The Corner

The Tea Party Isn’t Dead, It Has ‘Morphed’

Raleigh, N.C. — The Tea Party has “morphed,” says a grassroots organizer for the North Carolina chapter of Americans for Prosperity, but rumors of the movement’s death have been greatly exaggerated.

“Some people, when they saw that there weren’t any more rallies, they decided the Tea Party was dead,” said Chris Farr in a speech at the Civitas Institute’s Conservative Leadership Conference in Raleigh, N.C. “Don’t tell me those people who came out three years ago aren’t still angry.”

“Maybe we’ve morphed a little bit,” she said, explaining that rallies are now more likely to focus on a single issue, like spending or health care, and less likely to be diffuse, multi-issue extravaganzas. Some local tea-party groups have themselves become single-issue outfits. In the state of North Carolina, Farr was able to cite one tea-party group that has narrowed its focus to school-choice reform, and another that now concentrates simply on putting up billboards.

Farr’s advice for the CLC audience, which included more than a few tea-party activists: “Get very specific — what is the message of this rally –and stick to it.”

When asked about the White House’s recent calls for AFP to disclose the names of its donors (which Jim Geraghty wrote about yesterday), Farr said: “Petition away. It’s not gonna happen.” State director Dallas Woodhouse called it “demagoguery,” but said he wasn’t worried about the attacks. “The people who know us, love us.”

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