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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

After David Brat pulled a stunning primary upset over House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) in Virginia’s 7th congressional district on Tuesday, Tea Party groups almost immediately began dancing on the deposed incumbent’s grave.

“The grassroots are taking their seat back at the table and returning accountability to Washington. Votes on Capitol Hill will be heard back in the district,” FreedomWorks for America president Matt Kibbe wrote. “If you stop representing your voters, they will hold you accountable at the voting booth. We are proud to stand with Dave Brat in his election and look forward to working with him to reform Washington, D.C.”

Madison Project policy director Daniel Horowitz took to Twitter to gloat:

And perhaps nobody enjoyed the victory lap more than Tea Party Patriots chairman Jenny Beth Martin, who penned an op-ed in the Daily Caller bragging that Brat “blew up” the narrative that “grassroots conservatism is on the wane, that the tea party movement has run out of steam and is destined for the ash heap of political history.”

“[A]ctivists who belong to a variety of tea party groups coalesced behind a strong candidate and carried him to victory,” Martin wrote. “It is with them that Brat shares the credit.”

Brat may question how much he owes to the variety of Tea Party groups credited by Martin, however. While they are more than happy to spike the football after Brat’s win, Tea Party groups spent exactly nothing to help him during the primary campaign.

Zero dollars.

Brat wasn’t ignored for lack of trying.

“I met with them all,” the Republican nominee said of the major Tea Party groups in a February interview with The New York Times. “But it’s tough. Everybody just wants to see the polls, how much money you’ve raised. But they do not know what’s going on on the ground.”

At least Martin was decent enough to learn Brat’s name before attempting to co-opt his victory. In her statement on election night, Martin congratulated “David Brent” on his win, praising him for defeating “the man many consider to be one of the most powerful member [sic] of the House, second only to Mitch McConnell himself.”

Memo to Republicans: If you give political donations to a woman who doesn’t know the difference between Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, or the House and the Senate, you aren’t a fiscal conservative.

Of course, this is nothing new for Tea Party groups, which have never fully put their money where their mouths are. But in recent years, the Tea Party scam has reached Nigerian prince levels. As The Washington Post’s Matea Gold reported in April, “Out of the $37.5 million spent so far by the PACs of six major tea party organizations, less than $7 million has been devoted to directly helping candidates.”

Tea Party Patriots had a particularly dismal record; of the $7.4 million that the group had raised at the time, just $184,505 went to supporting political candidates. By contrast, TPP paid Martin a $15,000 monthly fee for strategic consulting, in addition to $272,000-plus yearly salary as president of its nonprofit arm.

Brat’s upset victory proved that right-wing activists can still shake up Republican politics to startling degrees. But it also proved that they don’t need the do-nothing Tea Party groups to do so. That’s a lesson that Martin and her fellow Tea Party leaders hope that the grassroots never learns — because after all, traveling the country to rant about wasteful spending isn’t cheap.

Photo: Susan E Adams via Flickr

H/t: Matea Gold, The Washington Post

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  • Daniel Jones

    Is any wonder the Cooch is ecstatic to be heading up a PAC now?

  • FT66

    On the loss of Cantor, Tea Party must not take a victory lap. They were not involved/engaged at all. It was a Special Group which organised itself to take out Cantor by supporting Dave Brat. Even Brat was not aware of it. The win came as a miracle to him as he also mentioned this. Some months ago, one blogger mentioned about this Group on CNN Political Ticker and how they are determined to shock everybody, I thought he was just joking.

    • livfreeordi

      Tea Party organizations.maybe not. .Those who support the commonly accepted principles of the Tea Party ( fiscal responsibility, limited constitutional government and free markets) ….who came out to vote for Brat..Definitely ! And guess what? THEY, the grassroots activists, ARE the “Tea Party”. THAT is something you CANNOT defeat!

      • DennisRL

        the commonly accepted principles of the tea party. That’s a good one. LOL. The tea party was taken over by big business and big money years ago. The Koch brothers and their ilk are the ones behind the tea party.

      • Patricia Robertson

        The thing that is going to happen on election night is that Brat might lose to the other party because of who is backing him. Not because of who he is, he might would be a better person than Cantor but he might figure out he was being used at the same time to get rid of Cantor. The funny thing the teaparty still have not figure out is that people have a long member of what the republicans have and are doing and who have been helping them doing. Virginia need the medicaid expansion and guess who is blocking that? That’s right, the republicans, ask yourselves how many Virginians would benefit from the expansions, 400,000. People know who is on their side and it sure isn’t the republicans or the teaparty. If they thought election night for the president was long enough wait for this election night, don’t just assume that dems is sitting back waiting and doing nothing. They had a good teacher who taught them how to organize, and get people out to register to vote, make sure they have their id correct and will see to it that many get rides to the polls. All it took was someone to show them how to do and do it right.

