The tea party celebrates its fifth anniversary Thursday, essentially marking some 1,826 days since the grass roots movement spontaneously emerged to become a political and cultural force to be reckoned with, driven by a call for fiscal sanity and fueled by traditional American values.
“For the past five years, Americans from all walks of life unified under the principles of liberty and freedom, and the belief that we are taxed enough already,” Rep. Michele Bachmann tells Inside the Beltway.
“The tea party movement transcends party politics and has successfully shifted the national conversation from bailouts and pork projects to the Constitution and limited government. There is still much work to be done, but the tea party’s influence has only begun,” the Minnesota Republican said.
She is among the heavy hitters assembling for a day-long celebration and underscoring of all things tea party, staged at a grand hotel two blocks from the U.S. Capitol.
On the roster with Mrs. Bachmann: Republican Sens. Mike Lee of Utah, Rand Paul of Kentucky, and Ted Cruz of Texas, plus Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio, Steve King of Iowa, Jim Bridenstine of Oklahoma, Mark Meadows of North Carolina, Louie Gohmert of Texas, and Matt Salmon of Arizona.
Talk radio kingpin Mark Levin is a featured speaker, along with the indefatigable Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of Tea Party Patriots, which has organized the event. Ronald Reagan biographer Craig Shirley will also be at the podium.
“Five years ago, American politics — as dominated by the Democratic Party and the big government Republican Party — was intellectually bankrupt. Fortunately, a renewed philosophy centered on elegant reductionism began to develop, just as it did under Reagan in the 1970s,” Mr. Shirley tells the Beltway.
“The rise of the tea party movement is the most important development in politics since the advent of the Reagan Democrat. Today, the American tea party represents the intellectualism of Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson and Ronald Reagan. These men believed in the citizenry and not the state,” says Mr. Shirley, who is also a visiting Reagan Scholar at Eureka College.
“The intellectuals of the American tea party don’t confuse sophistication with intellectualism. They know better even if the elites do not. The tea party also knows that it is impractical, indeed anti-intellectual, to try to govern this vast and diverse country from one corrupt city by the Potomac River.”
“How’s your soul doing?”
— Glenn Beck to Sen. Ted Cruz, in a BlazeTV interview Wednesday.
“My soul is at peace. I’m doing great, Glenn. There is not a day that I don’t jump out of bed.”
— the Texas Republican’s reply.
MR. CHRISTIE TEES UP