By Kathleen Parker
No one doubts the sincerity or power of the Tea Party movement anymore. We get it: free-market principles, limited government and individual liberty.
Those are the three fundamentals of the Tea Party’s “Contract From America,” to which any serious Republican must subscribe, nay, sign in blood. Make it real red.
Nowhere is this new power-to-the-people imperative in starker relief than in Utah — one of the nation’s reddest states — where three-term conservative Sen. Bob Bennett seems likely to lose the Republican Party nomination this weekend.
This, despite the fact that Bennett’s voting record earns an 84 rating from the American Conservative Union, an A ranking from the National Rifle Association — and is nothing like a liberal’s.
But Bennett committed the ultimate sin in Tea Party circles. He voted for the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP), a.k.a. “bank bailout,” during the George W. Bush administration. And, he advanced a market-driven health-reform bill as an alternative to the Democratic plan that, alas, also included an insurance mandate.