Leaders of the Tea Party acknowledged on Wednesday that if the recall effort to recall Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is successful, it would effectively kill their movement.
In a really rather desperate email, the Tea Party Patriots begged their membership to help them raise $300,000 as soon as possible. Jenny-Beth Martin, co-founder of the group, starts off by warning that "the labor unions and big-government special interests believe they can crush the tea party movement." But instead of their usual bellicose "They don't know what they're talking about" rhetoric, the dismissive disregard the Tea Party usually expresses towards the left, for some reason this time they're scared. How scared? According to Martin, "This effort in Wisconsin will be the largest grassroots program in our history and we don't have much time."
"They know that if they can con the voters of Wisconsin into recalling tea party leaders like Governor Walker and his allies in the state legislature, they can stop cold our national movement to cut the size and scope of government... These enemies of freedom and free enterprise know that if they can just win in Wisconsin -- if they can just recall Scott Walker and some of his allies -- they can then roll to victory across America this fall."
In other words, the lefties don't just think they can crush the Tea Party -- they "know" they can.
Just how frightened is the Tea Party? Consider this fundraising ask: "Please make the most generous contribution you can possibly afford to Tea Party Patriots right away." This, from the people whose very existence sprung from righteous indignation over excessive spending? Usually they take great pains in their communiques to emphasize the down-home cashlessness of their grass-rootsy members.
They claim they need these hundreds of thousands of dollars in order to combat the alleged millions that "left-wing interest groups" are currently spending on ads. Or because "they have millions set aside for the recall campaign." Martin isn't clear when exactly the lefties are spending their millions. But they definitely have millions and they're definitely going to spend them. Apparently.
Of course, the Tea Party will never disappear, just like how it's impossible to win a war on terror. And many in the movement will disagree with Martin. But if some of the most prominent national leaders are talking about the potential for failure and dissolution, how long until it percolates down through the ranks? After all, we know how fond these people are of the "trickle down" theory.