Tea Partiers Admit Defeat In Health Care Fight?


TPMDC just obtained an extraordinary email from inside the Tea Party Patriots movement. As the Senate prepares to open debate on a health care reform bill tomorrow, tea partiers appear to be admitting defeat in their push to stop reform and are promising a “change in tactics” movement leaders say will appease the “outrage and frustration” among tea partiers over the movement’s failure to stop a Democratic health care bill from moving forward on a path to final passage.From tonight’s email, sent to tea partiers across the country:

We have heard a lot of outrage over the past several weeks from Tea Party Patriots around the country that no matter how loud we protest, no matter how often we go to DC, no matter how large our crowds are, Congress is not listening to us. We have heard that Sen. Blanche Lincoln’s office is getting phone calls 15 – 1 asking her to vote NO on cloture and against the health care bill. Despite what their constituents want, Congress appears to be doing what they want rather than representing us.

We understand your outrage and frustration. We are working on plans to change tactics while keeping the pressure on the Senate for Health Care, Cap and Trade, and the Central Valley Water issue. We will continue to work on those plans over the week of Thanksgiving. Stay posted as we work with local coordinators to announce additional plans and ideas.

The group also backed off plans for another Captiol Hill Tea Party tomorrow, which the “National Coordinator Team” of the tea partier movement called for on Friday.

More from tonight’s email:

We had people calling and emailing over the last day and a half asking us to help organize an event in DC for the Cloture Vote. So, we did and [National Coordinator] Diana Reimer will be in DC.

There are a few important clarifications to note about this call to action:

* Who Should Go to DC? This is primarily intended for those who are within driving distance of DC and want to be there tomorrow when the Senate votes in the cover of darkness on cloture.

In the email announcing the D.C. action on Friday, the Tea Party leaders called on “Patriots from across America” to “Converge on the Capitol” during the cloture vote. Tonight’s email, which came with the subject line “CLARIFICATION on Previous Email” dialed back the call to action in Friday’s message. Organizers write that they send the second email after the “numerous questions about our previous email from earlier today regarding converging on the Capitol” from tea partiers across the country.

The organizers tell tea partiers not to ignore the other events already planned for the day of the cloture vote in the Senate:

Million Med March There is the Million Med March happening across the country tomorrow. Many of our local Tea Party groups are participating in the Million Med March locally. We do NOT in any way want to take away from a local group’s plans with a last minute call to action. So, be sure to check under your state for what is happening locally in your area.

But the “clarification” goes beyond tomorrow’s planned rally. In the email tonight, tea party organizers spell out the ways members have been upset with the results of the tea parties so far.

More from the email:

[T]he most concerning thing we have heard from our membership is that Congressional staff are flat out refusing to listen to their constituents. There have been reports of local offices closing when members show up to talk or protest, when calling DC the phone is never answered, when calling local offices the voice mail is perpetually full, and other such incidents.