    • Russell Byrd

      As always, low to moderate turnout always benefits the crazies we call Teabaggers. They always hate and they always vote. Strange, that creatures that disdain the methods of Democracy so much would actually embrace one of its basic tenets. While most of the rest of us sit on our hands.

      • Independent1

        Russell, Let’s hope that Independents and Dems wake up in 2014.

        • Russell Byrd

          Let us hope.

  • Jerry

    The Tea Party has to be among the most hypocritical organizations of all time. They advocate less spending, less taxes and encourage their elected officials to vote AGAINST anything that spends a dime, no matter if it will SAVE money in the long run, or will reduce the deficit if passed. Then they pay their executive more money than they spend on candidates running for office? Wow! If this is how they would operate the government if they ever get control of it, look out America! We are headed down the hole faster than ever if this group ever becomes the majority in both house of Congress, and God forgive, occupies the White House.

    • progressiveandproud

      The tea party is simply practices the conservative business and educational management philosophy . Grad all you can for as long as you can and blame others for the eventual financial collapse.

      • Russell Byrd


  • Allan Richardson

    Republicans in general keep repeating that “government IS the problem,” and when they are IN government, they prove it.

    This was not a Tea Party victory, it was just a chance to throw out a jerk who spent more time representing the mythical “American people” who, they claim, approve of EVERY right wing myth, and collecting favors and money, than with looking out for voters in his OWN district. Basically, “not Eric Cantor” won the Republican nomination. But WHICH “not Cantor” will win in November? That depends on who makes more sense to the independents and non-TP voters, AND who gets their voters out! Prof vs prof: more fun than spy vs spy!

    • livfreeordi

      Poll independents.. and you will find that they tend to MORE conservative than the average voter. Who does that bode better for in November.. A Tea Party supporter..or a Democrat?

      • DennisRL

        I’m not sure. Who does it bode better for stupid or smart and rational? You’re probably right. In Virginia stupidity will prevail.

      • Russell Byrd

        The Democrats across the board. The majority of non-Teabuggers know that the Teabag mob is not conservative. Ultra-Ultra- Fascist, might be a mild start, but I do not think we have actually coined a term for people that bat-crap crazy yet. Oops, that’s it, . . . CRAZY.

      • Independent1

        What planet are you living on?? It isn’t earth. Independents have long since started jumping ship from the GOP – who wants to be stuck on a sinking ship??

        The GOP of today is absolutely nothing like the GOP of 35 plus years ago. A disaster named Reagan made sure of that. And Independents such as myself started jumping ship as soon as idiot Reagan was elected.

        You better go wise up somewhere. You don’t know the first thing you’re posting about. Obamacare has absolutely nothing to do with running anyone’s life – it’s all about making sure that private insurance companies and private healthcare professionals play the game fairly rather than continuing to fleece Americans of everything they ever owned. If you really don’t understand that you’re absolutely clueless!!!

  • Grannysmovin

    The Tea Party is owned by organizations funded by the “Koch Brothers”. The sign above states “Give me Liberty”, what liberties have they lost? The people who are loosing liberties are women not being able to make their own reproductive choices, people to go shopping without fearing their child will pick up a loaded gun in the toy aisle in Target, have their children go to school and be safe or to the movies and be safe, follow or not follow an organize religion, determine their own sense of morality, or peoples right to vote. I do not hear tea party members screaming about those liberties. As a matter of fact they support the loss of those liberties – government Is too big until it supports your ideology.

    • livfreeordi

      How about the right to make decisions about your own health care? You forgot that one. A right trampled upon by the Left with Obamacare.

      • Grannysmovin

        No one is stopping you from making your own decisions about your health care, you are confusing the ACA with Republican legislatures taking away the rights of woman to make their decisions about their reproductive decisions.

      • JSquercia

        I don’t understand how Obmacare has deprived you of your right to make decisions about your own Health care .to have to buy coverage .but other than that you purchase from Insurance companies and may even get subsidized coverage
        You really rarely had the right to choose your coverage If u he your coverage through your employer HE decides on your options .MY employer just replaced .my coverage (Medicare with UHC supplemental) to a Medicare Advantage Plan .
        Obamacare does some good things you can not be dropped if you become sick, nor can you be denied coverage due to a preexisting condition and you can keep your kids on your policy until they re 26 .If you had to insure you kids after graduation you know how Expensive that can be. One more thing no lifetime Cap

      • DennisRL

        JSquercia…don’t try to talk to morons like this in a rational, intelligent manner. They have absolutely no comprehension for anything that makes sense or is thoughtful in what you’re saying. These types are totally low informational and intelligence deprived.

