Declaration of Independents

In the L.A. Times: How the Left Can Learn From the Tea Party

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Writing in the Los Angeles Times, Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch, co-authors of The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong with America, argue that the momentary debt-ceiling impasse in Washington should give inspiration even to people who dislike the Tea Party. Starts like this:

Forget President Obama, House Speaker John A. Boehner and the less-interesting-than-their-name-suggests "Gang of Six." When the history of the Great Debt Ceiling Debate of 2011 gets written, the main character will not be a Beltway negotiator, or even a politician.

The only reason Washington is even talking about proposals to slow the growth of government spending, instead of robotically jacking up the nation's credit line for the 11th time in a decade, is that a large, decentralized group of citizen activists has spent the last few years loudly telling politicians from both parties one consistent message: restrain your own power or face our wrath.

Whether you conceive of the "tea party" as a heroic tamer of bipartisan big government or a diabolical hydra threatening America's very future, its success in precipitating a national debate over fiscal policy should give hope — and a tactical blueprint — to anyone who feels marginalized by politics.

Whole thing here.