Sunday, May 2, 2010

Tea Party movement likely to have unglamorous but effective future

On April 15, I covered the Cincinnati Tea Party rally for PJTV. It was quite a scene. There were more than 12,000 people in attendance, filling all but the nosebleed seats at the University of Cincinnati's basketball arena, and even though Sean Hannity was a last-minute no-show the crowd was fired up. When speaker Sonja Schmidt dubbed Barack Obama a "one-term president," the crowd roared, and delivered a standing ovation. The Service Employees International Union and Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now were booed, and various Ohio candidates and officeholders who stand for smaller government were cheered. Signs were waved ("Will Work For LIberty") and T-shirts were sold. But although that rally -- and the hundreds like it around the country that day -- was a scene of great excitement, that kind of excitement isn't the future of the Tea Party movement. The future, instead, is something much less glamorous, but much more important, than mass rallies and marches. For an example of what that means, look to the Utah Tea Party's campaign against incumbent Republican Sen. Robert Bennett. Bennett is a Republican, true enough, but his support for bailouts and big government has made him unpopular with Tea Partiers in Utah. They're planning to teach him a lesson...more

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