The year-old movement is credited with reviving right-wing populism, annihilating President Obama’s healthcare reform, and electing Brown to Ted Kennedy’s seat. Rasmussen and ABC opinion polls reveal that the American people have a more favorable view of the Tea Party than they do of the Republican Party. The Wall Street Journal compares it to the Whiskey Rebellion, heralding it as the fruition of Perot-style populism, a great third force in American politics. But in reality, the Tea Party is not Pepenella’s mysterious vehicle of democratic will, nor does it signal the emergence of an alternative to Republicans and Democrats. It’s a leaderless coalition of conservative activists who for all their revolutionary vim look less likely to take over the GOP than to be taken over by it. Despite the real idealism of some of its activists both inside and outside the Beltway, the Tea Party is nothing more than a Republican-managed tantrum. Send the conservative activists into the streets to vent their anger. Let Obama feel the brunt of it. And if the GOP shows a modicum of contrition, the runaways will come home...
A real downer of an essay in The American Conservative.
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