Ideology is one thing. But if the tea-partiers do well next week, especially if the Republicans capture the House, they need to move past ideology into the realm of practical policy. This means having something serious to say about how actually to bring spending under control. To date, they have preferred breezy slogans. Will they cut into pensions and Medicare, and if so how? Will they accept that taming the deficit will require hikes in taxes as well as cuts in spending? Will they continue to oppose reflexively every measure of a Democratic administration, or have the courage to share responsibility for the painful decisions the times demand? It has been all too easy from the outside to conjure up a mythic America of limited government, sing hymns to the constitution and denounce the federal bureaucracy in all its forms. Once they are in government themselves, that gig will be over.