At The Daily Beast, Peter Beinart crisply explains the double-bind the leaders of the Republican Party find themselves in:
McConnell’s and Boehner’s job [is] virtually impossible. To get anything done, they need to compromise with Democrats. To improve their party’s image, they need to compromise with Democrats. But most Republican members of Congress are more responsive to Tea Party activists—who could defeat them in a primary—than to voters as a whole. And those Tea Party activists oppose compromise, even if doing so hurts the GOP, because they’re not all that invested in the fortunes of the GOP.
And Beinart offers an analogy:
If there’s a precedent for this, it’s what happened to Democrats between 1968 and 1972, when the party was taken over by anti-war, civil-rights, and women’s-rights activists. The liberal activists of the late 1960s cared a lot about their causes, and much less about the Democratic Party, which they associated with Lyndon Johnson’s war in Vietnam. Today’s Tea Party activists care a lot about their causes, and much less about the Republican Party, which they associate with the big spending of George W. Bush.
In other words, the Republican Party appears to be self destructing a la George McGovern, circa 1972.
In 2016, will the Republican George McGovern be Ted Cruz?