Reihan Salam thinks that the debt-ceiling spending cuts could represent the beginning of a Tea Party-led “right-sizing of government”:
In 1996, President Bill Clinton famously declared, “The era of big government is over.” Yet a close look at the numbers reveals that big government barely noticed…
Despite the profound pessimism of liberals, who will never stop believing that their right-wing opponents are wily and effective, they’ve unknowingly found themselves in a can’t-lose position. The uncompromising stance of tea party conservatives in the debt ceiling debate has been all about changing this dynamic.
While Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell were willing to make significant concessions to avoid a default, an army of first-term Republicans almost seemed to relish the prospect, terrifying millions of voters in the process. The deal carefully crafted by congressional leaders bears their stamp.
Of course, it has to be mentioned that some of those same Republicans voted against the final deal, and that the Tea Party, by and large, hated it.
Also, it’s worth wondering about the future of the Tea Party now that many of its stars have been forced to compromise and take part in a high-profile vote to raise the debt ceiling.