Another interesting feature of St. Louis Tea Party founders Dana Loesch and Bill Hennessy's recent reflections on the tea party loss of popularity is their emphasis on the fact that the "tea party" name might go out of existence while the movement survives and works towards the 2010 elections. I see this as a very subtle way of laying groundwork for their support of candidates like Roy Blunt who don't in any way live up to the "small government" and "balanced budget" ideals the tea party claims to care about (Blunt voted for both the Wall Street bailout and Cash for Clunkers). In fact, Loesch spends a considerable amount of time justifying the vote for RINOs (Republicans in Name Only) in her recent post.
I'd expect much more of this from them as we approach the August primaries, but the basic thought isn't new for the astroturf St. Louis tea party. In fact, after a brief flirtation with actually standing for conservative values, the St. Louis Tea Party has demonstrated repeatedly that they're really only interested in supporting the same old GOP of the Bush years while furthering their own careers in the process. They had a brief moment where they threatened that they would "come for" Roy Blunt and "vote him out of office" if he didn't endorse Doug Hoffman, but Blunt completely ignored their threats and they were too cowardly to ever do anything to follow up on their statements. Now it seems to me that if you make a grandiose public threat to politician with a specific demand, and that politician ignores you and doesn't meet that demand, a failure to follow through on the threat is a pretty clear signal to Blunt that he can do pretty much anything he wants without risk of the tea party challenging him.
Though some other tea parties around the state like those in St. Charles and Poplar Bluff are willing to strand up for the actual values they claim to believe in, the St. Louis tea party has never shown signs of actually working for these values. This is why even former members of the St. Louis tea party criticized them for carrying water for establishment Republican politicians. As we get closer to the elections, watch as they shift their rhetoric to talk about how they should pragmatically support Roy Blunt in spite of his lack of fiscal conservative credentials, while ignoring the fact that they could easily challenge Blunt by supporting a true conservative like Chuck Purgason.
Direct Drive: When art is politically controversial
18 hours ago