The New York Times
If Republicans lose to President Obama this fall, said David Brooks, party leaders should not blame the eventual nominee. They should blame themselves. In recent years, the GOP’s best minds have stood mute while right-wing ideologues seized control of the party. Out of fear of being contemptuously labeled RINOs—Republicans in Name Only—Republican candidates have moved steadily to the right, condemning illegal immigrants, promising war with Iran, and vowing never to raise taxes on anyone. And in a year when the GOP had “an excellent chance to defeat President Obama,” the ideologues have “trashed the party’s reputation by swinging from one embarrassing and unelectable option to the next: Bachmann, Trump, Cain, Perry, Gingrich, Santorum.” Now, with polls showing independent voters swinging to Obama by a margin of 22 points, mainstream Republicans are wringing their hands. But where were they when the party was being redefined by Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, and the Tea Party? They were silent, and hoping the insanity would soon pass. It hasn’t.