The Tea Party was often in the news in the early years of its existence. It first came about in response to Barack Obama’s trillion-dollar “stimulus” bill and Rick Santelli’s declaration that he would hold a “tea party” to protest the huge tax increase. In 2010 the Tea Party was instrumental in putting a Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, an additional seven seats in the U.S. Senate, and a massive number of wins at the state level.
Republicans claimed that they could do nothing with control of only the House, so the Tea Party delivered the Senate to them in 2014. Republicans claimed that they had no power without the White House, so the Tea Party put Donald Trump in the White House. For the first time in decades, Republicans controlled the White House, the Senate, and the House – and they still drug their feet. In 2018 Democrats retook control of the House, and chaos has taken over the federal government.
This brings us to a blistering speech given on the Senate floor by Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) on Wednesday, July 31, 2019. He blasted Democrat and Republican congressional leaders for pushing a spending package of $2.7 trillion. The massive budget deal was sanctioned by the Trump administration and would suspend the debt limit for two years. After scolding his colleagues, he directed this eulogy for the Tea Party at his fellow Republicans for wasting the “Tea Party tidal wave” of 2010 and abandoning the principles of the party on fiscal restraint.
It’s the death. It’s the last gasp of a movement in America that was concerned with our national debt. Today is the final nail in the coffin. The Tea Party is no more.
The budget deal today allows unlimited borrowing for nearly two years. Fiscal conservatives, those who remain, should be in mourning, for Congress – both parties – has deserted you.
Most of us know that Senator Paul has a talent for being dramatic and more than a few of us consider it fitting that this Senator would use his medical terminology in declaring the death of the Tea Party. I had heard nothing about the Tea Party for some time, so I was a little surprised at Paul’s rant. I am happy to say that the Tea Party has a rebuttal to Paul’s eulogy, written by Jenny Beth Martin, the honorary chairman of Tea Party Patriots Action.
Rand Paul is mistaken….
But to suggest that because a bunch of politicians in Washington got together and did what politicians regularly do – that is, conspire to serve their own interests rather than the interests of the larger public – therefore “the tea party is dead,” is just silly….
This is incredibly unfair to the millions of Americans who have put in hundreds of millions of volunteer hours over the past 10 years, and who continue to work to restore America’s government to its constitutional limits and founding values every day….
Our movement is hardly dead….
Martin continues her article by reciting the history of the Tea Party from Santelli’s declaration that he would hold a tea party to the first organized conference between two dozen strangers to plan the first Tea Party protest to today. (By the way, these weekly conference calls continue to this day.) “After a massive amount of discussion, debate, and votes with thousands of participants, we agreed to the following principles as the core values we would work to advance: fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government, and free markets.” She continues with a discussion about the broken promises from politicians as well as Tea Party victories.
At the ten-year anniversary of the Tea Party, its members continue to work on the three core values set forth at the beginning. However, there are numerous issues within them, including: “Tax reform. Intellectual property rights. Health care freedom. Border security and immigration reform. Fourth Amendment protections for privacy rights. First Amendment protections for speech, press, and religion. The Second Amendment. Term limits. An end to Common Core. The Iran nuclear deal. The threat from China. Judicial nominations.”
Martin ends her article with a strong defense. She recites several times that Americans lost battles but did not give up the fight: Washington and the Revolutionary War, Lincoln and the Civil War, and two World Wars. No one suggested that we give up the fight when we lost a few battles. The same is true of the Tea Party today. We may have lost a few battles, but we will continue to fight for freedom and liberty.
… We have always fought, and will always fight, for spending cuts and debt reduction, for fiscal responsibility … and, we have also ratcheted up the fight to protect and defend our Constitution, the foundation of our republic.
There are more fires burning than we realized when we jumped into the ring 10 years ago, but far from giving up or dying out, we’ve actually taken up additional issues that will make it easier to achieve other goals like fiscal responsibility….
As long as there is liberty in America, there will be a tea party movement – the liberty movement, if you will – in America. Sam Adams started it in Boston in December 1773. Our Founding Fathers passed it on to the next generation. The torch of liberty continued passing from one generation to the next.
This generation’s tea party movement intends to pass the torch of liberty to our children and grandchildren so they, too, can be free to pursue their American dream.
I suppose that I am a member of the Tea Party although I am not involved with any organization in it. Ten years ago, I felt great fear about the direction that our nation was headed, and I earnestly sought some way to preserve and protect the American way of life for my posterity. I did not want them to look at me and ask, “What were you doing when our liberty was lost?” This is the reason why I started my blog on September 6, 2009, and it is the reason why I continue to write today. The Tea Party is alive and well for as long as liberty-loving patriots live! May God bless the Tea Party and may God bless America forever!