Patrick O'Donnell recommended an article on Facebook that I would like to recommend here. Paul Krugman and Robin Wells give an outstanding overview of the political dynamics affecting economic policy in the Democratic and Republican parties. They recount the capture of the Obama administration by Wall Street (interestingly they generally agree with the economic views of Larry Summers, but criticize his approach to Congress), explore the interaction between the economic advisors and Obama (Geithner is the chief villain), and fault Obama for his timidity at many levels.
Although they do not develop the theme in detail (Krugman has done this elsewhere), they explore the role of race in discussing the Republican Party. They indicate how the perception of the bailout was bizarrely tinged by race; they observe that white Republicans (and they are mostly white) have a sense that they are losing their country to immigrants. Although they do not discuss it, this sense of loss and fear is part of a larger religious picture in which the changing sexual mores of the nation set in motion by the pill leads Republicans to believe they live in a sinful nation and that leads to a sense of loss and fear.
Krugman and Wells conclude that it is hard to see how things can change given the intransigence of the Republican Party. But Krugman has elsewhere argued that the changing demographics of the country are very bad for the Republicans. Their racist appeals, subtle or otherwise, face an increasingly counterproductive future. He was right the first time. The Republicans have reason to fear that they are losing the country. But it is hard to see that when their current election prospects still look promising.
I am not a big believer in the market place of ideas. But when you see just how crazy the Republicans are (recall the Presidential primaries) and you combine it with the significantly changing demographics, it is hard to see them as the party of the future. Lunatics can do a lot of damage in the short run, however, and we have reason to be afraid as well.