Back three years, the harbinger that the Tea Party would revive the moribund Republican Party was the sight of Democratic incumbents overwhelmed and helpless in chaotic town meetings held during the August recess.
Then, Tea Party activists, motivated to repeal President Barack Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and reverse the president’s program to increase federal spending, taxes and regulation, flooded the zone to confront Democrats, who supported Obama.
This summer, as Capitol Hill Republicans step up to support the president’s amnesty for illegal aliens and protect his health care regime, they will spend the summer recess playing dodge ball.
Town meetings? Not so much. Besides, with the amnesty vote pushed off until September and more meaningless health care repeals passed, the activists are not supposed to be angry, yet.
What this game of dodge ball needs is a new referee.
Freedom Works, the Washington-based hub and spokes for the Tea Party movement, is calling out the Capitol Hill Republicans with an online action center: Demand a Townhall.
The website is chock full of town meeting schedules, talking points and an activist’s tool box to confront members of Congress.
The site will also include a running list of the congressmen and senators supporting the bill sponsored by Sen. Michael S. Lee (R.-Utah) and Rep. Mark R. Meadows (R.-N.C.) that would defund Obamacare in the Fiscal Year 2014 federal budget, given that the president has decided to delay its implementation until FY 2015.
Lee has created the Twitter hashtag #DontFundIt to build support for the bill.
Obamacare is not ready for action, so there is no reason to pay for a hollow year, he said. With 10 other senators, Lee sent a letter to Majority Leader Harry Reid (D.-Nev.), saying they would not support funding the health care law in any way.
Freedom Works President Matt Kibbe said Tea Party activists need to put the touch on the prodigal congressmen and senators.
“Most members of Congress have stopped engaging constituents and defending their policy initiatives. That’s the real outrage here- the inside-the-beltway resistance to a participatory process where people have a voice,” he said.
“Our action center removes the barriers to this information, by identifying who is already having townhalls, letting activists know where they are, and then calling out the members of Congress who aren’t and demanding one,” he said.
Activists joining the Freedom Works protest need to ask two questions: 1. Are you having a townhall? and 2. Do you support the Lee-Meadows letter to defund ObamaCare through the upcoming continuing resolution?
Kibbe said Tea Party activists should deliver this message: “You can go on recess, but you can’t hide.”
Put the Republicans on the spot and if they are turning their back on the repeal of Obamacare force them to explain why, he said.
In the three years since the Tea Party gave the Republicans 63 new House seats, more senators, the GOP has raised taxes, jacked up spending and meekly accepted the rogue Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the thousands of new regulations.
But, what about health care? That was the big prize the GOP was going to bag.
What did they do? Well, two things come to mind. First, they fully funded all programs associated with the PPACA, included the hundreds of millions of dollars handed to Democratic public relations firms to promote their party’s centerpiece legislation.
Second, they nominated W. Mitt Romney, who as governor of Massachusetts pushed through a proto-Obamacare program and announced on “Meet the Press” that he loved parts of Obamacare that he will save.
After the 2012 elections, Speaker John A. Boehner (R.-Ohio) announced that Obamacare was settled law—a betrayal of not only his ignorance of the legislative process, but also of the millions of Americans counting on him to lead the fight.
Instead of leading the fight to defund Obamacare, Boehner offered up, what? 40 meaningless votes to repeal the law?
Conservatives taken in by Boehner’s stagecraft on Obamacare are waking up to the fact that if you fund it, it will come.
Lee-Meadows is the legislative way to end Obama’s health care regime and the Freedom Works Demand a Townhall program is how we keep the Capitol Hill Republicans from turning tail.
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