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Is the Tea Party losing influence? Do they matter anymore? After the 2012 election results were in, I was curious about how the Tea Party candidates fared. I wondered if Tea Party members of Congress did better or worse in their 2012 elections compared to 2010. I’m happy (and sad) to report that the results were good (and bad) for Democrats.

Personally, I’m hoping they’ll just fade away.

More below the iron-oxide rusty orange fleur-de-progressiveness…

What Happened to Tea Party Candidates in 2012?

A quick Google search found this HuffPost article: Tea Party Election Results: Conservative Movement Of 2010 Takes Pounding In 2012, which pointed out that of 16 U.S. Senate candidates endorsed by the Tea Party in 2012, only four won. The Tea Party candidates for Senate were not very successful:

Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) seemed poised to defeat Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) until his comments regarding "legitimate rape" tanked his campaign. Additionally, Tea Party backed candidate Richard Mourdock enjoyed a narrow lead over Rep. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) until a debate last month in which Mourdock said that pregnancies resulting from rape are something that "God intended to happen."

Similarly, Tea Party favorites Christine O'Donnell of Delaware and Sharron Angle of Nevada squandered 2010 chances to pick up Senate seats for Republicans.

Google also led me to this article from CBS: Dick Armey: Tea party candidates lost because they "did dumb things":
(CBS News) Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey blamed GOP leadership for the loss of campaigns of Republicans across the country in 2012.

"I don't think the Republican Party schooled their candidates very well or supported their candidates very well," Armey said on "CBS This Morning."

Armey left the House in 2003 and went on to run FreedomWorks, an organization that became instrumental in the rise of the tea party movement. FreedomWorks spent $40 million in 2012 to elect tea party candidates but only one-quarter of the candidates they endorsed won.

The Tea Party is Amorphous and Hard to Define

The Tea Party doesn’t exist as a monolithic entity. There are super-rich people like The Koch brothers or Sheldon Adelson who hate paying taxes and don’t like government regulations. They have funded various super-PACs and astroturf groups with Tea Party labels. Then there are people like Ron Paul and various other libertarians who run Tea Parties here and there (and they may or may not favor things like marriage equality or legalizing marijuana or abortion rights). A third group is the evangelicals who want to ban things like abortion and LGBT marriage and birth control and shariah law (WTF?) and so on. They’re the exact opposite of libertarians. Not that I sympathize with libertarians or evangelicals (or ultra-rich guys, for that matter). There are four or more national tea party groups, including one that was founded as a for-profit organization by a shady Tennessee lawyer. I think the Tennessee guy’s group went out of business after getting slapped by Friedman’s invisible hand).

Calling it THE Tea party – using the definite article – makes it sounds like it’s a single political party or a single legitimate group. It’s not. It’s just a label used by Republicans who think it will help them get elected. Basically it’s an unorganized group of people who want to be elected to government positions so they can shut down most government services and lower taxes to nearly zero.

Which members of Congress (the House of Representatives) claim to espouse Tea Party values?

I found different lists from different sources on the internet, so I decided to base this DKos diary on the official Tea Party Caucus page from Here’s the web page: House of Representatives Membership (of Tea Party Caucus). This web page will probably change soon, so here’s the list of current members of the TP Caucus in the House (when I started writing this a few weeks ago), in alphabetical order:

The 59 Tea Party Caucus Members Before the 2012 Election

Sandy Adams (FL-24) , Robert Aderholt (AL-04), Todd Akin (MO-02) , Rodney Alexander (LA-05), Michele Bachmann (MN-06), Roscoe Bartlett (MD-06) , Joe Barton (TX-06), Gus Bilirakis (FL-09) (FL-12), Rob Bishop (UT-01), Diane Black (TN-06),

Paul Broun (GA-10), Michael Burgess (TX-26), Dan Burton (IN-05) , John Carter (TX-31), Bill Cassidy (LA-06), Howard Coble (NC-06), Ander Crenshaw (FL-04), John Culberson (TX-07), Jeff Duncan (SC-03), Blake Farenthold (TX-27)

Stephen Lee Fincher (TN-08), John Fleming (LA-04), Trent Franks (AZ-02)(AZ-08), Phil Gingrey (GA-11), Louie Gohmert (TX-01), Vicky Hartzler (MO-04), Wally Herger (CA-02) , Tim Huelskamp (KS-01), Lynn Jenkins (KS-02), Steve King (IA-05) (IA-04)

Doug Lamborn (CO-05), Jeff Landry (LA-03) , Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-09) (MO-03), Kenny Marchant (TX-24), Tom McClintock (CA-04), David McKinley (WV-01), Gary Miller (CA-42)(CA-31), Mick Mulvaney (SC-05), Randy Neugebauer (TX-19), Rich Nugent (FL-05) (FL-11)

Steven Palazzo (MS-04), Steve Pearce (NM-02), Mike Pence (IN-06) , Ted Poe (TX-02), Tom Price (GA-06), Denny Rehberg (MT-AL) , David "Phil" Roe (TN-01), Dennis Ross (FL-12) (FL-15), Edward Royce (CA-40)(CA-39), Steve Scalise (LA-01)

Pete Sessions (TX-32), Lamar Smith (TX-21), Adrian Smith (NE-03), Cliff Stearns (FL-06) , Tim Walberg (MI-07), Joe Walsh (IL-08) , Allen West (FL-22) (FL-18) , Lynn Westmoreland (GA-03), Joe Wilson (SC-02)

Note 1:  Eleven Congresspersons (whose names I bolded) won’t be returning to the House next year.  11 of 59 members are gone, which is 19%. That leaves 48 current members (plus whoever joins next year after the swearing in ceremony).

