The Republican Party has used white resentment — of blacks, of Latinos, of gays and lesbians — for a very long time. It was a rotten electoral strategy, but enough to keep Republicans in power. It was the "welfare queen." It was "San Francisco values." For decades Republicans blew the dog whistle and the votes followed.  

Then 2008 happened.

The election of Barack Obama as President of the United States was the symbolic coming of age for all the maligned minority groups Republicans stoked resentment against. This is why the conservative base came so unhinged at Obama's election. It's not racism as we think of it from the 1950's or 60's. Most people today have no problem cheering for a person of color at an athletic event or watching a gay performer on stage. It's not merely because Obama is black. It's what a President Obama represents. Conservatives want to prevent those groups — as a collective — from wielding any political power. Obama's election shattered that world.

What we have today on the right is rampant political nihilism. Rather than share power, as reality now dictates they must, conservatives are content to destroy the system entirely. They'll shutdown the government. They'll default on our debt. The Republican base refuses to share power with the groups they have so long despised. Ultimately, this will leave them with no power at all.

The Republican Party is facing an existential crisis, but the new majority is unlikely to have much patience for it. The time has come for Republicans to reap what they've sown.


When will a reformed Republican Party emerge?

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