For the past several months, the media and the left have continually heralded the “death” of the tea party movement. With a sparkle in their eye and a barely concealed hint of glee, they’ve reassured themselves that the organic grass-roots movement, which had delivered historic Democrat losses across the country, was fading and would no longer pose a threat to their progressive agenda. Apparently, though, nobody bothered to tell the tea party.
John Fund has the story of GOP Rep. Jean Schmidt losing her reelection campaign in Tuesday’s Ohio primary:
The Tea Party is alive and kicking. House Speaker John Boehner can’t help but notice that Representative Jean Schmidt, one of his fellow GOP House members from the Cincinnati area, just went down to defeat at the hands of a political neophyte. Brad Wenstrup is a physician and Iraq War veteran whose only prior political experience was in a losing race for mayor of Cincinnati.
Wenstrup hammered Schmidt from the right, and his opposition to pork-barrel spending and support for a flat tax won him the backing of the Ohio LibertyCouncil, a coalition of tea-party groups. But Schmidt still had an overwhelming financial advantage, outspending Wenstrup by three-to-one in the last Federal Election Commission report.
But an equalizer arrived in the form of a $241,000 expenditure by a super PAC called the Campaign for Primary Accountability, a group of tea-party donors which is dedicated to using primaries to oust complacent, longtime incumbents of both parties.
As Mark Twain would say, the news of the death of the tea party has been greatly exaggerated.