All across the country pundits are pointing to Wisconsin, where the GOP performed better than any other state in the country last year, as an example of the Republican Party establishment successfully harnessing the energy of the Tea Party to elect Republicans.
Yes, the party did run a career politician for governor, and its Senate candidate eschewed meetings with Tea Party groups after he proved incapable of answering their questions. Regardless, somehow the GOP staved off the resentment towards the establishment that proved fatal for Republicans in other states.
And in the opening days of the legislative session we see the result of that. Despite tough talk about broad-based tax cuts, Walker and his legislative allies are offering mostly symbolic tax credits for businesses. In fact, one of Walker's biggest initiatives, the partial privatization of the Department of Commerce, opens the door to the infiltration of government by special business interests that the protestors of the "bailout" say is the downfall of our republic.
What is the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation going to be, other than a private body with access to public funds? Will the next step be the development of a publicly-insured private mortgage lender for the state?
Sorry Tea Party. You guys can campaign, but the establishment is always going to govern.