The tea party’s agenda is America’s agenda

I’ve found that each of these policies has at least 60 percent public support, so if you agree with most of them, it means you’re in the American mainstream. It also means that – wait for it – you agree with the tea party.

These points come directly from the tea-party-backed “Contract From America,” a document compiled from and voted on by the various tea party organizations and promoted by FreedomWorks, a conservative advocacy group. This governing agenda is supported not only by conservatives, but also by largely nonideological, anti-political voters in the middle.

The tea party is not some fringe coalition hopelessly removed from the mainstream. It is not, as The Washington Post recently wrote, “a disparate band of vaguely connected gatherings that do surprisingly little to engage in the political process.” The movement supplied the ideas that made independent voters flip from favoring Democrats by an 18-point margin in 2006 to supporting Republicans by 15 points Tuesday – and it will keep pressuring the government to change until the government truly changes.

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