Which brings us to Alabama Congressman Spencer Bachus, who less than a week after the Tea Parties made history decided to slam them and Sarah Palin as the reasons why the GOP did not win the Senate.
Not only is that analysis wrong and insulting, the fact that Bachus would make such intemperate remarks and trigger such intra-party fighting in what ought to be a time of unity and purpose underscores that he is very much a Beltway Republican.
He is also an old Beltway Republican, and his years in office in an ordinary year would ordinarily mean that he would be promoted to the powerful post of chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.
But it isn't an ordinary year, and Sarah Palin has already blasted Bachus, thus signaling to her supporters and everyone in the GOP that an early choice has to be made: the old boys or the new activists.
John Boehner didn't need the Bachus controversy, and he really doesn't deserve to have it distracting from the work of the lame duck session and the looming take over.
But it is now in his lap, and if Bachus is promoted a message will be sent even before his Speakership begins that Boehner will at least tolerate dismissiveness of the Tea Party movement.
The incoming Speaker may not like having to bump Bachus, just like Pelosi's buddies shrank from the unpleasant prospect of dumping her.
The Democrats refused to do what was necessary to begin to win back the confidence of voters. It will be a shame if John Boehner refuses to do the obvious thing at the very beginning of what could be a remarkable tenure, thus endangering that very success.