The Democratic Party has a long history of screwing itself. "I am not a member of any organized political party," said the humorist Will Rogers in 1935, "I'm a Democrat."
But Republicans are doing their best to top them.
It's a case of terminal hubris. Political blindness. The mere whiff of semi-power driving them mad.
While the Democratic Party is wildly disorganized, Republicans are doctrinaire. Lockstep. If you differ, you're out. If you differ, you must be a Socialist. And so, there is a sense of this one mind. That not only are they right and must be right about everything - but with one mindset, that means everyone in America thinks the same way. If you don't, you're un-American.
Thus it has been. Before the days of Ronald Reagan dismissing liberals as merely, "The L Word." Beyond even Joseph McCarthy, who did everything to make liberalism literally a federal crime.
And while this might make the far right feel warm and fuzzy, it's dug a hole that Republicans today are making deeper each time they speak. At CPAC, it was as if they were at a frenzied religious revival.
It may have been their funeral march.
This hubristic spiral downward into the hole began with conservatives thinking they did so well in the last election because the country loves their policies and is therefore conservative. The problem with this is that Republicans did so well because unemployment was high and the economy crushed. Never mind that these problems were created during the last Republican Administration. The reality is that when those problems exist, voters will toss out whoever is in power. Always. It's a reality of history.
So, reality and the facts contradict Republican beliefs. And it is the hubris, blindness, and out-of-control stubbornness which is making conservatives their own worst enemy. Digging that hole they don't realize they are in.
This Republican Party has made themselves so crazed, thinking America is right-wing, that they've pushed themselves even more right. In a nation pounded by unemployment -- the very reason the GOP did so well in November -- the Republican Party is using their victory to push... far right social issues! All the while completely ignoring the #1 issue in America - jobs.
Amid an unemployment and economic crisis, when Americans desperately want jobs -- jobs -- here is what the Republican Party is pushing:
Getting rid of affordable health care.
Redefining rape (!), to have stricter abortion control.
Cutting Social Security.
Cutting funding for Planned Parenthood, with Rep. Steve King (R-IA) accusing it of advocating "child prostitution."
Cutting education, cutting environmental protection. Actually cutting jobs training! All of which cuts even more jobs -- amid raging unemployment.
Cutting rental assistance programs at the time it is most desperately needed.
Cutting public radio.
But nothing about creating new jobs.
You have Rep. Mike Lee (R-UT) promoting to cut federal child labor laws, food safety standards, and federal disaster relief funds.
You have speaker after speaker at CPAC, standing on soapboxes to see who could be the most blind to the realities of the world. From Rand Paul (R-KY), Michele Bachmann (R-MN), former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Tim Pawlenty (R-MN) and more, each pushing the Republican Party so far to the farther right that Mr. Paul roused the crowd to cheers by asking, "Is there anyone here who would like to opt out of Social Security?"
It's a fair guess that no one in that cheering crowd will ever willingly give up a penny of their Social Security, let alone "opt out" of it. Including Rand Paul.
Symbolizing the far right manifesto at CPAC most was Rep. Allen West (R-FL), who blindly proclaimed that liberal progressivism "has repeatedly failed all over the world" -- ignoring that growth over the centuries is progressive. The American Revolution was not just liberal progressivism, it was radical. Technological advances are progressive. Medical discoveries are progressive. That without liberal progressivism, the U.S. would still have no child labor laws, still have no 40-hour work week, still have no Medicare, no Social Security, no Civil Rights law, no abolition of slavery.
This is the world and reality that Republicans want you to ignore.
This is the hole that the Republican Party is digging for themselves:
And nothing -- shockingly nothing -- about creating jobs.
And the problem for the GOP will only get worse. Because if they get their way with such cuts, it ignores the public outrage when people discover that what expect to be provided is gone. It's one thing to say "Get rid of health care," but another to face the anger of people who are once again refused coverage for pre-existing conditions.
Here is the hole that the Republican Party has dug for itself:
The Republican Party has made themselves so crazed that they have forgotten that no one gets elected from the wings. No one has enough votes in their base. You win in the center. You need to convince moderates and independents that you have their interests at heart.
Yet in the midst of the greatest jobs and unemployment crisis in America in 80 years, this is what the Republican Party has blindly convinced itself America actually wants: not jobs, not a revived economy, but stricter anti-abortion laws, no Social Security, no affordable health care, no child labor laws and no NPR.
The shovel is in their hands. And they keep digging.