'these conservative populists do perform the useful function of focusing American political attention on the need for fiscal responsibility. They make a good point, for example, in arguing that we shouldn't add a major new entitlement program for health care until we've figured out how to pay for the entitlement programs we've already got.
Europe, by contrast, lacks this sort of potent conservative movement to constrain government spending.'
Two points. First, they aren't doing a very good job. Why didn't the tea party exist five or six years ago, when George W Bush was passing the legislation for No Child Left Behind? And their effect so far in the Obama era? How come Congress just passed the law allowing the government debt ceiling to be raised by one point something trillion dollars?
Second point, the tea partiers are just average joe people sick of government overreach. I don't know about the rest of Europe, but here in Britain people are in love with enormous government. They are addicted to it. They volunteer for higher taxes. Where are the tea party rank and file going to come from?
Britain is now a wholly owned subsidiary of its government. The free, proud Englishman is a distant memory.
Oh, and the Samizdata blog people, who are allegedly independent-thinking libertarians, are totally uninterested in action. They are windbags happy to sit around and bitch about all the stuff that is wrong, with no apparent desire to go out the door and do something about anything.