Former Rep. Dick Armey is bailing on the Tea Party group he helped start.
Armey, the former House majority leader who helped develop and promote the GOP’s Contract with America in the 1990s, tendered his resignation in an memo sent to Matt Kibbe, president and CEO of FreedomWorks, on November 30. Mother Jones obtained the email on Monday, and Armey has confirmed he sent it. The tone of the memo suggests that this was not an amicable separation.
In the email, Armey indicated that he wants nothing to do with FreedomWorks anymore. He asked that all user names, passwords, and security-related data created in his name be emailed to him by the close of business on December 4. He even insisted that FreedomWorks—”effective immediately”—was “prohibited” from using a booklet he authored. Was Armey’s resignation a reaction to the recent election results? “Obviously I was not happy with the election results,” he says. “We might’ve gotten better results if we had gone in a different direction. But it isn’t that I got my nose out of line because we should’ve done better.”
Armey declined to specify his disagreements with FreedomWorks. Asked if they were ideological or tactical, he replies, “They were matters of principle. It’s how you do business as opposed to what you do. But I don’t want to be the guy to create problems.”
I don’t know if this is a sign of a larger trend among the nutsery or just an internal difference at FreedomWorks, but it’s not altogether unexpected after losing an election that they portrayed as the Most Important Election in the history of the world. They’ve been working on destroying the Democrats and Barack Obama for so long and not only did he get re-elected, the Democrats actually gained seats in the House and Senate.
They also spent a certifiable shitload of money to get nothing. Sheldon Adelson, the Las Vegas casino magnate, spent more than $150 million of his own money, first in support of Newt Gingrich, then on other races, and crapped out. In Ohio, Josh Mandel spent about $23 a vote to lose to Sherrod Brown. So there has to be a lot of pissed-off people on the right, and it’s natural that they start eating their own.
You want fries with that?