... an establishment liberal columnist who's starting to get it.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, perhaps the most powerful Republican in Washington and certainly the party's kingpin in Kentucky, put his considerable clout behind Grayson. But Paul's candidacy became a cause celebre for the national tea party movement, and he whipped Grayson in Tuesday's primary by 24 points.
The stunning result should telegraph two warnings to Republicans. The first is a reminder that while voters' ardor toward the Democratic Party might have cooled, this has not led to a passionate embrace of the GOP. There's a splash-back effect from unceasing attacks against the evil empire known as Washington: Voters notice that Republicans live there, too.
The second warning is that the tea party movement does not intend to become a wholly owned subsidiary of the Republican Party. Strategists who hoped to use the movement's energy and passion as weapons against the Democrats in the fall should realize that many tea party types see the GOP as fundamentally no different.
After nearly a year and a half of 2x4 upside-the-head obviousness of what the tea party movement stands for, the memo arrived at WaPo's Eugene Robinson's desk this week. Congrats, Gene!
Also note the lack of crocodile tears and faux hand-wringing with respect to any "purges" of moderate elements of the Republican Party if it now means electoral gains for the Democratic Party.