I don't want to have to say "I told you so!" again, my Tea Party friends, so instead I'll phrase it this way: When you try to attract ants with beer-fueled urine from a twelve-pack of Old Buckhorn instead of, you know, sugar or anything else they might actually find appetizing, you're not going to attract very many ants.
And that can even lead to....irrelevancy:
Americans have lost faith in the rebellious Tea Party faction of the Republican Party, which helped the GOP reclaim control of the House nearly five years ago, a new Gallup poll released Monday shows.
I would characterize it as "the rebellious Tea Party faction of the Republican Party" having more or less completely marginalized itself through the fratricidal antics of its elected representatives in Congress and pissed off and alienated pretty much the entire ideological spectrum:
Support for the movement is at an all-time low:
17% of adults are Tea Party supporters, compared to 32% in 2010.
24% oppose the Tea Party, compared to 31% last year.
54% neither support or oppose the group.
Politico reports that support for the conservative political movement has not topped 25% since August 2012, just three months before Barack Obama's re-election.
Take another look at those numbers, TPers, in a more illustrative format: Public support for the Tea Party has declined by almost half over the past five years, but opposition has declined by a quarter in just the past year. If Tea Party support AND opposition is spiraling downward, that means that Americans aren't paying the movement any heed whatsoever; they're ignoring it, like it doesn't even exist.
For a group whose core motivation is to attract attention to itself and the worthy, noble, vital cause it used to represent before it lunged over to fighting a pointless anti-"establishment" insurgency and chasing after Donald Trump and transmogrifying into the embodiment of insatiable anger depicted in the pic above, irrelevancy has to be its worst imaginable nightmare. And for those of us who actually do care about the cause of resurrecting the Old American Republic more than slapping "kick me" signs on John Boehner as he's chased out the Capitol door and realize that persuasion, not beration, is the only path to that critical goal....well, that's why we are so frustrated by so many Tea Partiers, as the Gallup survey also reflects:
Support among independents leaning Republican dropped from 52% in 2010 to 23%. Support among conservative Republicans dropped from 63% in 2010 to 42%. [emphases added]
Guess what, TPers? I'm one of those conservative Republicans that no longer support the Tea Party. And speaking for those conservative Republicans, we have not "sold out," we have not become "RINOs," and we have not defected to the "establishment". We are more conservative than you are, quite frankly. We no longer support the Tea Party because the Tea Party doesn't know what it's doing politically and is, wittingly or unwittingly, sabotaging its own professed cause - a cause which we share and want to see come to fruition. The difference is, we know how difficult an uphill struggle that's going to be and the path to take to have any chance of succeeding at it, and that it will require "playing the political game" and winning elections with "insiders," not "outsiders," and that all of the above hinges on educating and persuading Americans, not sneering at and bludgeoning them and expecting "right to make might" and howling in outrage at your co-partisans and allies when power doesn't fall in your laps like manna from heaven.
Again I point y'all back to what should be our universal example to follow: Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan didn't run for president as his first elective office; he ran for and became a two-term governor of California first to acquire an "insider" political resume and pedigree. Ronald Reagan fell just short of unseating "RINO" President Gerald Ford in 1976, but didn't howl in outrage and vengefully burn down the GOP that didn't hand him its nomination, but maintained good party relations, worked within the party, waited his turn, and was rewarded with the nomination four years later. Ronald Reagan was elected POTUS in 1980 not through rage and rebukes, but the sunny, pro-American optimism of a positive, can-do campaign that appealed to Americans instead of condemning them for their past voting mistakes. Ronald Reagan got his economic recovery plan, with across-the-board tax cuts, through a Democrat House, for Frigg's sake, and it wasn't through "FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!", but rather the mandate attained through a landslide victory that was the product of never forgetting that politics is not "war by other means," but....persuasion. Whereas the Tea Party's true "founding father" appears to be Barry Goldwater, who essentially told the country at the 1964 Republican National Convention that, "Yes, I am an extremist," and went on to lose forty-four States to Lyndon Johnson and facilitate the onset of the Great Society (i.e. the American Left's "Second Great Leap Forward").
And yes, I know that Ronald Reagan first entered the national political stage with his "A Time For Choosing" speech on Goldwater's behalf. But Reagan knew how to get Americans to choose the right path; Goldwater did not.
The first rule in Sun Tzu's Art of War teaches to never attack your enemy's strengths, but always attack your enemy's weaknesses. Tea Partiers keep ignoring that rule, and that is why they keep losing, and are at the Rubicon of no longer mattering at all.
UPDATE: One more thought: Please don't come back with "Oh, that's just a liberal poll, they're always biased and wrong, we know the American public is totally behind us". Sure, the media is biased against the Right; has been for almost a century. But their polls aren't necessarily wrong, and the more important factor is the trends reflected in them - and for the Tea Party, like it or not, they are not favorable.