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The Democrats' Duty: Bring Back the GOP from Crazytown - Esquire

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Not to put too fine a point on it, but the Republican party, root and branch, from its deepest grass roots to its highest levels, has become completely demented. This does not mean that it is incapable of winning elections; on the contrary, the 2010 midterms, as well as the statewide elections around the country, ushered in a class of politicians so thoroughly dedicated to turning nonsense into public policy that future historians are going to marvel at our ability to survive what we wrought upon ourselves. It is now impossible to become an elected Republican politician in this country if, for example, you believe in the overwhelming scientific consensus that exists behind the concept of anthropogenic global warming. Just recently, birth control, an issue most people thought pretty well had been settled in the 1960s, became yet another litmus test for Republican candidates, as did the Keystone XL pipeline, to which every Republican presidential candidate pledged unyielding fealty despite the fact that several prairie Republicans and an army of conservative farmers and ranchers are scared to death of the thing.

In Washington, there is no leadership anymore, no "Republican establishment" to which anyone can appeal. The ferocious strength of faith-based know-nothingism in the party's base has resulted in a stubborn refusal to adopt even those ideas — like an individual mandate for health care, or cap-and-trade as an energy policy — that began as Republican ideas.

In the states, we have seen a staggering overreach on the part of Republican governors in the Midwest regarding labor rights, wildly restrictive voter-ID laws aimed at solving a problem that doesn't exist, immigration statutes that are leaving lettuce to rot in the fields because nobody's left to pick it, and a welter of preposterous antiabortion statutes. And behind all of that, a party base that has constructed its own private history, its own private language, its own private logic, and its own wholly rounded private universe.

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