GOP congressman smacks down Tea Party

"I'm not sure they're Republicans and I'm not sure they're conservative"

By Elias Isquith

Published October 16, 2013 8:55PM (EDT)

In an interview with National Journal, Louisiana Republican Charles Boustany expressed his great frustration with the "20-30" members of Congress who make up the Tea Party wing, accusing them of caring more about appearances and ideological purity than actually governing.

"There are members with a different agenda," Boustany said to National Journal. "And I'm not sure they're Republicans and I'm not sure they're conservative."

Boustany went on to describe these Tea Party Republicans as "members who are in complete denial about their responsibility to govern and to try to use conservative principles to get the best possible legislative package we can get."

The Louisiana congressman's criticisms didn't end there, however. He also questioned the institutional loyalty of the Tea Party bloc. "Their allegiance is not to the members in the conference," Boustany said. "Their allegiance is not to the leadership team and to conservative values. Their allegiance is to these outside Washington DC interest groups that raise money and go after conservative Republicans."

Yet although Boustany's comments make him second only to Devin Nunes when it comes to Republican-on-Republican verbal assaults, the usually mild-mannered congressman insists he's far from alone:

"There is a very large silent majority that's getting frustrated with what's happening because of what these outside groups have done by setting false expectations, deliberately misleading the public on some of these issues and commanding allegiance of certain members who falsely place their allegiance to these groups rather than to their constitutional responsibility to govern."


Elias Isquith

Elias Isquith is a former Salon staff writer.

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