In chronicling the ongoing clown show known as the Republican Party, pundits are quick to point out the distance between the GOP view of the world and reality.
This "Reality Gap Analysis" always ends with vague predictions about the time and circumstances of the eventual return of a reality-based GOP. But why should we assume such a return?
Democracy cannot endure half reality-based and half clown show. Men and women of good will should be joined together in the struggle to restore a political system where disagreements between the Democrats and the opposition party are about values, priorities, and methods, not about whether climate change is real or whether unemployment would drop if we left the poor to starve.
The crucial question never gets asked: can the GOP be a reality-based opposition party? What if GOP reform efforts are a waste of time and, like the Old Mainer said, "You can't get there from here"?
In my view, Citizens United cemented in place structural forces that will, over time, turn the GOP into a rump party whose influence is limited to the statehouses of the Old South.
Here, Jared Bernstein explains how the fight over Clinton's 1993 Budget taught the GOP that being totally wrong about how the economy works can lead to political victories. Bernstein, of course, stops short of my conclusion: when the the incentives encourage GOP stupidity and craziness, the only path back to functioning government is through the destruction of the GOP and the division of the Democrats into opposing--reality-based--sides.