Former White House adviser David Axelrod on Sunday pinned responsibility for the recent U.S. economic downgrade on the Tea Party movement, arguing that the group’s political “brinksmanship” during debt ceiling negotiations “brought us to the brink of a default” — and that, subsequently, “this is essentially a Tea Party downgrade.” – CBS News

Absolutely. The Tea Party beat the White House on the debt ceiling, even though the Tea Party won’t claim it, so they’ll have to take the downgrade review, too.

Bob Schieffer got the White House bull’s eye talking point, which hits an easy mark, I know, but at this point it’s still welcome. It has the virtue of being true and something everyone can recognize because we all saw this play out.

It goes along with something else that’s manifested.

The Tea Party has overplayed their hand.

Greg Sargent pointed to something on Friday that works as a foundation to this after going through Friday’s New York Times internal polling numbers.

Tea Party i.d. has cratered.

Just 18% say yes they’re a supporter; 73% say no. All through the spectacle that masqueraded as debate and negotiations, their intransigence was on display. Never mind that their ideological zealotry comes with a fiscal policy that will only makes things worse.

You get held accountable for what you do in Congress, especially if you can’t compromise on what’s actually needed to fix our problem economy. Ideological fortitude is certainly principled up to a point, but legislators are sent to govern and Obama and the Democrats served up a lot (wrongly, in my estimation).

There’s no doubt Pres. Obama blew the set up and the negotiations, while refusing to wield the power he could have used to stop the deal, but there’s nothing to be done about that now.

So, if the White House can make the “Tea Party downgrade” stick it has the potential of being a 90s Newt Gingrich moment for the Tea Party, which actually is quite plausible. Heaven knows Democrats are eager to hear the line, which is a natural applause getter.

Unfortunately, this could help Mitt Romney a lot more than Pres. Obama, given his capitulation to Republican economics on the debt ceiling deal.