Paul Waldman, writing for American Prospect, has a great piece on GOP purity requirements:
What the right has — as Gingrich discovered last week to his chagrin — is a ruthless identity border patrol, with agents spread throughout the political system. Step over any one of a number of lines, even lines that didn’t exist just weeks ago, and those agents will inform you, with all the subtlety of a truncheon to the kneecaps, that you are no longer within the conservative nation.
They were warned. They were told by Liberals years ago that inviting racists, xenophobes, homophobes, bible thumpers, gun nuts and every other placard swinging extremist of any stripe into the fold as a means to gin up votes was a mistake; that the Southern Strategy was short sighted and the cost on the back end would be too steep.
Now the drooling, crazed, single issue mouth breathers have finally coalesced into the Tea Party. The evil has been unleashed and, having opened Pandora’s box, the last few remaining William F. Buckley style Conservatives have no fucking clue how to control it or stuff it back in there. The bastard spawn of hate-based politics has returned, expects dinner on the fucking table, demands bloody red meat and it doesn’t give a rat’s ass who it has to gnaw on to get it.
They wouldn’t listen. Fuck’em.