In the NY Times custom of saving the best line for last, Ashley Parker wraps her "Conservatives with a Cause" story with a quote from GOP Congressman Devin Nunes, who says his House tea party colleagues resemble "lemmings with suicide vests."
As Nunes explains it, "It’s kind of an insult to lemmings to call them lemmings, so they’d have to be more than just a lemming, because jumping to your death is not enough."
An apt analogy--except the suicide vests are strapped not to the violent lemmings, but those screaming and clawing for life. For if a House-cleaning comes in 2014 in electoral reaction to this, merely the latest release of really gross Republican pornography, it'll be the moderates who get blown up.
Congressional tea partiers will do just fine, for theirs are the reddest and thus securest of districts. It's the precarious purple ones that hold the potential of turning Democratic. Which leaves the moderates with that perverse incentive to scream and claw only silently. They have a logically unbalanced choice--bolt the ideology and face a withering primary challenge whose resource-draining battles would contribute (assuming they survive) to the odds of their general defeat, or sign on to the present obscenity and trust that most Democratic voters do what they usually do on midterm Election Day, which is stay home and watch "Gilligan."
Some, though, will almost unquestionably go down in 2014--at last, the Republican Party's behavior is becoming just too intolerably weird--and then more in 2016, and then a few more in 2018, and so on, into oblivion, as demographic transmutations smother the increasingly vulnerable party at large and further isolate the GOP as a South-only power.
This is what a dying party looks like.