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A National Party No More?

Andrew Sullivan's site, not surprisingly, is completely drenched in a combination of Obamamania and Huckenfreude. Some of it is a bit over the top, but in this case he's got a point:

Tonight was in many ways devastating news for the GOP. Twice as many people turned out for the Democrats than the Republicans. Clearly independents prefer the Dems.

Now look at how the caucus-goers defined themselves in the entrance polls. Among the Dems: Very Liberal: 18 percent; Somewhat Liberal: 36 percent; Moderate: 40 percent; Conservative: 6 percent. Now check out the Republicans: Very Conservative: 45 percent; Somewhat Conservative: 43 percent; Moderate: 11 percent; Liberal: 1 percent.

One is a national party; the other is on its way to being an ideological church. The damage Bush and Rove have done--revealed in 2006--is now inescapable.

Politics is not rocket science. You have one party led by a deeply unpopular, unapologetic right-wing ideologue whom its presidential candidates nevertheless decided to embrace. You have another party that has spent most of the past quarter-century undergoing the painful but necessary process of taming its own ideological excesses and tacking to the center. As a result, it now boasts appealing, mainstream candidates with pragmatic policy proposals for addressing real problems. What, exactly, did people think was going to happen? "Nature cannot be fooled," said Richard Feynman. Nor can the median voter.

Incidentally, God knows Kathryn Jean Lopez gets needled a fair amount on this site, but for my money she gets the award for best blog post of the night, quoting an email from a reader:

To: Kathryn Lopez
Subject: your Ken doll is melting...
...karma’s a bitch, no?
Go Huck!
Josh Patashnik