Politics can be the ultimate reality show

Several lessons emerged from the Mississippi race:

One, that open primaries are good for rooting out extremists.

Two, courting idealogues for short-term political gain — as the GOP has done with the tea party — can lead to long-term headaches.

Three, and most important, it gave the lie to the often-mentioned assertion by many GOP politicians that the federal government has no redeeming qualities.

The tea party mantra of smaller government and cutting runaway spending would be laudable if it weren’t for their dissonance and nihilism.

The recent narrative in the tea party-GOP metaphor was that the tail was wagging the dog. The Mississippi race showed that there is plenty wag left in the old dog.

It also showed that politics can sometimes be the ultimate reality show.