You might think, perhaps hope, that Republicans will engage in some soul-searching, that they’ll ask themselves whether and how they lost touch with the national mainstream. But my prediction is that this won’t happen any time soon.
Instead, the Republican rump, the party that’s left after the election, will be the party that attends Sarah Palin’s rallies, where crowds chant “Vote McCain, not Hussein!” It will be the party of Saxby Chambliss, the senator from Georgia, who, observing large-scale early voting by African-Americans, warns his supporters that “the other folks are voting.” It will be the party that harbors menacing fantasies about Barack Obama’s Marxist — or was that Islamic? — roots.
I’ve been thinking about this and I’m starting to conclude that the 2012 GOP race could easily come down to a three-way between Palin, Romney, and Huckabee. Palin and the Huckster will have the theocons battling it out against Romney, who will represent the party’s old establishment.
In a race like that, Palin would have a decent shot to win the nomination as much of the base will still be angry about the media’s treatment of Palin and their unsubstantiated claims of ACORN-based voter fraud in 2008. Their resentment will linger and fester, causing them to nominate Palin in a final act of “fuck you” defiance that the hard-right theocrats seem to be so good at.
More from Krugman:
But the G.O.P.’s long transformation into the party of the unreasonable right, a haven for racists and reactionaries, seems likely to accelerate as a result of the impending defeat.
This will pose a dilemma for moderate conservatives. Many of them spent the Bush years in denial, closing their eyes to the administration’s dishonesty and contempt for the rule of law. Some of them have tried to maintain that denial through this year’s election season, even as the McCain-Palin campaign’s tactics have grown ever uglier. But one of these days they’re going to have to realize that the G.O.P. has become the party of intolerance.
I think we’ll win tomorrow. But once that happens, the battle will have only just begun.
You think the war the GOP waged on Clinton was ugly? It was nothing compared to what’s coming once Obama is in office. Limbaugh and his ilk will once again go apeshit accusing Obama of being a Muslim Marxist with a crazy Christian preacher who hates puppies and they’ll be crying about Michelle’s nonexistent “whitey” video and they’ll be angry at both of them because they will adopt a breed of dog that the wingnuts don’t favor. Remember how much they hate Socks that cat?
And, worse, the wingnuts will have the help of Fox News to rile up their resentment.
But in their anger, post-rationalism, and pettiness, the hard-right may cease to be relevant, especially if Obama, as expected proves to be a competent leader who inspires our better selves.
I can’t wait for the first GOP presidential debate, which, if this year is any guide, will be held shortly after the 2010 midterms.