There seems to be a news story every day making this point. The Tea Party rally (thinly, and hilariously disguised as a press conference) in Washington on Wednesday was more dramatic evidence that the Republican coalition is seriously, seriously riven between those groups that still believe in some level of compromise across the ideological divide in order to pass some bills (and some level of political pragmatism about the urgency of competing for the growing Latino vote) and those, epitomized by the Tea Party, who believe that every issue is an existential battle between good and evil.
Good does not compromise with evil.
As reported by Dana Milbank, the Tea Partiers are demanding the political blood of Sen. Marco Rubio for his role in crafting a compromise bill on immigration. Rubio rose on Tea Party support, but that was yesterday. Today, the Tea Partiers booed every mention of his name, and someone in the crowd shouted “Primary Rubio.” This is, of course, the ultimate political threat that the Tea Party presents to the party with whom it is loosely allied. A divisive Republican primary, in which candidates compete for Tea Party support, often produces a nominee who cannot win a general election, especially in a purplish state like Florida.
One thing you have to hand to these guys. They stand on principle, know what they are against and they do not trifle with political expediency.
“The speed with which the tea party turned on Rubio is stunning, beginning earlier this year with complaints from conservative commentators and now open mockery at a Capitol Hill rally.”