Cruzification of the GOP

… At least so far, the standoff has been a political bloodbath for Republicans. And maybe that’s exactly what was needed to right the political system: The effort to gut Obamacare had to crash like this so that Republican leaders and lawmakers would find the courage to stand up to tea party toughs, and so that business leaders would decide to stop funding a small band of right-wing activists whose interests are antithetical to their own. …

The lure of martyrdom has always been part of the tea party’s creed. In rally posters, online and in speeches, there are invocations of Thomas Jefferson’s quotation: “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.”

Perhaps now the tea party’s manure can be used to grow a healthier political system. [cont.]

Dana Milbank, Washington Post