Roger Ebert comments on the top ten "trigger issues in which the GOP no longer reflects the thinking of mainstream Americans of either party."
There are other trigger issues, but these ten will suffice. Taken as a group, they provide indications that large elements within the Republican Party are abandoning the middle ground of American opinion and pitching in with fringe ideologues. Here and there, this decision may lead to electoral victories. But the tide of history runs against them. It is time for the party to declare its independence from its radical fringe and embrace common sense.
What a lift you get from a person who simply states the obvious - and another sad reminder how rare that is in the MSM. Repugs can quibble with his conclusion that they are on the road irrelevancy for it, but no one can dispute that Ebert is essentially reading their playbook aloud.
I give him two thumbs up (four if you count big toes) ... !
In comments, @followyourbliss suggested I add more analysis. I'm really more of a cheerleader, rabblerouser, and Dem trufan than an analyst. But since you asked ...
My overall sense is that history rewards progressivism in the long run. Over time, conservatism wins frequent victories of varying length and depth but, like sandcastles on the beach, are swept away in the inevitable periodic deluge - because they are made of the sand of faith-based nonsense loosely bound with corporatist KoolAid™.
For what it's worth, I am convinced that if we commit and work our game plan, 2012 will be a historic rout and landslide win for the progressive cause - for all the reasons laid out by Mr. Ebert. I would also add that the standard bearers of the GOP - Congress and Governors - are equalled by the presidential contenders in their repulsiveness, sliminess, mendacity, and weirdo/creepy/ick factors. However many dimensions of chess Obama is playing right now, it is hard to imagine - realistically - a better leader for this moment.
It is not a given - by any stretch! - that it will happen; it's just that the playing field is very well arranged at this point to permit it to happen. And, Repugs are doing their very best to snatch defeat from the jaws of their 2010 victory.
The question you have to ask is: how will we blow it this time? We're on an emotional rollercoaster as the "balanced" approach to deficit reduction is up one day and down the next, as Medicare and Medicaid (and inexplicably Social Security) are on the table at dinner time and off by breakfast the next day.
The GOP will claim victory on the debt limit increase because it is a fake game of their own making. I don't see how Dems "win" unless the U.S. actually defaults (not worth the price, not to me anyway) or the ceiling is raised via a "clean" bill. The Dems have provided muddle and cover for Ryan Plan Repugs by just the mere fact that New Deal and Great Society entitlements have been offered up by our side. This is why you don't negotiate with terrorists.
The CW tells us that the Dems should take a page out of the Repugs' book and fight the way they do. I don't agree; what makes us "progressives" is specifically that we live in the reality-based world, and we appeal to reason and do the hard work of governing and legislating -- you know, like the TeaBaggers' Holy Writ, the US Constitution, tells us to.
So, get out and work and campaign, support more better Democrats, and see that our leaders do their jobs: legislate for the people, keep their noses clean, and don't be cowed by the Village press. Easier said than done, but in the end - to paraphrase one of Big Dog's favorites from scripture - do not weary of doing the right thing, for in due season you will reap if you faint not.