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Freedomworks Debacle: Tea Party Fractures Laid Bare

The hubbub at FreedomWorks, an instrumental force within the Tea Party, shows just how bankrupt conservative ideology really is.

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Election exit polls in November indicated that, since 2010, support for the Tea Party has plunged. Cillizza concludes, “A movement can become something bigger only if it understands the difference between winning a battle and winning a war — or between a moral victory and an actual one. The Tea Party won a few of the former in 2012 but almost none of the latter.”

As for Dick Armey, while telling the  Post, “Harm was done to the movement” because of the infighting, he’s running to cash his termination check. In an interview “as he was winding down his Wii Fit workout,” Armey suddenly exhibited newfound support for entitlements — his own, at least — as  he told ABC News, “I can’t stay here [FreedomWorks], I can’t work with people like this, and I can’t afford to leave with empty pockets.”

He said that Richard Stephenson told him, ‘You know, Armey, my family and I have heard your story, about how you can’t afford to retire and we want to help with your retirement… Instead of hard labor, how about you never have to work again forever?”

Nice non-work if you can get it. In Washington, when it comes to the bottom line, cash in hand always trumps ideology. Happy New Year.

 

Michael Winship is senior writing fellow at Demos and a senior writer of the new series, Moyers & Company, airing on public television.

 
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