The Tea Party is now acting out a pathetic parody of Communism’s Great Terror of the 1930s in the name of ideological purity and for the same reason, paranoid fear of losing control over true believers.
In the fiscal cliff’s shadow, House Republicans remove from key committees two conservatives deemed insufficiently dedicated to the party line (the Paul Ryan budget) as a warning to others who might be tempted to deviate. Is Eric Cantor tuning up his act as the Tea Party’s tinpot Stalin?
Even more suggestive is a miffed departure from the movement by Dick Armey, the former House majority leader who is considered its philosophical father going back to the Contract with America days of the 1990s.
Co-author of the “Tea Party Manifesto,” Armey now resigns from its key organization FreedomWorks with thinly veiled annoyance.
"Obviously I was not happy with the election results," he explains in his non-explanation. "We might've gotten better results if we had gone in a different direction...we should've done better."
Translation: The kooks have taken over, and the Tea Party’s own Karl Marx is picking up his marbles and going home to Texas, directing that all his stuff, including his “official Congressional portrait” be sent there.
After the Bay of Pigs fiasco, JFK nailed this kind of scurrying around. “Victory,” he observed, “has a thousand fathers. Defeat is an orphan.”
As the White House turns away with disdain from a GOP budget “offer,” its proponents are showing internal signs of disarray signaling that the Tea Party may soon be over.