Has the tea-party movement leadership gone establishment?

Where are those rallies and demonstrations and town halls we saw last year?

Do they think anything has been fixed since the election?

For heaven’s sake, things are 10 times worse!

I can’t believe what I heard from Levi Russell, a spokesman for the Tea Party Express, in an interview on Fox News.

“We forget the tea party is only influential over one-third of the government,” he said. “Tea partiers are going to continue to be disappointed by what comes out of Washington until Republicans have control of the Senate and the White House.”

Not only does this statement suggest a fundamental misunderstanding of American civics, but it also offers House Republicans the cop-out they need to do nothing for the next two years.

As I alone have pointed out repeatedly since January of this year, House Republicans have all the power they need to restructure the U.S. government this year, this month, this week! All they need to do is muster the courage.

And it would sure help them get the spine they need if the tea-party movement would recognize the opportunity House Republicans – and House Republicans alone – have to do just that.

They control the House. And House approval is needed to raise the debt limit – and keep the borrowing-and-spending machine in place. All Republicans have to do is say no.

In fact, as I have pointed out ad nauseum, Republicans have enough strength in the House that they can even afford a few defectors in their ranks to force the biggest cuts in federal spending in 100 years!

Why don’t tea-party activists understand this?

Why are they not out in the streets demanding Republicans simply do what they promised before the election?

Why are they not turning up the heat as we move inexorably closer to that critical vote on the debt limit – likely next month?

In fact, why are they providing cover for House Republicans to do nothing?

Has the tea-party movement been co-opted?

Are they now in the Republicans-can-do-no-wrong camp?

If House Republicans provide the vote margin to raise the debt limit – allowing the borrowing-and-spending spree to continue – they will no more deserve our votes in 2012 than will Democrats.

What kind of perverse thinking is going on inside the tea-party movement these days?

I know you are not hearing this anywhere else, so it might be easy to dismiss it as the rantings of one man. But do the math for yourself. There are 241 Republicans in the House. For the debt limit to be increased next month, the House will have to approve it. If the House votes no, the borrowing and spending ends. Period. No appeal. It doesn’t matter what the Senate does. It doesn’t matter what Barack Obama does. The House holds all the cards on this one vote.

The tea-party movement should be pushing those Republicans it helped elect last November to vote no. This is the only thing they can do in the next two years that can fundamentally and radically change the direction of the government.

If Republicans don’t do it this year, they are unlikely ever to do it.

That’s why I established the “No More Red Ink” campaign – targeting all 241 House Republicans with this simple message: “Don’t you dare give up the biggest weapon you have in turning our fiscal policies around!”

I hope you will still join this campaign, which has managed to solidify 142 House Republican votes in opposition to raising the debt limit. It only takes 218 votes to stop the Obama agenda cold – immediately and for the next two years!

Time is running out. The tea-party movement needs to wake up now!

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