At the start of the New Year, Legal Insurrection reader Nicholas wrote to ask Professor Jacobson the following question: Could 2014 be the year of the Tea Party Democrats? The political climate certainly seems appropriate.

As Legal Insurrection’s designated “Tea Party Democrat,” I would like to answer this: Yes and No.

Yes: Democrats are becoming as frustrated with their establishment leaders and failed policies as “Tea Party Republicans” have been with theirs. Exhibit 1: A townhall meeting in Chicago a hosted by Al Sharpton transformed into a “tea party” against “Chicago Machine” politics, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and the aldermen in City Hall.

“This was a historic event,” Paul McKinley of V.O.T.E. (Voices of the Ex-Offender) and former 2nd Congressional District GOP nominee to replace Jesse Jackson, Jr. told Breitbart News…..

McKinley told the room, “Stop blaming just anybody for the violence in the city of Chicago. Blame the right people, not just white people, but the right people. Because it’s not just white folks a part of this, but it is on the fifth floor. The fifth floor took your schools, the fifth floor just took your jobs that he said that he gave to the ex-offender… and every single alderman was a part of this criminal process.”

The video will delight fans of schadenfreude:

To paraphrase Frank Sinatra: If a revolt can make it here, it can make it anywhere.

Exhibit 2: Another core constituency is showing signs of open rebellion. Last month, it was reported that Obama’s approval numbers had tanked in 2013 among Hispanics — the biggest plunge for any core group.

Now, comes word that Eric Holder’s Justice Department is disputing as unfounded the religious challenge that led a Supreme Court justice to partially block the provision from taking effect this week. Hispanic justice, Sonia Sotomayor, was the one who signed the eleventh-hour order in response to a plea from the Little Sisters of the Poor Home for the Aged, a Colorado-based order of nuns, that is now being challenged.

I suspect this will not enhance the popularity of the Obama administration.

And as many Americans trusted Obama’s healthcare promises, the fact that frustrated patients (some of them Hispanic) are walking out of hospitals without treatment:

‘They had no idea if my insurance was active or not!’ a coughing Maria Galvez told MailOnline outside the Inova Healthplex facility in the town of Springfield.

She was leaving the building without getting a needed chest x-ray.

‘The people in there told me that since I didn’t have an insurance card, I would be billed for the whole cost of the x-ray,’ Galvez said, her young daughter in tow. ‘It’s not fair – you know, I signed up last week like I was supposed to.’

Legal Insurrection readers now may be asking, “Then, Leslie, why do you also say NO?

Because “Tea Party” has been so derided and mocked in the mainstream media and comedy shows…which is still the main source of news for the less politically engaged. Cue Jon Stewart:

It is also not terribly helpful when conservative luminaries like Charles Krauthammer refer to Tea Partiers as the “Suicide Caucus” and Republicans name “top generals in the War Against Tea Party“.  Also, GOP guru Karl Rove further derided grassroots activists recently by saying this of his new group: “Our object is to avoid having stupid candidates who can’t win general elections.”

While all of this is unfair, sensible activists deal with “conditions on the ground”.

As a Democrat, I offer this hopeful forecast related to my party for 2014: Democrats around the country will begin pushing back on government in their own way under a different label.  It was done in 1992 by Bill Clinton and his team’s concept of “centrist Democrats“.

More recently, a Blue Dog Coalition of “fiscally conservative Democrats” has this to say:

I am a Blue Dog Democrat because I believe that a fiscally conservative government and being committed to the security and safety of the United States are two principles our founding fathers supported and should continue to be the core principles upon which our leaders govern.

So, 2014 will probably not be the “Year of the Tea Party Democrat”, but of the “Blue Dog” (or some other trendy moniker).

Same concept. Different label. And probably not entirely the same set of goals.

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