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Is the (Tea) Party Over?
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The recently-passed big-spending budget deal’s failure to generate significant opposition from the “tea party” has led some to pen obituaries for this once-powerful movement. These commentators may have a point. However, few of them understand the true causes of the tea party’s demise.

The movement commonly referred to as the tea party arose in opposition to the 2008 bank bailouts. The tea party grew as its focus shifted to opposition to President Obama’s policies, particularly his stimulus spending bill, cap-and-trade legislation, and, of course, the health care plan tea party leaders successfully branded as Obamacare. In its early days, the tea party was equally opposed to big spenders in both parties. In fact, it was often harder on Republicans than on Democrats. Tea party groups even backed primary challengers to Republican incumbents.

Unfortunately, the tea party was quickly coopted by the GOP. As a result, while tea party groups still opposed Republican policies, they began muting their opposition to all but the worst Republican politicians. Now that Republicans control the White House and Congress, tea party groups have even muted their opposition to the policies. This reinforces the tendency of Republicans to support spending bills backed by Donald Trump or George W. Bush that they would have fought tooth and nail if they were proposed by Barack Obama or Bill Clinton.

The tea party’s effectiveness as a force for fiscal conservatism was also crippled by the support of too many of its leaders and favorite politicians for a hyper-interventionist foreign policy. Support for foreign interventionism logically requires support for huge military budgets, which conflicts with a commitment to fiscal conservatism.

Some tea party-backed politicians tried to reconcile support for militarism and fiscal conservatism by claiming to be “cheap hawks.” The problem with this formulation is that the so-called cheap hawks accept the neoconservative premise that American exceptionalism justifies US military intervention around the globe. This makes it impossible for them to resist the calls for increased military spending to ensure the United States has the ability to police the world in the name of “democracy.”

Devotion to protecting the military-industrial complex from the budget ax leads defense hawks to cut deals with progressives to increase spending on both warfare and welfare. We saw this with the recent budget deal, where so-called fiscal conservatives defended a \$65 billion increase in domestic spending because it was necessary to get progressive support for an \$80 billion increase in military spending. One cannot be both a budget hawk and a defense hawk.

Fortunately, while the tea party is dead or at least on life support, a related movement is alive and growing. This is the liberty movement that grew out of my 2008 presidential campaign. Ironically, one of the first events of that movement was called a “tea party.”

Unlike the tea party, the liberty movement does not just focus on domestic policy. It works to roll back government in all areas. Thus, the liberty movement is just as committed to ending unnecessary and unconstitutional wars and protecting civil liberties as it is to repealing Obamacare. Liberty movement leaders and activists also refuse to compromise their principles for the benefit of the Republican Party. The commitment to consistency and principle may be why the liberty movement is so attractive to young people. This growing movement is a source of hope that the cause of individual liberty, free markets, and limited government will prevail.

(Republished from The Ron Paul Institute by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Government Spending, Tea Party 
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  1. Dr. Doom says:

    The TEA Party isn’t over Ron. The American Dream is over. Its not the Gold Standard, its the Den of Thieves who run the federal reserve. Its Baron Rothschild and the Rockefellers, Ronnie. They’re not businessmen, they’re crooks. That monopoly money was NEVER any good. It has stolen America from the White Men who built it.
    It will not stand. The brown cannot even maintain what has been stolen. Computers and robots cannot keep it running either, boy. What was ours before will be ours again. Its inevitable. Whether they get Idi Amin or Pancho Villa, they won’t get a stable society. The black and brown have NEVER done that.

    Call it racism. Say Anti-Semitic to the Moon gawds. It doesn’t matter. America is either White or its nothing. This globalism is a delusion. There is no plan here. Puerile fantasies of power and slaves. The ludicrous gibbering of loons. Imbeciles that have failed over a hundred times and only survived due to their cowardice and having somewhere to run to.

    That’s all over. The globalization has made finding gullible victims pretty much impossible. The enemy parasite has never been one to think things through. I expect it will keep doubling down and trying to instigate wars to save itself. This perfidy stinks to High Heaven.

    The Gods are Angry. Its not carbon dioxide you have to worry about. Diseases, wild weather, earthquakes, wars and rumors of wars. Welcome to the Book of Revelation. There is a fork in the road. The wheat and the chaff are about to part. A Global Conflagration is Here. Diseases run rampant. Influenza is hardly the only one. Pestilence Chan has been busy. Hepatitis, Black Plague, Ebola, TB, and others. Immune from vaccines and medicines.

