The Tea Party is too easy to get any respect from the Republican establishment. Only Matt Bevin can even manage to hold out for a night after being used and abused.
It was odd Tuesday night that Kentucky Tea Party challenger Matt Bevin refused to endorse incumbent Senator Mitch McConnell, after the Senate Minority Leader beat Bevin in the Republican primary. But Bevin is a lonely hold out in what is a larger, and rather quick, Tea Party cave to the establishment.
Mitch McConnell is not worried, though. He’s confident the rest of the Tea Party will fall in line after he set out to destroy them, and accomplished his goal.
Manu Raju at Politico got some delicious sound bites for an article entitled, “GOP’s task: Crush tea party, then court it”. Shhhh, don’t tell the Tea Party they’ve been used and abused again. They haven’t caught on yet, and McConnell can already count many of them, led by that bastion of intellect Erick Erickson, in his corner.
But not Matt Bevin.
Bested Tea Party candidate Matt Bevin groused according to Politico, “You can’t punch people in the face, punch people in the face, punch people in the face, and ask them to have tea and crumpets with you and think it’s all good. Life doesn’t work that way.”
Bevin added that he couldn’t do much to help McConnell because he’s “not leading a bunch of mindless sheep.”
McConnell, citing those who quickly changed gears and fell into his lap like Erickson and the Senate Conservative Fund, told Politico that he was “not concerned” about uniting the GOP come the fall. “We’ve been down this path before. We’re going to be able to put the party together, and I’m not concerned about that.”
Mitch McConnell was never worried about the Tea Party falling into line. Why should he be? The Tea Party does as they are told. Now they are being told that Real Republicans don’t sit it out, but of course, that narrative is only being used as a weapon to control them. It’s the Republican patriotism argument but used against their own members. You are either with us or against us, no room for debate let alone disobedience. Fall into line and do your duty as a Republican.
No one has stopped to ask why a movement that was described as a “revolution”, full of threats of violence if their abridged, Republican version of the “constitution” was not followed, can be so easily manipulated. But the answer to that question has been obvious from the beginning. The Tea Party is nothing more than a tool of the Koch brothers, and when it fails to deliver on the extremist candidates and policies, it is next deployed to help the establishment, which is also working to feed government resources to the same wealthy top 2% as the Koch brothers.
Mitch beat down the Tea Party and treated Bevin like he didn’t even exist, but now he expects the Tea Party to bow down and do his bidding. And they will.
All except for Matt Bevin, who is showing a bit of backbone here and if his followers have even a smidgeon of his backbone, then Mitch McConnell might be in trouble in Kentucky. Matt Bevin might not be a “mindless sheep”, but we will see about his followers. The rest of the Tea Party clearly are, they didn’t even hold out for a first date. And that is why the establishment, like Mitch McConnell, doesn’t respect them. They don’t need to. The Tea Party are just there to get out the vote and drive home extremist and paranoid narratives that serve the establishment.
In the morning, the Tea Party will do the walk of shame from McConnell’s room.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.
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