Wednesday Marks the Return of the Tea Party
On Wednesday, at two rallies bracketing the Capitol, Tea Party and conservative activists will again take center-stage on two issues dominating the national political dialogue. Reps. Steve King, Louie Gohmert and other members of the Tea Party Caucus will host a nearly day-long dialogue and discussion on immigration reform. On the other side of the Capitol, Tea Party grass roots organizations will hold a rally to "Audit the IRS," in response to the agency's efforts to intimidate conservative organizations.
The immigration event hosted by Rep. King begins at 9am on the East side of the Capitol. The morning event will run until Noon and feature several members of Congress and national conservative leaders. Glenn Beck, who was an early supporter of the Tea Party movement will speak at the event.
At Noon, on the West side of the Capitol, Tea Party Patriots are hosting a rally to "Audit the IRS." Sens. Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and many member of Congress are scheduled to speak. Glenn Beck and other conservative leaders will also speak.
The event, attended by activists from around the country will draw new attention to the IRS scandal, where the agency targeted groups and individuals based on their political activity. The IRS scandal is simply the most egregious example of an Obama Administration singling out conservative organizations and individuals for differential treatment. The EPA, Labor Department and other federal agencies have exhibited similar behavior.
The Tea Party event runs until 2pm, at which time King's Immigration event reconvenes for more discussion on immigration reform. King has invited supporters of the Senate's Amnesty bill to debate the merits of that approach. The event, running until 5pm, will provide more sustained debate on the issue of immigration than will probably occur within the Halls of Congress.
The two rallies are bigger than the sum of their parts, however. They mark the return of Tea Party activists to the national political stage. While dominating the 2010 mid-term elections, the Tea Party was marginalized by the Romney campaign and the national GOP in 2012 and were less of a factor in the elections. The Obama scandals and the polarizing issue of amnesty have forced them back into the political arena.
The looming implementation of ObamaCare and another round of talks to hike the debt ceiling will provoke many activists again take up the banner of limited government and constitutional conservatism. The growing revelations about government surveillance will likely bring newer voices to the movement.
When the Tea Party started in 2009, the idea of government growing out of control was a theory. Today, it is a fact. Wednesday marks the beginning of the 2014 mid-term elections.