Steinglass isn’t holding his breath:
There is no equivalent on the moderate-Republican side to the organisational muscle and rhetorical elan that propels the party’s tea-party wing. No one is lining up to back moderate primary challengers to tea-party candidates. Establishment figures from previous Republican administrations who have found themselves transformed into voices of caution and moderation, such as Mr Gerson, most of the writers at National Review Online, and even (mutatis mutandi) Karl Rove, appear to have little ability to affect the party’s course anymore.
Their fever will never break. Never.
The only thing that will give it a temporary respite is if a Republican becomes president, at which time they’ll decide that crises aren’t such a great tool after all. Their nihilistic rage will be put away, behind a glass door with the words “Break in case of Democratic president” written on it. And then it will start all over again
Drum wonders how we arrived at this state of affairs:
There’s always been a faction of right-wing craziness in America. It’s part of our DNA. But how did it become so widespread? The usual answer involves the rise of conservative think tanks, conservative talk radio, Fox News, the Christian right, and racial resentment toward a black president. And maybe that’s it. Somehow, though, it doesn’t feel quite sufficient. But if it’s not, then what’s going on? What’s happened over the past decade or two to spin up so many Americans into a blind rage?
Complaining about tea party congressmen misses the big picture. The problem is the people who voted them into office. What happened to them?