Well, the Tea Parties are over, for this year at least.
Aside from reenacting the role of Howard Beale in "Network" and giving six or seven hundred thousand Americans a chance to shout "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it any longer" just what has been accomplished?
The mainstream media ignored the Tea Parties. President Obama claimed not to have been aware of them. Were all those people just shaking their fists at the sky?
Perhaps. No doubt the Republican Party will see in them the seeds of an electoral revival in two years. Conservatives see them as the leading edge of a populist revolt.
Now comes Randy Barnett, Professor of Constitutional Law at Georgetown, who favors the Wall Street Journal's Opinion page with the suggestion that the Tea Parties evidence a public demand for a "Federalism Amendment" to the US Constitution. The good professor has even drafted a proposed five section 230 word amendment which he explains in detail to the WSJ readers.
What caught my eye was his mention of Article V, the constitutional provision which authorizes an amendatory convention to be called on application of two thirds of the state legislatures.
Like so many others, pragmatic politicos and academics as well, Barnett doesn't really want to see an Article V convention. He advocates threatening one in the hope that the Congress will propose his amendment out of fear that two thirds of the states might demand one.
The Friends of an Article V Convention (FOAVC) have watched this bubble burst many times before. One issue advocates demand an Article V convention with tongue in cheek. They don't trust representative self government any more than the nay sayers who oppose a convention for any purpose. They talk and act like they want a convention only to push Congress into proposing their favored amendment.
The Tea Party Movement will begin to have some meaning when its promoters agree that the United States of America is at critical point in its history; that only an amendatory convention as envisioned by Article V can save our nation from consigning the charter of our republican form of government to the archives of history, while each new generation accepts more and more the idea that the federal government is all powerful, above restraint, and beyond the capacity of the citizenry to control.
The mob shouts for a benign dictator. Reasonable voices are hard to hear.