Note 2:  If a name is followed by two Congressional districts, the second is their new district number after redistricting.

Let’s consider this the official list of Tea Partiers in the House. Before I tell you what happened to those 59 Tea Party Caucus Members of Congress, I need to mention this…


I Am Ignoring the Following Politicians

Tea Party Senators

The Tea Party caucus in the Senate currently consists of Jim DeMint (South Carolina), Mike Lee (Utah), Jerry Moran (Kansas), and Rand Paul (Kentucky). DeMint resigned from the Senate, so there are three left. Some candidates for Senate – Akin, Mourdock, O’Donnell, and Angle (and others, like the jerk In Alaska) – might have joined the Senate TP caucus, but those assholes lost their elections in 2010 or 2012. The Tea Party doesn’t have a significant presence in the Senate – at least not an organized caucus presence.

Representatives Who Left the Tea Party Caucus (or Never Joined) or Left Congress

Tom Graves (GA), Ralph Hall (TX), Walter Jones (NC), Cynthia Lummis (WY), and Sue Myrick (NC)  were once listed as members of the TP caucus, but they apparently left the caucus. Or whatever. Maybe they never joined. I’m not sure about Tim Scott (SC) and Mike Coffman (CO) – they might have had tea party leanings but they’re not listed on the Tea Party Caucus page.

Parker Griffith, Pete Hoekstra, John Shadegg, Todd Tiahrt, and Zach Wamp might have been members of the TP caucus at one time, but I think all of them have left Congress.

So I’m ignoring those people.

First a Note About Finding Election Results

For this project I decided I wanted the official results. Not results from Yahoo or CNN or the New York Times or some blog. So I visited a lot of websites sponsored by state governments. Almost all of the 50 states have a secretary of state (SOS) whose website gives you the official election results. Sometimes you have to download a PDF, sometimes not.

Utah doesn’t have a SOS. In Utah, the Lieutenant Governor’s office publishes the election results (which is fine, once you figure out that’s where you have to look). Virginia and another state (NC, maybe?) have a secretary of state, but they don’t do elections results. There’s a separate office called something like the elections bureau or election commission that handles elections. West Virginia had by far the messiest, hardest-to-navigate website. I was shouting at the screen, “I don’t care about the precincts and counties! I just want to know the fucking results for the congressional districts. Who won the election?” What? Do they use a Commodore 64 or a Timex-Sinclair to upload the results? Several states provide only raw numbers, and I had to figure out the percentages on my computer.

The 2012 Election Results – 11 Tea Party Reps are Gone

Remember that I said there were 59 Representatives in the Tea Party Caucus? Here’s how they did in the 2012 elections:

5 Retired or Didn’t Run for Re-election

Dan Burton (IN-05) retired, citing health issues in his family.

Wally Herger (CA-02) retired, to spend more time with his family.

Mike Pence (IN-06) left Congress, ran for Governor of IN and won (the only Tea Party politician who sought another office and won the election).

Todd Akin (MO-02) ran for Senate and lost. Yay!

Denny Rehberg (MT-AL) ran for Senate and lost. Another yay!

2 Lost in the Primary

I guess the voters didn’t like Sandy Adams (FL-24) or Cliff Stearns (FL-06).

4 Lost in the General Election

Roscoe Bartlett (MD-06): in 2010 he had 61.45%, in 2012 voters gave him 37.90% (a net loss of -23.55).

Jeff Landry (LA-03): in 2010 he had 63.77%, in 2012 39.20% (-24.57) . He lost in the second round runoff (runoff elections are a peculiar element of elections in Louisiana).

Joe Walsh (IL-08): in 2010 he won with 48.47%, in 2012 he lost with 45.26% (-3.21). Good Riddance!

Allen West (FL-22) (FL-18): in 2012 got 54.40%, in 2012 49.70% (-4.70) Good Riddance to him, too.

48 Tea Partiers Were Re-Elected

Here’s the problem: A lot of them live in really, really Republican districts. They live in the Red Lands.

I had to split them into several categories. Some of them didn’t have a Democratic opponent (in 2010 or 2012). That means maybe they had an opponent from the Libertarian Party or Constitutional Party or Green Party or Socialist Party. Some ran unopposed (in 2010 or 2012) so they got 100% or close to 100% (after write-in votes).

Of the 28 who ran against a Democrat both years, 15 got a smaller percentage of votes in 2012 than 2010. 13 got more.

