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The Tea Party: A Threat To Business as Usual

A new POLITICO poll reveals once again the fundamental disconnect between the ruling establishment and those that pay their salaries. 77% of D.C. elites don’t believe that tea party candidates will be able bring change to Washington.

It’s a predictable opinion considering they have a vested interest in the continued growth of the federal government. To bureaucrats, lobbyists and government contractors, we represent last call on a profligate spending bender. We are the hangover they dread in the coming morning.

The pessimistic response to the poll does nothing but verify that we are on the right track. The whole purpose of this movement was to make those profiting off irresponsible government spending so uncomfortable that they clean up or get out. These beneficiaries of the earmarks and backroom deals have a direct financial motivation to prevent the type of reform that is essential to restore fiscal sanity.

This may be why there is measurable discomfort when discussing whether or not gridlock will occur as a result of the midterm elections. Is gridlock a good thing? 46 percent of those polled outside the Beltway believe that it would occur, but just 29 percent believe that it could bring back the oversight and accountability necessary to restrain government.

The general public also seems less worried that divided government would grind Washington to a halt. Forty-six percent said that scenario would “allow each party to block the other and make it harder to get things done,” and 29 percent said having divided government would “set checks and balances so only fair decisions are made.”

A conservative takeover of Congress shouldn’t be viewed as the beginning of gridlock, but as an opportunity for President Obama to either come to the middle, as Bill Clinton did after the 1994 Revolution, or continually veto the will of the American people.

Obama can make that choice, but don’t expect fiscal austerity to be embraced by Washington elites. They aren’t part of the 70 percent of Americans who agree with the main issues of the Tea Party movement. They reject the novel idea that reducing the national debt and reigning in government spending are practical measures for our country. Of course they feel threatened, it’s in their self-interest to keep us out.

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