There is no pleasure in watching a slow motion train wreck.
I share an opinion with many that one of our two major political parties is self-destructing and will either bury itself or succeed in burying all of us. I speak of course of the Republican Party.
Outside America others look in horror at what is happening. They are concerned because America is a behemoth on the world stage with which other nations must deal. The economic and environmental issues are huge. The signal from the Republican world is to disengage.
Looking for a constituency to support an agenda of the super wealthy, the Republican Party has been captured by religious and tax ideologues. Combating Sharia law and eliminating abortion are now accepted as major issues far ahead of providing work opportunities for millions of out of work Americans.
A no-tax pledge engineered by Grover Norquist is nearly a universal requirement. These positions and others become ideological loyalty tests required of those on the R team. In accepting these restrictions Republican legislators lack flexibility to legislate. Elected officials are sent to Washington to represent the needs of the people. Poll after poll says they are failing this task. Instead, many go about the business of government as if they were in a holy war in which no quarter can be given.
How does that work out? I would submit it does not work at all.
A forerunner of the disaster of this kind of straitjacket thinking is displayed in the 2007 book "Imperial Life in the Emerald City." This book about the American "green zone" in Bagdad should infuriate you. This was a world in which diplomats were chosen to serve not on the basis of their knowledge of Arabic or the Muslim culture, but on their Republican voting record or their position on abortion. That resulting quagmire is costing taxpayers trillions.
John Danforth, the former Republican senator from Missouri has just endorsed Mitt Romney. He is so distraught over the poor quality of the Republican candidates and their debates that he told the press on Dec. 2 that the whole process should end right now and anoint Romney before the party destructs. Former Bush speech writer David Frum concluded in the November New York Magazine that the party has "... lost touch with reality."
The coming general election will certainly offer a choice not an echo.