Mass. Tea Party Members Pleased With Debt Deal

By Sarah Birnbaum

Aug. 2, 2011

A sign at a Boston Tea Party rally in April. (Marissa Babin via Flickr)

BOSTON — The head of a local Tea Party branch is calling the final deal on raising the debt ceiling a moment of triumph.

Last week, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick blamed the Tea Party for forcing the country to the brink of default and economic crisis.
But Christen Varley of the Greater Boston Tea Party is claiming a measure of victory. She says pressure from Tea Party lawmakers forced the Democrats to agree to big spending cuts. "Even though we may not be thrilled with the outcome of this deal because we are raising the debt ceiling, what we did do was get a better deal than would have been had had we left this up to the majority party," Varley said.
As a result, Varley says she’s been seeing more interest in the movement in Massachusetts and across the country.
"The people who are already in are becoming more informed, more engaged. At the same time, we’re seeing an uptick in interest, we’re seeing an uptick in clicks on a website or visiting a Facebook page," Varley said.

But some political analysts say the Tea Party's tactics could ultimately backfire. If Americans blame the Tea Party for pushing its agenda too far, it could spell trouble for Tea Party candidates in the 2012 elections.

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