Joe starts his article by pointing out that all of his liberal pundit friends, all his friends in the MSM, and all the Democrats he knows keep asking him why the Tea Party is destroying the Republican Party. This is the point where Joe usually throws his hands up in the air and whines about our side. Instead, he rightly calls bullspit on this. In fact, he goes so far as to list the Tea Party’s accomplishments:
● They brought the largest legislative landslide in US history in 2010. This created the largest Republican majority in Congress since 1946.This last point deserves clarification because I agree with Joe. By 2008, the Republican brand had become toxic. It was associated first with the Republican Congress obsessively and hypocritically going after Clinton over an affair. Then Bush came along and added questionable wars, open cronyism, the creation of new entitlements and massive spending.
● They grabbed six seats in the Senate.
● They elected six governors.
● They helped win 700 seats in state legislatures.
● They took Ted Kennedy’s seat, which seemed impossible.
● They led the resistance against Obamacare.
● “The energized a conservative movement battered by eight years of bloated Republicanism.”
Indeed, before the Tea Party came along, the GOP followed Bush’s lead and spent $700 billion bailing out Wall Street, sent the debt ($10 trillion/69.6% of GDP) and deficit ($450/7.1% of GDP) to record levels, created an unfunded $7 trillion Medicare drug plan entitlement, and fought two wars and was eyeing more. Moreover, Big Business was all over the White House, raping the Treasury time and again through subsidies, protectionist regulations, and no-bid government contracts to cronies. He also created the Patriot Act which stripped Americans of their rights and signed anti-piracy legislation which turned the courts into a cash machine for the recording industry, Hollywood, and agri-business.
Obama made this even worse, sending the debt to $16 trillion (101% of GDP) and the deficit to $1.7 trillion (11.4% of GDP), adding a $787 billion “stimulus” (read: payment to cronies), adding the $2 trillion Obamacare entitlement, adding one war and putting two more on the agenda, and adding more than 100 new major regulations at a cost of more than $50 billion a year. Obama also kept the doors open to Big Business and he tried to allow Big Business to shutdown the internet to stifle competition.
The Tea Party brought all of that to a grinding halt. Since the Tea Party came along, the spending has stopped (though it hasn’t reversed yet). Obama’s regulations are being targeted for repeal. SOPA was killed. Net neutrality was killed. Cap and trade was killed. The Tea Party is leading the charge to repeal Obamacare. The bloated and overpaid federal bureaucracy was exposed. And the public has turned against further wars, even as liberals have developed a taste for using the military to make Obama’s “whine from behind and bend-over” foreign policy look muscular.
There is no doubt that ALL of this should be credited to the Tea Party.
The Tea Party has changed the culture of the Republican Party. They are the part of conservatism that has been abandoned by “the establishment.” They are the people who bring the “small government” to the party of small government. They are the completion of the Reagan Revolution. They are the people who have upset the natural order of things in Washington.
This election will be interesting for several things. First, I genuinely see Romney as the first Tea Party candidate, even though he refuses to adopt the label, because his views on smaller, limited government, less spending and a focus on small business over Big Business combined with his attacks on cronyism, align perfectly with the Tea Party philosophy. So does his focus on economic issues. Secondly, we will need to watch to see if the Tea Party can deliver a follow-up victory to 2010. If they do, they will become the dominant party in Washington. I think they will, but we’ll see. Tune in to find out.