Watching the Republican party disintegrate reminds me of William Golding's The Lord of the Flies. You can easily imagine that the entire party crashed into the ocean on November 4, 2008, with survivors scrambling to the nearest deserted island. In fact, the signs of serious engine trouble can be traced at least back to 2006, if not before. Almost immediately, the survivors split into two camps - the rational speaking moderates and the hardcore, religious fundamentalist, right wing extremists. The balance of power shifted to those with the conch, specifically the Becks, Hannitys, and Limbaughs, whose values are bought and paid for by advertisers seeking wide audiences. These visceral leaders beat to a bloody pulp any who strayed from their group until they came back with whimpering apologies. Other, bolder moderates (e.g. Colin Powell and David Frum) have stood their ground, even when being pelted by the likes of Cheney and Rove. At the moment, it is difficult to see how the "new majority" will regain power when a full measure of their base continues to call for blood.
Let's listen in as one war-painted leader dances vulgarly around the fire:
CALLER: I just wanna say, Obama is a lot smarter than you folks give him credit for. You guys were on a roll, I have to admit, with all those tea parties. Everything was rolling along, the Republicans were gaining momentum. And he managed to change your entire conversational focus. And you let those three hundred thousand people —
HOST: My God. He’s so smart. His own party voted against him on Guantanamo Bay. How stupid was that, Cindy? His own party refused to fund the closing of Guantanamo Bay.
CALLER. Yeah but you know he can just move those people over here anyway. He’s already doing it with the one guy.
HOST: Yeah, sure, he can do whatever he wants. Let me ask you a question. Why do you hate this country?
CALLER: No, I love this country.
HOST: (angrily shouting) I SAID WHY DO YOU HATE MY COUNTRY! WHY DO YOU HATE MY CONSTITUTION? WHY DO YOU HATE MY DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE?
You just said it. He can blow off Congress. He can do whatever he wants, right?
CALLER: Well, he seems to, he just moved (inaudible).
HOST: Answer me this, are you a married woman? Yes or no?
HOST: Well I don’t know why your husband doesn’t put a gun to his temple. Get the hell out of here.
Check here for the host's identity. Also, David Frum offers his take on this at the New Majority site. Unfortunately, his is but a tiny conch.