Joe Carter argues that the tea party is actually a subset of the religious right:

A recent survey has shown that nearly half (47 percent) consider themselves to be part of the conservative Christian movement. And despite the perception of the movement being comprised of economically-oriented libertarians, the majority held social conservative views. Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of Tea Partiers say abortion should be illegal in all or most cases, and only eighteen percent support same-sex marriage.

I think this is absolutely correct and makes the "tea-party" label a brilliant marketing move to repackage Fusionist Republicanism. It's a way to give fiscally conservative and socially moderate Republicans permission/cover to vote for Christianism again. But the Christianism is still there - just disguised - and, when exposed, as in Colorado, increasingly a negative. And at some point, surely, the mask will have to fall:

If the Tea Party were to completely drop its veneer of being focused on government spending and instead simply become a vehicle for the advancement of movement conservatism more generally, it would cease to have any real relevance whatsoever.  Indeed, it’s worth pointing out that each Tea Party-approved statewide candidate whose social conservatism became a campaign issue, whether by choice or otherwise, performed miserably or, at the very least, suffered a disappointing loss.

So let's see how the new GOP reacts to the live possibility of Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal, endorsed by the military brass. That will tell us where they stand.

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