Let's look at health care. It's almost astounding the number of people who identify themselves as Republicans who want a complete repeal of ObamaCare. The only component of ObamaCare that polls well with some in the GOP is the requirement that insurance companies cannot box people out of the health care system because of pre-existing conditions. That's hardly reason for Republicans to fight tea partiers.
What's really going on is the same thing that we witnessed in 1980. Ronald Reagan was portrayed as an impetuous and unstable arch-conservative who would push the nuclear button in a New York minute. Yet his economic policies now are the standard for all Republicans, even though when he first revealed them, they were considered untested or even "voodoo economics." That coined phrase came from none other than the man who would become Reagan's vice president, George H.W. Bush.
And that's my point. The differences between the elder Bush and Reagan in 1980 were far more pronounced than any of the differences that exist among any of the major GOP candidates for president today.
For whatever reason -- be it ignorance or something more nefarious -- much of the national media wants to portray a divided GOP. They are hopeful that the Republican who emerges as the party's presidential nominee will be identifiable with what these pundits consider to be a major rupture within the GOP. They're nuts.
I must have given a hundred interviews to reporters on this issue over the last year. Inevitably they will then quote different parts of what I said. But not one has written the first thing I always tell them: The tea party is a state of mind.