Tea Party Flap A Stuffed Into Romney Slot B

Speaking of political people once seemingly important and powerful a year ago, where went the Tea Party? Where are they now? What have they been doing? How many bugs can they eat? I ask the questions no one else will.

“The Tea Party movement is dead. It’s gone,” says Chris Littleton, the cofounder of the Ohio Liberty Council, a statewide coalition of Tea Party groups in Ohio. “I think largely the Tea Party is irrelevant in the primaries. They aren’t passionate about any of the candidates, and if they are passionate, they’re for Ron Paul.”

And Ron Paul has been re-relegated to the sidelines. Ay, pobrecitos. The nation’s attention remains focused on right-wing politics, but nobody’s particularly interested in a teabagger any more. It must be depressing to feel so powerless after once having the Wonder Bread suits ply you with free hot dogs, placards and bus rides. Getting face time on Fox News with the likes of Sean Hannity — those were salad days, friend.

Mark Meckler, founder of the Tea Party Patriots, the nation’s largest Tea Party coalition, also says the Tea Party isn’t playing a role in picking the nominee. But that is by choice, not by accident, he says.

“The real Tea Party movement is not a political party, it’s a movement,” he says. “How can a movement endorse anybody? It really can’t.”

There’s a silly question. How can a group of people with a particular ideology pick a particular person? Obviously, it happens all the time.

I think this points out a certain truth: The Tea Party doesn’t have any ideology. They’re actually an expression of free-floating animus against a world evolving beyond their ken. A black president? An exploding ‘Latino’ population? A doomed white majority?

Scream it ain’t so. After giving so much to their beloved country, they’re limping into retirement, for what? So that their taxes can be used to pay for the healthcare/birthing of immigrants. It’s not true, but for them it’s a nightmare made real. Stop the government spending! This is not what the Founding Fathers, America’s white genius slave owners, would have tolerated. They remember what made America great.

Where is their 2012 cutting-edge traditionalist? Where’s their purist, rebel, soldier-thinker?

Ron Paul comes closest. He’s got racism in the bag: he’s been literally selling it for decades. The problem is he doesn’t actually relish targeting The Black Guy this way. Paul’s bank account has got a bigger taste for bigotry than his heart does. His loopy, war-dodging foreign policy makes him impotent against the Al Qaeda-hunting incumbent anyway, so forget him.

Newt Gingrich? He’s beautiful on the stump and in the debates, isn’t he? Poor kids will learn to unclog the nation’s toilets under President Gingrich. Black people haven’t yet learned how to work, incidentally. Problem? He won’t pull the trigger on the biggest target: immigrants. Here Gingrich throws away the game. He will not root out, jail, prosecute and expel the nation’s seemingly permanent foreign criminals. If you won’t bother with that, good lord, why bother with you?

Rick Santorum? A favorite of the spirited but entrenched Republican elites. But not the Tea Party. Why? He’s an avowed anachronism. He’s a giant-government social scold. He would throw the “issue” of contraception back to the states. Didn’t even know it was an issue, did you? He spends your hard-earned taxes like George W. Bush. He helped spend your-hard earned taxes the way George W. Bush did. He’d resurrect the War in Irag, $15 billion per month and all. No thanks.

That leaves Romney. Who’s obviously wrong on almost everything. Banker bailouts, healthcare, spinelessness, Mormonism, ugh. Except for one little thing: he could beat the black guy. You talk about huge. That’s why the hesitant mannequin just pulled half of the Tea Party people in Nevada. His potential will only loom larger as the primaries zoom by. So, hello Mitt.