In a web-exclusive at Ten Miles Square today, Curtis Gans, Director of the Center for the Study of the American Electorate and a legendary figure in the 1968 Gene McCarthy campaign and the antiwar movement, issues a challenge to non-Tea Party Republicans to take back their party and end what has become an extremist threat to democracy itself. Here’s a sample:

The only durable way to fight and overcome the influence the right-wing has amassed is for sensible Republicans and GOP-leaning independents to pursue precisely the strategies that allowed the extremists to gain the power that they now have. They must put forward a manifesto of true conservative principles and sensible policies that can appeal to mainstream Americans. They must carry that manifesto into battle in the same one-party districts that have elected right-wing office-holders. It means doing what these groups have failed to do for a half-century – get engaged in grassroots organization and hand-to-hand political combat. They should go into battle with the same understanding of the low-turnout terrain that allowed a small reactionary minority to gain power and in the belief that their common sense approach can draw at least as many to the polls as did the extremists. If common sense campaigns and candidates cannot draw more than the three or four percent of voters that propelled craziness into office, then there is something deeply wrong with America.

Check it all out.

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Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.