At least that's what P. J. O'Rourke once said.
The Tea Party is not a fringe element. The loosely knit organization represents how many mainstream Americans feel about government spending. The GOP had better listen to them because they are grass roots America. The Republicans can listen to Beltway noise or they can listen to America - because the they are not the same thing.
It was largely due to Tea Party pressure that House leaders came up with "cut, cap and balance" and passed it by a vote of 234 to 190 on July 19, although the Senate tabled it on July 22.
The Tea Party position is that if the debt ceiling is not raised, the country does not have to go into default. With billions in current tax revenue, Obama can write checks for interest payments, Social Security, Medicare, veterans, and to pay our soldiers. After that, he can play the Washington Monument Game. That's when liberals shut down popular government services instead of the massive bureaucratic leviathan that stretches for miles across Washington and the nation.
What really needs to happen long-term is serious reform of the entitlement systems that are bankrupting the country. A key element is block granting funds to the states so Washington won't be able to skim so much and create perverse incentives. For a primer on why the 1996 welfare reform can be a model for restructuring entitlements, see the Carleson Center for Public Policy's website.
In the current debt drama, Obama is posturing outrageously, threatening old people, the disabled, and others that he would turn into victims. The whole thing reminds me of that tongue-in-cheek magazine cover years ago showing a dog with a gun to its head, and the words, "Buy this magazine, or we'll kill this dog." Replace the dog with a picture of grandma and you have Obama's subtle message.
As the debt ceiling deadline approaches, Republicans, and Democrats who want to save what's left of our country, had better throw away the bottle of Old Profligacy, sober up, and take up the Tea Party mandate to cut back government and restore our constitutional republic.