Today's Republican implosion is not sudden. And its roots were diagnosed a long time ago - by yours truly in 1998 in the New York Times Magazine, and in this superb article at the same time in the Atlantic by Christopher Caldwell, now of the Weekly Standard. Money quote:

The Republicans are too conservative: their deference to their southern base is persuading much of the country that their vision is a sour and crabbed one. But they're too liberal, too, as their all-out retreat from shrinking the government indicates. At the same time, the Republicans have passed none of the reforms that ingratiated the party with the "radical middle." The Republicans' biggest problem is not their ideology but their lack of one. Stigmatized as rightists, behaving like leftists, and ultimately standing for nothing, they're in the worst of all possible worlds.

Anyone to whom this is now news has been asleep for the past decade, and in a coma for the Bush-Cheney administration.

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