The Tea Party movement – a national, loose affiliation of conservatives who gained notice over the summer for well-attended rallies and attacks on moderate Republicans – is led in part by Dick Armey, a former Dallas-area congressman who served as House Majority leader in the 1990s.
Armey has endorsed Hutchison’s bid for governor and there is no indication he is behind the rallies in Texas.
He told reporters in a conference call Monday morning that "grassroots activists in America are intending to remember very clearly who made what votes," and to punish offending politicians in next year’s elections – though he was referring to Democrats such as Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska who provided critical votes as the Senate bill moves toward finalization.
"We obviously are frustrated and disappointed," Armey said.
I think what this also shows is that Dick Armey really has very little to do with the tea party movement. He jumped on the movement to boost his group's standing, but he is not the patron of the tea party movement... nor is the tea party movement beholden what he says... If he had any power over the tea party activists Armey would have called off these dogs from attacking his buddy Kay...
Another interesting feature of these rallies is that the tea party groups seemed to come to this conclusion all on their own, it was not necessarily any of Rick's press releases or videos that prompted them to rally...
The final interesting anecdote is that the Texas Democratic Party leader Boyd Richie is sticking up for Kay...
Texas Democrats offered a partial defense of Hutchison on Monday, arguing that the filibuster of an unrelated, must-pass defense bill was irresponsible and calling Perry "cowardly" for supporting the tactic.
"Rick Perry owes American military men and women an apology for treating them as collateral to his gutless political campaign," said state Democratic Chairman Boyd Richie. "Perry's statement in support of blocking the defense spending bill is Republican primary rhetoric at its worst."
Does this mean they want to face Kay in the primary because they know she is so much weaker than Rick as a candidate? That is not the "common wisdom" that sez that the Democrats want Rick over Kay, but I have had conversations with some Democrats who believe Kay's strengths would be diminished by Bill White while Rick would have a whole different set of people and could win with just his conservative base alone.
Why else would the Democrats take up for Kay in this situation? I guess the other explanation might be that they think defending Kay might actually hurt her... does that make sense?