A post over at CapitolFax got me thinking about the Tea Parties and November 2010.
For whatever reason the Tea Party folks have seemed to tapped a serious vein of concern and frustration within Illinois. If you get 10,000 folks to show up to anything political at this point in the cycle without Oprah or U2 as the draw you have tapped into something.
It's easy to be dismissive of these folks as Fox News, Rush listening drones. But firstly 10,000 politically active folks period in this entire state (no less one region) can't be dismissed out of hand. Secondly, to stereotype all of these (or even a majority of them) as incapable of independent thought isn't just inaccurate based off what I have seen and heard from them, but also just plain stupid.
I am constantly surprised by the people I hear from outside of my involvement with the GOP who seem to agree with these folks. Folks who are tired of bailouts and big government and are not afraid to share those feelings.
The argument was made that these people generally vote anyway. That may be true, the difference is now they are motivated to try and create change.
Regardless of your party underestimate these people at your political peril.