In his opinion piece "How Did Conservatives Get This Radical?," Thomas B. Edsall points to the significant impact of the Tea Party faction on House Republicans when they "voted 228 to 1 on Sept. 20 to make continued financing of the federal government contingent on defunding the Affordable Care Act." Considering these radical tactics, Edsall asks "how can Republicans [...] claim to be conservative?"
To address this question, Edsall refers to academic research in the fields of political science, sociology, and psychology, which serves as a critical source of information on "the collective psyche of [the] right flank" of the Republican Party. One of those sources is UW Political Science's Christopher Parker. Edsall quotes Parker's research on the Tea Party and reactionary politics at length.
The article was published in The New York Times Opinion Pages on September 24, 2013.