I just got off a conference call led by Amy Kremer of the National Tea Party Patriots, who said that health care was becoming the focal point of the tea parties. So far, most of the activism on the health care issue has been on the left, led by the group Health Care for Americans Now (a coalition of liberal activist groups and unions). Critics of the tea party movement have argued that there doesn't seem to be any unifying purpose behind the tea parties beyond general disgruntlement with our Demcratic-run government. So, the health care debate will be a good test as to whether the tea party movement can mobilize its grassroots energy around a specific purpose and actually present a counterweight to the well-financed and organized liberal movement.
Right now, it's pretty clear from the health care bills we have already seen that the Democratic leadership wants to push through very liberal legislation, and is willing to ram it through without any Republican support. That means moderate Democrats in both the House and Senate will hold the keys to whether President Obama gets what he wants, and if there is any hopes of stopping a government takeover of health care, lawmakers in conservative states and districts will have to feel the heat from their constituents.
Sen. Jim DeMint, who participated in the call, said that if those opposed to government health care continued to make calls to their representatives and Senators, nothing will get passed before the August recess, at which point there will be more time to expose the legislation for what it is and put more pressure on wobbly lawmakers.
“If we are able to stop Obama on this, it will be his Waterloo," DeMint declared. "It will break him.”
UPDATE: Michelle Malkin has a roundup of some of today's protests.
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