I started to ask myself: why are they letting all the crazies out at the same time? Santorum for President? Issa refusing to let a woman testify at a hearing regarding women's contraception? Forced intrauterine ultrasounds, for God's sake? All of these things will fail, or will be neutered in good time. At first I thought it was because they realize they've gotten as much out of us as they could and they had nowhere else to go and nothing else to achieve but pure unadulterated evil (which has always been at their core anyway.) But I think instead they are simply yanking the Overton Window yet again.
It's all about 2016. In 2012, they were facing a sitting President--heck, if George W. Bush could "win" re-election, what chance did they have against Obama, really, especially since the economy was almost inevitably going to recover enough in time for the election?--the Senate map is in their favor for the next two cycles, and they already have the media and Citizens United in their pockets. What better time to shift the dialogue farther to the right, thereby laying the groundwork for a supposedly more moderate Republican Presidential nominee the next time around?
In sports that have alternating possessions (like football and basketball), at the end of a close game, there is a strategy rarely seen (although we certainly saw it this year in the Super Bowl) where you let your opponent score so as to get the ball back with enough time to score yourself and win the game. It is usually only effective or useful if your team has a better offense than defense--in basketball, that is almost always the case among most college and all professional teams; in football only somewhat less so--and only coaches who are unafraid of bucking convention will authorize such an egregious breach of "the unwritten rules."
And who do we have in our political realm that absolutely do not care about the rules, unwritten or otherwise? You got it, the Republicans.
So now we have Jeb Bush saying that he only "used to be a conservative." Gee--what do you think he meant by that? The Bushes have always positioned themselves, rhetorically speaking, to the left of the farthest reaches of the right wing. Remember Pappy? He was all about a "kindler and gentler" nation. W? He was supposed to be a "compassionate conservative", of course. What will we get from Jeb? I don't know, but I bet we won't find out until about a year after the November Mitt slaughter. And then the machine will tune up and begin spinning furiously to sell, er tell, us how different Jeb is from W to snag the idiots who'll believe anything they're told. It will be a lot like this year, except a whole lot more professional. Mitt looks the part, but hasn't got any of the chops, of a presidential candidate. Jeb, otoh, has the whole package, as far as what the right wing wants. He can deliver the money boys and the religious right just like his brother did, and he has almost none of the drawbacks that W had that had to be diligently scrubbed and whitewashed away.
Many people believe that W tarnished the Bush name, but I don't believe that's true. He tarnished his name. Jeb will be able to distinguish himself from W quite easily for the non-aligned, and very few on the right care about the past anyway. Not only that, but people will want to forgive themselves for the crime of voting for W, and the best way of doing that would be to put the brother that was "supposed" to be President in the first place in the White House. I don't know who we will have available to run against him, but I fear we are going to have a serious fight next time around, and we'd better start prepping now for war.