As we head into the New Year, I thought this might be an appropriate time for an homage to two of my favorite things: the Tea Party and craft beer!

Approaching the 5th anniversary of the start of the Tea Party movement, media types and establishment politicos are very upset that we are still alive and kicking!

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce spending $50 Million to take on the Tea Party in 2014 Senate primaries.

“Our No. 1 focus is to make sure, when it comes to the Senate, that we have no loser candidates,” Chamber strategist Scott Reed told the Journal. “That will be our mantra: No fools on our ticket.”

The financial support, which The Hill reported would pour at least $50 million into the campaigns of centrist GOP candidates, is part of an aggressive approach toward tea party Republicans since the 16-day October government shutdown.

One of my favorite Sunday morning activities is hearing the talking heads get excited about the impending Tea Party demise, complete with interviews with Washington’s intelligentsia. The Atlantic article, Why the Tea Party Isn’t Going Anywhere, is replete with many examples of our “extremism” and offers insight to the continued outrage at our existence.

…[A]t least three successive national election defeats will be necessary to even begin to break the determination and leverage of Tea Party adherents. Grassroots Tea Partiers see themselves in a last-ditch effort to save “their country,” and big-money ideologues are determined to undercut Democrats and sabotage active government. They are in this fight for the long haul. Neither set of actors will stand down easily or very soon.

Despite the authors’ tainted view of our motives, these three principles are at core of most Tea Party activism:

1) Individual liberty
2) Fiscal responsibility
3) Limited government

In fact, San Diego blogger Dean Riehm reminds everyone about the benefits of limited government and sensible deregulation with a brilliant piece on the craft beer industry.

The Brewer’s Association released their craft beer economic impact report where they claim that the craft beer industry contributed $33.9 billion to the U.S. economy in 2012.

From the report:…”With a strong presence across the 50 states and the District of Columbia, craft breweries are a vibrant and flourishing economic force at the local, state and national level,” said Bart Watson, staff economist, Brewers Association. “As consumers continue to demand a wide range of high quality, full-flavored beers, small and independent craft brewers are meeting this growing demand with innovative offerings, creating high levels of economic value in the process.”

Surprisingly, the hero of the craft beer industry is Jimmy Carter.

In 1979, Carter deregulated the beer industry (though a detailed analysis questions by how much, Carter lifted the Federal prohibition on making beer or wine at home, with the signing of H.R. 1337) opening the market back up to craft brewers. Reason offers a video history of American Beer.

With Obama’s poll numbers plummeting, and Obamacare wildly unpopular, perhaps he can learn a valuable lesson from the former “Worst President in the History of America.”

This New Year season, our San Diego Tea Party bloggers will get together for a Beer Summit, during which we will toast Carter’s deregulation and make plans to continue or political activism in 2014. Perhaps we will even have a pool as to how many times the Tea Party will be declared “dead” in 2014!