If House Speaker John Boehner or his senior leadership team thought they had the support of the Tea Party movement, they better think again. An internal poll of the largest group in the movement, the Tea Party Patriots, found that they are dissatisfied with the House leaders, Boehner in particular, and simply can't stand President Obama.
National Director Jenny Beth Martin told Whispers bluntly: "We're really not satisfied with any of them." [Check out editorial cartoons about the Tea Party.]
She said that the Tea Party Patriots on Tuesday surveyed "tens of thousands" of their members in 3,500 affiliates about the current leadership and found these stunning results:
--81.5 percent are not satisfied with the House GOP leadership.
--74.1 percent, asked if they want a new House speaker, said yes or maybe.
--71.7 percent are not satisfied with the performance of the House.
--97.6 percent are not satisfied with the performance of the Senate.
--98.8 percent are not satisfied with Obama's performance.
--Whopping majorities believe that their House representative and senators are more concerned with party politics than "what's best for America."
--62.8 percent trust neither party to fix the debt problem; 36.4 percent trust the GOP to fix it; less than one percent trust the Democrats.
Worse for those like Boehner and Obama trying to cut a debt ceiling increase, most do not want a deal unless it includes massive spending cuts, likely over the $4 trillion figure earlier under negotiation.
On Boehner, Martin and fellow National Director Mark Meckler, who both earlier today met with reporters at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast, said the movement is worried that he is giving in too much to Obama. "He's not proven that he means to cut anything," said Martin. [See political cartoons about the budget and deficit.]
Meckler said that while the movement wants lawmakers to "stand firm" and not raise the debt ceiling, it could be done if major cuts were included far and above what's been proposed, though he wouldn't set a bottom line. "If you want to raise the debt ceiling, prove to us you can make some cuts," he said. "Get real. They need to act like adults," he added of Congress.
Corrected on 7/27/11: An earlier version of this post misidentified the titles for Jenny-Beth Martin and Mark Meckler. They are National Directors of the Tea Party Patriots.