The Post reports that “many Republicans say the sequester is the moment when the tea party can claim it has made its mark. Although Democratic and Republican leaders are pointing fingers, the tea party and its allies are happily accepting credit for the cuts. ‘This will be the first significant tea party victory in that we got what we set out to do in changing Washington,’ said Rep. Tim Huelskamp (Kan.), a tea party Republican elected in 2010.”
Understand, however, that Huelskamp and many of the pro-tea party House Republicans voted against the Budget Control Act. They owe their victory to the “establishment” Republicans and the House leadership who pushed it through and now will obtain the first real spending cuts under President Obama.
The tea party clique, and especially the right-wing blogosphere, deplore every and any deal the House leadership makes. But it is the House leadership to which they owe much. It was House leaders who restricted the tax hike to those making $400,000 and above, who are sticking with the sequester cuts and who are backing entitlement reform in two successive budgets. What has the tea party gang contributed? Perhaps it stiffened the spine of its leaders, but it also voted down Plan B, which made the fiscal cliff deal worse, and it nearly wrecked the Budget Control Act, about which it now claims victory.
It should be a good lesson for the tea party crowd: Don’t make the perfect the enemy of the good.