Hopes for a “Tea Party”-based revolution sputter against the rocks of partisan politics. The non-partisan nature of the movement has dribbled away as Republicans — not Democrats — have courted Tea Party support.
And GOP leaders have remained firmly in control.
James Hohmann, writing in Politico, shows that the old guard “has withstood the tea-party revolution.” A recent insider meeting in Scottsdale showcased the persistence of the old way of doing things:
The . . . movement’s influence has waned everywhere since its apex in 2010. Most visibly, the Republican Party is poised to nominate the most pragmatic of the men who ran for president this cycle even though many tea-party groups vocally opposed him during the primary. Indeed, Mitt Romney received a coronation of sorts at a unity lunch here Friday, soaking up standing ovations and basking in blessings from 2008 rival Sen. John McCain.
Though it may be that “it’s only a matter of time” before Tea Party folks run the GOP (as “the longtime national committeeman” from my state put it), the price of admission to the higher ranks seems calculated in the abandonment of principle. Hohmann quotes one old party hand as saying that Tea Partyers need to learn “that everybody who is in government is not evil, that we’ve got some really good people in government. Let’s don’t burn the barn down to get rid of the rats.”
And here you have the real problem.
Real change isn’t about putting “better people” in office. It’s changing the principles by which anyone in government — good, bad, or indifferent — must operate.
The founders knew this. Today’s Republican insiders do not.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.