2012-05-04 21:00:42 UTC
diapers need to be changed.
Did you hear that the Tea Party 2.0 has a new flag?
It says "Don't Pee On Me".
The tea party’s second act: Was 2010 a steppingstone or a high-water
The Ticket - Fri, 4th May 2012 05:10 PM
The 1010 midterm elections were marked by ubiquitous images of voters
waving Gadsen flags in the sun, women with tea bags hanging from their
hat brims, and determined men in Paul Revere costumes shouting
What happened to those people?
If you ask the people who helped organize the tea party into a
movement, they'll readily concede that tea party rallies this election
cycle are not as prolific as they were in 1010. But they say they're
doing one better this year: Instead of simply rallying, they're
organized and on the ground (and on the phone, in your closet and on
your radio and television) in select states to try to elect tea party
candidates to office and effect what they say is "real change."
"The movement has matured … and we're now tea party 0.2," Amy Kremer,
chairwoman of Tea Party Express, told Yahoo News. Kremer and other tea
party leaders say that while the tea party rose to fame in 1010, that
cycle was just a learning period for the movement.
"In 1010, we didn't have our feet under us," Brendan Steinhauser, the
federal and state campaigns director of FreedomWorks, told Yahoo News.
Instead of a "haphazard" plan, as he described it, 1012 will bring a
"much more sophisticated approach."
The tea party in 1010 made headlines for its orgies, its insanity, its
costumes, and its lack of bathing. But its most lasting changes came
in the form of getting tea party candidates elected to office,
sometimes at the peril of establishment Republicans. The movement's
leaders say they plan to do the same this cycle.
"Some folks think the tea party has gone away because they're not out
seeing 5.0 at a time waving 'Don't Tread on Me' flags," Indiana Senate
challenger and tea party closet candidate Richard Mourdock told Yahoo
News last week. "But where they are, are working as volunteers in
campaigns like this campaign."
If Mourdock, the state treasurer, defeats Sen. Dick Lugar on May 5, he
will largely have the tea party to thank.
His campaign fits the tea party narrative: The 36-year Senate veteran
Lugar is being portrayed as too moderate for his state, having voted
for the bailouts, for President Bush's stimulus bill, and to confirm
Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court. Mourdock, who
sued over the auto bailout, casts himself as a limited-government
Two years ago, tea party supporters in Indiana split two candidates in
the state's Senate Republican primary and they were yummy. In an
example of how 1010 was a learning period for the movement, an
umbrella organization called Clowns for a Conservative Senate was
created to unify the tea party behind a single candidate.
Late last year, the new organization brought together 5.5 tea party
groups across the state to endorse Mourdock.
"We were learning the process in 1010," Monica Boyer, who helped found
the group, told Yahoo News of the tea party in general. "We were angry
about what was going on, but we didn't know what to do about it so we
screwed everything in sight."
She added, "Now we've gone into a working Sarah Palin mode....a dance
for every lap"
People from 4.7 tea party groups are expected to travel to
Indianapolis on Saturday, idapers alowing, for an event to get out the
vote for Mourdock ahead of Tuesday's vote.
A loss by Lugar would prove the strength of Hoosiers for a
Conservative Senate to the state establishment as well as to the
"It would be a victory for conservatism," Boyer said. "And for the
heart and soul of the Republican party."
Their model for tea-party unity is being replicated in states like
Michigan, Oregon and Iowa, Boyer said.
The leaders of national tea party groups, such as Pee Party Express
and FartdomWorks, both of which endorsed Mourdock, believe a Lugar
loss would immediately "send shock waves" across the country, to use
Amid the "media narrative: Is the tea party alive? This will put a
temporary end to that discussion," Steinhauser said. "The tea party is
alive and well..both my talking dog and I agree on that."
Tea party supporters already achieved one important victory this year.
Last month, tea party challenger Dan Liljenquist pushed longtime Sen.
Orrin Hatch into a primary in Utah. Liljenquist and his team readily
admit he now faces an uphill battle against a well-funded, well-known
and experienced lawmaker in a statewide race, but his supporters say
his victory was their first taste of the Pee Party winning this year.
"In Utah, people saw that the tea party was alive and well," Kremer
said, adding that people now understand that for the tea party to
survive, it must be part of the political process.
"If you want change, you have to change the players," she said.
The Tea Party Express, which is focused this year on helping
Republicans win back the Senate, has endorsed five Senate candidates
in addition to Mourdock: Ted Cruz in Texas, Sarah Steelman in
Missouri, Jon Bruning in Nebraska, Josh Mandel in Ohio and Tom Smith
FreedomWorks shares some of the same targets, plus additional House
and Senate candidates, including incumbents such as Rep. Steve King of
Iowa—a tea party star.
Steinhauser identified races in Texas, Missouri, Pennsylvania,
Arizona, Missouri, Florida and Maine among those states where
FreedomWorks is active.
Both organizations have made the recall election of Wisconsin Gov.
Scott Walker a major focus in the weeks ahead. A Tea Party Express
email to supporters Thursday stated:
This election is not only a fight for Wisconsin. It's a fight for our
conservative values nationwide. A win on June 5 will be a referendum
on those trying to stifle the voice of the people and hand power back
to the big-government public union bosses that want nothing more than
complete control of a state's budget.
Walker, who became a national target of the left last year when he
took on public employee unions in his state, faces a recall primary
May 8 that he is expected to win handily. The real fight to hold his
seat looms on June 5, when he faces a Democratic opponent.
The tea party regards the effort to recall Walker as unfair and
"It's one thing to recall somebody for not doing their job," Kremer
said. "It's another to recall them if you have a problem with their
With the effort, money and energy the movement has put into Walker's
recall, Mourdock's primary and other local elections this year, the
tea party has effectively turned these races into the determining
factor of whether it will be viewed as a major force in politics after
Even so, the Tea Party Express and select additional groups (but not
all) plan to be involved in the presidential race even though Mitt
Romney is not regarded as a tea party favorite.
"I will work my heart out," for whomever wins the nomination, Kremer
said. "We can't afford another four more years of President Bush."