Tea Party Caucus throws rules into the harbor

Much of the anger that fueled the Tea Party rage against Washington was based on the ideas that Congress wasn’t listening and the majority was forcing its agenda on America.

Now, never mind that the agenda set by the majority party over the past two Congresses was originally fueled by massive gains in the 2006 and 2008 elections where Democrats were elected in traditionally conservative districts — a clear and obvious rejection of the policies of the Bush administration that led to the Bush recession and record Bush deficits that we are not likely to eliminate anytime soon.

That original Tea Party movement (if only Democrats were as good at branding and messaging as their GOP counterparts) used the anger at President Bush to sweep Democrats into office to implement the policies that have begun to turn around the Bush recession, rebuilt our financial institutions, saved the American auto industry and opened up access to the same healthcare members of Congress get to more than 30 million Americans.

This Tea Party movement was angry about all of that, and Democrats paid a heavy price in the 2010 elections just three months ago. They wanted accountability, they wanted fairness, they wanted Congress to “stop jamming things down our throats.”

Enter Iowa Rep. Steve King. The flamboyant resident of the fringe element of the Republican Party is a leading Repealer in Congress, determined to repeal the Affordable Care law. With this action, he achieves the right-wing ideologue title trifecta of being a Birther, a Denier (of climate change) and a Repealer. His proposed amendment to the continuing resolution would essentially prevent any funds for implementing health insurance reforms, consumer protections and cost savings provided by the Affordable Care Act. In order for King’s amendment to be considered on the floor of the House, King needs, and is seeking, a change in House rules to allow his amendment to come up.

Now, think about that.

King is a member of the Tea Party Caucus in the House. He was one of the chief complainers about House operations under Speaker Pelosi. Now, just a few weeks into the new Congress, he’s trying to manipulate the House rules to advance his anti-American healthcare coverage agenda.

Oh, the irony. The original Tea Party threw boxes of tea into Boston Harbor to protest British tyranny. Steve King and the House Tea Party Caucus would throw overboard the Rules of the House of Representatives to wage their special brand of tyranny on Americans in need of healthcare coverage.


David Di Martino is CEO of Blue Line Strategic Communications Inc. The views expressed in this blog are his and do not necessarily represent Blue Line’s. Follow David: @bluelinedd.