After writing about Max Blumenthal, I recalled earlier work that he did on US domestic politics and a short documentary in 2010 that took a look at the Tea Party and its wealthy backers and the racist messages that drove much of the rhetoric. It was the standard Blumenthal method of going to their meetings and talking with them and you can see the angry reaction from people like the late Andrew Breitbart, while Blumenthal remains calm with a smile on his face. (For some reason, the 28-minute documentary is followed by 12 minutes of a blank screen.)
In the video we see the prominent role of former Republican House majority leader Dick Armey, who left Congress and became head of FreedomWorks and played a major role in the fear-mongering that fueled the growth of the Tea Party. Armey acted as the intermediary between the big money interests behind the faux grass roots movement and the people shouting and holding signs at rallies. He left the group soon after a bizarre dust-up.
As my earlier post about the Republican civil war said, Armey is now, along with Karl Rove, trying to rein in the Tea Party monster they helped create because it is threatening to devour them.
The Tea Partiers felt so energized back then that they foresaw sweeping victories in the 2010 mid-term elections and they were right, with Republicans gaining 63 House seats and a majority, and six seats in the Senate, narrowing the gap with the Democratic majority. However, that bloom was short-lived and 2012 saw them losing eight seats in the House, two in the senate, and most devastatingly for them, seeing president Obama re-elected.
The 2014 elections will be a pivotal to see if they have staying power.