Rand Paul for president (or Ted Cruz)

The Tea Party rose suddenly in status in the public’s imagination. When it comes down to it, Americans of every stripe have little love for the IRS. And the feds' assault only garnishes the rural rebel’s flair. Rand Paul has it, but possibly more important, so does Katniss of "The Hunger Games" and Ree Dolly in "Winter’s Bone." 

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These images of courage and commitment stir the hearts of the very young, those — especially girls — still in high school. They rise with these as generational avatars as my generation did with Bob Dylan and Seymour Glass. But who will profit most from the investigations and the climate of dissent? My guess, Newt Gingrich.

That is why it is of greatest importance now that Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul (R) and/or Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (R) considers running for president in 2016.

It was Gingrich who gained most from Tea Party rants since 2008. He is indeed a rebel, but of the old line and the passing generation. He believes in states' rights but he believes in vast central government visions as well, like putting a colony on the moon.

But the first concerns of Tea Party were states' rights, starting with New Hampshire state Reps. Dan Itse and Paul Ingbretson’s challenge to ObamaCare in 2009, which got things started, and Ron Paul’s vision of Austrian economics and gold money, and Judge Andrew Napolitano’s libertarian views of constitutional government. But when Gingrich got hold of it it was yes, what he said, but let’s GET BIG and talk now about colonies on the moon.

We have been a central government for 148 years, and it will take beyond 2016 to find a working Jeffersonian model that states and regions can profitably relate to. And it will not come from Newt Gingrich.

He is the anti-Clinton and was destined to be. But big will always end in Bismarck; it requires the strong hand, otherwise it will fall apart, as it is doing now. And once they get in, and Gingrich has been there a long time now, it is always a game of “King of the Mountain.” 

Paul, Cruz and Utah Sen. MIke Lee (R) have made enormous progress on the way to Jefferson’s vision of America. Others are just ahead. But key to Jefferson is states, not Washington.