Ed Kilgore has a perceptive post up at Washington Monthly explaining why the Republican party’s capacity for substantive change has devolved to nil. He cites Ray Marshall’s insight that, in addition to the tea party’s knee-jerk nihilism,
… Thanks to a combination of geographic sorting and gerrymandering, many House Republicans can truthfully claim to be faithfully representing their constituents who sent them to Washington to pull down the Temple, not to do deals with Democrats. That’s why the House stands for now at least as the Proud Tower of unbending right-wing orthodoxy.
Then Kilgore elaborates:
With the “base” and elected officials (not to mention the vast noise machine of activists and gabbers) alike embracing every available excuse for maintaining the GOP’s ideological totems, the handful of wonks and scribblers calling for a fundamental reexamination of those totems are laughably outgunned. Marshall doesn’t specifically note the complicity of the MSM in mis-describing the various “rebranding” and “better messaging” projects of the GOP as something far more consequential than they actually are. But that, too, encourages the deception and self-deception that keeps Republicans from facing the music, and helps, as Marshall does observe, prevent a divided federal government from functioning on a whole host of issues….
Rather than wait indefinitely for enough Republicans to grow up or for the MSM to do its job, Kilgore concludes that the only sensible response left for Dems is to keep beating the Republicans. “These people just need the honesty that comes with chronic defeat. That won’t be easy for those who still think of Barry Goldwater’s calamitous loss in 1964 as a moral victory.”