National exit polling showed that four of 10 voters on Tuesday expressed support for the tea party’s brand of constitutional fundamentalism. But jetting around the country, setting the grassroots afire, was the easy part.
Martin and her fellow tea partyists now must persuade the GOP that it would be wise not to squander the chance they’ve been given.
“If they don’t vote the way we expect them to vote, then we’re going to do to them the same thing we’ve done to many Democrats and a handful of Republicans. We’ll melt their phone lines,” Martin said.
First on the Tea Party Patriots’ post-election agenda: An orientation for freshmen members of Congress on Nov. 14 and 15, where they will be informed of tea party expectations. Martin and her group will do more than threaten brimstone and melted phone lines. They intend to offer cover.
“If they’re getting pressured from the House leadership or lobbyists, they can let us know and we’ll give them the political support they need,” Martin said.
Martin doesn’t expect an immediate repeal of health care reform – but she does expect to see it quickly defunded. “Given the current administration, an immediate repeal isn’t going to happen,” she said.
In August I heard John Fund deliver a speech. One point he made was that political turnover in Congress is speeding up. It took 40 years for the GOP to win control on Congress (1994), twelve years for them to lose it (2006), four years for the Dems to lose control, and Fund warned that the GOP could lose it again in 2012 if they don’t do what they say they’ll do.
On a related note, check out Mike Luckovich’s cartoon yesterday.