Two years ago, the St. Louis tea party kicked off with a rally at the Arch grounds. They've had larger rallies since then (though never nearly as large as they claim they are), and last year held an anniversary rally at the Arch with roughly the same amount of people as the first one. Ironically, the rally one year ago might have been the start of their decline, with the leaders of the tea party pushing an anti-public transit agenda that didn't resonate with their membership. As the past year has gone on, it's become more and more clear that the leadership of the St. Louis tea party has not been interested in listening to their membership, but rather has been pushing their own careers and names often at the expense of their "movement."
After they failed to elect their hand-picked candidate Ed Martin in a Republican wave election, they have shown basically no signs of still being a viable group. They held a rally a few weeks ago outside of Senator McCaskill's office that attracted only 20 people. Their excuse was that it was snowing, but of course 100,000 rallied yesterday in Wisconsin in the snow. Then, when Ed Martin held an "Obamacare" meeting, his supporters were massively outnumbered by healthcare reform supporters (update: looks like the tea party did worse than even what was originally reported). Yesterday, the tea parties across the state were out-organized in Jefferson City by MoveOn.org while unions were busy working in St. Louis and Kansas City. The St. Louis tea party leadership recently picked a fight with absurd attacks on the Missouri Republican leadership over issues that have nothing to do with the core tea party principles, and then weren't even able to fight their own battles, instead running crying to their surrogate mother, Mike Flynn at Big Government. And now, on the anniversary of the St. Louis tea party, we see that they didn't even have the capacity to organize a rally for their anniversary. All they could do was try to flood Twitter with misinformation and selectively edited videos.
I've been saying for a long time that the tea party leadership is disconnected from their base, and has been cynically using them rather than actually focusing on issues that would improve people's lives. Ironically, I don't think my writing has had much to do with the shift: the tea party has been busy burning their own bridges with allies for quite some time now.
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