Unnamed emailer, quoted at The Corner blog on National Review website:
'Sponsored a coffee last night for a Republican candidate [in Illinois]. People who never get involved in politics were eager to come. 2010 will be a huge Republican year.'
Yeah, I wouldn't count that chicken! One thing those of us who have been paying attention have noticed is that the Tea Partiers and the town hall attendees are non-partisan in their anger to a very high degree. Possibly more of them are angry with the Republicans than with the Democrats. They KNOW that the Democrats want to spend all their money and have the government intrude into every last corner of American life- it goes without saying. They are if anything more angry with the Republicans, who are supposed to hold the line against that; in which regard they are about as useful as a cardboard cutout.
Third parties are a recurring, if short-lived part of American political culture. Time for a new one? Probably not. But if I were one of the small rat-like creatures currently occupying a Republican seat in Congress, I'd be pretty worried. When Americans have looked to them for straightforward common sense, backbone and at least a passing acquaintance with conservative principles, there has been nothing and nobody. Michael Steele seems to be playing a game all by himself, which he invented. There are no standout figures in the Republican party other than Sarah Palin, who scares the bejesus out of most people in DC on both sides of the aisle. I think she's just too... American/normal to fit in. The only trenchant fearless conservative voices to be heard are either radio talk show hosts or online pundits- and its much easier to be trenchant and fearless when you don't have an elected post to get re-elected to.
So, what is to be done? If I were an American voter, I would probably try to oust the incumbent in 2010 by dint of a legitimate independent (no kooks or cranks). Perhaps a one-off tea party candidate pledged to rein in the hideous spending, get a fence built on the Mexican border, and try to return the United States to some degree of normality. That could well be a winning strategy.