E.J. Dionne: 2013 is on a longer view worse for Tea Party than Obama

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Interesting theory on the political summation of 2013, brought to us by Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne:

It’s true that the health-care Web site fiasco threatened to engulf Obama’s signature achievement. And Obamacare will undergo new tests in the coming year. The site’s “back end” problems in connecting with insurance companies could create more bad news in January as some who thought they had bought policies discover that their purchases failed to go through.

But the Web site’s troubles were fixable, and it’s remarkable that the repair has gone as quickly as it has. …

Moreover, something else happened this year that may, over time, prove far more important than the great Web site flop. In 2013, the tea party began to decline in both real and perceived power, and Republicans began a slow retreat from the politics of absolutism. …

[O]n a longer view, 2013 could be remembered as the year when the far right began to weaken, the forces of obstruction began to recede and the country began moving toward at least the possibility of constructive government.