George Will Bails Out

Just when you thought the blowback from the defund-shutdown effort couldn't get worse, along comes conservative columnist George Will, claiming that the Tea Party and Obama "have something important in common -- disdain for the practice of politics within the Framers' institutional architecture."

To suggest that the Tea Party has common ground with the one person and administration that stands diametrically opposed to everything they hold dear -- limited government, fiscal responsibility, lower taxes, individual liberty, and free markets -- is a reductio ad absurdum. One wonders if the author is completely out of touch with the people who make up the Tea Party or is just filled with his own disdain for it? I hope the former.

Then, to describe this supposedly shared disdain with the qualification "within the Framer's institutional architecture" makes me further wonder where George Will has been for the last five years? The Tea Party reveres the Constitution, the Framers, and their infrastructure for constitutional governance. The Tea Party actually promotes the "practice of politics" as long as it takes place "within the Framer's institutional architecture." It's... what we live for! And, it's what we've been ridiculed for as well.

We've endured five years of left-wing mockery and scathing condescension characterizing the Tea Party as patriotic throwbacks to an outdated constitution. The fact that random tea partiers can quote directly from the Federalist Papers -- and understand what they are saying -- is a testament to their reverence. Moreover, many tea partiers want to repeal the 17th Amendment so the Senate would go back to being chosen by the states -- not the popular vote -- so that this process is brought back into alignment with the original "institutional architecture" set forth by the Framers!

Will further claims that we need to proceed with patience and be willing to make political inroads incrementally.

"[Obama] and some of his tea party adversaries share an impatience with Madisonian politics, which requires patience.

"The tea party has a choice to make. It can patiently try to become the beating heart of a durable party, which understands this: In Madisonian politics, all progress is incremental. Or it can be a raging bull, and soon a mere memory, remembered only for having broken a lot of china."

I'd say we've done that. I mean, we started with rallies and raised awareness. Then we supported candidates, found ways to make sure they were truly in-step with conservative principles. We led the House to sweeping victory in 2010. Then, we focused on the presidential race in 2012 and got involved in local politics paving the way for statewide success at the polls. Many Republican central committees work hand-in-hand with their local Tea Party groups.

Slowly and systematically, Tea Party members of Congress and the Senate have been doing what they always said they'd do: hold the GOP's feet to the fire on conservative principles and slowly nudge GOP policy and votes in that direction. I'm sorry, George, but I don't see a bull in a china shop here.

And, as far as the defund-shutdown "debacle" goes, it was not rashly conceived or carried out. The defund tactic was promulgated, debated, and implemented months before the shutdown.

Will has taken this one instance and thrown us all in with Obama. I can't think of a greater insult.

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