The Congressional Tea Party Caucus (TPC) was formed in July 2010, with Minnesota’s Michelle Bachmann as the Chair.
Most congressional caucuses are phony, created to issue an occasional press release and do little else. Unfortunately, the TPC followed the pattern. It issued fewer than a dozen press releases between its founding and July 2012, after which it went dark. Its website contains no content, and does not even list the members. To find out who is involved you must go to Wikipedia, which has a comprehensive list, apparently put together from Internet sources that are now unavailable.
By late 2012-early 2013 the MSM was gloating over the demise of the Caucus. Tea Party Holds Most Seats While Alienating Voters, said Bloomberg. Boehner Mocks Tea Party Caucus, said Breitbart. What Happened to the Tea Party Caucus? asked Roll Call. The Tea Party Caucus is Dead and That’s OK, according to Slate, parroted by Who killed the Tea Party Caucus? in The Week.
Some of the slurs are just Leftist talking points. The Bloomberg story noted that 51 of 55 TPC members won re-election, which made its headline about alienating voters a bit odd. The Roll Call and Slate stories said that Bachmann herself refused to talk, but a spokesman promised activity in April and a new up-to-date roster, so the headlines about demise were a stretch — an organization that the reporters liked would have been billed as resurrecting itself. But, given the lack of TPC activity, the slurs contained an uncomfortable level of truth.
However, the spin put on the information was poison. Slate is owned by the Washington Post, and its slant on events is pro-state. The Tea Party ideals of free markets, individual responsibility, and minimal taxes and regulation are feared as the Devil fears holy water. So it is not surprising that its article said, "Nationally, the Tea Party flag is so tattered that it’s not in a Republican’s interest to maintain it," citing a Rasmussen poll that 30% of likely voters have a favorable view of the Tea Party, with 49% and 21% undecided.
The statists would very much like it if the Tea Party brand were dropped and principled conservatives started over with a new name, which could also be attacked and vilified and then condemned as "a tattered flag", and so on and on. But if you dissect the poll numbers, the story is more positive. Of course half the population hates the Tea Party, the half that elected Obama! The real meaning of the poll is that more than 60% of the non-Obamaniacs support the Tea Party despite three years of unending and largely unanswered vicious propaganda, coupled with many backstabs by supposed allies.
Rasmuessen found that Just 8% Now Say They Are Tea Party Members, down from 24% in April 2010, but 8% is still one heckuva base, and with reasonable outreach to counter the attacks, the strayed sheep will return, which will make the Tea Party the largest electoral bloc ever.
The Tea Party is the flag we have, and it should be defended, which brings the discussion back to the Congressional Caucus. As noted, Congressional caucuses tend to be PR ploys; most do not actually do anything. (The Medical Technology Caucus is active and effective in fighting the ridiculous Obamacare tax, but it is unusual. I solicit correction on this point if anyone has other examples.)
This is not acceptable for the Tea Party Caucus, because somnolence discredits the movement and at the same time sucks up the oxygen and makes it difficult for others to take the initiative. Congress needs to get the message that this will not do. An active and aggressive Congressional Caucus is essential.
TheTeaParty.net is a D.C.-based organization called which is working with some success to make itself into a powerful voice of the movement in Washington. TPN is now working with the Congressional people to breathe new life into the Caucus, and has sent out an email saying that is has secured a promise of quarterly meetings of the TPC, starting April 25, and soliciting interaction (and money) from the members of its mailing list:
At the request of the Tea Party Caucus House Leader Michele Bachmann, we have joined efforts with her team to organize quarterly Tea Party meetings on Capitol Hill with all of the Senators and House members that are part of the Tea Party Caucus. After the Tea Party stormed into Washington D.C. in 2010 with overwhelming victories, the liberals and liberal media has pounded on the millions of decent Americans in the Tea Party movement to try to diminish our success. Part of that included trying to shut down the Tea Party Caucus meetings with Congressmen/women and Senators on Capitol Hill. We will not let that stand! . . . .
We will be discussing things like the Benghazi investigation, 2nd Amendment rights, cutting out of control spending, reforming entitlement spending, replacing the current tax system with a better solution and much, much more. We have a five person Tea Party Advocacy Team that works on Capitol Hill for “We The People” and what is important to you. That advocacy team includes former six-term Congressman J.D. Hayworth who is TheTeaParty.net National Advisor. In addition, the D.C. team has TheTeaParty.net Chief Strategist and frequent Fox News analyst Niger Innis, Bob Adams a longtime D.C. activist and co-founder of League of American Voters and myself, Todd Cefaratti the founder of TheTeaParty.net.
Then, after a soliciting support for TPN, the email gets to what salesmen call The Ask:
Please call your own Congressman and Senators in your state and also in as many other states as possible from the list below today at 202-224-3121. Also please email them as well with the emails provided below. When you reach them or their staff tell them you are VERY excited about the new quarterly Tea Party Caucus meetings in the Capitol and that you are looking forward to them attending each month! This will assure that they know that 3 million of you are watching and that it is important that they attend this Thursday and every meeting after. We will be taking attendance each meeting and any Representatives and Senators that are in the Tea Party Caucus that do not show without a reason, we will encourage you to call them each time to find out why they are not attending.
This seems like an excellent idea. So for those inclined to petition the Congress for redress of grievances, here are the email addresses of the staffers supplied by TheTeaParty.net:
Representatives to email
Image from TheTeaParty.net email.