House Speaker John Boehner told Ohio Tea Partiers at a private meeting last month that it might take a really long time to right the nation's balance sheet--like 50 years. The Tea Partiers did not like what they heard, not one bit, Reuters' Nick Carey reports. "I am sick of the tears," Denise Roberts, of the Preble County Liberty Group, said of Boehner's famous emotional displays. "I want results." Roberts said her "fantasy" was to "primary" Boehner--to find a candidate to challenge him in the Republican primary. Likewise, SoCal Tax Revolt Coalition's Dawn Wildman said of the GOP establishment, "At this point, all of them are potential targets. ... All the way up to Boehner."
Boehner told attendees of the Tea Party meeting that yes, the debt ceiling would have to be raised--multiple times. And it would take five decades to erase the deficit. The activists are shocked, Carey reports, and their anger is shared by dozens of Tea Party leaders across the country. "They just don't get that we elected them not because we love them, but only because they weren't Democrats," the Dallas Tea Party's Phillip Dennis told Carey. "Our war now is with the Republican Party." The Wisconsin Grandsons of Liberty's Tim Dake echoed that comment, saying that before the election, Republicans "told us what they knew we wanted to hear and sought us out." After last fall's victory, though, "All of a sudden they stopped taking our calls and were no longer interested in what we had to say."
The Tea Partiers aren't content to merely send angry emails to their elected representatives. They're working to unseat the Republicans who've betrayed them since taking office. So far, Indiana Sen. Dick Lugar is facing a primary challenge from the state treasurer, and there is talk of challenges to Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch and Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe.
The Virginia Tea Party Alliance's Karen Hurd is part of the effort to defeat House Minority Leader Eric Cantor. Hurd plans on waging an "information campaign" against Cantor, focusing on his support of the 2008 financial bailout. But she knows it will be difficult. "Right now Cantor is impregnable, but if we can make him vulnerable then he can be primaried... A few years ago challenging Cantor was inconceivable. The big change now is that while it's a huge challenge, it's not impossible."