Best Thing for GOP Is if Tea Party Splits With It

David Frum thinks 'extremism' is killing the party's political prospects
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 15, 2013 1:09 PM CDT
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks at a rally in Washington on Oct. 13.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

(Newser) – Former Bush I speechwriter David Frum has a few words for Tea Party politicians who might be considering a split from the GOP to form a third party: Good riddance. Such a split might be the only hope for the party's long-term chances, writes Frum at CNN. Tea Party backers, for instance, would rather keep the government shut down and allow the government to default rather than give even an inch to Democrats and the White House. It's all principle and no pragmatism.

Tea Party "extremism contaminates the whole Republican brand," writes Frum. "It's a very interesting question whether a (Tea Party) bolt from the GOP might not just liberate the party to slide back to the political center—and liberate Republicans from identification with the Sarah Palins and the Ted Cruzes who have done so much harm to their hopes over the past three election cycles." On that note, Frum counts at least six Democratic Senate seats that should be in the GOP ledger. So for Tea Party pols threatening to bolt if the GOP compromises, Frum counters, "Don't let the door hit you on the way out." Click for his full column. (Read more Republican Party stories.)

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