Reports of the death of the
are greatly exaggerated.
For about two years now, certain observers have been declaring the demise of this insurgent tendency within the
The news of late suggests that establishment Republicans are staging a counterinsurgency. Speaker of the House
"The GOP leadership might think they have silenced conservatives, but removing me and others from key committees only confirms our conservative convictions. This is clearly a vindictive move and a sure sign that the GOP establishment cannot handle disagreement."
The year is not ending very nicely for the tea party. Many of the candidates it backed lost on Election Day, including
Then there was the embarrassing fit
Now comes news that Sen. Jim
This looks like disarray, but it is not the "End of the Tea Party Movement," as a CNN.com headline put it.
So far, there is no sign of a shifting of the tectonic plates of the conservatism on which the tea party movement was built. Nor are there any indications that more moderate views will soon be prevailing in the GOP.
Republicans may be at a disadvantage in the current haggling over how to avoid the
Mr. DeMint may be leaving the Senate, but he's stepping into the role of president of the
Remember that is was tea party activism that revived the Republican Party following the defeat of 2008 -- the last time it got a drubbing.
The tea party is not one organization; it's a gathering of ideological affinity groups around the nation, loosely affiliated. We should expect the movement to shift and morph as conditions and issues dictate. It is highly likely the groups will realign where they initially had more success: local and primary elections.
As long as tea party activists articulate a message that resonates with the grass roots of the right, they can expect to have money. Potentially lots of it. Casino mogul
Mr. Adelson has begun suggesting a shift back toward the message of fiscal responsibility and smaller government, while leaving social issues alone. Will the tea party play along? Time will tell. But make no mistake: This movement still has a pulse.