The death of the Tea Party movement has been greatly exaggerated.
It wasn’t that long ago that the death of the Tea Party Caucus in Congress, a sure sign that the movement had fallen apart, was celebrated by the great intellect of MSNBC:
The death of the Tea Party Caucus was an oversimplification, as it always planned a re-launch in mid-April, and in many ways an irrelevancy. Tea Party movement members of Congress were active throughout the lame-duck and early 2013, Death of Tea Party appears exaggerated, members in House appear to hold key fiscal vote:
The Tea Party has had an up-and-down political ride since the movement helped Republicans take control of the House in 2010, but those elected in the midterm elections still appear to wield considerable power in the fiscal negotiations.
So when Maddow picked up the death of the Tea Party Caucus meme, surely she knew she was engaged in an intellectual dodge based on a temporary phenomenon, but it was too tempting for her to pass up.
In any event, just a month after Maddow’s announcement, the Tea Party Caucus is back and stronger than ever, via Politico:
The Tea Party Caucus is back in action with a new strategy and a growing membership.
Roughly 20 House Republicans attended a closed-door meeting Thursday evening in the Rayburn House Office Building, along with staffers from nearly 40 congressional offices, including those of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and fellow Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul.
It comes as conservatives continue to flex their muscle, making life difficult for GOP leaders in the House on issues like Obamacare, and as the debate on immigration legislation heats up.
Conservative mainstays such as Reps. Paul Broun (R-Ga.), Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), Tom Price (R-Ga.), Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) and Steve King (R-Iowa) were among those at the meeting. A source said the entire GOP House delegation from South Carolina was there as well.
Mike Shields, chief of staff to Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, spoke at the meeting – an indication that the GOP establishment is making an effort to work with the tea party lawmakers.