The tough talk we used to hear from Tea Party folks here in Illinois seems to be a thing of the past. As a group, they’ve turned into political weenies.
There was a time not so long ago when the Tea Party people were mad as hell about how establishment politicians had messed up everything in this country. They fumed about the bailouts, especially TARP, and they vowed to exact revenge on the villains.
Well, that was then, and this is now: In this week’s Illinois Republican primary, Mitt Romney defeated Rick Santorum among Tea Party voters by a margin of 11 percentage points, according to exit polls. That’s the same Mitt Romney who just the other day sang the praises of the TARP bailout. That’s the same Mitt Romney who enjoys the backing of the dreaded GOP establishment.
And in the 16th Congressional District of Illinois, where Applesauce World Headquarters is located, the candidate endorsed by the Tea Party lost to a guy whose voting record has been somewhat less conservative, a guy whose candidacy was boosted by the Republican establishment in Washington.
So what gives here? Have Tea Party groups in other states been neutered to the same extent as the Illinois bunch?
Perhaps the whole movement has been co-opted by the Republican establishment.