What do I mean when I talk about The Ruin of the Tea Party?
What I'm saying is in 2010 even when I was Comm Dir for Taxpayers League of MN, I went and talked to Tea Party groups .
You know about half of the groups I was in identified as democrat or independent.
It was an organization dedicated to limited government, yes, but primarily to responsible government spending.
Not anything else.
After our huge victory in 2010 in MN, and across the country,, on the backs of support for fiscal responsibility, on the backs of an ideal (embodied in practice by the few) the Tea Party turned into something quite different.
I'm a big fan of the Kochs and AFP, in general, but what happened was a cooption by the worst elements of the GOP.
In Minnesota we have one of the worst right wing populists around in office, Michele Bachman who took control of the TP caucus and pretty much sullied it by the end of 2011.
Populism is the reverse of conservatism. Populism is the rule and guide on the left. That's what being a democrat is all about: reactionary policy divorced from an understanding of human incentive, expedience above ideals, and little to no understanding of history. When populism is right wing it takes predictable forms, generally nationalism, and most notably fascism.
We had Bachman running around handing over money to candidates that supported the view that there was no basis for separation of church and state in the Constitution, ridiculous, and turning the Tea Party into a mouthpiece for the lowest minded elements of the GOP, the noisiest elements of the GOP: the religious right social conservatives.
This departure from the power of ideals that promote prosperity was joined with an evident adoption of forceful tactics bred from the minds of the fearful, intransigence was the result.
Looking across America we saw the Tea Party come to power, immediately divest itself of it's primary purpose and bring forth legislation like DMA, in DC and in many states.
I have warned the party that to be against loving long term pair bonds between anyone is a sacrilege, but also a disempowering viewpoint for us. It is in keeping with the ideals of the DOI that "all men are created equal", and any effort against that ideal will lose out to its opposition, because the idea is so powerful, and so central to the USA.
In Minnesota what happened? Taking their mandate to make government fiscally responsible and reduce taxes, the Senate and House did what? Did they lower taxes or balance the budget? No they went after gays.
I'm all for pragmatism aligned with ideals. You can read my opinions on what the GOP needs to change to have a 49 state year like we did in 84 here.