Here’s the list of the 48 Tea Party Congress Critters who were re-elected in 2012:

Yes, I know that presidential year elections are different from off-year elections. I also know that every state got redistricted (so it's not really fair to compare 2010 to 2012). And,  yes, each congressional race is unique. But what the heck. 20% (actually 19%) of the Tea Party Reps are gone.

Any comments?

Originally posted to Dbug on Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 10:23 PM PST.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Let's defeat the Teabaggers in 2014! (Tip Jar) (134+ / 0-)

    Some of them might be vulnerable. There are 48 left (plus a few noobs might join the TP caucus next year).

    “If you misspell some words, it’s not plagiarism.” – Some Writer

    by Dbug on Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 10:13:48 PM PST

  •  Thanks for all of the leg work (32+ / 0-)

    I read this quickly, but the obvious takeaway is that these guys are on the downslope and we cannot afford to let them run unopposed even in red, red districts. We may not win, but we will always lose presenting no alternative at all.

    Tipped and recced for your hard work. These are great numbers for planning purposes.

    •  They are on somewhat of a downslope, but.... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dbug, llywrch

      They will not go away ( the Senate list should have included Rubio, who got there because of TP and Cruz from Texas ) but they certainly will never be any bigger than they were -- many of the smaller, scattered groups wil either disipate as members move on or merge with other groups. As well, their prospects for growing their numbers are slim --- they certainly don't appeal to the growing demographic groups that had a real effect on the last election and, bluntly, many of their older membership will not be around for too many more electoral cycles ( heck, I bet several kicked the bucket in the time it took to type this post )

       But they will be around, under some form or another, or some name or other, for a long time to come. The bottomless amount of money that seems to be available to these groups make it far too an enticing prospect for them not to exist. They will be there, soiling the sidelines, just as Club For Growth, Heritage Foundation and Grover Norquists too well funded band of parasitic oxygen theives, et al
      have been for far too long, pushing their toxic waste credo of ideoligical greed.

       It's all about the money.

      it tastes like burning...

      by eastvan on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 02:27:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  still a threat in lower turnout elections (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        we got our vote out this time, despite the best efforts of Husted, Rick Scott, PA state legislator Turzai et al. They do better in primaries, special elections and midterms.

        "Did they really think that we wouldn't notice? Nice try-- but we got you!" Rev. Al Sharpton

        by growingMajorityMN on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 09:37:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  no-one else said it..? Ok, I will. Romney happened (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dbug, llywrch


      I mean, everyone on both sides saw that coming right? Romney was the absolute worst GOP candidate you could try to appeal to Teahadists with. He wasn't a "true believer", he wasn't a "true christian", he wasn't "grassroots", he was an elitist (remember when they LOVED that word?), etc etc etc. Rick Perry or Bachmann were the ones who could've harnessed the Tea Party's crazy energy. Palin too.

      But the Tea Party hated Willard almost as bad as they hate Obama.

      "See? I'm not a racist! I have a black friend!"

      by TheHalfrican on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 10:53:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great job (17+ / 0-)

    And we have to get more of them out of Congress in 2014.  I never understand why the DCCC doesn't run candidates in certain districts or if there is a candidate do not support them.  I'm not saying to throw a million into a race, especially if we know it's not winable, but if we continue to chip away eventually we'll defeat these teabaggers.  As an example, Bachmann's numbers are going down and she maybe ripe in 2014 for defeat and only got 50.47% of the vote this year.  Steve King's numbers really went down from 2010 to 2012 with him winning but it was 11% less than in 2010.  Of course, this maybe due to redistricting, but we have to look into that and find candidates that are able to defeat these teabaggers, because many of them maybe ripe for defeat, but without opponents you'll never know that.

    Never be afraid to voice your opinion and fight for it . Corporations aren't people, they're Republicans (Rev Al Sharpton 10/7/2011)

    by Rosalie907 on Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 11:46:19 PM PST

  •  Thanks a lot for all the hard work! (14+ / 0-)

    This is very good and encouraging news. Thanks for posting!

    •  You're welcome (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Nelson, Dvalkure

      After the election, I was curious about the Tea Party results and halfway expected someone else to write something on DKos. But they didn't, so I decided to dig up the numbers.

      “If you misspell some words, it’s not plagiarism.” – Some Writer

      by Dbug on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 02:53:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I take issue with just one thing you said... (14+ / 0-)
    I’m hoping they’ll just fade away
    Hope in this case is not enough.

    If you find roaches, termites or rodents in your house, you can't "hope" them away. You have to work to actively exterminate them.

    Metaphorically speaking of course!

    Message to Dems: We HAVE to start showing up for Midterms.

    by Jank2112 on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 04:47:25 AM PST

    •  While I'll agree, (5+ / 0-)

      I've begun to look at the tea partier thing as a war of the titans.  The wealthy Koch's, Adelson and their ilk are fostering the Tea Party, but as it turns out, much of their antics in Congress are bad for Wall Street.

      So you now have the Titans of Wall Street wanting to get these guys under a bit better control, and they are being forced to work more closely with Democrats despite their long, cozy history with Republicans.

