In his Washington Post column last week, E.J. Dionne once again tried to kill off the Tea Party movement, asserting that "Tea party thinking is dead," as if the claim would somehow make it true.
I could be wrong, but I'm beginning to think Mr. Dionne doesn't like the Tea Party and would prefer to see it vanish from the face of the Earth.
Two and half years ago, in the pages of the Washington Post, Mr. Dionne declared:
"The Tea Party is nothing new. It represents a relatively small minority of Americans on the right end of politics, and it will not determine the outcome of the 2010 elections."
This turned out to be breathtakingly untrue. The 2010 midterm election sent a tidal wave of conservative legislators to Capitol Hill and hundreds more to State Houses across the country. Not only did the Tea Party determine the outcome of the 2010 elections, it ended the insane governance of the 111th Congress, sending Nancy Pelosi and all her committee chairmen into exile.
In that same piece, he also asserted;
" . . . yes, there is authentic populist anger out there. But you won't find much of it at the tea parties."
Actually, Mr. Dionne couldn't be more incorrect. The Tea Party's appearance represents a growing, massive, permanent populist opposition of millions of Americans against Washington's detached Aristocracy. The movement is Main Street America's indictment against our Statist Political Class and a resounding declaration of intent to bring to an end the era of big, overreaching government.
Exactly a year later (April 2011), during an interview on MSNBC's The Ed Show, E.J. declared, "[The Tea Party] has receded." This was wrong. Only the loud rallies and protests had receded, while millions of Tea Partiers went to work on a multitude of fronts, focusing especially on gearing up for the 2012 election. Zeroing in on local politics first, the Tea Party has continued to be wildly successful installing conservatives at every level of government. The November 6 election will prove to be no different.
A few weeks later, in " Rescuing Detroit: No News About Government's Good News," Dionne concluded with the proclamation, "The era of anti-government (sentiment) is ending." This was simply another ad hominem obit, penned in order to keep our too-big Statist government policies on life support.
A few more weeks later, Dionne averred, "We are witnessing the disintegration of tea party Republicanism," -- an attempt to neuter Tea Party forces within Congress who sought to limit deficit spending. Didn't work. The 111th Congress remains more insane than the 112th.
And here we go again: "Tea party thinking is dead." It's clear that Mr. Dionne resides within the Capitol Beltway's reality-free zone (just a short jog from other Bethesda-dwelling pundits such as The New York Time's Thomas Friedman, and a short drive to Chris Matthew's Chevy Chase abode).
I'm pretty sure 41 million Tea Partiers would beg to differ with Beltway types like Mr. Dionne. Unlike Occupy Wall Street, the Tea Party is not only not "dead," it continues to spread like wildfire.
To paraphrase Mark Twain, "Your reports of our death, Mr. Dionne, are greatly exaggerated."