January 24, 2011 12:29PM

Will the Tea Party Fade Away?

POLITICO Arena asks a second question today:

In three states over the weekend — New Hampshire, Washington, and Arizona — Tea Party candidates beat establishment candidates for state GOP party chairmanships. Does this signal that the Tea Party may not be fading away anytime soon or, as Harry Reid predicted, that as soon as the economy improves, “the tea party will disappear.”

My response:

It is not too much to say that if the Tea Party fades away, the country will fade away with it, because the out‐​of‐​control deficits and debt and the underlying unconstitutionalism that gave rise to those cancers and to the Tea Party itself have proven intractable for business‐​as‐​usual Republicans and Democrats alike. Far from a transitory focus on the economy, the Tea Party’s concern is systemic: It goes to the very foundations of the nation. Heaven help us if it fades.