They will become the new face of the GOP in the Senate, which is always the more moderate chamber of Congress for either party. Over in the House, you can expect Republicans to be even more stringently conservative. Senate candidates Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania, Ron Johnson in Wisconsin, Rand Paul in Kentucky, Marco Rubio in Florida and Ken Buck in Colorado are not your country-club Republicans. Their conservatism runs deep into their principles. They are strict constitutionalists.
They fervently believe in individual freedom and economic conservatism. And they believe the federal government has grown far beyond its intended boundaries.
The irony is great here. A cadre of pundits cautioned the GOP after the 2008 wipeout to move to the center, to accommodate Obama’s agenda, and to recoil from the small-government philosophy that, the self-appointed gurus told us, had no sell with voters. With a big assist from Obama, the Tea Partiers have proved themselves much savvier than the punditocracy (damning with feint praise, I know). An entire populist movement built not on specific positions (e.g., anti-war) but on philosophical principles is a remarkable phenomenon; even more remarkable is the degree to which those principles have resonated with the public at large...more