THE SEQUEL IS RARELY AS GOOD AS THE ORIGINAL…. There were script problems, the original cast didn’t sign on, and as much as 20th Century Fox invested heavily in the original, the sequel was bound to fail.

I’m referring, of course, to Tea Party II. The first, held a month ago, featured a series of national events and the support of a major cable network and corporate lobbyists. The second, held yesterday, was a conference call with a couple of right-wing governors (Texas’ Rick Perry and South Carolina’s Mark Sanford). It was, not surprisingly, touted by Fox News, but it struggled for relevance.

Regardless, how did the call go? My friend Alex Koppelman actually endured the whole thing.

[T]hough they paid plenty of lip service to tea parties and tea partiers during the call, Thursday night was really about fundraising for the Republican Governors Association, which sponsored the teleconference. A third man, who played emcee, continually reminded those on the line that they could, by pressing *0, donate to the RGA. And by setting up the call so that participants had to sign up in advance, providing their phone numbers and e-mail addresses, the RGA assured itself a list of people it can go to later for money and other kinds of support. They even took an idea that the Obama campaign used to great success last year, asking those on the call to text a message to a special number, and thereby collecting even more personal information for later use.

Can’t you just feel the organic, grass-roots, bottom-up, revolutionary fervor?

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.