The Tea Party Movement Doesn’t Exist
One big reason the Tea Party movement hasn’t been a factor in the 2012 election is that, well… it doesn’t exist.
Sure, evangelicals, anti-tax crusaders and Obama-haters may call themselves Tea Partiers. But there’s a better term to describe these groups: the Fox News Fan Club.
When the history of the remarkable Republican landslide of 2010 — winning 63 seats in the House, 6 seats in the Senate, 680 seats in state legislatures and 10 governorships — is written, right-wingers will falsely insist that this was a victory for the Tea Party.
They’ll spread the myth that the Tea Party was a nonpartisan movement that sprung up to oppose high taxes (though taxes were at a 50-year low and the new president had just cut taxes for 95 percent of Americans). They’ll say people who believed in personal responsibility banded together in local, decentralized groups to oppose radical intervention in the private sector by the government (all begun by a Republican president). They’ll say Americans who were sickened by debt and government spending finally just had to speak out (though they’d been silent as the surplus was blown and the deficit exploded under the previous administration).
What they’ll ignore is how a small group of some of the richest men in America used willing shills to shift the blame for the Great Recession and the debt onto the man who’d just inherited the crisis. The so-called Tea Party movement was simply a façade for the unprecedented way conservative media and dark-money groups rebranded and ignited the Republican base.