Paul Krugman does a hell of a job dissecting the Republican party’s failures and where it has left them. One part of his latest column that really sticks out is this:
The fault, however, lies not in Republicans’ stars but in themselves. Forty years ago the G.O.P. decided, in effect, to make itself the party of racial backlash. And everything that has happened in recent years, from the choice of Mr. Bush as the party’s champion, to the Bush administration’s pervasive incompetence, to the party’s shrinking base, is a consequence of that decision.
If the Bush administration became a byword for policy bungles, for government by the unqualified, well, it was just following the advice of leading conservative think tanks: after the 2000 election the Heritage Foundation specifically urged the new team to “make appointments based on loyalty first and expertise second.”
It’s funny how the Republicans are out there distancing themselves from Bush now, when for seven of the last eight years they championed around him. They only changed their minds about Bush once they saw the public didn’t want him, or his party. But the whole “think tank” thing is what’s really important. Bush’s presidency was shaped by these Republican think tanks, from the Heritage Foundation’s notion of “loyalty over expertise”, to PNAC’s plans of preemptive strikes in the Middle East. The Republicans and country has now witnessed first hand what unopposed Republican leadership can yield – and it’s ugly.
The whining of the party is another problem. Up until recently, John Boehner used his congressional web page to ask for economists opposed to any bailouts. Instead of offering solutions, the minority leader wanted any reason to say “do nothing”. This is a pure partisan play at the cost of the U.S. economy, and one that is extremely dangerous.
The Republican party has always put party above country, and that will not change despite our economic purgatory. Luckily the people of this country are not falling for this crap anymore. This continued trend by the GOP will leave them in the minority for years to come.