The Heritage Foundation think-tank has made it clear: they may be an established conservative organization, but they’re with the Tea Party activists who’ve risen up to protest Washington’s old ways.
The organization’s president, Ed Feulner, along with Tea Party-favorite South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, penned a column in Politico titled, “The Tea Party Is the Conscience of the Nation,” to make the case that the Tea Party movement is here to stay.
“The tea party isn’t about to go away after the November elections,” Feulner and DeMint write. “Its powerful message of limited government is likely to remain a sharp thorn in the side of those in both parties who want to continue politics as usual.”
In an election year where Republican primaries have often been between the GOP establishment candidates and grassroots favorites often supported by DeMint, Feulner appears to be aligning Heritage with the DeMint wing.
In the column, the two write that what “has gone wrong is clear to see.” They mention President Obama’s stimulus package that has “failed to get this country back on its feet,” as evidenced by the nearly 10 percent unemployment rate.
“But underneath the frustration, the tea party has roots that are deeper and aim higher,” they write. “Deeper because it is within the best tradition of popular movements in our history -— from the Great Awakening that gave rise to the American Revolution to the conservative revival that helped elect Ronald Reagan. It aims to recover our moral compass, bequeathed by our founders and preserved ever since.”
Below is the op-ed by Feulner and DeMint:
The Tea Party Is the Conscience of the Nation
In only 21 months, the tea party has exploded from a handful of scattered, spontaneous rallies to a full-fledged, national movement -— capable of throwing out incumbents. It is a force both parties must reckon with, challenging entrenched Washington habits.
Skeptics and opponents, however, continue to ask two basic questions. First, does the tea party have any real philosophical depth, a historical pedigree? Second, will its force dissipate after the elections?
In short, critics accept that the tea party has a present — but they question whether it has a past and a future.
Read: The complete op-ed