Michael Tanner has a very good piece at National Review Online on the waning of the Tea Party. Sure they will be a force in the GOP but not much more. Why? Because the loosely coordinated movement strayed from its original purpose.
But the Tea Party has drifted away from its strict economic-conservative origins. Yes, opposition to Obamacare and government spending remain priorities. But increasingly issues such as abortion, gay marriage, and immigration have become the tail that wags the dog.
Thus you now hear Judson Phillips, the head of Tea Party Nation, a group that once said social issues were “just not something that is on our radar,” denouncing gay marriage as “a freak show, involving 3 men, 5 women, 2 dogs, and a Bengal tiger.” Or Scottie Neil Hughes, of the Tea Party News Network, suggesting that women who have abortions should be jailed. And, during last summer’s congressional town-hall season, Tea Party Patriots was organizing not against Obamacare or raising the debt ceiling, but against immigration reform.
According to the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life, Tea Party members are now farther to the right on social issues than Americans as a whole or even the Republican party.
Read the whole piece.