Can the Tea Party accept that it won the debt-ceiling battle?

The anti-tax grassroots movement forced a paradigm shift in Washington — but many Tea Partiers are still disappointed that they couldn't accomplish more

Edward Morrissey

The standoff over the debt ceiling has finally come to an end. The House and Senate passed the compromise reached at the eleventh hour, and President Barack Obama signed it into law, just in time to allow Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner to sell bonds to fund continuing deficit spending. The debate over spending and taxation will now focus on a bipartisan Congressional commission and a presidential order that will raise the debt ceiling once more before the next election.

Who won, and who lost? Did anyone win? If we gauge winners and losers by the reaction from politicians and activists across the political spectrum, no one was satisfied with the deal reached between Democratic and Republican leaders in Congress and President Obama. Though it is arguably true that few actually advanced their agenda much in the deal, that doesn't mean everyone came out of this deal equally worse off. Indeed, despite some dissatisfied rumblings from within the Tea Party, one lesson is clear: They succeeded in transforming Washington.

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Edward Morrissey

Edward Morrissey has been writing about politics since 2003 in his blog, Captain's Quarters, and now writes for His columns have appeared in the Washington Post, the New York Post, The New York Sun, the Washington Times, and other newspapers. Morrissey has a daily Internet talk show on politics and culture at Hot Air. Since 2004, Morrissey has had a weekend talk radio show in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and often fills in as a guest on Salem Radio Network's nationally-syndicated shows. He lives in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota with his wife, son and daughter-in-law, and his two granddaughters. Morrissey's new book, GOING RED, will be published by Crown Forum on April 5, 2016.