Armey demanded that he be paid until his contract ended on December 31; that FreedomWorks remove his name, image, or signature "from all its letters, print media, postings, web sites, videos, testimonials, endorsements, fund raising materials, and social media, including but not limited to Facebook and Twitter"; and that FreedomWorks deliver the copy of his official congressional portrait to his home in Texas.This is actually a damn interesting development. We don't know the details of why Armey decided to abruptly part ways with the group (initial reports hint at perhaps some drama involving money and book deals), but he makes it sound like the group was just too damn unprincipled even for him, Dick Armey.
"The top management team of FreedomWorks was taking a direction I thought was unproductive, and I thought it was time to move on with my life," Armey tells Mother Jones. "At this point, I don't want to get into the details. I just want to go on with my life."
Armey declined to specify his disagreements with FreedomWorks. Asked if they were ideological or tactical, he replies, "They were matters of principle. It's how you do business as opposed to what you do. But I don't want to be the guy to create problems."Which leads to the obvious question—given all the nonsense FreedomWorks associated itself under Armey, what the heck could they possibly be up to that made notorious astroturfing jackass Armey want to bow out only now? As some pundit once brightly opined, it would be irresponsible not to speculate, so I'm going to say it has something to do with ritual puppy sacrifice. That, or pretending Sarah Palin is a serious conservative thinker. The group has glibly gone along with conspiracy theories galore (the "tea party" protests against against the scary black president, supposedly because of taxes that hadn't actually changed one damn bit, morphed easily into the "death-panel" town hall crap-o-ramas, giving you a fine idea of what FreedomWorks figures the public discourse ought to look like if there's a corporate donor or two willing to make it happen); it's unclear what possible new "direction" FreedomWorks could undertake that Dick Armey would suddenly start having problems with.
Perhaps this is all just another bit of post-election-fiasco theater. Dick Armey splits dramatically with his own group; Dick Armey then gets to appear on all the television shows again, basking in some supposed new principle or credibility granted by his departure from that crazy, crazy group over there, Dick Armey rakes in a new pile of money, rinse, repeat. Armey will be walking away with a bonus "consulting contract" worth $8 million, which is an insane payout for a group that spent only $19 million during the entire '12 election year.
Where does the newly Dickless advocacy group go from here? It's unclear, but inside the organization, civil war looks to be underway:
Several top FreedomWorks staffers are leaving the conservative advocacy group in the wake of former House Majority Leader Dick Armey’s resignation, the organization confirmed Tuesday.Oh, this is going to be fun. This is going to be very, very fun.
Max Pappas, the group’s former vice president for public policy and government affairs, has left the organization, and Brendan Steinhauser, director of campaigns, will depart on Friday. Two of his staffers, Amanda Shell and David Spielman, have also resigned.