Tea partiers should stay post-partisan, urges Karl Rove. Rather than align with either party the group should preserve its independence and "hold the feet of politicians in both parties to its fire," he writes in the Wall Street Journal. But, to maximize its influence on policy, the movement must focus on key issues like federal spending and debt, and ditch the "cranks and conspiracy nuts" on the fringe.
The GOP ought to keep some distance, too. Though the Republicans share some of the movement's goals, the party cannot possibly hope to control its "decentralized galaxy of groups," Rove notes. Plans to bring the tea party into the GOP fold failed this week in South Carolina. That's good, says Rove. "This is one instance when, if they merged, the sum would be less than the parts."