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National Review / Digital
Tea in 2012
How to keep the grassroots growing

(Roman Genn)



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Yet deeper integration is unlikely to outlive this political moment. Just as the grassroots organization built during President Bush’s winning 2000 and 2004 campaigns did not outlive his presidency (or even, in fact, persist much beyond those campaigns), President Obama struggled mightily to conjure up the enthusiasm of his 2008 bid in this year’s listless campaign, limiting his stops to inner cities and liberal college towns. After the 2008 election, the vaunted “Obama movement” mostly fizzled out: It was moved in-house to the Democratic National Committee and given the moniker “Organizing for America.” Campaign-related activity on “MyBO,” OFA’s Web-based organizing hub, was down as much as 90 percent from 2008 as activists recoiled at the shift from the frenetic energy of a campaign to White House command and control. The experience should provide a cautionary tale to the Tea Partiers, with their more humble origins: Hitch yourself to established power institutions at your own peril.

No one is saying that the Tea Party movement didn’t have its share of misfires this year — for example, the fixation on Christine O’Donnell in Delaware kept the movement from helping Ken Buck and Dino Rossi across the finish line in Colorado and Washington State respectively. What is clear is that to endure, the movement will need to grow and develop from within — honing its political strategy, candidate recruitment, and online infrastructure with little help from traditional Washington players.


Contents
November 29, 2010    |     Volume LXII, No. 22

Articles
  • And many have Jim DeMint to thank for it.
  • How to keep the grassroots growing.
  • It’s your policies that were the problem, Mr. President.
  • History need not, and likely will not, repeat itself.
  • Twelve spending-reduction priorities for the new Congress.
  • Ten tips for economic dynamism.
  • Letting rate cuts on top earners expire would cost more than it’s worth.
  • Keep your eye on these rising GOP stars.
  • The Democratic wipeout beyond the Beltway.
  • We will face pressure to cut military spending imprudently, and we should resist it.
  • Ronald Reagan articulated the principles that must underlie a lasting conservative majority.
  • A divided government faces a budget crisis.
Books, Arts & Manners
  • Conrad Black reviews The End and the Beginning: Pope John Paul II — The Victory of Freedom, the Last Years, the Legacy, by George Weigel.
  • Edward Feser reviews The Grand Design, by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow.
  • Travis Kavulla reviews The Masque of Africa: Glimpses of African Belief, by V. S. Naipaul.
  • Fred Schwarz reviews Empty Pleasures: The Story of Artificial Sweeteners from Saccharin to Splenda, by Carolyn de la Peña.
  • Richard Brookhiser feels the noise.
Sections
The Long View  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Athwart  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Poetry  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
The Bent Pin  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Editorial  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .