This is going to be a rough and rocky new year, and hopefully one in which conservatives coming roaring back and cement gains won, and above all, expand their base.
2013 YEAR IN REVIEW: TEA PARTY BEATS WASHINGTON
The past year has by far been the best for the Tea Party movement in its short history. In 2013, the five-year old conservative grassroots upsurge has grabbed Washington, D.C. by the collar, tearing the city colloquially known as “Boomtown” in a conservative direction for the first time in decades. As the Tea Party movement matures, it is getting more professional in its political activism.
The way the Tea Party won 2013 is by entrenching itself in Washington warfare and fighting for conservative victories by connecting powerful grassroots activists directly with lawmakers in decision-making positions. What has happened is the movement has matured, and learned how to manipulate the ways of Washington to promote conservative policies while defeating liberal ones.
In the short months after President Barack Obama’s re-election, a core group of conservative House Republicans–many of whom were elected in 2010 or 2012–developed a plan to attempt to unseat House Speaker John Boehner on the House floor. While the early January vote was ultimately unsuccessful, the 12 House conservatives willing to stand up to Speaker Boehner scared him as he began the 113th Congress. That 12 of his own members were willing to vote against the Speaker was unprecedented in modern times, and given that only 17 votes were needed to actually remove Boehner, it put the veteran Ohio Republican leader on notice that any caving in 2013 would have drastic consequences for his future as Speaker. The narrative had been set: The Tea Party runs the House, and by extension, Congress.
Meanwhile, a little more than a month after Obama won re-election, Adam Lanza opened fire to kill 20 children and six staff members at Connecticut’s Sandy Hook elementary school. Obama, emboldened coming off re-election, deputized Vice President Joe Biden to seize the opportunity to lead a push for gun control in 2013. Conventional wisdom in D.C. would have had most Americans believe that gun control was going to happen.