We saw this coming: The Tea Party is realizing Kristi Noem isn't Tea Party enough for them. The Club for Growth has rated all freshman Republican members of Congress for their fealty to "economic freedom." They find three of the 87 GOP freshmen scoring 100% in their commitment to letting fat cats exploit labor and land without restraint: Rep. Justin Justin (MI - 3), Rep. Tim Huelskamp (KS - 1), and Rep. Raul Labrador, Raul (ID - 1).

Where's Kristi? Tied for 61st in her class with a meager 60% score. In my Spearfish classroom, 60% is the absolute lowest D-minus.

Dragging down Noem's Tea Party score are her continued support for energy subsidies, ethanol subsidies, and federally subsidized flood insurance. She also gets dinged for voting for last summer's debt ceiling deal.

Attentive readers find no surprise in Rep. Noem's betrayal of the Tea Party. Wingnut Shad Olson ripped Rep. Noem last year for the debt ceiling vote. Talk radio host Mark Levin pegged Rep. Noem as an Establishment phony last summer.

Now whither Ed Randazzo's hopes that Rep. Noem will join the Tea Party Caucus? With a 60%, she may not have good enough "grades" to get in.

And how does this confound challenger Matt Varilek's effort to portray Rep. Noem as a die-hard Tea Party politician heck-bent on wrecking the federal government for the sake of anarcho-capitalism? The Club for Growth seems to know its Tea Party, and it knows Kristi Noem is struggling to make the grade.

Update 20:40 MDT: Reporter David Montgomery banged those keys and hit "Publish" on Noem's poor Tea grade 25 minutes before I did. Darned full-time job! ;-)

Noem spokesman Tom Erickson tells Montgomery that Noem considers such Tea Party advocacy "noise coming from Washington" that she prefers to ignore. Oh my: did a Noem staffer just speak sense?