Welcome Instapundit readers!! While you’re here you might want to check my followup to this post, building on the notion of the tea parties as a grassroots phenomenon.
This morning, when I read that “the growth of the Tea Party movement as a grassroots outside-the-establishment phenomenon that has become so big that establishment figures are trying to jump onboard,” it struck me how in, many ways, this phenomenon is the opposite of another such movement which began in earnest just about two years ago.
While Barack Obama’s presidential campaign did tap into a frustration with the-then incumbent Administration, that movement was built around an individual not an idea. Note how much the image of Obama was tied to the “ideas” of his campaign, “hope” and “change.” And those ideas were little more than bromides.
In constrast to the Obama campaign, the “tea party” phenomenon is based on an idea, that of small government and personal freedom. As such, it could have greater staying power.