I'm at TeaCon2011 in Chicago, IL and, man, is this crowd energized.
Tomorrow I'll be leading a panel discussion about opportunities for both political progress and economic progress in 2012.
Here's part of what I'll say:
You’ve rallied, you’ve worked, you’ve organized.
You’ve made progress, you’ve made waves, you’ve made enemies.
You’ve won some campaigns and you’ve lost some.
Politically, you’ve grown up quite a bit over the last few years.
And here’s the kicker: Between now and 2012 you have an historic opportunity to get America back on the right track on education, on spending, on taxes and much more.
Almost uniquely in the history of our country, you, the grassroots- the ordinary people who do all the working and pay all bills- get to determine whether we are saved or whether we are damned.
You are that organized; that important.
You think some politician in a dark suit or high heels is going to save you? Nope. It’s going to be you. That’s the good news and the bad news rolled into one.
But it’s always supposed to have been about you.
The election in 2012 isn’t about Sarah Palin, or Herman Cain or Mitt Romney. This isn’t about individual saviors; it’s about any army of individuals just like you, who together can remind America just how great we are and can be.
Don’t look at the candidates right now; look in the mirror. The candidates will sort themselves out during the primary process.
The candidates, after all, are just spokespeople who are lucky enough to represent the ideals and aspirations of the rest of us. And the sum total of us is much greater than mere individuals.
So forget about candidates for a minute, because here’s the truth:
I pay attention to the capital every day. I’ve lived or visited DC since 1975, off and on; mostly off.
But I know the city well enough to say with authority that there are very few people at the capitol who understand what’s going on in the rest of the country. DC is still a relative boomtown compared to Denver and Cleveland and Chicago.
They think that things are going swimmingly in the rest of the country. They all have jobs. And they are creating more for themselves.
“After the surprise election of Democrat Kathy Hochul, who attacked the GOP Medicare plan,” writes USA Today, “Democrats now need a net gain of 24 seats to win back the House. On Medicare, [former House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi said Democrats are willing to use the issue as a campaign weapon.”
"I wish we could change minds of Republicans on abolishing Medicare," Pelosi told ABC.
Geesh. Really? That’s all you got? One of the most powerful women in America can’t be more original than that?
Thirty years ago there were only a few people in every city who determined what stories made the evening news. Thirty years ago the media could determine winners and losers in the marketplace of ideas. Thirty years ago Pelosi could have gotten away with such silly statements.
Thirty years ago they didn’t have to reckon with you.
It will be foolish to underestimate the determination of the Democrat liberal establishment to take back power in Congress.
However, liberals are out of ideas.
The next campaign, which started with the budget debate, is yours to win or lose.
So unite, because you have more to lose than just the next election.