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By: Chris Stirewalt
Political Editor
April 15, 2010 Washington Examiner:

It turns out that watching Goldman Sachs, the United Auto Workers,  public employee unions and a raft of other vampires drain the treasury  at America's weakest moment in a generation will make a person pretty  hacked off.

After Barack Obama's election, Democrats assumed that the American  people were battered, bruised and ready for a morphine drip of  European-style socialism. Republicans, shocked by their stunning  reversals, figured the Democrats were right and started looking for  technocrats of their own.

And in a political system fueled by special-interest money, it was  hard for the leaders of major parties to imagine anything other than an  activist government. After all, if you pay for someone to get elected,  you don't expect him to just sit there.

Just 18 months ago the leaders of both parties were quite sure that  Obama would be the popular, transformative president he aspires to be.  The Republicans who emerged from the wreckage of November were certain  to look a lot more like Charlie Crist and Mitt Romney than Marco Rubio  and Ron Paul.

But Crist's embrace of Obamanomics seems to have utterly destroyed  his chances at a Senate seat that was once his for the taking. Romney,  considered a near lock for the 2012 Republican nomination, has seen his  candidacy badly damaged by a populist revolt against the passage of a  national health care plan that looks like the one he designed for  Massachusetts.

Obama, who said that passage of his health plan proved that  Washington could still do big things, finds himself deeply at odds with  an electorate that is not confident of government's ability to do  anything at all.

His election has turned out to be not the result of a national lurch  toward government intervention but his own skill at disguising his  policies, the failures of the Republican Party and the bursting of the  lending bubble.

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.

Read more at the  Washington Examiner: