From its loud and highly visible protests at summer congressional town hall meetings to its September march on the streets of Washington, the tea party movement has left a profound mark on the American political landscape since it burst onto the scene a year ago.
But as spirited political movements have shown in the past, translating passion and activist fury into votes can be difficult. And so far, success at the ballot box has been elusive for these grass-roots conservative activists — if not entirely nonexistent.
Behold their awesome record of success.
In Tuesday’s Texas GOP primary, tea party-inspired contenders found themselves blown out in races across the state. Gubernatorial candidate Debra Medina, who closely aligned herself with the grass-roots conservative movement, picked up just 19 percent of the vote. And while a host of House GOP incumbents faced challenges from tea party opponents, the only one who faced anything remotely close to a scare was Rep. Ralph Hall — who dispatched his nearest competitor by nearly 30 percentage points.
It wasn’t the first electoral blow for tea party faithful. In last month’s Illinois primary, tea party favorite Patrick Hughes won just 19 percent against GOP Rep. Mark Kirk in the Senate primary, while gubernatorial candidate Adam Andrzejewski, who aggressively sought the support of tea party activists and won high praise from conservative outlets like RedState.com, finished a distant fifth place in the Republican contest.
The movement, such as it is, is so desperate for validation they've taken credit for Rick Perry's primary victory. It's good to know that tea partiers, though anti-government, are staunchly pro-murderer.