Today, the 2014 primary season begins in earnest. As with 2010 and 2012, there are a fair number of “Tea Party” challenges to Republican incumbents and establishment primary favorites….
When evaluating Tea Party challenges, I think there are four facts that have been lost in the conventional wisdom.
1. This Isn’t as New as Many People Seem to Think
The Republican Party establishment and its more conservative base have been at varying degrees of conflict for over a half century. For a classic example of this, consider the 1952 Republican convention. As I wrote last summer.
2. The Tea Party Has Had Its Fair Share of Successes
Lost in much of the shouting about the Tea Party is the fact that it really has had significant successes. It’s also true, as we’ll see below, that it has cost Republicans at least some Senate seats.