is A New York Times op ed that is more than worth your time to read.
Blow notes a lot of the internecine rhetorical bashing of Republicans by Republicans - for example, McCain calling the likes of Ted Cruz and Justin Amash "wacko birds" and Anne Coulter taking after Chris Christie in the frame of the smaller CPAC conference this year, “Even CPAC had to cut back on its speakers this year, by about 300 pounds.”
He also covers he Palin - Rove conflict as well as Donald Trump going after Michelle Malkin.
But Blow sees the problem on a broader scale:
The Republican Party is experiencing an existential crisis, born of its own misguided incongruity with modern American culture and its insistence on choosing intransigence in a dynamic age of fundamental change. Instead of turning away from obsolescence, it is charging headlong into it, becoming more strident and pushing away more voters whom it could otherwise win.Then after citing data from Andrew Kohut, Blow focuses on the one person who is representative of the stridency he has just mentioned, that being Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesotaa.
Kohut talks about the problem Republicans have with their hardliners, to which, as he pivots to Bachmann, Blow opines
And too many of those hard-liners have a near-allergic reaction to the truth.He cites several of her recent statements rated "pants on fire" untruths by Politifact, and another statement given four Pinocchios by the Washington Post, which he quotes as saying of Bachmann that “during last year’s G.O.P. presidential race, Bachmann racked up the highest ratio of Four-Pinocchio comments, so just about everything she says needs to be checked and double-checked before it is reported.”
Blow quotes the principal fact checker for the AP as saying that during the Republican primary debates the AP had to have a quota on how many of Bachman's untrue they coul cite, and then offers a telling one-liner about how bad it is when you are so fact-challenged you exceed the ability of the fact-checkers to deal with it.
Two paragraphs before the end, Blow offers this powerful paragraph: People like Bachmann represent everything that is wrong with the Republican Party. She and her colleagues are hyperbolic, reactionary, ill-informed and ill-intentioned, and they have become synonymous with the Republican brand. We don’t need all politicians to be Mensa-worthy, but we do expect them to be cogent and competent.We of course could restate it - it is not that the statements are hyperbolic, hey are out-right untruths; reactionary is probably appropriate, but contained within such a reactionary outlook are racism, homophobia, xenophobia, and sexism; ill-informed is insufficient, because they are trying to suppress science and keep students in schools from learning; an ill-intentioned is not strong enough - how about saying malevolent?
Blow points out that even after other internal battles are settled, Republicans will still have to deal with the question of what they do with the likes of Bachmann - and by implication Ted Cruz and others, and then concludes:
And as long as the party has Bachmanns, it has a problem.Of course, there is the flip side - get rid of the Bachmanns and others of that ilk and you lose your Republican base.
Can we get the popcorn and watch?