The GOP won't return to a degree of normalcy until its most extreme members are slowly defeated. That won't happen until voters are confronted with the reality of the decisions their representatives make. So if they want hostages, give 'em to them. I'm sorry if Sullivan thinks that's overly cynical, but it's about the best way I can think of to force Republicans to deal with the consequences of their extremism.
Reward them for it? I guess this is the "be careful what you stand for" argument. I just don't want the consequences of this to be taken out on the whole American people – and I can see one of two possibilities. If Romney became an instant Keynesian tomorrow (everything is equally possible for him), he will have a very weak base in his party and some possible bitter blowback from below – like what happened to GHWB – because those big unfunded tax cuts and defense increases will increase the debt, not reduce it. If he enacts immediate austerity by spending cuts alone, then I fear entering the vicious cycle of Britain, where austerity has led to more debt, not less.
And, yes, it's too cynical. Just because one party has lost all its moral bearings – forcing the other to become more brutal in turn – that doesn't mean we have to give up on voting for the best candidate with whose policies we most agree.