The Radical Right has controlled the subject of government since Nixon / Agnew, the thuggish father of the Big Lie. The Left has seen the lowest lows under Raygun and Duhbya and the highest highs (still low) under Clinton and Obama, but we all talk about whatever the Right thinks we should. We need to tune them out the way we do any crazy on the street (or shout them down – they grant us no courtesies). They are the tail that wags the dog. They dominate because we let them. The ultimate weakness of the Left is tolerance, something the Right cares not a whit about.
Take five steps back and consider the nature of the political conversation in our nation’s capital. You would never know that it’s taking place at a moment when unemployment is still at 9 percent, when wages for so many people are stagnating at best and when the United States faces unprecedented challenges to its economic dominance.
No, Washington is acting as if the only real problem the United States confronts is the budget deficit; the only test of leadership is whether the president is willing to make big cuts in programs that protect the elderly; and the largest threat to our prosperity comes from public employees.
Take five more steps back and you realize how successful the Tea Party has been. No matter how much liberals may poke fun at them, Tea Party partisans can claim victory in fundamentally altering the country’s dialogue.