Go back to 2010 with the likes of Tea Party favorites Christine O'Donnell and Sharron Angle. These Tea Party favorites cost the Republicans two seats and essentially the Senate. Today's favorites are Ted Cruz who cost the Republicans dearly with his Quixotic stand on ACA defunding. Marco Rubio has turned tail on immigration reform and Rand Paul is now attacking Chris Christie to deflect his own problems with plagiarism.
Then came Virgina. Yes, Terry McAuliffe's Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. It was the Tea Party Republicans. He didn't win the race as much as they gave it to him. They changed the rules to select their nominee for governor from an all inclusive primary to a convention where self interest rules.
They bypassed a very popular Lieutenant Governor, Bill Bolling, for a social conservative who was far less popular but met their social criteria. Those who read me know I don't think social issues should dominate politics the way they do. Apparently other Republicans and Independents agree so they now have the less than squeaky clean and very liberal Terry McAuliffe.
For a long time I gave the Tea Party a lot of slack for lack of experience and political savvy. It is no longer just that. It has become the vehicle for social conservatives. All you have to do is listen to the likes of Limbaugh and Hannity, if you can stomach it, to realize this is true.
Social conservatives are all wrong when they label moderates RINOs. Republicans In Name Only. They've been around a lot longer and personify what the Grand Old Party used to be. It's the social conservatives who are out of step with the party, not the other way around.
That being said, the Republicans still need a voice. Their figurehead is now Chris Christy who has shown he can work with Democrats and more importantly is willing to do so. He can also win! Too bad he has a state to run because that will keep him busy. No one in the House or Senate seems to be willing or, more likely, able to take the bull by the horns and do what needs to be done. In one way or another it falls to Christy, at least for awhile.
2014 will be here before we know it and then the action will shift to 2016. Essentially two years to pull it together. One hopes they don't wait until the last minute like they usually do. They may not have an "Obamacare" to bail them out is it almost did for Cuccinelli. Almost.
If the Republicans in Congress won't clamp down on the social conservatives, then what? So far they aren't strong enough to push their agenda through on their own so they really need the Republicans who have a misguided idea that they have to stick together. On the other hand the Republicnas really don't need the obstructionist social conservatives.
Perhaps it's time for that third party. Democrats. Republicans. Social Conservatives. That gives the independants and libertarians another choice, a better choice. And the Republicans might actually win something.