Opinion Brief

Is the Tea Party going broke?

Tea Party groups have run into a fund-raising wall, reports Politico. Will that limit their impact on American politics this fall?

The Tea Party movement's push to reshape American politics has hit a big obstacle — money. As cash-strapped Tea Party groups gear up to back fiscally conservative candidates in the midterm elections, reports Politico, they're finding that their anti-establishment supporters resist traditional fundraising methods, and that most big-money conservative donors prefer to give directly to the Republican Party. Will the Tea Party's financial problems limit its influence? (Watch an MSNBC discussion about Tea Party enthusiasm)

Yes, this movement isn't financially viable: The antics of the movement's protesters have made it toxic to the major donors who bankroll conservative politics, says Jamilah King at Color Lines magazine. The Tea Party's "core principles" may have staying power, but as a political force its days are numbered."Tea Party searches for dollars — and sense"

The cash issue is manageable — for now: Even without an overflowing war chest, Tea Partiers could help push Democrats out of power in the midterms, says Ed Morrissey in Hot Air. But the future is "murky." If Tea Party groups want to "gather energy long enough to help make Barack Obama a one-term president" in 2012, they'll have to accept that fundraising, no matter how "distasteful" to their base, is a necessary part of American politics."Does the Tea Party have a money problem?"

The Republican party will — and should — absorb it: Grassroots movements aren't supposed to last forever, says David Weigel in The Washington Post. They're "like bees — they sting, then die." So the Tea Party will fulfill its destiny not by figuring out how to perpetuate itself, but by folding itself into a Republican Party that it has pushed to become "more devoted to supply-side, pro-war-on-terror, anti-spending principles.""Five myths about the 'Tea Party'

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