Old Tea Party Village wisdom: They will lead America into a new age! New Tea Party Village wisdom: Shut it and back Romney, you morons.
This year was supposed to be different. This was to be the time for the tea party to flourish and nominate a true believer. It's the moment, we were told, for an out-of-the-box Republican who would be against everything Barack Obama supports, like health care reform or bank bailouts.
Fine, except that Mitt Romney's Massachusetts health plan was a model for Obama (as the president fondly points out). And Romney told us during the debate that he supported the bank bailouts. ("Action had to be taken.")
If this keeps up, the tea partiers will be back at the harbor -- throwing themselves in.
Or, they can decide to suck it up and try to win.
You think the Village tolerance of the Tea Party is at an end? I do. The Sensible Centrist crowd wants Mittens, and they want him now. They don't particularly care what the Tea Party wants, either. They have a narrative, and it's "Mitt Romney is inevitable." If Borger's argument sounds familiar, it's the same argument the Village Centrists have been making for years.
Borger goes one step further:
So does this potential receptiveness to Romney dilute the tea party into an ineffective -- and unimportant -- movement? Not exactly. Inevitably, new political movements do lose influence as they mature. They initially inject a huge amount of energy into the process, as the tea party did in the 2010 midterm elections. New political organizers and leaders are born. New issues are highlighted. But then comes the self-selection: The serious reformers remain. Those who can't accommodate political reality drop out of the process.
And yes, I'm aware of the comparisons as to why the left should back Obama. Here's the difference however: the Tea Party was never real, it was just channeled into the latest effort to do what Republicans have been trying to do for decades now: eliminate the New Deal while transferring wealth to the top.
Republicans weren't going to exactly stay home because of Romney if it means throwing out President Blackguard McDarkenangry. They'll vote anyway.