Tea Party Summer Of Discontent, Courtesy Of Billionaires

As we move toward the inevitable steamy August town hall meetings, tea party astroturfers are moving into position. Their mission: to disrupt, destroy, and demolish the Republican Party.

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They do have a history of turning on their own!

The Tea Party astroturf army is moving into position now that Congress is in their August recess and members have gone home to their districts. Their mission, should they choose to accept it, will be the total destruction of the Republican Party as it has existed for decades.

NPR reports that former darlings of the tea party and their billionaire backers are now persona non grata for daring to govern:

One sweltering July day, a half-dozen tea party protesters gathered under a tree in front of Rubio's Miami office, seeking shade as they denounced his support for an immigration overhaul. But the protest soon turned into more of a support group, with the four men and two women grousing to each other about how Rubio had turned into a "back-stabber," a "liar" and a "flip-flopper."

Juan Fiol, a real estate broker who organized the protest, kept looking at his phone, waiting for calls from fellow tea party supporters that never came.

"It was supposed to be a big event," he said as he waved a large "Don't Tread on Me" flag.

The movement's top strategists acknowledge the tea party is quieter today, by design. It has matured, they said, from a protest movement to a political movement. Large-scale rallies have given way to strategic letter-writing and phone-banking campaigns to push or oppose legislative agendas in Washington and state capitals. In Michigan and Ohio, for example, leaders have battled the implementation of the president's health law and the adoption of "Common Core" state school standards.

Local activists say they have focused largely on their own communities since Obama's re-election and the ideological drift of some tea party-backed politicians. Many are running for school boards, county commissions and city councils, focusing on issues such as unfunded pension liabilities and sewer system repairs.

"The positions that people are filling at the local levels are more important for the future of the movement and the future of the country," said Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, a national umbrella organization. "It's creating a farm team for the future."

Yes, Marco Rubio is being drummed out of Tea Party ranks because he actually worked with -- AHEM -- Democrats to fashion some kind of immigration reform bill that could possibly pass. Not that I'm too sad about Rubio's fall from grace, you understand, but it just illustrates how batsh*t crazy these people are. They truly believe they know the One True Way to Liberty, and damn anyone who steps off their very, very narrow line.

Nevertheless, the pending immigration bill is certainly one of the hot button issues for town hall meetings. Fox News managed to choke out a report about it without actually looking too awfully biased, though they saved Jeff Sessions' threat for the end of their article.

Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Session [sic], among the strongest critics of the Senate bill, circulated a letter earlier this week that appeared to serve as a strategy memo for House Republicans this month.

“The GOP has a choice: It can either deliver President Obama his ultimate legislative triumph, and with it, a crushing hammer blow to working Americans that they will not soon forgive," wrote Sessions. “Or it can begin the essential drive to regain the trust of struggling Americans who have turned away. … This 1,200-page immigration bill is a legislative monstrosity.”

Jeff Sessions is one of the lawmakers who works closely with the Ginni Thomas Groundswell working group on immigration, via his staff members, by the way. It's one of the top ten fronts in their '30-front war,' and Sessions is one of their generals. I did giggle at him using the very same description of the immigration bill that he and the rest of the AstroTurf Army used for the Affordable Care Act. Evidently anything that requires more than five pages is considered a "monstrosity."

This will come as a surprise to almost no one, via the NPR article:

National tea party leaders hope to re-energize followers by focusing on two of the movement's chief targets: the Internal Revenue Service and the health law. They said the Obama administration had handed them a recruiting tool when it delayed the law's implementation and when the IRS singled out tea party groups and other conservative political organizations for special scrutiny.

Of course, we know that the IRS did NOT single out tea party groups and other conservative political organizations for special scrutiny, but there are a group of billionaire-funded activists in Washington DC who not only invented that whole theme, they continue to flog it when the horse is dead, buried, in the grave and the headstone placed. As for their stance on immigration, please remember what their memo trumpeted to the Faithful back in March:

Immigration is a meta-issue, an existential issue. If we lose on immigration we lose on every other issue. The key to defeating this bill is Sen. Rubio. He can gracefully remove himself from the “gang of 8” and still save face. There are a number of issues that can provide the out.

But this time, the tea party has a bit of a problem. For starters, there's an enthusiasm gap. Going back to the first quote from NPR, I note that in Florida, that bastion of tea party activism, there were exactly four women and two men present for the Big Protest.

On the other hand, OFA has some plans too. There are pro-immigration reform rallies scheduled to take place all over the country during the break, and I suspect those will garner far more support than the tea party seems to be gathering. Despite Glenn Beck's claim that the wingnuts are just a hair's breadth from taking over the GOP -- a claim I tend to believe based upon GOP behavior over the past eight months -- it appears that the internal war has taken an enthusiasm toll with conservative activists.

It could be that August is indeed a summer of discontent, but this time the discontent may be focused toward tea party Congressmen who can't manage to get anything done, rather than the other way. Gosh, that would be a crying shame, wouldn't it?

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