A Speech to the American Political Science Association

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Sept. 2 2010 2:00 PM

A Speech to the American Political Science Association

I'm taking off for a while to speak to the APSA conference, on the subject of tea parties and the future of the GOP. It starts at 2 p.m. and C-Span will be there. Here's the gist of what I plan to say :

Is this good for the Republican Party? I think itis. When is an active and powerful base bad for a political party? Theissue that activists and Republicans have to deal with, as they look topower, is whether they can be as successful at convincing Americans oftheir agenda as they have been at convincing themselves. They need acountry that has given up on Democratic policies largely because ofhigh unemployment to be convinced that their policies will hurt in theshort term and work in the long term. If all the Tea Party does is helpthe GOP create momentum for tax cuts, it will have failed. It’sspending cuts, painful ones, that 40 years of conservative activismhave been asking for, and 2 years of Tea Party activism have tried toconvince the country that it needs.

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David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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