      Will the Tea Party reps have one arm twisted by the Koch's and another arm twisted by Dimond et al?

      We can only hope so.

      Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth - Abraham Lincoln

      by Gustogirl on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 07:59:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  yep. Want to defeat the TeaPubs (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dbug, growingMajorityMN, Dvalkure, llywrch

      and reduce the Republicon party to the size of a turd and flush it down the toilet?  Dr. Howard Dean's 50 State Strategy on Steroids - aka the 200,000 Precinct Strategy - has a damn good chance of doing just that. Get involved in that endeavor in your local yokel precinct and we'll be well on our way to flushing that turd down the toilet.

  •  Our Tea Party in our rural reactionary red county (24+ / 0-)

    has morphed into a Patriot group.  Its definitely full of hate and racism.  I predict the final form of the Tea Party all over the country will be as a white supremacy group and no one who values their political or social image will want their name associated with it, much like the KKK.

  •  What Happened to The Tea Party in the 2012? (5+ / 0-)

    buying guns and believing Fox News

  •  The front page announcement (6+ / 0-)

    On our local Tea Party's website is: "Our next major step in completing the process of Restoring America will be November 6, 2012"

    "Whenever a fellow tells me he's bipartisan, I know he's going to vote against me."-- Harry S. Truman

    by irmaly on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 05:44:12 AM PST

  •  My take on the Tea Party (6+ / 0-)

    started as an uprising to the disastrous Bush presidency, and the Housing Bubble burst causing a right wing political backlash.

    Fueled by the election of our first African American president morphed into the mutant enigma we have today.

    Regardless of what Grover thinks - Sarah Palin was and still is the DeFacto leader of this movement - her endorsement counts more than anyone else in Tea Party circles.

    Most of the right libertarians were on board at first - then joined the Ron Paul movement. The Koch brothers and others jumped on board for their own narrow selfish interests, they may have the money - but they don't drive the votes.

    If not us ... who? If not here ... where? If not now ... when?

    by RUNDOWN on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 05:51:55 AM PST

  •  Now for a similar diary about Progressives (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Great diary...gonna stash it in my Hope Chest. So how ascendant are Progressives??

  •  20 percent gone in one election is high (7+ / 0-)

    You said yourself that many are in very red districts.  That makes them hard to beat unless the demographics in their district change.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

    by noofsh on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 06:06:00 AM PST

    •  Yeah, I know (0+ / 0-)

      When I started collecting the results, I was surprised at how many got elected with 60 or 70 percent or more. It's a bit discouraging.

      “If you misspell some words, it’s not plagiarism.” – Some Writer

      by Dbug on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 02:58:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Here's an issue (8+ / 0-)

    The four Tea Party Republicans who lost were victims of redistricting.  The Maryland and Illinois Democrats redrew the lines for Bartlett (who was 86) and Walsh, and the Florida Republicans forced West to run in a district with a lot more Democrats than the one that had elected him. Louisiana lost a seat and Landry was, if you will, the sacrificial lamb.

    It's going to be more difficult to get the rest of them out because they're running in heavily Republican districts - unless, of course, there are changes within each district (like MN-6 where we came closer in 2012 than we ever had).

    -7.75, -8.10; Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

    by Dave in Northridge on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 06:19:58 AM PST

    •  lowers their credibility to the wider public (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dbug, slothlax

      if they are only able to get elected in strong red districts and are basically a regional party. almost none of them outside the south or 'Mormon belt'

      "Did they really think that we wouldn't notice? Nice try-- but we got you!" Rev. Al Sharpton

      by growingMajorityMN on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 10:25:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  You can (6+ / 0-)

    watch Amy Kremer of Tea Party Express on UP with Chris Hayes make a total fool of herself, if you want to punish yourself.  

    •  She was so stupid I could barely listen to her (7+ / 0-)

      I don't think I've ever seen anyone as ignorant on that show. She could only speak in talking points and got the deer caught in the headlights look whenever she was pressed to answer a question or her facts were challenged.  I thought the rest of the panel was amazingly polite to her. They must have been coached in how to behave before. I couldn't have done it.

      If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there.

      by kbeagle on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 08:00:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  it was hard to watch (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dbug, kbeagle

        As far as I can tell UP always tries gets the best possible guests to represent any given side of an argument, usually they do a great job and get people who are smart, articulate, and know the issue inside and out. Even when they have guests I disagree with, they are always capable people who make a strong, knowledgeable case for their position.

        Not so today, it was genuinely hard to watch Steve Kornacki try to get her to answer a question she clearly didn't even understand while she repeated thoroughly debunked (on the same show, in the same hour) talking points and played the victim.

        "There is one rule for the industrialist and that is: Make the best quality of goods possible at the lowest cost possible, paying the highest wages possible." -Henry Ford

        by sixeight120bpm on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 02:35:56 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  there is no tp, per se. it's always been a (7+ / 0-)

    marketing tool created & funded by biz interests for the sole purpose of promoting the illusion of widespread public discontent over the results of the 2008 campaign/election.

    iow, the rw's choice of candidates didn't win, so it's time for everyone to man the barricades with pitchforks b/c we didn't win!!  it's the same philosophy the rw employs everytime they lose the wh, only in 2008 they decided to kick it up a notch b/c a black guy won & that made things way scarier.

    the gop is the political arm of the big biz/ws plutocracy, fox noise is its main propaganda conduit, & the tp is a ploy to gain more members for its ranks b/c they're dying off at an unsustainable rate.

