You can use many words to describe the Tea Party, but pragmatic is not one of them. As long as they are able to have such disproportionate influence over the Republican Party, the Party will never be able to connect with the "vast, pragmatic middle. This is tragic for our democracy, because two vibrant, healthy political parties is essential for our system to work. We need a healthy Republican Party with the capacity for pragmatic action, and the only way that will happen is by attacking the Tea Party virus that has weakened its body and placed it on life support.
Pragmatism has a long history in this nation and is consistent with what is called “the American character.” Our Founders were pragmatists. The center is in fact “The Pragmatist Party.” The implications of this are very important to understand.
It is time to recognize the power of pragmatism in American politics, and the crucial role it plays in “picking winners and losers.” I would argue that we have always been a pragmatic nation, and that this will not change. The Pragmatist Party will forever rule the day; the thought of a coalition between Republicans and Pragmatists is laughable, as long as Democrats recognize this and don’t start believing that the nation is becoming more liberal. I wonder if they are that smart.