"If the nation defaults on its financial obligations, the blame belongs to the Tea Party Republicans who fragged their own leader, John Boehner. They had victory in their hands and couldn’t bring themselves to support his debt-ceiling plan, which, if not perfect, was more than anyone could have imagined just a few months ago." Parker
Parker lays it out clearly. The Tea Party has destroyed Boehner as Speaker of the House, and is working on destroying the GOP. Dana Milbank says the same thing. Boehner may survive for a while but having been defied as leader of his party in the House of Representative he is essentially "toast." Eric Cantor waits in the wings like the XO on a Klingon battle cruiser waiting to sit in the dead man's chair.
IMO the Tea Party people and their representatives in Congress are not Republicans, or if they are, then the "original" Republicans are not.
We have a poor record in demonstrating an ability to form new major political parties in the US. We have not created a major party since the rise of the Republicans in the 1850s.
Nevertheless, the logic of the emergence of the Tea Party calls for such a major re-alignment. The alternative to such a shift will be stasis in the federal legislature. The present impasse will be repeated endlessly if there is not a politiccal change. pl