      • Patricia Robertson

        You are force to buy insurance, in fact you should be happy that the president passed the ACA because it makes people responsible for their medical care and cost. It also take the stress off hospitals that are closing from taking on legal american citizens who can afford health insurance but refuses to purchase it because they prefer to spend their extra money on luxury items and think they will never get sick and need medical care. But once they do the first place they run to is the ER and just one visit can cost money than you may care to realize. Once a person steps into that exam rooms the $$$ start adding up, iv fluids, xrays, ct scans, blood work, dr fees, and then if you get admitted, it is either to the MS, ICU or Surgery, then it is room and board, more iv fluids, meds, drs, fees, more of everything,etc. Remind you patient is no longer a person, but a patient who deserves to be treated with every means necessary until they leaves the hospital and they get to stay as long as necessary, not like people who have insurance, because they can stay only certain number of days. Then you wonder why your insurance premiums has increased and your tax dollars increased. After years of this happen, hospitals are going broke and have been in the red that they have cut their staff so much that they couldn’t keep a decent place for people to work or be a patient in. Then you wonder why there is a back log in the VA, same thing happens in the general hospitals you just don’t hear it. Now you hear of the hospitals closing in the states that won’t take the expansion, have you wonder why? Because they can do longer afford to take unpaid patient and give them the care they need. The ACA is insurance not government run insurance, it is regular insurance that people use everyday except for the medicaid and those who qualify for the credits are those who are a certain level in income and those who would benefit for the expansion are the low income wage earners and those who income level is low because the states have made the income level at a level where they couldn’t qualify even though they are under $11,000. The sad thing is this was a republican and teaparty plan before the president was for it right down to the mandate except they wanted the insurance company to keep all the profits and not give anythought to the customers. The president tried to work with the republicans everything they asked for he would grant it and then they would say they didn’t want that, until the president say No more. The republicans and teaparty biggest problems are that they couldn’t bully the president to drop the whole thing and even shut the government down thinking it would work, they will try it again, still won’t work. They still haven’t figure out that more and more get insurance the longer the ACA will flourish and be around and repeal will never happen. The teaparty has no plans and that is what will sink them.

    • Independent1

      Granny, here’s an article you really need to read. Here’s an excerpt:

      UPDATE: Eric Cantor Plotted to Sabotage US Economy in Secret Meeting with Hensarling & Luntz

      In Robert Draper’s book, “Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the U.S. House of Representatives” Draper wrote that on inauguration night, 2009, during a four hour, “invitation only” meeting with GOP Hate-Propaganda Minister, Frank Luntz, the below listed Senior GOP Law Writers literally plotted to sabotage, undermine and destroy America’s Economy.

      • Grannysmovin

        Thank you

  • progressiveandproud

    I love learning about repub. scams. Never knew there are so many rubes out there just waiting to give away their money because they’re a “patriot”, whatever patriot means to those people.

    • livfreeordi

      If I wanted to just give away my money to those who didn’t do anything to deserve it..I’d vote they could jsteal more from me with ever higher they could give it to all their supporters collecting a government check.

      • DennisRL

        gee, another right wing genius who can’t write in a cogent manner and spews out the same old garbage they always do. Once again no comment on the article and what it says just a tiresome inability to say anything meaningful.

      • Russell Byrd

        So instead you will just remain delusional. . . .

      • Independent1

        You’re just displaying more cluelessness with every comment you make. It’s conservatives BY FAR that are sucking up the most freebies in America today. It’s conservatives BY FAR that are living below the poverty level – of the 23 states with more than 15% of their populations living at or below the poverty level and therefore sucking up welfare dollars and food stamps, 20 of them are GOP run states.

        And of the 15 states that suck the most welfare dollars from Washington for the taxes they pay, 12 of them are GOP run states. And more than 75% of the people using food stamps are in RED STATES – of the 456 counties in America that use the most food stamps, 421 of them (more than 90%) voted for Mitt Romney in the 2012 elections (they were Republican districts)!!

        So if you’re looking for freebie suckers – you don’t have to look far. Just look for idiots like yourself – conservative Republicans!!!

        • Russell Byrd

          Like Woody Guthrie said about his guitar, “this machine kills Fascists.” Looks like you played a merry tune on this idiot’s head.

      • Independent1

        By the way – when are you going to wake up and realize that the GOP is robbing you blind?? If you’re not in the upper 5%.

        Why do you suppose they’re always looking to cut budgets and cut taxes so the upper 5% people can pocket more taxpayer cash? And why do you suppose the GOP is always looking to jump at starting a war with someone so that the rich defense industry barons can get into their business of defrauding the American taxpayers by overcharging for everything associated with waging a war?? Not only overcharging, but not even doing jobs that they’ve contracted to do.

        How else do you suppose billions upon billions went missing in Iraq with projects not even getting started that had sucked up millions upon millions in taxpayer dollars. And why else do you suppose Haliburton who got a no-bid contract from Cheney was caught charging the government $100/gal for gas to fill up jeeps???

