Hope for the Tea Party wanes in light of a poor understanding of politics

Dear Tea Party,

I must admit I was skeptical at first. I heard such great things about you: how you were going to be a voice for the people, taking your policy positions directly from the wishes of the American public.

There was, I will confess, some hope that briefly fluttered in my heart. And then you attached yourselves to Sarah Palin.

I've read your Contract From America and, frankly, I found it lacking. I'm sorry; it's just difficult not to laugh when one of your ideals includes demanding a balanced federal budget. Everyone demands a balanced federal budget. Unfortunately, it's usually not feasible, what with the wars and the economic recovery bills and such. Sorry, it just can't happen, most of the time.

But I was willing to let the silliness slide until I read the bit about constitutionality. You say that you want every single bill to come with a rider saying where in the Constitution the power derives itself. That's fine, really, except for the elastic clause. You know, the one that says Congress can pretty much do anything it needs to do, because our founding fathers were intelligent enough to realize that perhaps the Constitution would need to be a malleable, living document? Yeah, I know you didn't think of that, so I thought I'd be the one to tell you: Every law is covered under the elastic clause, unless it violates one of the other amendments. So you have nothing to complain about because every law is constitutional!

Speaking of constitutional, that policy isn't. There's a reason we have a Supreme Court, which is, in point of fact, provided for by the Constitution. The court has the power of judicial review. In other words, the court decides if a law is constitutional or not. Now, you may notice, dear Tea Party, that the courts do not review every single law that's passed. Why is that? Because it would take forever. Literally, until the end of time. So how do you propose to constitutionally review every single bill that comes before Congress? I'm curious and want to know. Seriously, e-mail me.

One more thing: Declare yourself as a national party, would you? You've got it right in your name: Tea Party. Stop riding the coattails of the Republicans; if you want to be a legitimate force for change in this country (and I know you do, or I wouldn't have written this), you're going to have to cut the apron strings and let those nice elephant-themed people deal with their own issues. Strike out on your own! You're young and people don't hate you yet. Hurrah! While we're on the subject: Dump Sarah Palin, she's old news.

Anyway, I hope all is well in Tea Party town. I'll be stopping by sometime; maybe we can get together? Let me know; I'll buy you a cup of coffee.

The Contract From America, in brief:

1. Protect the Constitution2. Reject Cap & Trade3. Demand a Balanced Budget4. Enact Fundamental Tax Reform5. Restore Fiscal Responsibility & Constitutionally Limited Government6. End Runaway Government Spending7. Defund, Repeal, & Replace Government-run Health Care8. Pass an 'All-of-the-Above" Energy Policy9. Stop the Pork10. Stop the Tax Hikes

To read the full text, visit www.thecontract.org

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