Monday, November 15, 2010

Tea Party Going Rogue

They haven't packed the moving vans yet, but new members of Congress are starting to feel pressure to split the GOP apart.

This weekend they found a flood of email and voice mail messages to attend a Tea Party meeting in Washington rather than the traditional orientation for freshmen lawmakers at the conservative Claremont Institute, leading to complaints about "an incredible violation of privacy."

Privacy will be in short supply for the Class of 2011, who are about to learn that zealotry does not end at the ballot box.

Members have also received a letter giving them marching orders for the new session:

"On behalf of limited-government conservatives everywhere, we write to urge you and your colleagues in Washington to put forward a legislative agenda in the next Congress that reflects the principles of the Tea Party movement. This election was not a mandate for the Republican Party, nor was it a mandate to act on any social issue."

Mitch McConnell and John Boehner may have to spend as much time fighting off their new friends as their old adversaries across the Congressional aisles and update the old saying to read, "If you have the Tea Party for a friend, you don't need an enemy."

Update: As a new poll shows only one in six voters considers the election a mandate for Republicans, Tea Party pressure on Congress is mushrooming.

Yesterday, one group rallied on Capitol Hill to remind lawmakers of their message and warn them to vote their way or they will turn against them next time, with the crowd chanting, "We're watching!"

Today, they go online to lobby with a new social-networking site to keep activists apprised of Tea Party meetings and provide material for letter-writing campaigns before Congressional votes and rebukes afterward to those who fail to follow their lead.

If the next Congress doesn't respond to "the voice of the people," it won't be for lack of Tea Party trying.


Fuzzy Slippers said...

It's going to be new to republicans in general, but they can always get some tips on handling it from their "friends" across the aisle, who've suffered far worse from their own constituency. Of course, we're nothing like topless shrews and harridans shrieking at the top of their lungs while unwashed unhinged maniacs kick in shop fronts and then stumble off to burn trashcans, cars, and American flags, so the reps will be looking at the freaks (probably covered in red paint or fish guts or whatever) who've chained themselves to the gates in front of the WH and be rather glad that we're just calling them. Don't you think?

Anonymous said...

This is typical of liberal comments regarding people who belong to the Tea Party (no, I'm NOT one).

And it is why liberals are just as bad as conservatives.

Anonymous said...

Gee anonymous. You consider someone who gets all their facts from FOX news and right wing radio and refuses to listen to anyone else to be actually sane?

Neither Christine O'Donnell nor Sharron Angle are sane, or even especially close to it. Rand Paul considers himself the prophet from Hayek and from his father. Miller had to escape to Alaska because he was not competent to live in company with normal people and Alaska is much more forgiving of the weird.

Do you have someone as an example of a sane teabagger? Tom Tancredo, maybe?

Fuzzy Slippers said...

@1st Anonymous, well, the significant difference is that what I described actually happened.