Back at the Congressional Tea Party Caucus . . .

On April 23, a C4P post on Reviving the Congressional Tea Party Caucus reported plans to resurrect that dormant organization, which had done nothing since early 2012. The post noted that a re-organization meeting was planned for April 26 and that further activities would soon follow.

So it is time to revisit the TPC and see what has happened. The answer is — nothing.

The period just before the re-launch had a spate of stories about the effort. Since then, torpor. The TPC website contains no report of the April 26 meeting. Nor does it have a list of members.

The only new material since July 2012 is a May 13, 2013, press release by TPC Chair Michele Bachmann on the IRS scandal. The release expresses rote outrage, and adds: “On April 23, 2012, Congresswoman Bachmann joined with 63 of her House colleagues to send a letter to IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman requesting that the IRS refrain from these abusive tactics.” One cannot tell if the letter is really this watery because the link to it is broken.

The real problem here is the IRS scandal. For at least three years, prominent Democrats have called for politically-motivated IRS audits. The grass roots Tea Parties have been complaining for over two years. Mark Levin and the Landmark Foundation took the complaints to the Treasury Department a year ago; if that office had failed to respond honorably, the whole thing would still be under the rug.

Where was the Congress throughout this? Most particularly, where the paladins of the Tea Party Caucus? There were questions raised by some committees (but not the TPC), and the IRS seems to have blatantly lied, but there was little followup.  From the Daily Caller:

Levin’s real criticism is reserved for legislative Republicans who might have taken an interest earlier.

“I’m hearing from congress that this is outrageous — and it is outrageous — but why wasn’t anything done? There needs to be hearings,” Levin said. “But why weren’t they already doing hearings?” . . . .

“Any group that supported limited government, constitutional government and education about the Constitution was targeted.”

The political class, Levin said, “treats the Tea Party as second class citizens” as “kooky.”

“Everybody wants to bring out their big gavels. I’m all for it. But what I’m saying is that this almost didn’t happen. This could have been going on and maybe nobody would have known about it.”

The April 26 stir of activity correlated with the filing by SC Representative Mick Mulvaney of papers to create a Tea Party Caucus, an effort abandoned when the existing organization bestirred itself. Why, one might almost conclude that fending off Mulvaney was the real goal of the effort.

If the current TPC cannot reform itself, and very quickly,then it needs to disband and stop playing the dog in the manger.



(65 Posts)

Author: "Ending 'Big SIS' (The Special Interest State) and Renewing the American Republic" (2012) [www.SpecialInterestState.org] and "Property Matters--How Property Rights Are Under Assault and Why You Should Care" (1997). Some former jobs: Assistant Director of Consumer Protection in FTC; member of the Program Analysis Staff of the US Bureau of the Budget; Research Director of the Administrative Conference of the United States; Director of IPCentral at the Progress & Freedom Foundation; VP & GC of the National Legal Center for the Public Interest. Graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, former Book Review Editor of the Harvard Law Review.

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