Tea Party 2.0, Ready For Post-Election Launch

While we all watched the election returns and followed Sarah on Twitter, two generations of religious right leaders announced plans for Wednesday, when they will to get to work consolidating the strength of the Tea Party.

Richard Viguerie, often credited with developing and implementing the direct mail technology that helped build the new Christian right in the late 1970s, held at an election night event for tea partiers in Washington. He told them to get a good night’s sleep, eat a good breakfast, and then, Wednesday afternoon, get on with the work of taking over the Republican party. Long critical of “country club Republicanism,” Viguerie said in a press release:

“The next stage of the Tea Party movement — Tea Party 2.0 — means taking over the GOP at every level from precinct captain to state chairman, and nominating one of our own for president.”

Also busy tomorrow will be the architect of the religious right from the 1990s, former director of the Christian Coalition, Ralph Reed. Reed is now founder and chairman of the Faith and Freedom Coalition—and he’s not waiting until tomorrow afternoon to get started.

At 11:00 in the morning at the National Press Club, he and Glen Bolger of Public Opinion Strategies will hold a press conference in which they will put their spin on the election results by releasing a post election poll. Boasting that, leading up to the election, they distributed “6 million voter guides, 8 million mail pieces, 15 million phone calls, 500,000 doors knocked on by volunteers, and radio advertising covering 56 congressional districts and 22 U.S. Senate and gubernatorial races,” they are now (apparently as I write this) surveying voters to learn “who went to the polls and why.”

Instructive for those of us who follow the influence of the religious right on the tea party movement (arguing that it’s about a lot more than taxes), the press release promoting the conference and its polling data indicated that the poll’s questions were designed to “ascertain voter attitudes on major issues and the political parties, President Obama, the Tea Party movement, and (…wait for it…) the pro-family movement.”