In 2008 there was a collapsing job market, a stock market in free fall and two wars that stretched as far into the future as the mind's eye could see. The Republican party was not an easy fit for anyone, and there were considerations of its imminent demise.
So what brilliant strategy accounts for the reversal, six years later, of its declining fortunes? It is in the relentless attack on the most vulnerable.
Don't extend unemployment benefits, don't raise the minimum wage, don't support health care reforms to insure the basic welfare of the underclass. Rid our society of those who infiltrate from over the borders. These are the enemies.
It is in the negatives that this party has risen from the ashes. Mr. Douthat gives them far too much wholly undeserved support when concluding that they are somehow not the party of the rich.
The Republican party deserves enmity, not praise, for backing into a powerful position predicated on messages of hate, fear and survival of the fittest. If playing to our worst instincts is truly how to attract the middle class and the well to do, then this is very sad commentary on the state of our nation.