Probation comes as a sentence after one is convicted of an offense. Probation is an offender's last chance to prove that he does not deserve the more harsh sentence - imprisonment. If an offender completes probation successfully, he or she stays out of jail. If not, the court sentences the offender to jail or prison.
So what was the offense the GOP committed?
Chairman Steele's comments point us in the right direction: “Big government Republicanism is not innate to us, it’s not part of our DNA and yet we tried to force ourselves into that box and instead we wound up forcing people out of the party,”
Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2010/11/04/rnc-chairman-steele-says-the-tea-party-has-put-republicans-on-probation/#ixzz14Qgrbsip
The GOP's offense was that it became an alternate statist party. The punishment was that people left the Big Tent, and the voters did not allow them to retain power. As such, the national GOP now has a chance to live up to its stated purpose. If it does not, then the voters will bring on another wave of change; the GOP will fail again, and the Republic will fall further into debt.
From: Tim Howes