In 1968, Elizabeth Kubler-Ross published On Death and Dying. In this book, she outlined five stages that individuals facing a terminal diagnosis go through. Although the idea remains scientifically controversial, it has been extended to other major life traumas. Based upon some personal experiences lately, I think it provides a useful analytical framework for understanding individual response to traumatic but not fatal experiences. It occurred to me that Kubler-Ross ideas could usefully applied to the current behavior of the Republican Party. Follow me below the fold for more.
In her book, Kubler-Ross laid out five stages that an individual goes through when faced with a terminal disease. These can be found at Wikipedia: Kubler-Ross Model They are 1) Denial, 2) Anger, 3) Bargaining, 4) Depression, and 5) Acceptance. It is worth noting that these behaviors may overlap.
Let's see how the Republican's symptoms match the framework:
Denial - Clearly they have been here. The election fraud, ACORN stole the election for the Democrats meme is a clear expression of this symptom.
There is also, the "Party of No" response of members of Congress and the Republican governors refusal of stimulus funding.
Next comes, Anger - Teabagging, need I say more?
Followed by Bargaining - Are they there yet? The election of Michael Steele as RNC chair might be considered an exercise in bargaining. They are trying to respond to demographic trends that make their future as a party exceptionally grim.
The penultimate stage is Depression. I don't actually see any signs of this yet. As a partisan is it too much to hope that this symptom paralyzes them in next year's mid-term elections, increasing our control of Congress and the states?
Finally, there is Acceptance. No sign of this on the horizon. Until they get there, there is absolutely no prospect of righting the ship. As long as you hear Elephants making statements, "Conservatism hasn't failed, it just wasn't properly applied." You can rest assured that they haven't completed their mourning process.