In Paul Krugman's latest column he notes that one of the reasons the Republicans are in such a deep hole is the Southern Strategy was so successfully used by them until that's all they had left. I think Krugman makes an important point, but he has missed another aspect of the GOP problem which is they are so ideologically blinded they are unable to face reality. After all, conservative hostility to government is much older than the Southern Strategy. This strategy was just the latest manifestation of their goal to not let anyone get in the way of the rightful winners. Indeed, Thomas Frank found this quote from 1928 -- way back before the southern strategy was a gleam in Lee Atwater's eyes -- which expressed the same profound contempt for government as expressed by Grover Norquist and Karl Rove:
A thoroughly first-rate man in public service is corrosive. He eats holes in our liberties. The better he is and the longer he stays the greater the danger. if he is an enthusiast -- a bright-eyed madman who is frantic to make this the finest government in the world -- the black plague is a housepet by comparison.
Many of the failures in the Bush governance were not just because they were practicing racially divisive politics, although they were, but because they couldn't even see that their pet theories such as abstinence only sex education, business can regulate itself, you don't need evidence when your gut tells you it's true, etc, did not do well when exposed to reality. No wonder we are in such deep trouble.
What's on your radar?