    Let us not mince words. That materialism of times past has corrupted Mankind. A cleansing of such nonsense is now in order. Gold won’t save you. Drugs whether legal or illegal will not save you. Pain is good for the soul. Pain should warn you of your errors. More pain is now assured. The Gods will not be Ignored.

    Whatever God you believe in. Whatever name you use. Whatever religion you care to prescribe to.
    It only matters that humanity and materialism shall not stand against the Ones Most High.

    There are Powers That Be, but they are not the ones who bleed and need Gold.

  2. Let’s not be bamboozled by the media on the tea party issue. Trump and the “alt-right” are far more interesting fodder right now. However, listen to the members of the freedom caucus speak and note their votes. Ron Paul used to be the sole “no” guy, now there’s a relative bunch of them. Furthermore, the idea of liberty is often times projected into the broader debate by many people. Progress has been made, there’s no reason to be apocalyptic about the chances of liberty, and my thought is that there’s a lot of turmoil and potential in the American political scene, in particular the deception of rank and file liberals. There may be a reckoning, and liberty has as good a chance as any of coming out stronger on the other side. We have been speaking a consistent and appealing truth, and that is not without its power.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  3. @Greg the American

    Greg, I like yours and Dr. Paul’s optimism, and you are right that there will be an “other side”. Somehow, though, Dr. Doom’s scenario seems just as realistic to me. Plus, there are his credentials.

  4. Dr. Doom’s pessimism above is justified by Ron Paul’s loser son…Zionist Randy Boy.

    Ron Paul himself is beyond irrelevance these days.

  5. Dr. Doom’s pessimism above is justified by Ron Paul’s loser son…Zionist Randy Boy.

    RP is still fine (except for his constant crowing about “de konsitooshun), but as you say his kid is as goofy and as worthless as they get.

    The kid has to be an unspeakable embarrassment to the old man.

    As for TEA party, it was a fraud from the beginning, just like Trump, and I had no idea it still existed. If its supporters had any brains, they’d know that there are no political remedies to the problems of this terminally degenerate moral cesspit.

  6. You can’t have fiscal responsibility AND debt money. First you end the FED. Then you balance the budget. The Tea Party thought the congress could stave off bankruptcy merely by borrowing less. The Club For Growth could not understand that with debt money increased debt IS growth.

    Today, just as diversity is our strength, debt is our prosperity.

    Sounds crazy I know. But consider elite political dogma that maintains there is no such thing as race. No such thing as national borders. No such thing as BOYS AND GIRLS. That whiteness is the cause of all ills of humanity. Or the ridiculous notion that our national security is threatened by Iran or North Korea. Or that Donald Trump is a Russian agent.

    The creators of the current incarnation of the banking cartel knew from the beginning that their project would end in disaster but proceeded anyway for their own personal enrichment. The inevitable crash when the debt money ponzi has run its course is finally upon us. Imperial Washington is in the service of evil. Next comes the flood.

  7. Although I’m an independent voter, I’ve always leaned conservative when their candidates and platform deserved my support. But because I was always shocked and dismayed at the seemingly nonsensical protests of the conservatives’ Tea Party I’ve often voted against other than conservative.

    If they’re no more. Fine. They were more of a hysterical protest movement against Obama than they were activists for liberty.

    Furthermore, I think their histrionics set the pattern for today’s left-leaning movements such as Antifa, MeToo, BLM and The Resistance. So, their example was readily adopted and easily subverted to the goals of the left and the conservatives have few to blame for this but the Tea Party.

    Extremism serves no permanent master. So, it should be evoked with great, meticulous care, instead of capricious abandon like the Tea Party did.

    We conservative leaning voters now see what they wrought and it’s not pretty.

    • Replies: @KenH
  8. KenH says:

    Furthermore, I think their histrionics set the pattern for today’s left-leaning movements such as Antifa, MeToo, BLM and The Resistance.

    The Tea Party’s opposition to Obama and the left was rhetorical only. They didn’t shut down left wing speakers on college campuses through mob action and physically threaten, assault (in the case of antifa) and murder (in the case of BLM) they’re perceived enemies.

    The various left wing groups making up the so called “resistance” are following the example and using the tactics of violent communist revolutionaries.

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