While Tea Partiers are darlings of the political press in the last few months, racking up several impressive wins in Senate, House & gubernatorial primary elections, just two years ago it was liberal progressives that were on the march. Emboldened by the end of George W. Bush’s term and the historic opportunity put a left-leaning, African American president in the White House, progressives turned out in droves and produced a solid Democratic majority in Congress. What a difference two years makes: with 2008 a distant memory, the Tea Party is now the movement of the moment, taking their small government, socially conservative ideals into the mainstream and crowding out disheartened progressives in the process. While 2010 looks like it belongs to the Tea Party there is sure to be an epic clash between these two movements in 2012. We get a glimpse of what sets progressives apart from Tea Partiers, and what policy battles they will fight from now until the next presidential election.
Jamie Court, author of The Progressive’s Guide to Raising Hell and president of Consumer Watchdog
Ryan Hecker, organizer of the Contract for America & Houston Tea Party Society member