Musing on this post by Mustang Bobby over at Bark Bark Woof Woof brought me to this realisation.
It's becoming more apparent to me that today's GOP as an organisation is little more than a collection of extreme rightwing crazies with a veneer of passable politics over the mess. It's a bit like finding the "priceless antique table" you bought is really a paper-thin layer of mahogany glued over termite-ridden pine planks.
We all thought that ShrubCo was an aberration, a convenient ignoramus to cover the party machinery underneath. But the more recent actions indicate that the Bush presidency may have been more symptomatic than was previously apparent. The flurry of recent stories of recent GOP stupidity is far more telling than the worst of Shrub's candid comments - it spotlights a wilfully ignorant, cantankerous, consciously obstructive organisation totally unwilling to examine even its own counterproductive methods in its scramble back up to the top. I'm wondering whether the more recent efforts, more reminiscent of scorched-earth combat tactics than any real attempt at governance, is the work of a group with no interest in the national welfare at all or simply that of a group too collectively stupid to care.
No matter what the cause for the misbehaviour of the party, however, it is clear that any attempt to gloss over this bad behaviour doesn't adhere all that well. McCain was persuaded to select perhaps the least competent candidate for running mate not a year ago. The RNC chair, Steele, even with his gaffes presents a more articulate, informed image than the voices drowning him out. And even the voices of relative sanity within the GOP (Powell et al) are sidelined by the noisiest of the loons.
Fifteen years ago, Gingrich and his Congressional allies presented at least an intelligent front to the populace behind which to hatch their schemes. The cracks through to the rotten substance beneath were beginning, but far more difficult to penetrate. Today the equation is nearly reversed: the damage below the surface is readily apparent and popping up in ever more debates, and the attempts to find some respectable platform or spokesperson to make the nutsery seem rational are failing on an increasingly spectacular scale.