In 2010, the GOP won the majority in the House in large part due to the efforts of the Tea Party movement. The grassroots movement was motivated and energized to make phone calls, doorbell, donate, and get to the polls because they understood that Barack Obama and the far left progressives that he leads had to be stopped. One way to at least attempt to add protection into the political process to ensure that would happen would be to make sure the Democrat party did not control both Houses of Congress along with the presidency.
Due to the surge in political involvement by every day citizens in the grassroots Tea Party movement, there was a shift in control in the House of Representatives. One-third of the Republican members of the House elected in 2010 were freshmen. They included Tea Party favorites Tim Huelskamp, Trey Gowdy, Tim Scott, Justin Amash, Raul Labrador, and others. With this GOP takeover, those in the Tea Party movement had hope that Barack Obama’s far left agenda to ‘fundamentally transform America’ would be stopped. The then newly elected Speaker of the House, John Boehner, spoke a good game in support of the Tea Party movement. In an article published in December of 2010 in the New Yorker, Boehner was quoted standing strongly for the Tea Party, welcoming the influence these every day citizens would have in not just the political process, but in getting the Republican Party back to its conservative roots.
Back in Washington, Boehner reported what he’d seen to his Republican colleagues. While many Democrats and the mainstream media mocked the Tea Party, Boehner pressed his members to get out in front of the movement or, at least, get out of its way. “I urge you to get in touch with these efforts and connect with them,” he told a closed-door meeting of the Republican Conference. “The people participating in these protests will be the soldiers for our cause a year from now.”
Boehner went even further in his welcoming of Tea Party congressmen by stating the following.
The emergence of the Tea Party, Boehner says, forced upon Republicans, in one cycle, a rebranding that otherwise might have taken the Party a generation to achieve. The channeling of the Tea Party transformed the House Republicans. When the 112th Congress convenes, next month, a third of the Republican members will be freshmen, bound to a mood of deep disaffection.
Boehner’s praise and support of the grassroots Tea Party movement and those ushered into the House because of it eroded in two years. In December of 2012, Boehner began his purge of conservatives from powerful committee positions. Since then, Boehner has ramped up his attack on the Tea Party into a very vocal and nasty display.