Is the Tea Party Dead?

By the Left Coast Rebel

After the November 2012 election I'm sure you are wondering if, as a viable political movement, the so-called tea party is dead. The leftist Democrat media no doubt has you pondering this as well as the resounding collectivist results of the November 2012 election. Leslie Eastman just e-mailed me a Rasmussen report showing the piss-poor public view of the tea party as it stands today.

But is the movement dead as a door nail?

I believe (and know instinctively in my heart of hearts) that the tea party isn't dead; rather the electoral vehicle of of the movement -- the Republican Party -- is in its final death throes.

This truism stands as it should because the GOP typifies absolutely nothing beyond the status quo. The aim of the Republican party in general is shockingly pitiful acquiescence to ever-expansion of the Federal government though slight millimeters on the government scale, ever so slightly to the right of Democrats. And in our age of marching socialism that is something we cannot afford...

But how can a movement that is actually a simple idea be "dead"?

The tea party is me; the tea party is you and anyone around us yearning to be free from the shackles of  tyrannical, overbearing, intrusive, patriarchal government.

But after being swallowed up by one of the two major statist American political parties, how do we rebrand the tea party and reinvigorate the limited government movement? 

Here's my take taken from the SoCal Tax Revolt Coalition e-mail list today:

The public's unfavorable view of the Tea Party (though very likely exaggerated by the predominantly leftist American press) is perception: The Tea Party is seen as an apparatus of the corrupt Republican Party now, versus a fledgling, spontaneous grassroots movement as it was perceived (and truly was) in 2008 up to 2010. 

Many low- or medium-information voters and citizens likely also succumbed to the incessant drumbeat "tea party is racist" Democrat/media/leftist (one and the same) smear; but nevertheless if the public at large has bought into the meme that John Boehner (and the Republican party in general) is the face of the Tea Party, it's no wonder that perception is in the basement. 

The challenge of re-branding and remaing viable and effective going forward is going to be completely disassociating from the Republican party and reconnecting with Americans as a movement of liberty, free-enterprise, small government and individual freedom.

I'd like to know your thoughts...


  1. I agree that the Tea Party is a set of ideas or beliefs, not a political organization that is dead. I think that if the group of us who hold to Tea Party priniciples want to establish a "brand" (I hate that word), then we do have to establish a formal party of sorts (call it something other than Tea if you want).

    That said, however, this party cannot operate as parties have been operating. Maybe basic power resides in state level (or other subdivisions) groups with a national organization simply to serve as a place for states to hammer out national level issues. Something like a "continental congress"...? Just thinking out loud here.

    1. Agreed, the problem with the way both parties operate is that they dictate from the top down (that's how you get "tea party" reps voting for John Boehner's Obama bankruptcy budget, though many didn't). I'm a big believer in keeping everything local.

    2. The Continental Congress has been tried, it failed with the Articles of Confederation. Hence the United States and the Constitution. It has to be either 50 independent states with each state having sovereignty or the constitutional republic.

      The later always has, and always will require compromise to be functional.

  2. A good piece and a good point. I think the Tea Party would need to evolve into a full fledged political party to see any large scale migration from the Republican party. Perhaps the two would happen concurrently?

    1. We need a multi party system that requires a coalition to govern perhaps. Requires expanding our rather small political mentally.

    2. I meant to say rather narrow , not rather small with respect to political mentality.

  3. The Republicans were totally guided, forcefully, by the entrenched leaders. They made the rules and made certain their dictum was followed. I changed my party affiliation in August to Independent. And, no, I don't believe the Tea Party is dead, but I think something happened to it as it grew. It was not only perceived as a conservative vehicle, but few people seemed to focus on their real mission. (I believe that's why Mitt lost, as well.)
    I belonged to a voluntary Constitution class which just finished reading The 5000 Year Leap. I am looking at The Madison Project for input. But I'm not certain of where that's going.
    Although labeling party members as Constitutionalists or Fiscal Conservatives has worked for some, I believe this created confusion and anger because it required voters to think. There are three groups: those that are willing to learn and read and are/willing to become Constitutionally savvy; those that don't know why, but know that we are being misled and then those who are totally opposed and see the Constitution as an aging, irrelevant piece of paper, which is hindering their liberal life-styles.
    In my view, I'm not certain the Tea Party could pull off a political coup to become a viable third party, if Rand and Ron Paul couldn't do it as Libertarians, or Ralph Nader with his Green Party. However, there is a very real need for something the Tea Party has to offer. I think that is what made them so dangerous to the liberals then, and scary now, because they are still here, and Not Dead yet!
    I'm not entirely happy with the current finger-pointing after 11/6, as well as the marginalizing of certain Reps during the "Fiscal Cliff" negotiations by the Congress. It's the same story of the entrenched GOP, grasping at going along to get along. The entire exercise of loading up the House of Reps. was to change the spending orgy by both parties. Evidently the Tea Party members misread what they could alter. Their effort was a successful grassroots effort to make changes in Washington. Maybe it is time to take a good look at the people currently steering the boat, which is rudderless, floating down Old Miss, with no one at the helm.
    It appears that the only time that the conservative movement is energized and ready for action, is when it has just been hosed by Sweet Pea (the septic tank specialists)!

    1. Great points and not too long! The first thing that jumps out to me here is that you are on to something regarding why Romney lost... hint, no one is on to truly why he lost! Also, I think that the Tea Party reps misread just how entrenched and immovable big government statist leadership is in the GOP. They are simply unmovable and that's why we MUST have an alternative or the nations is done.

    2. Absolutely. The big question is going to be how.

    3. I'll come up with a plan after the post-election depression fog finally clears 100% :)

  4. " do we rebrand the tea party and reinvigorate the limited government movement?"

    I liked Victor Davis Hanson's tongue in cheek idea: Call it "Occupy Washington."

  5. It seems to me that the Tea Party movement was co-opted by rightwing politicians and the corporate-owned right-wing mainstream media. I suspect most people believe in the idea of getting spending under control.

    I like Jason's comment about Occupy Washington. The Occupy people and the Tea Party people had a lot in common. They wanted a system where leaders responds to the people and not monied interests and their intermediaries.

    I honestly do not understand what the Occupy people had against Wall Street. But I think they were on the right track in wanting clean gov't.


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