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The Tea Party’s sad, nostalgic reunion tour

Remember way back to 2010? When the Black Eyed Peas' "Boom Boom Pow" was tearing up the charts and a hot new upstart political movement called the Tea Party was striking fear into socialists everywhere? What began on Tax Day in 2009 hit a high-water mark just 18 months later with a massive rally on the National Mall organized by Glenn Beck (which later proved to be the beginning of the end of the Tea Party's purpose for existing: massive anti-government rallies of colorful, flag-waving patriots). There's no question the conservative revival in the GOP has remade the party inside Washington, but the Gadsden flags were rolled up and the tricorn hats put away as the outsider movement honed its insider game.

Until today. For one day only, the Capitol has been consumed by what feels a bit like a single-night stand reunion tour for a band that had one good album that mostly gets played for nostalgic reasons today. The event was billed as "the largest demonstration of Tea Party support since 2010," and while it may have succeeded on that count, it also underscores how much the movement has slipped since that year of its glory.

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