It’s so ironic, people. The national electorate is totally turned off by partisan standoffs. You can almost hear the public imploring, will you guys please just make some back-room deals? And, at that same moment, the Republican candidates are being pushed into being more and more intractable…

Texas money and Texas politicians helped create the Tea Party movement, and the state does tend to treasure the extreme. The current Republican state platform calls for an end to the teaching of “critical thinking” in public schools. In the Texas primary this week, a member of the State Supreme Court lost renomination to a former county judge who had made his name fighting for the right to work in a courtroom with a picture of the Ten Commandments on the wall and a monument to the Bible in the front yard.

There’s always been a strong antigovernment strain in Texas politics, which seems to have something to do with Texans being obsessed with the fact that their state was once an independent republic. “We are very proud of our Texas history,” Gov. Rick Perry once said. “People discuss and debate the issues of can we break ourselves into five states, can we secede, a lot of interesting things that I’m sure Oklahoma and Pennsylvania would love to be able to say about their states, but, the fact is, they can’t. Because they’re not Texas.” He was totally stunned when it turned out that nobody wanted to nominate him for president.