The Weekly Standard’s Kelly Jane Torrance has pronounced March 1, 2017, the day the Tea Party died. The reason is that some of the national Tea Party organizers have declared victory now that there’s a Republican Congress and Donald Trump is in the White House. One of them is the Tea Party Express, whose executive director Taylor Budowich sent out this email responding to President Trump’s address to Congress:
Since 2012, Tea Party Express has hosted the official Tea Party response to the President’s address. Last night was the first night that our address wasn’t necessary. Not because the ideas of limited government and economic growth have fallen out of vogue – because they surely haven’t – but because that speech was delivered on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives by the President of the United States.
President Trump delivered an eloquent address, where he clearly and deliberately laid out his conservative vision for America. It should now be clear to everyone that the Tea Party movement is more than rallies and protests. We have arrived in D.C., through our elected representatives, to fulfill our mission and finally rein in government.
Except Trump’s joint address to Congress was not a small-government speech at all. As National Review points out in an editorial, the president called for numerous big-government spending programs: “Trump suggested $1 trillion, from a combination of public and private sources, be invested in a ‘national rebuilding.'” Trump also advocated for a hike in defense spending and the creation of a federal paid-maternity leave program, and he ruled out entitlement reform.
With yet another big-government Republican as president, the Tea Party is needed now more than ever. There has to be a mass movement that will hold President Trump and the GOP Congress’ feet to the fire on spending. There has to be someone willing to fight for smaller government, no matter who is in the White House.
Thankfully, many of the Tea Party activists who started the movement at the local level seem to understand that. Many of them have told Rare that they still plan on staying active and pressuring President Trump and their representatives not to blow up the budget and amass more debt.
In addition, not every national Tea Party group is looking to declare victory right now. Tea Party Nation has helped form a coalition to fight the GOP’s proposed border tax. Called “Deplorables Against The Border Tax,” it argues that the policy, a favorite of Speaker Paul Ryan, will increase the prices of everything from gasoline to clothes. Their campaign had a presence at the CPAC hub this year.
The nation is $20 trillion in debt and runs deficits of hundreds of billions a year. Hopefully, enough of the Tea Party that started this fight under President Obama and the Democrats will be around to fight it under President Trump and the Republicans.