April 23, 2009


Ask the environmental movement or any other issues-oriented interest group the last time they were able to organize a national protest with this kind of turnout.

The energy is real and significant and it ought not be ignored. There is very real anger across America and if political polling is to be believed it is not directed at President Obama. It is an anger directed at Washington in general, both political parties, and the prospect of a bankrupt federal government. The pictures I saw at the protests across the country had as many anti-Bush signs as anti-Obama signs.

The question for our political system is where this anger finds expression in the future and whether it re-invigorates the Republican Party or splinters it to pieces.

Yes, if the GOP blows it they could go the way of the Whigs.

UPDATE: Reader Darryl Boyd writes: “I just got my weekly fund raising letter ‘From the Office of Michael Steele’. Two pages and not a single mention of April 15th or the Tea Parties. Doesn’t look like the Republicans are going to change into the Tea Party any time soon. I haven’t contributed a dime in the last year. I wonder if he wonders why.”

ANOTHER UPDATE: A (mild) defense of Michael Steele, from Moe Lane. “This may have something to do with the fact that the Tea Party movement itself has no interest in bringing in the RNC . . . Speaking as someone who is simultaneously a supporter of both the Tea Party movement and the GOP: the door swings both ways on this. If it is made clear that someone is not being invited to participate, it seems a bit unfair to object when they take you at your word.” I posted (or at least thought had posted) an update with a reader email making the same point, but it seems to have vanished somehow.

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