Watering Down The Tea Party
The Tea Party movement last night wielded a huge impact on the American political process that will ensure its influence for years to come, though it also suffered setbacks to its wilder fringes.
But there were also signs that the leaders of the movement – to the extent that the amorphous, bottom-up Tea Parties have leaders – will have to think carefully about how they chose their candidates
Tea Party leaders have insisted they have no regrets about choosing unconventional candidates who signal that this is a change from "politics as usual". But as the movement shifts from being a mere channel of rightwing anger to being a real political force, it is likely to come under pressure to contain its more extreme edges.
It now has a new generation of leaders who will carry considerable clout in the shaping of the movement in future. Rubio in particular has the potential to go far within the Senate. The son of Cuban exiles, he is respected by both rightwing and moderate camps of the Republican party.
It's got to have leaders; responsible, moderate, compromising leaders. Leaders who can shape it into something journalists can understand and pidgeonhole. It must be assimilated into the mainstream and neutered!