For Democrats like Harry Reid, who called them “evil-mongers,” and Nancy Pelosi, who called them “un-American,” the NBC News poll must have hit like a sucker punch at a Georgetown wine-and-cheese.

The Tea Party movement, those folks rallying against spending last spring and Obamacare in the summer town halls, are viewed more favorably than the Democratic Party.

Forty-one percent of Americans have a favorable opinion of the Tea Party movement, to 35 percent for Obama’s party. Only 24 percent view Tea Party activists unfavorably, while 45 percent hold a negative view of the Democrats.

While Tea Party types played a role in the GOP’s comeback — helping take down Gov. Jon Corzine in New Jersey and turning a John McCain deficit of 6 points in the Old Dominion into a 17-point victory for Bob McDonnell — the movement is no subsidiary of the GOP. For it played a major role in routing liberal Republican “Dede” Scozzafava in New York’s 23rd and came within a point of electing a third-party conservative.

As Congressional elections are 10 months off, though primaries begin in the spring, where do Tea Party types find the battles to keep them in fighting trim? Copenhagen may have provided an answer.

While Obama came home with a nothing-burger, Hillary stole the show. Without authorization of Congress, she committed the United States to lead a campaign to transfer, beginning in 2020, $100 billion a year “to address climate change needs in developing countries.” The fund would start at $10 billion and grow by 1,000 percent in a decade.

The $100-billion-a-year global fund sprang from the fertile mind of Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

By 2020, U.S. citizens, whose nation is careening toward default, will be borrowing tens of billions more every year from China, if Beijing is still willing to lend to us, so we can ship those tens of billions off to the sump holes of the Third World.

The arrogance of power here astonishes.

Not only does Hillary’s commitment represent a doubling of U.S. foreign aid, she declared at Copenhagen that climate change — known as global warming before a blizzard brought Obama winging home early — is “undeniable.”

Now, undeniably, there is climate change. But we call it spring, summer, fall and winter. As for global warming and cooling, that has been going on for millennia. Not so long ago, we exited what is known as the “little ice age.” Over the 20th century, the official rise in global temperature was seven-tenths of one degree Celsius.

People are wailing about the “hottest decade” in history. But who would have noticed if the Chicken Littles had not told us we are all burning up and we must act now to save the planet?

How do we save the planet? By giving them power and money.

Hillary’s hundred billion a year is just the tip of the iceberg, and this iceberg is not melting. We are at the beginning of the biggest con in history.

Earlier this month, the Environmental Protection Agency made an “endangerment finding” that carbon dioxide, the food of plants and trees, is a dangerous pollutant. Under the Clean Air Act of 1970, this gives EPA power to shut down the U.S. economy, though EPA head Lisa Jackson says the ruling will apply only to 10,000 utilities, refineries and large manufacturers that emit more than 25,000 tons of carbon dioxide every year.

Congress has done nothing to reverse this usurpation of power.

Strict enforcement of this finding would make America a pasture and guarantee China’s future as the first industrial power, the factory for mankind. What is the purpose of this preposterous EPA finding?

It is the EPA nightstick to club into line U.S. companies that are fighting the Gore-Kerry-Obama cap-and-trade bill stalled in the Senate, which represents another huge transfer of wealth and power from the private sector to Beltway bureaucrats.

What the Obamaites are saying to industrial America is: Back off your opposition to cap-and-trade, or the EPA shuts you down.

The Tea Party irregulars have it in their power to stop the New World Order crowd cold. All they need do is stop cap-and-trade in the Senate for 10 months, until November, and block Hillary’s $100 billion fund from ever seeing the light of day.

If the Tea Party activists can hold the line, they can, next fall, send Congress a message it will not soon forget about getting off this Acela to globalism and getting back to putting America first.

In Europe, democracy is dead. French and Dutch voted to kill the EU constitution. The EU rechristened it the Lisbon Treaty. The Irish voted no. They were forced to vote again. The British detest it, but Gordon Brown has denied them a vote.

The West is disappearing into a New World Order, and against globalism, the Tea Party folks may represent our last best hope.

Patrick Buchanan is the author of the new book Churchill, Hitler, and ‘The Unnecessary War,’ now available in paperback.

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