Alex Seitz-Wald finds Tea Party turnout on Tax Day wanting:
A listing of events on the umbrella group Trea Party Patriots’ website for Monday and Friday showed a total of 145 events — the same listing shows 638 events on tax day 2010.
One example finds rallies in Tulsa went from 5,000 attendees in 2009, to "several thousand" in 2010, to "less than 30" in 2011. On the other hand, Chris Good thinks "the tea party seems to have accomplished its main goal: bending the will of the Republican Party":
Republican politicians widely cater messages and platforms to a tea party audience. Listening to what is said by Republican presidential contenders, House members, and candidates for office, it's tough to argue the tea party hasn't left its mark.
I agree. It's hard to see Paul Ryan's radical proposal being embraced by the GOP leadership – and voted for by huge numbers – without this background. I was deeply skeptical about the sincerity of the Tea Partiers to really turn the budget picture around, and be held accountable for it. Whatever you think of the merits of Ryan's proposal, you cannot say it doesn't reflect Tea Party priorities.
I just wish they were as serious about reducing the debt as they are about reducing government. A deficit reduction plan that has no revenue increases fails the core test of pragmatism.
(Photo: A Tea Party supporter listens to speakers at a Tax Day rally at the Daley Center Plaza April 18, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. Several hundred people attended the rally calling for a reduction in government spending and tax reform. By Scott Olson/Getty Images)