Stop ridiculing the tea party

We’ve been treated to obsessive coverage of Christine O’Donnell’s opinions on masturbation, and whether she had premarital sex, because we all know that these are the Very Important Issues facing our country.

Every Tea Party candidate has been variously described as crazy, stupid and on track to destroy America, if elected. Funny, that’s pretty much what was said about Barry Goldwater and his followers by the establishment. And yet, that didn’t stop him from reshaping the Republican Party and laying the groundwork for the Reagan Revolution…

Whatever you make of them, Zernike’s reporting makes clear that the Tea Partiers care deeply about the future of their country. They aren’t intimidated by difficult odds. Many of them had their first experience in political organizing when they put together their maiden Tea Party rally. They detest the Republican Party almost as much as the Democratic Party.

And the more they are mocked, the more determined they are to push forward. The derision of elites, to them, is a badge of honor.