op-ed

Dear Tea Party Activists: We Were Too Naïve About Congress

Mark Meckler President, Citizens for Self-Governance

Friday morning, the House of Representatives passed a major budget deal into law, one that they’d been working on for months. The final vote tally was 240 to 186, but no matter the numbers, this steaming pile of legislation sent a message to disappointed Tea Party activists: stop being so naïve.

Democrats, in a quintessential act of hypocrisy (I repeat myself when I use “Democrat” and “hypocrisy” in the same sentence), didn’t make a peep about a trillion dollars.  These are the same people who were so worried about budget deficits they shut down the government a few weeks ago.  That’s because the great silencer – pork — was there aplenty: domestic spending is up by billions. My son is a Marine, so I’m pleased with money spent to make sure we have the best-equipped, prepared fighting force on earth. The rest of the legislation, however, makes me want to vomit. 

Republicans, many of whom were elected on a platform of limited government and fiscal responsibility, didn’t keep their campaign promises.  The “radical” Freedom Caucus actually did, and these Tea Party-respecting congressmen are despised in D.C. for doing so.

Behold, the state of politics today.  The heated, polarizing rhetoric of both parties pushes their bases further apart than ever.  But, when it comes to spending trillions of taxpayer dollars, bipartisanship reigns supreme in the swamp.

Here’s a confession: at the height of the Tea Party movement in 2010, after we had catalyzed the largest party power switch in Congress since 1938, some DC insiders advised me nothing would change.  I was one of the many leaders of that movement, bright eyed, bushy tailed, and appalled that anyone could be so cynical.  Change was in the air, and we had brought it.

Wrong.  

Wrong.

Wrong.

I was under the impression we all believed DC was broken.  Turns out, Washington works perfectly for those who work there.  They’re rich and getting richer… Off of your backs, and off of your taxes.  They produce nothing, invent nothing, and create nothing.  Yet seven of the ten richest counties in the country surround D.C.  They love the status quo.  And they will do everything and anything (and lately we’ve seen stunning evidence of this), to maintain their power.

Nothing has changed. Friday morning, the Congressional Republicans reminded us that nothing ever will, unless we force the federal government to change from the outside.  It’s going to take nothing short of a constitutional revolution, led by the people in the states, if we are going to take our power back from Washington D.C.  That’s why it is imperative, for our kids and grandkids — for the survival of our nation — that we call a Convention of States to restrain the scope, power and jurisdiction of the federal government.

Many hopeful-but-naïve patriots believed D.C. would change under Donald Trump.  Many thought he could drain the swamp without us. The budget passed Friday morning painfully showed those same patriots that such a plan is nothing but fantasy.

It’s time for those who so strongly identified with the Tea Party movement to stop being so wide-eyed and to support the Convention of States movement – sometimes called “the Tea Party movement with a legislative strategy.” Our idealistic patriotism must cause us to employ the strategy the Founders gave us to do what our political leaders never will.

Thanks, Congress, for the very costly reminder.

Mark Meckler is an American political activist, attorney, and co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots.


The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller