In case anybody still wonders what I meant by that cute little phrase, the answer is Brent Bozell. People like Bozell won’t rest until the Republican party adopts his personal vision of total, unwavering ideological rigidity. For whatever reason they don’t understand that the Republican party cannot possibly answer their demands, for two reasons.
First, the GOP has too many factions for rigidity to work. The GOP of the DeLay/Frist golden years wasn’t rigid at all – order was maintained through a heady mix of brown people fearmongering, rank corruption and keeping coalition-threatening agenda items off the table. Should they please the Chamber of Commerce or the Minutemen? Panty-sniffing vagina inspectors or libertarians? Small government types or surveillance state neocons? Unless you count Schiavo (and maybe you should), pushing that immigration bill was the beginning of the end.
Bozell also forgets that the GOP agenda isn’t very popular. Even setting aside this year’s blowout numbers, national polls routinely consistently favor Democratic agenda items over Republican. Most of George Bush’s pre-9/11 agenda involved repackaging his doctrinaire Republicanism in ways that disguised its real purpose. One of the few times that the GOP laid their agenda on the table without the doubletalk, over privatizing Social Security, the initiative failed so miserably that it became the yardstick against which future policy failures will be measured.
Fringe nuts like Bozell aren’t on the fringe any longer; folks as extreme as Bozell and worse have become the heart of the base that wags the party. If the base wants the GOP to commit suicide by purity then I say bully for them.