Ted Vaill: Seventy or eighty arch-conservative Tea Party members of the House and Senate have held this country hostage to their right-wing demands that we sacrifice entitlements belonging to ordinary, hard working Americans for the benefit of their rich friends. What is the mood of the ordinary American? Disgust.
Bernard A. Weisberger: The current situation is evidence of the crashing failure of liberal America to stand up for its forgotten principles of some sixty years ago, and its decision to chain itself to a Democratic Party now under the leadership of “centrists” or “moderates” who in fact occupy the terrain once held by the vanished race of liberal Republicans.
Robert Reich: Tea Partiers have almost as much contempt for big business and the Street as they do for government. After all, the Tea Party was born in anger over the Wall Street bailout. This is the heart of the civil war in the GOP.
Berry Craig: The old party of “Lincoln and Liberty” — founded in Wisconsin — is long gone. The new GOP is the party of tea party-tilting, union-hating, government-despising ultra-conservatives of the compromise-is-surrender persuasion.