“The Tea Party put a lot of steel in the spine of the Republican Party,” said Representative Tom Cole of Oklahoma.
But the Tea Party activists have not been front and center in the fiscal fight. And Mr. Cole added that Tea Party leaders now excoriating Mr. Boehner for offering higher taxes in a budget deal did not recognize political reality.
“These guys want instant success,” said Mr. Cole, a member of the House Republican leadership. “If they want to see a better result, they’ve got to help us win the United States Senate. We’ve thrown away some seats out of political immaturity.”…
“I think the Tea Party movement is to the Republicans in 2013 what the McGovernites were to the Democrats in 1971 and 1972,” said Don Gaetz, a Republican who is the president of the Florida Senate. “They will cost Republicans seats in Congress and in state legislatures. But they will also help Republicans win seats.”