By almost any political measurement, the Republican party is the strongest it’s been in generations.
Voter reaction against the leftward lurch of the Obama Administration has won the GOP a share of federal, state and national offices it hasn’t enjoyed since the 1920s. It is a dramatic turnaround for a party that many observers left for dead after Democrat sweeps in 2006 and 2008.
The Republican party’s resurgence, however, was driven by explicitly conservative campaign messages and rhetoric. The party tapped into voters’ economic anxiety and frustration with a rapidly expanding federal government and unsustainable spending and debt. The party leadership in Washington, though, never fully absorbed, or apparently even believed, its campaign rhetoric.
As a result, the Republican party is cracking-up before our eyes. In doing so, it is forfeiting yet another incredible opportunity to recapture the White House. Future historians may point to this past week as the moment the emerging dominant political party blew apart.
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