The Republican Party should reduce its litmus tests to one. Base membership on passing a 7th-grade civics test while wearing a button: "You cannot save a democracy by destroying it."
That would get rid of more Tea Partyers than the many that voters ousted from office. Typically, Tea people blame a boogeyman they don't understand, this time the Republican establishment for picking Mitt Romney, merely the last man standing after a darling-of-the-month primary season featuring one imploding fool after another.
The GOP has been a minority party for much of its history primarily because it never embraced the ideals of its first president, Abraham Lincoln. It has fought to remain relevant by promising a big tent open to all sorts of extremists, including racists who flooded from the Democratic Party in the wake of laws against the Jim Crow leftovers from slavery.
As a naive young volunteer, I stood on the convention floor and winced as Barry Goldwater declared, "Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice." Later, I watched up close as Newt Gingrich and others destroyed an honorable party that had still understood the Constitution, its checks and balances and its design that required the greatest of democratic ideals, compromise, from which the minority as well as the majority benefit.
I am one of a legion of Republicans the party has left. The recent election illustrates our numbers continue to grow. Let the Tea people build their own party of ignorant extremists.