The Tea Party Purge of 2012

By David Weigel, Slate - December 4, 2012

Everybody knew that Tim Huelskamp would make trouble in Washington. That was sort of the point of Tim Huelskamp. In 2009, when a safe Republican seat in western Kansas opened up, State Sen. Huelskamp established himself as the mad-as-hell candidate. He told conservative bloggers of his fight to defund Planned Parenthood, ban gay marriage, and keep Kathleen Sebelius out of the Obama cabinet. In one TV ad, as the mellow-looking Huelskamp climbed into a tractor, voters were told that he “went against his party leaders, and was kicked off his committee, for bucking the establishment and fighting wasteful spending.” He won easy.

History repeats. On Tuesday, the re-elected Huelskamp walked into a luncheon at the Heritage Foundation and told conservative activists how he’d just been booted from the Budget and Agriculture Committees. It was a “purge,” and his crime was being exactly as conservative as he’d promised.

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