...[T]he Obama Democrats' greatest ally will almost certainly be the addled Republican Party, which will be wandering around for some time like a google-eyed Wile E. Coyote after he's had an anvil dropped on his head. The recriminations on the right will make the Night of the Long Knives look like a knitting-needle ticklefest.
The civil war among conservatives will be between an enraged rump of die-hard knotheads and a disparate group of reformers. The knotheads believe that Obama's victory came thanks to the treason of some conservative intellectual elites and McCain's failure to be more like Reagan, whatever that means 20 years after the Gipper left the White House. Sarah Palin is the standard-bearer for the talk-radio faction within knotheadism, and Mitt Romney will emerge as the GOP establishment's last stand.
The reformers — well, they believe a lot of things, but most of all they believe that the GOP is intellectually exhausted and has to chart a new path to remain politically viable. But where should the party go? There is no clear answer — especially because in many ways the Bush presidency was supposed to be the center-right evolution away from doctrinaire Reaganism. But at least this bunch is asking hard questions instead of retreating into a self-justifying revanchism. Unfortunately, if the Tory party's example is any indication of the GOP's future, it will be years before the reformers find their David Cameron.
When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
05 November 2008
Into the wilderness
Rod Dreher on the future of the GOP: