Frank on a comment thread below wants to know where the Tea Party went in the face of their Republican leaders' proposing to add almost another trillion to the national debt with their hostage deal to keep the millionaires' tax break while adding even more to the deficit through the mechanism of estate taxes.
This is where the Tea Party went:
1. Under the wheels of the Good Ole Boy Republican bus.
Congressman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.), the so-called "Prince of Pork," is elected by the majority of old-school Republicans to be Chair of the Appropriations Committee. Rogers is best known for the heaps of Federal dollars he's been able to cart off (in some cases, literally for his own family) as one of the Republican "appropriators" with a big appetite, He's talented: Rogers secured 137 earmarks worth $251.9 million between 2008 and 2010. Now of course he wants everyone to know that he's a reformed alcoholic.
2. To School, Learning How to Snag Lobbyist Money for themselves.
At least 13 new Tea Party Republican members of Congress got to Washington, sniffed the morning air, and promptly hired known and experienced corporate lobbyists as their chiefs of staff. It's good to know where the money is and how to get it! According to reporting in the WashPost, freshmen Tea Party Republicans have already ingratiated themselves into the cocktail culture of K Street. Dozens of freshmen Republicans have crowded into near-daily fundraisers, parties, and high-priced dinners hosted by corporate lobbyists ... because, evidently, close adherence to the Constitution demands it!
But to update Frank on the Tea Party response to the Obama/Republican Senate deal on the tax cuts, at least one Tea Party group -- the largest one, actually, the Tea Party Patriots -- sent out an e-mail call for action for their members to oppose the bill (according to Evan McMorris-Santoro). Their reasons for opposing the bill seems to rest heaviest on the provision giving extended unemployment benefits to those lazy no-good workers who were unwise enough to lose their jobs, but still.
The bottomline message, then, appears to be ... more money for Tea Partiers, OKAY FINE. More money for anybody else, BOO HISS.
And that's why they cherish the Constitution.