    •  It reminds me of Orwell's 1984 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      where the totalitarian government anticipates rebellion, and has set up a phony underground resistance movement to snare anyone who might sympathize, then break them.

      "Did they really think that we wouldn't notice? Nice try-- but we got you!" Rev. Al Sharpton

      by growingMajorityMN on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 10:27:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Something I don't get (5+ / 0-)

    We all know the harm the Tea Party has done to the Republican brand, so is there any way the Republican party can stop the crazies from running as Republicans? If they had to run as Tea Party candidates instead of Republicans, I believe far fewer would get elected as many voters simply  vote "R" with little thought to what they're actually getting.
    On the other hand, they were welcomed in to the party and karma is a b*tch. :)

    •  Up until November 2012............. (12+ / 0-)

      the Rethugs gladly welcomed the Tea Baggers as an influential element of their party.  2012 proved that consolidating and firing up a base consisting of angry, old white people is not a strategy that wins national elections given the nation's current demographics.

      My opinion is that the Tea bag movement is currently on "life support" provided by John Boehner.  He needs the vote of the teabagpublicans to retain his speakership Jan 3rd. After Jan 3rd, all bets are off.

      Boehner and the House must put together legislation that (1) addresses our problems and  (2) can be passed through the Dem controlled Senate and approved by the President Obama.  THE TEA BAGGERS WILL SUPPORT NOTHING THAT DOES EITHER. Boehner will be forced to work with a coalition of "moderate" Rethugs and Democrats.

      We will hear a lot about “hostage taking,”  “saber rattling,” and “shutting the government down” but in the end; the Tea Baggers in the house will be ignored and there will be governance.  Boehner knows that inaction from the House will assure that the Rethugs will be swept out in  2014.


      The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation--HDT

      by cazcee on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 07:21:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree completely (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gffish, Dbug

        They're getting what they asked for with the teabaggers. I find it hard to believe that the establishment types were not smart enough to look them over and miss just how crazy they really are.
         I really do hope Boehner has the balls to do what he must......cut off and isolate the teabaggers and create a coalition with the Dems when necessary. He'll catch plenty of hell from the far right, but I think in the end he'll be far better off being seen as productive instead of the public face of those who would blow up the economy with the debt ceiling etc.

  •  Repugs.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    inHI, Dbug

    ...bit off more than they could chew with the Tea's.  

    They famously control their caucus but aren't able to bring TP's into the fold.  

    IMHO the TP's represent many of the angry (old?) racists the Repugs  need for votes only.  They are paying dearly for those votes.  

    The Republican franchise is tarnished and broken and may not recover without some deep soul-searching they haven't yet decided (or are not capable) of doing.

    Will they completely implode or what?  

    Stay tuned.......

    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." - Edmund Burke

    by CyberDem on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 07:13:30 AM PST

  •  I think a core will remain in hard red districts (6+ / 0-)

    but I also think that what being a TP member means will change to be more subjective.  Regardless, our job is to idenitfy the fringe Republican districts and go after those districts intensely in 2014. The problem with the TP is more with the fact that it sets the agenda for the GOP with influence disproportionate to its numbers.  Its numbers may decline but it will still hold sway over the caucus as a whole.   Because the GOP will tow their line the major answer is to replace the GOP -- and the best way to do that is target the  weakest GOP districts, not the strongest ones. I just hope the president shares his database with the party for this election.

    And thank you for your real hard work here.  It was illuminating to see both how small the caucus is, and that it's shrinking.

  •  Dems in rural farming districks have an opening. (7+ / 0-)

    Watch as these tea baggers screw up the farm bill and vote no on immigrant farm worker program.  The blue dogs are on their way back to DC.

    •  Blue dogs in way back? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dbug, llywrch

      On their way back to obscurity or irrelevance maybe.  

      Here's the other half of the story that HAS NOT been reported.  While moderates and even traditionally conservative senators and representatives along with crazy teabagging nutsacks have been getting their asses handed to them, the progressive caucus expanded in both the House and Senate.  There are now twice as many progressives in both the House and Senate as there are tea baggers.  Yet the Tea baggers get the bulk of the press and influence.  

      This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

      by DisNoir36 on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 04:03:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I call 2012 a "dueling wave election" (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gustogirl, Dirtandiron, inHI, Dbug

    The Repubs did their absolute best, rigged rules and rigged enforcement of rules in many states and still got clobbered.

    Now imagine where they'd have been without Tea-mandering House districts.

  •  the most obvious answer (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dbug, Dvalkure

    to your question: what happened to the Tea Party in 2012 is simple, in my opinion: the Tea Party is a real, active phenomenon, though not remotely a grassroots movement, since it is funded and organized from the two-down by greedy, filthy rich billionaires who want to get more money and power by financial local groups of people throughout the country to do their bidding.

