The Tea Party's Days Are Numbered

Josh Green tells us that coverage of the oil spill has driven the Tea Party out of the news. That's to be expected, but what we've seen in recent days is that the rest of the country is starting to grasp what we lefties have been saying all along: these people are kind of crazy. As some of their favored candidates become nationally known - your Rand Pauls, your Sharron Angles - they are revealed as having rather extreme views, whether about civil rights, or the danger to the integrity of our precious bodily fluids posed by flouridation.

As Yogi Berra said, making predictions is always risky, particularly about the future, but here goes: After November's election, the Tea Party movement will quickly fade into nothingness. Maintaining a political movement is hard, particularly one that has already been so discredited. Most of the Tea Party candidates will lose, and then Republicans will turn their attention to their party's 2012 nomination contest, caring more about whether Sarah Palin or Mitt Romney can beat Obama than which online retailer has the best deals on tri-corner hats. As the economy continues to improve, the generalized anger that helps give the movement fuel outside of the GOP will dissipate. And before you know it, the Tea Party will be a memory - a colorful one, to be sure, but just a memory.

-- Paul Waldman

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