For nearly two years, the tea parties have warned the Ruling Class there would be serious consequences to ignoring the will of the people, and that day finally arrived this past Tuesday, Nov. 2. The tsunami was felt at all levels of government as a majority of House, Senate and Governor races were won by candidates who had substantial support from tea party voters. Previously the tsunami had been felt within the GOP when tea party voters ousted many incumbent and “establishment-preferred” Republicans in primaries.
Now it is important that Republicans read the right message in the tea leaves: “You are on probation!”
It seems paradoxical that a political party could win such commanding victories, yet be held in such low regard by voters. A recent NYT/CBS poll (10/26) found the favorable rating for the Republican Party was 41% and a recent AP poll (10/18) pegged the job performance approval rating for Congressional Republicans at 28%. As my parents always used to say, “trust must be earned” – and it is earned with actions, not pledges.
Republicans have failed us miserably in the recent past by failing, among other things, to curb spending and debt, reform entitlements, or tackle illegal immigration. In fact, they have bloated spending, increased debt and expanded entitlement programs.
Republicans cannot afford to play politics at the margins, focus more on maintaining their power rather than changing Washington, or return us to the business-as-usual approach of “plodding along.” It isn’t often that one can claim to speak for the entire tea party movement without swift rebuke, but I feel confident in saying that the tea parties will not tolerate timid or self-motivated politics.
The stakes could not be higher. Americans are threatened with a disastrous fiscal collapse unless immediate and drastic action is taken to address the underlying causes. Neither major party has had the political fortitude to offer such a plan. The Republican Pledge to America released in September was plainly inadequate. The tea parties demand courageous action – now.