When center-left pundits are critical of Republican extremism, it’s expected. When a former aide to George W. Bush and John McCain does it, the criticism resonates a little louder. In this case, it’s Mark McKinnon, who wants “a new Republican Party.”
Increasingly, it is becoming clear that the party is against everything and for nothing.
Nothing on taxes. Nothing on gun control. Nothing on climate change. Nothing on gay marriage. Nothing on immigration reform (or an incremental, piece-by-piece approach, which will result in nothing). It’s a very odd situation when the losing party is the party refusing to negotiate. It may be how you disrupt, but it is not how you govern, or how you ever hope to regain a majority.
And so, we have a Republican Party today willing to eliminate any prospect for a decent future for anyone, including itself, if it cannot be a future that is 100 percent in accordance with its core beliefs and principles. That’s not governing. That’s just lobbing hand grenades. If you’re only standing on principle to appear taller, then you appear smaller. And the GOP is shrinking daily before our eyes.
In fairness, when it comes to today’s GOP, McKinnon is further from the Club for Growth and closer to the David Frum contingent, but the more commentary like this spreads, the more it reinforces perceptions that the radicalization of Republican politics is creating a larger political crisis.
Indeed, also note this terrific recent piece from Thomas Friedman, who warned Republicans they will struggle so long as the party “is at war with math, physics, human biology, economics and common-sense gun laws all at the same time.”