Washington's GOP will skip the Tea Party
Posted on Sunday, October 31, 2010 at 08:54 AM
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Tea Party voters (and their candidates) will discover that Washington D.C. is where revolutions (and good ideas) go to be absorbed, if not exactly die.
Just ask the trail blazing candidate of Hope and Change. President Obama was handed an unprecedented mandate to radically alter the nation's politics. Instead he has governed as a centrist (yes, despite all the partisan campaign rhetoric, that's a truth that's undeniable to all but the most extreme).
It's worth remembering that President Obama was inaugurated in January 2009, although in todays gridlocked climate it already feels like an eon ago.
So after a short lived victory lap on Wednesday, Tea Party voters will need to keep a very close watch on their two signature issues: government spending and federal deficits. I encourage them to be extra vigilant because passions fade after the results are announced. And the only direction either spending and deficits are going in is up, frankly.
How do I know this? Because President George W. Bush increased government spending more than any of the six presidents preceding him, including LBJ. In eight years, President Bush increased the federal budget by a whopping 104 percent.
And let's recall that it was a Republican Congress that enthusiastically assisted his historic budget bloat. Because the GOP establishment in Washington (who's first order of business on Wednesday, I assure you, will be to bring the unvarnished Tea Partier's to heel) are the most enthusiastic practitioners of big government in the capital and the nation.
Recall that Bush came to power with promises of an "ownership society," smaller and more limited government, and a "humble foreign policy."
We all know know how that worked out: in the most comprehensively disastrous presidency of modern times.
Anyone who's ever spent a minute in Washington knows that the GOP establishment would never come to a populist tea party, now or ever. The denizens of D.C. have much more refined tastes.
So the new blood will either have to adapt or find themselves exiled. Either way it'll be business as usual by Friday, I guarantee it.