Excerpted from the Washington Examiner: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/politics/Hating-the-government-finally-goes-mainstream-90852389.html#ixzz0lJxJ2xNi
by Chris Stirewalt
A year ago, the tea parties caught most everyone by surprise.
It was a conservative flash mob and hundreds of thousands of Americans took to the streets.
Republicans scrambled to get to the head of the parade and Democrats claimed that it was all a put-up job by their enemies in the special interest wars. The press tried to treat what had been a spontaneous outburst as if it were a traditional political party and asked all the questions they teach in journalism school: Who's in charge? Who are they opposed to? Is it racist?
This year, the political parties and the press will not be caught off guard. Republican politicians will address tea party rallies, Democrats will denounce the supposed puppeteers of the movement and the press will look for hate speech.
But few will glean the real meaning of the protests or the booming support for Ron and Rand Paul.
It's not about the Pauls themselves or the guys with the "Don't tread on me" flags It's about the people at home who might not be willing to march in the park or join the next Paul money bomb, but who don't blame the folks who do.
Libertarian sentiment has finally gone mainstream.