Three positive signs in this past week.I have long wondered whether the Republican Party should be reformed or whether is should be given to talk radio so that they can sufficiently destroy it. Then, from its ashes, responsible conservatives could build a conservative party focused on goverance. The problem with the latter is that talk radio doesn't care if the Republicans lose elections. In fact, they prefer it. There are more anti-Obama books to write when he is in office. Painting the other side as destroying American is good for ratings. Losing won't cause Rush to go away. So I am not sure how easy it would be to start over.
1) The Republican caucus accepted a deal to avert a government shutdown. The deal is a huge victory for governance Republicanism over talk radio conservatism.
2) Glenn Beck’s show was canceled. There remains plenty of angry extremism on the airwaves: Limbaugh, Levin, and so on. But the collapse in Beck’s ratings represents a heartening repudiation of John Birch society conspiracy-mongering by rank-and-file conservatives – despite the shameful attempt by Fox News to mainstream this junk.
3) Donald Trump shouldered aside Newt Gingrich in Republican primary preferences. This may not sound like good news but bear with me: It used to be that the person offering the Obama-is-African-not-American message to the Republican primary electorate was a former speaker of the House, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a Fox News contributor: in other words, an eminent and respectable personage. Now Trump has stolen the Gingrich spotlight, knocked Gingrich out of the top 3. With the result that the bearer of the Obama-not-American message is a clownish TV personality in an absurd hairdo. That’s progress. Birtherism is being quarantined within the GOP. Better if it were repudiated and extinguished, but although this week was positive, it was not miraculous.
Reforming the Party and combating the extremism of talk radio is the route to go. And this week was a good one. Governance Republicans are beginning to fight back!