Thursday, March 24, 2011


At first I was delighted by this news:

CNN has exclusively learned that Rep. Michele Bachmann will form a presidential exploratory committee. The Minnesota Republican plans to file papers for the committee in early June, with an announcement likely around that same time.

But a source close to the congresswoman said that Bachmann could form the exploratory committee even earlier than June so that she could participate in early Republican presidential debates....

Bachmann in? Donald Trump at 10% in the polls among Republican voters, largely on a birtherism platform? So much for George Will's attempts to limit the race to sober-sided gray eminences. Let the clown show begin!

But I realize what's going to happen. The Republican presidential field will certainly be clownish, and the clowns will goad one another on to ever wilder stunts, and, as a result, Obama probably won't win the presidency again so much as the GOP will lose it. (While almost certainly picking up the Senate to go with the House, but never mind.)

After that presidential loss, what will we be told? That the GOP lost because the presidential field didn't represent the real Republican Party -- upstanding men and fine leaders such as Mitch Daniels, John Thune, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, et cetera. The George Will columns will write themselves.

And notice something about this? It's the exact opposite of what we were told after Republicans lost in 2006 and 2008. Then the party was full of gray establishment eminences -- Cheney and Rummy and W, and then McCain -- and we were told that the party was defeated because it had "lost its way." So we got a bunch of crazies and teabaggers instead, as well as establishment types trying to act like crazies and teabaggers. And now it looks as if one of them is going to lose.

The upshot of this? No matter how resoundingly voters reject Republicans, the Republican Party is never at fault. We just didn't get to vote for the good Republican Party -- the identity of which changes, as necessary.

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