Reid: Tea Party will disappear when economy improves
David Gregory looks delighted with Harry Reid’s prediction, probably because he knows just how much attention his interview with the otherwise uninspiring Senate Majority Leader would otherwise get. Reid posits that the Tea Party’s existence is owed entirely to the worst economic conditions since the Great Depression, and when those improve, the Tea Party will dissipate (via Greg Hengler):
That’s not as wild a claim as Tea Partiers might think. Grassroots movements tend to either dissipate on the fringe or get co-opted by the political parties. The New Left started out as a fringe movement in the 1960s but eventually got co-opted by the Democrats and became an influential — and arguably controlling — element within the party over the course of succeeding decades. The longevity of a movement depends in part on whether it can go mainstream and how well it can cohere over a long period of time.