More than half of the members of the Tea Party caucus in the House voted for the debt limit bill on Monday, including some of their very favorites like Allen West. And now they’re targeting even the most extreme of legislators for not being pure enough for them:
Similarly, the Tea Party National Congressional Scorecard will mark as pass/fail every Congressman in the 112th Congress, and the “debt ceiling giveaway” is a ‘fail’, said Tom Trento, the National Security Chairman for the Tea Party National Convention, and the person who runs the grading system…
The Tea Party National Convention this fall “will focus on recruiting conservative primary challengers to guilty House GOP RINOs and frosh,” said Trento.
The debt ceiling compromise was “political suicide,” said Judson Phillips, the founder of Tea Party Nation, after the vote. “We put them in power and now we’re asking ourselves, ‘Why did we do that?’”
And West is not happy about it:
In the end, the reward for spending months trying to work out a deal and withdrawing the United States from the brink of an economic calamity may well be a primary challenge from the right, and quite possibly a ticket home.
For example, Rep. Allen West, seen by many as a tea party favorite, was among those who voted in favor of the compromise bill – and now he’s being targeted by tea party groups who see him as a sell-out.
“One minute they’re saying I’m their Tea Party hero, and three, four days later I’m a Tea Party defector; that kind of schizophrenia I’m not going to get involved in it,” West said in consternation on Laura Ingraham’s talk radio show.
See, that’s the problem with trying to please fanatics. You’re just never pure enough for them. And this is why the GOP’s attempts to harness the energy of the Tea Party crowd, while it helped them in last year’s election, is ultimately going to backfire on them. It continually pushes them further and further into the loonisphere, which can only alienate independent voters.