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Tea Party Tag

It has been almost five years since news broke that officials at the IRS used the power of government to harass members of the Tea Party and other conservative groups. The media has largely ignored the scandal and so far, no one has gone to jail. Earlier this month, IRS officials claimed they couldn't testify because their lives were at risk. USA Today reported:
IRS officials say lives at risk in tea party bias case Details about tea party bias claims against the IRS could remain secret because current and former agency officials say their lives are in danger if they publicly testify about the case.

It is astonishing how much is being revealed about the "Deep State" since Donald Trump was inaugurated less than two months ago. This week, Wikileaks published almost 9,000 documents from the CIA about the agency’s own malware used to hack into anyone’s electronics make it look like the cyber-attack came from Russia. Now, after years of struggling for real justice from the Obama Administration that falsely claimed Tea Party groups were never targeted, citizen activists now have access to nearly 7,000 documents related to the illegal man-handling of their tax status applications by the Internal Revenue Service.

While I'm enjoying the progressive meltdown as much as the next person, it may be time to think about countering the "resistance."  We would do well to think about the impact the pressure from the raging "resistance" is likely to have not on their own party but on Republicans in Congress and, perhaps to a lesser extent, on the Trump administration. From the "women's march" to airport protests to flooding into GOP town halls, the progressive left is making itself heard among the very Republicans President Trump will need to keep his agenda moving forward.  These are the McCains, the Grahams, the Collins', the Murkowskis, and others whose votes do matter (even if we close our eyes and wish really really hard that they don't). Republicans who loved the Gang of Eight amnesty plan, who are foreign policy hawks, and who want to keep ObamaCare and Common Core—i.e. those who believed that the only way to win elections was to become more like Democrats—are looking at all this, and what they see is not what we see.

I'm not sure whether to be pleased or amused that we were so successful that the progressive left is now trying to recreate and manufacture a progressive version of our truly grassroots Tea Party movement. One aspect of their inchoate "resist we much" campaign to recreate our powerful movement is the left's new-found respect for all things related to the Constitution and their adoption of things like our use of "we the people."  I find this amusing.  Less amusing is their own unique twist, one that includes being purposefully offensive and violent. For example, watching the coverage of the inauguration yesterday, my jaw dropped when I saw the report about a limousine that was set on fire in DC . . . with the words "we the people" written on it.  Talk about cognitive dissonance.

As someone who, both individually and on the website, participated in the Tea Party surge culminating in the retaking of the House in November 2010, I saw first hand how viciously the Tea Party was attacked. I attended the Tax Day Tea Party rally in Corning, NY, on April 15, 2009, Looking At Tea Parties Through Binoculars, Like On Safari:
... There was a good crowd in this relatively small town in western upstate NY (several hours from NY City), several hundred in total. Corning is home to Corning glass and Steuben glass. The entire region has been hit hard by the exodus of jobs to less tax intensive parts of the U.S. and abroad.

Every now and then, I like to check on the state of reporting as it relates to the Tea Party...for entertainment purposes. I have decided that if any actual fact is offered in the elite media stories, it is purely coincidental. Today's review shows that after over 7 years of independent conservative activism, our elite media is still making rather ludicrous claims. For example, this chestnut from Bloomberg:
The Tea Party was always tragically miscast. The angry oldsters who formed its white-hot core fancied themselves tax protesters. Their self-image was informed, inflamed and more than occasionally exploited by conservative operations ranging from Fox News to FreedomWorks and a phalanx of right-wing grifters who dealt themselves into the action.

I have long sensed that the 2016 California primary would be very memorable. Kemberlee Kaye just reported that Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders may debate ahead of the California primary, as Hillary Clinton declined to debate Sanders recently. Hillary Clinton may want to rethink the non-engagement approach that led to this development, as Sanders is now closing the gap in recent polling.
The Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) poll, conducted May 13 – 22 and released Wednesday, found: “Among Democratic primary likely voters, 46 percent support Clinton and 44 percent support Sanders. These voters include Democrats and independents who say they will vote in the Democratic primary. Clinton has a slight lead over Sanders among registered Democrats (49% to 41%)."

