From a fun read, “WTF, GOP?” by Monka Bauerlen and Clara Jeffery, Mother Jones:
“You coulda been a contender! Economy in the tank. Congress successfully gridlocked. Consider: Base energized, Yes-We-Can shock troops disaffected, major donors to the president’s campaign picketing his speeches. True, with Occupy on the rise, it did become (cue Jon Stewart falsetto) awkward that your leading candidate was an unapologetic poster child for the 0.0025 percent. Still, all you had to do was set Clinton ’92 ‘It’s the Economy, Stupid’ messaging on autoplay and coast to November. Instead, a way on ladyparts?
“Sure, it’s been entertaining. Schadenfreude, as the German saying goes, is the best freude. But liberals take note: Not only is a robust dialogue crucial for an intellectually engaged democracy, it also happens to be required to Get. Anything. Done. Even if the Republican brand suffers long-term damage (and the jury’s still out), conservatives will make up north of 40 percent of the vote, most importantly in the US Senate.
“Surely we are not alone in worrying that the Grand Old Party is losing touch with reality — obsessing on issues entirely divorced from both 21st-century mores and the pressing economic challenges of the day. But excepting Bush speechwriter David Frum’s cri de coeur in New York magazine (rewarded with RINO opprobrium from his colleagues), name-brand Republican thinkers steer clear of a frank diagnosis. They might bemoan a weak field of candidates — George Will has basically written off the White House and tried to rally the troops around holding the House — but no one dares take on the twin planks of Loonyville: Grover Norquist’s no-taxes-never-ever pledge and Roger Ailes’ facts-be-damned spin on the ‘news.’
“The realpolitik leaders on the right made a bet that they could ride the latest populist wave as they’ve ridden others, using the momentum to pull the rest of the country rightward. But they got greedy. The current cohort’s overreach threatens to blow 30 years of careful strategizing, from the school-boards-on-up long march to power to Karl Rove’s microtargeting breakthroughs.” Italics in original, emphasis added.