If Charlie Crist announces he is running as an independent in Florida's U.S. Senate race today, it could trigger a purge of moderate insiders from the Republican Party. Angry Tea Party Republicans can be expected to exact a terrible price from more moderate Republicans for this perceived betrayal.
The Crist announcement is the third blow of a trifecta of woes that have recently beset the GOP. Senate GOPers' attempts to just say "no" to Wall Street reform crumbled in the face of Democratic insistence. Senate Republicans were unable to stall the process or extort a significant amount of money from Wall Street bankers. Tea Party activists refused to take to the streets to save Wall Street from tighter regulations.
Tea Partiers are instead busily embroiling the national GOP in the immigration issue and alienating the growing Latino population in the United States. Pushed by Tea Party and other fringe elements in the Republican Party of Arizonastan, the GOP has enacted a vicious immigration law aimed at harassing anyone who is not a WASP. Nationwide, Latino reaction to the ethnic cleansing of Arizona has been swift and negative.
Now the GOP is badly divided, unable to raise money, headed by a possibly corrupt individual, and is actively purging itself of moderates and racial minorities. The GOP will face a severe backlash this November, handicapping their efforts to achieve what they thought would be an easy sweep of the 2010 midterm elections.