The leader of one of the nation's largest Tea Party groups is on the attack against House Speaker John Boehner, saying the Republican has come off looking "like a fool" in the budget debate gripping Washington by backpedaling on his promise to cut $100 billion from the 2011 budget and sending mixed messages. "Charlie Sheen is now making more sense than John Boehner," Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips writes on his organization's website. Phillips says Tea Partiers should find a Republican more committed to slashing government spending, and pit him against Boehner in 2012. Is this just one disappointed fiscal conservative talking, or have Tea Partiers truly soured on Boehner two months into his new job? (See Boehner discuss spending cuts)
Plenty of Tea Partiers are mad at Boehner: "Hell hath no fury like a Tea Party scorned," says Robin Marty at Care2. Before the midterm elections, Boehner promised to chop $100 billion from the next budget, but now he's only aiming for $61 billion in cuts. Phillips isn't the only Tea Partier "in a tizzy" over the difference. Judging by the insurgent movement's success ousting mainstream GOP candidates in the primaries last year, Boehner should be worried.
"Is the Tea Party turning on John Boehner?"
This sort of rant is typical Phillips: The Tea Party Nation founder is notorious as being a "full-on crank," says Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs. Still, he's a crank in "the grand Tea Party tradition," having gone so far as to support loaded weapons at political events. The GOP should be careful. They've had a fine time "riding the teabag tiger," but they may lose their grip.
"Tea Party turns on John Boehner"
Boehner is handling his juggling act well: Yes, many Tea Partiers see Phillips as "something of a phony," says Alex Altman at TIME. But still, "there is a legitimate strain of frustration" with Boehner. A coalition of Tea Party groups based in Boehner's Ohio district sent him a letter demanding the full $100 billion in cuts, and urging him to refuse to raise the debt limit. It's not easy to balance Tea Party anger with the constraints of governing, but so far, Boehner's managing it "pretty deftly."
"Boehner's balancing act"