WestSouthwest: Bridge Magazine examines the Tea Party's influence in Michigan
Correspondent Pat Schellenbarger reported the series and wrote the stories for the on-line news service of the Center for Michigan.
Schellenbarger says the Tea Party has proven to be better at blocking legislation than getting something passed. He says the Tea Party has exerted almost all of its influence in the Republican Party. That has come mostly through primary challenges, or the threat of them against incumbent Republican lawmakers.
That leaves the Tea Party in a position where it can move the Republican party to the right. Schellenbarger says "in many respects they seem to have succeeded in that." But it has led to concerns about Republican chances in general elections.
While business interests favor less government, they have butted heads with the Tea Party over issues such as Medicaid expansion and road improvements.
Schellenbarger says even some lawmakers who are "solidly conservative" are still targeted by the Tea Party for their votes on issues such as Medicaid expansion. He says many Republicans initially thought the rise of the Tea Party was good for the GOP. But he says there are some of them "maybe wondering what it is they created"
Center for Michigan Founder Phil Power considers the Tea Party's rise and future in his column for Bridge.