I've written it, Politico is writing it, the Times' Thomas Edsall wrote one this morning--everyone is writing it, already, it's all the craze, and it's the very kind of commentary that will comfort us through the coming post-election withdrawals: What in God's name will the GOP do next?
I once thought a good thrashing would moderate these scroundrels. And, for all I know, I was right. Problem is, the GOP won't receive a good thrashing tomorrow. Sure, Romney will go down and his party in the Senate will endure only as filibustering gloomy Guses; but the GOP House--almost certain to survive virtually unscathed--will remain our national plague. As Edsall asks:
Will it be possible to constrain the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party, the wing that has effectively dominated policy making since the 2010 midterm election?
Because it's not just the tea partiers. It's the potential tea partiers waiting in the primary wings. Ideological extremism is now enforced in the House in much the same way that filibusters are in the Senate: merely by threat. You either vote as a tea partier or you vote as a tea partier would, or your miserable little seat (as well as your $174,000 salary and benefits and perks and staff and pension) gets it.
In Politico's rather charming view,
[When] Obama manages to defeat Mitt Romney on Tuesday, the Republican Party will have to go through a painful process of self-examination and internal debate in order to explain what went so badly wrong.
Again, I once thought the party would. Yes indeed. But, there's the absent "thrashing" thing. And there's one other thing, and it's big: hardcore ideologues and depraved gangsters don't "do" self-examination. If they did, they never would have become ideologues or gangsters, and in some cases both: Republican congressmen.