The strange business that is going on in New York's 23rd Congressional District, which occupies some other universe than the one commonly associated with New York, wherein the designated middle of the road Republican fell to a crypto-fascist sort conservative, is meant to signal, at least for liberals, an internecine death struggle within the GOP. The hardliners, along with Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, and Fox News, will force the party so far to the right that it will be merely an oddball outpost.
At the same time, the changing color and changing demographics of the US mean, almost inevitably, a vast new Democratic majority. Not to mention that, even as doubts surround the president, every poll shows ever-greater disdain for and fast-dwindling identification with the Republican Party.
The liberals, in theory and after so long, finally have it made.
But I have lived through this before and, counter-intuitively, somehow the stranger the Republicans get, the more out there, insular, obsessive, and even rather fetishistic they become, the more they bounce back.
This is partly about the power of true believers, no matter how wacky. In a sense, the wackier the better--the wackier you are the more you have got to believe. But it is also about showboating and grand gestures and a sense of drama--the Republicans know their media.
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