Jonathan Chait sees the realities of the GOP better than anyone else. His seminal essay, Fact Finders, on the way conservatives insert principals into empirical economic debates informs pretty much everything Krugman writes about the outcome based reasoning of Saltwater Economists. So why does Chait (incorrectly) think the GOP has a future? Basically he imagines that the party will ditch the deficit obsession and keep the rest, ala GWB:
Chait makes two mistakes that cause him to miss the GOP death spiral:
- He does not recognize that the difference between yesterday's sociopath (Cheney) and today's (Cruz) has totally rearranged the politics of deficit spending, and
- Demographic changes will end the GOP stranglehold on certain House districts and State-wide races much faster than he realizes.
Two Different Sociopaths, Two Different Views of Deficit Spending
For Cheney to achieve his anti-social ends required a massive security state, providing a restraint on W's anti-government actions and rhetoric. But Cruz's God-centric worldview imposes no such limits. He's happy to break the military right along with every other productive use of our taxes.
Bright Red To Bright Blue In A Heartbeat
Once you realize that those in the thrall of Cruz have no line that they will not cross, you begin to see that voters in certain states will not be willing to keep up. As horrible as the news coming out of North Carolina has been, a massive backlash is baked into the cake. Economically and ethnically, the future of NC is a person of color employed at a research lab, not a rednecks in the hills. (NC is currently 9% Hispanic with an average age of 24 and 21.5% Black)
Meanwhile, Mormon dominated states Utah and Idaho are set to surprise the pundits. Latter Day Saints simply can't tolerate the hatred of minorities that motivates other Evangelicals: it is literally against their religion (having been a persecuted minority pursued by lynch mobs themselves). The "Curse of Cain" doctrine that prevented black people from being full church members may have been only recently revised (1978), but because the revision makes Mormon doctrine both more coherent and more palatable to middle America, it has been quickly internalized by church members.
Other states set to either flip or move from purple to blue include Florida, Texas, and Arizona.
Other Pundits Also Don't See That The GOP Will Go The Way Of The Whigs
Brian Beutler is not quite wrong, but he doesn't see far enough as he compares the DLC "reformers" of the 80s with the GOP variety today in The Real Problem With The American Right:
Democrats didn’t have an easy go of it, exactly, but they were able to modify their positions across a range of issues without, for instance, creating a left-wing-primary perpetual motion machine, or giving rise to a permanent population of resentful protest voters. Maybe Republicans can do the same. But the 2013 experience suggests they are so in hock to aging, white, conservative reactionaries that taking on new debts with minorities, gay people, single women and so on entails the risk of defaulting on the old ones.
Another way of saying this is that Republicans have depleted most of their crossover potential. And that’s a pretty novel problem for a modern American political party.
Utah: Black 1.1%, Hispanic: 13% with median age 23.
Idaho: Black 0.6%, Hispanic 11% with median age 22.
Florida: Black 16.0%, Hispanic 23% with median age 33.
Texas: Black 11.8%, Hispanic 38% with median age 27.
Arizona: Black 4.1%, Hispanic 30% with median age 25.