JOHN WALLACE: The party is over for the Tea Party

GUEST COMMENTARY: The 5th anniversary may have been the last for the Tea Party

John Wallace

John Wallace

The Patriot Tea Party recently celebrated their 5th anniversary with a national meeting in Washington, D.C. Hundreds of people showed up. The party’s over.

Not that it wasn’t a great name, invoking the idea of the creation of the greatest nation in history. It’s just that the name, Patriot Tea Party, got tainted by the inclusion of nut jobs, cuckoo birds and witches who showed up, uninvited, for the party. The kind of people who applaud the leadership style of Vladimir Putin and want Patriot’s Day renamed for Edward Snowden.

They attacked John McCain. They attacked Andy Griffith. You are either with the freedom lovers or you hate America. And don’t even get them started on the president, who is not even a citizen and is trying to destroy the country by doing away with the Constitution.

In 2011, the Tea Party intransigence on raising the debt ceiling limit was blamed for the first ever lowering of the U.S. Credit rating. In 2012, former House Majority Leader and FreedomWorks President Dick Armey resigned, citing he didn’t like the direction the Tea Party was going. In 2013, Speaker of the House John Boehner stated that the Tea Party “has lost all credibility.”

I predict you will see the Tea Party splinter into smaller parties with new names and more specific agendas. How can I be so sure? Because history repeats itself.

The Tea Party was begat in 2009 from FreedomWorks. FreedomWorks was begat from Citizens for a Sound Economy. In 2004, Citizens for a Sound Economy split into two groups after accusations of trying to influence the Presidential Elections in Oregon sullied their name. They became FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity.

Their name selections are awesome. FreedomWorks’ motto is cut taxes, more freedom and less government. Everyone wants their taxes cut. And who doesn’t want more freedom. Less government? The government ensures the fairness of the free market through legislation enacted by our representatives. The free market wants less government regulation and oversight. You know, more freedom.

Americans for Prosperity is committed to cutting taxes, restoring fairness to the judicial system and removing unnecessary barriers to entrepreneurship. We all like tax cuts. Restoring fairness to the judicial system? Sounds like something a law breaker would say.

This is probably a good place to tell you that behind all these organizations are the Koch brothers, or, as I call them, Drs. Moriarty. (Following the blueprint set forth by the Powell Memorandum of 1971). Two of the richest men in America. Their father, Fred, was a co-founder of the John Birch Society, so they know about tainted names. And Koch Industries is arguably one of the worst polluters in this country’s history. The Koch brothers have managed to corrupt environmental law to the point where it is now cheaper to pay their fines than it is to stop polluting. I submit that it is what they mean when they say “removing unnecessary barriers to entrepreneurship.” What they mean are regulations in place that protect the average citizen.

So the choice is what’s good for business or what’s good for me and you. And our children. And our children’s children.

Although the Tea Party presents itself as a grassroots organization, the organization would not exist without the financing of the Koch brothers. And good businessmen do not expend funds without expecting something in return.

With the Citizens United decision, the Tea Party became less relevant. Why waste time and money on grassroots candidates when you can go straight to the elected officials of both parties and buy influence with access to unlimited finds and anonymously fund attack ads on your opponents? It’s called job security.

The Tea Party slowly strangled the Republican Party with its “no compromise“ policy. This left the Republican Party with no room to maneuver. The Democratic Party went from being friends and esteemed colleagues to being the enemy that was trying to destroy America. If you can’t compromise with the enemy, you have to go to war. War on the poor. War on women. War on climate control. War on affordable health care.

Their resistance to a changing world doomed them. It is not the strongest or the smartest or the fastest that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change. The more the Tea Party dug in their heels against change, the more they lost touch with real conservatives. The more exclusive they became, the less supporters they attracted.

Good luck with that 6th anniversary meeting.

John Wallace is a resident of Leesburg.