Julian Sanchez thinks I've been too hard on the tea parties:
I think Andrew Sullivan puts it a bit too strongly when he suggests that it’s pointless to complain about excessive spending unless you’ve got a detailed notion of what you want to cut. It probably makes sense to stress that there’s popular discontent with a general lack of fiscal restraint, rather than with any particular set of budget items. Certainly there’s no coherent policy program detectable at these rallies, but a big public demonstration doesn’t seem like a terribly good venue for laying that out anyway. If events like these serve any useful functionmy suspicion is that they don’t, but one lives in hopeit’s in moving people from anger to engagement, preparing the ground for more useful and targeted activism down the road. I’m waiting for signs they’re actually moving people past the “anger” stage.
I'd be happy with just some vague declarations of what they'd like to cut - say entitlements and defense. The pork thing is irrelevant in the grand scheme of fiscal balance. How about a two-point plan? Or is that too much to ask?