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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Let’s Take Advantage of the Fact They May Be Cracking Up!

Another great reason for Democratic unity is to take advantage of emerging Republican weaknesses.  And one of those weaknesses may be: they’re cracking up!  Start with the fact that a fringe element like Norquist has now attained such power.   Let’s face it, Grover is a few fries short of a Happy Meal, but is now a huge influence on Republican economic and fiscal policy.  But Norquist doesn’t want better economic and fiscal policy; he wants to eliminate economic and fiscal policy. 
The Republican party has always had “thinkers” like Norquist to deal with, but in the old days, they were muzzled most of the time and only allowed out to howl at the moon on special occasions.  But now the lunatics are running the asylum.  And writing books like Ann Coulter’s Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism.  As hilariously detailed in today’s Richard Cohen column in The Washington Post, Coulter has managed to convince herself that anyone to the left of the President (note to Coulter: more than half the country voted against him), and certainly anyone who criticizes the President, is (let’s call a spade a spade!) a traitor. 
Yep, there’s no doubt about it, those conservatives are getting kind of wacky.  And, of course, it’s not just Norquist and Coulter, it’s the whole radical right groupthink that now appears to have taken over the Republican party.  Which makes liberals look pretty good by comparison.  As Eric Alterman notes in is latest column in The Nation, “Today, ‘liberal’ is just another word for ‘not nuts’.  Don’t go around invading countries that do not pose a threat and lie to the world to justify it; don’t destroy the nation’s fiscal health in order to give trillion-dollar gifts to the wealthy; don’t gratuitously insult countries whose help we need to maintain peace and security; don’t shred the Constitution at every opportunity, etc. etc.”
Of course, the amazing thing about this is that the conservatives themselves are quite unaware of any of this.  They think there’s nothing wrong–like Grover, they see a Republican future that stretches on forever.  It’s the Democrats who are going over the cliff, as normally-astute conservative commentator David Brooks recently argued in The Weekly Standard, because–well, because, some of them actually criticize President Bush and denounce his policies. 
David, that’s not being nuts, that’s being the opposition party.  If you want nuts, I can think of another place to check.  Hint: it’s a group whose name begins with “R”.
Democrats: We’re the not nuts party!