Political scientist and sometime Democratic political advisor, Bob Shrum, offers interesting things to think about in his column today, following Romney's possibly terminal couple of weeks. Some excerpts:
What then, if Obama wins?
There is a civil war gathering in the Republican Party. It looks more and more like a dispirited and disappointed collection of factions, preparing to lay blame for a lost presidential election and to do battle to shape a new direction for the Grand Old Party.
Last week the view hardened that the Republican nominee was in close to terminal trouble. ...Daily Beast
... With Romney consigned in 2013 to his four-car elevator mansion in La Jolla, Calif., the president may face daunting challenges to governing even as he once again reaches across the aisle. His mandate could prove momentary, which is what happened to Harry Truman, who achieved almost nothing domestically in the four years after his upset win in 1948. At least this time, the Supreme Court will be saved from a right-wing coup and health-care reform won’t be dispatched to extremist defenestration. And Democrats could hold the high ground for elections to come.
This outcome—in an Obama second term, in 2016, and campaigns beyond—will be magnified or modulated by the course of the irrepressible conflict between the Jeb Bush Republicans and the Paul Ryan Republicans. The two men represent very different paths. Bush stands for a tempered conservatism; he understands the impending demographic doom of a reactionary, anti-Hispanic Republican Party. He’s writing a book on immigration; as he said this summer: “Don’t just ... say immediately we must have controlled borders. Change the tone ... think we need a broader approach.” Ryan, on the other hand, champions a hardline approach on immigration, along with virtual repeal of the New Deal and the social progress of the 1960s. ...Daily Beast
But this isn't going to be a quick and easy demise of the extremists in the Republican party.
Having behaved like spoiled -- "entitled" -- children for several decades, it's going to take time for Republicans to simply grow up. Unfortunately, short of moving to a functioning democratic country overseas, we have to be here the whole time, watching and waiting. Or, in this blogger's opinion, selective corporate boycotts -- particularly of the media conglomerates fueling extremism and division -- could help speed the process along...
...In an America where the party of angry white men increasingly speaks for and to a permanent minority, it could take another defeat and maybe another before the GOP comes to its senses. ...
...Hovering over [Romney's] apparently desperate march toward a concession speech is the specter of Republicans fighting their protracted civil war. Someday, somehow, someone will do for the conservative side of our politics what Bill Clinton did as the progressive who brought Democrats back to the mainstream. But post-2012, maybe even Ryan won’t be pure enough; it could be full-Santorum ahead. ...Daily Beast