The oil spill has certainly been bad for Barack Obama, but it’s been almost as bad for his most vocal opponents. The Tea Party has been almost completely bumped from the cable news airwaves they once dominated, according to the media analysts at TVEyes. Worse, the catastrophe has provided a vivid illustration of why we might want an active government, writes Joshua Green of the Boston Globe.
The disaster has also drawn out the worst from the movement’s volatile leaders. Rand Paul called Obama “un-American” for coming down hard on BP, Sarah Palin accused him of being in bed with big oil, which is “hairbrained, even by her standards,” and Sharron Angle wants to abolish the EPA. None of it matters while Obama’s floundering, but he’s got a ready villain in BP—If he can make this an us-vs-big-oil debate, the Tea Party will be in an awfully awkward position.