While pundits across the political spectrum tout the debt deal as a win for the Tea Party and as progressives betray their frustration at Tea Party principles with appalling, anything-but-civil rhetoric, Tea Partiers themselves confess themselves displeased with the debt accord that took such an agonizingly long period of non-productivity to reach:
In a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll taken hours after the Senate passed and President Obama signed the deal, a 46% plurality disapprove of the agreement; 39% approve. Only one in five see it as a “step forward” in addressing the federal debt. …
The poll finds some paradoxes.
Though Tea Party conservatives succeeded in setting the parameters of the debate, supporters of the Tea Party are among those most unhappy with the outcome. Only 22% of Tea Party supporters approve of the deal, compared with 26% of Republicans generally and 58% of Democrats.
And although Obama and congressional Democrats failed to make higher taxes on the wealthy part of the agreement, moderate and liberal Democrats were among those who rate it most highly. Two-thirds of moderate Democrats approve of the agreement.
Frankly, I wouldn’t call those results paradoxical at all. What’s hard to understand about Tea Party disappointment with the deal, given that it didn’t achieve the top Tea Party priority — that is, given that it did little to create real procedural or structural reform in the way Washington spends taxpayer dollars? What’s hard to understand about moderate and liberal Democrats liking business as usual?
Let the establishment on both sides tell Tea Partiers to be content: They’re not buying it. They know the real work is still ahead.