There's a profound lesson in this for the Tea Party movement.
Like those who voted for Carter because they were fed up with Nixon, the Tea Party is made up of people who are fed up with Washington profligacy. The combination of the Obama stimulus package, a bloated budget, stubbornly high unemployment and an expensive new health-care entitlement program has fueled their anger, convincing them that the federal government is out of touch and not listening. To a large extent, they're right.
Yes, we are fed up with Washington profligacy. But it's more than that. Politicians on both sides seem only interested in expanding government and feathering their own nests. Much of this is because the majority of the electorate has failed to pay attention. We haven't been inspired by anyone since Reagan (I think we were inspired by "W", but that didn't work out so well. And is another post). We have discovered that we must inspire ourselves and we must drive those who represent us into doing our bidding.
It is also unlikely that "reaching across the aisle" is much of an option. The ideological gap is much too wide. For 50 years, it's been Republicans and Conservatives giving up ground. It is now to the point that the Left literally applauds the bashing of a U.S. state by a foreign leader. TEA Partiers will never embrace that. We are embarrassed by a leader who "apologizes" for the most free, most productive country on Earth.
The TEA Parties have a plan, not just slogans like....ooohhhh...maybe...."Yes, We Can". That's a good one. Or "Hope and Change" (as a good friend once told me, "Hope is not a strategy"). The plan is to drive economic Conservatism in our elected representatives and continue to be involved; run for office, work within the Party system, educate and inform others.
Bob Bennett is out because he missed the boat. There is much more at the link.