Kos makes an important point in his latest post:
In the idealized version of the GOP primary, establishment Republicans would curry favor with their Wall Street pals while sending coded dog whistles to their foot soldiers–on race, immigration, reproductive freedoms, etc. Those dog whistles would motivate the GOP base without revealing their true radical nature to the American mainstream. It was a genius system while it worked, one that saw no parallel on the progressive side.
But the days of the dog whistle are over. The election of President Barack Obama created an entire cottage industry trying to prove how un-American and Kenyan he supposedly is, while Republicans like Rep. Pete Hoekstra run blatantly anti-Asian ads. Republicans laugh about electrocuting immigrants who will cut off your head in the desert if they’re not stopped, while passing laws openly hostile to brown people. Attacks on homosexuals have escalated to new hysterical highs as society becomes more tolerant and open to equality [and] while many conservatives were disgusted at sex for pleasure, at least they had the good sense to publicly pretend that their entire motivation was to save fetuses. But of course, that mask is off. What they want is to control female sexuality, and the hell with any candidate who doesn’t scream it from the rooftops.
….every day that this race continues is a day in which base conservatives demand their candidates–including that former “moderate” Romney–pledge vocal and overt fealty to an agenda so outside the mainstream, that independents are flocking to the Democratic Party.
Kos is right that this represents a dramatic change, one with potentially substantial effects on the struggle between the two political parties.