There is a good chance that Ronald Reagan will best be known as the man who ran for major positions in government on the precept that government was the major problem in public life. Now he has become the patron saint of the TEA Party, with the result that there is a critical mass of Republicans in the House of Representatives wrapping themselves in that very precept. By most accounts, they are the primary agency in the deadlocking of any debate over the Federal Budget, a deadlock that threatens to bring the government they so despise to a halt.
So these ideologues get their wish. What then? Embracing ideology appears to trump thinking about consequences. However, the last time Newt Gingrich stuck to his ideological guns in such a confrontation, his ideology (and later he, himself) fell from a great height. Are these people really “representing;” and, if so, are they representing their electorate or the moneyed interests who put up the funds necessary to win elections?