Shelf Life of a Tea Party

The Tea Party is really more of a burgeoning movement than a political institution. Many voters even aren't sure what it collectively stands for. Yet, as we saw in Tuesday's elections, candidates cloaking themselves with the Tea Party moniker did surprisingly well at the polls. A groundswell of overall voter disillusionment is giving short-term success to TP candidates.

But is there a long-term shelf life for a movement based mostly on a 'we're mad as hell' philosophy? I'm guessing no and think that it's probably about as long as that box of Bisquick in the back of the pantry or that unused lipstick you're saving for a special occasion. 

At least that's what some are hoping.


Voter devotion to party affiliation used to run deep in this country. But as we've seen with President Obama, just two years after the success of "Yes We Can," many of his devoted fans find themselves looking for the new, new political thing. So with the Tea Party movement barely into its second year of existence and the current voter attitude of being on the lookout for the next political wave, I suspect that the landscape will look a lot different for TP-ers in 2012.

Sure, they've got a good run going at the moment -- Christine O'Donnell in New Jersey Delaware (notwithstanding her interesting stand on masturbation), Sharron Angle in Nevada. Joe Miller in Alaska. Carl Paladino in New York. But even if some of them gain elective office in November, they'll face the same problem as the Obama administration that's led to some of this disillusionment -- the real and complicated work of governing and the navigation of the esoteric ins and outs of state and national politics.

To do that well takes a lot more than some rabble-rousing and an endorsement from Sarah Palin.

Image via peppercorn_pixie/Flickr


Joanne Bamberger weighs in on issues that women are talking about every week here at Speaker of the House. Because once a week isn't enough, you can also read her commentary at her place, PunditMom.

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