Republican leaders have to decide if they want the tiny fraction of furious voters who have showed up at the primary polls to steer them into the swamp for years ahead. They have a chance to repudiate the worst of the Tea Party crowd and show that they can govern without appealing to the basest political instincts. So far, they have preferred to greedily capitalize on the nuclear energy in the land without considering its destructive effects.
Democrats, especially beleaguered incumbents and the White House, need to counter the toxic message of the Tea Party so voters have an alternative.
For both parties and certainly the broad swath of independent voters, defeating this new crop of Tea Party nominees has become imperative to avoid the sense of national embarrassment from each divisive and offensive utterance, each wacky policy proposal.