When you organize a protest and only 6 people show, including yourself, your movement might be in serious trouble.
Waving a rather sad, given the context, but large “Don’t Tread on Me” flag, Juan Fiol, a Miami real estate broker and Marco Rubio protest organizer, wondered where everyone was. “It was supposed to be a big event,” he told Naples News, as he stood with the five other Tea Partiers to protest Senator Marco Rubio (R-FLA) for being a “back-stabber” and a “liar” over immigration reform. That desolate July protest must have stung.
Bitter feelings of betrayal have led activists to their next threat: They will sit out the 2014 election:
The tea party is a loosely knit web of activists, and some are hoping to rekindle the fire with 2014 primary challenges to wayward Republicans. But many more say they plan to sit out high-profile races in some important swing states next year, a move that GOP leaders fear could imperil the re-election prospects of former tea party luminaries, including the governors of Florida and Ohio.
Republicans need only look at how that same tactic turned out for Democrats in 2010 to know that is a disaster waiting to happen.
Republicans are now paying the piper for their 2010 gamble. Yes, it won them the House and gummed up Obama’s agenda, but it also made them wildly unpopular. Worse still, their own party has been taken over by the beast.
Even Republicans don’t like the Republican Party. A July ABC poll by Langer Research Associates showed that a stunning 52% of Republicans see their party as being on the wrong track with only 37% seeing it on the right track. In fact, for the first time since 1994, a majority of Republicans are dissatisfied with their party.
A July Quinnipiac poll demonstrated the Republican Party’s problem: Forty-nine percent of Republicans believe that the GOP is doing too little to compromise with President Obama, yet the Tea Party wants no compromise. The Tea Party consists of the most vocal supporters, the reliable turnout for off year election turnout. With an ever-shrinking tent, Republicans can’t afford to lose any support. After all, the ABC poll also revealed that only 21% of Americans surveyed identify as Republican.
Republicans keep trying to fool the Tea Party just like they fool voters; for example, they’re trying to sell Rubio’s immigration reform as border security. But the Republican Party bred and fed a particularly virulent strain of paranoia in order to turn the Tea Party against their own best economic interests and keep them misinformed. It was inevitable that at some point, that paranoia would turn on the Republican Party – and it looks like that’s beginning to happen.
Some of the embittered Tea might sit out 2014, but don’t breathe a sigh of relief yet. Finding no national platform, the Tea Party is following the Republican game plan of 40-50 years ago. Tea Partiers are infiltrating on the local level, running for “school boards, county commissions and city councils, focusing on issues such as unfunded pension liabilities and sewer system repairs,” according to Naples News. So the people who know the least about government and governing and hate government the most want to be in charge of it. Since no one will hand them the national reins, they’re taking over on a local level. What could go wrong?
Meanwhile, House Republicans remain clueless and Foxified against the national reality. They only care that they can get re-elected; they don’t care what they are doing to their party.
Thus the party vaunting the morality of self-interest now has to live with the downside of self-interest as a guiding principle. It turns out that it’s not all the conservative idea of a good time — denying poor people food and cheering the deaths of the unemployed.
Eventually, the self-interest they gloat about bites them in the bum and even the Republican Party can’t force their own self-interested members to behave anymore. Now the activists are threatening to stay home because the GOP didn’t hate on immigrants enough. Let’s not forget, it was the Republican Party who taught the Tea Party how to control via terror, fits, and tantrums.
Turns out, it was the Republican Party and not President Obama who took it upon themselves to tread on the Tea Party. That was predictable, as is their rage at being used.
Tick tock, Governors Scott and Kasich.