A reader writes:
I think you're underestimating the echo chamber effects on the right. It's not that they've perceived what has gone wrong over the last 8 years, been forced to bottle it up to preserve their hack jobs, and gone nuts as a result. Rather, they did NOT perceive what has gone wrong, but did perceive that their side lost two elections. For years these folks have been exposing themselves only to their own media; any criticism made of Bush by anyone who is vaguely "liberal" is attacked and dismissed.
At best they might find a blog post quoting and criticizing a piece of liberal opinion mediocre enough in its execution to serve as a straw-man, and ignore that liberal's response to it.
So what you have is a conservative movement that spends 8 years dismissing any criticism based on income inequality as socialism, any based on the limitations of military power or blowback as defeatocrat treason, and any based on corruption or incompetence as Bush Derangement Syndrome. Then this movement gets smacked in the face by reality - two straight massive electoral defeats.
Their response to defeat is to attempt to reform their party, but that reform is built around the only criticism of Bush they view as legitimate: that he spent too much money. This is why we have tea parties, and rejection of stimulus, and the obsession with earmarks.
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