Writing at his blog, Earl Ofari Hutchinson distills the challenges that lie ahead for the Tea Party in the face of the resignation of South Carolina's Jim DeMint from the Senate so close on the heels of Dick Armey's departure from a Tea Party group.
The resignation of South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint from the Senate followed close on the heels of the desertion from the Tea Party of Freedom Works head Dick Armey took some by surprise. DeMint and Armey were the two biggest and most identifiable fish in the Tea Party affiliated pond. DeMint could be relied on to broker his name ID and prodigious fund raising prowess to every Tea Party backed Senatorial candidate — and loser.
Armey was a tireless advocate at big, stagey Tea Party rallies and confabs for the Tea Party's anti-big government hard line message. Now both are out. If that wasn't bad news enough for the Tea Party, GOP conservative House leaders turned on it and ousted Representatives Tim Huelskamp of Kansas and Justin Amash of Michigan two of the loudest Tea Party position advocates from the House Budget Committee. They were kicked to the curb almost certainly because GOP House leaders know they have to make a deal with President Obama on the budget or risk being further dragged through the public and media mud as being the cause for shoving the nation over the fiscal cliff. The Tea Party's brand of patented loose cannon obstructionism is too threatening to a GOP still reeling from the election flop. The ouster of the Tea Party hardliners and desertions by GOP bigwigs from the movement was hardly the first rumbling that the lights are dimming for the Tea Party.
A year earlier, polls showed that far more Americans had an unfavorable view of the Tea Party than when it roared on the scene a couple of years earlier. The disaffection cut across all lines and that included many conservatives. The reason for the plunge in Tea Party backing in Red State districts support wasn't hard to find. When Tea Party affiliated candidates scored big victories and even upsets of GOP incumbents in some races in 2010 they had one mantra and that was to shrink government, and shrink it fast. Millions of Americans cheered their war call, and voted for the candidates that yelped it the loudest. But it's one thing to scream about big government, bloated federal spending, and whopping federal debts, and it's quite another to actually hold Congress, and by extension, the nation hostage in an uncompromising, shrill battle to chop down government.
Read Earl Ofari Hutchinson's entire article at the Hutchinson Report.
The Root aims to foster and advance conversations about issues relevant to the black Diaspora by presenting a variety of opinions from all perspectives, whether or not those opinions are shared by our editorial staff.