The maniacal Tea Party freshmen are trying to burn down the House they were elected to serve in. It turns out they wanted to come inside to get a blueprint of the historic building to sabotage it.Of course, Dowd has it exactly wrong. The Tea Partiers are hardly nihilists, although they might be a bit adamantine at times, if you choose the meaning of "adamantine" to be "resembling the diamond in hardness and luster." There's no nihilism in the Tea Party at all.
Like gargoyles on the Capitol, the adamantine nihilists are determined to blow up the country’s prestige, their party and even their own re-election chances if that’s what it takes.
Dowd probably knows this, but another observation she makes gives the game away:
The Gingrich revolution pulled Republicans to the right of the Reagan revolution and the Tea Party revolution pulled Republicans to the right of the Gingrich revolution. The difference, though, is existentially striking: The Reagan and Gingrich forces wanted a leaner government, but they still believed in government.Emphasis mine. For the Dowds of the world, this moment is a crisis of faith.