In the HBO movie "Game Change" John McCain tells Sarah Palin not to get "co-opted by (Rush) Limbaugh and the other extremists," warning her that they will "destroy the party if you let them."
Apt words don't you think?
As the United States recovers from the Government shut down and the fact that the Government nearly defaulted on all its loans, the Republican Party needs to take this opportunity to do some serious soul searching, figure out what its priorities are, and think how it can avoid being wiped out during next year's Midterm Elections.
Please understand I'm not saying that the Democrats are completely blameless. The Democratic Senate refusing to pass a House approved Budget Bill was one of the reasons for the shutdown. But the reason that the Democrats kept sending the bills back was because they were completely moronic. If the Democrats can be accused of anything, it's realising that the word compromise doesn't simply mean doing what the other person tells you all the time and acting accordingly. The rest of the blame lies solely with the GOP, or rather with the minority within the GOP that supports the Tea Party movement.
But come the Midterms and the majority are going to be paying the price for the actions of the minority. So before next year, I believe the GOP needs to do three things to win back public trust
1: Drive out the Tea Party
The Party of Eisenhower and Ford, the party of small government and low taxes, has been taken over by a bunch of small minded paleo-conservatives and religious extremists with a tenuous grasp of reality who believe that the best way to govern is by putting a gun to the country's head. This cannot be allowed to continue. Bachman, Santorum, Cruz and the rest of their ilk, who spend their days parroting the lines fed to them by business interests and shock jocks like Rush Limbaugh, need to be driven out of the party and out of politics for good, using whatever means necessary to achieve this end.
2: Sit down with the Speaker
I don't believe that John Boehner is the villain of the piece. I think he got hijacked by his own Caucus and found himself unable to do anything but hold on for dear life. But that's not acceptable from the Speaker of the House of Representatives. He is supposed to lead his party, not do what they tell him. Party grandees need to sit down with him and either tell him get his house in order, or ask for his resignation. Either way he needs to get his act together.
3: Listen to their Constituents.
While a small minority of Republican voters probably do agree with what the GOP has been doing, I can't believe that the majority do. Most of them are probably as annoyed as the rest of us. If the GOP is to have any hope of surviving then it needs to sit down with the people who vote for it and ask them what they want. It needs to build its party platform around its voters' needs, and its voters' views, not around the needs and views of big business. The lower house of Congress is called the House of Representatives for a reason.
Now I'm not saying that this will save the GOP. They may already be too far gone. But if they carry on as they are, then they are most certainly doomed.