    They haven't gone away, but have their greatest success during periods of apathy and low voter turnout.

    Their next step: to try to cynically convince more Americans that voting and the political process is hopeless and useless, in order to create as much widespread apathy as possible, especially at a time when many Democratic voters tend not to vote in high numbers (so-called off-year elections, such as the one coming up in 2014).

    Like a virus, they are just in sleeper mode, waiting to strike when the country's most vulnerable.

  •  Consider for a moment... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kanscott, jiffykeen, Dbug

    The Tea Party candidates that were defeated by Democrats demonstrated the public in those regions turned against them. This is a definite downturn for their movement.

    The second part is that the remaining Tea Party members that survived because they were in Red Districts will be poisoning the Republican Brand even more as the months go on. These troublemakers within the conservative ranks provide even more benefits to the Democrats in the House and Senate as it dilutes the Republican Majority/Minority from agreeing on anything as a group.

    So it's pretty much a Win/Win for Democrats whether they gain office over a Teahadist candidate or have a House Majority in total fricking disarry due to the ones still around. Those latter ones are up to the GOP to finally get the cahones to remove them from their party.

    Until then we enjoy the benefits!

    "I think it's the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately." -- George Carlin, Satirical Comic,(1937-2008)

    by Wynter on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 08:00:36 AM PST

  •  Contrast the two. (5+ / 0-)

    The various Occupy movements:
    -- no big money donors to speak of
    -- grassroots origins
    -- leaders from within, not without
    As a result, while the Occupy organizations are not flying their leaders around in Learjets and putting suspiciously well-funded candidates up for office, they are solid movements with the potential to continue shaping the dialogue in this country for another decade.

    The various Tea Party organizations:
    -- most are entirely dependent on big-money corporate and lobbyist donors
    -- what grassroots origins the various organizations once had (see Keli Carender for one example) were almost immediately swamped in mass-marketed, orchestrated initiatives by corporate lobbying firms such as AFP and Freedomworks
    -- for many of the larger organizations, leaders were imposed on the organizations by the lobbyist groups controlling the organizations
    As a result, the tea parties became, with few exceptions, examples of hollowed-out, mass-marketed puppet "movements" that had little real connection with the ordinary Americans that made up their ranks. They were doomed to fail from the outset; the only question was, how many candidates could they get elected in their timeframe, and more importantly, how much money could they gin up from their members and sponsors?

  •  i note that all but two of them are in reliably (3+ / 0-)

    GOP states/districts. this won't change in 2014, absent some off-year redistricting. however, what will change, inexorably, is the death of their demographic.

    the "Tea Party" consists, almost in its entirety, of old, angry, white, southern, fundie christians, who hate everyone who isn't them. they are the "hoverround brigade" of song & story, the "keep government out of my social security/medicare/medicaid" idiots, that the rest of us just stare at in astonishment. the good news is, they are, quite literally, a dying breed. the bad news is, they vote, all the time, because, well, they don't have much else to do. they practically mainline FOX, rush, glen, coulter, et al, and believe, without question or reservation, everything these people tell them, regardless of how ridiculous it is. a black, male teenager, armed to the teeth, is hiding behind every bush, ready to pounce and steal their social security checks. illegal immigrant hordes are flooding into their neighborhoods, demanding to do yard work for a dollar a day!

    again, fortunately, they are dying off. another election or two, and they'll be pretty much a spent force, and the freedomworks funded, astroturf tea party will shrivel up and die, just like its members.

  •  CA-04 seems like the swingi-est (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dbug, llywrch

    of the ones you reference.  I mean, it's next to CA-02 which we "retook", albeit somewhat benefitted by redistricting.

    Can't say as I've been to that part of California in at least 10 years though (and even then, spent time hanging out with nature, not Democrats), so I may be out of touch with the prevailing sentiments.

    Great, thought provoking, stroking-chin-while-looking-up-district-maps sort of diary.

  •  Good riddance to Wally Herger! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dbug, v2aggie2

    Thank God Wally Herger is out! Since I moved to Paradise, CA, in 2006, I emailed him numerous times about numerous issues, and he always emailed me back the most infuriating responses that were just the ultra-right-winger talking points. He had the Tea Party mentality even before the Tea Party came into existence.

    Our district (the 2nd) was redrawn prior to this election. My town, Chico, and most of the rest of my county of Butte are still in CA-02, which elected a Democrat this time around, Jared Huffman. What a switch from Herger!

  •  The Tea Party went stealth (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maybeeso in michigan, Dbug, fumie

    I have first hand knowledge that many local tea party associations declined to endorse anyone.

    Was it because there we no candidates sharing tea party views? Hardly, the Tea Party made a calculation of long term growth if it elected stealth candidates who acted like moderates in elections but were secret card carrying tea party members.

    In my legislative district, the GOP candidate appeared on a Tea Party website list of Tea Party candidates. Once this was brought to light, suddenly this person's name was taken down.

