[Originally in green]
Jonathan Bernstein is correct that you can tell who the target audience for an opinion piece is by looking for the "to-be-sure" paragraph. The "to-be-sure" paragraph is intended to anticipate, confront, and cut-off likely criticisms of your argument from people who are generally on your side of the political spectrum. It is usually used to solidify your credentials as a solid liberal or conservative, depending on your intended audience.
Example: "To be sure, I'm all for single-payer health care, but ObamaCare isn't too shabby."
Example: "To be sure, ObamaCare is a complete disaster, but now is not the time to shut down the government over it."
Mr. Bernstein is also correct that pandering to the Tea Party with the latter of those two examples is not going to be effective, and what is really needed is direct confrontation of their bullshit. The way to treat Tea Partiers is the way you would treat a drug addict. Realize that you didn't cause their craziness, you can't cure their craziness, and you can't control their craziness. All you can do is establish that you have zero-tolerance for their bullshit and lay out consequences for them if they keep mainlining excrement. And then you need to get out of their way and let them figure things out for themselves.
Judd Gregg thinks that he can talk sense to these addicts if he grants them half their insanity. That's like telling a junkie that it's okay for him to abuse alcohol as long as he stays away from the smack. That won't work. These people need some tough love and a 12-step program.
Their brains have been marinated in weaponized bullshit for so long that they don't know how to function without it. They can't be reasoned with until they've been right-wing media-free for at least 90 days. They probably need an inpatient treatment program that has no televisions or radios, and no email, either.
You can't shame them. Begging won't work. Anger won't work. Negotiating won't work. Guilt won't work. Fear won't work. Pretending you're their best friend won't work. You might as well stop being in denial about it and realize that only forcing them to own up to their problem is going to get them to begin on the road of recovery.