Maybe the party is finally over.
Meaning not simply the Grand Old Party, but more specifically the bacchanal of the bizarre and carnival of crazy to which it has lately devolved. So obvious has this devolution become that even Republican stalwarts have been heard to decry the parody of a party the GOP has become.
Except now we see signs suggesting maybe a corner has been turned. There was, for example, that surprising bipartisan consensus on immigration reform, which one would have thought about as likely as a Ted Nugent concert on the White House lawn. And Politico reports that Karl Rove has started a Super PAC whose mission is to keep the more … ahem, colorful candidates from winning Republican primaries. Politico also quotes what it calls a high-profile strategist who said party leaders are now trying to “marginalize the cranks, haters and bigots” they until recently portrayed as courageous truth tellers.
There’s more. Fox “News,” for many years the communications arm of the GOP, just ditched two of its fieriest firebrands: Dick Morris and Sarah Palin, who, like Linus in the pumpkin patch, kept assuring true believers of the Great Pumpkin of a Mitt Romney victory. This comes as Fox, though it still has numbers CNN would kill for, sees its ratings fall to a 12-year low among a key demographic. A new Public Policy Polling survey finds trust in Fox at the lowest level in the short (four years) history of the survey.
Then there is Bobby Jindal. The Louisiana governor, widely considered a rising star of the GOP, has, since the election, been preaching with evangelistic zeal that Republicans must “stop being the stupid party,” which could be a reference to Herman Cain, presumably still poring over a map looking for “U-beki-beki-beki-becki-stan-stan;” or to Michele Bachmann, perhaps still searching out terrorists in the office of the Secretary of State. Or to any of a series of GOP candidates who made statements on rape so spectacularly ignorant they would stun even the men in those dusty places where wives are bought like cattle.
So yes, signs are plentiful that something is afoot among the Republicans. But what does it mean?