Over at the Washington Examiner, Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit fame has a contributing editorial on the growing influence of the Tea Party movement. As is often the case, Glenn makes a few points with simple clarity.
Democratic and Republican politicians alike fear it, and increasing numbers of Americans (including, in recent months, increasing numbers of African-Americans according to a PJTV Tea Party tracking poll) identify with the Tea Party movement and say they are more likely to vote for candidates it supports, and less likely to vote for candidates it opposes.
You’ll note that the slur “teabagger” has fallen out of fashion. Attempts to marginalize the movement have died down as leadership on both sides have begun to realize just how much momentum it has.
Both political parties are out of touch, and ordinary Americans are very unhappy about it, as they watch the Treasury being looted, the economy sink, and the political, journalistic, and financial ruling-class figures escaping the consequences of their ham-handed and self-serving actions.
But while ordinary Americans are mad as hell, this time they really don’t have to take it any more. Institutions have failed them, but Internet tools like blogs, Twitter, and Facebook, and personal tools — like the cheap handheld video cameras that beat back bogus charges of Tea Party racism again and again — mean that they don’t have to rely on failing institutions.He ends with a warning to the current GOP leadership.
But those establishment GOP figures who think that they’ll cruise to victory and a return to the pocket-stuffing business-as-usual that marked the prior GOP majority need to think again. This election cycle is, in a very real sense, a last chance for the Republicans. If they blow it, we’re likely to see third-party challenges in 2012, not only at the Presidential level but in numerous Congressional races as well.
For the national GOP, it’s do-or-die time. So guys, you’d better perform — unless you want me to be writing another “I told you so” column in 2013. And trust me, you don’t.I couldn’t agree more. As Glenn would say himself, read the whole thing.