Nearly two weeks after the 2012 elections, all 30 members of the Republican Governors Association, meeting to examine whatâ€™s gone wrong with the party, admit that the Republican party is in bad shape. I have predicted the demise of the Republican party for many years because I knew that demographics, policy, tone and a weak grasp on reality would catch up to it. America is changing, and the Republican party has been stagnant since Ronald Reaganâ€™s revamping of Richard Nixonâ€™s Southern Strategy. Iâ€™ve been waiting for nearly a half century, knowing this moment would come. The party is on its deathbed, but it isnâ€™t over yet; itâ€™s a slow dying death that may take another 25 years. The partyâ€™s current condition is being diagnosed by practitioners from the different schools of Republican philosophy. They all want to save the party by their own methods and this wrangling between them to have the only successful approach will itself further endanger the patient.
Before the party was declared terminally ill at 11:12 on the evening of November 6, 2012, it suffered from a long illness that began in 1964 and steadily worsened for the next 48 years. During those years, the party had many victorious elections and at times seemed invincible; it survived a presidential resignation, a drugs for weapons scandal, numerous charges of corruption, several high profile sex scandals and its century-long tilt towards the rich, but it was the eight years between 2000 and 2008 that dealt the largest blow to the partyâ€™s relationship with much of the rest of the country.
The two Republican administrations of the first eight years of the twenty first century will forever be looked back on as the administrations which enabled the emergence of a diverse, aggressive progressivism. It was those years that led to the 2012 devastation of the Republican Party. The earlier victories only served to make the illness less detectable and thus allowed it to fester.
Now it has come to this: the partyâ€™s main source of strength, its base, is outnumbered by a coalition of groups the party has never courted. Many in the opposing coalition are objectionable to the Republican partyâ€™s main supporters. Too, the party has lost control of its ability to make reasonable compromises with the Democratic party to a small group of provocateurs within its structure, forcing it to assume a widely unappealing obstructionist role.