Politico interviews a stable of prominent Republican strategists about "what went wrong" for their party last year, which is, as is easily imaginable, the party's chief strategic topic these days.
The result is stunning.
Mentioned are the issues of poor "candidate quality" and failures to address America's changing demographics and the amplified role of political technology. Just barely mentioned is the matter of the party's policies. And mentioned not at all is the party's toxic primary system, which chooses the candidates, who set the party's policies, which inextricably loop back to the party's primary voters, who are consigning their party to the ideological fringe and electoral toxicity.
The rot is at the core--the party's primary system of Fanaticism First--and yet not one GOP strategist thought to mention it, even anonymously.
Which is why Jeb Bush, for one, decided not to wait; it's why he preemptively flipped on immigration reform and decided, as United We Dream's managing director notes, to "put [himself] to the right of Sean Hannity."
On immigration Bush is prejudging the base's prejudices, probably correctly. His preemptive cowardice will move--or keep--other presidential wannabes to the right on immigration reform, just as the other wannabes will move Bush farther to the preening right on, say, fiscal matters. And before the party knows it, its presidential field will be one big, privately unhappy and entirely undifferentiated family kowtowing to the backward base and alienating most of America.
And the party's doing nothing about it. In fact its top strategists don't even mention it. And that's stunning.