by Max Brantley
Tom Schaller, writing on Nate Silver's fivethirtyeight.com, finds deeper meaning in the coming retirement of U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning, the less-than-zero Republican from Kentucky. I liked the sound of it so much, I thought I'd repeat some of it.
What I am saying is that in so many ways, Bunning’s political career and pending retirement is symptomatic of the larger problems presently facing conservatism and the Republican Party nationally: a grumpy, searching, direction-less, leadership-deficient, infighting band of naysayers offering few new ideas, too much feigned outrage, and opposition largely for opposition’s sake—all as they steadily lose their grasp on the attentions and imaginations of the American public.
And there's this:
Of course, the country has changed a lot since [Bunning was elected in] 1986, and even since 1998. By 2009, those changes reduced Bunning to an old, white southern man in a party that the national media today has finally recognized--despite early warning signals from some, including yours truly--is slowly yet avoidably retrenched into an older, whiter, southern and male-dominated rump party.
I'd like to believe the tired old rants about baby killers, queers, taxes, guns and Negro presidents truly are marginalizing the likes of Bunning. But you can't prove it by what's coming out of the mouths of Democrats, as well as Republicans, in these parts.