2010, Bob Cusack reports at the Hill, “was the year of the Tea Party“:
. . . the Tea Party was in many ways a net asset for the GOP as Republicans grabbed control of the House and cut into the Democratic majority in the Senate.
However, there was collateral damage as Rep. Mike Castle (R-Del.) and other Senate GOP hopefuls seen as the party’s best chance of winning general-election races were ousted in primaries. Some blamed Tea Party candidates for costing Republicans a Senate majority to go with their new majority in the House.
Now, the question will be whether 2011 becomes the year where the Republican House, consistent with Tea Party principles, rejects big-government programs and passes legislation repealing the statist initiatives passed in the 111th Congress while scaling back those federal programs which helped create the financial mess of 2008 and the ongoing economic downturn.
Let us hope that the powers that be in Washington, including some who held significant sway over Republicans like Castle, do not hold the influence they once did over elected Republicans. And that instead Tea Party principles, nearly identical to those of a great man whose centennial we celebrate this year, guide those election officials.
2010 was indeed the year when the Tea Party helped transform the electoral landscape. Maybe 2011 be the year when it transforms the legislative landscape.
Some political elites may not get the Tea Party, but at least one powerful elected Republican does seem to have realized this strength and popularity of this burgeoning grassroots movement.