Has the Tea Party grown up? The movement is “turning professional,” according to the Wall Street Journal, pushing a real legislative agenda and coordinating with the Republican establishment it supposedly threatens. The Virginia Tea Party Patriots, for example, has managed to push legislation to blunt the impact of the federal health care reform, and is coordinating with lawmakers on a host of similar bills.
Similar alliances are forming in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Texas, and Ohio. In some cases, organizers are even looking beyond the 2010 election, plotting future legislative and local election strategies. “What we are witnessing is a very authentic grass-roots movement,” said the president of a Virginia group that trains conservative activists and candidates. “But without a lasting fabric, these groups will have trouble keeping the passion alive.”