It's kind of sad, isn't it? And infuriating at the same time, because the people in this country who understand or care the least about policy as a legitimate tool to improve society are being used as tools by the powerful and the wealthy on
September 14, 2010

It's kind of sad, isn't it? And infuriating at the same time, because the people in this country who understand or care the least about policy as a legitimate tool to improve society are being used as tools by the powerful and the wealthy on their own behalf, and they're too dumb to see that. Oh well!

With electoral victories racking up - and a greater-than-ever chance that Republicans will take back the House this year - it's time for the "tea party" movement to transition from winning elections to influencing policy in Congress, former House majority leader Richard K. Armey said Monday.

At a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor, Armey, who is chairman of national tea party organizer FreedomWorks, spoke to reporters about the upcoming elections and the need to translate tea party victories at the ballot box into a legislative focus on reducing government spending, rolling back the health-care overhaul and, if possible, reducing taxes.

"These grass-roots activists are not going to retire from the field once this battle of 2010 is won," the Texas Republican said. "This whole activist movement is about policy."

Focusing on legislative achievements perhaps distinguishes FreedomWorks and Armey from other tea party activists, some of whom are focused more on changing the Republican Party - sometimes at any cost. In Delaware, for example, the Tea Party Express, Sarah Palin and Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) all have endorsed conservative Christine O'Donnell against moderate Rep. Mike Castle - even though O'Donnell, who has endured a series of personal financial problems, could have a hard time beating Democrat Chris Coons in November. The GOP primary is Tuesday.

FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe, who spoke with Armey on Monday, said his organization decided to stay out of the primary because "we're not convinced that Christine O'Donnell can win."

Kibbe also announced that FreedomWorks later this week will launch a new effort to attract support among minorities, calling it "Diverse Tea."

"There is this nagging perception that we're not diverse enough," Kibbe said.

Do you think that might have something to do with the preponderance of middle-aged white people with Obama-as-Kenyan T-shirts?

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