Tea Party Post Mortem

What was the significance of the Tea Party convention that wrapped up last night? I’m a big fan of the Tea Party movement but was skeptical of the convention, on the ground that anything that made the movement seem more like a third party is a mistake. With hindsight, though, I’m not sure that happened. Glenn Reynolds was in Nashville, covering the event for PJTV. In the Examiner, Glenn sizes up the convention and, more broadly, the Tea Party movement in a way that some may find extravagant:

I attended this past weekend’s National Tea Party Convention in Nashville, Tennessee, and I came away feeling that I had seen something important. The Tea Party movement is part of something bigger: America’s Third Great Awakening.
America’s prior Great Awakenings, in the 18th and 19th Centuries, were religious in nature….
This time, it’s different. It’s not America’s churches and seminaries that are in trouble: It’s America’s politicians and parties. They’ve grown corrupt, venal, and out-of-touch with the values, and the people, that they’re supposed to represent. So the people, once again, are reasserting themselves.

Read it all, and form your own judgment. One thing seems clear: left to its own devices, there is no way our political class would stave off the financial collapse that surely will result if current budgetary trends continue, and if nothing is done to reform federal entitlements. If there is any hope of avoiding fiscal disaster, it is only because of the Tea Party movement and related grass roots efforts.

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