    We need to be aware of  Tea Party stealth candidates infiltrating school boards, city councils, and local boards.

    They are not dead, they are in hiding waiting for the right time to jump back into the political system.

  •  Oh come on. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chicagobleu, Dbug, the good witch

    Why pretend the Tea Party was ever a thing?  It was never anything more than a Republican publicity stunt, bought and paid for by the Koch brothers and their ilk.  Those angry white guys shouting down their representatives in 2009 turned out to be lobbyists in their weekend clothes almost every single time.

    They are the same people as the Brooks Brothers mob that stopped the recount in Florida in 2000.  They're College Republicans who never grew up.  The one thing they did well is show America that Eisenhower Republicans no longer exist - that the party today is a party of thugs and swindlers.

    We can thank them for that, at least.

    Early to rise and early to bed Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and dead. --Not Benjamin Franklin

    by Boundegar on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 10:18:01 AM PST

    •  I suspect there was a grass-roots element (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      at the beginning of the Teabagger movement. Mostly because a top-down, Potemkin-village PR stunt would have not tripped over using the name "Teabagger", & have swamped the August town halls in such a chaotic manner.

      But in any case, by the time the Teabaggers became directly relevant -- the 2010 primaries -- they were firmly under corporate control. The modern GOP abhors their rank-&-file having any input beyond voting for the proper candidates.

      The problem is that, AFAIK, there has never been an investigative study of the Teabaggers that proved or disproved there had been a grass-roots element. Or even defined what this "grass-roots" element was -- if it ever was anything more than a bunch of old white folks made paranoid by Fox & RW talk radio who responded to the election of an African-American president with a lot of nasty & hateful noise, then looked to someone to tell them what to do next. I wouldn't be surprised if this lack of information was because the PTB feared that it had been a manufactured event from the beginning, thus discouraged anyone from looking too closely at it.

  •  Excellent diary (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dbug, Eric Nelson, llywrch

    My only comment is that we should refer to the Tea Party as "Teabaggers" whenever possible.

    I did this at the family Christmas gathering with great results.  After I used the word "teabaggers" several times, my teabagger uncle took exception.  I innocently asked "what's the matter, that's what they called themselves isn't it?"  He couldn't explain the problem in polite company, most of which are either too old or too non-political to know why "teabagger" is an epithet.  Finally I mentioned that it is inaccurate because the original teabaggers were protesting taxation without representation, while our modern day variants are fully represented in congress.  We moved on to another argument, but I never dropped the epithet "teabagger"!

    "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

    by Subterranean on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 10:23:28 AM PST

  •  rebrand the Tea Party as the talk radio party and (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    their motivations and ignorance and alternate reality are explained in their name. there may be a few it doesnt apply to but just about every one of their positions is based on long and short term propaganda pounded into the earholes of 50 mil a week for the last 20 years.

    as talk radio goes so will the tea party and the republican party- that is their activist base - the same one that was used to stop clinton health care reform and make single payer impossible is the same one that was dragged out of the limbaugh closet by dick armey and the  kochs to stop the public option after rove lost control of them.

    those congress people got there by riding the talk radio bandwagon. the constituencies they use to enable their lunacy and hypocrisy are primarily talk radio and fox listeners.

    on the local level the support they get from the state RW radio stations is 24/7, and that includes many with university team logos on them. the limbaugh/hannity megastations are crucial to their support, getting them through primaries, and for swiftboating their dem and progressive opposition.

    anything that success as obstructionists and their ability to move the center right and force compromise is directly related to the fact that the Dem party nor progressives have ANY organized opposition to it (aside from the rush boycotts- which are fantastic but limited only to his hate speech).

    worse than that, dems has no mechanism to know what those stations are laundering for the heritage foundation and the koch bros, etc, on the local or national level.

    that is why susan rice had to withdraw and why others will be forced to and why obama will have to consider true liberals to be too much political trouble to nominate  for supremes or any other spots.

    without talk radio the new GOP /teaparty is doomed, but the left seems to be content to give it a free speech free ride and react and wait until it destroys itself- while the planet burns.

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 11:23:55 AM PST

  •  I'm More Concerned About Their Success in 2010 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dbug, v2aggie2

    You may have noticed the minority teabagger mob in congress wields a ton of influence now. because of them it took well over a year to pass a basic transportation bill-- a bill that in the past probably took all of six weeks to pass. and because of this, 1,000's of construction workers were idle, not spending money in our consumer spending-driven economy.

    Now they are blocking the deal to avoid the fiscal bluff, because they insist there be NO new taxes for their wealthy class masters.

    Matt Kibbe was on PBS Newshour recently, pointing out the teaparty has moved beyond the protest phase and is working on getting more people elected to congress.


    Where's the progressive counter to this?

    "A civilization which does not provide young people with a way to earn a living is pretty poor". Eleanor Roosevelt

    by Superpole on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 12:22:10 PM PST

  •  Better and more unanimous groups than the TP (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    have been broken up by infighting, poor decisions, and general drift. See also: The anti-gun lobby before Sandy Hook. Unruly mobs rarely have a long shelf life. Even good and disciplined groups experience major setbacks.

