When it comes to flexing political muscle, Tea Party zealots don’t hesitate to be downright threatening, as in their warning to Senator Lamar Alexander, Republican of Tennessee that he’d better retire from office because "our great nation can no longer afford compromise and bipartisanship, two traits for which you have become famous." The warning was in an open letter from a score of Tea Party groups, most of them county operations in the senator’s home state. They said he would face a right-wing primary challenge if he should opt to run next year for a third term.
Lamar Alexander is a longtime Republican officeholder - former governor of Tennessee, first Bush administration secretary of Education and since 2003 a U.S. senator. He caused a mild sensation during two presidential runs for wearing a lot of plaid. (What can we say? Things got weird like that in the 90s.)
In the Senate has has recorded largely favorable ratings with conservative organizations. None of this seems to matter to Alexander's Tea Party opponents.
The senator ignores this letter at his peril. All he has to do is ask this guy, who is now an ex-senator from Utah.