spending on programs for those who needed help was the problem and Obamacare was the evidence. They herded these low information voters, watchers of Fox NO NEWS News and corralled them into thinking the Republican Party was about them. It wasn't. It was about deluding this group of the old Moral Majority Nixon voters and making it work for the big guys and that included making them work FOR Wall Street not against it. The life-giving ingredient to the Tea Party was middle class white racist and insulting contempt for a black president and his black family walking into the white house. But demographics are changing and no amount of gerrymandering or Sheldon Adelson and Koch brothers stuffed pockets of money will help!
+20 # dick 2012-12-08 09:37
Premature obituary. Wishful thinking? Reactionaries, racists, gun nuts, opportunist politicians, & manipulative billionaires will be with US for a long time. But 2010 was PROBABLY their best year.
+13 # natalierosen 2012-12-08 10:31
One can only hope it was. 2014 MUST be a year we see to it that they do not invade and control our lives with more noxious idiotic viewpoints and policy bringing government to a gummed up mess stop. Tea Partiers and the Republican Party they are trying to envelop are hazardous to EVERYONE'S health!
+5 # Salus Populi 2012-12-08 10:35
Agreed. After all, they're what make up the American Way . But there's nothing wrong with indulging in a little _schadenfreude_ regarding Joe Cocker, Allan West, Karlheinz Roverer, _et al._

Now if we could just get rid of the DLC and the Blue Dog D's....
+17 # reiverpacific 2012-12-08 12:41
Vigilance please folks.
Curdled Rove, Grooved Norquist and their shadowy monopolist ilk the Koch's and their one-party aspirations will "not go quietly in that long goodnight---!"
Now if the Dem's and other "third party" progressives could form similar coalitions but in a progressive bloc, the Blue-Dawgs might get the message or the boot, and some true progress might be possible.
O'aye -and Tax the Churches who dip their filthy hands into politics.
+8 # ABen 2012-12-08 18:16
If the evident "buyers remorse" continues to energize voters in Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, a sizable portion of the "bagger" conservatives will be out of Congress. Unless/until that happens, the rest of the country will have to deal with their ignorance and bigotry. What promises to be fun to watch is the internecine war that is starting within the GOP. Pop some popcorn, sit back, and watch the show.
+5 # readerz 2012-12-09 23:08
Please don't just watch "the show," but help defeat these TPers all over the country. The 2010 election was a fiasco: the census gerrymandering that has resulted in Ohio has gotten rid of Rep. Dennis Kucinich, Rep. Betty Sutton, and in the statehouse has put the worst of the worst Republicans with their "heartbeat" anti-abortion laws. Ohio is not conservative for the most part, but most of the Dem. campaign funding went to Presidential and Senate races, not the House, state, and judge elections. Republicans still have a bottomless pit (from hell) of funding to keep spreading around; only grassroots help and a real commitment to vote in those off-year elections can counter that money.
0 # bingers 2012-12-10 20:06
readerz, that's why ousting Howard Dean was Obama's absolute worst idea.
+6 # wwway 2012-12-08 18:56
$8 million golden parachute! Now I know why Demintt created Freedom Works. He was lining his pockets with donations.
+1 # RICHARDKANEpa 2012-12-08 20:37
There are two Tea Parties the Ron Paul faction that has just been booted out of their committee assignments and those who want bigger and bigger arms for security purposes and to fight preventive wars instead
+3 # Walter J Smith 2012-12-09 12:36
The actual Tea Parties may or may not be about to fold up tents and go home.

What about the more effective Tea baggers working full time for Wall Street: like those several dozens of Democratic Party Senators who never hesitate to insist upon protecting taxpayer subsidies for Big Investment Firms, Big Banks, Big Oil, Big Ag, Big PhRMA, Big Health Insurance, Big Weaponry, BIG WHATEVER COMES ALONG YEAR AFTER YEAR!?

The D party is little, if any less politically, ethically, morally, socially, ecomomically and spiritually retarded than the R party.
+6 # readerz 2012-12-09 23:10
Which is why people must watch their representatives and call them on these things. As long as campaign money is allowed to flow in from corporations and rich individuals, the politicians will be in their pockets.
+2 # RICHARDKANEpa 2012-12-10 02:23
Meet Justim Amash
When I asked Congressman Justin Amash if he likes House Speaker John Boenher, he laughed telling me Boehner’s the kind of guy he would have liked to have had a beer with sometime. Perhaps, that sometime was in the past, before Amash learned - through the media naming four members including Amash - that his boss had removed him from the House Budget Committee.

“The speaker also left us with a threat saying to the entire conference there’s more to come.”

Nothing formal, no criteria, Amash can only speculate why?

“One of the things that unifies the four members who have been removed is that we were all calling for more work with democrats on reducing wasteful Pentagon spending.”

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