Chris Stirewalt at The Dispatch:

We could debate how much the Tea Party movement was astroturf (at least some) or how much of it was anti-Obama xenophobia (more than its defenders would like to admit), but there’s no doubt that people like [Ken] Buck were utterly sincere in their views about the size and scope of government. What they didn’t know, however, was that the lasting part of their movement would not be ideological, but attitudinal. The cause of the revolution was mostly forgotten, but its methods and modes were preserved: perpetual outrage, denouncing institutions, and, always, enmity for one’s political foes. What you said would matter far less than how you said it, preferably with a sneer and an insult for the other side.

No, Democrats did not bring “an end to the politics of cultural division” in 2014 with attack ads on abortion. Instead, they lost by trying to paint very normal-seeming people as kooks. And no, Republicans did not win the Senate in 2022 by moderating on issues. They lost because of kooky candidates.

What happened in between was that the GOP fell in love with the idea of a permanent revolution, personified in Donald Trump. A movement that started in obedience to the Constitution ended in obedience to a man who wanted it suspended. “We’re at a time in American politics that I am not going to lie on behalf of my presidential candidate on behalf of my party,” Buck said. “And I’m very sad that others in my party have taken the position that as long as we get the White House, it doesn’t really matter what we say.”