By Mary Kate Cary, Thomas Jefferson Street blog
It's Tea Party Day in all 50 states, and 300 to 500 protests against out-of-control government spending are planned worldwide. Today's Wall Street Journal explains that these protests are not the result of organizers at the Republican National Committee, or any political action committee, or even some think tank: it's all been done by regular folks using Internet, E-mail, text messages, Facebook, and chat rooms. The Tea Party movement has completely organized itself without any outside help.
Most fascinating of all is the idea that today's protests could have a ripple effect through American politics for the next few years, according to the Journal:
What's most striking about the tea-party movement is that most of the organizers haven't ever organized, or even participated, in a protest rally before. General disgust has drawn a lot of people off the sidelines and into the political arena, and they are already planning for political action after today.
Cincinnati organizer Mike Wilson, a novice organizer who drew 5,000 people to a rally on March 15, is now planning to create a political action committee and a permanent political organization to press for lower taxes and reduced spending. Tucson tea party organizer Robert Mayer told me that his organization will focus on city council elections in the fall as its next priority. And there's lots of Internet chatter about ways of taking things further after today's protests.
This influx of new energy and new talent is likely to inject new life into small-government politics around the nation. The mainstream Republican Party still seems limp and disorganized. This grassroots effort may revitalize it. Or the tea-party movement may lead to a new third party that may replace the GOP, just as the GOP replaced the fractured and hapless Whigs.
Great news for us deficit hawks and limited-government types. Help is on the way!
On Facebook? You can keep up with Thomas Jefferson Street blog postings through Facebook's Networked Blogs.