The relationship (or lack thereof) between the mainstream of the Republican party and the tea party has long been pooh-poohed by GOP strategists as standard operating procedure for a party out of the White House. The base and the establishment feud and, in the end, the base falls in line, they argue. But what if the tea party movement represents something new — and less manageable — for the establishment heading into the 2016 presidential race?
While parties typically have a hard-core, somewhat disaffected minority, they are usually swept along with the current of a larger movement.
However, in the case of the Tea Party, their lack of central organization and strict adherence to ideology over politics makes them a potent ingredient tossed into the evolutionary soup.