Political wisdom from a guy who knows better than most what it’s like to be going nowhere. I take it what he means here is that the tea party’s unlikely to become a third party, which is both true and beside the point. From what I’ve gathered, the goal of tea partiers has never been political independence for its own sake; the goal, purely and simply, is to shrink government. If the best/quickest way to do that is by bending the GOP to their will, either by coopting the party at the local level or flexing enough muscle at rallies to force Republican leaders to pay attention, I take it most TPers are okay with that. In which case, given the pandering all week at CPAC and the fact that even Senate moderates are in lockstep in opposing The One’s agenda, hasn’t the movement already gotten somewhere? Last year no one knew who Marco Rubio was and this year he’s on his way to crushing a relatively popular Republican governor in the Florida primary. Sounds like somewhere to me.
Listening to Schwarzenegger’s answer here, you’d think the only thing motivating tea partiers is free-floating economic anxiety of precisely the same sort that might be found in France, Venezuela, Australia, you name it. Smaller government? What’s that?