All that Tea Party support in 2010 for the 87 House Republican freshmen seems to have come with a price — and now it’s time to collect.
Representative Michael Grimm found his office filled with activists wanting to know why he hadn’t done more to slash government spending and why he had voted to raise the U.S. debt limit. He too is frustrated, the former Marine told them, but you just can’t shut down government and stop paying the soldiers.
There is Tea Party talk that the freshmen have become corrupted by Washington and part of the bureaucratic fabric that they very much despise. By one account, two-thirds of the freshmen have compromised while only 20 or so have maintained the zero tolerance Tea Party line on spending.
Alas, the Tea Party could end up giving the Republican freshman class of 2010 more grief than the Democrats heading toward the November elections. If 2010 was the year the Tea Party emerged as a political force in Washington, 2012 will be the year that determines whether the movement can live with itself on Capitol Hill.