[T]he Republican party and the Tea Party are not synonymous. It is rightwing populists, associated with the Tea Party, such as Sharron Angle in Nevada, Christine O’Donnell in Delaware, Rand Paul in Kentucky and Joe Miller in Alaska, who are making all the headlines. But the Republicans are also fielding traditional pro-business candidates, some of whom are very impressive.
The fact is America is now too complicated a place to accommodate the simple verities peddled by the Tea Partiers. You could see it, even at the Angle rally. The candidate drew cheers by railing against illegal immigration and the federal government -- and then cheerfully admitted that she has half-Mexican grandchildren and that her husband had worked for the federal government for many years.
The popular elements of any political movement often prove unpopular with the ruling class. "Many traditional, pro-business Republicans are horrified by the populism of Sarah Palin," Rachman writes: Palin is closer to her constituency in outlook than she is to the business mainstream.
The challenge for the Republican Party is to pacify that portion of its base which takes its anti-government rhetoric seriously. The Republican National Committee certainly doesn't! But the cultural apparatus funded by business is producing people who are sincere about smaller government; now some of them are winning elections.
No corporation wants smaller government; what it wants is more government for its own purposes. After all, a corporation can't go it alone! So the Tea Partiers take a hit in the press, continually, until they get on board. On vacation I watched a Jon Stewart piece where Christine O'Donnell discussed her views on masturbation; now I hear she may have "dabbled in witchcraft." This is big news! -- but only because O'Donnell is out of step with the prevailing institutions, and consequently draws their wrath. Watch closely and you will see!