Yuval Levin gives a course in the bleeding obvious to his fellow GOPers:
Republicans did not do nearly well enough in the last election to enact legislation that would repeal Obamacare. In order to repeal that law and attempt an effective reform of our health-care system along conservative lines, they will need to do better in the next election and the one to follow. To that end, they can take several kinds of steps with regard to Obamacare in the meantime: steps that would weaken the law (by highlighting its faults or disabling some of its elements) and ultimately make it easier to replace; steps that would weaken the law’s supporters (by further connecting them to the law in the public’s mind and forcing them to defend its least popular elements) and ultimately make them easier to replace; and steps that would strengthen the law’s opponents (by clearly identifying them as opponents of an unpopular measure and champions of a more appealing approach) and help them gain more public support.
In my view (shared with all who would listen to no avail, for what it’s worth) the original defund strategy was not well suited to doing any of these things.
The tone of this piece is its perfection. The studied civility when talking with complete fanatics, the careful reason when interacting with constitutional know-nothings … it’s like reading Ross Douthat, as the excruciating reality keeps surfacing that his party is a disgrace to the very idea of a political party, more extremist than any in the West save Hungary’s neo-fascists, unteachable and proud of it, a nub of Palin’s id quivering in its fervent frisson of pure vandalism.
If only one of the last remaining conservatives with brains would get it over with and simply scream at the top of their lungs what everyone else is thinking: “ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR FUCKING MINDS?”