Bernstein thinks a sane Republican president is the country's best hope:
If the best bet is a president who will fight the crazy, but a president cannot be nominated without it, then how do you get from here to there? And, alas, I don’t really have an answer to that. Perhaps you get lucky and a president is elected within that system who manages to get popular enough in office to fight back against it. Perhaps two or three terms out of the White House gets GOP politicians desperate enough to seek out someone not beholden to those portions of the party and to fight hard to secure him or her the nomination. Perhaps another Ike comes along, although you could wait an awful long time for that.
Until that happens — until something happens to remove or at least moderate the real problems within the GOP — it’s pretty likely, it seems to me, that whatever they do in the presidential nomination process, the winner is going to be essentially held hostage to the crazy. And not only is that going to be a disadvantage in the general election, but if he or she does manage to win – and the electoral effects of extremism are not large enough to prevent that in many cases – it’s going to be difficult for such a candidate to govern successfully. And there’s no obvious way to get out of it.
Update from a reader:
After he wins re-election, Barack Obama needs to declare himself a Republican.