"One of the more electorally far-reaching effects of this is that Republicanism could become the home once again of a plausible political and economic programme, rather than simply an outpost for those who seem to reject many of the features of modern life. The gun-toters and gay-bashers and pro-lifers may have jumped aboard the bandwagon, and Sarah Palin may be frantically attaching herself to the parade, but this is not their show: the Tea Party protests began (as their name suggests) as a campaign against high taxation and the illegitimate intrusiveness of federal powers. That is what they are still about"
Quite right. It is not something to fear, it will not match either Bush era, and could be far more useful than the Reagan Administration in shrinking the state.
Obama doesn't know what to do with it. So he is playing the game of saying it is a repeat of the Bush years on offer. He is so wrong. The Tea Party is not about more government, it is about less. It isn't about trusting politicians to effect change, but about getting politicians out of the way. The problem Obama has (and most Democrats) is that this simply does not compute - their brains don't understand that they are the problem, their politics and their solutions are not what is wanted. That what people want is government to stop picking winners, stop supporting losers, to stop increasing the Federal debt and to pay less tax. They actually do believe people should reap the rewards of their efforts, and bear the consequences of their losses, and that people are inherently benevolent and will look after each other without the state.
If Obama faces both the House and the Senate, controlled by individuals who believe this, then his philosophy will face complete gridlock. The big question that will remain is who can the Republicans pick to stand for the Presidency?