Eugene Robinson is, of course, completely right:
After eight years of the Bush administration, the Republican Party — to put it bluntly — is a mess and a fraud.
There is an intellectual case to be made for the economic philosophy that the party purports to represent. I disagree with it strongly, but I respect its integrity — in a way that this administration and the Republican leadership in Congress clearly did not.
The Republican Party said it believed in free and unfettered competition, but it picked winners and losers through a system of crony capitalism. All it takes to make my point is a name: Jack Abramoff.***
Oh, and isn’t the Republican Party supposed to stand foursquare against intrusions on privacy? Then why were Republicans so unmoved when it was revealed that the Bush administration had been conducting unprecedented surveillance of Americans’ private electronic communications?
When Ronald Reagan was president, I had a sense of what ideas and principles his party stood for. When Newt Gingrich and his “Contract With America” brigade took Washington by storm in 1994, I knew what they believed — loopy though it was — and what they hoped to accomplish. I defy anyone to give a coherent explanation of what today’s Republican Party, under George Bush and now John McCain, wants to do except perpetuate itself in power.
When a political party reaches the point of lurching incoherence, the most effective cure is a good, long spell in the wilderness. Americans should help Republicans out by sending them home to get their act together.
Lurching incoherence really does sum it all up.