Is the New York Times attempting to manufacture dissent within the tea party? Check out the following from Kate Zernike, one of their political reporters:
Just a month ago, Tea Party leaders were celebrating their movement’s victories in the midterm elections. But as Congress wrapped up an unusually productive lame-duck session last month, those same Tea Party leaders were lamenting that Washington behaved as if it barely noticed that American voters had repudiated the political establishment.(italics, ours)
In their final days controlling the House, Democrats succeeded in passing legislation that Tea Party leaders opposed, including a bill to cover the cost of medical care for rescue workers at the site of the World Trade Center attacks, an arms-control treaty with Russia, a food safety bill and a repeal of the ban on gay men and lesbians serving openly in the military.
“Do I think that they’ve recognized what happened on Election Day? I would say decisively no,” said Mark Meckler, a co-founder of Tea Party Patriots, which sent its members an alert last month urging them to call their representatives to urge them to “stop now and go home!!”
The article does not reveal in what context Meckler was speaking. Was Meckler speaking specifically about that legislation to which the Times refers or was he speaking in general terms about a lame duck's prerogative to legislate after a tidal wave victory by the opposition party in the lower house? Because as far as we can tell there was not any tea party consensus on any of that aforementioned legislation that we could detect.
Maybe there was some coalescing of opinion on the food safety bill and we whined a little bit about the START treaty but taken as a whole, we find the Times to be employing some fast and loose journalism with respect to a political entity they can't quite wrap their brain around.
At the end of the day and considering the political realities of a Congress that was, by law, paid to come back to Washington despite a landslide election and do something, we were pretty pleased with the results.
If, at the beginning of the session, you would have presented us a trade - the defeat of that monstrosity of the omnibus spending bill and the DREAM Act in return for passage of the other legislation (including the extension of the Bush tax cuts), we would've demurred only slightly before pouncing on it.
So, in response to a blogger at OTB (Outside the Beltway) from his post titled, "Trouble in Tea Party Paradise", who wrote the following:
If the Tea Party movement is going to have any impact on American politics in the years to come, it’s going to have to grow up and learn that sometimes you have to take a 50% victory and all it a day.
How's all that for some tea party ideological purity, champ?