I am not one who has been active in the Tea Party movement, despite my sympathy with many of its aims. I’ve never attended a Tea Party event, nor have I joined a Tea Party group. What’s more, I’ve at times found myself in conflict with some Tea Party activists. I note this because I want it recognized that I write as one outside the movement, rather than as an insider.
But after months of wondering how the Tea Party would change the primary game, leaders inside the movement admit they never came in off the sidelines. For the Tea Party movement, the 2012 presidential primaries have been a bust.
“The Tea Party movement is dead. It’s gone,” says Chris Littleton, the cofounder of the Ohio Liberty Council, a statewide coalition of Tea Party groups in Ohio. “I think largely the Tea Party is irrelevant in the primaries. They aren’t passionate about any of the candidates, and if they are passionate, they’re for Ron Paul.”
Littleton is one of the many who have endorsed the Texas congressman; he blames the other GOP candidates for the lackluster energy they have generated in the grassroots that hosted a revolution two years ago.
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