        Come on, are you so clueless that you haven’t woken up to the fact that the GOP is nothing more than the American version of the Italian Mafia??? the only difference is the Italian Mafia are honest enough to admit their crooks, while the American Mafia (aka the GOP), pretend to be “honest politicians”. What a joke!!!!!!!

        • Russell Byrd

          A ONE post!

    • Russell Byrd

      At the basis of all Republican ideas and ideals is a lie. Regardless of how well hidden. Regardless of how hard it is to find. If you rip off enough of that veneer of manure (i.e., hate, avarice, malice, etc.) you will eventually find that lie.

      As far as I know, in a variety of forms, that quote is attributed to myself. I humbly present it for perusal.

      • Independent1

        Russell, In addition to the lie, is outright corruption and treasonous actions. Athough we’ve all talked about how the GOP has been obstructing everything the Dems and Obama have been trying to accomplish, I wasn’t aware until recently that a number of GOP reps had met on the night of Obama’s 2009 inauguration to plot how to sabotage the economy.

        Being that there’s actual evidence that this took place, it’s still beyond me that politicians are allowed to get away with doing something as anti-America as plotting to keep people unemployed and to do everything they can to depress our economy which increases the struggles of millions of Americans without them being chargeable for some kind of crime bordering on treason.

        Check out this link if you haven’t seen it and let me know what you think. Shouldn’t some of these people be held accountable for actions that are deliberately harmful to the country??

        • Russell Byrd

          Yes, all of them should. A thought that I expressed in another post, maybe in this blog, or possibly in another, that we aught to take a lesson from the French. Albeit, a rather failed miserable lesson, but one that would work quite well for America with these louts. Establish a penal colony ala Devil’s Island. Send this filth there, of course after a fair trial :-), and leave them there to rot. Depending on the seriousness of the crime, without hope of parole or recall. Let them live at large and just report in when they need a little wormy rice. Let them eat each other if they please. Then we should just forget about them. The chilling effect on this and any future generation of treasonous scum would be enormous. Of course, we really should put them into forced labor, but I cannot think of anything they would be fit for. They are capable of talking about labor, but they have never done any in their lives.

          Corrupt bankers, ditto.
          Corrupt robber barons, ditto.
          Corrupt “news” agents and agencies, ditto.

          Kochroaches in particular, ditto.
          Dittoheads, ditto. I threw that in for fun.

          Right-wing firearm wielding insurrectionists like the filth at Bundy’s farm, . . . just SHOOT them on the spot.

          Unfortunately, as a nation of laws, often administered by the corrupt, our Democracy becomes susceptible to disloyal groups such as the racists that carry on about the “war of northern aggression.” If our government had done what needed to be done after the Civil War, then they would not be with us today. Unfortunately, those methods would have given us a Stalinist-Hitlerite nation, and our Democracy, if it still existed, would be in an even worse shambles. Of course, treason as it exists today would not exist. . . . So, our Democracy must continue to balance on an edge. A Gillette Super Blue razor edge that likely will slice our Nation in two at any moment. Sorry, you may have noticed that I have a very sardonic sense of humor at times. Laughter and wailing are closely related and I often practice both at the same time. As well as being a bit arcane and irreverent.

          Please do not misunderstand, I mean this as only as an explanation. In my view all corruption and evil are basically lies. They are basically symptoms of behavior designed to cause harm to someone. Considering, a lie is to cover a crime, gain an unfair advantage, transfer blame to an innocent, etc. I think you understand that I am not talking about stealing a cookie from the cookie jar, or raiding the fridge after midnight. For instance, those like our own (ugh!) “angelstench” or “anal” ward, tell lies constantly for no other reason than to confound and destroy our communications for their own sick enjoyment. As well, liars are capable of anything. They rape, rob, pillage, murder, etc., because they neither take any responsibility for their acts nor display a normal conscience. Almost all feel no remorse until they are caught. So, my little ditty is just a general catchall for evil in general.

          Of course, none of us are perfect and none of us always tells the truth. Yet, honest people are basically benign in their intent. Those that I speak of use lies to mask the incredible evils that they do. Sometimes it is hard to tell the two apart, but at some point the truly evil become apparent.

          Sorry for the extended rant, but this is as condensed on this subject as I usually get.

        • Russell Byrd

          And thanks for the page. After re-reading the story, I posted it on to my Facebook page, some friends, and some “un-friends,” just for effect.

          I am anti-capital punishment, but as treasonous activity is not a crime against the individual, but against potentially millions of individuals, i.e. The State, then I do support its use, wholesale if necessary, against those that would deign to commit acts to destroy our Democracy. Sorry for the run-on malfunction of a sentence.