    I wouldn't count a similar type of group in the future. But they're toasted for now. Who knows what the midterms will bring. Hopefully on the fence Democrats learned the lessons of being meh from the last time.

  •  an interesting point was made on UP this morning (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    One of the guests (I feel awful for forgetting which one) said that because of republican intransigence and unwillingness to even consider compromise, Dems have (when they have been able to do anything at all) been able to get away with more liberal policy than they would have if republicans were bargaining in good faith.

    The example used was Obamacare, since it was clear that republicans had no intention of bargaining at all, we got a bill that only had to be conservative enough to get votes from conservative dems. If republicans had come to the table in a meaningful way, it would have been a much worse compromise.

    so. thanks for that, ya stubborn teaparty goats.

    "There is one rule for the industrialist and that is: Make the best quality of goods possible at the lowest cost possible, paying the highest wages possible." -Henry Ford

    by sixeight120bpm on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 02:41:51 PM PST

  •  But Ted Poe faced a Democrat (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    His Democratic opponent in 2012 was Jim Dougherty. I don't know about 2010.

    Censorship is rogue government.

    by scott5js on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 03:03:13 PM PST

    •  You're right. I fixed it. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Nelson

      I checked the TX Secretary of State election results. In 2010, Poe's only opponent was a Libertarian (no Democrat). In 2012, there was a Democratic opponent. I fixed the spreadsheet and uploaded a correction to the diary.

      I think possibly my Excel spreadsheet saw what I was typing and automatically filled it in, but said 2012 instead of 2010 for no Dem.

      Sorry about that. Thanks for catching it.

      “If you misspell some words, it’s not plagiarism.” – Some Writer

      by Dbug on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 03:39:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I live in (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Al 05 and I'm surprised that Mo Brooks is not in the TP caucus because that was basically what he ran on and defeated Parker Griffith in the 2010 primary. Of course now Griffith, who left the Democratic party 11 months into his only term, is again sucking up to the Dems because he blew his chances with the party change. He's now all about getting  Don Siegleman pardoned. I think he just wants his seat back and sees his only chance with us. Ain't gonna happen. Fool me once and all that stuff.

    We did have an opponent run against Brooks, but he had no money and little support from the party. I voted for him without knowing anything about him.

  •  If what happened meand they lost ground then... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    may it keep happening apace!

  •  Roscoe Bartlett = Fossil Party. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Man was 88 years old.

    Thump! Bang. Whack-boing. It's dub!

    by dadadata on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 05:19:01 PM PST

  •  Watch Andy Harris (MD-01) (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Teabagger in all but appearance.

    Thump! Bang. Whack-boing. It's dub!

    by dadadata on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 05:19:43 PM PST

  •  Some of the Tea Party people were just old (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    time Republicans looking for a new lease on life. Clif Stearns in Florida was one such. He got eliminated in the primary by a maverick Republican for the simple reason that Democrats never proposed a credible alternative.

    Two real Tea Baggers in New Hampshire should be on your list. While Charlie Bass, who was elected in 2010 with Koch Bros. help, had held the seat before and got a second chance because the Democrat had senatorial ambitions, both he and Frank Guinta were TPers who got retired in 2012.
    NH is evidence of what Democrats can do when they get their act together.

    Republicans cater to their base in the primaries, giving them a choice. Democrats expect their base to support whomever the party has endorsed. Then they are surprised when the Democratic base stays home.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 05:17:45 AM PST

  •  I've been using the term "TeaPuppets" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    because of the astroturfing by FOX, Koch, FreedomWorks and other big-dollar players.

    RepubliCorp has been working for decades to sublimate white racial resentment into a generalized hostility toward "big government". The "Taxed Enough Already" Party was a predictable response to the election of America's First Black President.

    Wall Street used them as shock troops to attack the Affordable Care Act, and then to regain the majority in Congress. But the TeaPuppet's unspoken mission to "make the White House white again" has failed. I suspect that most of their voters will lose interest in attending rallies and donating to candidates as the occupation of our towns and cities by U.N. troops fails to materialize.

    They will continue to be a drag on Congress, and we must criticize and ridicule them at every opportunity - but In 2014 we can start to ask them, "What has your TeaPuppet Congressman done for you lately?"

    Have you noticed?
    Politicians who promise LESS government
    only deliver BAD government.

    by jjohnjj on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 08:24:17 AM PST

  •  Primaries -versus- Elections (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    At the primaries we should help tea Party righties any way we can.

    They are weak in the general elections. Weaker everywhere, if you can publicize their bizarre rants.

    Get them down on video. Spread out use of GoPro units during the primaries.

    Tea Party candidates are uniformly less educated and less intelligent than the normal professional politicians of the GOP. So get them on video.

    The GoPro is your friend. YouTube works wonders.

    Then take the best of the clips and put the words from their rants on fliers/door-hangers during the general elction phase. Do hand-outs at malls and supermarkets.

    It's cheap to do. It works.

    "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012

    by bontemps2012 on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 09:03:34 AM PST

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