Did the Trump Party Hijack the Tea Party? So asks Reason magazine’s editor-in-chief Matt Welch.
He cites Tea Party stalwarts Glenn Beck and Rick Wilson in support of this view. Further, he notes three heroes of the Tea Party:
…[Rand] Paul [R-Ky.], Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). Each ran an insurgent campaign against the GOP's preferred candidate, each stressed cutting government in the face of Republican fecklessness in D.C., each brought an injection of youthful vigor and impatience into the hoary House of McConnell.
But their flavors of anti-establishmentarianism–with Cruz chasing the Trump insurgency, Rubio veering toward the Establishment, and Paul making the lonely case for libertarianism (Huh? SIC)–have so far failed to catch fire in 2015.
In this second paragraph, Welch already answers the question of who hijacked the Tea Party – and it happened well before Donald Trump came on the scene. The first two make great nominees for the “Hijacking the Tea Party Hall of Fame.”
But what of Rand Paul and his “lonely case for libertarianism”? Suggesting that Rand also laments the Tea Party label being applied to The Donald:
And unsurprisingly, distant GOP contender Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has been singing a similar tune, here to Glenn Beck last week:
Paul said Wednesday that "nothing" that rival Donald Trump is for "is what the Tea Party was about." […] (emphasis added)
Why the past tense? I guess it could be because Trump has been on the scene for all of 30 days? Or not.
I remember eight years or so ago and all of the concern about the Tea Party being hijacked – they tried early on with Newt Gingrich. It turns out they didn’t have to look any further than Rand for the new king.
The Tea Party is dead, long live the Tea Party.
Trump didn’t hijack it, it was hijacked long ago. The Tea Party was rejection of the establishment, but it was a very specific rejection: non-intervention, honest money, and a significant of government meddling in and spying on our lives were the key pillars.
Trump didn’t hijack it, but perhaps he will today carry the corpse of the dead body and thereafter wear the crown. All that remains of the dead Tea Party is rejection of the establishment – with no underlying philosophy to give it life.
By the way, Welch was able to write an entire article about the Tea Party and not once mention Ron Paul. That takes talent – obviously more talent than I have.