Marco Rubio Stiffs Senate Tea Party Caucus, But Be Careful What You Wish For

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Marco Rubio stiffed the new Tea Party Caucus in the Senate, and so did almost all the Conservatives who were elected in November:

Although dozens of Republicans sailed into office with the help of the conservative "tea party" movement last year, finding a self-identified "tea party Republican" on Capitol Hill is harder than you'd think. The first meeting of the Senate Tea Party Caucus on Thursday attracted just four senators — out of 47 GOP members — willing to describe themselves as members. The event was as notable for who wasn't there as who was.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), once a tea party favorite, has for now declined to join the caucus, whose first meeting was organized by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) Sen. Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican whose campaign sprung from the small-government movement, has said he's unsure if he'll join. Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) showed up to address the group of activists, but then hustled out of the room, ignoring reporters' questions about whether he was in or out.

The reluctance shows how the purposefully disjointed movement and its crop of outspoken and controversial leaders, although a powerful force in the campaign that spurred Republicans to a big midterm victory, are still viewed as risky allies even for conservative politicians. With the rhetoric of the campaign now translating into debate over politically painful budget cuts, the tea party agenda looks less like the hub of Republican energy in Congress and more like an endpoint of the spectrum.

Lawrence O'Donnell had on Judson Phillips from the Tea Party Nation yesterday, and he asked him why these newly elected Tea Partiers refused to join the new coalition. Judson was evasive -- and as we've seen with The Tea Party Stepford Bots so far, they will apologize, rationalize and make excuses for their newly minted leaders until the cows come home. O'Donnell thinks it's a significant development, because in the Senate you need unity and deal-making to get things done, and this shows a breakdown in their alignment. I agree and disagree. Yes, Rubio stiffed them and that's significant because he was the initial poster boy for the Tea Party movement, but I want to offer a word of caution about this.

Unfortunately we have Rubio, Johnson, Rand Paul and DeMint in office for years and they will be bringing up their psycho-budgetonomics to the American people. Rand Paul is offering up this bit of lunacy:

It didn’t get much notice, but Tea Party “libertarian” Rand Paul (R-AquaBuddha) released his personal federal budget yesterday; I have to give him some credit for being specific about what he would cut, unlike most Republicans, but this budget is a real hoot.

Congressman Paul proposes to cut spending by more than half a trillion dollars. Right away, not over the course of a decade.

“How in the world is that possible?” you ask. Simple! By radically changing American society, of on

Paul's goal is to follow Grover Norquist's hatred for the institution he was elected to be part of -- which means he will offer up only slashes and cuts, not solutions. With the RWNM geared up to go ballistic for the 2012 election, their megaphone and insane ideas will be transmitted to millions of Americans, even if they are ridiculous and not based in reality. We've seen the impact their heated right-wing rhetoric has had on our country. That's a problem. Since cutting taxes, deregulation and dismantling the federal government is their Holy Grail, you can only imagine the affect these sick legislative ideas may have. Just be warned.


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