Steven Taylor posed several questions about the Republicans to OTB readers:

What will have to happen in the House in the next Congress for you to say that the Tea Party is having an effect on the GOP? That is to say:  what would constitute a true shift in GOP behavior to you? A related question might be: what has to happen in your opinion for the GOP to demonstrate that they are taking the mantle of fiscal responsibility seriously?

The responses are interesting. Says one reader:

Passing a farm bill that cuts farm subsidies? They’ve got until 2012 for that one, right?

Another offers this:

Meaningful cuts to one of:

1.) Social Security
2.) Medicare
3.) Defense

Anything else is just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titantic.

A third writes:

We will know the Republicans are serious when they repeal Medicare Part D. If they own up to passing a huge bill without funding as being a mistake and repealing it, they will gain the credibility to cut other spending.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.