Misguided Populist Outrage

Gene Healy on the Tea Party:

Ryan aside, it’s pretty clear that the GOP isn’t serious about reducing spending. House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, distanced the party from the road map almost as soon as it was released, leaving reporters with the distinct impression that Ryan had soiled the punchbowl.

In the middle of the recent fight against socialized medicine, Republicans fought hard to protect the chunk of our health care system that’s already socialized. If there’s money to be saved trimming waste from Medicare, “we should spend it on Grandma!” insisted Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn. GOP leader Michael Steele proposed a “contract with seniors” insulating Medicare from cuts.

But that’s no surprise. Politicians live to get re-elected, and they won’t change their behavior unless and until voters force them to. What this country desperately needs is a political movement that will pressure them to change their ways.

The Tea Partiers could become that movement — if they’re serious.

Sadly, the Tea Partiers aren’t serious. Well-honed populist outrage is the quickest way to wake up politicians in the morning but the Tea Party has a disorganized message, no clear goals and more rage than wisdom. The fact they’re being led around, to a degree, by GOP-tied interest groups ensures that the Tea Party is nothing more than a party and someone replaced the tea with spiked Kool-Aid.

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