Sunday, January 22, 2012

Everyone wants to co-opt the tea party

Possibly the greatest political quote in history, from Mahatma Gandhi, applies to the tea party in a big way: "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."

In the battle between the tea party and the establishment, we are in the thick of phase three.

Newt Gingrich just won South Carolina and many of his voters claim to also support tea party principles. That might make your skin crawl if you oppose some of the big government positions Speaker Gingrich supports, but defeating the establishment was never going to be easy and we should expect a few more big twists and turns before we win. Newt is just another brick in the wall.

Where others view with disgust a dalliance between Newt and the tea party, I see a movement securing its footing for a major advance. Hold on tight for a very bumpy ride.

But at some point soon (very soon, I hope) the tea party will be bigger than both the Republican and Democratic parties. Then the only way someone can get elected to office is to swear a blood oath that he or she will make government smaller and less powerful.

The establishment, I think, will keep doubling down on their big government garbage past the point at which it stops working for them. In 2010, we got a very small taste of what that looks like. This year may not be the tipping point, but there is no question we are close.

Another positive sign is that Washington D.C. Democrats are saying out loud that the GOP has gone too far with the tea party and that they think they will get back all their power in 2012. They might win some races, but that would only pour gasoline on the tea party fire. If we do take a step back this year, the next move forward will be unstoppable. That could get really ugly because the power players are so entrenched, but the big government folks really are out of other people's money. They are running out of time faster than we are.

To end this post on a related but somewhat lighter note, I noticed today some on the far left using a familiar tea party symbol to support one of their own, Senator Kathy Stein. Did you see this?
If the Dems wave Gadsden Flags like this at their Sunday afternoon rally, I suspect the media will try to blame the tea party for any police cars they set on fire.