Establishment Republicans always remind us of how the Tea Party cost the GOP crucial seats in 2010 and 2012, which might have delivered control of the Senate to the Republican Party. And, they have a point. If Tea Party candidates had not won primaries in Delaware, Nevada, Colorado, Indiana and Missouri, these states might now be sending more Republicans to the Senate.
But, consider the alternative. Had Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) not won their primaries, imagine how lifeless the Republican minority in the Senate would be. The party’s current intellectual and ideological cutting edge has come from Tea Party primary victories.
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