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a blistering rebuke of the IRS today in Tea Party groups' suit against IRS targeting. The opinion by Chief Judge Raymond Kethledge on behalf of a three-judge panel opens:
Among the most serious allegations a federal court can address are that an Executive agency has targeted citizens for mistreatment based on their political views. No citizen—Republican or Democrat, socialist or libertarian—should be targeted or even have to fear being targeted on those grounds. Yet those are the grounds on which the plaintiffs allege they were mistreated by the IRS here. The allegations are substantial: most are drawn from findings made by the Treasury Department’s own Inspector General for Tax Administration. Those findings include that the IRS used political criteria to round up applications for tax-exempt status filed by so-called tea-party groups; that the IRS often took four times as long to process tea-party applications as other applications; and that the IRS served tea-party applicants with crushing demands for what the Inspector General called “unnecessary information.”

Donald Trump's quest for the Oval Office certainly has been fascinating. This weekend, protesters in Arizona and their anti-Trump road blockage made for breathless press coverage. I suspect the organizers of that inanity are going to be shocked when they learn that it helped Trump win more votes and gave the business mogul free media attention. Now, Trump is being blamed by the elite media for the impending death of the Tea Party. For example, the Los Angeles Times engages in fantasy reporting with this analysis:
...Trump’s candidacy has not only fractured the Republican Party, it’s threatening to break apart the tea party movement and erode a once-powerful voting block that has driven conservative politics and elections for the past seven years. In addition to grass-root defections by activists like Dooley, tea party leadership has split over Trump’s presidential bid. Some conservative activists met this week to try to stop him, while others have joined his campaign. Meanwhile, major financial backers, including groups funded by the billionaire Koch brothers, have been sidelined from publicly backing GOP primary candidates, partly out of fear they might alienate their divided base.

It turns out that our 2012 Tea Party event was, indeed, crashed by a D-list Hollywood celebrity wannabe! The meeting, which focused on how citizen activists could counter false charges of racism, was crashed by a group of disruptors waving Confederate flags and holding White Power signs. One of our astute readers, Wolverbear, asked if it was Adult Swim comedian Eric André. Why, yes it was! Our savvy research team has uncovered this Youtube chestnut.

I knew that the 2016 election would be filled with black swans, events that deviate beyond what normally occurs during typical campaign seasons. However, the disruption of Donald Trump's rallies is not such a creature. Leftist operators have been a staple at conservative, grassroots events ever since I began organizing tea party rallies with our San Diego group in 2009. During the first year of the Tea Party, for which we obtained all the necessary permits and arranged for top-notch security, among our most consistent attendees were progressive counter-protesters who blasted bullhorns during speeches given by our guests. When Tea Party didn't disappear, anarchists in black coats began mingling with our crowds in search of opportunities to make trouble. Threats of harassment cast a shadow on these events. The direction of the threats were always one way: Toward us, as a group of average citizens who were over-taxed, over-burdened by regulations, and over-tired of being dismissed by the establishment.

While looking though the history of Tea Party posts at Legal Insurrection, I saw this post from April 2011, Sound the Trumpet:
There’s not much I can add to Mark Levin’s explanation of why Donald Trump does not represent the conservative or Tea Party movements.  He wasn’t there when we needed him, and he helped those who were against us.
That was at a time Trump was considering running for President in the 2012 cycle. I made the point then, as I do now, that Trump is not a conservative or a smaller-government individual liberty person. He's a big government nationalist. My point with any big government person, be it Trump, Obama or Hillary, is that once you give them the power, it's hard to get it back and you lose control over your own lives. You end up putting your faith that they will not abuse that power. If that's what you want, so be it. The link in the quote is to a post at The Right Scoop, which had an embedded audio, Levin Rips Donald Trump to Shreds:

Last night, the organizers of the San Diego area's first "Tea Party" event gathered together for a Beer Caucus. During the lively discussion on the current status of the presidential primary season (which spanned the grief cycle of denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance), it was noted that it was the 7th anniversary of our first event. Looking back, it has been a long, strange, and interesting journey. The focus of the first rally was a celebration of the free market system and a desire to roll-back government spending. I lovingly crafted my first protest sign. LI #34 b San Diego Tea Party sign

The death of the Tea Party movement has been widely reported, by people who reported that death before the 2010 surge election in which the movement played a critical role, and every few months thereafter for several years. It is true that the Tea Party monied-groups have mostly disappeared. To me, that's a good thing because some of them merely fed off the movement. I've always distinguished between the movement and the groups. I'm proud that Legal Insurrection was part of the movement from the start, and equally glad that we steered clear of the groups. But the movement itself has not died. This chart from Gallup through last fall tracks Tea Party support trends. Both support and opposition have fallen. A majority have no opinion or are neutral.