- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Those who organized the tea party eight years ago still track the sentiments of their flock, and very carefully — which is a good thing. This demographic often gets overlooked by pollsters, and often at the peril of political parties. A unique survey of 4,100 grass-roots folk in all 50 states reveals that the conservative, pro-America, small government, frugal-minded crowd have not abandoned their founding values. And they’re willing to grade the sprawling political-media complex in the nation’s capital.

Almost nine out of 10 — 89 percent — gave Democrats in Congress a big fat “F” for their efforts to work with Republicans in Congress. Another 79 percent gave an “F” to the news media for their coverage of the new administration while 67 percent granted President Trump himself an “A” for keeping campaign promises to the grass roots.

The GOP drew a tepid response: 41 percent gave Republican leaders a “C” for working with Mr. Trump to keep his campaign promises while 37 percent gave Republicans in Congress a “C” on their ability to fulfill legislative priorities.

“We heard from the most engaged activists around the country. These are the people who rarely get polled, and yet they are important because they have a disproportionate impact on both public opinion and the results of elections,” says Mark Meckler, co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots back in the day — and now president of Citizens for Self-Governance, a Texas-based activist group that conducted the survey.

“If you want to know the future direction of American politics, you have to know what this group of citizens are thinking. This group is part of the reason the press was so wrong about the last election,” Mr. Meckler says, vowing to ensure the “100 percent voters” are part of the future political landscape — not a bad idea for the GOP and Democrats to consider as well.

And about that political landscape: On Wednesday, Mr. Trump will stage one of his signature jumbo rallies in Nashville, Tennessee, C-SPAN will be there; airtime is 7:30 p.m. EDT.

CRUZ, LEE, PAUL, JORDAN, MEADOWS, BRAT

The din over Trumpcare is approaching fever pitch among the primary combatants: Purists loyal to President Trump’s American Health Care Act, those who tolerate it, those furious at the Congressional Budget Office, fans of RyanCare, cranky conservatives and, of course, the ever-bubbling caldron of Democrats, progressives, liberals and fierce loyalists of Hillary Clinton.

There is a unique event Wednesday, however. The aforementioned Tea Party Patriots and FreedomWorks — which espouses limited government and low taxes — have organized an old-school “Day of Action” in Upper Senate Park — right across the street from the U.S. Capitol. On hand to have their say before an estimated audience of 1,000: Republican Sens. Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and Rand Paul, plus Reps. Jim Jordan, Mark Meadows and Dave Brat. The traditional tea party tenets of yore will be in full flower: Lawmakers and tea partyers alike want the full repeal of Obamacare, a lower tax burden for Americans and the confirmation of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Things get underway at 1 p.m. EDT.

UPSIDE DOWN, INSIDE OUT

Consider “upside down media.” This convenient term was just coined by Fox News host Howard Kurtz, citing numerous press accounts that bashed President Trump in recent days. One such account stood out.

“An outrageous lead in The Washington Post captured the animus that underlies much of the coverage of Donald Trump: ‘A group of environmental activists pulled off a daring act of defiance.’ And what was this ‘daring’ act?” Mr. Kurtz demands. “They snuck into Trump National Golf Club in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, and carved six-foot letters into the green (“No more tigers. No more woods.”) In other words, they broke the law and defaced private property.”

The Post later amended the headline.

“Try to imagine protesters vandalizing a property belonging to Barack Obama or Bill Clinton and having it initially hailed as an act of defiance,” Mr. Kurtz says, also citing The New York Times for bias in an upbeat story covering rising ratings of anti-Trump liberal hosts like MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and Stephen Colbert of CBS.

“There’s not a sentence of skepticism about the fairness of turning network shows into Trump-bashing vehicles or why the programs aired only gentle jabs at Obama. It just seems the natural order of things,” Mr. Kurtz notes.

WELL AT LEAST THERE’S TAX CUTS

“The American Health Care Act will repeal Obamacare’s tax hikes on tens of millions of middle income families. The repeal bill’s net tax cut: $883 billion over the next 10 years, according to Congressional Budget Office numbers released today,” reports Americans for Tax Reform.

“The repeal bill will abolish Obamacare’s individual and employer mandate tax, abolish numerous taxes on Health Savings Accounts and Flexible Spending Accounts, eliminate the chronic care income tax hike, the health insurance tax, the medical device tax, the tax on prescription medicines, and a raft of other new or higher Obamacare taxes,” the group says.

So that’s something.

“Repealing Obamacare’s taxes will provide much needed relief to the paychecks of families across the country,” says Grover Norquist, president of the nonpartisan coalition of those who oppose any and all tax increases.

“Obamacare, from the start, was a trillion-dollar collection of tax hikes with a stethoscope stapled to the top,” Mr. Norquist adds.

FOXIFIED

Fans of Fox News Channel prime-time host Tucker Carlson and his robust take on news of the day take note: Mr. Carlson will present an exclusive interview with President Trump on Wednesday from Detroit — his first sit-down interview with the president since he was elected.

Yes, the health care whoop-de-doo is on the agenda. Things get underway at 9 p.m. EDT.

POLL DU JOUR

41 percent of Americans have changed their social media habits since the presidential election.

31 percent say they changed their habits because social media was “upsetting” them too much.

27 percent changed because they wanted to interact with “more like-minded people.”

24 percent said social media was too political.

20 percent said it was too time-consuming, 16 percent said it was too distracting.

Source: A YouGov poll of 1,000 U.S. adults conducted March 3-6 and released Tuesday.

Weary admissions, hoopla to jharper@washingtontimes.com. Follow her on twitter @HarperBulletin.

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