With all the talk of Democratic organizing failures in the wake of the Massachusetts Senate race, it’s important to remember that even the media-crowned all powerful conservative movement can stumble now and again. As we reported — twice — a group of tea partiers had planned to hold a National Day of Strike on Jan. 20. Their goal was to run companies that support Democratic candidates out of business with public protests and boycotts.
Now that the day of the strike has come, the tea partiers are nowhere to be seen. The website devoted to the project is full of questions from confused would-be strikers, and the organizer of the protest has disconnected his phone.Allen Hardage, a former Christian Coalition organizer, launched the idea of a National Strike on Dec. 20 in a letter published, among other places, on the website of the Tea Party Patriots. The letter is still there, but it now says “Note** This is not a project of Tea Party Patriots**” in big letters above it. The Tea Party Patriots didn’t always distance themselves from the strike so clearly, but it seems they decided to join the chorus of conservatives who want nothing to do with the strike.
At first, the idea seemed to catch on. Hardage wrote that more than 3,000 people signed up to participate in the strike in the first four days after it was announced. (The Strike Day Facebook page for the event still has more than 4,600 members.) But some conservatives were wary of the idea of attacking corporate America, which they usually consider an ally, and began to publicly rebuke the strike plan. Hardage tried to respond to the critics, recasting the plan as, among other things, a call to prayer.
But then the organizing for the plan stopped. Over at the social network built specifically for the protest, users wrote in yesterday confused about what was going on. “What exactly does tomorrow’s strike entail?” one wrote. “I can’t find any clear details.”
One user on the site wrote that the protest had been postponed until February in the wake of the Scott Brown win in Massachusetts. But Hardage didn’t respond to an email about that this morning, and when I called him this afternoon his phone had been disconnected.
From all signs, the National Day of Strike has turned out to be a tea party fail.