, Gloucester, MA

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December 13, 2012

The end of the Tea Party?

To the editor:

Another nail has been driven into the political coffin of the Tea Party, a movement that, just two years ago, was viewed as the ascendant force in American politics.

Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina, the Tea Party champion who once said health care reform would be President Obama’s “Waterloo,” sex education should be “abstinence only” in nature, undocumented immigrants were little more than stray dogs, and climate change was a hoax, to name just a few rightwing bizarro messages, has resigned from the Senate to become executive director of the increasingly far right and irrelevant Heritage Foundation.

It was further evidence the Tea Party is disintegrating, and the Republican Party is involved in its greatest internal battle since the days when Barry Goldwater and Nelson Rockefeller fought for control of the party.

On Dec. 6, the day DeMint announced his departure from the Senate, he went on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show. On the air, he issued what was a thinly veiled threat to Speaker John Boehner, who DeMint believes is not living up to the rightwing Tea Party’s ideological litmus tests. Limbaugh, of course, agreed with DeMint and heaped effusive praise upon him.

But Boehner is still the Speaker of the House and DeMint is a Tea Partier who, like Sarah Palin before him, is abandoning his political responsibilities and pledges he made to his constituents half way through his term to pursue a big pay check in the hyped up world of Washington media and so called “think tanks.”

But here’s the truth. DeMint is leaving because he is a loser, and he knows it.

DeMint, since 2010, has backed numerous Tea Party flops; including the anti-masturbation champion, Bible thumping, and one time dabbler in witchcraft, Christine O’Donnell in the Delaware Senate race.

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